For years I’ve waxed about how a decent gaming headset is a must for any gamer worth their salt. But decent doesn’t necessarily mean expensive and the EPOS H3 Wired Gaming Headset is a prime example of this. Taking what EPOS learnt with the launch of the GSP series of headsets, the H3 takes the company into the next generation of gaming in style.
Sold in both Ghost White and Onyx Black (the latter being the one we have had access and hands-on with), the H3 Wired Gaming Headset from EPOS is a simple plug-and-play option that will massively appeal to gamers looking for simplicity in their lives.
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You see, from the outside looking in there is nothing fancy about the H3. There are no wireless or Bluetooth capabilities, there are no special equalising gimmicks, and no haptic drivers to deliver an alternative to Razer’s HyperSense found on the Nari Ultimate. There is nothing, but that does mean the H3 is the headset you will want to grab when you are looking to just get gaming, with no fuss and no bother, plugging it into your controller, placing it on your head and getting on with life.
And just getting on is exactly what this headset lets you do. Weighing in at a mere 277 grams in weight you’ll hardly notice that the H3 is in place when you are playing. Yes, it’s not the lightest effort to have ever hit the gaming market, but anything under 300 grams is well within the ‘lightweight’ category, and when combined with the comfort this brings, all is good in the way the H3 fits and feels. You see, alongside that relatively low weight is a decent amount of padding, both on the headband itself and in the oval earcups which happily caress your lugs. Memory foam-based and covered in cool leatherette, with a Alcantara-ish front side, the cups here are slightly smaller than those found on the flagship GSP 602 that EPOS | SENNHEISER have previously delivered, but they fit brilliantly, creating a full seal around your ears to ensure that not only is all audio pumped directly into your head, but very little of it ever escapes. The closed back style then helps magnify that feel.
They are also hinged, allowing for a good amount of movement to ensure that they will fit pretty much any user. This hinge system looks nice and works well, but it is a shame it doesn’t allow the cups to swivel entirely; hanging any headset around your neck neatly is always a personal preference. However that’s no real big issue as when combined with the adjustable stainless steel headband slider – which comes with plenty of visual and tactile fitting clues – and everything is good in the H3 world.
It’s all good in the audio department too; frankly, it is superb. This may be EPOS’ baby unit but they certainly haven’t skimped with how it sounds. EPOS are selling the H3 on the back of being a headset which is capable of continuing the company’s legacy of uncompromised clarity and I think they’ve delivered on that. The sounds you’ll find from gaming are rich and strong, full of bass and capable of providing the higher detail you need for pretty much all situations. I’ve used this across a range of games and have been impressed throughout; it’s more than capable of fully immersing you into the task at hand, with sounds ringing out around you whenever the H3 is fitted; moving audio from one side of your head to the other and bringing you into the game like any decent audio-bringer should.
It’s a similar feel when you move from the gaming scene over to kicking back with some tunes. Fully compatible with any device that comes with a 3.5mm audio jack, the EPOS H3 happily makes a move to the wired musical scene, continuing the vibe of a headset that is able to do it all. Once again here it provides a loud, clear experience that will sort you out across a variety of musical genres.
Obviously that wire may well be a cause of concern for many, and as we move forward with life, cutting cables left, right and centre, there could well be many who prefer to run a wireless route in terms of their headset too. If that’s the case then you’re going to be out of luck here as it is the detachable 3.5mm cable (and included two-pronged PC splitter) which is the lifeblood of the H3. It’s nice that it is detachable though, even if I can rarely see a situation where that cable will ever need to be disconnected (aside from a careless user breaking it) – it’s nice that the option to switch it is there.
As with any headset that is used for gaming or team comms opportunities, the H3 isn’t just about the sound which comes into your ears. Much of our lives nowadays totally revolve around the need to communicate in style online and with the beefy flip-to-mute mic that is included here, that is an absolute cinch. Much like the design of previous products, this mic is a joy to use – flip it in front of your mouth, chat away and be sure that anyone on the other end of your comms will be able to hear you with crystal clear clarity. Flip it up, and the muting will kick in. Again, no fuss, no bother and just total ease of use.
The EPOS H3 isn’t perfect though and for a headset that is so easy to use I’m at a loss to understand how and why EPOS have decided to mix up their volume control system from those which have previously served well. We know that the H3 is bereft of gimmicks and goodies, and that’s absolutely fine, but the only volume control on the entire unit is that of a single volume dial which is situated on the right hand ear cup. Strangely though, instead of being a fully controlled external dial which is easy to grip, EPOS have worked in a simple dial that at first look seems to be really neat. It’s certainly pleasing aesthetically but in use the ‘intuitive controls’ that EPOS are promising are far from the truth.
Throughout my use with the H3, the one and only issue that has cropped up is centred on this dial – with the headset in place on your head there’s just not enough tactility or feel to allow you to work the volume to a desired level. You’ll mostly find yourself fumbling to tune with your thumb or forefinger and unfortunately the grip allowed is low; this in turn means that the volume wheel itself is tricky to use. It’s a shame and I’d much rather a proper meaty dial was found in its place.
Honestly though, that’s my only real bugbear with the EPOS H3 Wired Gaming Headset. Coming alive when you utilise this in your gaming sessions, and easily available as one of those do it all headsets that can be left laying around for multiple users to pick up and play, should you be able to consider a headset that comes with a wire, there is next to no reason why the EPOS H3 Wired Gaming Headset shouldn’t be on your list. Not only does it sound great, provide clear comms, be super simple to use and come in so lightweight that you rarely notice it in place, it also comes at a price that will be instantly appealing.
Huge thanks go out to EPOS for providing us with the Onyx Black version of their H3 Wired Gaming Headset for review. If you wish to pick up a unit for yourself, head on over to EPOS direct.
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