Epos H3 Hybrid two-minute review
The Epos H3 Hybrid will undoubtedly appeal to those who want a great-sounding headset that can work on practically every device. The ability to use it wired and wireless simultaneously provides a level of freedom that helps justify the admittedly slightly higher price than we expect.
The audio quality of the Epos H3 Hybrid is excellent, albeit hampered by slightly sharp high-end frequencies and an audible hiss when a 3.5 mm cable is connected. It’s also frustratingly easy to drain the battery if you forget to turn the headset off, as it only powers down when disconnected from Bluetooth devices.
Still, the Epos H3 Hybrid is incredibly comfortable to wear, offers great flexibility, and has an impressive overall sound that will please most users. We’d wait until it’s available on sale before picking it up, however.
Price and release date
The Epos H3 Hybrid was released on September 14, 2021, for $179 / £160 / AU$259. That means it’s noticeably more expensive than the Epos H3 at almost double the price, which retails for $119 / £109 / AU$179 but can often be found for less.
The Epos H3 Hybrid comes in two color options: Ghost White and Onyx Black, and we’re particularly fond of the white pair, which look fantastic alongside the Nintendo Switch OLED.
At a glance, you probably think the Epos H3 Hybrid is identical to the Epos H3; however, it differs in several subtle ways. You’ll find a physical button on the left earcup – which turns on the headset – as well as an LED indicator. A small in-built microphone rests above the power button. The built-in pinhole microphone lets you answer calls using the headset via Bluetooth. However, the audio quality isn’t as good as the dedicated boom mic, as you might expect.
On the right earcup, you’ll find a Smart button for Bluetooth pairing and switching between EQs and surround sound when connecting to a PC. It also functions as a button to accept or reject calls when connected to a mobile device.
The Epos H3 Hybrid also shares many design similarities with the excellent Epos H3. They’re a closed-back pair of headphones, and you get the same super soft, enveloping angled earcups, flush volume dial, and flip-to-mute boom arm microphone as the cheaper Epos H3. They’re also pleasingly lightweight at just 298 grams.
However, the most notable design change that the Epos H3 Hybrid offers over the Epos H3 is that you can now remove the headset’s boom mic, which attaches to the headset magnetically. The fact you couldn’t remove the microphone was one of our biggest criticisms of the Epos H3, as it made wearing the headset outside the home a complete non-starter. Now that the microphone can be removed and reattached easily, it means you could feasibly wear the Epos H3 Hybrid headset while on your daily commute or when traveling. You also get a little plastic cover to pop over the exposed connector when the mic is detached, which is handy.
The Epos H3 Hybrid delivers the same exceptional audio performance we’ve grown to love from Epos’ line of gaming headsets. You can expect incredibly detailed and clear sound, which means you can hear all the incidental details that other headsets can often muddy. The mids and lows are also expertly balanced, so you’ll still get the satisfying thumps that accompany explosions and gunfire in games like Halo Infinite.
Unfortunately, we found the Epos H3 Hybrid to be a touch too bright for our liking. For instance, Juliana’s frequent radio calls in Deathloop tended to sound overly sharp, to the point where it caused some mild discomfort. We also disliked the fact the hybrid headphones give off a noticeable hiss whenever a 3.5 mm is connected. When using the headphones wirelessly, no hiss is detected, making the issue all the more curious. The hissing isn’t particularly loud, but it could be a deal-breaker for those who may be sensitive to background noise.
Microphone quality and connectivity
The Epos H3 Hybrid has impressive battery life at 41 hours when connected via Bluetooth, and we found that it generally met the manufacturer’s claim. Every time you turn the headset on, a pleasant voice tells you how much battery remains; you’ll also be alerted when it’s time to charge the headset using the USB-C port.
However, it’s frustratingly easy to drain the headset’s battery by accident, as it only powers down when disconnected from a Bluetooth device. The Epos H3 Hybrid must be powered on to function (they won’t work when off), so if you forget to turn them off and the headset remains connected to your phone, it’s possible to leave them on for hours by mistake.
Thankfully, we had no issues with the headset’s microphone. Our voice sounded crystal clear during voice chats and when chatting in online meetings. Again, we recommend using the boom mic where possible, as it’s far superior to the built-in pinhole microphone.