EPOS H3Pro Hybrid Gaming Headset

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EPOS are back, with another H3 headset. This time it’s the EPOS H3Pro Hybrid.

I previously reviewed the H3 Hybrid (not the pro) and there was a lot to like. They are almost identical so please feel free to check out that review here.

This is the 3rd iteration in the H3 line, but does having pro in the name equate to pro performance? Let’s get stuck in to see what the main differences are.

First impressions are excellent

With a big price tag comes big features?

Design and Control

The packaging on the H3Pro Hybrid is identical to every other EPOS product. The box and foam inside feel premium and match the build and design of all of the EPOS product range.

The build quality of the headset just like the H3Hybrid is excellent. Although I will say for this very premium price they still don’t feel as good as the H6Pro, also from EPOS. The H3Pro Hybrid is fairly lightweight at 308g with the microphone attached and 288g without. The whole headset feels great in the hand and even better on your head. The H3 Hybrid was and is one of the most comfortable closed-back gaming headsets I’ve worn to date. The H3Pro Hybrid is no different.

The overall balance and weight of these headsets are perfect, even over very long gaming sessions. Something I personally struggle with on closed-back headsets, so it’s impressive that these H3 headsets are so comfortable with almost zero heat or sweat build-up at all.

The headband is really nicely cushioned with a slight recess in the middle which helps reduce pressure on the top of your head. EPOS also has one of my favourite features on all their headsets. It’s so simple yet so effective. The numbered measurements on the adjustable headband. I wish all companies would do this. It makes finding the right positioning each time so easy for the user. Especially if you live in a household where multiple people pick up and use your headsets.

The numbered headband is one of my favourite features from EPOS

The H3Pro Hybrid continues to feature the incredible removable boom microphone EPOS has created. There is a magnetic system used to keep the microphone in place. As I’ve mentioned before in previous reviews this is the best removable microphone system I have ever come across in any gaming headset. The magnet is strong enough to hold the weight of the whole headset if you choose to pick it up via the boom mic. Yet still easy to remove when not needed. Lift to mute the microphone is still here and still my favourite way to mute. There’s a nice little click as well to tell you when you’re muted and unmuted.

Included is also a little blanking plate to put over the exposed connector once the mic is removed. This is great as it means it can discreetly be used as regular wireless headphones, with no sign there was ever an external microphone attached.

When the boom mic is detached, there is another internal mic built into the headset for use in phone calls. A great feature for those that are on the go.

The EPOS H3Pro Hybrid with microphone removed

I have mentioned in previous reviews along with many other reviewers, a serious gripe with the volume wheel on EPOS headsets. The wheel on the H3 series right cup is quite small, the texture of it is hard to find and the sensitivity is almost non-existent. Once you have found it, the wheel can often raise and lower your volume in increments of anywhere from 4-10 stops at a time. Often skipping over some on the way. The wheel is also infinitely scrollable and you only know you’ve reached maximum or minimum via an audible beep. EPOS do seem to be improving with every headset they release. However, the volume wheel is something that needs to be addressed in my opinion as it just doesn’t match the quality of their products.

The EPOS H3Pro Hybrid is available in 3 colours. Onyx Black (which is more of a blue/black), Ghost White and Racing Green. I was sent the Ghost White and it looks so clean. The whole look and feel of these EPOS headsets are very understated for a gaming product and something I’d happily be seen wearing out and about.

There are 3 physical buttons on the H3Pro Hybrid. On the left side, there’s a button for powering on or off. On the right side, there’s a Bluetooth smart button which, when held down puts the headset into Bluetooth pairing mode. Once connected to a phone via Bluetooth this same smart button answers and ends calls. When connected to a PC via USB or via the wireless dongle the same smart button can be customised using the EPOS Gaming Suite. You can set it so each press selects different preset EQ modes or have it switch between Stereo 2.0 and 7.1 Surround modes.

Just below the Bluetooth smart button, we find the brand-new feature on the H3Pro model. The ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) switch. More on that new feature in a bit.

I will say that when using and testing the H3Pro Hybrid over the last few weeks extensively. All the buttons are super easy to find and select. I never needed to take the headset off to look or remind myself which one I was pressing. The whole headset design is simple but extremely well thought out.

The right cup of the H3Pro Hybrid with volume wheel, ANC switch and Bluetooth smart button

Connection

The EPOS H3Pro Hybrid like a non-Pro model features Bluetooth 5.2. This means it is compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled device. Unfortunately, like its cheaper sibling it still only supports the standard SBC codec and has no high-quality options. At this price, it might have been nice to feature some high-res codecs.

The same wired connectivity options are still here, including a 2m USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable and a 1.5m 3.5mm jack cable.

What is brand new on this Pro model though, is the welcome inclusion of a wireless USB dongle. Giving a lag-free, high-speed 2.4 GHz connection for PC, Mac, PS4 and PS5.

Connection is super quick and easy, just plug it in and no pairing is needed at all. The range is stated at 10m. I found this to be fairly accurate, but will very much depend on how thick your walls are. If you live in a solid stone-walled castle, don’t expect to be able to wander too far!

On a single charge, the EPOS H3Pro Hybrid can deliver approximately 38 hours of audio via Bluetooth which is impressive. When using the new wireless dongle, a full charge will keep you going for about 30 hours. As will using just using the 3.5mm cable, which still requires power, due to the multiple audio signals it can receive at the same time. When using the 3.5mm, together with Bluetooth or either the dongle and Bluetooth together you can expect approximately 28 hours of battery life. I love the ability to use the new wireless dongle and Bluetooth together. Enabling you to have a truly wireless option for gaming, whilst at the same time listening to music or chatting in discord. All lag-free, in one headset.

All these figures above are with the new ANC off. Turning the ANC on will shorten your battery life on each of the connectivity options above by about 10 hours respectively.

Charging time is approximately 2 hours from empty and whilst in use on PC using the USB connection it charges whilst in use.

The left cup of the H3Pro Hybrid with the connection ports, power button and LED

Sound and Performance

The EPOS H3Pro Hybrid have the same 40mm, dynamic drivers, as the other H3 series headsets, producing a frequency response of 20-20,000Hz. When I previously reviewed the H3 Hybrid I noted how for a closed-back headset the soundstage was a lot wider and a lot airier than is normal for a closed-back gaming headset. Which was and is definitely to my taste.

The H3Pro Hybrid is no different. Soundstage isn’t quite as good as say the H6Pro but it’s still one of the best I’ve heard from a closed-back headset. Having used an open-back headset and headphones as my daily drivers for years now, it is nice to come across a closed-back headset that is not only breathable and comfortable but has a soundstage that is at least closer to an open-back than most other gaming headsets.

There is an inherent spaciousness to the sound which really lends itself to gaming. I did also note the only downside to the previously brilliant soundstage of the H3 Hybrid was an under-emphasized bass response. The new H3Pro Hybrid does not have this issue at all. The drivers here have definitely been tuned as the bass is here in abundance. It is still slightly lacking in the sub-bass area but it is a vast improvement and when gaming or listening to music there is a lot less brightness and the overall sound is much warmer.

No matter what source you use. Whether wirelessly or wired, audio quality is exceptional for a gaming headset. The sound here I would describe as less clinical, more fun. Listening to various sources of music was a really enjoyable experience and I didn’t suffer any fatigue even after many hours.

Gaming is where the H3Pro Hybrid really shines. Having a much warmer richer sound. Explosions in games really come through in abundance. Exhaust notes in Gran Turismo 7 have a beautiful rich tone to them, every backfires and tyre screech is perfectly delivered.

The midrange and highs are really well balanced when gaming. For music I sometimes found the lower midrange to be slightly recessed and vocals occasionally got pushed back. When gaming, however, this is never an issue.

Imaging really is superb on the H3Pro Hybrid. Not only are you able to pinpoint left and right directional movements, but there is also excellent depth and elevation to the soundstage, which when gaming gives you a clear advantage.

The replaceable plush earpads give incredible comfort

I struggled to listen to music using the previous H3 Hybrid for long periods due to the slight harshness in the treble range. The H3Pro Hybrid trebles are not quite as clean and crisp as the H3 Hybrid but this makes it so much easier to listen to for long periods. The overall sound produced here is so warm and so much fun across all forms of music and gaming.

When connected to the PC using either a USB or wireless dongle. The EPOS Gaming Suite is available.

There have been a few updates since I last reviewed the H3 Hybrid and I’m pleased to say the whole experience is so much smoother. The Gaming Suite picked up the H3Pro Hybrid straight away and there are loads of options available to tailor your listening experience.

There are 4 preset EQ options. Flat, Music, Movie and Esports. Along with full EQ, sliders are able to completely tailor the sound to your needs. I will say, out of the box nearly every gaming headset I’ve ever tried needs a fair bit of EQing to get anywhere near to a sound I feel is acceptable. The H3Pro Hybrid is probably the best out-of-the-box sound I’ve come across for gaming. Yes, you can tweak it to improve it slightly but for the majority of users who won’t be interested in this, the sound is excellent.

The 7.1 surround sound feature is also, actually pretty good for gaming. I’m not a fan of surround sound in general as I do nearly all my gaming in Stereo. However, I will give credit where credit is due. The 7.1 surround sound from EPOS does enhance the user experience in certain situations. In vast open-world games, the widened soundstage is brilliant. Directional accuracy for me suffers a little bit, so I wouldn’t use it for competitive FPS games. But if you want a true open-world experience it’s a great addition to have.

EPOS Gaming Suite has a myriad of options for you to tailor your listening experience

The H3Pro Hybrid has a brand-new feature that is steadily becoming more and more popular in headsets and headphones nowadays. That being, Active Noise Cancellation or ANC.

When ANC is switched on there is definitely a slightly closer, more intimate sound produced.

ANC performance is good, but not as good as other wireless headphones from Sennheiser, Sony and Bose for example. Along with its excellent noise isolation, the H3Pro Hybrid ANC does a pretty decent job of removing background noise from desk or pc fans and even the low-end rumble of passing vehicles. But there is still some residual hissing left, especially when compared to other ANC offerings mentioned above. It is still a nice feature to have and some people will appreciate the option here.

The microphone on the EPOS H3Pro Hybrid is still excellent. Speech has pretty good depth, whilst being very clear.

Using the EPOS Gaming Suite again, there is an adjustable sidetone, along with voice enhancement, gain and noise gate for the microphone.

There is also still the in-built second microphone, which is great for making those Bluetooth phone calls whilst out and about when you don’t want the boom mic attached. A nice feature to be included.

I just wish EPOS had used some of the ANC techs here on the mic as there is pretty much zero noise cancellation yet again. Nearly all background noise is picked up and transferred to your not very thankful mates you’re chatting to online.

Very understated design

Final Thoughts

In summary, then, is the EPOS H3Pro Hybrid worth the extra £100 over the H3 Hybrid? Well, if you need full wireless and ANC with a much more enjoyable sound, then yes. But at the price of £239, it has some very stiff competition from the likes of SteelSeries, Corsair and even Audeze. The H3Pro Hybrid is another great headset from EPOS. Versus others mentioned in this price category, it is the most comfortable and out-of-the-box sound is one of the best, with a pretty solid mic and decent companion software.

I do feel with EPOS they get better and better with every new release and they’re maybe 1 or 2 features away from the perfect gaming headset. I’d love to see them do H6Pro wireless that’s for sure. That being said, the H3Pro Hybrid is an incredibly versatile gaming headset. With an understated design and ridiculous comfort. I can’t help but feel there aren’t many better all-rounders out there. Even though it’s a steep price to pay.

The EPOS H3Pro Hybrid Closed Acoustic Wireless Gaming Headset thoroughly deserves the Thumb Culture Gold Award!

Pros
  • Excellent out of the box audio quality
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Incredible comfort
  • Active Noise Cancellation in a gaming headset
  • Detachable magnetic microphone
  • Connects to everything hybrid audio
Cons
  • Volume wheel is still glitchy to use
  • No advanced Bluetooth codecs
  • No noise cancellation on the microphone
  • 3.5mm always requires battery power

Disclaimer: A product sample was received in order to write this review.

 

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