Only a few weeks after sending us its true wireless headphones, the EPOS brand offers us to test its circum-aural gaming headset. On paper, the H3 is characterized by deep bass and what its promoters call acoustic clarity that promotes clear conversations between players. Judge on pieces.
If despite our test of the GTW 270 Hybrid, the name of the company EPOS does not tell you much, it is not totally surprising. Well established in the world of sound, it was for a short time associated with another particularly renowned company, Sennheiser. EPOS has since decided to fly solo and is therefore launching several products under its own brand. The GTW 270 Hybrids of course and the H3s that we are testing today.
A Russian design malgr a micro encombrant
The H3 is the first headset designed and marketed since the separation from Sennheiser. It is also interesting to note that the designers of EPOS obviously wanted to mark a certain break. The H3 is a headset that clearly doesn’t look like the Sennheiser models, and at first glance at the box, you feel a craving for something lighter, less massive. Available in two colors – completely black or black and white – it is significantly less heavy than the products in the GSP range: less than 280 grams, it is a helmet that we will not hesitate to qualify as light and even after long sessions of game, it does not weigh on the top of the head.
It should be noted from the outset that lightness is not the only factor to be taken into account for the comfort of a headset and if EPOS has opted for a circum-aural model, it does so with small earpieces: problem, for many users, there is therefore the risk of having the atria that come to rest all or part of the pavilions of our ears. There are players whom it does not bother and others that it annoys: you see! However, we recognize that EPOS has taken care of the coating and padding of the various parts of its helmet. Of course, after only three weeks of testing the product, we cannot guarantee its resistance over time.
Still, at no time did we have an unpleasant feeling with this faux leather upholstery and relatively thick foams. It is this level good to emphasize that the central arch rests on a structure that appears to be metallic. It provides good general stability to the product, but is never too stiff. In fact, you can easily slip / remove the helmet without forcing and, at the same time, you enjoy good support once the box is on your head. Of course, EPOS has opted for a 10-level ruler system to adjust the height of the atria, which employ false rotating hinges.
Wrong because we cannot go as far as with real hinges, but these few degrees of beat can however be enough to adjust things to your morphology and this is the most important: condition of being comfortable on the side of the ears , the EPOS H3 is a convincing model at this level, especially as robustness seems to be required. One downside, however: EPOS has opted for a volume wheel placed on the side of the right ear. First of all, we are not necessarily very used to this placement, but above all we fear a certain fragility at this level which, in the event of a technical problem, would have a definitive impact on the helmet.
Finally, let us underline the lack of discretion of the microphone. Simply foldable, it breaks the general elegance of the product. Still, around 120 euros, the result is interesting especially since EPOS has managed to offer a wide compatibility with its model that can be connected to PC, Mac, but also to almost any console, PlayStation (4 or 5), Xbox (One or Series) and Switch. Finally, it is possible to connect it to a smartphone. To do this, we can count on two cables as accessories: a 2-meter model with two jack connectors to separate microphone / headphones and a 1.5-meter cable with a 4-point jack. These are the only accessories supplied.
Exclusively stereo, for a good cause
However, some will point out that this analog connection is a bit out of fashion and they will regret the absence of a USB cable: we cannot have everything. In any case, it should be pointed out that wireless is not on the menu and that the H3 is content with a simple strophonie, the 7.1 spatialization so fashionable in the world of video games, is not provided. Before getting to the heart of the subject of reproduction, we have a point to raise: even when the dial is at minimum, the sound is not cut off. It is certainly very weak, but not completely inaudible. We do not see the why and the how, but it seems important to us to point it out.
In the same way that could characterize Sennheiser products, the EPOS H3 is a headphone that offers an overall balanced sound. During our first tests, we were even a little surprised to see that the bass is not overrepresented, we keep a certain neutrality. However, the promoters of H3 did not lie on one point, the bass in themselves is a great success: they are deep and well defined. Since there is no question of overwriting the rest of the spectrum, the mediums can express themselves well and the voices in particular are pleasantly reproduced. Some will point out that the low-mids are perhaps a little behind.
They will be right, but we prefer to dwell on the real flaw of this EPOS H3: the treble rendering. Let’s get on well, nothing catastrophic at this level, but we clearly feel a hollow like a lack and these highs seem less natural. The rendering of certain instruments could be disappointing, in particular for musical listening. On the other hand, there is nothing to report and we do not regret for a single second the absence of 7.1: we are satisfied with a strophonie which really provides the essential and offers a beautiful image. In short, a headset dedicated to video games, but without exaggeration and, ultimately, comfortable even for listening to music.
Note, however, that the real strong point of this product is looking towards the microphone. So, as we have said, it is not on the logistical aspect since EPOS did not see fit to make its microphone detachable or rollable. It rests on a flexible rod that can be simply folded down. On the other hand, the quality of capture is quite remarkable: our voice is natural, very clear, even limpid. This remains a 120 euro headset, but – except for a faulty Internet connection – your friends will never complain about your voice. Small downside: a tendency to also pick up the surrounding noises, in particular those which would come from the keyboard if you play on PC.
A REMARKABLE MICRO CAPTATION!
For a first headset since its separation from Sennheiser, EPOS does more than provide the essentials. Despite some reservations about the design of the microphone and the inability to remove it, the H3 is an elegant and rather well thought out product. Its comfort will depend a lot on the size of your ears and whether or not you can support the ear cups resting on the horns. The great compatibility of the headphones is a clear advantage as well as the balance proposed in the audio reproduction, despite a small weakness in the treble. Finally, the quality of the microphone is undoubtedly what could tip the scales in favor of the H3 if it is a purchase above all designed to change, to discuss in class or after the games.
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