A Wired Headset For Consoles and PCs
Today we’re looking at a new headset from EPOS, the H3. This is a closed back, dynamic model that offers both single 3.5 mm and split 3.5 mm audio/mic cables in the box, and boasts some very good specs in the audio department – with wide frequency response and high sensitivity.
Features from EPOS:
- Closed acoustic gaming headset – Closed-back for better passive noise attenuation
- Studio-quality microphone – Noise reducing microphone for crisp in-game chat
- Instant mute – Lift the flexible boom arm for an automatic mute
- Intuitive volume control – Make quick adjustments while gaming with a volume wheel on the right ear cup
- Exchangeable ergonomic ear pads – Designed to conform to the anatomy of the ear for better acoustic seal
- Multiplatform compatible – Works on PC, Mac, PS4, PS5, Switch, and Xbox
- Ear coupling: Around ear
- Transducer principle: Dynamic, closed
- Frequency response: 10-30.000 Hz
- Impedance: 20 Ω
- Sound pressure level: 124 dB SPL @ 1 kHz, 1V RMS
- Frequency response: 10-18.000 Hz
- Pick-up pattern: Bidirectional
- Sensitivity: -47 dBV/PA
- Colors: Article Number 1000888 Onyx Black, 1000889 Ghost White (as reviewed)
- Cable length: 2 m
- Connector plugs: 2 x 3.5 mm / 1 x 3.5 mm (GSA 30 PC Cable/GSA 30 Console Cable)
- Compatibility: PC, Mac OSX, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Switch and consoles with 3.5 mm jack input
- Warranty: 2 years, international
The H3 arrives well protected with dense foam surrounding it in the retail box, and once removed my initial assessment was that of a lightweight, sturdy headset. I weighed these at 273.9g / 9.66 oz on my kitchen scale.
The use of metal for the yolks and overall construction quality give these a premium feel, and there was zero plastic creaking noted in my handling or use.
Padding level is very good, with plenty of soft foam beneath the surface of the leather-like headband, and excellent ear pads.
The ear pads are a composite of a mesh interior, leather-like exterior, and a velvet-like surface where they meet your face.
The result is a pad that feels pleasantly squishy, but has enough stiffness and external density to create a good seal and block outside noise (more on this later).
The headband is, of course, adjustable, and contains the inner metal band that we are used to seeing from most headsets.
The positions have a satisfying clickiness (if that’s a word), and they hold their adjusted size nicely. Ear cup rotation is adequate for a good fit, but these don’t rotate flat – if that matters to you.
Fit and Comfort
As you may have assumed from the above description of padding and adjustability, the H3 headset fits quite well and offers excellent comfort. The seal, while softened by the velvet-like surface of the pad against the face, is above average. These do an excellent job of reducing outside noise.
Part of the good seal is slightly higher clamping force than the previous few headsets I’ve tried out, including the EPOS GSP 370. Over longer periods I started to feel the effects of this, but it’s not a bad tradeoff to have some additional pressure in exchange for reduced outside noise (not to mention the effect it has on sound, which we cover next).
The mic is flexible enough to position where you want it, and lifting the boom to mute is a feature that I liked about previous EPOS headsets. The only other control is the volume wheel on the opposite ear cup, and this does the job (while eliminating the need for an inline control).
Here are some 100% subjective opinions, as I didn’t use any measurement devices for this review – unless you count my golden ear (jk). In the past I’ve mentioned a “smile” EQ sound, where bass and treble are more prominent, and midrange is pushed into the background. It’s a sound that guitarists call “scooped”, like a 60’s Strat pickup. Got it?
The impressive thing about the sound from the H3 is that, while providing that “scooped” midrange sound that reminds me most of HyperX headsets, the clarity is still excellent, and these are capable of properly conveying dynamic shifts in volume within passages – essential for dramatic in-game sound.
Speaking of games, these are the first headphones I’ve used with a console since illogically snagging a PS5 from GameStop (it just kind of … happened). And here is the strength of the H3, in my opinion.
Console controllers that offer a headphone jack do not exactly have a powerhouse amp onboard, and that’s just fine with the H3. You don’t need to understand headphone terminology to know that a bigger number is better when talking sensitivity, and here we have 125 dB at 1 volt. That’s high, and, coupled with the low 20 Ω impedance that means these don’t take much power to get loud. Perfect for low-power headphone amps like the one found in a game controller.
To sum up, these have excellent clarity, good bass, and a slightly “scooped” sound (think loudness control) that reduces midrange and emphasizes lows and highs a bit – a sound that many people prefer.
As to the microphone, I certainly wouldn’t characterize this as “studio grade”, but it’s just fine for a headset mic. It doesn’t offer any appreciable bass, though clarity is quite good. I noted that it was easy to overload it, so keep it a bit farther from your mouth. Background noise rejection was pretty minimal, but this would still be fine for chat (and the lack of bass actually helps – low frequency sounds just aren’t picked up at all).
Pricing and Conclusion
At $119 the EPOS H3 ventures just a bit toward “premium” territory, with the GSP 300 occupying the $99 position as the entry-level model. For that $20 premium I think you’re getting significantly more than your money’s worth with the H3, as these have superior construction and noise isolation, and are extremely easy to drive.
We looked at the “ghost white” pair, which is an obvious match for the PS5. There’s also an “onyx black” to match your Xbox. Or, you know, a PC.
In closing, I felt that the H3 offers excellent sound quality, very good comfort, and some of the best sound isolation I’ve experienced from a gaming headset. Add in the fact that these are super easy to drive and will work well with just about anything with a 3.5 mm jack, and you have a winner.
This is what we consider the responsible disclosure of our review policies and procedures.
How Product Was Obtained
The product is on loan from EPOS for the purpose of this review.
What Happens To Product After Review
The product remains the property of EPOS but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.
EPOS had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.
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Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by EPOS for this review.
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