The EPOS Impact 1060 Means Serious Business

Manufacturer: Epos The EPOS Impact 1060 Means Serious Business

There have been a lot of headsets reviewed here on PCPer but not many have been used on the podcast.  We’ve certainly tried them before going live but the microphones have generally been designed to be just good enough for in game chats and sometimes taking a call on a cellphone.  Compared to a proper microphone, and considering the recording will be on the intertubes forever, we tend to switch audio sources before recording.

The Epos Impact 1060 on the other hand, designed specifically for online conference calls, was an exception and you can hear them for yourself on #736.  They may not measure up to the Dark Matter from Monoprice nor the Hyper X Quadcast but honestly, who wants to set up a microphone on their desk to use in meetings?  The Epos Impact 1060 is pure business, it works well on all common conferencing software and its wireless charger stand looks pretty snazzy on a desk as well as ensuring you always have a full charge.

Product Specifications
  • Connectivity:
    • Bluetooth 5.3
    • USB-A Dongle
    • USB-C
  • Wearing Styles Available: Monaural & binaural
  • Speaker frequency response 20 Hz – 20 KHz
  • Microphone frequency response 100 Hz – 16 KHz
  • Microphone: 4 digital MEMS (micro-electromechanical system)
  • Talk time (hours):
    • ANC ON: 19 hours
    • ANC Off: 20 hours
  • Charging time:
    • With cable: 1.5 hours
    • Wireless charging: 2.5 hour
  • Bandwidth in call mode: Super Wideband
  • Active Noise Cancellation: Yes (Hybrid & adaptive)
    • EPOS BrainAdapt Technology
    • EPOS AI
    • Talk through mode
  • Wireless Range: Up to 30 m/100 ft
  • Microsoft Teams Certified: Yes
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Additional add-ons:
    • Charging stand
  • Additional Features:
    • 360 busy light illuminates when on a call
    • Automatic mute with boom position
Manufacturer Description

“With hybrid workplaces and open office layouts becoming increasingly common, the struggle to hear and be heard clearly is real. In fact, separating voice from noise burns a lot of mental energy for you and the people you’re conferencing with. To solve this common problem, EPOS, makers of high-performance enterprise AV solutions (co-founded by Sennheiser), turned to powerful machine learning and launched the Impact 1000 headset. Utilizing hybrid adaptive ANC and EPOS’ industry-proven voice pickup AI, the Impact 1000 headset ensures productive calls and meetings by allowing both ends of the call to hear and be heard clearly with excellent sound quality, without being challenged by disruptive background noise.”

The “W” Word

You came here looking for a gaming headset review mostly likely, but here we are reminding you about the worst four letter word of them all … work.  The EPOS Impact 1060 would certainly serve as a gaming headset during it’s time off, but it is truly a professional and has work to do.  Microsoft Teams certified and adept at just about any other conferencing software you can name, the EPOS Impact 1060 is designed to be a headset for meetings.

It offers two special features as well, a very adaptive ANC implementation and a stand that acts as a wireless charger which both looks classy and has a very small footprint.  Epos funded a clinical study conducted at the Centre for Applied Audiology Research in Oticon, Denmark to see just how effective their EPOS BrainAdapt Technology, which reportedly scans the user’s environments 32,000 times a second, actually is.   The results indicate that there is a definite benefit in many scenarios which is not hard to believe after using the Impact 1060.  Considering the popularity of open office designs for those that have returned to work, or the beloved creators of chaos surrounding those that still work from home, adding ANC to a work headset is a no brainer.

Beside The Stationary Or On The Go

The box contains simple setup instructions, very important if you are deploying this to a C-Level, along with a QR code to the website if you are handing it off to someone with a clue.  The stand itself looks professional, the light indicating the headset is charging is obvious, but muted as opposed to the impressive glow which emanates from gaming headsets with similar features.

If you need to pack up and move from your workspace, the EPOS Impact 1060 comes with a soft carrying case which not only holds the headset but has a secure pocket for the dongle and short USB-C cable.  The headset can connect via the dongle, directly through USB-C, or via Bluetooth.  The basic Bluetooth connection is not supported by the EPOS Connect app, however the headset does it need it to function.  It has manual controls for volume, ANC, answering or initiating calls and the microphone automatically mutes when you raise it, so if you’d rather not deploy yet another app to secure and support, you do not have to do so.

Pick a single connection method, pairing via Bluetooth whilst simultaneously connecting with the dongle is not recommended.  On the other hand, the EPOS Impact 1060 can be paired with up to three active devices at once, so you can use it to answer calls on your laptop, your work phone and your personal phone without changing a setting.  It is capable of remembering up to eight devices, pair a ninth and the first paired device is dropped.

Good Software, Should You So Choose To Deploy It

From the viewpoint of support staff and the security team, the less software deployed the better.  EPOS was wise to add physical controls for the necessary functions to the earcups of the Impact 1060, giving you the option to offer these headsets without any additional headaches.  In testing EPOS Connect offered no challenges in those areas, and EPOS is not unaware of our concerns.

If you do chose to implement the software, it allows easy update of the firmware on both the headset and the dongle which might further pacify the security team.  It offers a fair amount of features, not just ANC settings but a sideband that lets you hear yourself through the ANC to ensure you don’t become the loud one when using ANC.  The software also offers an audio limiter on the microphone if you happen to live somewhere with legal repercussions for exceeding certain decibel levels.  The ability to adjust or disable the automatic shutoff will be appreciated, lest you find yourself having to turn the headset back on towards the end of your day.  Lastly, considering the behaviour of the “new” Microsoft Teams lately, having a physical button to answer a call is incredibly useful.

EPOS Connect also offers ways to change how the EPOS Impact 1060 interacts with your conferencing software to personalize your experience and the voice in your head when getting notifications or confirming settings is quire the polyglot.  The headset is also ambidextrous, you can indicate which side of your noggin the microphone is on in the app.

See Those Red Lights?  I’m On A Conference Call!

The EPOS Impact 1060’s have subtle red LEDs which light up when you are on a call; good or bad depending if you are actually on a call or just ignoring someone.  The ANC implementation is quite brilliant as it does indeed subdue the ambient noise around you, but yet doesn’t quite completely remove it.  You do need to know if someone is trying to get your attention sometimes, and so with the ANC at 100% you still hear what is happening around you clearly yet at a very low volume.  If you have a vociferous coworker or cohabitant this is wonderful, and being able to hear yourself prevents you from becoming one.

The audio quality is exactly what you would want, every app tested including a rather finicky VoIP phone were perfectly happy sending and receiving audio with the EPOS Impact 1060.  Personally, the automatic mute invoked by raising the microphone is the best choice of implementation for that feature.  The earcups are somewhat small, but of the standard size expected from any conferencing headphones.  They are comfortable on the ears as well as the head and they don’t pinch either, which is very beneficial on extremely long meetings.

Setting them up is easy but there are some mistakes you can make.  As mentioned before, you need to decide how you are going to connect the EPOS Impact 1060 and stick with it.  They will still work but you will encounter unexpected side effects if you pair with the same device multiple times.  You should also use a conferencing app to test volume levels as opposed to being an old fart that uses Change system sounds to check the headset.  An engineer from EPOS offered interesting insight into both the operation of the Impact 1060 and the audio services in Windows.

“When you open the Windows audio settings, it forces open the mic path. When the mic path is open, it forces the headset into HSP or HFP mode … In this mode, the normal wideband stereo bandwidth is broken into two mono channels. 1 for Mic and 1 for Speaker.  When in this communications mode, the headset also EQ’s any audio coming in to emphasize human voice, since that should be the only sound coming in during a call. So any stereo audio source played in this mode will sound significantly worse. However, when just steaming music, the Headset goes into A2DP mode. Which is wide band stereo and is EQ’d for listening.”

Can We Wrap This Up? I Have To Jump Onto Another Meeting.

There is one thing left out as of yet, which is the price.  In a world of just good enough and very inexpensive headsets, the basic Jabra Evolve being a perfect example, spending ~$300 on a conferencing headset is a hard sell.   On the other hand there are those coworkers who demand a better headset, and a wireless one at that.  Instead of maintaining an indeterminate fleet of personally chosen headsets, the EPOS Impact 1060’s would be a decent choice to propose to Procurement for those scenarios.   They make for a great conferencing experience and are stylish enough to ameliorate those who believe their clients will be impressed by the headset they are wearing.

There was a challenge encountered during the review which your boss would likely consider a feature.  Switching audio sources, e.g., muting a boring meeting and checking out YouTube sometimes requires a bit of coaxing.  Generally if there is no current audio source the EPOS Impact 1060 will play a video or music, however if you are on or recently have been on a meeting you might need to quickly swap audio sources from the Impact 1060 to your onboard speakers and back again to hear the new audio.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, but something you should know if you do deploy them.

The convenience of having a permanently charged headset is a wonderful thing, as is having an impressive ANC implementation.  EPOS is not exaggerating about the effect this has on you during your workday.  The term AI is certainly overused, but whatever is powering the EPOS AI feature (trade secret) is effective at subduing background noise but not completely isolating you.  The EPOS Impact 1060 offers you the ability to bridge the gap between those users that demand something special and are able to have the expense approved, as well as your need to keep your environment secure and consistent.

You could be petting me instead

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About The Author

Jeremy Hellstrom

Call it,, or PC Perspective, Jeremy has been hanging out and then working with the gang here for years. Apart from the front page you might find him on the BOINC Forums or possibly the Fraggin' Frogs if he has the time.

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