EPOS, the Danish audio hardware manufacturer, is pushing its gaming credentials. The EPOS H3 wired gaming headset is full of promise, delivering a comfortable and well rounded audio product that’ll suit gamers and music lovers alike.
- Brand: EPOS
- Weight: 270g (9.5oz)
- Microphone: Integrated bidirectional
- Style: Over-ear, closed-back
- Great, balanced sound
- Work with any platform
- Clean sounding microphone
- Very comfortable
- Good overall build quality
- Integrated microphone means indoor use only
Since parting ways with Sennheiser, Danish audio hardware manufacturers EPOS have gone from strength to strength. Their target is the bustling gaming market, one that grows year on year and one of the best performers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The EPOS H3 wired gaming headset, then, enters a marketplace brimming with competition and not short of regular new entries.
At face value, the H3 looks great, and for many, wired audio always trumps wireless, no matter if you’re gaming or just enjoying your favorite artists.
Read on for our hands-on review of the EPOS H3.
Inside the EPOS H3 Box
Once you get your hands on the EPOS H3, here’s what you’ll find in the box:
- EPOS H3 wired gaming headset
- 1x 3.5mm to 2x 3.5mm audio cable for combined audio and microphone
- 5mm audio cable for just audio connections
That’s it. There is no amusing foam inlay face, but the box contains all you need to get up and running and gaming.
EPOS H3 Specifications
Specifications are important. They give you an idea of what to expect from your new bit of audio hardware. Before delving further into the review, check out these EPOS H3 specs.
- Style: Over-ear, closed-back, wired
- Color: White, black
Drivers: 40mm dynamic
- Frequency response: 10-30,000Hz
- Impedance: 20 ohms
Microphone: Integrated bidirectional
- Frequency response: 10-18,000Hz
- Connectivity: 5mm jack
- Platforms: Any with a 3.5mm jack
- Weight: 270g (9.5oz)
The EPOS H3 Is Designed for Gamers
Let’s start with the H3 design. EPOS has opted for an over-ear, closed-back wired design for the H3, which is good for the audio-immersion side of things.
In terms of comfort, the H3 earpads are extremely soft memory foam covered with leatherette, using an ergonomic approach designed to fit any ear comfortably for prolonged periods. The earcup itself is of a decent size, covering most of the ear to create a decent seal to prevent audio leakage, in or out.
The headband’s underside is also covered in soft material, and while every head is different, you can use the adjustable sliders to find the most comfortable wearing angle. The overall build quality of the EPOS H3 wired gaming headset feels good, if a bit heavy on the plastic. The sliders are metal, which does give you a feeling that that headphones won’t suddenly break at this critical pressure point, which is always welcome.
One thing I did note was how quickly the headband adjusted to my head. It felt like the headband was becoming slack rather quickly, which was disconcerting. However, after hours of use, the headband now feels naturally contoured to my head size, which again, adds to the overall comfort level.
Another interesting point is weight distribution. The EPOS H3 headset weighs 270g (9.5oz), which is fairly average in terms of competitors and headsets in general. EPOS has designed the H3 with excellent balance, so the weight feels well distributed throughout the headset. This, rather than the bottom-heavy feeling you find with some headsets, which in turn can lead to pressure build-up on the ears.
The H3 comes with an integrated microphone. While that won’t please everyone, it is unobtrusive and doesn’t cause any issues when you’re not using it. Also, being able to mute the microphone by pushing it into the upwards position is a handy option for those moments where you need to stop broadcasting on team-speak, Discord, or otherwise, but don’t want to both finding the actual mute button.
Last but not least, the EPOS H3 is a wired gaming headset. With a cable length of 2 meters, it’ll suit most gaming setups. However, if you’re sitting further back, you’ll be pleased to know that the audio quality doesn’t suffer when connected to an extension cable.
How Do the EPOS H3 Sound?
Enough about design and comfort: how do the EPOS H3 wired gaming headphones handle audio?
As this is a gaming headset, it was only right to take it for a test run in all manner of games, covering first-person shooters, racing, and more.
First out of the blocks was Doom 2016, which is always a good test for any gaming headset. The combination of punchy, powerful weapons, howling demons, and incredible soundtrack come to life with the EPOS H3. I’m always amazed at the Super Shotgun’s overall sound, the shotgun shells ripping from the barrels in unison, while recoil and reload both feel immeasurably close to you, delivering a great sense of immersion in the demonic world.
Dirt 5 was an interesting experience, too. The cars in Dirt 5 tend to ignore the sound of gears changing, instead just sound like they’re moving through the same gear ratio five or six times without any change in tone. Of course, the H3s cannot help that. It’s a game design issue.
However, I found the EPOS H3 picking out other noises in Dirt 5, which is a nice touch. On stages with driving rain, black skies, and thunder and lightning, the local environment very much comes to the fore. The rain actually sounds dense, puddles crash over your vehicle, and every grain of gravel under your tire crunches.
Then there games that don’t blast sound at you, requiring a more subtle soundstage to pick up on every aspect of the audio design. The roguelike Noita very much fits this description, with sounds creeping into the gameplay depending on your location, environment, enemies, and bosses. The H3 headset picks up on those subtleties and doesn’t overwhelm them with its own sound signature due to the soundstage design.
EPOS has taken the opportunity to tune the H3 soundstage to pick up every footstep, each shell casing dropping to the floor and each drop of rain with precision. But they cover the wider sound experience nicely, putting every ounce of EPOS’s design expertise to good use.
The H3 headset very much lives up to the billing. EPOS wants the H3 to “deliver an accurate, clear midrange, with a controlled bass response,” and you’ll find that, honestly, this is the case.
H3 Headphones Deliver the Musical Goods, Too
It’s not only games that the H3 headphones help to sound fantastic. Most people use their headphones to listen to music outside of their gaming sessions, and the H3 doesn’t disappoint here, either.
The H3 EQ isn’t flat like you would find with studio earphones. But it doesn’t push particularly far into any specific sound signature, either. What I mean is that often when manufacturers try to deliver a soundstage suited to gaming, it can end up bass-heavy to account for explosions, or pushed too high to capture gunshots, and so on.
The H3 doesn’t force you massively in any direction, with the same qualities that bring your favorite games to life also ringing home with music, too. You can really get a sense of this when listening to certain types of music. For example, a synth-wave playlist is the perfect type of music for the H3 headphones. In fairness, this is likely due to this genre’s affinity with games, but nonetheless, they sound great.
Is the EPOS H3 Microphone Worth Using?
As far as integrated gaming headset microphones go, the EPOS H3s bidirectional option performs well across several different games, chat apps, and more. Integrated microphones are always a bit hit or miss, leaving you stuck with a lackluster microphone in some cases.
The H3 microphone, on the other hand, is crisp and clear, with friends and family alike commenting on the overall clarity of my voice while chatting. Handily, the microphone requires very little effort to position. You can move the microphone arm up and down, and there is a small flexible area in the middle of the arm, but the overall positioning didn’t appear to affect my ability to be heard.
In that, the H3 microphone is reliably clear and easy to use, which is a great combination.
As mentioned above, the option to mute your voice broadcast by simply pushing the microphone arm up into the lock position is handy, especially when you’re deep into a game that you cannot pause or leave—we’ve all been there!
Is the EPOS H3 Wired Gaming Headset Worth Your Money?
The biggest compliment I can possibly pay the EPOS H3 headset is that it has become my daily audio driver right now. In a world where headphone and earbuds options are essentially limitless and where I can review several different headsets a month, for the EPOS H3 wired gaming headphones to have landed and become my go-to is quite something.
Add in the fact that as a 3.5mm wired gaming headset, you can use the EPOS H3 with any platform or bit of hardware with a regular headphones port, and EPOS is definitely onto a winner.
The H3 headset is comfortable, too. You can wear these cans for hours without realizing it. The soft cushioning protects your ears from overheating or pressure fatigue, and the aforementioned weight balance means you genuinely don’t notice the H3 upon your head.
The EPOS H3 is available in Snow White or Onyx Black for $120. For the comfort levels alone, the H3 is well worth your time.
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