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18 x 18 x 9cm
After the excitement of announcing the first real pair of gaming TWS earbuds, EPOS is back with a more conventional gaming product. The EPOS H3 has a lot in common with wired gaming headsets the company released in partnership with Sennheiser, like the GSP 300 and Game One, though there are clearly some new refinements.
Is that enough to set this headset apart?
Who is the EPOS H3 for?
- Gamers who want a headset that works everywhere.
- At-home workers who need something comfortable and simple, with a good microphone.
What is the EPOS H3 like?
The EPOS H3 is a wired gaming headset that brings a hassle-free audio experience to pretty much anyone who needs a pair of headphones and microphone. It doesn’t offer many bells and whistles, or gaming gimmicks, but it’s comfortable and it works everywhere.
This gaming headset is made mostly of plastic, with a steel strip running through the leatherette-covered headband. The H3 features the same kind of two-part hinge system as previous EPOS gaming headsets, though it looks a little bit smoother this time. In fact, if there’s one way to distinguish the aesthetic of this headset from previous options like the GSP 602 or GSP 300, it’s that the EPOS H3 looks a little smoother overall—a lot of the ridges and distinct segmentation between sections of the headset have been dialed back, replaced with slighter grooves and fewer seams.
However, while the EPOS H3 has a lot in common with the design of previous EPOS headsets, a couple of subtler changes make it more comfortable in general. The simpler headband design is a little looser, which might not sound great, but a lot of EPOS gaming headsets run a little tight, with a split headband design that I almost always need to leave at the loosest setting. Additionally, the EPOS H3 now sports ear pads made of two materials, with a soft fabric covering the part that touches your head, ringed by leatherette on the outside edge. The addition of fabric makes heat build-up less of an issue than with fully leatherette pads. It’s also more flexible, which means achieving a decent seal wearing glasses is a little easier.
Using the headset is pretty straightforward. The EPOS H3 is a 3.5mm gaming headset, so it’s strictly a plug-and-play affair—there’s no software or additional setup required. The headset comes with two replaceable 3.5mm cables—one that terminates in a single TRRS plug, and one that splits the mic and headphone inputs—so regardless of your PC (or Nintendo Switch) needs, you shouldn’t struggle.
The EPOS H3 features a super-simple control scheme too. The attached boom microphone mutes when you flip it up, and there’s a big volume dial on the right ear cup with ridges that make it easy to find while you’re wearing the headset.
Gaming with the EPOS H3
Gaming with the EPOS H3 is also a pretty straightforward experience. The headset works equally well on everything from the Nintendo Switch to the PC to all PlayStation and Xbox consoles—if you have a mobile device with a headphone jack, it’ll work there too. It’s comfortable enough for long play sessions, and while it doesn’t have any additional features to speak of, like virtual surround sound, it’s a more than able stereo performer. Given the fact that so many platforms offer their own spatial audio feature, the lack of it is probably less of an issue than it’s ever been.
The headset handles the varied environmental audio you encounter while playing games like Monster Hunter World and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PlayStation 5 without an issue. On PC, whether you’re into games like Apex Legends or League of Legends, you won’t run into any issues either.
How does the EPOS H3 sound?
The EPOS H3 offers pretty standard audio for a gaming headset, with boosted bass output considerably higher than our target curve—the chart above shows how the headset’s audio output differs from the target across the audible spectrum (check out the frequency response here). Outside of that, the output is pretty consistent with what you’d expect of a consumer-oriented pair of headphones—hardcore audiophiles might not love it, but most people should find it sounds nice.
You shouldn’t have much trouble listening to most kinds of music wearing the EPOS H3, though the dip in output between 100Hz and 300Hz might make some vocals a little more difficult to hear amid dominant bass lines. In Way Less Sad by AJR, the vocal harmonies that back up Jack Met’s vocals get a little lost during the chorus in the crush of the bass line and other instruments, however, in less busy parts of the song, everything comes through clearly.
In game, a frequency response like this shouldn’t get in the way, regardless of what genres you like to play. The rumble of explosions may come through a little more loudly than intended, but not enough to drown out sounds like footsteps in most situations.
The EPOS H3 offers pretty standard isolation for a regular pair of over-ear headphones. It manages to seal the ear pretty well, but don’t expect to miss many doorbells while wearing it. You shouldn’t have too much trouble with the whirrs and creaks of the home, at least. Just try not to turn the volume up to compensate for louder environments—running the risk of noise-induced hearing loss is easier than you’d think.
How is the microphone?
The EPOS H3 microphone offers similar audio output to a lot of gaming headsets, but it doesn’t replicate common issues nearly as severely. The bass still lacks emphasis (typically there to avoid the proximity effect), but not to the same degree as many gaming headset microphones. The more accurate bass response and overall clarity make for a great microphone experience, as long you don’t put it right in front of your mouth—nobody likes getting caught in a breath-based windstorm on a Discord call. Listen for yourself:
How does the microphone sound to you?
You may also like: A Guide to Microphone Etiquette
Should you buy the EPOS H3?
If you want something easy to use that won’t cost an arm and a leg, with a great microphone, you should buy the EPOS H3.
There’s really not a lot to the EPOS H3, but that’s a good thing. A lot of gaming headsets pile on the software features and flashy hardware gimmicks, without making sure the basics are executed well. As more and more gaming platforms bring those gimmicks in-house, having a gaming headset that’s simply a decent good pair of headphones with a great microphone is more of a viable option, regardless of your favorite genre. And that’s just what the EPOS H3 offers: a simple, decent solution to your audio needs.
All that said, if you need something dead simple, you could do a lot worse than the EPOS H3. Truly platform-agnostic gaming headsets aren’t actually all that common—one platform or another almost always gets dropped (usually Xbox)—so it’s nice to see one come along that handles the basics this well.
What should you get instead of the EPOS H3?
However, as good as this headset is, it’s not the perfect option for everyone. People who like to customize their audio experience with EQ and microphone settings won’t find what they’re looking for with the EPOS H3—on PC wired gaming headsets like the Logitech G Pro X and Razer BlackShark V2 will scratch that itch far more comprehensively, and they’re pretty much the same price, too.
Gamers looking for something wireless should probably also look elsewhere. Gaming headsets like the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless and Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 are $20 cheaper than the EPOS H3, and bring best-in-class battery life, great audio, and decent microphone to boot—they don’t offer the same level of compatibility as a 3.5mm headset, but they get close.
$119 USD might also be more than someone looking for something very barebones is willing spend. Budget-conscious gamers should look at headsets like the Turtle Beach Recon series headsets, most of which offer great microphones for around a third the price of the H3. The Razer Kraken X is als0 a solid budget option, and its eyewear grooves make using it while wearing glasses pretty nice.