Unit provided for our review.
Those of you who read MMO Fallout know I don’t do that many hardware reviews here. Mostly because there are few people I trust having my home address and also because I am notoriously cheap to buy stuff myself. See how much of my YouTube channel is dedicated to demos and free games for more information. But we did review the EPOS H3 Hybrid headphones last year and evidently I didn’t burn that bridge because we were offered the chance to review the latest EPOS device; the H3PRO Hybrid.
First of all, I love how EPOS has every opportunity given to connect this headset to a thing, be it via wireless dongle, Bluetooth, USB-C connection, and aux. The sky is the limit, which is great because my computer can’t do Bluetooth connections all that well. It handles it okay, but there’s always just enough audio lag to be noticeable. But that’s my laptop having an awful Bluetooth chip and it literally does that with everything. More cables is exactly what I need in my life, so thank you.
I’ve been testing the H3PRO Hybrid over the last few weeks playing everything from Fortnite to Amnesia to The Anacrusis and more. As I have come to expect from EPOS, the sound quality through this headset is amazing. The headset wraps perfectly around my big ears and the surround sound genuinely makes it feel like you’re in the room with whatever you’re playing. You get those little details that might not pick up with speakers or with lower end headphones. I’m not going to say it turned me into a Fortnite pro, but I will say that I played noticeably better with the headphones compared to speakers.
The first thing I did when I got the headset out of the packaging was to weigh it on my kitchen scale. Why? I don’t know, I have a spec sheet. The H3PRO Hybrid is slightly heavier than the H3 Hybrid, by about 10 grams. The material seems to be mostly the same comfortable fabric and cushioning, and I was able to wear it for hours on end without feeling uncomfortable. The advertising says that the ear pads are detachable, but I’m frankly too scared to test that out. I do like the color schemes available for the H3PRO better than the Hybrid, as a sucker for anything green and gold. It’s just more interesting than the usual black and white options.
One of the big upgrades of this over the prior pair I tried out is the dedicated ANC feature. This stands for Active Noise Cancellation. And it works almost disturbingly well. I can stand several inches away from my refrigerator and turn on the ANC and not hear the fridge at all. And my refrigerator is old, the cooler is loud. It cancels out my laptop fan as well, and every other ambient sound in my house including the traffic outside (I live on a major road). I don’t want to say it’s too efficient like that’s a bad thing, but it’s disconcertingly efficient. You really don’t realize how many little noises there are in your house until you’re no longer hearing your own breath or the clock ticking.
The battery life on this thing is fantastic, with up to 22 hours with Bluetooth and ANC on, and up to 38 hours with ANC off. The cable and dongle both have a fair amount less battery at 18/19 with ANC on and 29/30 with ANC off respectively. I haven’t specifically timed the battery life but the estimations on the box do seem accurate. You also get a two year warranty in case the headset meets unfortunate problems while playing Elden Ring. Don’t throw the headset at your television, I’m pretty sure the warranty won’t cover that.
As with the H3 Hybrid, the H3PRO Hybrid comes with simultaneous Bluetooth connection which is fancy terminology for being able to connect multiple devices at the same time. I can have the dongle connected to my computer and play games wirelessly while listening to podcasts on my phone via Bluetooth for example. The volume control on the headset works the computer while my phone is controlled with the phone. I’m still not a fan of the volume control, as its altering seems far too inconsistent. Sometimes it’ll knock up or down by a couple of points, sometimes by 10. I just stick with volume controls on my computer.
My biggest gripe and really only problem with the H3PRO Hybrid is the microphone. I have never and probably will never be happy with a pinhole microphone and the one on this doesn’t do much to impress. It’s fine if you’re looking to have these to take phone calls out in public and you don’t want to look like a dork with the microphone attachment stuck in. I will be recording this weekend’s Online For Maintenance podcast using the detachable boom mic, so we’ll see how well that holds up over a whole show. Granted I am comparing to a $200 dedicated microphone I use for the podcast which isn’t fair. If you’re playing video games this is perfectly fine for voice chat.
The other nag I’m not a big fan of is the fact that the headphone voice lady tells you whenever the battery is full. Which is normally not a huge problem, but if I’m playing, say, a scary game and in the middle of hiding in silence with the sound turned up to hear my surroundings a lady voice screams “BATTERY FULLLY CHARGED” in my ear, someone’s pants are going to need a change. Probably mine. I do not care or need to know when the head phones are fully charged. I definitely don’t need to hear it every single time I plug them in at 99%.
Now for the painful part; The EPOS H3PRO Hybrid headset is $279 and also €279. Is it 100 smackers higher quality than the H3 Hybrid? Honestly, yes. The ANC is a ridiculous value proposition, the battery life is slightly longer, and the dongle is a huge quality of life feature. The wireless dongle is basically latency free. You even get an extension cable for the dongle which I assume is for if you’re connecting to a console on the other side of the room.
I also like how the microphone auto-mutes if you hook it up past a certain point. Great for people like me who cough a lot when I’m talking to someone on the phone. You can even buy replacement parts like the boom mic cover that I will inevitably lose. Check it out on the official website.
Thank you to EPOS for sending us this review unit.