The 7.1 surround sound works well and elevates your gaming experience
It feels comfortable even on hot days
The earcups are all plastic unlike some rival gaming headsets
The bass can seem subtle at times
The EPOS H3PRO Hybrid is the perfect companion headset for serious gamers, demonstrating excellent audio performance with the benefit of active noise cancellation and 7.1 surround sound. Additionally, with multiple connectivity options at your disposal, you can hook it up to just about all your devices.
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The EPOS H3PRO Hybrid proves its premium status from the moment you unbox it. Beyond its stylish exterior and exceptional audio performance, it comes with a smorgasbord of extras like active noise cancellation, excellent 7.1 surround sound, and highly convenient multi-device connectivity—features that all work very well.
Although it may not have metal earcups like some headsets in the premium category, the H3PRO is lightweight and extremely comfortable, and its suede-like ear coverings keep you comfortable on hot days when your game is just too engrossing to want to take it off.
Note: This review is part of our ongoing roundup of best wireless gaming headsets. Go there to learn more about competing products, what to look for in a wireless gaming headset, and product recommendations.
H3PRO Hybrid: Design and build
The EPOS H3PRO comes in white, black, and green colors. The black and white feature one color throughout, but the green option really stands out in the bunch, sporting dark green cups embellished with gold around the microphone and headband. It looks quite stunning, and after trying out both white and green units, green remained my favorite.
Color options aside, the H3PRO’s overall design is very familiar—if you’ve used any of EPOS’s other gaming headsets, such as the H3 and H3 Hybrid, you will instantly recognize features like its oval shaped earcups and large, round volume wheel that’s set into the right earcup.
Overall, it looks modern and just as compact as those predecessors. However, considering the H3PRO is a premium headset in the company’s line-up, and having recently reviewed headsets with more metal in their designs, it was hard not to think EPOS could have upped the ante on the materials. The plastic cups are the main offender, pricing the look down slightly in comparison to rivals like the Arctis Nova Pro, whose gun-metal earcup covers give it a far more polished look.
Dominic Bayley / IDG
Still, the lightweight plastic keeps the H3PRO’s weight in check—the whole set weighing just 308 grams (10.69 ounces). The outer sides of the earcups also feel very strong and sturdy and the gold detail in my green review unit compensated somewhat for the lack of any shiny metal alloy. Also, EPOS isn’t alone in opting for fully plastic earcups for its premium headset this year; Razer’s Barracuda Pro is plastic throughout and is only slightly cheaper than the $279 H3PRO Hybrid at $250 USD.
The cups connect up to a steel headband, which is also extremely strong and flexible—in fact, my review unit had no problem bending completely horizontally when I stretched it out, so you’re unlikely to break it easily in your bag or satchel.
The extendable headband gets extra credit for featuring 10 numbered grooves which makes finding your ideal fit much easier. Taking note of your desired groove allows you to quickly readjust back to where the headband was before you packed it away, so recalibrating the H3PRO to fit your head size again and again is a cinch.
This isn’t the only comfort-inducing feature in the H3PRO, however, which is overall a delight to wear. Gamers looking for more snugness will be well served by the soft memory foam ear padding, movable junction points that prevent horizonal and vertical pressure, and the large, puffy headband that provides a generous amount of cushioning for the top of the head.
For the all-important earcup coverings, EPOS went with three separate materials: Inside is a mesh over the headset’s internal components, while a leatherette material surrounds the cups’ outer edges.
Additionally, the parts of the cups that press against your ears are composed of a suede-like material that doesn’t feel as plush as what’s used in the Barracuda Pro or the Arctis Nova Pro, but it’s much more absorbent and will keep your ears a little dryer on hot days.
H3PRO Hybrid: Compatibility and connectivity
The ‘Hybrid’ in the H3PRO Hybrid’s name references the headset’s dual connectivity capability—it sports both wired and wireless options, which means you’re never short of a way to connect even to the most finicky devices.
In addition to your PC, this headset connects wirelessly to your PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch consoles as well as your smartphone, so you can skip having to buy multiple headsets and save a bundle of money in the process. Its wired connectivity is just as extensive—you can plug in to the consoles named above, as well as to an Xbox One or Xbox X/S or Apple Mac.
For a wired connection, the H3PRO comes supplied with a 3.5mm cable as well as a 2-meter USB-C to USB-A cable and a 1.25-meter USB-A extension cable. Or, if you prefer to go untethered, you have the option of a low-latency connection via the headset’s USB-A dongle, or to pair up via Bluetooth 5.2.
The headset can be charged by simply plugging in the USB-C to USB-A cable, and it takes approximately two hours to reach full capacity. EPOS claims a full charge gives you approximately 30 hours of gaming on the USB dongle or 19 hours with ANC. The Bluetooth estimate is a little longer—up to 38 hours, or 22 hours with ANC switched on.
Testing out the signal range of the low-latency USB dongle showed it can reach to about 20 meters before the signal cuts out, which is a fairly decent distance, and in most houses enough for you to be able to wander into your kitchen and make a snack, or visit the bathroom without losing any audio.
One of the H3PRO’s strongest suits is its simultaneous multi-device connectivity. This lets you connect to more than one device at the same time using the Bluetooth and either the USB dongle or wired connection.
The usefulness of this feature can’t be overstated, since it meant I could keep gaming without any distractions, whilst I chatted to friends or received notifications from my phone without having to take my headset off. I mainly used it to take calls, but since you get separate volume control over each of your audio streams, I’d occasionally use it to play music while simultaneously listening to my game audio—something I can’t do with most of my gaming headsets.
H3PRO Hybrid: Audio performance
Testing out the H3PRO headset revealed a clear and refined sound. It came through without the coarseness I sometimes hear in some sets, which suggests the H3PRO’s transducer is of a very high quality. Apart from just sounding very smooth, there was a distinct absence of any uncomfortable popping noises or variations in amplitude, which can be very nerve-wracking when action heats up in games.
To test out the headset’s performance, I gave it a run in the first-person shooter Metro Exodus, listening carefully for any audio distortion. I didn’t hear any—rather, the H3PRO rewarded me with clear and natural sounds.
In fact, sounds like the clang of my character’s boots on a metal stairway, the strained voices of the NPCs shouting warnings, and the rattle of gunfire sounded so crisp and defined that I quickly became immersed in the game and almost forget about the testing task at hand.
My music test showed up similarly impressive audio, proving the versatility of the headset as a high-end headphone as well as a gaming headset. For this test, I played Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “September,” a song that drops varying tones, and includes a nice assortment of instruments. In this track, the H3PRO hit respectable highs and mid tones, bringing to life the vocals and brass instruments with clarity.
Although similarly clear in tone, the bass seemed a little softer than in some headsets. That’s not to say it didn’t sound impressive—in fact, the bass guitar was warm and balanced, which ultimately meant I could listen for longer without that uncomfortable bass fatigue (itchy inner ear) feeling I can sometimes get.
Background noise in the H3PRO is effectively reduced with the aid of both active noise cancellation (ANC) and passive noise cancellation, the latter of which is provided by the H3PRO’s closed acoustic design. EPOS says these two technologies work together to block sound at low frequencies as well as high frequencies, and this seemed fairly accurate.
The active part of this pairing can be turned on and off simply by switching a conveniently placed slider located on the right earcup, rather than having to go through the EPOS Gaming Suite companion app. I kept it in the “on” position at first and was pleasantly surprised by how well it blocked out low-amplitude sounds like the constantly blowing air conditioner behind me, and the rumblings of a conversation going on to my righthand side.
Switching off the ANC, the passive noise cancellation still kept a wide range of sounds at bay—including laughter, and the high-pitched jingle of my smartphone’s ringtone. I was impressed by how it did this without compromising my comfort levels—in other words, without the intense clamp force that some headsets apply to achieve the same results.
Like most premium gaming headsets, the H3PRO Hybrid supports both Stereo 2.0 sound and spatial audio, and you can toggle between these two modes in the EPOS Gaming Suite. The spatial audio is delivered courtesy of 7.1 surround sound, which was automatically toggled for my Metro Exodus playtest, and this feature worked really well, without me needing to adjust anything in the app.
Playing through the Moscow Chapter of Metro Exodus with the surround sound on proved a treat that really upped my overall experience. For example, the two NPCs that were leading my character through this part of the game had strong voice directionality, so that it seemed they were right there on either side of me—which really added a sense of realism.
H3PRO Hybrid: Microphone performance
The H3PRO’s boom microphone falls down over the mouth in a more traditional headset style. It’s modern looking, and sports striated grooves at its end to allow for maximum sound penetration. It also conveniently folds up into the headset when you’re not using it. Although, it doesn’t entirely disappear from view once it’s up, so if you plan on using the H3PRO like a pair of headphones, you’ll need to detach it altogether from its magnetic clasp.
I tested it out in Teams chats and it relayed my voice clearly and without distortion. The mic amplified sound exceptionally well, picking up my voice even when I was whispering, so if you’re tired and don’t feel like shouting, you won’t need to. Plus, it’s easily muted by lifting up the boom, which saves a lot of fiddling around mid-game.
If you need to go boom less, you won’t lose your microphone audio, since there’s another mic located in the earcup. Admittedly, it doesn’t transmit the same kind of quality in your voice chats, but it still does a respectable job filtering out background noise.
The EPOS Gaming Suite app also provides a good amount of software support for these dual microphones, giving you options to change settings and enhance your experience. You can tweak the Noise Gate, Side Tone, and Gain, and also choose from Warm or Clear voice enhancers, or alternatively, choose an enhancer preset that you’ve created yourself. All in all, gamers have plenty of scope to personalize the sound of their voice.
Dominic Bayley / IDG
H3PRO Hybrid: Software
I’ve already mentioned some useful options in the EPOS Gaming Suite, but there’s plenty more to keep tinkerers busy. For example, you can adjust EQ levels for both the Stereo and Surround Sound modes and also enhance the audio of specific types of media by choosing the tailor-made Music, Esports, or Movie presets.
I found that the presets provided a noticeable boost to the quality of their respective media types. The Esports preset, for example, really emphasized the treble end of the EQ chart, which added a bit more clarity, definition, and airiness to my gaming audio, thereby allowing me to better pinpoint the movement and direction of other players in multiplayer matches.
Dominic Bayley / IDG
Additionally, the EPOS Gaming Suite app also let me change settings that were less than ideal for my gaming setup. For me, a pet hate is when my headset activates Auto Sleep while I’m waiting for matches to start, but in the H3PRO’s companion app I could easily switch off this function.
Besides that, the EPOS Gaming Suite is also where you get firmware upgrades when they become available, so it pays to have it loaded to get the best from your device.
The EPOS H3PRO Hybrid is one of the most refined gaming headsets available, delivering clear, distortion-free gaming audio, impressive 7.1 surround sound, and the convenience of multi-device connectivity, all in an attractive and compact package. Although it features all-plastic earcups, it remains tough and flexible enough to withstand the rigors of everyday gaming life.