Gaming has evolved a lot this past generation. Before, headsets were viewed as something of a luxury, with many going with whatever the cheapest option with a microphone was. Thanks to WavesNx, Dolby Atmos, Windows Sonic, Tempest and more, more players are adopting headphones. This has lead in a lot of changes at every price point, with different brands and products choosing to focus on specific features and experiences. With EPOS’ latest headset, H3, they wanted to offer exceptional comfort and sound at a manageable price. With other headsets trying this in the past, can H3 stand out or will it end up in a poor position?
EPOS went in a very different direction with H3 compared to the last headset we reviewed, GSP 602. Where GSP 602 had a very bright and overly business presentation, H3 plays more into what you’d expect from a gaming headset. The front has H3 to the side, with the EPOS logo barely visible behind it in the background. On the side opposite of the headset is the rest of it, a small, but nice touch that really sells the aesthetic over going with an overly common look. When you turn it around, there is some information on the headset, like crystal clear mic and long lasting comfort, but it’s generally devoid of marketing claims keeping things more subtle and reserved.
Inside, EPOS decided to stick with form fitting foam inserts. It’s a very deliberate presentation that makes H3 feel a cut above similarly priced headsets sticking with plastic and just tossing in documentation. Below the headset is a small box containing two braided cords, one with a standard 3.5 connection and the other meant for a computers pink and green connection or for use with an audio DAC or external sound card. There is also some other documentation, including information about the two year warranty, that is important to check out.
Almost instantly the lightweight design stands out. At 10 ounces it doesn’t feel like much, though that doesn’t stop H3 from feeling well constructed. Even if most of the pieces are plastic, there is a good amount of movement and it’s far from stiff. The headband has a soft leather feel that is rather plush to the touch. The slider is metal and makes things super simple by including numbers to easily align the headset on your head. Both the earpads also fit comfortably around my ears, with a soft material, referred to as “suede-like,” feels nice against my skin. Even after multiple hours of play, H3 remained comfortable to wear. While long term comfort is great, it isn’t important if it doesn’t sound right.
Similar to GSP 602, these are very flat headphones, meaning those who like bass might need to tweak them. When listening to more traditional music, either separately or through a game like Taiko no Tatsujin, low sounds just don’t have a lot of impact. However, depending on the experience, it can also bring a lot out.
When playing Returnal, they were extremely accurate and brought the world to life. Little sounds weren’t overpowered by bigger events, one of the benefits to the flatter equalization, making it easier to get lost in that world. For a more intense game like Destiny 2, it starts to make a lot of the background noises a bit more noticeable. Not really the difference between hearing footsteps or not, many gaming headsets are calibrated to bring them out anyway, but more making treading water stands out, the explosion from hunters melee, the schwing, melee impact, things like this. Little things like this that make you appreciate the thought that goes into every element of a game.
The one area we found H3 a little lacking in was microphone clarity. Things were a little more muffled than similarly priced headset and a little bit of depth was lost. It won’t be the difference between winning a raid and having to repeat yourself two or three times but it might come up.
EPOS H3 Review Verdict
If you’re looking for a nice looking headset that is extremely comfortable to wear, H3 is a fantastic choice for the money. The lightweight and sharp design certainly stand out in a way that doesn’t scream gaming. Add in the distinct leveled sound and it might help you better appreciate the little things that bring games to life, without compromising on experiences like Returnal.
[Editor’s Note: EPOS H3 was provided to us for review purposes.]