I had the pleasure of testing out another EPOS headset a few months ago, the GSP 600, so when I was offered the opportunity to try the company's newest headset and review the EPOS H3, I immediately said yes. The H3 sports a similar form factor to its siblings, making it appear more sleek and stylish with some minor variations. After spending some time with it, I have mixed feelings.
The EPOS H3 headset is billed as the company's "next generation of premium peripherals," but there's not a whole ton about it that screams "next-gen." While not necessarily bad, it doesn't live up to expectations that marketing sets, though it fits well within its price point for the features you get. It has a flip-to-mute mic, a closed acoustic design (like several EPOS models), and is compatible with multiple devices. While it's not one of the best PS5 headsets out there, it's still a good option.
Bottom line: The EPOS H3 isn't the nicest headset on the market, but it'll get the job done. It sports an excellent flip-to-mute mic and delivers great audio, even if it's only stereo. When you need a wired headset for all of your devices, this is a solid choice.
- Flip-to-mute studio-quality mic
- Closed acoustics
- Delivers low, mid, and high tones nicely
- Multiplatform compatibility
- Volume wheel is flat
- Tight clamp takes some time to break in
- Wired-only connection
EPOS H3: Price and availability
EPOS just released the H3 headset on April 20, 2021, for $120 on its own website along with select retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. You can purchase the headset in either Onyx Black or Ghost White. Because it launched so recently, you likely won't be finding it on sale anytime soon.
EPOS H3: What you'll like
|Frequency response||10 Hz – 30 kHz|
|Battery life||N/A (wired)|
|Cable length||6 ft.|
Its closed acoustic design isolates noise well, delivering great audio as it blocks out most ambient noise. As I was rereading my GSP 600 headset review, I noticed that I had tested it out while my dishwasher was running. Coincidentally, I also tested out the H3 when I had my dishwasher running the other day. As I expected, it blocked out the noise fine, and I could easily concentrate on playing my PS5 while I completely forgot that the appliance was operating in the background. I'll get into this later in the next section, but I did have some issues with the audio when it came to the 3.5mm connector being seated right.
Like the GSP 600, the H3 has an excellent microphone that can only be described as crisp and clear. If you're looking for a headset that provides a great microphone so you don't have to go out and buy a separate USB mic for streaming, you can't go wrong with the H3. I don't think it'll beat a dedicated microphone in any contest, but it certainly sounds better than some of the other headset mics I've tested out in the past. And its flip-to-mute functionality makes it easy to tell when other players can hear you.
The fact that the H3 is a wired headset is a double-edged sword, in my opinion. It's nice that it can connect to multiple platforms like PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC, and mobile. However, after testing out multiple wireless options, I've found that I don't like being physically tethered to my devices. I'll gladly charge up the battery now and then if that's the price it takes to be more comfortable. Still, I ended up giving away my only other headset that was compatible with both Xbox Series X and PS5, so the H3 is a welcome addition to my growing collection.
Besides the tight clamp, the ear-shaped earcups were a nice fit, and I like the markings on the headband that denote where you've adjusted it. I've had a few headsets that just blindly leave you to adjust it to whatever feels right — which is fine — but I end up fiddling with them longer than I need to because I never feel like I have it perfect. With clearly marked indications on the headband, I don't need to worry about that.
EPOS H3: What you won't like
Maybe this is a "me" problem, but almost every time I plugged in the 3.5mm connector to the headset, it wasn't seated right. I'd have to twist and push it until the audio would become normal in both earcups. If I didn't, I'd be hearing far away echoes, and sometimes only in one earcup. It's like it always needs one extra nudge to get that perfect fit, and that's pretty inconvenient and a bit frustrating.
The volume dial is also one of the worst I've ever used on a headset, by far. It lays completely flat against the earcup, with small ridges so that you can get a "grip" with your pointer finger and adjust it. Just give me a proper dial where I can actually grip it and twist. Though I much prefer volume wheels to up and down buttons, I'd rather have the latter than what the H3 has.
And similarly to the GSP 600 (and a few other models I've tried out over the past several months), the headset clamp feels too tight with my glasses. It's something that I would get used to after 10 minutes or so, only for me to become keenly aware again that it's tight against my head. Again, this could be another "me" problem. I personally prefer headsets with a looser feel to them, and I don't like having to break in a headset, so to speak. If you have a larger head, I could see the H3 becoming uncomfortable quickly.
EPOS H3: Competition
EPOS makes plenty of gaming headsets and offers several that it develops in conjunction with Sennheiser, like the GSP 600. I tested out the GSP 601 a few months ago (which is the same thing as the GSP 600 but a different color) and was really impressed with its microphone quality. Like the H3, it's another wired headset that's compatible with multiple devices like Xbox, PlayStation, PC, Switch, and mobile. Much of the design and build is similar, but it features a Unidirectional pickup pattern on its mic as opposed to Bidirectional. It's also more expensive at around $140, depending on where you buy it.
The cream of the crop on PS5, in my mind, is still the SteelSeries Arctis 7P wireless headset. It doesn't get much better when it comes to comfort and audio quality than this. Its biggest downside is that the mic is just fine. It's also tough to find in-stock, which does speak to its popularity, but when you do, it should cost around $150.
For an equally excellent headset that's much easier to find in stock, you should check out the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro. As another wireless option, it features 24-hours of battery life, a detachable microphone, and delivers clear audio with a comfortable build. Though it usually retails for $180, you can find it on sale for $160 fairly often.
EPOS H3: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a headset compatible with multiple platforms like Xbox and PlayStation
- You don't want to spend over $150
- You prefer a closed acoustic design
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want Bluetooth
- You want 7.1 surround sound
- You want a volume dial that's easier to use
If you already have a wired headset, I'm not sure you'll be better served by going out and buying this one. As it stands, it doesn't bring anything new to the table. But if you're in the market for one, it's a solid choice, provided you want to spend over $100. You can definitely get cheaper wired headsets, but this one does have a great microphone to boot.
I'm a sucker for plug-and-play functionality, so it's nice that it works out of the box without needing to tinker with anything. That said, apps are built for a reason, and it feels like this headset is missing something that makes it special. When I take its odd volume dial into account, it makes it less appealing than some of its older siblings.
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