- Unimaginable sound in a tiny bundle
- 2.4GHz dongle makes all of the distinction for gaming
- Steady, computerized connectivity by way of Bluetooth or 2.4GHz
- Case in on the cumbersome aspect
- Controls are overly simplistic
- USB-C dongle may block ports with out the prolonged cable
Gaming earbuds aren’t a brand new idea. Logitech, Razer, and others have made wired variations for years. Nonetheless, what is way rarer is the comparatively new kind issue of really wi-fi gaming earbuds.
The rationale for that rarity is easy. Most wi-fi earbuds depend on a model of Bluetooth. Bluetooth tends to, effectively, suck for gaming. It introduces noticeable “latency,” or a delay between the sport (or video) and audio. Clearly, in lots of video games, this may get you killed by an enemy you solely hear approaching after they’ve already shot you. Some Bluetooth protocols decrease this, however none reliably match the undetectable latency 2.4GHz-based wi-fi connections can supply.
What makes the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid gaming earbuds so distinctive on this kind issue is that they provide Bluetooth and a couple of.4GHz. This hybrid (therefore the identify) pair of connection choices is widespread in high-end, over-the-ear gaming headsets just like the Razer Barracuda line and SteelSeries Arctis Nova household. However, that is the primary time I’ve come throughout such versatility in a pair of really wi-fi earbuds. And, let me inform you, it was a recreation changer… actually.
|Kind issue||Really wi-fi in-ear buds|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.1 (with AptX), 2.4GHz (by way of included USB-C dongle)|
|Battery life||5 hours (earbuds) | 20 hours (charging case)|
|Compatibility||Bluetooth: PC, Mac, TVs, consoles, and so forth. | 2.4GHz: PC, Ps 4/5, Nintendo Change, Android|
|Driver kind||Dynamic closed|
|Included equipment||Charging cable, USB-C extender cable, USB-C dongle, dongle cowl with carrying loop, further silicone eartips (3 sizes)|
|On-device controls||Sure: play/pause, observe skip, digital assistant activation|
|Companion software program||EPOS gaming suite|
Kind and construct high quality
EPOS started its life as a part of high-end audio firm Sennheiser. The pedigree of meticulous engineering knowledgeable lots of the extra conventional headsets the EPOS crew designed whereas nonetheless a part of the mothership. The identical stage of high quality has caught with the now-independent firm.
From high to backside, the GTW 270 Hybrid feels strong. The steel outer shell of the charging case supplies a sturdy enclosure in your earbuds to cost in, whereas the extremely satisfying hinge looks like one thing from a high-end timepiece, not a budget-friendly pair of earbuds.
The buds themselves additionally sport a strong, light-weight, easy design that conjures up confidence in each the hand and ear.
Additionally: Are Apple’s AirPods Professional 2 the very best wi-fi earbuds you will get now?
I discovered the buds and included tricks to match comfortably in my ears, and within the ears of the household and mates I let check them. A very good, common match is significant for in-ear buds like these and EPOS nailed it.
Connectivity is the showpiece of the GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds. You possibly can, after all, pair them together with your cellphone, TV, PC, recreation console, or the rest by way of Bluetooth. However, you even have the choice to make use of the included USB-C dongle’s 2.4GHz connection. The dongle (see picture under) is appropriate with PCs, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, Nintendo Change, and Android smartphones and tablets.
When used, it affords the low-latency connectivity that aggressive players need, offering audio with zero perceptible delays between on-screen motion and its accompanying audio. There’s additionally a noticeable profit to sound high quality, which I am going to cowl under.
Additionally: The 5 finest PC gaming headsets: Premium audio, no drops
I had zero points with connection stability in my time testing the GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds. They reliably and rapidly paired with the tiny companion dongle each time I eliminated them from the charging case. Switching between the two.4GHz dongle and Bluetooth was additionally a easy and intuitive occasion, with the earbuds mechanically dealing with it fairly effectively.
Energy and charging
The EPOS GTW 270 Hyrbid case expenses by way of USB-C. It comes with one cable for charging and a second for extending the attain of its dongle. It may need been higher had EPOS as an alternative opted for one thing much like the coupler-based setups many gaming mice now use. That will allow you to use one cable for each duties. Nonetheless, that may have prevented you from charging your case whereas listening over 2.4GHz, so their approach may be finest for many customers.
Like most USB-C equipment, it expenses rapidly. A full cost supplies 5 hours of listening time on the earbuds, and an extra 20 hours of audio when topping again up utilizing the charging case, in line with EPOS.
I did discover some fluctuations, however the marketed utilization occasions have been fairly correct, and pretty spectacular, given the low weight of the earbuds. The case is on the heavier aspect. It is hardly noticeable when tossed in a bag, however the barely cumbersome, rectangular form does not make it the very best pocket companion.
How do they sound?
All of this comfort and dual-connectivity means little if the sound of the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds does not supply the aggressive accuracy players need. Fortunately, the entire clout EPOS carries from its Sennheiser forebears reveals in these extremely competent little earbuds.
When used over 2.4GHz, they provide clear and punchy bass, and sharp, correct highs. The latter is extraordinarily essential as that is the place the audio cues that provide you with a warning to in-game enemies are inclined to dwell. I felt no lack of directional accuracy or auditory acuity when utilizing these in-ear buds as an alternative of my long-time essential, the Razer BlackShark V2 Professional. That is not one thing I can say for another earbuds that I’ve examined, gaming or not.
Music efficiency was equally spectacular. Devices and vocals confirmed an extremely quantity of separation for drivers as tiny as those utilized in these earbuds, with a soundstage wider than many (dearer) over-ear headsets and headphones.
Evaluate: Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X headphones evaluation: Brutally sincere sound for beneath $300
Merely put, that is the very best recreation sound I’ve heard from any earbuds (wired or wi-fi), and a few of the finest sound interval I’ve skilled in a very wi-fi set. It outshines the first-gen Apple AirPods Professional, and even excels previous the gorgeous-sounding however problematic Drop + Grell pair I examined earlier this yr.
When linked by way of Bluetooth, I’d say all the things I simply wrote is about 80% as true. I would not suggest utilizing Bluetooth for gaming you probably have the choice to make use of 2.4GHz. However, for those who’re listening to music or movies, the sound is sort of pretty much as good. Sadly, the utmost quantity is considerably decrease, and a tiny little bit of the readability, separation, and total soundstage is misplaced. On this mode, the buds are in nearly a direct tie with the aforementioned AirPods Professional.
As common, this can be a part the place it is best to let the factor converse for itself, actually. The supplied video ought to inform you all it is advisable to know. General, the mic in 2.4GHz mode is completely serviceable for all the things from Zoom calls to in-game chat. I would not begin a podcast with it, however I’ve heard far worse growth mics on far more costly wi-fi headsets.
I needed to double-check the worth of the GTW 270 Hybrid on EPOS’ web site whereas testing. I used to be certain I might remembered it fallacious. One thing with these options that sounded this good could not presumably have been $150, nevertheless it was.
To be clear, there are some areas the place the earbuds is surprisingly simplistic. The on-device controls quantity to a single button providing the same old pause/play, skip observe, and digital assistant choices, however no quantity controls. To be honest, the AirPods Professional additionally lacked on-device quantity buttons till their second, $250 iteration. The bigger case may be a turn-off for some energetic customers that like pocket-sized portability.
Additionally: AirPods Professional 2 vs. AirPods Professional: Had been they definitely worth the wait?
However, for those who’re a gamer that travels to LAN events and tournaments, and even one that hardly ever leaves their desk however prefers clear, easy, wire-free choices, I’d say the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds affords among the finest mixtures of spectacular sound, dependable efficiency, and glorious construct high quality I’ve seen in a gaming headset at this worth, not to mention one within the really wi-fi earbud kind issue.
Different gaming audio makers ought to take observe: That is the way you make a strong, legitimately aggressive pair of really wi-fi gaming buds. I solely hope the competitors that may nearly definitely develop on this product class can match the very excessive bar set by EPOS’ early entrant.
Alternate options to think about
A less expensive possibility that depends completely on Bluetooth. Its latency is rated at 60ms, which is increased than the two.4GHz latency supplied by the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid, however nonetheless fairly good for Bluetooth. Good for informal and cell gaming.
If you’d like EPOS’ high quality in a extra conventional, however nonetheless wi-fi, gaming headset, the GSP 670 is the closest possibility in worth. It has been praised for its consolation and sound, and it retains the entire identical glorious building engineering talked about on this evaluation.
Need the very best game-tuned audio for something beneath $1,000? Keen to take care of a wire to get it? That is your huckleberry. The microphone can also be among the finest growth mics on any gaming headset, interval.