Coming off the EPOS H6PROs, can its smaller cousin, the H3s, stand on its own as an excellent wired and budget option?
The EPOS brand is designed to take advantage of the gaming market. Combining both Sennheiser’s legacy for quality headphones in all markets before their split. With the ever-growing need for alternatives for headsets, it’s a slight disappointment to come away from using the H3 to report that you might be better off looking elsewhere within this price range.
- Connectivity: Detachable 3.5mm wire (Mic + Headset jack, / combination jack)
- Driver diameter: 40mm
- Frequency response: 20Hz – 20 kHz
- Weight: 285g
- Compatibility: Anything with a 3.5mm combo jack, headphone jack, and mic jack
- Features: Lift-to-mute microphone
- Price: $99 / £99
- Where to buy: Best Buy/Scan Computers
What’s in the box: EPOS H3 gaming headset, 2.5mm to 3.5mm combo jack, 2.5mm to 3.5mm audio and mic jack
Design and setup
Getting this set up is especially easy. As it’s wired, there’s only the need to plug in and play. Wherever we connected them, whether the Xbox, PC, Steam Deck, or MacBook, we found that they just did what you’d expect. If it has a 3.5mm jack, you’re going to be fine.
I’m not sure why they’ve opted to use a 2.5mm jack to connect the headphones, but we can see this becoming an issue in the future should the user ever break their cable.
The H3 does come with an alternative cable for those that want to split their microphone and headphone into the two ports on the back of the PC, but for the most part, the TTRS cable did just fine.
However, you’re very much intended to sit close to your PC or have it plugged directly into your controller, as the cable length is absurdly small. Sennheiser made a cracking pair of budget headphones, the HD 206. These £30-ish headphones come with enough wire to trip yourself up with, so it’s slightly disappointing to have to get used to an incredibly short cable again.
Being closed back, the slight claustrophobia on the ears began to settle in after a little while, with the permanently attached cups offering no recourse during the recent heatwave. Rather than being leatherette all the way, the inside is this soft fabric. While nice at first, with a cushioned feeling on the ears, it just began to generate heat and an uncomfortable rub after a period of time.
If this wasn’t there, even though the H3s are quite heavy on the head and feel rather bulky, we wouldn’t mind keeping these on our heads for extended gaming sessions.
The microphone has a nice weight to being pulled down too, with a satisfying click to let you know when it is muted or not.
We’re not sure how to describe the sound on these other than ‘middling’. It neither impressed nor disappointed, it was a very vanilla experience.
Highs, lows, and mids all sounded adequate with nothing to really distinguish anything wrong. Basses had a good thud, while the highs and mids just presented as expected. Zero distortion, nothing. You can do a lot worse in the gaming headset space.
During games, they’re completely serviceable, which is the main thing here. These are Sennheiser’s low-end in the EPOS headset range, offering no noise cancellation, any audio gimmicks, or frills. They’re just decent-sounding, barebones headphones with a microphone attached.
We don’t know who said this was ‘noise reducing’ or thought it should be a highlighted point in the advertisement, but on both Windows and Mac, this headset brought in just about every sound it could find, and stirred them in a pot and flushed it into the ether.
While it didn’t sound bad, it needed the help of Nvidia’s noise cancellation tech from the Broadcast suite to get it remotely sounding okay. It’s adequate for gaming, but your friends might not appreciate it without the assistance.
Are the EPOS H3s good for gaming?
With solid, but average sound and a microphone that loves just about every sound around it, these are fine for gaming. They do nothing special, offering a decent experience regardless of what you decide to play.
The major upside here is that they’re wired, allowing them to just simply work across all devices without any prior setup or worrying about whether or not they’re compatible with the Xbox Series X and S.
This, despite its severe averageness, is the best thing about the EPOS H3s. While yes, we loved the H6Pros, and even the JBL Quantum 610s, eliminating the need for any complications down the line is always a plus in our book.
Sennheiser might be offering a good, but not great headset, but for those that just want something that works regardless of where they play and don’t mind a singular wire between the controller and head, then this is the way to go.
It’s zero frills, it does what it says on the tin situation. You can’t go wrong with it but at the price point? There are just so many better options.
Should you buy the EPOS H3 headset?
As mentioned above, yes if you just want a basic headset. However, coming in at around £100/$100, if you just squeeze your budget a little more, you could get the JBL Quantum 610s, which has wired and wireless functionality.
It’s a delicate balance of what you’re wanting, but also, whether or not you want to limit yourself to a wired device when there are so many more options out there that give the choice of both.
While the EPOS H3 is a good headset, we can immediately pick out several others that are either better for a similar price range or offer more features than just simply being reliable.
It does nothing to stand out from the crowd, which is fine, but why choose this over anything else?
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