The $199 GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds from audio business EPOS are, to my understanding, the very first really cordless earbuds produced video gaming– however the buds themselves aren’t the greatest selling point. The USB-C Bluetooth receiver that features the earbuds gets that difference.
It’s a lot more compact than the basic flash drive-sized USB dongles consisted of with lots of headsets. It’s more capable, too, running with the aptX low latency (aptX LL) codec that provides good-sounding audio without any perceivable lag. Utilizing the receiver, the GTW 270 Hybrid can be specifically excellent for hectic video games where sound hints count for success; however actually, it’s good to have for any title.
Nevertheless, there is one issue: the microphones do not work when you’re listening to audio through the USB-C receiver. (The earbuds’ integrated microphones do work, nevertheless, when they’re matched to a gadget through Bluetooth.)
This falls more on the technical restrictions of aptX than EPOS’s decision-making. In an effort to focus on bandwidth for sound quality and responsiveness, just the playback channel is active when you’re listening utilizing the USB-C dongle. That’s a prospective deal-breaker for some players who may wish to have the ability to delve into a voice chat with buddies on their consoles. However to EPOS’s credit, the latency in between the dongle and the earphones actually does appear nonexistent.
These gunmetal-colored buds have an easy, downplayed style so that they do not poke out excessive from your ear. They aren’t too heavy, and the fit is comfy, thanks to swappable silicone ear pointers that assist to get a great seal in your ear. When it comes to controls, they have simply a single multifunction button that manages stopping briefly and resuming music, altering tracks, in addition to getting telephone call. Simply put, without the USB-C dongle, these aren’t that unique. (EPOS does make a $169 variation sans dongle.) For basic usage– such as telephone call or music– you can get more by investing less if you take a look at a few of the alternatives in my associate Chris Welch’s budget friendly cordless earbud purchasing guide.
Beyond video gaming, these earbuds can be utilized like any other cordless set to link to your phone, tablet, or laptop computer through Bluetooth. They support Bluetooth 5.1 (with the SBC or aptX codec, depending upon the gadget you link to) for music, videos, video games, and telephone call, and EPOS states you can match them with as much as 8 gadgets. Matching is done by holding down the button on the charging case.
Mentioning the charging case: it has an all-metal style that’s regrettably really simple to scratch. It charges through USB-C; with a complete charge, EPOS states it can provide up to 15 hours of additional battery life to the earphones. Throughout the evaluation duration, the GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds made it to the five-hour mark for battery life, which matches the business’s claim. And if you’re somebody who goes on the periodic sweaty jog or simply does not wish to get captured in the rain, these are IPX5 water resistant.
I have actually invested the previous couple of weeks utilizing the earbuds to play video games at the same time on my PS5, my Change, and my work laptop computer a number of times every day. (In case you wonder, there’s an adapter consisted of that lets you plug the dongle into a gadget that has USB Type-A ports.) The GTW 270 Hybrid works like any cordless video gaming headset, however the really cordless kind aspect has some apparent benefits. I like that they let me move uninhibited by wires, and utilizing them does not separate me (or screw up my hair) as much as large over-ear cans. The receiver is pre-paired to the buds, and they link nearly immediately.
I likewise enjoy the benefit of having the ability to utilize simply the ideal earbud (the right one manages the Bluetooth transmission, so listening through the left earbud alone does not work), so I can keep an ear readily available to listen for bundles being dropped off. This, obviously, is absolutely nothing brand-new for individuals who currently utilize really cordless earbuds. It simply feels brand-new to experience this flexibility with a video gaming headset.
I tested the Devil’s Souls remake, 2018’s God of War, Ring Fit Experience, and Ghost of Tsushima, in addition to a couple of other video games, throughout the evaluation duration. While they do not have the largest soundstage or the clearest frequency separation I have actually heard for listening to music, they shine with video game audio– in specific, with surround sound impacts and bass shipment. The total sound quality isn’t explosively robust, and there’s a limitation to how immersive the surround sound impacts can be, offered the earbuds’ little motorists. However the noise isn’t too jeopardized. Unless you’re a hardcore player who requires to hear every information in crystal-clear discussion, these will likely match you.
The GTW 270 Hybrid would be really near to perfect if the microphones worked while linked utilizing the USB-C dongle. Sadly, they do not, so utilizing the dongle will be beside ineffective for those who often play multiplayer video games with buddies. (It’s a somewhat various story if you play great deals of single-player video games and do not mind not having a microphone for video gaming.) Given that the earbuds are not all that helpful for video gaming without the dongle, that indicates you’re making a huge compromise, and it’s one that none of the very best video gaming headsets I have actually checked (the majority of which are more affordable than this) ask you to make. It’s your option.
Photography by Cameron Faulkner/ The Brink