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Two-minute review The most impressive thing about the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Earbuds is the versatility (Image credit: Future) The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Earbuds demonstrate EPOS tentatively exploring new ground with audio hardware. It was probably inevitable that we’d see a gaming brand reach out and test the waters with earbuds, especially after Apple launched the dinky little wireless accessories into the mainstream in 2016. Leveraging the research and development that partner brand Sennheiser has been tinkering with over the years, the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid wireless gaming earbuds are a surprisingly decent first attempt at luring gamers away from the now-standard over-the-head design that’s become the industry norm. Coming in at an RRP of $199/£179, the buds land right in the middle of the gaming headset spectrum, yet they occupy a unique space thanks to the versatile connectivity EPOS has designed them with; anything with a USB port or Bluetooth connectivity will pair up with the buds. That means PS4, PS5, PC and Nintendo Switch users can have one audio solution that works for all their consoles (and their phone, to boot) thanks to either the GSA 70 USB Type-C aptX low latency dongle and a USB Type-A converter cable that comes packed in with the buds. Still, that’s not a cheap point of entry, and that’s typically a much higher price tag than Nintendo Switch users are willing to pay for their add-ons. Given that the mic function won’t work if you’re connected via dongle (thanks to its low-latency connection), you may find these buds don’t quite tick all your boxes – especially if you’re particularly into competitive gaming. For players that prioritize versatility, build quality, and battery life, though, it’s hard not to recommend the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid wireless gaming earbuds outright. Even once the novelty wears off, the truly wireless lil’ earbuds continue to impress. Design Even the dongle for the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Earbuds feels like a premium piece of kit (Image credit: Future) There are absolutely no complaints from us when it comes to design. The POS GTW 270 Hybrid wireless gaming earbuds are solidly built, expensive-feeling products through-and-through. From the second you unbox the anodized aluminum charging case that houses the buds themselves, you know EPOS has treated this design with care and respect. The tactile way the buds snap into their magnetic charging hub, the satisfying click of the button that controls the 5-LED charge meter, the gratifying thunk of the lid opening and closing… it all smacks of quality design. That premium feel doesn’t end when you actually pop the buds into your ears, either: they’re IPX5 rated (which means if you get caught in the rain, or on a particularly sweaty run, they’ll be fine) and the various sizes of seals mean they’ll fit most ears with ease. As with any buds, though, your ear shape will determine comfort and – ultimately – sound quality. For those whose biology lends itself towards bud-based comfort, the buds themselves sit snugly in-ear and look pretty smart with their aluminum finish and subtle EPOS branding. It’s all very handsome. A small clicky button on the left bud allows for some limited control if you’re connected via Bluetooth or via dongle: one press pauses and resumes music or accepts calls, two presses skip a track, and three presses go back a track. A long press will summon Siri or Google’s voice assistant, from which you can alter volume (you can’t do that on the buds themselves). Performance Though small, the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Earbuds have a decent battery life – and the case just makes it better! (Image credit: Future) Straight away, there are two things to note about connectivity and performance: firstly, these buds cannot be paired to the dongle and Bluetooth at the same time. If you wanted to use them for calls in-between sessions on your Switch, for example, you’re going to have to manually flit between devices. Secondly, the (surprisingly decent) in-built mic cannot be used if you’re connected via the dongle – that’s a Bluetooth-only perk. With those caveats out of the way, these buds are incredible for gamers and music-lovers alike. We’ve been using them indiscriminately to play Switch games and listen to music, drinking in roughly five hours of use at a time (with the case providing another 15-16 hours per full charge). Granted, no-one’s really leaving the house right now, but if you were, these buds would be ideal for flights, commutes and journeys where you want to rotate between handheld consoles and music sessions. Better yet, the buds can get over an hour of juice in them from just 20 minutes in their handsome charging case – another boon for the versatility of the hardware. The sound itself is superb (if you get the right silicone seal size sorted – they may sound quite tinny out the box if you have big ol’ ears). Playing twinkly JRPGs on Switch, you can hear how well the buds process high ends, short, sharp SFX and human voices. Listening to 90s house and shoegaze on Spotify, you realize how well they can deliver low ends and appreciate the clarity with which they handle fatter, warmer sounds. When it comes to EPOS making such a tiny product deliver such a big sound, it’s nothing short of technical wizardry: that Sennheiser pedigree stands tall with its head held high. Buy it if... You’re a variety gamerPC, mobile, Switch, PS4 and PS5 compatibility make these ideal for gamers that like to play across multiple platforms. You’re out of the house oftenPop the case in your pocket and head out with your phone and your Switch, and you’ll be set for up to 20 hours on one charge. Not bad, right? You value good audioThat trademark EPOS sound quality – warm, wide and welcoming – somehow works in earbuds just as well as it does in traditional headsets The whole EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Earbuds package is presented really nicely (Image credit: Future) Don't buy it if... You’re budget-conscious$199/£179 is a big ask for a headset that won’t deal with chat via the dongle on PS4 and Switch You’re a super competitive gamerVoice chat support notwithstanding, the buds aren’t going to deliver the precise sonic detail you’ll need to get the edge in hardcore PvP games.
EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Review: Great Sounding Earbuds That Fall Just Short Of The Complete Package
Gaming headsets have gone from being luxury item to a much needed necessity for gamers today. A good headset will enhance your experience by providing a realistic representation of your environment, allowing for a greater understanding of your virtual surroundings. This has an abundance of benefits like improving your reaction times and the ability to immerse yourself within that world. EPOS has a long history of great innovative gaming headsets that always aim to provide players with the best experience. Their new GTW 270 Hybrid wireless earbuds might be a far cry from the headsets we are used to but all the same it’s great that companies such as EPOS are starting to give gamers that bit more choice from the usual over the ear headphones. The EPOS GTW 270 earbuds are great quality (Image: EPOS) The GTW 270 earbuds look slick with their sleek compact bodies that fit securely in your ear. Although the back panel with the logo does add a slight bulk to the overall design but this doesn't hinder how cool they look. The eartips feel really comfortable without being too invasive over long periods of gaming. They also come with three extra sets of ear tips to control your noise isolation. They come with an IPX5 rating which means they are resistant to rain or sweat, but just don’t go swimming with them. Saying that, the GTW 270 definitely feels like it can double up as your exercise earbuds. The buds have a slick look to them (Image: EPOS) There is one tiny button on the left earpiece, this is used for all the controls such as playing music or accepting calls. All the controls are very simple to learn giving you extra authority over them. The button is rather small and can be hard to locate at times. There isn’t any way to adjust the volume via the actual earbuds, this isn’t a massive deal breaker but having to constantly go to the source especially during crucial gaming moments can be a killjoy. I just think that with most wireless earbuds having touch sensor capabilities it’s a real big miss for the GTW 270 as the extra customisation at your fingertips are much needed. Read More Related Articles Read More Related Articles The charging case feels nice and compact and the aluminum encasing looks really premium. My only gripe is as beautiful as it looks, it feels like it will be easily scratched. The five LED lights are a nice addition to show the status of the ear phones. It also pairs the buds with Bluetooth devices which is a nice feature, however I feel the option to pair them without the case would suffice. The case and earbuds both look smart, but I wish there was a rubber casing to safeguard it from scuffs and scratches. The battery life is impressive (Image: EPOS) The earbuds come with about 5 hours of battery life once fully charged with an extra 15 hours from the carry case, obviously it would be nice to get one or two more hours out of them especially as there are other cheaper earbuds that last for much longer. However 20 hours is a good amount meaning that they will be able go the distance in pretty much every situation. The beauty of the GTW 270 buds is that they come with different connectivity options. The Bluetooth option works like a charm even during calls without dropping out and there wasn’t much lag when gaming on my phone. Using the low latency connection USB C dongle worked effortlessly on my Nintendo Switch. The sound quality was crisp and clear at different volumes. Using the dongle on my PS4 and PC was a bit hit and miss. I would have to use the extender to reposition so it didn’t cut out, but all in all it worked really well. They can also connect to multiple devices without forgetting ones they were previously paired to, which is a massive bonus. A practical option to use with your Switch on the go (Image: EPOS) One disadvantage and may be a possible deal breaker for some is that only the playback channel is available while connected through dongle. This means that there isn’t any voice chat on consoles which is a massive shame. The audio quality is amazing, mainly using it on the Nintendo Switch for bass heavy games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimately, I felt really immersed with the world. The low latency connection that provides single-channel audio playback works amazing with audio sounding crystal clear while playing games or even listening to music. The frequency response works admirably giving some deep lows for impacts when playing fighters or actions games. You will be able to customise the EQ settings and make presets using the EPOS gaming suite. The Bluetooth microphone sounds pretty clear and great for using on the go. Verdict Overall the GTW 270 is a great multipurpose earbud, especially for portable gaming on the go with the ability of utilising the low latency connection when you require it. The GTW 270 performs pretty well in most categories and it definitely fares well compared against its competitors. However considering this is aimed at the gaming market and you can’t use the mic while connected via the USB- C dongle this could potentially prove to be a deal breaker for some, especially given the price. The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds out now for £179. Buy now from Amazon.
This EPOS Headset Promises Noise Cancellation – Does It Really Eliminate Bad Audio?
“Hello? Can you hear me?” This might be one of the most frequently-said business phrases in 2020. Working from home has put an abrupt end to face-to-face meetings as Zoom and Skype calls have become the order of the day. However, bad audio quality seems to constantly plague our video calls with co-workers and clients. In fact, office workers lose up to 29 minutes a week due to poor sound quality on voice calls. This adds up to a whopping expense of US$725 (S$992) per employee each year when tied to the average US wage. Organisations that employ over 100 employees risk losing over US$70,000 (S$95,865) per annum. Eventually, this can cost companies tens of thousands of dollars in productivity in the long run. This implies that we need a good headset that promises noise cancellation and clear audio. A regular, cheap headset that used to get you through a rare work-from-home sick day just won’t cut it in today’s remote working lifestyle filled with video conferences and phone calls. One solution that promises to solve the problem of bad audio is the EPOS ADAPT 660 series. Developed by EPOS and Sennheiser, the ADAPT range includes headsets suitable for use at work and after hours. With that, I tried out the ADAPT 660 headset for a day to see if it delivers. Superior Noise-Cancelling Feature The headset has a robust and foldable design that allows it to pack snugly inside a soft case, which is practical for when you are on the go. It comes with a micro USB charging cable, USB dongle and a 3.5mm audio cable. One of my pet peeves with headsets is that they give me a mild headache after long hours of wear. However, the ADAPT 660 passes the comfort test. As I put the earpads over my ears, what surprises me was how soft and supple they are. There’s plenty of padding around the ears and at the top of the headband, making the headset comfortable to wear for extended periods, beyond just an hour or two. Provided by PMT Post Image Credit: EPOS You can either use the headset wirelessly by twisting the ear cups, or plug it to your laptop or phone with the audio cable. When I played my Spotify playlist, the sound that comes through is crisp and rich. The bass is impactful without feeling overwhelming. The EPOS AI technology offers adaptive active noise cancelling (ANC) for clear call quality. The microphone performance is also clear and sharp. According to EPOS, they have four active noise-cancelling microphones that make sure you are only hearing what you need to hear. You can pick one of three noise-cancelling settings from a switch on the bottom of the right ear cup. What the technology does is that it adjusts noise reduction based on the sounds at your location — be it a noisy train or bus commute, or in a home office environment with kids playing loudly in the background. However, this does not mean that you are completely shut off from your surroundings. While it never completely blocks out every single sound, the ANC definitely makes it easier to focus on tasks in the home office throughout the day. Designed For Mobile Workers The fold flat design with rotating ear cups that switch on and off makes it practical for workers on the go. Provided by PMT Post Image Credit: pmt It can connect to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously, which means you can pair the headset to both your phone and laptop at once. This makes it flexible to answer calls on either device without having to disconnect and reconnect. This is extremely helpful when you have to attend Google Meet or Zoom calls, and have to alternate between taking phone and video calls. All the touch controls can be found at the right ear cup. You can easily adjust the volume and skip tracks by simply swiping your finger. The headset also has an impressive 30-hour battery lifespan, which is longer than other noise-cancelling models in the market. The USB dongle comes in handy when you want to launch Microsoft Teams directly from the headset, which is also convenient when you have to be on video conferences a lot. Besides that, there is also an Alexa functionality that makes it a breeze for you to plan your schedule both in and out of the office. All you have to do is tap and hold to activate the virtual assistant. This way, you will never miss a meeting again. Furthermore, I like that they are lightweight at only 227 grams, making it one of the lightest noise-cancelling headsets out there. However, if there is one thing I have to pick on, it would be their limited colour availability. It currently has a black colour option only, so an expansion of colour range would be great. Its design is also more practical rather than fashionable. With rounded black ear cups, ear pads and a headband in the same colour, the ADAPT 660 headset is as minimalistic as they can be. If you just want a headset for work, these should be good enough. Setting Itself Apart From Other Brands Provided by PMT Post Image Credit: EPOS Sony and Bose have been releasing great wireless noise-cancelling headsets over the past few years, but they come in steeper price tags. The EPOS ADAPT 660 rivals Sony and Bose counterparts with its comparable features. It’s comfortable and easy to use, and also cheaper than both Sony and Bose models. Therefore, if you are looking for an affordable alternative, the EPOS ADAPT 660 is definitely the perfect choice. It drops some of the bells and whistles while offering active noise cancellation capabilities for less. EPOS builds on more than 115 years of experience in audio innovation, so you can be sure that this is a product that can offer excellence. Moreover, its parent company is Demant is a world-leading audio and hearing technology group with companies in more than 30 countries. Why Business Professionals Need This Headset Provided by PMT Post Image Credit: NBB.Com From its design to the materials used, it is clear that a lot of thought has been put into the ADAPT 660. It’s obvious that every material is carefully chosen for its durability and weight. As we all know, earphones or earbuds don’t work as well as enterprise-level headsets for superior audio or microphone performance during business meetings. Business professionals will benefit the most from this headset as it can effectively drown out the distractions that come with remote working. Moreover, investing in a good headset is essential and would save companies productivity dollars lost from bad audio. If you are looking for a high-quality noise-cancelling headset that puts business first, then you will definitely appreciate what ADAPT 660 brings to the table. Find out more about the ADAPT 660 headset on the EPOS website. This article is written in collaboration with EPOS. Featured Image Credit: NBB.Com Also Read “What? Sorry, I Can’t Hear You”: How Bad Audio Is Making Companies Lose Money
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