EPOS, who are best known for their work alongside audio pioneers Sennheiser, are bringing a set of wireless earbuds to the market that are attempting to bridge the gap between your mobile gaming sessions and everyday life. With the EPOS GTW 70 Hybrid, they’ve made a strong start, producing a set of buds that could rival most in the list of our best gaming headsets when it comes to earbuds with great audio quality and a stylish design that suits any sort of set-up.
However, these versatile headphones come with a hefty retail price tag of $199/£179, which makes them a significant investment. But, thanks to an impressive audio quality, noise-cancelling, and design, it’s still an easy recommendation for most - and particularly in the realm of the best Nintendo switch headsets. And given their Sennheiser pedigree, could they rival some of the top Sennheiser gaming headsets too?
Design & Features
The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbud set has a premium feel from the moment you take the buds out of the box. The charging case is an anodized aluminium box that has a USB-C port on the back for charging, and 5 tiny LED lights to indicate how much charge it’s currently holding. This houses a magnetic charging station, which the buds themselves snap into with ease, and, on a full charge, can give the earphones a total of 20 hours of battery life.
This quality design is extended to the earbuds themselves. The black and grey finish fits with the polished and sturdy design of the set, with the pair fitting comfortably in the ear and creating a noise-cancelling seal, which does an excellent job of blocking out sound once they’re in. The left bud also has a button that can be used to control music, which is handy if you’re a run and aren’t a fan of what Spotify chucks your way.
Finally, you can connect the GTW 270 Hybrid to your devices in two different ways. The first is via standard Bluetooth, syncing to any device via the charging case. The second is via a small USB-C dongle that fits perfectly into a Switch or PS5, with a USB-C to USB cable that is also included, so you can plug it into a PS4 as well. The buds automatically connect when the dongle is plugged in, making them a breeze to set up. On a slightly disappointing note, while these earphones do come with a microphone, they can only be used when synced via Bluetooth, due to the dongle using a low-latency connection. While this is designed to get sound across as quickly as possible, so you don’t miss any audio cues in your game, it does mean that these won’t let you communicate with other players online.
Fortunately, the sound of the headphones makes up for any misgivings over the lack of a mic. Whether you’re playing Call of Duty: Warzone or Paper Mario, game audio is crisp, detailed, and directional. In Warzone, I was able to pick up on the footsteps of enemy players and locate where they’re coming from, while explosions and gunfire sounded suitably aggressive, with the bass, in particular, impressing thanks to its clarity.
Meanwhile, Paper Mario on Switch highlights how well the earphones handle the higher ends. With the game’s jaunty songs and squeaky sound effects, you’d be forgiven for expecting a bit of tinniness. But, the GTW 270s handles this as well as it’s booming bass, capturing these sounds details without making them harsh to the ear. The strong audio performance is also mirrored with music on other devices, delivering a fantastic listening experience no matter what you chuck at them.
This might not count for as much if they weren’t that comfy, but fortunately, the GTW 270 Hybrid doesn’t tax your ears too much. Different size tips are included so you can find the ideal fit for your inner ear and I was able to keep them for hours at a time without needing to take them out. On top of that, it’s incredibly easy to connect to devices, and the Bluetooth range is impressive around the house, although you probably won’t need to test the boundaries of them when playing on a Switch, considering the dongle goes into the console’s USB-C point.
Overall - should you buy them?
One of the joys of the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid is that it makes listening to music and game audio a thoroughly enjoyable experience for different reasons. Games sound great whether you’re playing on Nintendo Switch or PS5, while music is rich and detailed when listening on walks, runs, or whatever other activity you’re currently doing to get through lockdown.
However, if you’re looking for a solution for chatting with mates online, the fact that these buds don’t support chat while using the dongle means that it won’t fit the need of every gamer. While the omission is to deliver low-latency audio, it still feels peculiar considering that in every other area, these live up to their price tag.