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EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Wireless Gaming Earbuds Review

EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Specs

EPOS GTW 270
PlatformNoise ControlConnectionBattery Life
PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, Mobile/TabletPassiveaptX™ Wireless, Bluetooth 5.15 Hours (15 Hours in Charging Case)

Comparing the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid to other wireless gaming earbuds on the market, it performs admirably overall. These earbuds are at the top of the list for response time thanks to the low latency made possible by the aptX™ codec via the USB dongle. They do have some shortcomings, though. These earbuds would have been more appealing to a wider market if they had included features like volume control and a USB-C microphone.

With the introduction of the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid true wireless earbuds, gaming audio took a new turn. Up until now, gamers were unlikely to abandon the traditional headphone model due to the latency problems that plagued other wireless gaming earbuds. After all, wireless headsets have been in use for some time and have proven to be capable of producing audio with low latency and high quality.

It wouldn’t be accurate to describe the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid as versatile. These earbuds use a tiny wireless USB-C dongle that, when combined with the aptX™ technology we’ll discuss in more detail below, completely changes the game.

The dongle’s small size, ability to switch between devices without lag and impressively low latency make it ideal for avid gamers who use multiple consoles or want a single audio device for their consoles and smartphones.

The Technology

The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid stands out from other wireless gaming earbuds because it uses the aptX™ codec, which has extremely low latency. A more rapid and effective method of sending high-quality audio than standard Bluetooth audio transmission is aptX™.

The technique of compression and decompression used during the transfer of data between the source device and the receiver is the key to the quick response time found in aptX™. By compressing the audio data while sending it and then decompressing it for the receiving device, the sound quality is maintained along with the quick response time.

The USB-C dongle used by the EPOS GTW 270 helps these earbuds outperform the competition and offer true wireless response times that we haven’t seen before from wireless gaming earbuds, even though there are products on the market that offer up to 60ms response time via Bluetooth. By further reducing latency, the aptX™ codec makes sure that your game and your audio are in sync.

The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid is quicker in its default configuration than the Razer Hammerhead, another pair of wireless earbuds created for the gaming market, which reduces response latency to 60ms when set to fast gaming mode.

EPOS GTW 270 Case

Gaming

Even though the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid is appropriate for all applications, the truth is that these were made with gamers in mind. For regular wireless earbuds, there are a ton of options available that provide comparable or even higher quality at a comparable price. So, how well do these earbuds perform for gamers?

Maybe the answer is a little more complicated than that. We discovered that it entirely depends on the type of gamer you are. If you play video games occasionally or as a hobby, these earbuds should meet your needs in most cases. They are incredibly versatile and will give you high-quality audio that is simple to set up.

We found the lack of microphone functionality when using the USB-C dongle to be the biggest drawback. Your gaming preferences will determine whether this is a deal-breaker for you. The problem is less obvious for gamers who prefer single-player experiences where team communication is less frequent. However, this can be a big problem if you play competitive first-person shooter games or even just like to hang out on Discord and chat with friends while playing. But it’s nothing a standalone microphone connected to your mic-in port can’t take care of.

Audio Quality

Surprisingly well, the earbuds worked well for gaming. We found it simple to become fully immersed in our gameplay thanks to the passive isolation provided by a secure in-ear fit. It was challenging to find fault with the EPOS GTW 270’s contributions to single-player adventure games where directional sound isn’t as crucial.

For example, explosions carried the strong bass that one would expect without muffling the higher frequencies. Additionally, the treble never struck me as particularly intrusive.

When panning left and right, the directional sound quality was excellent, making it simple to recognize footsteps coming from these directions. However, the front and back directional sounds lacked the depth that users of surround sound headphones may be accustomed to and were noticeably different from what you’d find in a pair of 7.1 gaming headphones. Not that they can’t be compared to other gaming earbuds available on the market. Just that a good set of wired gaming headphones might serve you better if you don’t need the versatility of the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid.

A firmware update that was implemented in April 2021 made it possible to switch between a Bluetooth audio channel that supports voice chat and your dongle at the touch of a button. This theoretically enables you to run Discord on your phone via Bluetooth and the game audio via the dongle. However, since you will have to manually switch between your audio connections when you start and stop speaking, this won’t be able to solve the problem of instant communication with teammates in real-world applications.

Performance

Despite the fact that these wireless earbuds are specifically targeted at gamers, we wanted to accurately represent the sound quality for all applications. We, therefore, took a seat and listened to their performances in various musical genres as well.

We were pleased with the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid’s audio quality during our initial tests. We didn’t feel that the bass was over-amplified or that it interfered in any way with the other frequencies, even though there is some bass boosting present, as is the case for many comparable gaming headsets on the market. In fact, the mid-range and bass seemed to harmoniously coexist in the mix. We were pleased with how well the bass was handled with this device in both the music and gaming tests.

This set of wireless earbuds really shines in the mid-range frequency range. The distinct depth of the mid-range frequency can be appreciated whether you’re gaming or listening to music, and even though it’s not perfect, it still compares favorably with high-end wired gaming headphones in the same market. We found no problems with the mids being flat or overpowered.

We are happy to report that, when it came to the high-range frequency, there were no instances of the dreaded “tin-like” metallic noises that occasionally plague cheap wireless earbuds. Instead, we discovered that the high-range frequency was very similar to the quality we heard in the mids and lows. However, there was a decrease in the treble’s depth, which occasionally made the audio seem a little flat. When playing games versus listening to music, this was more obvious.

EPOS GTW 270 Earpiece

Microphone

You should have realistic expectations for the quality of the microphone. As previously mentioned, the low-latency USB-C dongle lacks this microphone feature and is only accessible when using a Bluetooth connection.

The audio is a little bit muffled and distant, but not to the point of being completely inaudible, which is the main flaw in the microphone quality itself. We would have liked a little bit more clarity in this area, given the price point.

Noise Cancellation

The EPOS GTW 270 does not have a dedicated noise canceling feature, but you can still expect some isolation from the in-ear design, which, to be fair, does provide some noticeable isolation and helps with the immersion aspect of gaming. Naturally, the isolation won’t be as strong as it is with true noise-canceling headphones.

Wireless Quality

Using the dongle to test the wireless connection and range stability, we found that in an open room setting, the connection became spotty at a distance of about 5 meters and was lost entirely at a distance of about 6 meters.

It would have been nice to know that one could possibly go to the bathroom and back without losing connection, especially if one is in a Discord call and wants to continue hearing from their friends when the next round is about to start. However, this range is acceptable and within the range of typical use in most situations.

It is important to note that when you return to the pairing range, it automatically continues. There is, however, a brief delay to this, which typically lasts 5 seconds after you return to the wireless range.

You will have more freedom with a range of up to 15 meters if you use Bluetooth 5.1 functionality rather than the USB-C Dongle, but the low-latency feature will be sacrificed.

Setup

In modern motherboard designs with a USB-C port, the dongle can be inserted directly. In any case, you can use the USB-A to USB-C adapter cable as a bridge to enable greater compatibility with a huge variety of devices.

One may naturally take the earbuds out of the charging case and attempt to pair them with the device while holding them in the hand or even in the ear. You must, however, keep the earbuds inside the charging case while pairing.

When the dongle is inserted into your device, you’ll notice a blue light on the dongle that flashes rapidly to indicate that it is looking for the earbuds to pair with. The pairing process will now be finished when you turn on your charging case while the earbuds are inside. The LED will turn on when the earbuds are connected, letting you know.

If your device doesn’t automatically switch it to the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid by default, you might need to adjust the audio output device. In our testing, we discovered that as soon as the dongle was paired, Windows 10 would instantly switch to the earbuds as the default audio device.

Design & Feel

The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid has a stylish appearance all around. A wrapped teal accent completes the otherwise grayscale design on the inside of the box. With gray, silver, and black tones, all three of the device’s main components are also pleasing to the eye.

Neither the design nor the color scheme is offensive. EPOS chooses not to take the same route as many other gaming audio products that heavily rely on accents in bright colors. Instead, a businessman on the street could easily find these earbuds discretely tucked inside his ear.

Your earbuds won’t be moving around inside the charging case constantly when you take them out with you because they fit neatly inside and are held there by a magnetic connection. On both of the earpieces, which, for the record, feel substantial and durable, there is also a tiny LED light. Regarding the build quality, there aren’t any issues at all.

A single button, five tiny LED lights to show pairing and charging progress, and a single brand logo are all that the charging case has to offer. The building feels sturdy, but we advise against putting the charging case near other metal objects because they could scratch the metal.

The small size of the dongle, which fits into USB-C slots without impeding the nearby USB-A ports on motherboards with native support for USB-C, also impressed us.

Due to the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid’s IPX5 rating, you won’t have to be concerned about sweat or light rain harming them when wearing them outside.

Depending on the user’s ear shape, the comfort of the earpieces may or may not be subjective. But when it comes to comfort, we found very little to be upset about, and none of our team members found them uncomfortable when used for typical amounts of time. After three hours, I did begin to experience a little discomfort, but after taking it out for a moment, moving it, and putting it back, I was pain-free for another couple of hours.

We didn’t feel as though the earpieces were going to come out of the ear, and they appeared to hold their position very well. They are surprisingly discrete for what they offer and fit neatly inside the ear. However, you should be aware that removing the right earpiece will cause the audio to stop. As a result, if you want to quickly make a phone call or converse with someone nearby but don’t want the audio of your game to stop, you must remove the left earpiece.

The absence of volume control on the earbuds, in our opinion, is a drawback of the design. You might be accustomed to muting or adjusting the volume using a slider or button on the earpiece. However, there is no volume control available with the EPOS GTW 270. All volume adjustments must be made through your device’s settings. Having said that, I had anticipated this to be a much bigger problem during testing.

Although there were still times when I wished I could temporarily lower the volume, I was impressed with the device’s normal volume level. I was concerned that loud shooters would drown out other background noises, which would require more volume. However, in our experience, the volume never seemed unbalanced or excessively loud, or soft.

The set volume level isn’t quite as high as some other earbuds on the market, however, so if you’re looking to really fill your ears with music, you might wish for a little bit more volume.

EPOS GTW 270 Tips

Battery

When used in real-world situations, we discovered that the battery life was only 5 hours, which is a little on the low side. However, the recharge times are quite impressive. Using the charging case, you can extend this battery’s life to 15 hours (3 recharge cycles). This didn’t seem practical, though.

The real caveat here is that we are accustomed to seeing longer battery life from other comparable products on the market that aren’t offering low-latency functionality. Since this technology is new to the market, there aren’t any established benchmarks for what to anticipate in terms of battery performance for a device with this functionality. Comparing them directly to other earbuds on the market that don’t offer that same low-latency feature would be unfair.

However, we do see some drawbacks from a 5-hour battery life, particularly for hardcore gamers who frequently spend more time than that in a single sitting grinding through their raid encounter or getting lost in a new virtual world.

Compatibility

There is no denying that the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid’s wide range of device compatibility and each of those devices’ usability are major benefits. One of the best features of the product, in our opinion, is the quick and seamless switching between consoles and devices.

According to EPOS, all supported devices include mobile/tablet, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch, and computers. Even though the Playstation 5 isn’t mentioned on the manufacturer’s specification sheet, we discovered that it can support the GTW 270. Unfortunately, the incompatibility of Microsoft consoles with Xbox consoles is a significant disadvantage for gamers.

The April 2021 firmware update made the earbuds feel more adaptable by enabling one-button switching between Bluetooth and the low-latency dongle.

Conclusion

Gamers who previously had to put up with out-of-sync audio when using wireless earpieces should be grateful for what the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid has to offer in terms of a true low-latency wireless option. However, the low-latency feature has a number of drawbacks. The most glaring disadvantage of the dongle is probably its lack of microphone functionality.

It probably doesn’t make sense to choose these wireless earbuds if portability and versatility aren’t important to you, as there are many gaming headphones available for less money that offer better quality and full microphone capabilities.

The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid, on the other hand, might be just what you’re looking for if you frequently switch between gaming consoles and want something you can take outside and use as an all-purpose earbud.

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