Wireless gaming audio has been around for a while now. There are countless headphones that boast about the lag free experience their massive gaming headset can offer. But to my knowledge, EPOS, with their GTW 270 Hybrid, are the first truly wireless earbuds that deliver a gamer centric experience without cutting corners. Thanks to the USB-C Bluetooth receiver and solid build quality, these are without a doubt the gaming earbuds to beat, but they come at a cost.
The GTW 270 Hybrid feels premium from the moment you open the box. The brushed metal and build quality make them feel solid, with the design offering a subtle but striking take on “true” wireless earbuds. The earpieces offer enough weight to know you have not lost one, while still being light enough to not irritate you while using them for long periods of time.
“A good balance between style, fit and audio quality, giving an elegant clean look that is striking without being ostentatious.”
If you are used to how the Apple AirPods feel and look, the GTW 270 Hybrid have a fair bit more heft and are a bit more noticeable while in place. That being said, even over long periods, these managed to be some of the more comfortable headphones I have used. They offer a good balance between style, fit and audio quality, giving an elegant clean look that is striking without being ostentatious.
As these are wireless headphones, they do include the obligatory button used for phone related features. This small button on the top of the left earbud works well enough, but due to its size and placement, it will take some getting used to. Even with its small size, I still found it functioned better for me than a touch button – it worked every time – and that tactile feedback ensured I knew when I pressed it, and sometimes that is invaluable while on the go.
As with all wireless earbuds, the GTW 270 Hybrid comes with a handy carrying case that will keep your expensive headphones safe while also charging them. The gunmetal gives the headphones a unique look that I rather liked and offers up something different when compared to the current competition. The case includes a handy light indicator, a strong magnet to keep things closed and a USB-C connector on the back to charge them up when not in use. These are all things we have seen on countless earbuds, but the implementation by EPOS shows a level of thought and detail that I appreciate, especially at the $150 price point.
“These are without a doubt some of the best sounding wireless earbuds I have used.“
But since these are gaming earbuds, the real question is, how do they sound? Provided you use the included USB-C Bluetooth receiver, they sound phenomenal. These are without a doubt some of the best sounding wireless earbuds I have used. They deliver crystal clear audio that lets you pick up on nuanced aspects of the sound, letting you immerse yourself in the game or media. It is striking how much detail these little headphones deliver, and if you wanted to use them as standard headphones, they would be hard to beat.
As gaming headphones, they are good, although it will be hard to top a much bigger over the ear design that many headsets offer. The 6mm driver on these headphones offer clear, clean audio that can pull you into a game, but they simply don’t have the bass a bigger headset can provide. While I personally prefer the clear audio, I know many love the impact and feel of what a good set of cans can offer, and it is hard to expect these earbuds to go head-to-head with an over the ear pair with a 50mm driver, although they come really close.
“…you can use it on PC, console, or your phone.”
The included USB-C dongle is what makes this all possible. This little device delivers audio though an aptX low latency (aptX LL) codec making things lag free. This is what allows the earbuds to work so well in gaming, and since they can work on any device, it means you can use it on PC, console, or your phone.
While the headphones do offer Bluetooth without the dongle, it should be noted the two modes allow for different things. The microphone does not work when using the dongle but does work when paired by standard Bluetooth. This is to allow the best possible throughput, but thanks to a recent firmware update, released as this review was being written, the dongle now allows for simultaneous Bluetooth and wireless connection.
Playing games on my PS5 with the earbuds was also a treat, jumping into Demon’s Souls let me see the depth of sound the earbuds provide. While they do not have the widest sound stage, they are perfect for game audio – surround sound audio especially. I suddenly felt immersed in the world I was playing in with the slight movements and sounds off in the distance. They sadly do not compare to some more expensive over the ear options, but they come close, and the freedom from wires and bulk is very welcome.
The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid blends the best features of wireless with the core love of gaming. They not only delivered a great set of gaming earbuds, but they delivered an overall amazing set of headphones period. Unless you demand booming bass, or cannot live in a world of dongles, do yourself a favour and pick up the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid, you won’t be disappointed.
Update: since writing this review EPOS have improved many aspects of the headphones, and in a recent update allowing the microphone to be usable while connected to the low-latency USB-C dongle. The company has also dropped the price from $199 originally, now down to $150, making it a much more competitive product. These constant updates make the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid an even better value, one that new buyers should consider if they are looking for a gaming-focused low-latency set of earbuds.