Sound is without a doubt one of the most important factors that makes a video game special. From the symphonic tones of the Final Fantasy series to the unsettling creaks found in Resident Evil, all the way to the high-pitched yahoo’s of Super Mario, sound often elevates games and helps them reach their true potential. But what if you’re playing games on a device with lacklustre audio capabilities, and are yearning for an improved experience? That’s precisely the reason that the EPOS GSX 300 I was created.
The EPOS GSX 300 is an external sound card and as mentioned, its purpose is to improve audio performance on PCs. Visually, it’s a pretty looking box with a light-up volume wheel and profile switching button on its front. The volume wheel has a satisfying tactile sensation to it and the profile button is small but responsive. Setup is simple and involves plugging in the EPOS GSX 300 into your PC’s USB slot and connecting your headphones or mic to the allotted slots on the backside of the device. Unfortunately, the EPOS GSX 300 doesn’t feature a USB port and only works with standard 3.5MM connectors. As a result, those with Bluetooth headset are unable to connect to the EPOS GSX 300 without an adapter, which is an unfortunate omission. Also, while the device itself is unobtrusive, when connecting to a headset the cord can be obtrusive.
The volume wheel controls the overall PC volume levels and doesn’t affect your headsets volume slider. It lights up different colours, depending on which profile is selected, and there are four preset profiles to flip through: Music, Esport, Movie, and Flat. Being able to swap sound profiles with the push of a button is a wonderful feeling and I found myself using the EPOS GSX 300 often, even though my PC has a solid Sound Card built-in. While all of the presets sound different and are tailored to their specific function, the Esport one is easily the standout. It effectively manages to focus in on minute details such as enemy footsteps and far away gunfire.
The real selling point is how second-nature the flipping through the different sound profiles is. After playing a few rounds of Apex Legends with some friends we decided to watch a movie on Netflix Party and with a push of the button I was set to movie mode and ready to enjoy the film. In addition, you can customize your own sound profiles and swap between them, and you can set the button to swap between 2.0 Sound Mode and 7.1 Surround Sound for further on the go sound tailoring.
At $109 CAD the EPOS GSX 300 isn’t ridiculously expensive but it is similar in price to a mid-tier headset. If your PC already has a solid sound card then it may not be worth the price. That being said, it’s worth looking into if you’re in the market for a sound boost, or are interested in some on the go customization.
Overall, the EPOS GSX 300 is a stellar external sound card at a moderate price. It boasts simple profile-swapping, a sleek aesthetic and satisfying volume control. While it does lack Bluetooth integration and isn’t necessary for those with good sound cards, its ease of access and on-the-fly profile-swapping make it an intriguing addition to any gaming setup.