It’s fairly easy to review the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earphones because they’re targeted at one type of user: gamers. You wouldn’t think that to look at them, though; they’re a classy set that you wouldn’t be ashamed to wear in public, and the carry case is very slick indeed. It’s a little bulky, mind, and not quite as ideal to slip in your pocket as, say, the AirPods case.
Fortunately, function nearly matches form – particularly in the gaming space. If you’re primarily purchasing these to use while on the go with your Nintendo Switch, they’re absolutely ideal. They come with a dongle that you can pop into any USB-C powered device and connect the earphones directly to it for nearly latency-free audio playback.
I’m not the most sensitive user to latency, I should caveat, but I found the experience to be pretty much on par with wired headphones, with no noticeable lag between performing an action and hearing the sound. The fact that I could have that without the frustration of a cable is the icing on the cake.
In terms of performance, the GTW 270 is a solid, if unremarkable, set of earphones. If you’re purchasing these because you’re intolerant to any form of latency whatsoever, then you’ll be pleased, but you’re going to be disappointed if you’re looking for a one-type-fits-all audio solution.
While I did find myself using these very often when playing my Switch in communal areas or while out and about, I even enjoyed using them while alone, as their closed acoustic nature really helps to immerse you in whatever game you’re playing.
But I do have gripes about the sound quality. If it wasn’t for the ease of use with which the official dongle connects to the earphones, I’d have swapped to my unofficial dongle and AirPods, which provide far superior sound quality. I also never used these when leaving the house unless I intended to play games (I like playing my Switch in the park, alright?!).
They’re perfectly serviceable when playing a game, but simply not good enough at this price point for music. I’m not an audiophile, so can’t explain the ins and outs of why it doesn’t sound as good, but, overall, it just sounds flat and tinny. I’m sure AirPods aren’t the height of quality when it comes to listening to music, but, for me, the GTW 270 paled in comparison.
Another red mark on its file is the inability to use the inbuilt mic while connecting via the dongle. Admittedly, this is a lesser issue for Switch gamers, as it’s already pretty challenging to generally talk while playing, but for the select few games that do enable it, it could prove a dealbreaker.
It’s a shame because the rest is all positive. The battery life is outstanding, providing around five hours of use on a full charge, with the case providing an additional three full uses before needing to be charged itself. That’s ideal for longer playing sessions. They’re also waterproof. Provided you don’t chuck them in the deepest of swimming pools, they’ll survive a walk or jog through the rain or an accidental trip into your washing up bowl.
What's in the box?
The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earphones come with a few nifty additions that will satisfy all of your listening needs:
- GTW 270 earphonesObviously
- DongleFor USB-C devices
- Charging caseProvides around 15 hours of juice
- USB-C to USB-A extension cableFor the old school
- Ear adapter setXS / S / M / L
Overall, the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid is just too much of a niche product to recommend at its current price point. The only type of user that will actually use it to its full potential is those who really care about latency – and even then they’re probably going to opt for a wired pair anyway. For everyone else, they’re outclassed by the competition despite costing a similar amount to the best in class.
If you want an all-in-one solution that will work across all of your gaming devices, whether in or outside of the house, they are compelling, but you’re probably better off getting a cheap dongle and a pair with better audio quality.
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