EPOS has chosen to land on the gaming market with a rather unusual first offer. The Danish manufacturer has launched its GTW 270 Hybrid, True Wireless headphones that logically connect to Bluetooth and via a dongle that promises latency-free listening on PlayStation (PS4 / PS5), PC, or Nintendo Switch. A segment where competition is therefore almost non-existent, rightly?
|Balanced, controlled and powerful sound||No voice chat with the dongle|
|Very wide connectivity||Faulty USB-A to USB-C adapter|
|Comfortable, stable fit||No power-saving features|
Now separated from Sennheiser, EPOS have their work cut out to claim their expertise in audio, and more specifically in the field of audio gaming. Based on a rich heritage, this brand of the Demant group is in charge of taking over the gaming activities of Sennheiser. The imposing and powerful EPOS | SENNHEISER GSP 670 is, as such, the last gaming headset to bear the crest of the German firm. The time has come to see how the Nordics of EPOS operate this mutation.
EPOS targets gamers with its intra and aptX Low Latency connection provided by the USB-C dongle, but not only. We are actually dealing with versatile and multi-platform True Wireless headphones that combine mobile use and everyday gaming.
There are few contenders for true gaming use. Only Razer has tried the formula with its Hammerhead True Wireless, recently available in a “Pro” version which notably displays a “very low latency 60 ms” connection, with ANC and THX spatial sound.
For gaming, most manufacturers stick to a classic form factor, supra or circumaural, for headsets designed primarily for sedentary use, even when it comes to wireless gaming headsets. The idea of having an audio product designed for gamers that fit in the pocket is therefore rather appealing; let’s see what it is with these GTW 270 Hybrids.
- EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid headphones
- 4x ear tips
- USB-C dongle
- Silicone cover for USB-C dongle
- USB-C to USB-A conversion adapter for USB-C dongle
- Charging case
- USB-C to USB-A charging cable
- Quick start guide
|EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid|
|Colors||Black, Silver, Grey|
|Battery life||6 hours|
The GTW 270 can quickly be summed up: the headphones, the case, like the packaging, convey the image of a high-end product.
The whole thus benefits from a sober and well-crafted design, breathing robustness. The headphones thus display color in perfect harmony with the charging case, which is made of anodized aluminum. Two magnetic slots accommodate the headphones to not move by a hair, even when the case is opened and turned upside down.
Everything is relatively discreet, especially as the weight of the case with headphones just exceeds 75 g. So no worries about being slipped into a bag or even in a pocket as long as you do not wear tight clothes. The case and its hinges provide a strong closure, so it should be quite rare to see it inadvertently opening during transport.
Like the headphones, this box is minimalist: there is a button allowing Bluetooth pairing, a series of five small LEDs indicating its charge threshold (and successful pairing of the headphones), as well as a USB-C port to the back.
|Dimensions earphone||180 x 119 x 59.94 mm|
The charging/carrying case design is attractive but has a small weakness as this case does not mix well with other metal objects that we often find in our pockets and bags! It will thus be preferable to be careful because with key contacts, for example, scratches will inevitably be visible.
|Supported codecs||aptX / aptX-LL / SBC|
|Frequency Response||20 – 20,000 Hz|
|Transducer||dynamic (6 mm), closed|
EPOS has made its headphones very easy to use; we expect no less when it comes to True Wireless; however, the ergonomics are very limited to the controls.
For a connection via Bluetooth, the pairing is done directly from the box. All you have to do is open the case, then press its single button for a long time. The search for Bluetooth devices can thus be launched on the smartphone or the like. The method is much the same with the USB-C dongle, except that it is necessary to press the button located on the dongle during the first pairing.
The only control is on the left ear cup. Unfortunately, the GTW 270s do not have a tactile zone. The possibilities are limited with this button; it allows, in particular, to take a call or hang up by pressing, but to control the playback of multimedia content.
For example, you can play or pause a song on Spotify with one tap, change the track with two taps, or resume playback from scratch with three taps. Finally, on a smartphone, a long press invokes the voice assistant, Bixby in our case. If a single press does not pose too many problems for taking calls, this device clearly lacks ergonomics for functions, after all, limited to this price. In particular, it is impossible to adjust the volume via headphones, except using voice commands on smartphones and others.
Alright, but what about the sonic performance of these headphones? EPOS clearly has a legacy to preserve as it succeeds Sennheiser. If we have previously raised a few disadvantages, it is clear that its headphones are quite amazing if we focus only on the sound.
First of all, we must underline the excellent passive isolation offered by the cannula and the silicone tips. The wider tips allow you to isolate yourself from our environment, thus providing a much better immersion. This is all the more important since, without the aptX microphone, we can say that the GTW 270 Hybrids are more intended for solo games, where the degree of immersion plays a crucial role in the gaming experience.
Precisely, with these tips, the bass is very present, deep, without overshadowing the midrange and treble. The sound is relatively round; without excess, the great amateurs of bass will perhaps not find their happiness there; one remains on a signature which puts on the balance. The rendering does not lack clarity and a certain homogeneity with a beautiful mastery of space; however, the level of detail seems to lack precision on the highs, which do rather well while maintaining a listening volume. Moderate.
|Battery Life||Up to 6 hours|
|Charging Time||1.3 hrs|
|Qi Wireless Charging||No|
The GTW 270s are not one of those True Wireless headphones that break the ceiling of battery life. With an average of 5 hours, the autonomy is still correct. We can also expect a little more in Bluetooth depending on the codecs and a little less with the aptX LL.
Fortunately, the case offers three charge cycles (for a total of 20 hours of battery life) and a quick charge that allows you to accumulate 60 minutes of battery life with a 15-minute charge. Apart from that, it is necessary to wait 1 hour 30 minutes for both headphones to be fully charged. As for the case itself, it takes 1h 45m to be fully charged via its USB-C port. It is not compatible with wireless charging.
|Connection||Bluetooth 5.1 / aptX LL (low latency) via USB-C dongle|
EPOS provides some accessories with its headphones, starting with the USB-C dongle, inseparable from this Hybrid version. It is also accompanied by silicone protection fitted with a buckle so as not to lose it. There are also three pairs of tips to find the perfect fit and a USB-A to USB-C adapter cable to use the dongle with equipment where this connector is absent.
Headphones still have an advantage on a PC because they take advantage of the Sennheiser EPOS Gaming Suite desktop application, which allows various settings, especially with an equalizer, but also the action of surround sound! We regret not being able to use a similar application on a smartphone, so you will have to go through the audio settings of your device or through another application to personalize the experience a little.
Successful bet for EPOS with these True Wireless headphones that reconcile nomadism and gaming. The lack of active reduction and other functions will cool some at this price. Still, the comfortable wearing in all circumstances, the excellent passive isolation, aptX LL, and the sound performance of the GTW 270 manage to convince easily. In a nutshell, this is an excellent alternative for those looking not to clutter and enjoy immersive sound in-game, but just as attractive with other multimedia content.