UPDATE: The lovely folks over at EPOS reached out to tell me that enabling the microphone when connected to the dongle is a simple matter of upgrading the firmware to the latest version via the EPOS Gaming Suite, which is definitely a welcome feature!
True gaming on the go means being able to whip out your phone and dive into your favorite hundred-hour RPG adventure or solving your puzzle of the day in bite-sized chunks anytime, anywhere – and with that kind of accessibility, having the right audio gear to complement that lifestyle is a must.
With the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid gaming earbuds, mobile gamers can indulge in lush soundscapes while immersing themselves in their pick-up-and-play titles – but are these peripherals a necessary expense, or are you better off with wireless headsets instead?
Table of contents:
EPOS GTW 270 HYBRID DESIGN AND HARDWARE
The in-ear gaming audio earbuds come housed in a sleek metal charging case – something I actually like thumbing through every now and then thanks to its smooth finish and elegant feel. The compact case can be easily slipped into my jeans pocket or chucked into my bag when I’m off somewhere in a hurry, but while it features a pretty sturdy build, I do have qualms about accidentally scratching the surface if I’m not careful .
Still, the robust feel and weight of the case are complemented nicely by the magnetic clasp that easily snaps open to reveal the actual buds. They fit nice and snug into the case (although clumsy me still has trouble trying to pry them out of the case every so often), and, as expected, charge up automatically each time they’re housed inside.
The package comes with a USB-C dongle for low latency connectivity, along with a handy silicone cover for it. To be honest, I don’t really see the need for this silicone case – it would have been a more portable option to have a nook in the charging case itself where the dongle can be kept. There’s also a useful USB-C to USB-A conversion adapter included in the package, and four ear tips you can switch out to make sure the earbuds fit your ears the right way.
This, I feel, is a true godsend, as the default silicone ear tips were too large for my taste. Having them on made my ears hurt after a while, so switching to the smaller-sized ear tips made sure my ears were well-cushioned while keeping the buds secure at the same time. I even used the earbuds during a quick morning jog, and they still stayed on despite the terrain and the sweat.
Speaking of which, the GTW 270 Hybrid gaming earphones boast an IPX5 rating, so while I wouldn’t feel too comfortable using them out in the rain, I suppose it’s nice to know that you can be out in a drizzle without worrying about ruining your peripherals forever.
GAMING EXPERIENCE, BATTERY LIFE AND CONNECTIVITY
Of course, they’re called “gaming” earbuds, so while it might seem like the term was just slapped onto the product as a marketing strategy, they really do boast a stellar performance during long gaming sessions. I particularly liked how comfortable they were in my ears, and while there are no volume controls here (more on this later), it’s easy to just pluck the left piece off and leave the right one in when you need to hear what’s going on around you (it doesn’t work the other way around).
There’s also a single physical button on the left earpiece that lets you play and pause your music, or skip a track and repeat the same song should you feel inclined. This isn’t exactly useful for gaming at all, but it’s nice to have as an extra feature when you’re listening to your own tunes in the background.
As for the battery life, EPOS claims that you can play for up to five hours straight on the earbuds, with the charging case lasting for up to 20 hours. It should take an hour and a half to charge the earbuds and a little less than two hours for the whole charging case.
The sound itself is fab enough for me, especially since the portability is just off the charts. I don’t have to lug a headset around when I’m in the mood for a quick match in public – all I need is my dongle (which performs better than Bluetooth, in my opinion) and I’m off on another exhilarating quest to save the world.
WHAT’S THE VERDICT?
That’s not to say the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid doesn’t have its flaws. For one thing, the microphone only works with the Bluetooth connection and not with the dongle. For another, it doesn’t look inconspicuous at all since it does look a little bulky when they’re worn.
The lack of touch controls on the earbuds themselves may be a dealbreaker for some, but for me, I actually really like it – it certainly keeps me from accidentally doing something I wasn’t intending to do whenever I adjust the buds. To be quite honest, I never really liked touch controls on earbuds, so if that means foregoing the on-ear volume controls for a more tactile approach, I’m all for it.
The gaming earbuds also claim to help you focus more during intense sessions thanks to their special BrainAdapt technology, which, while it does sound good on paper, didn’t really stand out to me. In all honesty, I wasn’t even sure it was working or if it was just a fancy way of packaging the device, but it does have a hilarious ad on it that’s all about an extraterrestrial NPC Karen expressing her outrage about this auditory threat.
Overall, the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds are as portable as they can get, which is perfect for mobile gamers. Performance-wise, I still love the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid better, but if you’re looking for something a little bit more discreet on the daily commute, then these gaming earbuds certainly won’t disappoint.
BUY LINK: EPOS