EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Earbuds Review – Premium Bluetooth Buds Built Specifically For Gaming
I’ve been spending some time with the $199 GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds from EPOS, formerly Sennheiser – the first Bluetooth earbuds created specifically for gaming. They’re as good as some over-ear headsets I’ve used.
The earbuds are built around low-latency audio, achieved through a USB-C dongle. Once they’re in, there’s no perceptible lag. Playing Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC, the audio performance fully pulls you into the world, with every gunshot echoing off canyon walls and around your actual skull.
They look the part, too. Gunmetal and slick, they come with a little charging case that looks like a tiny coffin for earbud royalty. Pop them in, close the lid, and it’ll juice them up for five hours of playtime.
It took a bit of tweaking to find the right size silicone tips for my ears – turns out I have massive ear holes, so they taught me something about myself, too – but once they’re in, you forget they’re even there. The word “ergonomic” is thrown around a lot in hardware, but these are like putting loud slippers on your ears.
They also cover the entire ear when sat correctly, blocking out the sound of the real world so you can sink into the virtual. The only downside to that is you can hear the inside of your own head. I clench my jaw a lot more than is healthy, it turns out. Welcome to the pandemic years.
They’re plug and play, too. I mostly used them on PC, but you can also connect them to your mobile phone, Switch, PS4, and PS5 (sorry, Xbox players), and they connect up automatically once the dongle is in. You have to pair the buds with the dongle by using the USB to USB-C cable that comes with them, however, since connecting the Bluetooth dongle straight to USB-C gives you intermittent audio.
One thing is worth noting, though: they’re built for experiential games – single-player experiences – so you can’t talk to your friends if you’re planning to play multiplayer games. This is down to the technical limitations of aptX, which EPOS is using to pull off that zero-lag audio. The built-in mic does work for phone calls, but these little buds are for playing alone, without your actual buds. Sit down with something like Red Dead Redemption 2 and get lost in the wilderness, and save screaming at your pals in Fortnite for another time.
The GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds are more expensive than other options, but they feel, look, and sound premium. They’ll also teach you that you have big ear holes and you should probably unclench your jaw, which is a bonus.
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Kirk is the Editor-in-Chief at The Gamer. He likes Arkane games a little too much.
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