You should have the right tools for the job, even if those tools come at a higher-than-average cost in return for quality. In saying that, versatility and adaptability can be just as important when you’ve got several jobs. The importance of a good gaming headset can’t be understated, but it can be hard to justify if you need another pair of headphones or earbuds for everyday use. EPOS has attempted to meet everyday needs while providing a solid gaming experience with the GTW 270 Hybrid Wireless Earbuds. Offering multiple connection options, microphone support and a comfortable design, the GTW 270s are an impressive set of earbuds that will meet various lifestyle and gaming needs.
If you’ve ever used a pair of wireless earbuds to listen to music, the GTW 270s will be immediately familiar to you. Compatible with mobile, PC, Switch, PS5 and PS4, the Hybrids can connect via Bluetooth or the included USB-C low latency dongle. Connecting via Bluetooth is as simple as opening the lid on the earbud’s small metal charging case and then selecting them on your mobile or PC. Connection is made quickly and easily, with an audio prompt letting you know you’re good to go. Connecting to your console of choice (sorry, Xbox) is just as simple, with the earbuds automatically detecting and connecting to the dongle when plugged in. A USB-C to USB-A converter comes in the box as well, ensuring that PS4 users aren’t required to make a separate purchase. I never need to put much, or any, thought into pairing to devices, which is the best praise you could ask for.
The earbuds are lightweight enough not to feel awkward but solid enough not to feel cheap or brittle. The shape makes for very comfortable wearing, while the modest size ensures that you don’t look ridiculous or risk ripping them out of your ears if you take off a hoodie. The buds are housed in a relatively small and sturdy metal case with a matte finish that, if I’m honest, looks pretty damn cool. Accessing the earbuds is made easy with a magnetic lid that closes firmly, with storage being similarly simple thanks to magnetic contact charging that keeps them in place. Both in terms of the physical act of using them and how they easily pair, the 270’s user experience is nearly flawless.
Ladies and gentlemen, the content of the box
Getting them out of the case and paired with your device is all well and good, but the quality of the audio experience is what really matters. Compared to other earbuds I’ve used, I was genuinely impressed with what the 270s offer. The audio is crisp and has weight, with the bass during certain gameplay moments being quite surprising for such a small device. I can’t say that they outperform higher-end over-ear headphones, but they more than hold their own in their space. The earbuds don’t have any kind of active noise cancelling, which might be a bummer for some, but I didn’t notice a great deal of bleed-through from surrounding noise. I did, however, run into an issue where audio would be distorted for the first few seconds after pairing with the dongle, but it quickly resolved itself each time.
A welcome feature that was added with this iteration of the GTW 270s is mic support via the USB-C dongle. Previous versions only allowed for audio, but the new units fully support voice chat using the in-built dual microphones. I tested the mics with phone calls when paired to my Pixel and during online multiplayer sessions on my PS5, and they certainly do the job. As expected, the quality isn’t what it would be if I used a headset with a boom mic, but it’s clear and audible. The friends I played online with likened it to using the in-built mic on the PS5 controller or talking to someone on speakerphone, so it’s far from a negative experience.
One thing I was left wanting, particularly when using the earbuds on a console, was on-device audio control. A single button on the right earbud can pause, play and skip songs when connected via Bluetooth, but it becomes obsolete when paired to the dongle. On a Switch, it’s easy enough to change the volume at any time, but it can be cumbersome on a PS4/5.
Pairing is as easy as plugging in the dongle and waiting for it to turn purple
It’s also worth noting that only the right earbud is enabled with Bluetooth, so you’ll be limited to using just that side if you need to take one out to talk to someone or prefer to have one in while gaming or listening to music. It’s not a significant issue, but it’s something that I kept forgetting, leaving me in silence while I fiddle around to swap them out.
In terms of battery life, these little fellas will keep going strong for roughly four hours before needing a charge. The case has about 20 hours of charge, so as long as you’re diligent with returning the buds to the case when they’re not in use, you’ll rarely find yourself going without. Even still, the earbuds can manage a full charge when placed in the case within about an hour, getting you back in action quickly.
As with the H3 Hybrid and H3PRO Hybrid that I’ve reviewed, the GTW 270s can be connected to the EPOS Gaming Suite to update their software, but that’s about it. Luckily, the Suite has been updated since I last used it for review, making it far easier to access, but it’s still pretty bare bones. Luckily these earbuds don’t gain much from hooking them up.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that the GTW 270s look pretty damn cool
I’ve always been a fan of higher-end headphones, so while curious, I never thought I would be all that into gaming earbuds. And while I may not be ready to make the change full-time, the EPOS GTW 270 earbuds have proven to me that they’re a viable option. Solid audio performance, multiple connection options, great build quality and a comfortable design ensure that the 270s justify their $229 price tag whether they’re being used for everyday music listening or night-long gaming sessions.
Review unit supplied by the manufacturer