With the GTW 270 and GTW 270 Hybrid, Epos has two genuine in-house developments in its luggage: The wireless in-ear plugs are not only aimed at smartphone users, but also at gamers. The difference to other Bluetooth headphones is not only made by the suffix “Hybrid”, but above all by the dongle included in the scope of delivery. Plugged in and connected, the GTW 270 Hybrid can then also be used on a PC, Nintendo Switch or Sony Playstation 4 and 5 consoles. What at first sounds like a casual detail is actually the highlight of the hybrid version, which differs from the standard version - without hybrid - in terms of connectivity, but is of equal sound quality. In the following test, we reveal what Epos new in-ear headphones have for gamers in terms of sound technology.


Wireless, Bluetooth, in-ear - this is a rather rare combination for gamers. When it comes to gaming, peripheral manufacturers usually rely on bulky over-ear headphones. At least in this segment there is no shortage. The sound experts from Epos now want to convince players with their alternative. From a purely technical point of view, there is an essential hurdle to overcome: the missing cable. Epos succeeds, so much has already been revealed at this point, extraordinarily well. The GTW 270 thus become a real alternative.

Epic GTW 270 Hybrid: light, good sound

True wireless is not a completely new invention, and even in the gaming segment there were already one or two in-ear plugs from the competition - so far the selection was not particularly large, at least for gamers. The advantages are obvious: you don't need oversized headphones to bring good sound to your ears. In the meantime, sound technology has advanced so far that size alone is no longer a quality feature.

The plugs last around five hours on a single charge - the enclosed, well-made charging case provides extra juice. Photo: André Volkmann

The plugs last around five hours on a single charge - the enclosed, well-made charging case provides extra juice. Photo: André Volkmann

Epos initially relies on the aptX codec, which is supposed to transport the sound without delay, and wirelessly, which is exactly the challenge. This succeeds and puts the Epos GTW 270 Hybrid in a good starting position to conquer the market. Thanks to “aptX LL”, the latency is reduced to up to 60 ms - you can even use this on your smartphone by using the USB-C dongle, which is actually used to connect to your home gaming stations, i.e. the PC or the consoles. The simple background: Smartphones do not support the “aptX LL” codec by default.

As a gamer, you might first ask yourself why you should get true wireless in-ears at all. Yes, most gamers usually have a gaming headset - but this is often designed for stationary use on a device. Because multi-gaming is widespread on different platforms these days, Epos' GTW 270 Hybrid can show their greatest strengths when it comes to connectivity. And that works without any technical hurdles, even with Nintendo's hybrid console, which, of course, you wouldn't necessarily trust. But: The Nintendo Switch recognizes the USB-C dongle without any problems.

Unfortunately, the USB-C dingle has to be stored separately. We decided on an obvious variant because we see the greatest added value in the GTW 270 Hybrid in connection with the Nintendo Switch. Photo: André Volkmann

Unfortunately, the USB-C dongle has to be stored separately. We decided on an obvious variant because we see the greatest added value in the GTW 270 Hybrid in connection with the Nintendo Switch. Photo: André Volkmann

The Epos GTW 270 Hybrid last a little over five hours, sometimes a little less - depending on the load. The battery life is solid, the enclosed “case”, the functional protective case, provides for an extension, with which ultimately combined around 18 to 20 hours of operating time are inside. If you have to charge, the in-ears hang on the electricity for almost 90 minutes. In an emergency, a quick charge function ensures a running time of just under an hour after 15 minutes of refueling. Compared to the competition, the GTW 270 doesn't last quite as long, but in most cases the five-hour runtime is more than sufficient.

By the way, a cool trick would have been to have a place for the USB-C dongle in the charging case. The small accessory is about the size of half a two-euro coin; a slot in the bottom would have been possible. So you have to keep the dongle separately, not optimally, but also not a big problem - especially since Epos has included at least a small silicone cover with an integrated loop.

The trick with connectivity

Back to the connection properties of the Epos GTW 270 Hybrid. Has everything been said about that? Not at all. The connectivity of the all-rounder is associated with some restrictions. If you use the dongle, you can take advantage of the strong connection properties of the in-ears, but then the microphone will not work. In other words: In this case, the headphones are only used for playback - which at the same time makes the button on the left plug obsolete.

Easy to use: The USB-C dongle is simply plugged into the appropriate port, or optionally connected via an adapter cable. The rest is then "magic" - and a little bit of technology. Photo: André Volkmann

Easy to use: The USB-C dongle is simply plugged into the appropriate port, or optionally connected via an adapter cable. The rest is then “magic” - and a little bit of technology. Photo: André Volkmann

So if you play multiplayer games often or even exclusively and want to rely on team communication via voice chat, you can only fall back on it if the GTW 270 are connected “classically” via Bluetooth. In this regard, pairing worked without any problems, both via the tried and tested method and via a USB-C dongle. In the latter case, connection disturbances may occur occasionally, which is probably due to the signal transmission and cannot be traced back to the devices themselves. An indication of this is the irregularity of possible connection dropouts and the fact that the pure Bluetooth functionality works without any problems.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:
Model: In-Ear
connectivity: Low latency and Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C dongle
Battery pack: Five hours, up to 20 more hours with a box
Fast charge: Yes - 15 minutes for 60 minutes of use
Noise suppression: No
Language: Microphones for calls
Water resistance: According to IPX 5 from sweat and light rain
Manufacturer: Email
Manufacturer website: eposaudio.com

Incidentally, the charging case is at the heart of the connection; this is where the first pairing can be done. A long press on the single button on the case initiates the process, and corresponding instructions can then be heard via the in-ears. Small LED lamps on the case provide information on the pairing status on the one hand and the charge status on the other. That is well resolved, clear and practical.

 

Once the connection has been established, various commands can be carried out using the button on the left in-ear. For example, calls can be managed or the music control operated. By the way: If you use the GTW 270 for telephoning, the right handset serves as the master, where the microphone is also housed. Epos relies on an asynchronous wireless connection, so you always have to listen to calls or music with the right plug if you just want to do it with an in-ear. Actually no problem - if the control button weren't attached to the left earpiece of all places. In practice, however, this is ultimately an inconvenient detail that has far less effect than one might assume.

Carrying comfort: Can also be used for long-term sessions

When it comes to design, Epos is based on what you might know from other manufacturers. The in-ear headphones - they are only available in anthracite-gray - look clunky at first glance, but when you touch them you can tell that they are well made and that the weight is also low. Once you have placed the plugs in your ears, you will quickly notice: the in-ears are tight and comfortable, even over a long period of time. Rubber heads in different sizes also ensure that the plugs can be adapted to the anatomy of the ear. This is standard nowadays, but also with the Epos GTW 270 ensures that you are at least partially shielded from the environment. However, the hybrid true wireless earphones do not offer active noise suppression.

Better fit, better sound: the in-ears can be easily adapted to the anatomy of the ear with the help of the enclosed silicone nubs. Photo: André Volkmann

Better fit, better sound: the in-ears can be easily adapted to the anatomy of the ear with the help of the enclosed silicone nubs. Photo: André Volkmann

Once you get used to the in-ears, you quickly forget that you are wearing the plugs in your ears. Due to the low weight, the headphones are barely noticeable. The buttons on the left in-ear are also easy to reach, even if - perhaps due to the high price - a touch button would have been a bit more user-friendly.

Nevertheless: The push of a button works as it should, triggers the important features - especially the activation of the voice assistant is a clear plus point nowadays. However, there is a drawback for the volume that cannot be controlled via the button, which would probably have been one of the most sensible setting options, especially for gamers. So if it cracks too loud and buzzes in the ears, the way to reduce the volume is through the end device and not the headphones. On the smartphone and on the Nintendo Switch - this is where you can see the greatest benefit for the Epos GTW 270 - readjustment is quick and easy anyway.

Sound: Especially good for gaming

You have to invest around 200 euros for the Epos GTW 270 Hybrid, the standard version costs just under 30 euros less. You can expect good sound for that - and you get that, albeit with a few restrictions. The sound properties of the wireless in-ears are particularly evident when gaming. In mobile gaming on the smartphone, for example, opponents' steps can be identified if you put your hand on one of the team shooters that are now available. Call of Duty, for example. The GTW 270 also sound good and reasonable for their price in other games. In any case: Epos' true wireless headphones are always convincing when it comes to mixed sound, i.e. highs, mids and basses occur in a combination. Often the basses with their room filling save the soundscape.

But this also applies: If mid-range or high tones dominate, the compact in-ears reach their limits. You can compensate for this by trying out the silicone attachments in different sizes. This has a noticeable effect. The better the headphones sit in the ears, the better and more voluminous the sound image will also sound. Pure music enthusiasts will also enjoy the GTW 270, although the genre is very important. It's difficult with classical music, rock and pop go well - here, too, it becomes clear: the greatest challenges lie in the mids and highs. Films, on the other hand, especially on smartphones, are well served in terms of sound technology thanks to Epos' own development.

The sound characteristics are convincing - in some areas, especially when bass is involved, the GTW 270 is really fun. Photo: André Volkmann

The sound characteristics are convincing - in some areas, especially when bass is involved, the GTW 270 is really fun. Photo: André Volkmann

The GTW 270 are typical all-rounders that do not impress with their bombastic sound, but with their practicality. According to the epic, a frequency response of 20 to 20.000 Hz is covered, the maximum sound pressure level is 100 db. The plug on the PC in combination with the Gaming Suite from Epos can also take part in Virtual 7.1 - also quite a good level, albeit less pronounced than real 7.1 sound. In connection with the software, which among other things offers an equalizer, you can readjust well, sensibly and noticeably at the home gaming station. This is not absolutely necessary, because the GTW 270 sound good enough in everyday use.

Conclusion on the test of the Epos GTW 270 Hybrid

We tested the Epos in-ears for around three weeks, in different situations and on different platforms. How well the true wireless plugs perform depends largely on the usage: On the PC, the wireless Bluetooth earphones provide solid to good results, especially when gaming. With the associated software, you can even tease out some sound quality.

The fact that the headphones can also be used on consoles is a clear plus point: Epos' sound plugs triumph especially in connection with the Nintendo Switch. And: The GTW 270 can also be used excellently on a smartphone. You have to make some compromises if you otherwise rely on surround sound with a corresponding speaker setup and AVR for stationary gaming or if you use high-priced headphones. Nevertheless, the light, but above all comfortable earplugs do well in a direct comparison. The more optimized the fit, the better the sound that ultimately arrives in the ear.

Ultimately, it is the flexibility in the possible areas of application that make the Epos GTW 270 Hybrid a serious competitor. A quick video conference on the PC, then switching to the mobile game, later a round on the Nintendo Switch and then maybe an hour on the phone with the smartphone? The epic listeners would be present at all activities and could deliver. Epos can pay for the flexibility well, but if you rely on it or see the multi-functionality as a full bonus, you currently have few alternatives. The GTW 270 are convincing as a complete package: They are not specialists, but excellent all-rounders.


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Last updated on 30.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API