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 the name suffix "Hybrid", but above all the dongle included in the scope of delivery. Plugged in and connected, the GTW 270 Hybrid can then also be used on the PC, the Nintendo Switch or the Sony Playstation 4 and 5 consoles. What initially sounds like a casual detail is actually the highlight of the hybrid variant, which differs from the standard version – without hybrid – in terms of connectivity, but is on par in terms of sound. In the following test, we reveal what Epo's new in-ear headphones have to offer in terms of sound for gamers.
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.
Epos initially relies on the aptX codec, which is supposed to transport the sound without delay and wirelessly, which is exactly the challenge. It 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 make use of this on your smartphone by using the USB-C dongle, which is actually used to connect to the home gaming stations, i.e. the PC or the consoles, is intended. The simple background: smartphones do not natively support the “aptX LL” codec.
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 operation on a device. Because multi-gaming on different platforms is widespread these days, Epos' GTW 270 Hybrid can demonstrate its greatest strength in connectivity. And this works without any technical hurdles, even with Nintendo's hybrid console, which of course you wouldn't necessarily expect to do that. But the Nintendo Switch recognizes the USB-C dongle without any problems.
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" ensures an extension, i.e. the functional protective casket, which ultimately combined with around 18 to 20 hours of operating time is possible. If you have to charge them, the in-ears are plugged in for almost 90 minutes. In an emergency, a quick charge function ensures a running time of almost 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 hours 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.
So if you play multiplayer titles frequently or exclusively and want to rely on team communication via voice chat, you can only use it if the GTW 270 are “classically” connected via Bluetooth. The pairing worked without any problems in this regard, both via the tried and tested method and via USB-C dongle. With the latter, there are at most occasional connection problems, which is probably due to the signal transmission and cannot be attributed 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-Earconnectivity: Low latency and Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C dongleBattery pack: Five hours, up to 20 more hours with a boxFast charge: Yes - 15 minutes for 60 minutes of useNoise suppression: NoLanguage: Microphones for callsWater resistance: According to IPX 5 from sweat and light rainManufacturer: EmailManufacturer 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.
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 variant costs almost 30 euros less. You can expect good sound in return - and you get that, albeit with some limitations. The wireless in-ears play out the sound properties especially when gaming. In mobile gaming, for example, you can make out opponents' steps on your smartphone if you put your hand on one of the team shooters that are now available. About Call of Duty. The GTW 270 also sound good with other games and are appropriate for their price. In any case, Epos' true wireless headphones are always convincing when it comes to mixed sound, i.e. a combination of highs, mids and basses. The basses often save the soundscape with their room filling.
However, 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. That has a noticeable effect. The better the headphones sit in the ears, the better and more voluminous the sound image sounds. Pure music enthusiasts will also have fun with the GTW 270, although the genre then has a lot to do with it. You have a hard time with classic 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 by Epos' own development in terms of sound.
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.
Dass sich die Kopfhörer zudem an Konsolen verwenden lassen, ist ein deutlicher Pluspunkt: Vor allem in Verbindung mit der Nintendo Switch trumpfen Epos‘ Sound-Stöpsel auf. Und: Auch am Smartphone lassen sich die GTW 270 hervorragend nutzen. Einige Abstriche muss man machen, wenn man bei stationären Gaming ansonsten auf Surround-Sound mit entsprechendem Boxen-Setup und AVR setzt oder hochpreisige Kopfhörer nutzt. Dennoch schlagen sich die leichten, vor allem aber bequemen Ohrstöpsel gut im direkten Vergleich. Je optimierter der Sitz, desto besser ist der Ton, der am Ende im Ohr ankommt.
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.
|EPOS GTW 270 Wireless Hybrid Gaming Bluetooth Headphones In Ear, ... *||130,26 EUR||Buy|
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