EPOS has a strong reputation as headphone-makers go, but how will their new offering fare? If you're hoping to find the answer to that question, you've come to the right place.
We were lucky enough to get some early hands-on time with the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid wireless gaming earbuds, and so we've put together this review to help you work out if they're the best in-ear buds for you to buy.
These closed acoustic wireless earbuds are geared specifically at gamers, so we put them to the test alongside various gaming devices to bring you a well-rounded opinion on these buds. Keep on reading, then, and we'll tell you all...
Design - Score 90
I'm one of those gamers who doesn't want their gear to look overly flashy, and so the discreet EPOS GTW 270 design is right up my alley: there aren't any OTT RGB lights, and there's nothing that will make you look a bit silly if you ever end up wearing these in a crowd (remember those?).
Instead, here you get a sleek black look with flashes of silver, and a shape that looks cool whilst still being functional. The magnetic dots on the rear provide a slightly sci-fi feel, which I liked (being a big nerd).
To be honest, the only thing that I would change about the design is the big "E" logo which is quite prominent on the world-facing side of both buds. But hey, you can't blame EPOS for giving themselves a bit of extra advertising via your earholes.
You also get four sets of rubberized ear tips, in a variety of sizes - they're all plain black, and it shouldn't take you long to pick your favourite (personally, I ended up going with the biggest ones).
There's also the charging dock/carry case, looking great in gunmetal silver, which has some nice heft to it. The USB-C port on the back comes in handy for sucking up some extra charge wherever you lay your hat.
Other bits that come in the box include a USB-C cable, a USB C-to-A converter cable, and a USB-C Bluetooth dongle (although you can buy a slightly cheaper set without the dongle). All of that stuff is black, making the whole package uniform in its sleekness.
Performance - Score 95
Although there's always the fear of losing one, fans have come to expect a certain amount of security from their earbuds: you want them to stay alive for a decent amount of time, and you want them to connect up easily to whichever device you happen to pick up at any given moment.
For the most part, the EPOS GTW 270 lives up to what you would want. Connecting them to a phone or PC via native Bluetooth is just as simple as connecting any other headphones you might already have - simply put the buds into pairing mode and find them in your device's Bluetooth settings. And you should expect to get up to five hours of battery life from each 90-minute charge (with a fully charged carry case offering an additional 20 hours).
Using these buds with my phone was a joy: whether I was listening to podcasts or playing the troublesome iOS version of
, the sound quality was crystal clear and the noise-cancellation on offer was top notch. The max volume is also impressively high. Interruptions from the outside world were kept to a minimum, which is just what you want when gaming.
Using the dongle to connect to my Nintendo Switch was also pretty easy - with the dongle plugged into the console and the buds resting in their carry case, you simply hold down the buttons (on both the dongle and the case) until they start flashing between blue and red. They shouldn't have any trouble finding each other after a few seconds.
Connecting these buds to my PS5 was slightly more hassle: you need to use the USB C-to-A cable to connect the console to the dongle, but once that's done, connecting the buds to the dongle is just as easy as ever. And playing on the console while my partner sat at her desk nearby, I genuinely didn't notice that her speakers were blasting out Disney songs, until I took the earbuds out.
In roughly a week of using these buds, I only ran into the minor issues you'd expect from any Bluetooth device: a very rare crackle here in there, for example, or the odd time when the initial connection takes a little bit longer to link up than usual. But these tiny problems were very rare, and they always swiftly resolved themselves. I never had a long-term problem or a noticeable latency issue.
All in all, then, the performance was pretty top-notch, and I would feel happy to fold these buds into my daily life - for work on the laptop, for podcasts on the phone, and for gaming on the PlayStation and Switch. It's just a shame there's no easy way to connect them to Xbox consoles, which don't support Bluetooth either natively or through dongles.
Price - Score 85
With a suggested retail price of ₤179 GBP, there's no denying that the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid is a significant purchase. These buds don't come cheap, but it's hard to argue with the experience that you get in return for your investment.
If you're looking for a high-quality set of Bluetooth earbuds that will easily connect to your phone, PC, PlayStation and/or Switch - sounding great and look snazzy at the same time - these certainly make a convincing case for their price tag. But that high cost will probably still put some people off.
If you solely want these for mobile and PC use, you might want to consider the dongle-free version which has a suggested retail price of
149 GBP. You'll save £30, and they'll work on anything that supports native Bluetooth connections.
If you're mainly an Xbox gamer, though, it might be easiest to get a wired headset that you can simply connect up to your controller.
- Sleek design that isn't too showy
- Comfortable fit with a multitude of tip options
- Sound quality, zero-latency and battery life are great
- Quite expensive
- Big "E" is visible on both buds
- Very occasional crackle
All things considered, if these earbuds are compatible with the devices in your life, and if you can justify the spend, we'd heartily recommend that you seriously consider them.
The design is subtle but it does have personality, and we'd wager that most gamers will have a very good time with these buds. The issues are minimal and very rare, and it's impossible to argue with the high-quality sound, low latency and very effective noise-cancellation.