Hands-on review: EPOS H6PRO open and closed acoustic gaming headsets
EPOS continue to launch its range of gaming headsets almost faster than I can review them. This time it’s the H6 Pro. I was sent the open acoustic version of the headset in the blueish Sebring Black colour scheme and the closed acoustic version in Ghost White. They also come in Racing Green.
Touted as the evolution of the Epos GSP 601 headset, the H6 Pro is intended as a high-end wired gaming audio solution. They come with cables for a combo 3.5m headset socket and separate line-in/line-out 3.5mm sockets.
Both headsets work with PlayStation 4/5 and Xbox One/Series X|S via the audio socket on the controllers. The headsets also work with a Nintendo Switch. The headsets can also be used with other mobile devices if they have a 3.5mm audio socket.
PC gamers can connect the headsets via their machine’s headset socket or use the included split cable to plug them directly into the machine’s soundcard/motherboard’s separate 3.5mm line-in and line-out sockets.
For the best control over the headset’s audio, you can use an Epos GSX 300 USB external soundcard. The GSX 300 works with the Epos Gaming Suite software allowing the headsets to be adjusted for sidetone (to hear your voice in the mic), noise gate, gain, 9-band EQ and 7.1 virtual surround. Plugging the H6 Pro into an Epos B20 Streaming Microphone connected to a PC can also allow access to the Epos Gaming Suite.
I also tested the H6 Pro and a PS5 by plugging an Epos B20 microphone into a PlayStation 5 via USB. The H6 Pro was then plugged into the bottom of the mic for studio-level audio capture and pass-through to the headset.
Physically, both the open and closed acoustic versions are almost the same. Both have two-axis earcups for an extremely snug and comfortable fit, the same design as my trusty EPOS|Sennheiser GSP 670 headset.
The steel headband on both is fully encompassed in a pleather material, the white close acoustic having a two-tone white grey design the other in just black. The earcups on the black open acoustic headset are covered in a tightly woven material. The white closed acoustic headset has a soft grey suede material on the inner side with a white pleather outer part for passive ambient noise reduction.
The open acoustic headset has a grille section on the top of each ear cup, presumably to let in external sound. The area is solid on the close acoustic headset.
Both headsets come with flexible and removable microphones with blanking plates for use when the mic is removed. This makes the headsets look more suited for general audio listening on portable devices.
The only control on the headset (apart from raising the mic for mute) is the volume control on the right side. The dial is nice and big, so there’s no fiddling about.
The audio output quality of both headsets is very nice. The open acoustic headset has a softer sound as the drivers are not funnelling the sound waves into your ear canals with quite the same force. This makes the audio feel a bit more natural, even at high volumes. The closed acoustic configuration insulates the sound giving the wearer the full force of the drivers to the point that you will feel the bass vibrating the earcups through your ears.
Open or closed is very much a personal choice. I’d say that open acoustic in a quiet area sounds better and more natural, especially when listening to music. But for gaming, closed acoustic ensures full immersion in the game audio without external distractions.
The downside for me, with closed acoustic headsets (as I know this is not a problem for everyone), is that I really need a GSX 300 or other external soundcard with sidetone to hear my voice via the mic whilst speaking during multiplayer games. Regarding the mic, it does its job. It’s great for chat, picking up my voice but not my mouth breathing.
If you are gaming on the go, the open acoustic at least allows you to hear what’s going on around you, on a train, for instance. On a plane, you probably want to be blocking out more of the noise with a closed acoustic headset.
Of the two headsets colours sent over, my preference would be for the Sebring Black over the Ghost White. Although both look amazing, the black headset is less likely to show up grubby finger marks. If you are up for making a statement, however, the Ghost White colour scheme is likely for you. The Racing Green headset looks rather striking as well.
The H6 Pro is Epos’s definitive wired gaming headset. The build quality is superb. The headsets both feel solid despite their mainly plastic construction. The 2-axel ear cup mounts allow the headset to fit comfortably. Open or closed acoustic, the audio is crisp and clear. The two 3.5mm audio cables make the headsets versatile and compatible with most devices. The removable mic transforms the headsets from gaming audio solutions to a more modest set of audio headphones.
Both the open and closed acoustic headsets have an RRP of NZ$279/AU$259.