After reviewing brand new EPOS B20 Microphone for Streamers, Gamers and Podcasters I also looked into their In-Ear Buds called “EPOS GTW 270″ (Amazon Affiliate) – available with or without USB-C and USB-A extension cable dongle.
Let’s look into the key benefits to understand their value proposition compared to many other In-Ear Buds on the market:
- Closed-back and acoustic in-ear for noise reduction
- Multi-platform compatibility (I am using them tested on Android, iOS and Windows 10)
- Multi-compatibility through the USB-C aptX™ low-latency dongle and Bluetooth®
- IPX 5 water resistance protects the earbuds from sweat and light rain
- 1,5m USB extension cable delivered in the package (from USB-C to USB-A)
- silicon ear tips ((XS, S, M or L)
- Virtual Assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Now supported
- Portable charge case with up to 20 hours of listening time: five on the earbuds plus 15 more with the case
To be clear: these In-Ear Buds are not designed for Unified Communications, they are not certified for Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Webex, Google Meet and all other players on this market. They are developed for Gamers who require and expect low latency when gaming – which offers significant advantages and can save virtual lifes and increase scores.
Connecting to Nintendo Switch without Bluetooth
So I went to my nephew and showed him the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Ear-Buds. He said: “That won’t work, my Nintendo Switch can’t connect. Bluetooth is missing which is a shame!”
I smiled and inserted the USB-C dongle into his Nintendo Switch and he was blown away because connection and pairing was established immediately
Open the lid of charging case and press and hold the charge case button to initiate pairing. Works fine and reliable (tested on my Samsung S20+ Smartphone, Apple iPad Air 2020 and Windows 10 PC)
Up to 5 hours of listening time on the earbuds and up to 20 hours of listening time with the charge case. By far not best in class but sufficient for me.
I have measured it but according to EPOS a full charge can be don ein 1 hour 30 minutes. Fast charge: 15 minutes for 1 hour use. LED indicators on the Ear Buds AND charging case show status:
Acoustic clarity should delivered through dual microphones according to EPOS but I am not 100% convinced about the clarity, natural warm voices are missing. Sounds too metallic and robotic.
EPOS Gaming App
As described in my blogpost and video review about EPOS B20 Microphone I really like the value EPOS adds to their App with a broad range of software-only features. Unfortunately it is not very easy to connect the GTW 270 In-Ear Buds with the Apps for iOS, Android and Windows 19 (haven’t tried MacOS). Using Windows 10 you need to go into Windows System Sounds and set input and output to EPOS GTW 270, otherwise EPOS Gaming App won’t find and connect. Haven’t done it with my other headsets which usually also come with dedicated Apps.
Equalizer can be tuned and tweaked here, Surround Modus offers a selection between 2.0 and 7.1. You can also create your own profile which is handy.
Buttons: skipping tracks, accepting calls and changing volume
EPOS GTW 270 don’t offer touch panels where you can switch volume by hovering with your fingers. One single button can be used to resume and pause audio and skip tracks.
Same for calls: you can accept, end and reject calls
Volume needs to modified on your mobile device or PC/MAC – interesting minimalistic approach which I need to understand.
Wrap up and final thoughts
EPOS is addressing Gamers as target audience, which fully makes sense because of USB-dongle and low latency codec aptX™. Gamers can add USB-C directly into their VR goggles, Nintendo Switch or use 1,5m USB-A extension cable and connect to XBOX and Nintendo Playstation. I also use them for my video live streams as headphone with only one in-ear buds – but using a different microphone. This is the weakest point of GTW 270. I don’t need Active Noise Canceling for many usage scenarios where I would pick Apple Airpods Pros or Jabra Elite 85t but Microphone Quality is not good enough for business calls – and could also disappoint Gamers. Happy to hear your thoughts in the comment. For Gaming and listening to YouTube Videos or Music they are good choice but maybe this niche is too small and price point of 199 EUR might be too high for this audience. They might expect longer battery time, ANC and more features like buttons for volume or enabling side tone. Don’t forget to try several silcion ear tips: Results are impressive and GTW 270 sound quite good after finding the right size and seal better (which compensates the weak bass).