Wireless earbuds are old news by now – they’ve been around for a number of years. But what about premium earbuds designed especially for gaming? That’s a new avenue, and one that EPOS might have already conquered with the release of its GTW 270 Hybrid Wireless Earbuds.
Shipping with a USB-C dongle, the GTW 270 Hybrid has been designed primarily with Nintendo Switch gaming in mind. Simply plug the dongle into the console, and the earbuds are ready for use. A converter cable is also included so you can use them on PC or PlayStation, but the emphasis here is on on-the-go use. Switch compatibility is the real focus; there exists no easier way to have wireless audio on Switch. Especially not at this level of quality.
Seriously, I can’t overstate just how good EPOS‘s GTW 270 earbuds sound. Three different sizes of buds are included, allowing you to find the best fit for you. Once you’ve got a good fit, the buds essentially form a seal in your ears. And once your sound starts playing, it’s just you and the audio. It’s crystal clear, with no distortion. You can feel the bass; hear every note as plain as day. You feel like you’re wearing an expensive pair of over-the-ear headphones, except there’s none of the bulk or weight. Once the GTW 270s are in your ears, you can barely feel them. But you can sure as heck feel their audio.
You get a decent amount of charge from the GTW 270s, too; popping the earbuds in their case for a 90-minute charge will last you around four or five hours. The case itself can hold around 20 hours of charge too. So if you’re travelling you don’t need to worry about having access to the mains or a USB for charging.
Like any earbuds, you can connect the GTW 270s directly to any device that supports Bluetooth audio. Most likely, that’s going to be your phone. Hold down the button on the earbuds’ charging case to enable pairing mode, open Bluetooth pairing on your phone, and you’re done. Pop them in your ears, and you’ve got incredible sound within seconds.
EPOS has downplayed the general functionality of the GTW 270s in its marketing; without the USB-C dongle they function just like any other earbuds – and indeed, you can buy them without the dongle to use solely via Bluetooth. I understand the company’s want to pitch these solely as a gaming product, but it feels like underselling the GTW 270’s capabilities. When audio sounds this good, you want to use it for everything, be it listening to your favourite albums, podcasts or even TV shows. And of course, there’s no reason you can’t do any of those things.
One thing to watch out for, though, if you’re using the GTW 270 Hybrid Wireless Earbuds with both a Bluetooth connection and the dongle: it can cause a bit of connection confusion when you try to use them. They seem to favour Bluetooth, so even with the dongle in my Switch, the earbuds first connected to my phone. I had to ‘forget’ the pairing in order to seamlessly connect to the dongle without any initial interference. It’s not a major issue, but something to be aware of. Don’t expect to be able to seamlessly switch from one connection to another without having to spend a few seconds messing with things.
The only other downside to the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Wireless Earbuds is their price. At £180, they are solely positioned as a premium product. It feels like a lot of money for a product that’s being marketing primarily as earbuds for your Switch. But they’re comparable to the price of Apple AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds. When you consider the extra versatility that the GTW 270 earbuds offer – and the incredible sound quality – it isn’t a bad deal at all. Providing you’re in the market for a premium pair of earbuds, of course.
If you play a lot of Nintendo Switch and value being able to hear your game’s audio at its full potential, I can’t recommend the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Wireless Earbuds enough. The audio clarity from the buds is second to none; games sound phenomenal, and every part of the track can be heard crystal clear. When it comes to listening to music and other content, too, the GTW 270s are rivalling the very best in the market. Yes, they’re expensive, but you get what you pay for – and if you appreciate excellent audio, you won’t be disappointed with these.