Pro Sound for The Discerning Gamer
The EPOS H6PRO is a serious over-ear gaming headset for the serious gamer. But we've all heard that before, right? Well, EPOS Audio is actually the official audio partner of Cloud9, only one of the best professional Esports gaming teams in the world. So, what makes EPOS and the H6PRO different from all the other "audiophile-grade" gaming headsets out there? We're breaking it down, getting the inside scoop directly from EPOS, and testing it out ourselves to find out. Read on and if we don't answer all of your questions here, leave a comment for us down below or give us a call, we'd love to hear from you!
At World Wide Stereo, there's not a whole lot that we take more seriously than sound reproduction and the truly stunning immersive experience that a killer system can evoke. Gaming is a category that we've dabbled in over the years, but we're only lately really committing to the category. We've got some serious gamers on our team with discerning taste for sound clarity and visual imagery and we're excited by the new breed of high performance gear.
The demand for better images, better sound, and better connectivity has led to some magnificent gaming visuals, musical scores, and interactive technology. (Side note: we have clients that have gaming scores on their high-res playlists and even on vinyl... and they sound amazing on their home systems). With the precision detail that goes into the design of the game, the epic storytelling itself, and the consoles and customized PCs acting as the vessels, that same level of attention has been met by brands like EPOS to deliver that experience in a way that blurs the lines between game and reality so that every detail of the game can be experienced and enjoyed without compromise.
Who is EPOS?
According to our friends at EPOS, (pronounced ep-aas), EPOS is derived from Latin and Ancient Greek to describe epic stories, speech, and poetry. According to EPOS: "It encapsulates our dedication that enforces ways of communication and unleashing human potential through the Power of Audio." EPOS the word essentially means epic; a tale of extraordinary doings of extraordinary people who, in dealing with gods or superhuman forces, gave shape to the universe (according to Wikipedia). No offense to the Turtle Beaches of the industry, but EPOS wins the branding game.
EPOS is not new to the industry. Up until 2020, they were known as Sennheiser Communications. The company was established in 2003 as a joint venture between Sennheiser and the world-leading hearing healthcare group, Demant. Demant, with its long heritage in audio technology, was renowned for its expertise in speech intelligibility - even producing headsets for air traffic controllers, where microphone performance is critical for pilots to hear instructions clearly. And, any multiplayer gamer knows that hearing another player correctly can mean the difference between winning and losing. Today, EPOS' goal still remains "excellence in microphone performance."
In 2020, Sennheiser and Demant ended the joint venture and the business segments evolved in new set-ups: EPOS and Sennheiser. All company assets such as technical know-how, engineering expertise, and employees were transferred to the Demant Group and the EPOS brand was launched. With more than 115 years of audio expertise, EPOS designs and manufactures pioneering high-end audio for serious gamers.
EPOS audio is engineered to bring forward every important sound cue to provide that ultimate gaming experience. Immersive sound that cuts out the rest of the world and transports you into a different reality." Jason Russell, EPOS
The EPOS H6PRO
The H6PRO is a brand new (as of October 7th, 2021) premium gaming headset for the discerning gamer that appreciates precise, high performance audio matched with lightweight comfort for long gaming sessions. It delivers exceptional audio clarity and immersion through passive isolation, a crisp detachable mic, and a lightweight feel. When developing this new model, EPOS took great care to ensure the H6PRO had all of the refinements appreciated by a serious gamer.
For the H6PRO, EPOS looked to the past to evolve their newest release to not only look and sound better, but to feel better. EPOS really wanted to improve on the acoustic success of their previous models GSP 500 and GS P600 with increased comfort and optimized for longevity for those into-the-night gaming sessions. This resulted in a 20% weight reduction in the H6PRO to allow for longer gaming with less stress on the ears and neck. The headband also evenly distributes the weight over as large of an area as possible to even further reduce the perception of weight. EPOS also added marked indents on the headband sliders so the user could reliably select their preferred fit, and angled speaker plates inside the earcups ensure nothing is actually touching the ear. The sleeker design and detachable (and replaceable) memory foam cups are the icing on the cake.
In addition to a lighter, more comfortable feel than its predecessors, the H6PRO has no batteries, no latency, perfect balance, and improved durability. All of this combined means more focus on the game and less fatigue and unnecessary distraction.
The removable "lift-to-mute" microphone boom arm with magnetic coupling has a more elongated, slim arm to allow for more varied placement without compromising voice pickup. We love the convenient lift-to-mute feature because it's a quick and simple flip of the arm to be able to have a conversation with someone right next to you. It also came in handy when we used this headset for a conference call. The boom arm can be removed and the connection can be covered by the provided cap which keeps the look clean and sleek.
A volume wheel on the right earcup provides quick and intuitive access while gaming and was made larger for easier adjustment.
It's worth mentioning that EPOS has a strong commitment to durability and runs every headset through a series of exhaustive testing. In the event there's a wear problem, many of the components, like the cable, earcups, and microphone boom arm, are all replaceable.
Audio Designed for Gaming Over Long Sessions
In addition to the focus on comfort and lessening fatigue, EPOS focuses on delivering audio reproduction with a natural and accurate profile. Because the H6PRO was designed for long sessions, more lifelike sound will actually minimize the fatigue on your brain so you can stay focused longer. EPOS explains it best:
The EPOS sound signature is balanced and natural, rather than hyped and aggressive. When you’re playing a game, your brain is constantly bombarded with audio cues, and at the same time you may be listening to team-mates over a voice channel. The muddier and less natural the sound, the harder your brain must work to decipher the audio and the more you will suffer from “audio fatigue”. The H6PRO speaker system offers lifelike sound across the full audible frequency spectrum to minimize fatigue. The more a speaker system boosts a frequency at the expense of another, the harder it is for your brain to gather the vital information from game audio. A great example of this is the masking effect of over-hyped bass. A huge rumble may feel great, but science tells us that over-loud bass frequencies have a masking effect on the midrange – which is where crucial sounds such as player footsteps and other environmental cues sit.
The speaker system is tuned to deliver the highest possible realism and audio clarity and is factory checked to ensure accuracy in left-right balance – this is another crucial piece of the puzzle. Poorly matched headset speakers will badly disrupt directional information. And for the most accurate reproduction of surround sound using binaural technologies, the upper frequency performance must also be extremely accurate. The H6PRO delivers realism using all the ingenuity, experience and skills our engineering team can muster. No hype – it’s all about balance." EPOS Engineering Team
Available in Closed Back or Open Back
The closed acoustic design provides exceptional hi-fidelity performance that is more focused and powerful. It keeps the external noise out, so you can focus intently on the game and also prevents sound from leaking out to those around you. The closed back model is best suited to the gamer that wants to be fully immersed in an audio soundstage and isolated from the rest of their environment. Gamers competing in a live event or in a busy environment (at home with the family or in a dorm room) will appreciate the closed back model. The headband and earcup design of the H6PRO Closed ensures a tight acoustic seal for most head shapes, which enables impressive passive isolation. Note: we tested the closed acoustic model - scroll down to view our testing notes.
The open acoustic design delivers an expansive, yet still immersive soundscape. The H6PRO Open is best for the gamer that wants to remain aware of and in touch with their surroundings or who play in an already quiet environment. An open design will also reproduce your own voice more naturally, without sidetone microphone monitoring. The open-backed earcups offer improved ventilation to keep your ears cool.
- Available colors include: Sebring Black, Racing Green, and Ghost White
- Available as a closed acoustic design or open acoustic design
- Overall lightweight and slim profile, optimized for long gaming sessions
- Lift-to-mute microphone boom arm with impressive voice pick-up
- Detachable magnetic coupling boom arm microphone can be easily removed for streamers with a dedicated microphone
- Convenient and intuitive volume control via a large "finger-friendly" volume wheel on the right ear cup
- Axis-hinged earcups confirm to your unique anatomy
- Designed for any platform with analog wired outputs, the headset will also perform optimally with binaural headphone surround sound through the EPOS Gaming Suite with sound cards such as the GSX 300.
- The headset will deliver great results from games that support surround sound on console, using the Xbox Windows Sonic system or Sony 3D Tempest Engine for the Xbox Series X|S and PS5 consoles. Simply plug into the audio jack on the controller or any compatible 3.5 mm jacks on any console or smartphone and enjoy surround sound in those games which support multichannel audio.
- 2-year warranty
H6PRO Testing Notes
Our in-house gamers put the H6PRO to the test and came out with a few helpful notes and tips that will ensure your set up is a breeze and you're getting the best experience possible out of your new H6PRO. For testing purposes, we used a PC.
What's in the box? With the H6PRO, you get the usual Quick Start Guide and Safety Guide. You get the headset with a detachable mic and two cables: the PC cable with two 3.5mm jacks and the gaming console cable with one 3.5mm jack (for PS5, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, etc). You also get two cover plates so that if you don't want to use the mic that comes with the headset, you can simply remove it and replace it with the cover plate.
Make sure the cable is pushed in... hard. If you are only getting audio from a single earcup or the audio is distorted, make sure you really push the cable as far as it goes into the headset.
If you are connecting the headset to your PC using the Mic and Headphone inputs, your PC may recognize the headset as a pair of speakers, meaning that it is not recognized as its own device. This isn’t necessarily an issue, but if you have desktop speakers connected to your PC via an AUX cable, you cannot switch between the two without unplugging one.
The headset is compatible with the EPOS gaming suite software, but the headset has to be recognized as its own device to be able to use this. From EPOS, the gaming suite is a set of “intuitive tools giving you the ability to take control of your audio experience and tailor game sound and communication to your exact preferences.” This lets you customize your audio both for in-game and in general, and EPOS even has presets designed for various game genres.
To really up the audio game, you can pair the headset with an EPOS Audio headphone amp (GSX300, GSX1000, or GSX1200Pro) for improved audio quality, additional controls, and connecting to one of these items will make your PC recognize the headset as its own device.
Tested on League of Legends and noticed improved clarity of champion sound effects that we haven't heard before using our previous headset by another popular gaming brand.
The noise-isolation notably kept out noise and distractions, helping to focus on the game. It's also worth noting that this headset performed extremely well on a conference call where there would typically be a lot of background noise from others sharing the same home office.
The microphone is super clear - like, you could be sitting next to me clear. Note that there is no pop filter so “p’s” and “b’s” may have more of a pop to them.
Testing the features
Adjusting volume is super easy with volume control built-into the right earcup. You just spin the wheel to adjust the volume instead of having to click around.
Flip to mute function is awesome – you flip the mic into a vertical position and can feel the switch of the mute. This is great for meetings when you need to rotate being on mute or for sneaking a snack in game without having your teammates hear you munch.
The microphone is easy to remove and additional covers are included so you can pop a plate on and just use the headset as headphones if you’d like. If you own a pair of wireless headphones, you probably won't have much use for this feature, but it’s great for people that don’t have a secondary pair of headphones to listen to music on the go.
The H6PRO received high marks from us for comfort. It's super light and did not feel hot after a few hours of gameplay. Plus, the earcups are nicely sized for full-ear coverage without being so big that it weighs the headset down.
In our experience with the H6PRO Closed, we found this new headset to be a good-looking gaming headset that offers extreme comfort, impressive speech intelligibility, and high-performance audio reproduction in a lightweight package. We did not experience any wear fatigue over a long gaming session and really appreciated the flip-to-mute function for gaming and for work-from-home conference calls. The goal of any great gaming headphone is to essentially disappear, as if you're not wearing a headphone at all - that's what an immersive experience is all about. And, while we didn't forget we were wearing headphones, the H6PRO made our gaming experience pretty freaking awesome.