Convenient, comfortable earbuds for Switch gaming on the go.
If I’m not listening to music or a podcast in my car, then I’m very often choosing to wear earbuds, like when I’m out for a walk, at the gym, or even just doing chores at home. Earlier this year, I reviewed the EPOS H3 Hybrid, and over the last two weeks I’ve had a chance to check out the relaunched EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid wireless earbuds. Dividing my time 50/50 between using the earbuds with my Switch OLED and my Samsung S22 Ultra, I suspect they’ll be replacing the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus I typically sport.
Not wanting to experiment with the same games I used when reviewing the H3 Hybrid, this time around I tested out audio with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection and Blossom Tales II: The Minotaur Prince. The former seemed a particularly effective use case given that it’s a collection of games spanning five different platforms (Arcade, NES, GB, SNES, and Sega Genesis). The latter just happened to be a title that I was reviewing at the time, and so I decided to put my multitasking boots on and get to work. In the hours I spent with both titles, I was genuinely pleased with the sound coming out of the earbuds.
Inside the GTW 270 Hybrid box, you’ll find the following:
- Charge case
- GTW 270 earbuds
- USB-C charging cable
- USB-C to USB-A extension cable
- Silicone eartips
- GSA 70 USB-C dongle
- Dongle carry case
- Quick start guide
A few things stood out to me from the minute I unboxed all the contents of the package. The charge case has a USB-C charge port on the back and a battery and pairing indicator on the front, but it’s the matte finish and cool-to-the-touch aluminum that I really like here. The way it opens like a miniature treasure chest is also a bonus. The eartips come in four different sizes and are easy to switch out, and it didn’t take long to find a set that fit perfectly; they managed to stay in and snug during a 20-minute run on the treadmill, too, which hasn’t been the case for other earbuds I’ve worn.
While you can connect the earbuds to the Switch through the console’s own Bluetooth functionality, the issue with that is that you lose connection when putting the console in Sleep Mode. Fortunately, the Bluetooth dongle included with the GTW 270 Hybrid solves this problem. Connecting the earbuds to the dongle, which plugs into the Switch’s USB-C port, allows the earbuds to reconnect to the console’s audio after you exit sleep mode. You can even have the earbuds connected to both your phone and the USB-C dongle simultaneously, allowing you to answer a phone call in the middle of your gaming session. Another standout feature in terms of functionality is that just opening and shutting the case with the earbuds inside is enough to connect or disconnect from both the dongle and your phone.
There’s a single button on the left earbud that can be used to pick up and end phone calls, and play, pause, or skip audio on your phone. The earbuds themselves have three different color-coded battery level indications, and at a full charge offer up to 5 hours of listening time; a fully charged case offers up to 20 hours of listening time. As well, it takes just under 2 hours to fully charge the earbuds and case. These numbers seem accurate given my time with the device.
While there’s no denying how comfortable and versatile these earbuds are, there is one noticeable drawback worth keeping in mind. Specifically, there’s no way to adjust volume without using the volume controls on your Switch or phone. Playing portably on the Switch this isn't an issue, but if you switched to Docked Mode or used the earbuds with a PC, PS4, or PS5, this issue could be more annoying. As it turns out, one of the chief concerns about this device was rectified in a recent update: the GTW 270 Hybrid now has microphone functionality through the dongle, which wasn't the case with its initial release.
Overall, the GTW 270 Hybrid represents a sound investment for those wanting dedicated Switch earbuds that can also be for daily use. The audio through the dongle or directly via Bluetooth connection sounds crisp and clear, with the dongle offering a lower latency especially for gaming. The design of the charge case is attractive and sturdy, and the earbuds themselves are comfortable and functional. While I’ve certainly been happy with the H3 Hybrid, I’ve always been more of an earbud enthusiast, and what’s been frustrating is that the wireless earbuds I’ve worn have generally fallen short in some way. For my day-to-day needs, there’s no doubt that the GTW 270 Hybrid wireless earbuds are now locked into the top spot in my audio accessory rotation.
The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid is priced at $149.00 and can be purchased directly from EPOS at the following link: https://www.eposaudio.com/en/us/gaming/products/gtw-270-hybrid-bluetooth-low-latency-connection-gaming-headset-1000230
A review unit was provided by EPOS.