If you are looking for big sound in compact and portable form factor the EPOS GTW 270 Gaming Headphones offers excellent audio quality. They are great for gaming on the go with a console like the Nintendo Switch, or if you are looking for a chic solution with the PlayStation 4 or PS5 console they are sleek and functional.
There are a lot of options for gaming headsets on the market, but high-performance wireless gaming earbuds are a bit more of a rarity. Let’s look at what sets the GTW 270 apart from the pack in this in-depth review that spans across testing with multiple platforms.
Unboxing the GTW 270
Inside the box you get everything you need to start playing right away with the GTW 270s. The package contains the GTW 270 earbuds, low-latency dongle, carry case, charging cable, USB-“C to A” adaptor and 4 different earbud sizes.
The earbuds perform great with full rich audio that doesn’t come across tinny or hollow. I recommend trying each of the earbud sizes to ensure the correct fit. If you are wearing buds that are too big, they will start to feel uncomfortable with longer gaming sessions. Be sure to find the best fit for you early on to avoid discomfort and having them potentially fall out of your ear. You also get better sound with the right fit, so be sure to experiment with all the included pairs for the best performance.
The fact that these are one of the few sets of truly wireless earbuds optimized for gaming really sets them apart. GTW 270’s most unique component is the low-latency Bluetooth dongle. This module operates with the aptX low latency (aptX LL) codec delivering crisp audio with no noticeable lag with extensive testing with the Nintendo Switch. This makes a big difference in games that rely on audio cues like footsteps of opponents on the move.
So far, the only major drawback I’ve experienced is a cosmetic issue with the carrying case. The metallic finish makes it very prone to scratching. Be sure not to store the case next to keys or other sharp objects, they will really do a number on the shell.
Aside from that, the components are well-built with plug and play functionality that will get you back into the game quickly.
Connecting the GTW 270 hybrid to compatible devices
The GTW 270 Hybrid connects to a compatible console, PC or android device with a small flash drive sized key. This key can connect depending on whether or not your device has USB-A, USB-C inputs or Bluetooth connectivity.
Depending on the hardware you are trying to use the earbuds with you will need use the included adaptor. Connecting the dongle to your PS4, PlayStation 5 or PC will require the use of this extra included adaptor.
Set up is a snap with the device, whether using the extra adaptors or not, you’ll be ready to game in minutes. To connect the earbuds, plug the small dongle into the compatible device and take the buds out of the carrying case. The indicator light on the dongle will go from flashing blue to emitting a solid pink light indicating the connection has been made. Within a few seconds the earbuds will be connected, and you’ll be ready to start playing.
If you have a compatible Bluetooth device like a smartphone or tablet the GTW 270 Hybrid will be able to connect without the use of the USB receiver. This will still require you to have the charging case nearby to keep the headphones paired. Opening and closing the case will cause the earbuds to re-pair to different devices.
The one downside to this set up is that you will need to constantly have to re-pair the earbuds to different devices. For example, if you pair the earbuds to your iPhone but the dongle is active in a game console it auto connects to the dongle. There is no straight forward way to change between devices besides going through the pairing process again manually.
Ample battery life keeps you in the game
The GTW 270 Hybrid has a rechargeable battery system good for up to 20 hours on a full charge. The battery capacity in the earbuds is 5 hours, keeping you in the game longer. The carrying case acts as portable charger that holds charge good for 15 hours.
Each earbud has a pinpoint light indicator that shows the charge level with 3 different colours. Green indicates the battery level is just about full, yellow at 50% capacity and red at 10% or less. These are quite convenient, especially for gaming on the go. They always offer an “at a glance” understanding of your charge levels.
The storage case can be recharged with the included USB-C cable that can be connected to your computer. The outside of the case has 5-blue indicator lights that with a press of button show the level of charge. The sleek and simple design is easy to use and barely takes up any space in a backpack or briefcase.
Using the GTW 270s with a smartphone
If you have a smartphone with Bluetooth capability the GTW 270 Hybrid includes a built-in microphone that allows you to make calls. If you use the earbuds without the included gaming dongle, they function like high-end Bluetooth earbuds. The audio quality on calls is great and pipes through clearly. Unfortunately, I did experience drops in connection between the phone and earbuds.
In terms of the phone-based controls on the earbuds, it is all done with a single button. This can be accessed on the left bud that is easily accessible. The multifunction button handles play / pausing music, picking up phone calls and double tapping changes audio tracks.
The downside to the GTW 270s is the fact that the microphone does not function when connected to the dongle. This means that you will not be able to use these earbuds to talk to teammates on consoles or PC. This stems from the fact that the aptX low latency technology only supports a single playback channel. The aptX codec has higher bandwidth, supporting only a single audio channel and doesn’t allow for microphone support. It’s a very significant trade-off for lag free audio and might be a dealbreaker for multiplayer gamers. For me personally, the majority of games I play are single player in nature, so it wasn’t a big drawback.
GTW 270 hybrid sound quality
The GTW 270 Hybrid offers excellent sound quality that features no perceivable delay when using the USB dongle. The aptX codec that is used in conjunction with the dongle and headphones provides high-quality, lag free audio.
I could hear the distant faint audio from NPCs in stealth games like Hitman III, and the deep bass from battling massive enemies in Monster Hunter Rise. Characters voices and ambient noise was always lock step with what was happening on screen.
In Bluetooth mode, the GTW 270 also sounded great with audio and voice calls. Although the drivers inside of the earbuds are small, they deliver great bass. This is especially true for music, they are a real treat for the ears.
One thing I can’t stress enough: experiment with the rubber ear tips that are included in the package. At first, I found the audio lacking, it sounded faint and distant with no bass. I swapped the rubber ear tips and the difference in audio quality massive. Finding the ear tip that is the right fit is essential it will provide richer bass response.
I really enjoyed using the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid wireless gaming earbuds, especially with my Nintendo Switch on the go. The earbuds are comfortable and offer lag-less audio response to what is happening on screen. The downside is that the microphone is not available when used with the supplied key, making online gaming unavailable. If you are a solo gamer constantly on the go, the GTW 270s are a great option.
Be sure to check out Best Buy Canada’s full line of gaming headsets in store and online.