EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Closed Acoustic Wireless Earbuds with Dongle review

We use affiliate links. If you buy something through the links on this page, we may earn a commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

REVIEW – In May 2021 I reviewed the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Wireless Earbuds, and overall, I was quite impressed.  However, I thought they lacked two critical features.  EPOS recently updated these earbuds, but did they add the critical features I thought were missing?  Read on to find out!

What is it?

The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Closed Acoustic Wireless Earbuds with Dongle are a true wireless earbud audio system that operates with a hybrid connection via both Bluetooth and USB-C dongle.

What’s in the box?

The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbud’s packaging is nearly identical to the original version, with a sophisticated and polished look and feel.  The back of the package highlights the features of the product.

The interior of the GTW 270 Hybrid’s packaging is virtually identical to the original version.

As with the original version, inside the package were the following items:

  • GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds
  • Portable charge case
  • GSA 70 USB-C EPOS low-latency dongle
  • USB-C charging cable
  • USB-C® to USB-A extension cable
  • Silicone ear tips in 4 sizes
  • Dongle protective silicone sleeve
  • Quick Guide
  • Safety guide
  • Compliance sheet

Hardware specs

As seen below, the specs of the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Earbuds haven’t changed much from the original version.  Full spec sheet available here.

  • Connectivity:
    • Bluetooth® 5.1 (audio and microphone)
    • GSA 70 USB-C EPOS low-latency dongle (audio and microphone)
  • Headphones:
    • Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
    • Sound pressure level: 100 dB
  • Microphone:
    • Frequency response: 100-7,500 Hz
    • Pick-up pattern: Omnidirectional
  • Compatibility:
    • Dongle: Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Android phones, iPhones, PC / Softphone, Tablet
    • Earbuds: Bluetooth-compatible devices
  • Battery:
    • Listening time: Up to 5 hours of listening time on the earbuds and up to 20 hours of listening time with the charging case
    • Charge time: 1.5 hours to fully charge earbuds and 1.75 hours to fully charge the charging case
    • Fast charge: Up to 60 minutes of listening time on the earbuds after 15 minutes in the charging case
  • Water Resistance: IPX 5
  • Warranty: 2 years, international

Design and features

The look and feel of the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds, dongle, and charging case hardware is unchanged from the original version, as you can see in these pics.  They still have that high-end design and construction, with their sleek, low-profile style.

The earbuds retain their characteristic two-tone color scheme: black body with satin-finished metallic accents and the stylized EPOS “E” logo printed at the center.

The look is very minimalist, with an understated futuristic “tech” appearance.

The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds have several small gold metallic dots that are a combination of contact points and magnets that facilitate secure charging of the earbuds when they are placed inside the charging case.

The charging case is made from aluminum with a matte, anodized gray finish.  The case’s design gives it a nice visual appearance and tactile feel, with rounded corners and edges as well as its satiny, matte finish.  This might just be the most durable earbuds case I’ve ever used.  I’ve dropped it on hard floors and even concrete and the most wear it’s shown is a few small scratches on one corner.  The front of the case also has five tiny LEDs and an oval-shaped button—more on these below.

The interior of the case has a soft, rubber-type coating that acts as a shock absorber, helping to protect the earbuds should you drop them while they are inside the case.  The case’s lid has a slight spring assist that makes it snap open and closed, which feels satisfying and secure.  When inside the case, each earbud has a tiny LED that glows green to indicate that they are at full charge, yellow to indicate a partial charge, and red to indicate that the earbuds’ batteries are nearly fully drained.

The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbud’s charging case has two cavities that perfectly fit each earbud.  As seen in the above image, five spring-loaded gold pins act as contacts, charging the earbuds while they sit snug and secure inside the charging case.  There are also two larger gold circles which I believe are tiny magnets that help align and orient the earbuds to the correct position for charging them.

The EPOS stylized “E” logo is printed atop the case.  On the rear of the case is a USB-C port for charging the case itself with the included USB-C cable.

When the case is charging, the tiny blue LEDs on the front of the case illuminate to indicate the current charge level.  When the case is not charging, you can press the oval-shaped button on the front of the case to display the current charge level of the case, a feature I find to be quite handy.

Also included is a silicone sleeve with an attached lanyard.  The sleeve helps protect the dongle from damage, and the lanyard can be attached to a keychain, carabiner, or another item to help keep the dongle from getting lost.

 

The sleeve has a small window that allows the dongle’s LED to be seen when in use.

The photo above shows the relative size of the GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds and the dongle.  All components are quite small and compact.

Setup

The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds are easy to pair with your phone.  Open the lid of the charging case then press the oval-shaped button on the front of the case.  The LED will begin to flash blue and red.  Go to your phone’s Bluetooth setting and select “EPOS GTW 270” from the list of devices.  On a couple of occasions, I had to re-pair the earbuds.  Just place them back in the case and go through the steps I just described and you should be all set.

The EPOS GTW 270 are “hybrid” earbuds due to their included wireless dongle.  The dongle plugs into a USB-C port and allows the earbuds to connect to devices like Playstation game consoles, the Nintendo Switch, and PCs.  If a device doesn’t have a USB-C port, the EPOS GTW 270 includes an adapter cable for USB-A ports.  I was hoping that this updated version of the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds would have added compatibility with XBox, but I was disappointed to find that it did not.  

Simply plug the dongle into a USB-C port on your device.  Here, I’m using my work-issued Lenovo X13 laptop.  Once the dongle has been plugged into a USB-C port, open the lid of the earbuds’ charging case and a small LED on the side of the dongle glows blue for a few seconds, then purple to indicate that the dongle and the earbuds are paired.

One of the most significant improvements that EPOS made in this upgraded version of their GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds is that the dongle now allows use of the earbuds’ microphone, something that the previous version could not do.  This allowed me to plug in the dongle and easily use the earbuds for Zoom and MS Teams virtual meetings for work.  This means I can toss the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds and their dongle in my travel bag and use them for virtual meetings while on the road.  Kudos, EPOS, this is a big improvement.

Performance

 

One of the aspects of the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds that I like best is how well they fit in my ears.  They fit better than most of the many earbuds I’ve reviewed here at The Gadgeteer.

Once I switched to the largest size of earbud tips (I have larger than average ear canals), the earbuds fit well in my ears.  Just a light press and a small twist and the earbuds fit snugly but comfortably. Their ergonomic shape, compact size, and lightweight helped them stay put during all sorts of activities, including intense exercise.  In addition, their IPX 5 water resistance kept them fully functioning despite significant amounts of sweat and even in steady rain.

The earbuds have fairly standard touch controls, such as play/pause, fast-forward, rewind, call answer, call end, and so forth.  The GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds also provide a significant degree of passive noise blocking.  I think this is largely due to how well they fit in my ears.  I was able to hear clearly through them even when mowing and trimming the lawn and vacuuming the house.

This updated version of the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds seems to have a sound quality that may be a bit upgraded from the original version.  Between its ability to effectively block ambient noise as well as solid onboard sound hardware creates a great combination of enjoyable listening, from podcasts and audiobooks to music.

What I like

  • Small, compact earbuds that fit in my ear and stay put through all sorts of activities
  • Nearly indestructible aluminum case with power indicator
  • Easy setup through both Bluetooth and dongle
  • The dongle now includes microphone capability—this is a big win

What I’d change

  • Add XB0x compatibility
  • Add on-board volume controls

Final thoughts

I was impressed with this updated version of the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds.  When I reviewed the original version, I had mixed feelings about it.  I was impressed with many of its features, but there were a few things I wanted to see added, namely, XBox compatibility, on-board volume controls, and the ability to use the microphone with the dongle.  EPOS did add the ability to use the microphone with the dongle, which is a big win.  However, the earbuds are still not compatible with XBox consoles, nor do they have on-board volume controls, which is still a bit disappointing.  Overall though, I really like the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds, and this updated version is even better.

Price: $149.00
Where to buy: EPOS and Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided by EPOS.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *