The Best Gaming on the Go

Today’s options for portable gaming are on the cutting edge of technology and gamers expect the quality of their audio experience to keep pace. We reveal how EPOS engineers tackle this challenge – now and in the future.

The growth of gaming on mobile devices shows no sign of slowing. From the earliest handheld gaming consoles launched three decades ago to today’s high tech portable devices such as the Nintendo Switch or top-end smartphones, portable gaming devices have become increasingly sophisticated.

For many years, the audio requirements for gaming on the go were modest – limited to grainy sound effects and bleepy music delivered to the ubiquitous 3.5 mm headphone socket. The games available on – or streamed to – smartphones and tablets today feature high resolution audio that is an integral part of the modern gaming experience as increasingly immersive games become playable on portable screens. At the same time, many devices have dropped the headphone jack completely, and many gamers prefer not to be tethered to their device by a wire even if it’s an option.

Cutting the mobile gaming wires

Mobile wireless gaming faces a variety of challenges, not least of which is latency – the delay between the muzzle flash you see on your screen and the sound that you hear of the gun firing. Typically, the latency in most Bluetooth connections is up to 200ms. This does not matter if you’re watching linear video, which can simply be delayed, allowing the audio to be perfectly synchronized. When you are playing a game, however, the control inputs and the resulting game output is entirely unpredictable; no delays to video can be added to synchronize with the wireless audio or the controls will feel unresponsive. The only solution is to minimize the time it takes to deliver the audio from the game to your ears, which means using specialist low latency technologies.

The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid true wireless earbuds utilize EPOS Low Latency technology to reduce the audio delay to just 60ms, delivered from a special dongle compatible with a wide range of popular mobile gaming devices, from a Nintendo Switch or Android smartphone to a notebook PC. The H3PRO Hybrid wireless headset takes it one step further, with a custom EPOS CODEC that’s even more efficient and also allows bi-directional low latency operation for both game audio and voice communication. But delivering that all-important low latency performance for gaming is only one piece of the design puzzle.

Adaptable and comfortable

When on the move, gamers need a device that can carry out all the functions you might need from a smartphone headset. The requirement for adaptability is why the GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds will also connect to devices via a standard Bluetooth connection – allowing you to make or receive phone calls and listen to a favorite podcast if you are not playing a game.

The H3 Hybrid and H3PRO Hybrid are also both designed to be adaptable for use on the go. The mic boom can be removed entirely and left at home – in this case, a second mic in the earcup is used for voice communication. Both headsets will also connect to devices via standard Bluetooth for making calls or chatting online while on the move.

It’s always a challenge to deliver the functionality and performance required for mobile gaming in a form factor which is simultaneously practical on the move, comfortable for longer gaming sessions and pleasing to the eye.

Three typical pain points in the ear. By removing pressure on the non-flexible areas, the GTW 270 earbuds ensure a stable, sealed and completely painless fit for non-intrusive gaming sessions.

When designing the GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds, the EPOS product team focused on shape, stability and seal to ensure both optimal audio performance and exceptional comfort levels. Our owner Demant has a database of over 100,000 ear scans; using AI techniques, we were able to test numerous designs with this dataset to develop a shell that avoided pressure on the most sensitive parts of the ear while maintaining an excellent acoustic seal and feeling secure and stable. By also supplying multiple sizes of earbud tips for the wearer to choose for the perfect fit, the reliable positioning in ear and stability not only ensured excellent acoustic performance and comfort but also allowed the designers to fashion the exterior shape of each earbud such that it would sit sleekly within the pinnae’s profile.

The GTW 270 Hybrid true wireless earbuds look good, feel great and sound amazing by design, but at EPOS we are always striving for future improvements. As a member of the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group), we are actively contributing to exciting new developments such as the versatile new Bluetooth LE Audio standard that will enable high quality, low latency, battery-friendly wireless audio for both game sound and voice communications at the same time – as well as a host of other gamer-friendly use cases.