The Epos Impact 1000 are office headphones that meet the highest demands and are intended to “relieve the brain”. In the practical test, the fairly expensive top model with all the extras convinced almost all along the line. Only the software can be annoying at the beginning.
Epos may not be familiar to everyone, but in fact it is an old acquaintance with great expertise. Until 2020, the manufacturer was known as Sennheiser Communications, which emerged in 2003 from a joint venture between Sennheiser and the hearing aid acoustics group Demant. Epos has gone its own way since splitting up three years ago, but continues to work with Sennheiser to develop, among other things, high-quality headsets for corporate use and for gamers.
One of the latest products is the Epos Impact 1000, a Bluetooth headset designed to enable concentrated and comfortable work in the office or home office. ntv.de tried the headset, which among other things is supposed to “protect the brain in open office environments”.
Epos sent the top model with active noise cancellation (ANC) and an inductive charging stand, which costs 410 euros. You can get the headset without a dock for 370 euros, the simplest version with just one shell, without ANC and charging stand you can get it for just under 270 euros.
Comfortable on-ear headphones
The Impact 1000 are what are known as on-ear headphones, which means that their shells rest on the ear. This makes the headset very compact, but with this design it can quickly happen that your ears hurt – an absurdity for an office headset.
This is not the case with the new Epos headphones, unless you are particularly sensitive. Because the shells are very generously and softly padded. This also applies to the bracket, where the cushion for the suspension in the inductive charging stand is divided into two. Despite the airy construction, it is not entirely possible to avoid sweating a little at high temperatures. Compared to circumaural headphones (over-ears), however, this is within tolerable limits.
Overall, the Impact 100 is very comfortable, which is also due to its low weight of around 180 grams and a well-dosed contact pressure of the shells. Nevertheless, it sits firmly enough not to get crooked if you shake your head energetically.
Epos achieves its low weight through the massive use of plastic. However, the headphones make an extremely solid impression and thanks to excellent workmanship, they are not marred by squeaking or creaking. Both the size adjustment and the rotatable microphone boom offer just the right resistance and hold the set position absolutely securely.
Left or right – the choice is yours
A practical detail is that you can use the microphone on the right or left, as the bracket can be rotated accordingly. If you set this in the associated app, the stereo sound also adapts accordingly in variants with two earpieces.
The microphone is placed almost exactly in front of the corner of the mouth on both sides, which enables the voice to be recorded optimally. Turning it up disables the microphone, turning it down turns it on. If you are in conversation, the red lights on the shells clearly indicate this.
Effective noise cancellation
“Protecting the brain” means nothing other than that the headphones have effective active noise cancellation (ANC) so that you can work with concentration. In fact, the headphones significantly dampen typical office noises such as clattering keyboards or conversations, but they are not completely blocked out. However, the ANC is very good for an on-ear headset and it is completely sufficient to be able to work in a concentrated manner.
If desired, the noise suppression can automatically (adaptively) adapt to the ambient noise, which worked quite well in the test. In the app you can set the ANC level manually.
The noise cancellation on the microphone also does a great job. Your own voice is emphasized, and the surrounding noise is hardly heard or not heard at all by the person you are talking to. You can also adjust how strongly you hear yourself in the app.
Annoying, but safe: updates only with the desktop app
Speaking of the app: Epos Connect actually offers everything you need to adjust the headphones to your own needs. There is no equalizer, but this is forgivable with an office headset. It is annoying that firmware updates are only possible via the desktop application. But you probably have to accept that for security reasons with company hardware.
You can connect up to three devices simultaneously via Bluetooth. You can specify whether one of them has priority or whether, for example, calls or notifications on the notebook can interrupt music playback from the smartphone.
For PCs without a Bluetooth module, Epos supplies a dongle that is housed in a small pouch in the transport case together with a USB-C cable. The Bluetooth connection is also stable over longer distances and through walls.
Good sound, easy to use
Listening to music with the Epos Impact 1000 is quite a pleasure. The sound is relatively neutral with decent bass, well-defined mids and clear highs – you can hear the Sennheiser influence. The compact headphones, which come with a felt bag, are also a welcome travel companion.
Operation is straightforward with buttons that are easy for fingers to identify. On the (usually) left shell you switch ANC on and off. On the right is the on/off/Bluetooth button and a large volume slider.
The headset is persistent. With a full charge you can talk for more than 20 hours with ANC deactivated, with noise cancellation it’s an estimated three to four hours less. An empty battery – refueled via USB-C – is full again in a brisk 1.5 hours. It takes longer on the inductive charging stand. If necessary, the headphones can also be used wired.
The top version of the Epos Impact 1000 is a well thought-out and excellent office headphone. The active noise cancellation is effective, the sound is good, and it is comfortable to wear. In addition, there is great endurance, simple operation and many individual adjustments. The price is high, but if you wear a headset for several hours a day, it can be a little more as long as the quality is right. And that’s the case with the Epos Impact 1000.