The EPOS GSX 1000 2nd Edition external sound card brings depth and immersive spatial surround sound to your wired gaming or audio headset while allowing you to customize your sound experience with four sound profiles and independent chat volume.
- Easy, responsive touch controls
- Great 7.1 surround sound for your gaming headset
- Direct sound selection makes games more immersive
- Portable, plug and play – no software needed
- Custom sound profiles make it easy to switch between tasks without resetting
- Volume wheel lends to precise levels
- Separate audio and chat streams
When you talk to gamers about their favorite games, the conversation is usually dominated by graphics quality, with audio often taking the backseat. But sound is so essential to a complete gaming experience. Great sound can help immerse you in the game’s environment and bring your surroundings to life, while poor sound could be the reason victory slips from your fingers–especially in competitive FPS or other team games. If you’re looking to up your in-game sound experience, or want to enhance your music listening with a DAC for a reasonable price, the EPOS GSX 1000 2nd Edition external sound card is a colossal leap forward for any gamer or music lover.
The younger sibling to the original GSX 1000, the GSX 1000 2nd Edition features a 16bit 48kHz recording path, as opposed to the older 16bit 16kHz microphone recording path. Additionally, the GSX 1000 2nd edition has a newly designed volume ring and uses USB-C instead of micro-USB to power and connect the DAC to your computer.
Minimalists (and cluttered workspaces) rejoice! With a neat, square form factor, the GSX 1000 2nd Edition doesn’t take up much desk space and can be tucked away when not needed. The GSX 1000 2nd Edition comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable that allows you to connect to any PC or Mac (with USB-A adapter) and go without having to install any software to adjust the settings.
The newly designed aluminum volume ring glides smoothly and is Windows-synced so you can control your PC’s volume directly. Fingertip touch controls allow for quick switching between your custom sound profiles, headset and speaker modes and adjust settings.
The DAC has a small kickstand that can give a better angle to see and adjust controls, and there are ports for headphones, microphone and speaker out connections. A chat volume wheel is located on the right side of the unit, and the LED touch panel dims automatically to reduce distraction and awakens with a hand gesture close to the panel.
Utilizing EPOS’s BrainAdapt Technology, the result of EPOS’s years of research into understanding how your brain listens, the GSX 1000 2nd Edition minimizes the amount of time and energy it takes your brain to process sound, giving gamers long-term listening comfort and maximum immersion along with a competitive edge in tense moments.
The EPOS GSX 1000 2nd edition features EPOS’s best-in-class 7.1 surround sound for headset listening, 2.0 sound for speakers, and separate game audio and chat stream mixing. The separate volume controls allow you to adjust the mix on the fly, ensuring communications can be heard at critical times and lowered or muted when your teammates get to be too much.
One of the best features of the GSX 1000 2nd Edition is the ability to create four custom profiles that are easily accessible by simply pressing the assigned touch button in one of the four corners of the device once set. This feature is perfect for creating profiles when you find the sweet spots for your favorite game, music settings or movie audio settings and more.
There are also four specially tuned audio presets: music, esports, story and neutral (flat). And you can further customize with reverberation levels and directional sound to help you take advantage of the spatial audio.
TWICE had the opportunity to test out the EPOS GSX 1000 2nd Edition over the past few months and we put the compact DAC through the ringer with multiple games, chats, movies and an endless playlist of music. We’ve enjoyed testing various models of EPOS headphones and microphones over the years, and we’re continually impressed with the quality of their audio and devices. We went into our testing with high expectations, and we were not disappointed.
The GSX 1000 2nd Edition is compatible with headphones with a 3.5mm jack, (an adapter will be needed for headphones with 6.35mm jacks) but for optimal performance, EPOS recommends their H6PRO Wired Open or Closed Acoustic Gaming Headsets. TWICE used the H6PRO Open headset during our testing.
The games used in our testing were ones we knew had rich soundtracks and/or had multiplayer elements that required precision communication during matches or raids. Some games we played with the GSX 100 2nd Edition included Genshin Impact (amazing music!), Fortnite, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Guild Wars 2, Elden Ring, Final Fantasy XIV, God of War, and, of course, our favorite addiction still to this day – Skyrim.
The GSX 1000 2nd Edition brought out the deep, natural bass that boomed during boss fights, and the mids were crisp and accurate, with the higher frequencies ringing clear – particularly with the 7.1 surround feature on. During multiplayer competitions, we were impressed with the clarity of both the mic and chat audio, and while we didn’t really use the chat stream volume too much, it did help when one of our guildmates forgot how to turn his own volume down during a particularly tense fight.
Switching over to music, we experimented with a wide variety of sound profiles and found a couple that we really liked – and instantly saved them as presets. Not all music we listened to benefited the same from the saved profiles, and we like how EPOS has basic presets to build off of and how responsive the touch panel can be.
In regards to the touch panel controls, it can take a while to remember what each setting is and how to adjust it. As mom always said, “Read the instruction manual.” We did notice that dust and fingerprints do collect easily on the device, but a quick wipe with a microfiber cloth is all it takes to clear that problem up.
Another feature that took us a while to realize was available is the Tournament Mode. This feature is especially great for competitive players, as it allows you to lock your settings to avoid any missed clicks in-game. It’s kind of awkward to initiate, but you just hold the top-left and bottom-right sound profile for 5 seconds, and the GSX 1000 2nd edition notifies you when Tournament Mode is enabled.
The EPOS GSX 1000 2nd Edition is a great portable and compact DAC with incredible audio quality. As an external sound card, it brings depth and immersive spatial surround sound to your games, music and movies – especially with a premium wired gaming or audio headset like the EPOS H6PRO. Being able to customize and save up to four sound profiles makes it functional and we can’t say enough about the audio experience we had while testing. The GSX 1000 2nd Edition is a smart, affordable investment for any gamer or music lover looking to boost their audio experiences.
The EPOS GSX 1000 2nd Edition retails for $199 MSRP, and is available on EPOS.com, Amazon and Best Buy.
See also: Executive Insight: Dolby Atmos & The Future Of The Home Theater Category