Blue Microphone’s Mo-Fi Powered High-Fidelity Headphones Review – Auditory Experience
Based off of my review of Blue’s Yeti USB Microphone, it’s easy to tell that when it comes to hardware from Blue Microphones, I have pretty high expectations based on the bar the company has set up to this point. So, when I got a chance to check out Blue’s first entry into the headphones market with their Mo-Fi Powered High-Fidelity Headphones, I jumped at the opportunity.
To start off, Blue’s Mo-Fi Headphones are genuinely unlike anything I have ever tried before. Not only in design, but also in their ability too deliver something as well made as it is versatile. Like just about every other pair of high-end headphones, you can plug your Mo-Fi into any 3.5mm headphone jack and get a rich level of audio quality that should be expected from a premium device. With a solid range that delivered without fail across every high and low I could put them through. The Mo-Fi Headphones are a fantastic choice when it comes to using them in the same way you would any other headset, but that is only the beginning of what these headphones have to offer.
Like just about every pair of headphones available, the quality of their audio is also strictly tied into the device that is powering them, as that is what’s having to drive the sound to you. Some audio devices do contain a high quality audio amp, which is what is needed to get a high quality sound, but more often than not, you aren’t going to find them on everything you plug into. This is where the Mo-Fi comes into play, as they have a built in powered amp inside the headphones that is able to push your audio regardless of the device it is plugged into.
By simply rotating a knob located where the headphone’s 2.5mm jack is, you can switch been a normal passive mode, turning the amp ON, and a ON+ mode which is designed to push bass even further if you want a bit more depth in your sound. After switching them on, the dynamic range and level of audio will become incredibly more noticeable, so users will want to make sure that they don’t have the audio too high, as these can really reach some deafening levels if you aren’t paying attention. According to Blue, the Mo-Fi’s have around 12 hours of battery life, which can be charged with just about any micro USB chord in just a few hours, and that seems to be just about what I was able to get out of them.
With the DualShock 4’s ability to plug in headphones directly, I got to test them out in a gaming climate, and I was blown away by their performance. When it comes to gaming, there are few key aspects that are needed, and they don’t always correlate to devices designed specifically for music. But, given the Mo-Fi’s adherence to recreate an atmosphere almost perfectly, its soundstage is impeccable, and is perfect for locating sounds. Given its sizable over-ear cushions, there is a significant amount of isolation they can offer, which helps keep the player centered on the game, and not the world around them. They aren’t noise cancelling by any real meaning of the word, but the suction that they can offer does limit outside influences, and helps players track in-game sounds much better.
But, if you’re looking to use these as a gaming headset, you may be a bit more disappointed, or to be more precise, your friends will be, since the third-party mic that’s included is terrible. Working much like any headphone dongle that comes with your phone, or iPod/iPad, the Mo-Fi comes with a cable that has a built in microphone and controller, but besides offering terrible audio quality, the controls are too high up on the chord to see and there is no mute option. So, if you want a gaming headset, something that is designed for both audio quality, and chat functionality alone, you will be a bit put off by Blue’s first attempt.
This brings me to where I have been having the biggest issue with the Mo-Fi headphones, as their design is incredibly cool looking, and will easily be the standout among every other set of headphones I own, but they are far from the most comfortable. Having a bigger head, I have found that the amount of pressure placed on both sides of my ears can become uncomfortable after a period of time, and isn’t something that loosened up over the few weeks I tried to break them in over. There is a dial on the top of the headband to loosen the tension of the arms, but they don’t seem to do enough to alleviate its clamping nature. Maybe over a longer period of time, and heavier usage, the amount of pressure it places on your head will lessen, but it is really hard to tell, especially given the superb build quality of the headphones overall.
I have heard a number of people complain about the weight of the set, but I personally haven’t had an issue with them, as I find them sturdy but not encumbering. The unique layout of the arms, and their ability to scissor out does give them more versatility and the ability for the user to completely modify how they fit over your years. But, while the Mo-Fi’s can be warn around the neck and be moved out of the way, the cans will not rotate 90 degrees like many other sets, making them a bit awkward as they try to compress back together around your neck. The reason for this is that, when they do contract, they turn the amp off to save power.
Simply by looking at the Mo-Fi headphones, you will know they are something special and that they will not be for everyone, as they really don’t feel like they were meant to be. Instead of shipping with multiple colors to draw in the fashionable crowd, Blue’s Mo-Fi Powered High-Fidelity Headphones are designed for mature audiophiles who care about quality over popularity. They are still incredible with their gun metal finish, but they look as if they belong more in a studio than on the playground. Which makes them a great presentation piece for podcasters, professionals and even gamers. Sadly, you will want to use a real microphone, as the Mo-Fi‘s will simply not do the job.
Depending on your love of music and possibly your needs for gaming, the Mo-Fi headphones can be a difficult purchase to make. But, despite its tendency to grapple with my head, and forcing me to tap out after a few hours, they have helped me recapture the feeling of being lost in music, the feeling of simply listening to a track and soaking it in for all its worth. To some the price tag of $349 will be beyond what they are willing to drop on headphones, but to those of us who are genuinely in love with the way audio can touch us, they are priceless.