There’s something to be said for high-quality gaming headsets. The difference between a cheaper sub-$100 headset and a nice $200 set of cans is quite vast, so when Audeze asks the price of a console for its gaming headphones, we expect them to be good. Fortunately, Audeze knows audio, and while $400 might be expensive in the traditional gaming headset market, the Audeze Mobius headphones are some of the company’s least expensive models. We’re talking about a set of products for audiophiles; some of which can exceed three grand for a set of headphones. To have this same company use its experience and technology to make a more accessible—but still high-quality—set of gaming headphones warrants a closer look.
Audeze Mobius Review – Audio Superiority
The Audeze Mobius, just like its much more expensive studio-headphone siblings, uses planar magnetic technology. Using elements originally designed for NASA and a number of patented in-house techniques, planar magnetic headphones allow for more clarity and fidelity, less distortion, and a lighter weight overall. Too often, companies try to boast a “good” audio experience as loud volume, lots of low end bass tones, and piercing highs that stab your ear drums. The audiophiles at Audeze know that good audio comes not from volume or booming bass, but from the immersion in the soundstage. Great audio is getting high detail across the entire frequency response to feel like you aren’t just listening to audio, but that you are right there experiencing it yourself.
Planar magnetic technology is just one piece of that puzzle. The Audeze Mobius headset boasts 3D surround with head tracking, a small detail that really places the user right in the middle of whatever they are listening to. Whether it’s music, movies, or games, Mobius centers the listener in the audio, creating virtual speakers in a virtual space, which then tracks your head movement and keeps a consistent audio direction no matter how you move your head. Being a powered high-end headset, of course you can hop onto your computer and adjust a number of settings right in the firmware.
There’s one downside for PS4 users with the 3D head tracking. The PS4 only outputs true surround audio via HDMI or optical. No matter how you connect the Audeze Mobius headset to your PS4 (using AUX through the controller or USB directly into the PS4), you aren’t going to get anything more than a stereo output. The 3D head tracking still works with stereo and does create more immersion by centering the audio at your TV, but it doesn’t quite pack the punch that getting a full surround sound signal does. Even with the 3D capabilities turned off (which is easy to do at the push of a button), the quality of the Audeze Mobius eclipses most every other gaming headset I’ve used. PS4 users may not be able to get the full capabilities of it (yet*), but there are very few headsets that actually do capture the PS4’s surround capabilities anyway.
Audeze Mobius Review – Listen to Anything, Anywhere
A diverse range of connections means you can listen to anything, anywhere, whether it’s Bluetooth, AUX, or USB. You can even have it connected to multiple sources and switch between them, so if a phone call comes in while you are gaming, you can quickly swap over. A detachable boom microphone is included and works great, but there’s no other on-board mic solution. That means that if you do want to take a phone call through these but don’t have the mic connected, you’ll have to have the boom mic handy nearby. It’s a minor gripe, but one that came into play when I was using these to listen to music while out and about.
The Audeze Mobius headset has a battery that can last for about 10 hours, which is great considering these are active headphones that need to be powered on in order to use. Even plugging in via the AUX cable, you won’t be able to hear anything unless they are turned on. Using them via USB will actively feed power while they are in use, and you can passively charge them through the included USB cables while you aren’t using them. Given the number of things we’re charging on a daily basis, if you’re the type of person to spend $400 on headphones, you won’t have any problem keeping these charged up and ready to go.
Sound only goes so far, though, if the headphones are uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. Fortunately, I’ve had these things on my head since I got them and have barely wanted to take them off. I use them to listen to music throughout my work day, and then plug them into my DualShock 4 for some evening gaming each night. On the weekend they accompanied me around the house and yard as I got some work done, and then took a trip down the trail with me while I took my dog for a walk. They are lightweight and versatile, and perhaps most importantly, they look good. They don’t have the same bulk that other gaming headsets can have, so being out in public with them doesn’t feel like you’re wearing your gaming cans.
Audeze Mobius Review – Focus on What’s Important
All of the controls and functions are contained on the left earcup, and there are a lot of hidden little functions in the couple knobs and buttons it has. Each one is multipurpose, meaning that long holds, short holds, and everything between have various things that it can do, including skipping a music track using a push and roll of the volume wheel and pausing/resuming music by tapping the power button quickly. It took some reading of the manual, but I found I got used to the unique functions pretty quickly.
I also have to call out the extremely clever and fun user’s manual, which forgoes the traditional boring manual design for something a bit more conversational. Audeze knows its audience, and that shows. It’s little touches like these that give me reassurance that this is a company that cares about the user experience. From the quality of the headphones themselves right down to how the manual is written, Audeze Mobius is an entire experience.
Audeze Mobius is a gaming headset that finally focuses on what’s important: audio. By forgoing the usual flashy nature of most gaming headsets, it also sets itself up as a great all-purposes audio device that can comfortably be taken out of the living room or office, but also feels right at home as a gaming audio solution. It’s got a high price point, but this is a company that knows and excels in audio. When sound is important to you, it’s worth it to invest in the best, and Audeze Mobius can count itself among that pantheon. Don’t just listen to your audio. Be present in it.
Audeze Mobius review unity provided by manufacturer for the purposes of this review. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
*Audeze mentioned that they are looking into solutions for wireless with the PS4. My guess is that this will be a wireless USB dongle like most other wireless headsets. If Audeze gives this dongle an optical input that routes around to the optical out on the back of the PS4, then the Audeze Mobius could potentially make full use of its immersive 3D sound with full surround output from the console.
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