We all need headsets or wireless earbuds, to listen to our games, music, tv, or movies in the privacy of our own space, without others interrupting us, or us disturning them. There are some great brands on the market, Razer, EPOS (formally Sennheiser), SteelSeries, Plantronics, Corsair, Sades, and many more. For this review, I am checking out a brand called Audeze and their HIGH-END Mobius Immersive 3D Cinematic Audio Headphones which cost an eye-watering £399.99.
Now, this is not a new release headset, as I saw these in action at EGX 2018, the same year they got released, so they have been out for some time. Move to 2021 and I finally got myself a pair, why? because when I tested these for the first time at EGX, I walked away, more or less satisfied. Satisfied that I had sat down and been treated to the most impressive and immersive sound experience ever.
Many years have passed since the headset’s original launch and the technology which is in the Mobius is now available in another well-known brand HyperX with their Cloud Orbit Gaming Headset, which is cheaper. So why would you spend £399.99 on the original?
Before I go any further I have not had, reviewed, or even own the Cloud Orbit Gaming Headset, so this review will not in any way based on that headset, it will be based on headsets that I have checked out in the past and that is a lot.
So let us check out how they sell this new headset
It looks impressive using dark photography (dark colours and tones) showcasing what the headset looks like as well and a number of key features which include the following;
- 3D Audio
- 7.1 Surround Sound
- Audeze Planar Magnaic 100mm Drivers
- Waves Nx fully immersive 3D audio
- Lightweight Ergonomic Design
- Reduced Listening Fatigue
- Detachable Microphone
- Discord Certified
- Max Compatible
- PC Gaming Optimized
Moving to one of the sides Audeze go into a little more detail when it comes to the headset’s sound stage;
- Integrated head tracking – Precisely tracks head movements 1000 times a seconds
- Sound localization – Identified the sound source, changing dynamically as you move
- Room Emulation – Sophisticated customizable tool creating a sense of space and reflection
On the back, you get to find out what cables come with the headset which includes USB C to USB C, 3.5mm to 3.5mm, and USB to USB C.
Then finally Audeze, showcase some of the core features which are present on the headset, which includes;
- A scratch Resistant Coating on Headband
- Memory foam Headband
- Flexible headband
- Adjustable Headband
- Replaceable, contoured Foam Earpads
- Planner Magnetic Drivers
- Mic Mute Switch
- 3D Surround Sound Button
- Headphone volume control
- Microphone Volume Control
That’s about it for the outer packaging, lets move to the inner packaging, which is simply sublime, perfect, massive thick manual, carry bag, headphones, cables, all packaged away safely for your needs and convenience. As I say in all my reviews, you need everything packed away safely, just in case the delivery driver is having a bad day and decides to play football with your package.
Who would buy this headset?
Well, it’s for gamers, PC Gamers more than anything else, but you can use them for mobile use if you would want to is another question. These are great for all games movies, music, listening to podcasts, youtube videos, you name it anything. This headset is literally PREMIUM.
With the term PREMIUM, you expect PREMIUM design, construction, and well everything, so how does the Audeze Mobius stack up?
First off, it is a very comfortable headset to use after a while, after a while you ask, well the headset requires some usage, to soften to memory foam and allow some give on the headband. The headband might look like there is not much padding there, however, it is more than enough for your needs. The memory foam used for the earcups, in the end, becomes softer, snug, and a delight to wear. Earcups are leatherette, but there are alternatives, but no soft material version. If you wear glasses, you might have some issues to start, as you are aware many headphone manufactures do not consider us as a priority when it comes to the design of a headset.
You just have to get past the new headset feel, your head might get noticeably sore, but bear with it.
Plastic and PREMIUM to me do not go hand in hand, yet these headphones are built to last, twisted, thrown around the room (to an extent), and even scratch-resistant. The plastic used is rather soft and malleable, the design is not overly large or overly small, it’s just about right and in the end, feels solid. You will find branding on the sides of the headset and on the headband itself. The earcups twist and tilt and the headband can be adjusted to suit many head sizes. There are plenty of design ideas on this headset that help the Mobius to stand out.
Drivers, WOW, 100mm, the biggest drivers I have ever heard of or owned. Normally we get a 40mm or 50mm dynamic driver, these are planar magnetic drivers, and this headset was the first in the world to have them at the time. From what they say these drivers use a magnetic field to generate a more accurate sound, and by golly, do they, just WOW.
Control is another aspect of a headset we look at these days, controls on the earcups or in-line controls. With the Audeze Mobius everything has been placed on the left earcup. A dial to control the sound, a dial to control the mic volume, these also act if depressed, a way to choose a sound profile, or audio mode.
- Audio Mode‘s inc Stereo, Bluetooth and 7.1
- Profiles include Flat, Default, FootSteps, RPG, Racing, Warm, Music, Ballistics, there is no way to create your own curve (EQ), which sucks.
Going to the left earcup, you also have the charger port, Mic attachment, 3D button for that epic 3D cinematic experience, mic mute, and power button (Found on the outside of the earcup).
There is a lot of setting available on this headset and remembering what you have chosen is almost impossible, so I recommend plugin your headset into your PC and checking out the setting through the Audeze HQ app. If you are out and about and do not have access to your PC, you can play with the setting again, and a voice will play through each setting you have chosen.
Tech, TECH, TECHNOLOGY
These headphones have it all and they are impressive but also useless at times. The Mobius uses Waves Nx which offers a way to create a virtual environment (like a room) with head tracking incorporated into its design. Let’s give an example, say you are in a room with real speakers, that are set in front of you. You stand dead centre/middle of the room, this will allow the speakers to pass sound equally between your ears. Now if you turn your left ear towards the speaker, the sound will be louder in that ear, compared to your right ear, same if you do it the other way around. This is what head tracking simulates in a virtual environment. By pressing the 3D button on the headset, sets a point in front of you and places the sound there (like a set of speakers).
In the end, the sound feels like it is coming from the front of you, not directly from the earcups attached to your head like every other headset. An immersive experience I have never been treated to before. This amazing 3D experience works wired and wireless, so you are good to go.
- Heads up 1 – Android users, please activate developer options within your mobile device and increase the L-DAC codec settings to 990kbps.
- Heads up 2 – if you are moving around with 3D audio activated, it feels and sounds odd, like you are walking around a club or a live gig.
Gaming, Gaming, Gaming
I got these headphones for PC gaming, not for mobile and listening to music or playing on Xbox Cloud, which you can probably do, in fact, you can.
Now to use 5.1 and 7.1 Surround Sound, the headset needs to be plugged in, which sucks as I am so used to using wireless headset now. But do not get upset, the sound experience you will get is amazing, and thanks to Waves Nx head tracking, the surround sound experience is elevated to all-new levels never experienced before now. This is more relevant to gamers, that have more than one screen and move their head around to see what is going on, or within a VR experience. VR experience is mind-blowing already, but add these headphones and your experience and trust me, you will be treated to an audio extravaganza. Audio cues in games, even without moving your head around with 5.1 and 7.1 Surround Sound is still the best you will ever experience, and I played games like COD, Valhalla, and Monster Hunter. I heard everything from all positions.
Software or Bloat Ware that is the Question?
PC gamers have plenty of applications to run games from like Steam, GoG, Origin, Uplay just to name a few, then we have applications for our Video cards, sound devices, and our peripherals, so then its no surprise that Audeze offers us an app to download called Audeze HQ.
As previously mentioned the software can allow you to change profiles and sound settings, but that’s not the only thing you can do here, you can mess with the HRTF features. You can use sliders to alter the head circumference, inter-aural arc, and room ambiance settings. In the box comes a paper measuring tape for a few of these settings so you can put them in place to perfect your virtual room experience. If you want to you can be mesmerized by the 3D head which moves in time with you showing how good the software is. You can also view the sound level, 3D options, and battery level. When it comes to battery life, you should get around 9 to 10hours of playtime with them before you need to recharge them again, which is more than enough time for any avid gamer.
When it comes to the firmware you need to plug your headset into the PC, make sure the mic is muted head to this site and download the latest firmware then click the button within the firmware tab.
After you have updated, input your head measurements, just for the fun of it, how does it sound? BLOODY AMAZING, possibly the best gaming headset I have been treated to. Spending £399.99 on a headset is to me a lot of money, and possibly to a lot of other gamers, but you are truly getting your money’s worth, is it better or on par with the HyperX version which is cheaper? I have no idea and don’t care. You will hear Mids, Lows, Highs, perfect, extremely clear and precise. Even when using 5.1 and 7.1 the bass is not top-heavy, you can hear and pick up the sounds of footsteps, whistles, and much more with pinpoint accuracy. When running with a VR headset everything becomes more visceral.
They don’t stop there being closed-back headphones, everything from your outside world is filtered out and you and you alone will be treated to a world of adventure that only games can offer.
One final point, the one point any online gamer would want to know about the microphone, how does that sound? well here is a recording below.
It’s ok but nowhere near as good as a studio-grade mic, but it does the trick ok.
So that’s about it, should you buy an Audeze Mobius?
Should you buy an Audeze Mobius, good question, it is by far the best gaming headset I have ever had the opportunity to own and review. Offers head-tracking, the best audio experience, the biggest set of drivers and software to personally customise. Now here comes the headsets that I feel may not offer up all the bells and whistles but are good, Razer BlackShark V2, EPOS GPS 601 or 670, SteelSeries Arctis Range, each of these is great and cheaper. The HyperX Cloud Orbit S is a cheaper option, but you do lose Bluetooth connectivity, and I have no idea how it sounds. For console users, you might want to check out the Audeze Penrose, or any official headset from Sony and Microsoft.
Head tracking is a bit pointless if you only look at one screen, but if you VR or use a multitude of screens you will enjoy the head tracking experience. I would have loved the opportunity to create my own custom profiles (EQ Settings) however, the sound you experience is already top notch. The price still being 399.99, is a bit overly expensive and I would think they would be cheaper.
Pick up the Audeze Mobius from any good retail out or here from Amazon
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