Ok, first things first, pronunciation. Think Odyssey and you are well on the way to getting it right. Once you have experienced the sound from these headphones, the name makes a lot more sense, as they really allow you to go on an audible odyssey. Put the headphones on, relax into your favourite chair, and become drawn into your favourite games, movies or music in stunning clarity.
Renowned for their clean and accurate sound reproduction, developers and sound engineers have even started using Audeze headphones for mastering audio in lieu of a traditional mastering studio. The ability to do this without needing to step into a custom-built studio that not only requires a sizeable dedicated space but also a significant investment is revolutionary.
Until recently, audio of this quality has been reserved for only the most high-end setups, and an audiophile-quality experience like this has rarely been available at a consumer level. With the Audeze Mobius, and LCD-GX, gamers can now experience premium audio specially designed for the gaming environment, with detachable high-fidelity microphones included as standard.
We recently had some hands-on time with the Audeze Mobius, and it was an eye-opening (or should that be ear-opening?) experience. Before you even place these headphones over your ears, the quality is revealed in the excellent build quality and beautiful design. The Mobius comes in charcoal-black, with either carbon (silvery-grey), copper, or blue (with a beautiful anodized hue) accents.
The ear cups are larger than other headphones on the market, but this is because there’s a huge amount of tech built into these headphones, as well as needing to accommodate the planar magnetic drivers, which are by necessity slightly larger than you may be used to. Despite this, they don’t feel bulky or unwieldy and are remarkably lightweight.
Controls are mounted on the outside of the ear cups, along with the USB-C connector. There are separate wheels for audio volume and microphone volume, which also double as in-built controls for selecting songs, and switching between EQ presets. The power button is used for powering up the device, pairing with Bluetooth devices, and also answering phone calls should you be connected to a mobile device at the time. There is also a ‘3D’ button, which centres the audio when using the head-tracking 3D audio, turns the 3D mode on or off, and also switches between audio input sources. There’s quite a lot going on, but when your headset can do so much, it’s necessary, and it becomes second nature before long.
Once you’ve paired or connected your Mobius to whichever device you wish to use it with, and familiarised yourself with the settings, it’s time to put them on your head and experience the world of high-fidelity audio. Replaceable memory foam earpads sit comfortably over your ears, and the soft headband rests comfortably on top of your head. Now, whilst being packed with an incredible amount of features is excellent, it means nothing if the audio it delivers doesn’t match. Thankfully, the Mobius delivers sound quality in spades.
We got to test the audio whilst linked to a PC and experienced the head-tracking 3D audio during a brief playthrough of Hellblade: Senuas Sacrifice. If you have played this game, you will know that the audio plays a huge part in setting the atmosphere. You will frequently hear whispers around you, and the directional tracking and 3D audio really comes into its own here. Sounds not only come from each direction but sound like they are at different distances. Head tracking works in real-time, and as you move your head around, the audio moves with you. Closing your eyes you feel drawn into the soundstage, and it creates an amount of presence you don’t usually get to hear.
Switching across to music, we set up a couple of songs to listen to and cranked up the volume. Listening to some house music, the bass was crisp and punchy, while the mids were full without becoming overly round, and the highs were crisp and sharp, without being harsh. We then switched across to some Slipknot and chose I song I know very well, that has heavy riffs accompanied by powerful percussion and driving bass. Even on our (pretty expensive) headphones and sound system in the office, this track has so much going on that the sound can become muddied at volume, with instruments disappearing into each other. We experienced none of this with the Mobius, with sound separation being exceptional. It was very loud, but also very clear, and I was able to pick out individual notes and instruments which had previously been inaudible.
There was also no discernible distortion, which is remarkable. We don’t mean the crackling, popping kind of distortion caused by overloading the drivers, we mean the change in sound that can occur when the drivers are moving so much that it causes sound to change into more of a single heavy note, than a symphony of sound. The rapid response of the planar magnetic drivers meant that there was no ghosting of sounds during rapid changes in audio, and with the open back design, there wasn’t the reverb that often pops up in gaming headphones, making the sound unnaturally full and ‘boomy’. It is easily the best audio I’ve experienced from gaming headphones.
As we mentioned, build quality is superb, but these are also extremely durable. No one wants to buy a premium headset, only for it to break as soon as you accidentally sit on it (it happens!) or if an over-eager child gets their hands on it. We’ve added a picture below to show just how flexible the Audeze Mobius is: Do not try this with your headphones at home!
We’re hoping to get hold of a pair of Audeze Mobius headphones to review soon, so we can do a full test over a range of consoles and devices, as well as give feedback on what they are like to live with in regards to battery life, charging time, usability and comfort over extended gaming sessions. Even based on our limited hands-on time, though, the Mobius has already proved itself to be an excellent addition to any gamers setup, and is a great introduction to the world of audiophile sound quality.
Check out our gallery of images here: