Stylish, feature-packed, and an amazing sound. Audeze’s entry to the gaming market is nearly flawless.
- Manufacturer: Audeze
- Price: £349.00 RRP
- Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch, Mobile (3.5mm or Bluetooth)
- Reviewed on: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Android Mobile
- Headset Supplied by: Audeze
The gaming headset market has been booming in recent years, and there’s no shortage of premium-quality hardware to choose from. It turns out, however, that there was a hole in the market. If you’ve never experienced audiophile-quality audio, you really don’t know what you are missing, and this is where Audeze steps in with the Mobius.
The Mobius is the first of its kind in current markets. As far as audiophile equipment goes, it’s a reasonably priced (although it does sit within the higher tier of pricing for gaming headsets), incredibly high-quality audiophile standard listening experience most won’t have experienced before. The Mobius is packed full of an amazing amount of technology within its stylish frame, but the true star of the show is the incredible planar-magnetic drivers pushing the crystal clear sound to your ears.
When you purchase the Mobius, it’s not just the audio that’s a premium experience. From the moment you begin to unbox the headset, it’s clear a lot of time and effort has been taken to make sure that even when you are opening the box, everything about the Mobius oozes class.
Warranty information, user-guides and the quick reference card come ensconced in beautiful black card envelopes, and the guide itself is written extremely well, clearly guiding you through the myriad of features and throwing in a healthy touch of humour. Even the quick reference guide has exquisite hand-drawn sketches of the device, and it’s a step above what you usually receive with almost any product.
Packaged in the black foam padding that protects your headset during transit is a small box containing all the connectors you will need to get up and running. There’s a 3.5mm jack cable, a USB-C to USB-C, a USB-C to USB-A, and the microphone. Between these and the Bluetooth (SBC / AAC / LDAC) connectivity, you can connect these headphones to any games console, mobile phone or PC, and when you hear the quality, you’re going to want to!
The headset itself is gorgeously constructed from soft-touch plastic. Some may bemoan the lack of metal in the construction, but it seems likely that it was a necessary concession in order to keep the weight down, as those huge 100mm drivers and all the tech packed into the Mobius are sure to carry some weight. As it is, the Mobius weighs in at a respectable 350g, so we would argue it’s definitely worth it.
The replaceable earpads are constructed from memory foam, wrapped in luxurious soft-touch synthetic leather, although you can purchase gel-filled earpads from Audeze too if you wish. Coupled with the comfortable headband, they fit close around the ears, creating the solid seal that’s imperative for getting the best sound quality.
Audeze have eschewed the trend of fitting headsets with gaudy RGB, sharp, angular lines, and aggressive styling. Instead, the Mobius is understated, stylish, and unlike many gaming headsets, is something you could wear out and about without drawing attention to the fact it’s a gaming headset. Constructed mostly in a monochromatic colourway, our review unit is the charcoal version, and it’s very tasteful. There’s Audeze branding across the top of the headband, and a small Mobius logo on the right earcup, but apart from that, there’s nothing brash or shouty about this headset.
Construction is solid, and there are no loose fitting parts or creaking when you twist and turn the headset. On the subject of twisting, the Mobius has a unique party trick in that you can completely twist the headband around on itself (as pictured above). Even though it’s unlikely you will ever subject your headset to these kinds of stresses, it’s reassuring to know that it can withstand this kind of treatment.
All of the headset’s controls and connections are located on the left earcup. There is a small power button on the face of the earcup along with a physical microphone mute switch, while the 3D audio button, microphone volume and headphone volume wheels are located on the bottom/rear of the ear cup. Through various combinations of scrolling and long-presses, you can control all of the functions of the headphones, and even answer calls or skip tracks on your phone.
There are such a large amount of features, you may need to keep the quick reference card handy while you learn them all, but once you have, it’s a fast and intuitive way of operating your headset. Whenever you change a setting or change the connection type, it’s communicated to you via a programmed voice which makes it easy to select the right settings.
Connectivity is one of the Mobius’ strong suits. You can connect your devices via Bluetooth (Bluetooth 5.0 / LDAC / AAC), auxiliary input via the included 3.5mm jack or USB for connecting to a PC or PS4. Not all features are available when connected via Bluetooth or aux, such as the 7.1 channel surround sound, so for the best audio while gaming, the connected USB is the best option. The Mobius has its own integral battery, which is essential for powering the tech it uses, but it’s not a wireless headset in the traditional sense unless you are using Bluetooth on your phone or PC.
When connected to an Xbox One using the 3.5mm connector, you can’t use the built-in 7.1ch audio processing, but if you switch the Mobius to 2ch mode, it works amazingly well with the console’s software-driven surround sound solutions. Windows Sonic works very well, but the Xbox’s processing of Dolby Atmos (separate purchase required) sounds even better through the Mobius, with the slightly richer bass and mid frequencies lending well to the headset’s wide soundstage. It still sounds great running in 2ch mode, but I’d like for them to create an external amp for the console that allowed you to connect digitally and enable the amazing surround-sound processor. Hopefully, future iterations will address this, but this minor niggle aside, it’s worth buying for an Xbox anyway just for the amazing sound quality.
Connecting to a PC via USB is where the real magic happens. The Waves NX 7.1ch surround sound processing is remarkable, with the sound carrying a real presence. Sounds coming from the rear are especially impressive. The wide sound and accurate reproduction draws you into whatever you are watching, and coupled with the 3D audio it’s encapsulating. As you turn your head, you can bring the audio from the sides and rear into central focus, and the head-tracking technology monitors your movements 1000 times per second. The 3D audio genuinely adds to the experience here. If you play on a three-screen (or more) setup, hearing a sound to your side and being able to turn towards that sound makes it much easier to pinpoint the direction of enemies in-game. The headphones also go astoundingly loud connected this way. With the volume at 30% it has a loud and colourful sound, but even cranked up to maximum, when it’s bordering on deafeningly loud, it retains the crisp, clear and detailed sound that makes the Mobius so good.
The 3D Audio feature could be seen as gimmicky, but it’s actually really impressive and a preferable way to listen. With the 3D audio active, the audio doesn’t sound like it’s coming from the headphones; it comes from in front of you and around you. It’s true that turning your head around to hear the sound move around is not really that useful, but it’s the way it moves the sound in front of you that makes it so good. It sounds so much more natural and it’s a much closer representation to what you actually hear without headphones on.
As you can surely tell, the sound quality on the Mobius isn’t just good, it’s phenomenal. It doesn’t have the booming, over-saturated bass tones of usual gaming headphones, and that may take some adjustment if you’re used to the head-shaking bass-boosted sound they offer. What you do get is a highly accurate, natural sound, that allows you to hear every detail in stunning clarity. There is also no discernible distortion even at extreme volumes, which is remarkable, and the rapid response of the planar magnetic drivers means that there is no ghosting of sounds during rapid changes in audio. With a frequency response of 10Hz to 50kHz, you are hearing the full spectrum of sound, usually reserved for only the most high-end of headphones.
The included high-fidelity microphone gives a clear representation of your voice, and it doesn’t pick up too much outside noise unless it’s pretty loud. We had no issues with our voice being unclear or inaudible during our testing, even when talking quietly in the evening.
If we had to pick out anything where the Mobius underperforms, it’s in the EQ presets. Switching to footsteps mode the effect isn’t as pronounced as it is with other headsets, with there only being a subtle change to the sound. This small tweak is likely ideal for most people, but if you take competitive gaming seriously it may not be quite enough for your needs. We tried them all out across various games for our testing, but we found the default EQ setting gave such a good sound we didn’t end up using the others after this.
Battery life is decent, but it’s a long way off the competition. During testing connected to a phone with Bluetooth and listening to music at about 75% volume, we achieved just over the specified ten-hour battery life. When others are achieving twenty hours plus, though, it feels like a slight misstep from Audeze that battery life isn’t longer. In our usage scenarios, however, we regularly had the headset connected to the PC via USB, so when we did disconnect to use the headphones wirelessly we always had sufficient charge for what we needed.
The Audeze Mobius is one of the best sounding headsets on the market. Boasting a premium design, tasteful styling, and jam-packed with cutting edge tech, it’s possibly the most advanced gaming headset available right now. It has enough options to connect to pretty much any device you may own, and it sounds great through all of them. It’s at the higher end of the pricing scale for gaming headsets, but for audio enthusiasts, it’s worth every single penny.