Audeze, known for their high-end headphones, are in the gaming sector too with this, their Mobius Gaming Headset.
Out of the box, its appearance is very much in keeping with other Audeze products. Black in colour, with hints of gunmetal grey here and there. Thick over the ear memory foam cups, with a thick spongy, adjustable headband too. There is plenty of flex and adjustment with the headphones, the headband flexes every way possible, while each can twists and rotates as well. However, they do not completely fold in on themselves, like you find in most headphones now, if you plan on storing them in a tight space.
To the left side, you’ve got the power on button, plus the mute and 3D button as well. There are two small scroll wheels, one for microphone volume, the other for content volume. The left also has the microphone port to plug the mic in, plus the USB C and 3.5mm ports as well. That mute button, it’s not a push, it’s a slide up/down button, which is ok when the headphones are on the table but when you’re wearing them, it’s actually a little bit awkward and stiff to mute the microphone. The right-hand side does not have any buttons or controls.
The overall build quality of the headset is top-notch, everything feels sturdy, premium quality and appears to be built to last.
In the box you get the headphones and the detachable microphone, USB C to C cable, USB A to C cable, 3.5mm aux cable, a carry case and paperwork. The quality and length of the cable are very good. Plenty long enough to allow flexibility on your PC positions and the thick braid of the cable, it’s premium.
Spec-wise, plentiful. The headset offers planar magnetic drivers for audiophile-grade cinematic sound, full 3D emulation 7.1 or 5.1 but only if you go for a hard-wired connection. 1000 times per second integrated head tracking, Anatomy calibration to tailor the sound to the user. Integration with Waves NX technology. You can either go for a wired USB set up which offers the best results or wireless via Bluetooth and it’s compatible with PC, Mac, Consoles and smartphones.
Now, out of the box, I had some problems with getting going. I rarely read any instructions, I just assumed it was plug and play, and noting the badge on the packaging stating it was Discord Certified, that’s where I went first. I plugged the headset in, a wired connection to start with and nothing happened. I tried again and then my PC recognised it and installed a generic USB device driver. The audio came through fine, the microphone wasn’t working though, even though I went through Discord and made sure the correct sources were selected. Anyway, I spent a few minutes fiddling and got it working. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only time I had problems with the microphone not working with Discord. Discord picked it up as a source but the guys in the channel couldn’t hear me. Was it me and my PC? Quite possibly, my current go-to is a Steel Series headset, so I had their software installed that may have caused a conflict. I did install the Audeze HQ software as well, although this is more tweaking settings, as opposed to hardware drivers but more on that later. One thing I forgot to do when first using it, plug it in and then also turn it on, a couple of times I plugged it in and assume it would start working, but that is not the case.
That being said, my first session with the headset was fantastic and I’m going to say it’s the best headset I’ve used to date. I was playing with Stef at the time and the first thing he said was ‘Woah, what have you done, your microphone sounds amazing’, so that was positive feedback straight away. For reference, my previous headset was the SteelSeries Arctis 5, but I’ve tried many before.
The sound quality was superb, playing some first-person shooters, pinpoint accuracy when listening to where gunshots are coming from. I played some Valorant and if you play that, you know how much of an advantage is to know exactly where your enemies footsteps are coming from or when they plant a bomb and where. I played other games too, some formula 1, call of duty and guild wars 2, all of which elevated the gaming experience for me. Listening to music or video content, again, is very good and I would happily take the mic out and use these as everyday headphones.
I touched on it earlier, the mic quality again was, very very good and the others on discord were instantly impressed with how I sounded. My voice came through very clear and it did a fantastic job of mitigating any external sounds, including me crunching on my biscuits!
A gaming session for me would usually be 3, maybe 4 hours, a few times a week. The headset is comfortable and during those sessions, it was fine, I had no need to take them off or they weren’t causing me any problems. Control-wise, the volume and mic mini scrollers work well, the mic control is your mic, not your friends, so you have to use discord to get your game audio vs group chat at a good level. The mic is bendy, it’s easy to move or remove when needed. The mic comes with a foam cover.
Right, let me take a minute to talk about the Audeze HQ software. It’s a very basic, very old school looking piece of software but it adds another level to the headset. The programme will detail the device info, allow firmware updates, let you select some default sound profiles and control the headset too. Control-wise, it lets you select which mode you want, i.e. 7.1, 2 channel or hi-res, plus 3D on, off or auto. This is where the fun starts. Select the 3D mode to manual and then while your headset is on, move your head and you’ll see the animation on screen mimic your movements. This is the spatial awareness or 3D audio coming into play. You’ll see on the left-hand side, you need to measure your head circumference, inter-aural arc and assume a room ambience level. Once done, look straight forward at your monitor and hit ‘centre’ under calibrate to ensure the headset is in line with your head position. You can create profiles, make finer tweaks and the end result is great fun. Just listening to music, move your head to the left and then the audio is focused on the right can. I wouldn’t use it for music or video content though, or even gaming as such, as most of the time, your head is looking straight at your monitor and you’ll likely gain no benefit from the spatial awareness. However, you use this with VR and it’ll be a game-changer and that’s where this feature really becomes a benefit.
So there we have it, they were the Audeze Mobius gaming headset and I’ve been hugely impressed. Auduze nails the audio front, with any product and they’ve crossed over pretty well into the gaming market I think. Mic quality is superb, build quality just as good and If I was being super picky, I think they could make the buttons easier to use and improve on the user experience of the software. These retail for £399 but I’ve seen them slightly cheaper at some retailers and that is an investment and is a lot more than what the competition is selling for. You wouldn’t be disappointed if you got these at all but when they’re double the price of say the Arctis 9X, you’ve got to think about which way you want to go.
For more info, head over to the official Audeze Mobius webpage.