PS4

Hardware Review: Audeze Mobius Headphones

Audeze may not be an audio brand you know, but the Mobius gaming headphones are packed with a truckload of cutting-edge tech. The planar magnetic headphones deliver on just about every front, and there is plenty to like with a lot of functionality and a high price to match it. Are these your next favorite wireless gaming headphones?

The look is sleek and understated. The pair I received is matte black with subtle gray accents. Branding is kept to a minimum with an “A” on either side and “Audeze” across the top of the headband. The company name is off-center which bothers me from a looks perspective, but the design is exactly what I want. I don’t like neon, loud colors in my AV equipment, although there are models with copper or blue accents for those who find the stealth look too tame.

On my noggin, the feel is premium in every regard. From the padding along the top to the plastic on the outside cups, the materials don’t feel cheap, and the matte finish keeps it from being slippery. The cups are slightly curved, and this allows some adjustment. I do wish the foam padding along the top and ear cups was slightly stiffer, but, once adjusted, it’s comfortable. Closed-back headphones can get a little warm, but these were fine.

Functionally, the Mobius offers you three ways to listen. I had a rock-solid Bluetooth connection with my phone, and pairing is a breeze. If you want the best connection with a PC, you can use USB. If you want to connect it to your DualShock, it also offers a 3.5mm AUX connection. All the cables are included, and they feel just as premium as the headphones. The AUX connector and detachable headphone snap-in with authority and won’t pop out without some effort.

All of that external design is meaningless without a good sound, and these headphones won’t disappoint. I have spent hours and hours running down the ten-hour battery listening to catalogs of music, gaming, and using the included microphone. If you’re looking for the TL;DR, anything I throw at it sounds great.

Since good headphones are costly, I don’t buy a pair to solely game. I want to use them in multiple ways, so I started with music. I played something from every genre. Old Miles Davis tracks are incredible and triggered my bi-annual questioning of whether I like jazz after all. Tom Petty was singing the Wildflowers album in the same room as me. Eddie Kendricks groove and brass in “Keep On Truckin'”, Hooverphonic’s melancholy vocals, the electronic sounds of the Tron: Legacy soundtrack, Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart”, Johnny and June Carter Cash’s “Jackson”, Jay-Z’s “Can I Get A”, Dr. Dre’s “Still D.R.E.”, and a lot of songs by The Beatles are just a tiny sample of what I tried. I lost hours just playing song after song to see how it would handle them, and they all sounded great.

There is an option to shape the sound through multiple EQ settings from Default, Ballistics, Footsteps, Flat, Warm, Music, and more that can be toggled from the mic volume wheel. I played songs I knew very well and heard new details on the track. In listening, there is a great sense of separation and clarity in the mix, and everything has its place from the highest highs to the lowest lows. Even though I’m not a bass head, these can thump more than low enough, and nothing is muddy or distorted.

Since it’s primarily a gaming headphone, I spent a huge amount of time here too. The results are equally excellent. I played games that don’t necessarily benefit from a fancy headphone to the latest AAA blockbusters including the Call of Duty alpha. I like shooters like this for testing, because all of the sounds are vying for your attention and can get lost in the mix. That didn’t happen with the Mobius. Resident Evil 7 is especially scary by putting every frightening event right in your ears. I ran through the tunnels of Metro: Last Light and heard the reverb of speech and a creature’s growls. I played through Control, Doom Eternal, Dead Cells, and so many other games that sounded excellent. I could have a fantastic audio experience, even when the kids were sleeping.

I mentioned the EQ settings earlier, but you also have a 3D audio setting. This allows you to have head-tracking, speaker emulation, and 5.1/7.1 audio. The head-tracking works when playing music too, but I turned it off. Going through the several modes of 3D, it does add more dimensionality to the sound when gaming. I was running around a cavern while a giant beast tore it apart, and the sound had more depth and texture with the emulation.

Unfortunately, it won’t deliver true 5.1/7.1 sound with the PS4. It’s only two-channel audio. It won’t directly connect using Bluetooth, and it’s not the only wireless headset that has this issue with our favorite console. Sony is likely blocking it here. You can still connect with the AUX input, but connecting to your PC with USB will give you the full sound if supported.

I confirmed this with Audeze customer service, and that deserves a quick mention too. Beyond the included manuals, you can dive into more info about the downloadable app, the specs, and how-tos on the official site. When I reached out to customer service with a couple of questions, an automated email letting me know that it might be up to four days, but my questions were answered in less than 24 hours with another automatic email letting me know when my question was being reviewed. The response was polite and complete. Good customer service is something I look for in a high-end product, and Audeze passes that test too.

I also tested the detachable microphone. It’s very flexible, and the arm is metal shielded for durability. For chatting on PlayStation and Skype, it sounds great with a clear voice that’s a big step above most of what you hear. It also pumps the microphone sound of your voice through the headphones for monitoring, and so you don’t have to scream like your grandpa when his hearing aid battery dies. When chatting on the phone, I had some buzzing on the listener’s end when I moved, but it was otherwise clear.

Speaking of clear, the controls on the headphones are fantastic. I love analog controls. There are wheels for volume and how much of your voice gets pumped through the microphone, and the wheels allow for fine adjustments. There is a button to cycle through the 3D modes, pushing the mic wheel cycles through EQ settings, and there is a switch to mute the microphone. Everything is easily reachable and convenient and thankfully a physical button or switch.

The app is worth checking out too. It allows you to tune the sound to your physical head and room dimensions with the HRTF personalization, update the firmware, change the EQ, and save all of these options to your headphones. It’s a little small on a high-resolution screen, but Audeze is working on an update for that.

No matter how you listen, the Mobius headphones are an impressive package. The planar magnetic design delivers a massive sound that you can enjoy when the kiddos need to sleep, and you need to game without compromise. It enhances any sound from the discharge of a plasma rifle on some alien planet, clearing a tight corner in a getaway car, or even just helping your favorite waifu find romance. It’s a kitchen-sink approach to features with just about everything you could want including LDAC support. It won’t give you a full 7.1 sound on the PS4, but it’s a powerful value proposition with so much functionality and quality you may not care.

Audeze Mobius Headphones PS4 Review
  • Overall - 9/10
    9/10
9/10

Summary

The Audeze Mobius gaming headphones are spectacular with almost everything I threw at them. From music to gaming to online chat, they shine. The 100mm planar magnetic drivers deliver clear, crisp audio with excellent separation for everything from your delicate highs to your booming lows. Combined with the ability to make changes on the included app and solid physical controls on the headphones, this is a compelling package. It won’t deliver true 7.1 audio on the PS4, but the gaming experience, like everything else on these headphones, is premium.

Pros

  • Great audio separation and clarity
  • Head-tracking and 3D modes provide more immersion
  • Smart design with real physical buttons
  • Premium feel in every regard

Cons

  • Cushioning could be a little stiffer
  • 3D mode won’t be for everyone
  • App needs some updates for better visibility
  • Minor microphone buzz when moving

Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using an item provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please read our Review Policy. 

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