Review: Audeze Mobius Over The Ear Wireless Gaming Headphones
Audeze is the latest vaunted headphones manufacturer to look over at the gaming headset market and think, “We could do that.” And why not? Gaming headsets get a bad rap even nowadays, derided for subpar sound quality and construction. It’s natural that a company renowned for audiophile gear would think it could do better.
The Audeze Mobius is for the gamer who wants something that does it all, and well. Whether you’re gaming, listening to music, or watching movies on a PC, laptop, or smartphone, this headset represents the premium option to meet your needs.
What's In The Box
The Audeze Mobius actually comes with a lot of stuff. On top of the headset itself and its detachable 3.5mm mic, the Mobius comes with a USB-C cord, a USB-C to USB-A cord, and a 3.5mm cord. On top of that, there’s an assortment of booklets covering all the headset’s features, and a drawstring bag for carrying the headphones with you anywhere you wish to take them.
At first glance, the Mobius shows no sign that it’s a gaming headset. Primarily matte black soft-touch plastic with metallic brown or blue highlights, the headset simply looks and feels like a very luxurious pair of headphones. The over-ear earpads use a combination of soft memory foam and very supple faux leather, matching a strip of padding on the underside of the headband.
They have just the right amount of padding, enough to completely surround the ears and muffle outside noise, but not enough to put too much pressure on your head or cause your ears to overheat. The result is a very comfortable, snug fit that you can comfortably and securely wear for long listening periods.
The gaming aspects of the Mobius become more apparent when you look at the left earcup. A series of ports and controls run along the bottom edge, including a recessed connector for the included boom mic, a USB-C cable for charging the internal battery and connecting to a computer over USB, and a 3.5mm connector for using the headset with any device with a headphone jack.
A 3D audio button sits above the mic connector, and mic and headset volume wheels sit behind the 3.5mm jack. The back panel of the left earcup holds a power button for turning the headset on (which lights up a red status LED above the Mobius logo on the earcup), and a mic mute switch. The right earcup has no connections or controls.
The Audeze Mobius offers 3D audio tech with Waves Nx, creating a virtual audio environment with head tracking. The feature simulates a speaker environment in the headset, and it’s fascinating. Tapping the 3D audio button on the left headphone sets a point in front of you and anchors the sound there, as if it’s coming from a pair of speakers. Turning your head makes the audio come in louder through the headphone closer to the origin point, but it doesn’t sound like the audio is shifting ears.
There seems to be some real audio wizardry going on her; it really feels like the sound is coming from a position in front of you, rather than getting blasted right from the headphones. It also means if you play some music, close your eyes, and spin around in an office chair or something like it, it feels like a band is revolving around your head. Uses like this are a little gimmicky, but they’re great fun all the same.
The 3D audio options work on wired or wireless connections, but when connecting to an Android phone, you need to turn on developer options and bump up the L-DAC codec settings to 990kbps to use it. It’s a bit of a to-do to set up, and as cool as it is, I’m not sure it’s worth doing. Walking around using 3D audio is rather odd, as it makes everything sound different whenever you walk in a new direction.
The feature can make media consumption pretty neat, but there’s just not much point if you’re going to have to re-center things every few steps.
Like most gaming headsets, the Audeze Mobius supports 7.1 and 5.1 surround sound audio, allowing for a positional soundscape in games like Fortnite and Realm Royale. This is only available when plugged in via USB, but the effect is as good or better than any gaming headset I’ve used. According to Audeze, the Waves Nx head tracking makes directional audio even more accurate, and I ran into nothing that showed otherwise. It was easy to judge the direction of sounds like gunfire or the noise chests make when wandering around, as well as other audio cues in games like Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and Overwatch.
However, it’s worth noting that while ably communicating the directions sounds are coming from can be a big help, it won’t make you magically better at a game. I suffered just as many inglorious deaths in Fortnite using this headset as with any other; I just had a better idea of where they came from.
The 3D room emulation works while in game, but it doesn’t have all that much of an effect. Sure, you can turn your head and the different audio cues will move around to be more accurate, but there are very few games where turning away from the screen is a good idea. This feature works really well when you’re watching movie or passively consuming content. In game it doesn’t feel all that remarkable, because the benefits aren’t as noticeable when you’re staring intently a PC monitor, actively engaging in firefights or what have you.
The Audeze Mobius comes equipped with a software suite built to help you keep track of your settings and change things to your liking. On top of allowing you to quickly switch between the seven available sound profiles; Flat, Foot Steps, Racing, and more; Audeze HQ lets you customize settings pertaining to the 3D audio HRTF features. Here you can use sliders to change head circumference, inter-aural arc, room ambient settings. I didn’t need to fuss much for it to sound great, but if you’re extremely particular about this stuff, the options are there to indulge.
Wired Or Wireless
Oh, did I forget to mention that the Mobius can run double duty as either a wired or wireless headset? There is a lot of tech packed into the Audeze Mobius headset, and the functionality is impressive, to say the least. The term “Bluetooth”” is often treated as a 4-letter word in the audiophile community. The “B” word has the connotation of inferiority since there is a quality loss in the form of compression when transmitting audio wirelessly. From an audio quality perspective, a wired headphone will always sound infinitely better than a wireless one.
However, Audeze has implemented SBC, AAC and LDAC codecs for the Mobius. SBC (low-complexity subband) and AAC (advanced audio codec Apple and Youtube) are common in a lot of wireless devices. Audeze claims that the Mobius features Bluetooth functionality with almost three times the data bandwidth as other Bluetooth headphones. This statement comes from the fact that it implements the newer LDAC codec from Sony. LDAC can supposedly stream audio at up to 990 Kbps at 24 bits/96 kHz. Sony claims that LDAC is even closer to lossless audio due to its higher bitrate, audio sampling, and definition.
The Audeze Mobius also has the ability to connect via USB-C and Auxiliary. Unfortunately, due to the amount of technology packed into these headphones, USB-C is the only method where the headphones can transmit audio passively. This means you’ll have to use the battery on the device when using the Aux or Bluetooth options.
I was getting about 10 hours of battery life on Bluetooth. I think that’s perfectly reasonable for a wireless gamingheadphone these days. Again, being packed with so much tech, planar magnetic drivers, a detachable boom microphone, the battery life will get you through a couple of long gaming sessions without having to charge. I wasn’t complaining.
The Audeze Mobius is my favorite gaming headphone on the market right now. Buy it for the sole fact that it is an amazing headphone, first and foremost. The quality of the sound out of your headphones should be your principal interest whenever considering adding a new pair to your collection. From an audiophile perspective, the fidelity of the wired audio lives up to Audeze’s legacy of making some great sounding audiophile-grade headphones. Smooth highs, clarity in the mids and tight bass make these a true pleasure to use in any scenario, gaming or not.
Audeze has done a marvelous job providing a product that targets both audiophiles and gamers, but therein lies the problem. The Audeze Mobius retails for $399. For most audiophiles that price probably comes across as very reasonable compared to what most audiophile equipment goes for. However, for gamers, the most popular high-end gaming headsets only run about $100-150. The jump to $400 might be too much for some, but if you are interested in upgrading your audio experience in the same way you upgrade your gaming system specs, then the Audeze Mobius is absolutely worth it.