Audeze Mobius - Extraordinary Best In Class Audioby Adam Dileva
Style: Over-ear, closed-circumaural
Transducer type: Planar Magnetic
Magnetic structure: Fluxor™ magnet array
Phase management: Fazor
Magnet type: Neodymium N50
Diaphragm type: Ultra-thin Uniforce™
Transducer size: 100 mm
Maximum SPL: >120dB
Frequency response: 10Hz - 50kHz
THD: <0.1% (1 kHz, 1mW)
Earpads: Contoured memory foam: artificial leather
Microphone: Detachable with separate volume control
Battery type: Lithium-polymer
Wireless Connection: Bluetooth (SBC, AAC, LDAC)
Wired Connection: USB-C, USB-A, 3.5mm analog audio
Weight: 350g (including battery)
USB-C to USB-C cable
USB-A to USB-C cable
Analog 3.5mm cable
Quick Start Guide
User Guide and Warranty
Before the Audeze Mobius headphones arrived to review, I’d actually never heard of Audeze before. That’s not to say that they aren’t a well-known brand, quite the opposite in fact, as my audiophile buddy was insanely jealous when he heard I was reviewing these, as he’s well aware of the clout that the Audeze brand brings. If you’re like me and unaware of the brand, simply put, they make extremely high quality audio products, even with headphones that range from $400 to $4000, so to say that they know what they’re doing is an understatement.
I’ve been reviewing for quite some time and have heard all of the magic buzz words that PR and marketing people like throw around at any chance possible to try and entice and excite you. What I will say though, is that everything the marketing people have done for the Mobius headphones does not do it justice. To say that these headphones give a completely new experience, is an understatement.
Virtually any headphones or earbuds you get uses your standard dynamic drivers, as it’s common practice and cheaper overall. Audeze instead uses Planar Magnetic Drivers. If you’re an audiophile, you know how big of a deal this is, as the result is nothing short of an extraordinary audio experience. Planar Magnetic Drivers are much more expensive to produce, use more power and cost substantially more, but the result is a much superior sound stage, something that I can confirm after using the Mobius for well over a month straight. The technology behind these drivers is fascinating, as I found out when doing my research about the hardware. What matters is the end result: a gaming headset that is in its own class, with second place not even being close.
Let’s start with how the Mobius headphones look. If I had to choose a single word: Premium. These aren’t a cheap set of cans, nor do they look like it. These look expensive and not plastic-y like a majority of gaming centric headsets utilize. Without the detachable boom mic plugged in, they could pass as a regular set of high end headphones, ones you would never suspect are designed for gaming and have some absolutely amazing features within.
The headband has this soft rubber-like feel to it, braned with an offset Audeze logo, which grew on me. The cans themselves can rotate, wearable in that DJ fashion around your neck if you wish, and the cups themselves have some very thick leather that fully surround your ears, blocking out nearly all of the outside sound of whatever environment you’re in. All of the controls are housed on the buttom of the left ear cup, and even though I’d never purposely bend an expensive pair of headphones like these, the band itself cancontort to extreme lengths, purposely. Simply put, they look very sexy and are durable.
As for how they feel, this will vary depending on the size and shape of your head obviously. I’d like to think I have a normal sized head, but these are a very tight fit, even with the cup length loosened and more than a month of heavy use. Remember, these are built differently than probably nearly every other headset you’ve used, and thus feel heavier.
What I did notice is that after a good few hours of gaming or binge watching with the Mobius’ on, the top of my head where the band sits would start to get a little sore from the weight. Also, given that the cups completely surround your ear and are of a closed back design, it keeps the outside noise out, but it also keeps all of the heat and sweat from your ears being in that cup as well. Will everyone have the issues I did? Probably not, and to be fair, it’s been an extremely hot few weeks where I live without any AC in the apartment, but having to wipe off my ears after a few hours of play wasn’t pleasant.
For connections, you can use these in a variety of different ways, ranging from Bluetooth (SBC, AAC, LDAC) to wired connections via USB-C, USB-A and a standard 3.5mm analog audio. Basically, if you want to use these on any device, you’ll be able to. Pairing them to my phone and streaming music had no issues or quality loss, plugging into my PC via USB-C was instantaneous and using for gaming on my Xbox One X was simple with the 3.5mm jack. Versatility to use them how you want with what devices you want.
As for the battery, they were giving me roughly about 10 hours of use while gaming. That may seem low compared to other headsets that boast 20-30 hours of use between charges, but remember, Planar Magentic Drivers use more power, with the tradeoff being a vastly superior sound. So while yes, the battery life essentially means you’ll want to charge them every day or two, those 10 hours will be a much higher sound quality compared to standard gaming headsets.
The only thing that I really dislike about this amazing headset is its microphone. While I approve of the detachable design, as I can then use these without a mic in my way, or look odd if I’m using them in public, the mic arm itself is your typical gooseneck with an ugly foam filter at the tip. It seems so contrast to the rest of the headset itself, almost as an afterthought. Does it project my voice to my party? Sure, though for whatever reason while playing Xbox One in aparty chat, it was always tramsitting a low hum, possibly because of the lack of power via AUX. On PC though, my voice came through crystal clear.
Aesthetically it seems mismatched though. Given the price and style of the Mobius, I was expecting some sort of slick fold in design or something that also looked premium to match. Maybe it’s a design issue, or something to do with the space inside the cups with the Planar Magnetic Drivers, I don’t know.
Now we need to talk at length about what makes the Audeze Mobius headphones stand out, completely unique, from other gaming headsets, aside from its incredible audio soundscape; 3D audio. I know, I’ve never really heard of it either before, but after having tested it out and now being acclimated to it, I don’t know how I could go back to a regular headset without 3D audio.
1000 times a second, the Mobius is tracking your head movements to emulate a real world listening experience. 3D audio comes from the head tracking, room emulation and directional audio. Basically what this means is, even though you’re wearing headphones, it’s as if you’re listening to speakers in an open environment. Let’s say you’re sitting on the couch watching Netflix, and if someone to the side of you starts talking to you and you turn your head to look at them, and the audio from the speakers would then be going into the closest ear. With headphones, there’s normally no head tracking, so you always just have your static audio regardless if you get up and move in any direction.
Not with the Audeze Mobius. With full support of 5.1 and 7.1 surround, you get that real world emulation based on your head movements. Turn your head to the right, and you’ll hear the majority of the audio coming into the left cup, do a 180 and the audio will sound as if it’s coming from behind you, just as it would in a room setting with speakers. The kicker? No software or extra hardware is required, as it’s all built into the headset with the Magnetic Planar Drivers. This is why the Mobius’ are a big deal, as is 3D audio, because it always sounds like you’re listening to speakers in a room, not headphones slapped on your ears.
There’s surprisingly not that many knobs, switches and dials on the headset either for all your controls. While aesthetically this is nice, there’s a lot of things you can toggle with the headset, and only having 2 rotating wheels for volumes (source and microphone) and a 3D button, this means you’ll have to press in the wheels or power button for specific toggles. Honestly, it’s confusing, and even after a month of straight use, I’m still having to reference the user guide when wanting to toggle something specific.
For example, to change the predefined EQ settings, you’ll need to press in the mic-gain wheel for a quick second, though a long press is how you change between 5.1, 7.1 and Hi-Res. If you want to toggle the 3D audio from Manual (resets the default head position to ‘center’), Automatic (this will generally try to always keep you ‘centered’ for the audio when on the go) or Off (should you prefer non 3D audio), you need to press and hold the 3D button for a moment. But if you want to change inputs (USB, AUX or BT), you need to double press it. It’s nice there’s not a ton of buttons on the headphones, but there’s no way to remember all of these controls on the fly either.
Now of course, let’s talk about how the Mobius sounds. If you couldn’t tell from reading this far, the audio is absolutely stellar. I wasn’t sure what to expect, as I’ve never had a headset with as many features like these. My music sounded fantastic, hitting highs and lows without any distortion, and bass had just enough oomph to it without being overpowering like most other gaming headsets. The same with watching my shows, as dialogue was crystal clear, and 3D audio really immerses you more into the scenes I found.
Gaming, mostly on Xbox One, was equally impressive. Small audio cues could be heard distinctly, car engines sounded like they roared in Forza and bullets could be heard from very specific directions (again, 3D audio made this very immersive). Obviously using the Mobius won’t turn you into a pro gamer, but it will give you better indications of where the action is coming from. That being said, generally when you’re gaming, you’re staring at the screen and not really moving all that much, so it may be a feature that isn’t as heavily utilized, but for all other audio, I’m absolutely sold on 3D audio.
Connected to PC, there is a software suite where you can toggle settings and EQ’s, even seeing your head move in real time on a dummy. It’s not needed, as you can do basically everything on the headset itself, but it’s great to have if already on the PC using it for gaming, music or movies. For a gaming headset, these are simply best in class, with everything else a distant second. Yes, you’re going to pay quite a premium, but you’re in for a treat when you hear actual audiophile gaming headphones for the first time.
Gaming headsets range in prices and features, but the Audeze Mobius is meant for the person that not only wants the best of the best, but has the disposable income to afford it. Yes, these are quite pricey (MSRP of $399.99 USD), but as they say, you get what you pay for. I wouldn’t have thought that Planar Magnetic Drivers would make such a drastic difference to my audio, but I’ve been proven wrong.
The sound stage and ‘cleanliness’ of the audio from the Mobius is simply on a whole other level. While it’s geared towards gamers, it can be used for virtually any other application you desire. I honestly thought 3D audio was going to be a neat little gimmick at first, but it’s hard to go back to my standard traditional headsets after using these. While not perfect, as it’s heavy on my head, very hot around the ears after hours of constant use and has a substandard looking microphone, the audio you get more than makes up for its shortcomings. If you can afford it and want a premium headset that sounds better than any other you’ve heard, then look into the Audeze Mobius.
Overall: 9.8/ 10