The world of high-end headphones is a treacherous one. Every company claims that their cans are the best, and there’s a dizzying array of DACs, drivers, audio codecs, and more of which you have to be aware. Looking for the way to get the best possible audio out of your PC can be a fun process, but sometimes you want things to be simple. The Audeze Mobius headset is that product. It provides exceptionally high-fidelity sound with tons of features without being needlessly complicated.
I don’t get super hipster with headphones. When I game on PC, I want a pair that can put out surround sound and bump without any distortion. Unfortunately, that can be a tall order. I’ve used $400 headphones that wouldn’t push volume above a loud conversation, and I’ve seen cans in the same price range have many caveats as to how and when you can use surround sound codecs. Fortunately, the Audeze Mobius is far from a disappointment and has set the bar for me on what to expect out of headphones in the $400-500 price range.
Audeze Mobius Review | Design
One of the things I love about the Mobius is the understated design. I’m all for some extreme gamer stylings with LEDs shining out the cups, but when you’re looking at a multi-use headset (which is something I expect if I pay $400), you want something a bit more subdued.
The Mobius comes in blue and copper, and both colors make for nice accent touches without being too garish. This is a very “adult” product and doesn’t clash in any situation. You can use it for gaming or listening to music on the train (I don’t take a train, but I can imagine what that’s like) without wondering about if any glowing skulls on the side are drawing too much attention.
These headphones are super comfortable, as well. There’s a small pad at the top to cushion your head, and the cups are made out of memory foam and pleather. I found that the cups create a good seal over your ears, so you don’t get any sound bleed. However, unlike some headsets, I never found my ears getting hot or uncomfortable. I’ve worn these for hours on end playing on PC and never got that heavy feeling that some other headphones have given me.
At 350g the Audeze Mobius is a bit heavier than most headsets its size, but that’s because it has a battery inside for wireless functionality. Audeze did an excellent job with weight distribution, though, so you don’t have to worry about it subtly leaning to one side.
Audeze Mobius Review | Features
The blowout feature of the Mobius is the 3D audio. The headset utilizes Waves Nx technology to combine head tracking, sound localization, and room emulation into a comprehensive 3D audio solution. When 3D audio is on and calibrated, which can be done via the headphones or the desktop application, the effect is unreal.
Typically, when you’re using a headset, the sound moves with your head as you turn. This means when you’re playing a game, you’re only really getting the intended sound experience when you’re looking directly at the monitor. With the Mobius’s 3D audio, the sound stays put, even when you turn your head. If there’s gunfire to your right and you turn your head to the left, the shooting will then sound like it’s coming from behind you.
It doesn’t seem like a huge deal, and it might seem gimmicky on paper, but it really helps. It allows you to continuously ascertain your position relative to where sounds are generated in-game, and it brings a new aspect to the aural experience. Using 3D audio in conjunction with 7.1 surround really made games more immersive, and it made me realize I underestimated the importance of sound when gaming.
Audeze Mobius Review | Connectivity
The charge/data port on the Mobius is USB-C, which thankfully gives it a degree of future-proofing. You can charge or connect the headphones using the included USB-C to USB-A male or USB-C to USB-C cords. Most PC motherboards only include one USB-C port if any, so it was nice that Audeze includes both cables.
The Mobius is primarily meant to be used when connected to a PC. You only get stereo via the Bluetooth and 3.5mm connections, but the Mobius does support LDAC so if you have a supporting device you can get higher fidelity audio than most wireless headsets.
On a PC via USB, there are several modes available. The mode I use most frequently is 8 channel mode, which allows you to use 7.1 surround in 24-bit/48 kHz with 3D and head-tracking enabled. Alternatively, you can use two channel mode which outputs in stereo at 16-bit/48 kHz and is useful if you’re using the Mobius with legacy systems and still allows you to use head-tracking and 3D emulation. If you’re listening to music, you can use the Hi-Res mode which outputs stereo at 24-bit/96 kHz and is excellent for lossless audio. However, Hi-Res mode disables head-tracking, so you’ll want to limit this to applications where multi-channel audio and head position are irrelevant.
One limitation of the Mobius is that it can’t be powered over 3.5mm. While the battery lasts for about 10 hours, if you run out when using the 3.5mm jack you can’t use the headset again until you charge it. If you’re primarily using it with your PC, this isn’t an issue, but it makes the Mobius a bit less portable.
Using the Mobius with consoles also gives some less-than-stellar results. I believe it’s more a limitation of the consoles than the Mobius, but you only get stereo when using the headset with a console, even through USB. The head tracking and 3D features still function with Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch, but without the multi-channel support, the effect is less impactful than it is when playing a game on PC.
The Mobius also includes a mic, which is a standard detachable model. The boom mic is more of a bonus than a key feature, and performed adequately enough. It works in both wired and wireless mode but can be a bit of a pain when using Bluetooth. On a PC the mic and headset appear as two separate devices, so you’ll have to be mindful of this when setting it up. Due to bandwidth limitations, when using the mic with Bluetooth you’ll notice that the audio quality will decrease. Audeze does market the Bluetooth on this headset as a convenience feature rather than the main operating mode, though, so if you’re looking for an exclusively wireless pair of headphones, then the Mobius likely isn’t the product for you.
Audeze Mobius Review | One of the best
The Audeze Mobius is one of the best gaming-centric headsets on the market. It gives you a taste of high-end audiophile hardware, like planar magnetic drivers, at an attractive $399 price tag. The 3D sound is far from a gimmick and really makes gaming audio come alive in ways that other headsets simply can’t match.
Wired performance from the Mobius is superb, but if you’re looking for a product that’s meant to be used primarily wirelessly, this isn’t it. Additionally, this is a headset that’s very focused on PC gaming, so if you’re mostly a console gamer, you’ll miss out of some of the Mobius’s more exciting features. However, if you find yourself overwhelmingly gaming on PC and want a headset with amazing sound and features with the added bonus of optionally connecting to devices via Bluetooth when necessary, you can’t find better than this.
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