Entertainment Games Gaming Headphones Reviews Tech

PC gaming for serious audiophiles

PC gaming for serious audiophiles

Immersive 7.1-channel soundstage • Prime-quality audio out and in of video games • Cozy match • Solidly constructed • Slick design

Encompass sound solely works by way of USB • On-headset controls are a bit a lot • 3D audio head monitoring seems like a gimmick • Expensive for a gaming headset

The Audeze Mobius delivers an unbeatable listening expertise for PC gaming, however it’s a must to be wired in, and it does not have full console help.

Audeze has a pitch for the audiophile players of the world, and it is referred to as Mobius. 

The high-end headset is full of bleeding-edge sound tech from one of many prime gamers within the area. The listening expertise is additional enhanced by 3D audio plugins from Waves and head-tracking capabilities that are supposed to mix for an immersive soundstage.

The large catch? It prices $400. That is roughly $100 greater than even the costliest gaming headsets available on the market. Even when Mobius is best than any of these, is it actually higher sufficient to justify the added value?

For me, sure. After spending a few weeks tooling round with the headset, I am able to return this loaner unit and purchase one for myself. For anybody else, it actually is dependent upon what you need — and, vitally, what you want — out of your gaming cans.

Scorching cans

Let’s begin with the hardware. The Mobius is fitted with planar magnetic drivers, an audio supply system that conducts sound by means of a flat diaphragm moderately than the coil discovered in additional widespread dynamic driver headphones. 

For those who’re not a sound geek, all you actually need to know is you are usually going to note higher separation between the distinct audio sources in no matter you are listening to. It is a query of readability; 3D audio helps you pinpoint the path a sound is coming from, however clearer audio retains busier moments from turning into a muddy cacophony.

After spending a pair weeks with the headset, I am able to return this loaner and purchase one.

Planar magnetic headphones additionally are typically just a little heavier, although the identical might be stated of gaming headsets normally. The Mobius did not really feel appreciably totally different on my head than the Astro A50s I have been utilizing for the previous seven years. 

The cozy leather-based earcups type a cosy match, permitting solely minimal outdoors noise to get via. I did not have any discomfort throughout prolonged gaming periods, even in instances the place I used to be operating three Future raids again to again within the area of an evening, a four-hours-minimum dedication.

The construct high quality typically is top-notch. The headphones are made out of thick plastic with a matte end. They’re hefty and strong in a approach that means sturdiness, and the padded headband that extends excessive of your head could be twisted and bent with out worry of it snapping in two.

Visually, the Mobius has an understated look. It is chunkier than your typical set of studio reference screens (assume Sony’s venerable MDR line), and extra colourful. However with both of Audeze’s colour choices — blue-on-black or copper-on-black — you are not getting gaudy, overstylized headphones that scream “I PLAY ALL THE GAMES.” Pluck out the removable mic and you may put on a Mobius on the road with confidence.

All that stated, the perfect Mobius listening expertise is dependent upon being wired into a close-by pc (USB-to-USB-C twine included). When you can ditch the USB connection and join by way of both Bluetooth or (by means of an Aux port) analog stereo cable, you’d lose the headset’s largest profit within the course of: Simulated 7.1 encompass sound.

For PC gaming, the Mobius is super. I play a number of Future 2, and instantly observed the Mobius’ spectacular soundstage the primary time I fired up the sport. Enjoying by way of one of many recreation’s public occasions, I might simply pinpoint the path new threats have been approaching from and I felt the influence when a badly bounced grenade blew up at my ft.

For aggressive on-line actions like Future’s Crucible or the brand new Blackout mode in Name of Obligation: Black Ops four, you stroll into every match with a direct edge over the competitors. You’ll be able to hear the world round you, and within the course of decide up intuitively on the place within the digital area a close-by enemy’s footsteps are padding round.

Picture: adam rosenberg-dustin drankoski / mashable

You’ll be able to ostensibly form the make-up of your recreation audio much more by choosing one of many included sound profiles. In my very own expertise, this comes down to non-public style. I barely touched the “Ballistics” profile even though I play numerous capturing video games; the “Flat” and “Music” profiles each delivered a greater expertise.

Loads of gaming headsets supply positional audio and a number of sound profiles, however the Mobius is simply plain higher at it. The bass response is spectacular, conveying deep, low rumbles clearly when explosions rock the digital panorama, even whereas bullets are whizzing by and different gamers are barking orders in voice chat.

The Mobius can also be a superb choice for films/TV and music listening because of its spacious digital soundstage. The 7.1-channel encompass sound works simply as nicely with Netflix or Google Play Music, although I discovered the latter extra helpful since I do not usually watch films at my desk.

Slumming with stereo

Sadly, it isn’t fairly the identical expertise when you untether. Change to Bluetooth (or analog cable) and also you’re caught with stereo sound. It isn’t horrible; the Mobius continues to be a high-end headset, so that you profit from its exact sound and broad frequency response. However you are dropping what’s arguably probably the most spectacular function.

Loads of headsets supply positional audio and a number of profiles, however the Mobius is simply plain higher.

Over Bluetooth or analog stereo cable, the soundstage feels flatter. That distinction could be very noticeable once you swap forwards and backwards between 7.1 and stereo. You get used to it over time, however there’s not almost as a lot depth and element in what you are listening to once you’re not wired by way of USB.

Because of this those that recreation totally on a console, whether or not it is Nintendo, PlayStation, or Xbox, will need to look elsewhere for a headset. There’s not presently help for USB-wired audio on any trendy consoles, and whereas Audeze is seemingly making an attempt to vary that, it hasn’t occurred but.

The included USB twine is completely nice for a PC gaming rig or workstation the place your desktop or laptop computer is close by. However at 5 ft, it isn’t going to be lengthy sufficient for most residence theater setups.

The one function I struggled to discover a actual use for was the top monitoring. It is constructed proper into the Mobius, and an included app even permits you to customise the accuracy of the monitoring by inputting the size of your head, in centimeters.

It is a neat gimmick. With monitoring lively, you’ll be able to swivel your head round and nonetheless have a way of the place your “front” audio system are (versus the “front” shifting with you as you flip). I simply do not see a lot function right here, virtually talking. 

Head monitoring has its makes use of with digital actuality methods, although the mainstream VR headsets have that performance inbuilt. Because the Mobius loses encompass sound help when it isn’t tethered — and there isn’t any strategy to wire it into an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive instantly, anyway — it is not likely constructed for VR.

Picture: adam rosenberg-dustin drankoski / mashable

Luckily, head monitoring is definitely ignored. I ended up leaving it on, however you possibly can flip it off simply with an extended press of the 3D Audio button (there are additionally guide and automated modes that take totally different approaches to setting the “center” reference level).

Management freaky

The on-headset controls are literally the place you will discover the steepest studying curve within the Mobius expertise. It does not look daunting initially: There are two quantity dials, one for the headphones and one for mic monitoring (i.e. how a lot of your self you hear; the sport/chat audio combine is dealt with on the PC aspect). There’s additionally the aforementioned 3D Audio button, an influence button, and a mute change.

Every of the quantity dials truly doubles as a button. So spinning a dial up or down modifications the quantity, however urgent the dial down after which spinning it has a special impact — and people results typically change, relying on whether or not you are related by way of Bluetooth or utilizing the headset for non-gaming media.

These superior controls are detailed within the guide. You should use the quantity dials to reply calls, change tracks, and change the presently lively audio profile. There are two issues with this.

I received used to ignoring the headset controls and counting on keyboard shortcuts as an alternative.

One: It is an excessive amount of of a very good factor. There are such a lot of totally different instructions and command modifiers, getting used to all of them is a complicated chore. It is inconvenient to open a guide and double-check how issues work anytime you need to reply a name or change to a different music. And with the 2 dials positioned so shut collectively, it is all too straightforward to work together with the flawed one.

What’s extra, the button facet of every dial is just too delicate. I’ve misplaced rely of the variety of occasions I attempted to vary the quantity, solely to by chance change to a unique sound profile. Granted, these are points which are sure to enhance over time and with heavy use, however it’s not probably the most intuitive setup.

That stated, the Mobius is constructed primarily for use with a pc. Most energy customers, and players particularly, in all probability have keyboard shortcuts (or built-in media controls) for altering quantity. Throughout my brief two-week assessment window, I simply acquired used to ignoring the headset controls and counting on the keyboard shortcuts I’ve all the time used as an alternative.

Altering the audio profile can also be straightforward to do with out touching the headset. Whether or not you are utilizing the the Home windows app or the cellular app, it is only a fast menu choice. 

Subsequent degree audio

I’ve used a variety of totally different gaming headsets through the years. My trusty Astro A50s served me nicely for a very long time, they usually have been nice. I just lately switched to a Turtle Seashore Atlas for wired PC gaming, and no complaints there both. The market is affected by gaming headsets that vary from good to nice.

The Audeze Mobius is on one other degree. It is a cleaner, clearer encompass sound expertise than I’ve run into earlier than, and the large frequency response delivers high-quality audio whether or not you are in 7.1 or stereo. 

That $400 price ticket goes to be steep for a lot of players. However simply talking personally, that is the primary gaming headset I’ve discovered that is enhanced my play whereas additionally delivering a listening expertise that tickles my nerdy inside audiophile.

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