Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Audeze Mobius Gaming Headset Review

Audeze is a well known name in the headphone world, and it recently used crowdfunding to fund its first foray into the world of gaming headsets. We are reviewing the Mobius headset that promises us that it is more than a headphone, "it's an experience." For $400 we want to know exactly what kind of experience it gives us when it comes to gameplay.

UPDATE - 11/04/2018: Since publishing this review of the Mobius headset, Audeze representatives have gone out of their way to say some fairly nasty things about HardOCP and its review. Audeze' PR team seems to be concerned more with destroying the credibility of our review, rather than fixing the issues we have pointed out in it.

Audeze has vilified us on audio forums as being biased, judging products by their covers, having preconceived notions, and that we cannot be reasoned with. Audeze even went as far as to simply lie and state that we were refused fixes for its incredibly horrible mic on the Mobius, when none were ever presented to us. Audeze PR even went as far as to state that we would not listen to simple explanations of functionality.

Audeze seems to be campaigning to smear our review as something it is not in order to discredit our experience with its Mobius "gaming" headset. The fact of the matter is that, when we spend $400 on a "gaming" headset, we have a certain level of expectation, and that is that it can actually be used as a wireless gaming headset. Audeze has simply fallen short of that mark in our experience. You can see some of the exchange with Audeze PR in this forum post.

Audeze Mobius Gaming Headset

How do you pronounce "Audeze?" At first glance you would likely think to say the company's name like this; "aw deez," but you would be incorrect. The company's name is a play on "audio odyssey." Think "aw duh see." You have to admit that is a spiffy bit of marketing, and while a bit hard to say the first couple of times, it does stick when it comes to branding. I bring this up, because it seems to us that Audeze relies heavily on marketing as we will find out as we move through this review.

As you might know, we have started reviewing gaming headsets again this year. When we started doing that again, we were certainly looking around for new products in the industry and when we came across the Audeze Mobius, it certainly sounds very interesting. We ordered ours on July 16th and took delivery this month.

Mobius is the first premium high-end, fully immersive 3D cinematic audio and head tracking-enabled headphone designed specifically for gamers. Mobius harnesses Audeze’s award-winning planar magnetic technologies to unlock the full potential of gaming audio.

Audeze does go on to say on its product page:

With Mobius, you won’t simply play a game, you will live it.

Those are of course very big statements, and when you dig in a little bit, you see a lot of technology being used on the Mobius headset that you will not find on others.

The packaging itself is quite nice and well done. Considering the Mobius was specifically designed to be a gaming headset, we do however find there is very little actually printed on the box that would make you think that. Even under the product's name down in the left corner we find "Mobius - Immersive 3D Cinematic Audio Headphone." OK...let's keep looking. On the lower right hand corner we do finally find a reference to gaming. "PC Gaming Optimized."

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Looking at the features showcased on the front of the package, you find the standard fare for a surround sound headset, and a couple of obscure references as well. This is our first experience with Planar Magnetic Drivers, so we are very excited to give these a try. "Lightweight Ergonomic Design" is surely something we can get behind. "Reduced Listening Fatigue" is however very odd and never referenced again in any of the Mobius literature that we can find, so we ware not sure what exactly that is pointing to in the Mobius feature set.

The Mobius is referred to as a wireless headset numerous times in the Mobius marketing, and this is one of the reasons we truly wanted to give these a go. However, once we had the headset in hand, we found out that wireless only refers to Bluetooth connectivity. OK, some of us have Bluetooth on our motherboards nowadays, but also keep in mind that Bluetooth is two channels only, so all fancy head tracking, sound localization, and room emulation will be done with two channels only. For the most part, when it comes to PC gaming, this headset is a wired USB headset. We were truly expecting a wireless USB solution when we purchased these. We feel that we were mislead with the marketing on the wireless feature.

The other big mystery on the box is the "W|NX" logo that we find. Interestingly, if you go to the WAVES Nx website, you will find that this technology is advertised as being available on any headset for $10 sans the head tracking.

On the back of the box, we find an explanation of the physical layout of the headphones, and an explanation of what else is inside the box. You do see that Audeze supplies you with the needed USB Type C cables to plug this into your PC, however, it does not note the length of this cable.

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On the side of the box, we get a bit more explanation of what exactly WAVES Nx is all about. The big claim to fame we have seen in the Audeze marketing is that the Mobius has head tracking, sound localization, and room emulation. Being big PC gamers, some of this seemed very exciting when we purchased the Mobius, but in reality worked out to be somewhat confusing.

The head tracking refers to exactly that. If you run the Mobius in "3D Manual," click a button on the headset, it will center where your sound is coming from. So if you are watching a video or playing a game that is directly in front of you, center the head tracking there, then turn your head to the left, the audio will then sound like the source did not move in real space. This has some possible benefits, and it also had a downside, at least to us.

The sound localization refers to: "Sound localization is a listener's ability to identify the location or origin of a detected sound, both in direction and by distance. The brain uses a variety of cues to precisely do so, the primary of these being the difference of timing and intensity of a sound as it reaches each ear. These differences enable the brain to accurately locate sounds." So of course, this would be a big deal to PC gamers for the most part.

Lastly we have "room emulation." This is what Mobius says about that. "The sound we hear comes directly from the source and also from multiple reflections of the sound on room walls and other objects. The brain uses the difference between the primary source and reflections to determine space. Mobius uses a very sophisticated customizable room model to create a sense of space." This seems to be a feature that a gamer would absolutely not want, at least to us. The entire point of PC gaming is to transport you to another space in a 3D world, not the room you are in. This feature seems fully counterproductive to us when it comes to gaming.

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If you want to see what Audeze has to say about the Mobius, we highly suggest giving the video below a watch. We did find some of it laughable as the marketing seems to go a bit overboard to us.

When it is all unpacked, you get the Mobius headset, two manuals, a carry bag, the detachable microphone, and three cords. One of these cords is USB Type A to USB Type C, the other is Type C to Type C, and also included is an analog cable. All of these cords are about 62 inches/158 cm long.

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We did take the time to do a full unboxing video of the Audeze Mobius that you can see below.