Jenny, Crutchfield IT specialist, enjoys the Mobius headphones in our gaming lounge here at HQ.
Revolutionary headphones from Audeze
Rarely do I get my hands on a product as ambitious as the Audeze Mobius headphones. They offer an immersive sonic experience that's completely unique from any other headphones. Audeze designed these innovative over-ears with gamers in mind, but I enjoyed using them for movies and music, too. So much so that I wrote an in-depth article — complete with impressions from some our in-house video game experts.
Packed with cutting-edge technology
The Mobius headphones are Audeze's first planar magnetic headphones that will play music wirelessly via Bluetooth — which is special enough. But they also feature a head-tracking technology originally developed by Waves Audio for recording engineers.
Inside the headphones, there's an eight-core Processor driving a six-way gyroscope and accelerometer. What does all that mean? The Mobius tracks the position of your head up to 1,000 times per second. As you nod or turn your head, the sound field stays fixed and centered.
A new dimension to surround sound
Mobius also has built-in surround sound processing. Engage the 3D Audio feature by pressing a button on the left earcup. You get the audio equivalent of a Virtual Reality visual experience. You feel like you are in the scene unfolding on your screen or monitor.
Hear footsteps behind you or voices off to the side? They stay put when you turn your head. You move around within this fixed sound field rather than the sound field moving with you.
Gaming with the Mobius headphones
Before I had kids, I used to play Madden non-stop. But it's been a few seasons since I picked up the controller. So for my hands-on Mobius review, I turned to a few of our more experienced gamers. Here's what they had to say:
Rex, Crutchfield Sales team leader: "The planar magnetic drivers have an even, controlled sound. That's a huge advantage for gaming — I never got listening fatigue."
Francis, Crutchfield Advisor: "Compared to my normal gaming headset, these sounded much more alive — extremely lifelike and detailed. I was also surprised with the quality of the [included, detachable] microphone. Most extension boom mics are pretty worthless. This one sounded really clear."
Jenny, Crutchfield IT specialist: "I've always been impressed by the soundscape of Destiny 2. There are all of these little nuances and subtleties that drop you into the world. Through the Mobius headphones, the sound was as enchanting as the graphics and the gameplay. I felt like I was in the middle of the game. Especially when an explosion or surprise attack would come from one direction or another, and bring on that ping of panic in my chest."
The planar magnetic sound difference
Even when you turn off the 3D audio processing, these headphones deliver clear, detailed sound that rewards repeat listening. It was no surprise to me, because Audeze planar magnetic drivers are a favorite among serious headphone enthusiasts.
The driver technology relies on a super-thin diaphragm moving quickly back and forth within a magnetic field. Audeze figured out that they could greatly increase their efficiency by laying out their magnet array in an asymmetrical pattern. In other words: fewer magnets, yet stronger magnetic attraction.
The Audeze Mobius sports a tough, flexible headband that I could twist around.
Built for binge-watching and marathon game sessions
This magnet array results in not only better sound, but also a relatively lightweight design (compared to some of Audeze's extra-large over-ears). I had no problem wearing them for hour-long episodes of HBO's Hard Knocks. The weight was distributed evenly on my head and the earpads were generously padded.
Since the Mobius 'phones were designed for gaming, Audeze made them really durable. I can't condone throwing the headphones down in frustration — but they probably have a better chance of surviving than your controller! They sport rubberized earcups, a strong frame, and a heavy-duty headband that I could actually twist.
Advanced on-ear controls
Earcup controls include the dedicated 3D audio button, and two separate volume wheels for the headphones and mic. Those wheels also let you scroll through a number of sound settings like "Music," "RPG," "Racing," and "Footsteps." It took me a little while to master the controls — but it's probably nothing to someone who's memorized all the button combos for Fortnite.
For music, I used the "default" setting because it is EQ'd to match Audeze's "house curve." That's the sound signature they aim for when tuning their audiophile-grade headphones.
Several ways to play audio
Audeze gives you a number of connection alternatives to Bluetooth. They include a choice of digital audio (USB and USB-C) and analog audio (3.5mm stereo) cables.
Note that you'll use battery life whether listening wired or wirelessly — the headphones have a built-in amplifier that can't be bypassed. You get about 10 hours of listening on a full charge. You can also charge the headphones while you listen when connected via the included USB cable.