Audeze Mobius - Premium 3D Gaming Headset with Surround Sound and Head Tracking
In our top of the best Gaming headsets for 2019, the Audeze Mobius came in second place and lost the crown to the HyperX Cloud Alpha, for the fact that it comes at a price premium of $400, but not only that. The reality, as usual, is a little bit more complicated.
The Audeze Mobius headset nails the fidelity and sound quality we were looking for and for this reason it can be the best gaming headset we have ever listened to. But we feel that Audeze should have prioritized something else like controls, battery life, cabling and a few other things.
Let’s have a more detailed look at the headset and you will see what we are talking about.
Audeze Mobius: the outside and the inside
Looking at the design, it is bulky, just like any other over-ear headsets, but the shapes and lines are clean and slimming, with very light ornamentation but nothing too eye catchy. Actually the Mobius might actually be the first gaming headset that you can actually wear outside without drawing too much attention or strange looks.
The frame and headband is made out of good quality plastic, but it is still plastic, and at this price point we would have been happier if the headband would have been made out of metal like in the case of the Cloud Alpha. Basically the headset looks great from afar but getting closer it looses some of its excitment.
Well if design wise the Mobius seems a little bit dull, looks like all the exciting parts are on the inside. And what we found on the inside was planar magnetic drivers. Never heard of planar magnetic drivers before? Well in this case you might be stunned to hear that magnetic drivers are not that common for gaming headsets. In fact almost all gaming headsets don’t use them.
Why you might ask? While planar magnetic drivers produce more precise sound than dynamic drivers they do require more magnets than standard dynamic drivers do. More magnets means more weight and for this reason we tend to believe that’s why the company chose to build the frame out of plastic, to remove some extra weight from the headset.
Another factor on why planar magnetic drivers are not that popular in other gaming headsets is the price. They are more expensive than standard dynamic drivers hence reflected in the price tag of the Audeze.
Although they use planar magnetic drivers we actually expected the sound to be more wider like in the case of the Hyper-X Alpha, as the Audeze seems to strugle in producing sounds that could help you pinpoint noises like footsteps and gunshots.
Bass is a little bit lacking as well and you feel like you are missing something when, for example there is an explosion around you. This is a common problem with these kind of drivers as they don’t move much air as the dynamic ones do.
As you can see there are some drowbacks when using the Audeze Mobius purely for gaming. But what the Audeze lacks in bass, gains in precision with a sound close to studio quality. Listening to music is actually excellent. The sound is clean, vibrant and very detailed.
Mobius 3D Sound and Head Tracking Functions
The Audeze Mobius comes with a feature called “3D Audio“. What is this? Well imagine a full room of seakers inside of a headset. A tipical 7.1 headset mimics a full speaker setup and attaches it to your years. When you move, the speakers move with you, making sounds more relative to where you are looking so an explosion in your right will always come from the right year. The Mobius does this, and it does this very well. Sound comes from where it should come, cristal clear, and with the head movement tracking option enabled, it get’s even better.
Imagine that you hear something in your left, naturally your head will turn in that direction. When you do this, with the head movement tracking on, sound will change as well, and will feel like coming from in front of you. This is awesome from our perspective, but not always usefull. Yet it is a great bonus to have on top of standard 7.1 surround.
What we did not like about the Mobius
Using this headset for a week we stumbled upon some issues. First of all, battery life is at max mediocre. The Mobius is actually both wireless and wired with Bluetooth conectivity. The manual mentiones 10 hours of use per charge, but in our tests we could not get more than 8 hours.
We think we figured out why. You see, most wireless PC gaming headsets use 2.4GHz or 5GHz connections because they’re more stable and pass better-quality sound and benefit from better power usage. It might be great to use the headphones outside but if you are sitting at your desk, you will use the included cables if you want to experience the full potential of the Mobius.
Unfortunately Audeze has a problem here as well. The cables are too short for normal desktop use. The USB-A to USB-C cables included in the package are just not long enough: only 122cm. But wait there’s more! The 3.5mm to USB-C cable is eqally short and to make it worse, it terminates in a single connection rather than the dual mic/headphone endings required by almost all desktops.
Lastly, the microphone is not that great either. It is very sensitive and provides 0 noise cancelation. It works, but you will find better mics on other more cheaper headsets.
We have enjoyed gaming on the Audeze Mobius as well as listening to music, watching movies or watching TV even. There are allot of other headsets though that offer better value for your money, but we think the Mobius can have a well deserved second place in our top headsets just for the sound fidelity alone.
What about the $400 price tag then? We are not sure, the use of plannar magnetic drivers can be a reason for this price tag, and just for gaming there are more better tuned headphones in the market which are cheaper and deliver what you would expect them to deliver.
The Audeze Mobius does have an excellent sound though and if you are looking for a well balanced headset for both gaming and leasure than the price is fully justified.