Audeze Mobius Testing and Subjective Listening Experience
I’ve been using the Audeze Mobius for more than a month now, and I’m positive that I have fully “break-in” the drivers at this point. Not that they really require several hours of break in period though, as they sound good right out of the box. I’m going to talk about the mic first. The included mic is okay and serviceable. It’s not the best sounding mic, and honestly I’m not blown away by the sound quality it produces. Like I said, it’s just okay and serviceable. Although I recommend that you use the included wind screen (the mic foam) so that breathing, harsh tones, and background noise are minimized.
You can connect the Mobius via Bluetooth, USB cable or the 3.5mm cable. Among the three modes of connection, I recommend that you connect the Mobius via USB cable. If you don’t like wired connection then go Bluetooth, but the Mobius’ features and capabilities will be limited when connected via Bluetooth. I don’t recommend using the 3.5mm unless there’s no other option or you’re connecting the Mobius to a mobile device that has 3.5mm connection. Don’t bother connecting it to a DAC/AMP in the hopes that you want to hear the Mobius with your DAC/AMP’s sound characteristics. Even if you did connect it to a DAC/AMP via the 3.5mm cable, you still need to turn on the Mobius and its internal DAC/AMP and DSP will still kick in.
So why USB cable? With the USB cable, you can use the Mobius and fully configure it with the Audeze HQ software. You can’t do that with Bluetooth or the 3.5mm analog connection. Plus when using the USB connection, you’ll be able to enjoy the Hi-Res mode that allows the Mobius to process sampling frequencies of 24bit/96kHz. 2 channel audio is good, but setting it to hi-res mode sounds even better. Aside from the hi-res mode, you can also switch to 7.1 surround mode via USB connection. You can’t do any of these when connected via Bluetooth.
Since most of the time and it’s ideal that you use the Mobius using the USB connection, here comes my gripe with the USB cable. The included USB cable isn’t that great at all. It’s short, too short if you’re going to connect it to a desktop PC and it kinks. I wish Audeze didn’t cheapen the USB cable; and they should have opted for a better-quality, longer, perhaps braided cable. At their current asking price, I’m a little bit disappointed with the cable’s quality. You might want to buy a better USB cable, especially if you need a long one.
As for the sound quality, the Audeze Mobius has several sound profiles. So I will base my listening experience and describe its audio quality using the default profile. I’ll break down my listening experience by usage or scenario.
Audeze Mobius with 3D mode – The 3D mode in the Mobius is one of its highlighted features. So what do you exactly hear when 3D mode is enabled? Image that you are seating in front of a 2 channel speaker (left and right). Naturally, if you look to your right or turn your head to the right, your left ear will hear more sound coming from the speakers in front of you compared to what your right ear hears. Same if you look at your left side, where you right ear hears more sound than your left ear. That’s basically what you will hear when you enable 3D mode. At this point, I’m not quite impressed with the effect of the 3D mode. The feature is cool and it’s fun to play with. But for critical listening or you need to focus on the audio you are hearing, it’s not a good option to enable this in my opinion.
But I would like to stress out that the head tracking and the 3D position is at least accurate and does really work. It may sound gimmicky, but it works and I just hope it there would be more implementations of it like in playing games. For now, I think it’s a good start but still needs to be developed further for more practical use.
Audeze Mobius for gaming – As for gaming, the Mobius is one really great gaming headphone. The bass goes deep and offers a good amount of rumble and satisfying “boom”, without bleeding to the mid frequencies. Dialogues are clear and background music in games are very satisfying to listen to. Before the Mobius arrived, I have been using the MrSpeakers Ether Flow while playing RPG games like Witcher 3. Why? Because it’s a planar magnetic headphone, and the sound it produces is fantastic from low to highs. Sound stage is also very good since it’s an open back headphone. But that’s a $1600 audiophile-grade headphone. The Mobius on the other hand is way cheaper than the Ether Flow but can offer similar sound quality in gaming; probably even better due to the added DSP and extra features. Surprisingly, the Mobius offers a good amount of sound stage despite being a closed back headphone. Sounds could pop here and there, even small nuances; although I don’t think the positioning is very accurate. Nevertheless, you can still tell where the sound is coming from; it’s really useful when detecting an (unseen) enemy nearby.
Audeze Mobius for movies / multimedia (7.1 surround) – Another area where the Mobius shines is when watching movies and other multimedia purposes. The 7.1 surround sound is obviously fake, but when enabled, it does sound like you’re in a cinema. If you’re watching a movie file with a surround sound option, you can take advantage of that and use the Mobius to hear the cinematic audio. It surprisingly sounds good and does gives you that cinematic effect. Although, your millage may vary at this point. Some people don’t like that surround sound effect, and some people do. It’s up to you to enable it or not, but the option is there. I don’t like to enable it though when the movie file doesn’t support surround audio. For me it will only sound more fake than it already is. But if there’s one thing I’m positive about, Audeze has done it better when it comes to the 3D or 7.1 surround effect.
Audeze Mobius for music listening – Right of the bat, I don’t consider the Mobius as a headphone that seasoned audiophiles would be interested in. Especially if you’re the purist-type of audiophile. Perhaps the upcoming Audeze LCD-GX audiophile gaming headphone may be a different story. Going back to the Mobius, it’s not the most transparent planar headphone, but it’s somewhat forgiving. The Mobius has an elevated bass presence, meaning the bass region will be more emphasized. So if you’re into EDMs, you may find the Mobius to your liking. I like to listen to Godzilla King of the Monsters soundtrack with the Mobius. The sound of the beating drums roar and rumble with the Mobius. Don’t get me wrong here, it’s not a boomy or bass heavy headphone and it doesn’t over power the mid frequencies. But the bass do come out especially if the music requires it. Mid to high frequencies are great as well; controlled, especially the highs with good amount of extension but never sibilant or ear piercing. Voices are crystal clear, rich and perhaps a bit forward sounding. It also has a good amount of sound staging (not very wide though) and imaging despite being a closed back headphone. You may want to set the Mobius to music profile when listening to music. I prefer switching it to music profile, as it sounds somewhat smoother and less edgy than the default mode. Overall, sound quality is really great and you might be blown away especially if you’re coming from a typical gaming headphone / headset that uses a dynamic driver.
Price and Availability
The Audeze Mobius headphone is now available, it comes in three color options: Copper, Blue and Carbon. It comes with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $399 USD. Check out the links below for the latest pricing and availability.
For US: available on Amazon.com here
For UK: available on Amazon UK here
Audeze Mobius Headphone Review: Conclusion
To wrap things up, I find the Audeze Mobius to be one of the best if not the best sounding gaming and multimedia headset, with extra features and functionality. I don’t think there is any other gaming headphone out there in the market that comes with a rich feature set and great sound quality than the Mobius. I also think that there is still potential in the head tracking and 3D department of the Mobius, and it will need collaboration from game developers to fully unlock or tap that immersive 3D / surround experience in while gaming. The addition of the activation key (macro) in the latest version of the Audeze HQ app is much welcomed. You can now trigger additional keys or commands just by your head movement. Although that may also come with a drawback depending on the scenario or instance.
Built quality is good, it’s mainly made out of plastic but the headband is flexible and overall it feels sturdy. There are several ways to connect the Mobius, but I find using the USB connection is the best among the three methods. Now this is probably my only gripe with this headphone. The USB cable is not good, it’s too short and it kinks. Considering the price of this headphone, I was expecting the selection of the cables were more thought out. Audeze needs to replace the cable with a better material, perhaps braided or something more flexible and a longer cable.
Another thing you need to consider is that since it has a lot of features and the buttons have several functions, there is a learning curve. If you’re the type of person who wants a straight plug and play headphone and doesn’t want to play around with settings, then you might want to look elsewhere. Another thing you need to consider is the mic, it’s not the best sounding mic out there but it is serviceable. Good thing is that you can remove it if you don’t want to use it.
As for sound quality, yes it’s definitely good, like really good! It sounds fantastic! And I think other gaming headphones or headsets will be having a hard time to compete with the Mobius’ sound quality, unless they too are using planar magnetic or some audiophile-grade dynamic driver.
Finally, the Audeze Mobius is a great all around headphone. Great for gaming, watching movies and other multimedia activities, and listening to music as well. It’s pricey compared to other gaming headphones, but I think it’s worth it considering the set of features it has to offer, and above all the sound quality.