I have been a big fan of Audeze’s headphones for quite a while now and for those who are aware of the brand know that some of the models cost a kidney or two, but come with exceptional audiophile quality (arguably the best in the business at that price point), so when Audeze came up with the Mobius, it raised a lot of eyebrows and ears alike.
This is mainly because the Mobius is focused towards gamers (previously uncharted territory for Audeze) and they don’t cost a lot of money (another surprise, although a pleasant one) by Audeze standards. But is it worth shelling out ₹30,000 for a pair of gaming headphones? Are they more than just gaming headphones? Is the 3D tech really that mind-blowing? Lastly, how’s the actual audio quality? Let’s find out.
Design and build
Yes, we know what you’re thinking. At this price, there’s no RGB or other bright and flashy stuff that has plagued the gaming headphone market in recent years, but this is as ‘gamer-y’ as Audeze can get. That’s not to say the Mobius looks boring, it certainly does not, but rather has a sense of maturity to it. The cans look unconventionally big for gaming headphones, but they do swivel. The top of the headband has Audeze branding and the sides have a cool dot-cluster type design.
The unit is a combination of high-quality plastic and other materials and yes, the headband can actually be twisted to create a Mobius Loop, but I wouldn’t want to twist it too much. The quality and finish are typical Audeze and they seem like they will still be functioning fine when I take them to the grave with me. Of course, there’s no premium leather or bits made of polished wood here, but that wouldn’t fit the ‘gaming’ silo anyway or may be Audezes can somehow make it happen.
The buttons and volume wheels, which are clickable and change your music tracks have a nice tactile feel to them and are located conveniently. The mic-mute switch is isolated to the side of the left cup right at the top and is operable with one finger although could be slightly difficult to find during the final minutes in a round of PUBG.
Comfort and fit
All that tech crammed in there make these quite bulky at 350g, luckily the head band is thick and soft and quite accommodating. The earpads are super-soft too and are comfortable to wear even with specs on. However they do heat up your ears quite a bit and you will involuntarily swivel ‘em away from your ears, allowing them to breathe and cool down. Apart from the slight heat issue, everything else checks out fine - the headband is adjustable and extends enough for really large heads as well.
They take up quite some space, but at least can rest flat thanks to the swivel, but they’re quite bulky to rest on the neck like you would a regular pair of BT headphones. But you know what the say about pain and gain, don’t you?
Here’s a warning - if you’re a proper bass head and love the boom: you should probably give the Mobius a try before blindly or in this case deafly (forgive me) clicking buy. For those who have never experienced good planar magnetic headphones, the Mobius might sound really great and revealing, which it is. It’s got an amazing mid range and the bass is clean and never gets boomy, which is pretty damn good. Listening to music via Bluetooth through the phone is also an enjoyable experience as the Mobius loves to show off how detailed it is.
Of course, the talking point here is the 3D hocus pocus that Audeze seems to have nailed with the Mobius. It is absolutely on point and tracks your head movements with the precision of a laser-guided missile and it is quite amazing to finally have 3D audio done right and in proper definition.
There are two 3D modes, the ‘Manual’ mode that keeps the audio in one place so you can move your head around like a cow, but the audio will be fixed at one spot only. The other is the ‘Auto’ mode in which the audio pans along with your movement with a sort of ‘rubber band’ effect. This works really well especially if you want to have some fun while travelling in a vehicle. But here’s the problem. For someone who isn’t a hardcore fan of 3D effects, no matter how good they really are, they lose their charm after a bit of playing around and exploring.
So, the 3D modes and what they do might get boring, but not the Mobius itself. Watching some old time favourites like Mad Max Fury Road is an absolute joy especially the part where the apocalyptic car flies over the dunes. The effect is put forward really well and the overhead grunt of the engine just grips you into the scene.
Playing FPS games like PUBG and even other hardcore military simulators like Arma 3 with the Mobius feel like cheating, since it does an absolutely amazing job of audio positioning and you tend to move your mouse toward the exact direction in which the sneaky footsteps are approaching you. After a while, you literally get reported for cheating so better record your sessions to prove otherwise.
The mic on the Mobius is detachable and strangely remains always on. There’s no way to switch it off through the Audeze HQ software and you need to engage the Mic Mute button for it to happen. This needs a fix, but what doesn’t is the quality. It seems to favour the mid range more (like most gaming mics should) and works hard to not make you sound nasal. This sort of tuning really helps your voice cut through the ratatata of a machine gun in a game and is great for in-game communication.
The Audeze HQ software is the control centre for the Mobius and to get the best experience from the headphone, you need to measure your head and put in those values into the software. It isn’t complicated and takes in values of your head’s circumference and the distance of the inter-aural arc. You also get to set values for your room ambience which increases or decreases the sense of space around you.
There are various sound modes given and it’s a mix of gaming as well as media related presets. You get a dedicated ‘Footstep’ preset and for the less initiated, there’s a ‘Flat’ preset as well. Unfortunately you don’t get an equalizer that you can custom tune yet. Apart from this, the app provides info on the battery life, 3D mode, mic volume level and others. Do note that the Mobius’ 3D modes won’t work when connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth, but a PC or Mac is entertained even via Bluetooth.
Audeze and Waves Nx have quite the winner here. The fact that the Mobius tracks your noggin almost 1000 times a second proves it’s worth its salt. It is a joy for those obsessed with 3D audio and can provide hours of entertainment. For others, the 3D modes might seem a bit gimmicky, but you can switch ‘em off and enjoy the brilliant sense of space and regular 3D audio like you’ve never before on a headphone that costs just ₹30k. With the Mobius, you get audiophile quality sound with the best 3D tech we’ve experienced in a long while.