Will there be an unboxing video along side your review? I am eager to see these in as many videos as possible to tide me over until I receive mine .
There’s going to be a bit of an unboxing video. Moreso a “what’s in the box” video since the unit we got was not in the retail packaging. Just a plain white box. Impressions are coming tonight!
Very busy day at the office today.
Alright so it may not be Monday but its time for some final impressions!
The TLDR is that if you are buying them strictly as wireless headphones without the gaming aspect, they are one of the best wireless headphones on the market and represent incredible value at $399. Pack in all the extra features they boast and I can see the Mobius shooting to the top of the marketplace ridiculously fast. There are a few drawbacks (having to attach the mic for calls which looks a little funny in public, some QOL features not implemented, noise isolation is not fantastic for air travel). However, despite those drawbacks, I’ve already put in an order for myself and my wife.
Now let’s take a deep dive into the Mobius!
Build and Comfort
First things first, the Mobius does not feel as plasticky as it looks. The headband does not have a ton of flex to it but it fits nicely on the head. I did not want to flex it too hard as the unit is going back to Audeze. Tiny bit of clamping pressure but nothing close to the 6XX. The headband has a soft cushion just under the middle of the headband and I do wish it was a little thicker and covered a little more space but I have a fairly large head so that’s more a personal preference.
The ear pads are soft, comfy and large enough for my ears to fit comfortably inside them with some room to wiggle. The Earcups swivel so you have a bit of room to play with in regards to how they sit on your ears and I did find that the position of the ear cups did matter when it came to sound.
In The BoxAs I said in the above post in the thread the Mobius comes with the following items (unboxing video will be going up shortly as well!)
- Detachable, flexible microphone
- Cable with 1/8" to 1/8" (3.5mm) Aux connectors
- Cable with USB A to USB C terminations
- Cable with USB C to USB C terminations
- Quick Start guide
- Instruction manual (called “The Traveler’s Handbook to the Mobius Universe”)
- Warranty booklet
The cables are all nice and are the proper length for listening. The instruction manual kind of feels like it was written by somebody who writes for Disney videos before a ride (Soarin’, Indiana Jones, Etc…) Kind of fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. The instruction manual is a bit of must though for the first couple hours with the Mobius just because the sheer amount of features and options is overwhelming while you try to figure out what the buttons do.
ConnectionsThe Mobius has multiple options to connect to your source! Switching between them is pretty easy. Just takes a double click of the 3D mode button and the voice will tell what input you've switched to. The modes available to you are:
- USB (Either USB C or USB A)
- Aux (3.5mm termination)
- Bluetooth (AAC, LDAC, no aptX)
For the sound portion, its going to be broken up as the Mobius fits a lot of different markets.
Mobius Audio Modes and EQ PresetsAs I've said before, the Mobius has a slew of modes and presets. I wasn't sure what to expect when the Mobius was first being talked about and I said previously that even if all the features don't hit, it should still be a good pair of headphones. I'm happy to say that Audeze nailed it. There are some slight hiccups but they may not be present in the final production unit since I know they were still working on it when they sent this unit to us. One negative was that the Mobius does not remember your settings so everytime you start it up you do have to switch over to the mode and preset you want for whatever device you are using. Not a huge deal but just a QOL thing. Now lets look at the audio modes.
- 2 channel. With 2 channel you can still use the 3D mode option. This is the only audio mode available to you if you use the Mobius wirelessly however you can still change the EQ presets.
- 7.1 Surround. Obviously where 3D mode thrives. Music can be muddled and I would I wouldn’t recommend this mode for music but for games, the Mobius shines. Some of the games tested with 7.1 Surround and 3D mode were CS:GO (PC & Mac), Overwatch (PC), Final Fantasy XV(PS4), Until Dawn(PS4), Last of US(PS4), Call of Duty Black Ops 3(Xbox One), Resident Evil 7(Xbox One), Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild (Nintendo Switch).
- High-Resolution: 3D mode is not an option with High-Res. It is 2-channel of course and the Mobius does sound pretty fantastic for music on this mode. This is the option I spent pretty much all my time with at work with my Macbook.
The EQ Presets are as follows:
- Default: Supposed to be the closest to Audeze house tuning. I did not find it to be as laid back as Audeze’s LCD series. I have not heard the Sine though so I don’t know if this tuning might be close to that without any measurements.
- Footsteps: Enhances the sound of footsteps. Great preset for survival horror games. I was able to hear things in the background that I never noticed before like leaves rustling or whispers in the background. Used this preset for CS:GO as well.
- Ballistics: Provides more impact on ballistic sounds and gunshots. Makes FPS games sound a little more frantic. Gunshots and grenades do have a lot of impact with this mode. I don’t think I’d use it for multiplayer FPS games but for single player it definitely helps with immersion. I also used the Ballistics mode for some watching of blockbuster movies and it was a lot of fun!
- Music: Eq for listening to music. I found myself sticking to this preset the most often when it came to music listening. It is a little warming than the default preset and really fits my preferred sound signature.
- Racing: For racing games. Never used it.
- RPG: For RPG games and immersion. I did spend a fair bit of time on this preset. It actually seems a little brighter than the other presets and I don’t know if that’s because RPGs generally have orchestral scores and it was tuned for that.
- Flat: Turns the EQ presets off. Didn’t spend a ton of time on the flat EQ as it wasn’t for me. I’m sure there are purists out there who will enjoy it though.
The switching between the modes is pretty easy and seamless once you get the hang of it. To switch between the audio modes, press down on the microphone volume wheel (Audeze says for 3 seconds but I found it takes around 5). As with switching the inputs, a voice will tell you what audio mode you have switched to. When connected to my Macbook, the 3 different audio modes show up as 3 different devices in the audio options so you do need adjust the volume and settings the first time around when connecting the 3 different audio modes to start.
To switch between the EQ presets, you do a single click on the microphone volume wheel and scroll either up or down. The voice will tell you what setting you are on. This one is a little tricky to get used to as I found that sometimes it would not swap and sometimes I would end up scrolling too far. This issue could be fixed in the production units though.
Wireless SoundI did all of my listening while commuting with the Mobius in wireless mode through an iPhone 7. Unfortunately we don't currently have any devices with LDAC in the office to test it with nor did I do any wireless gaming since the only option available is 2 channel stereo which feels like a bit of a waste when it comes to the Mobius' features. 3D mode can be used in conjunction with the wireless sound but I listened to music with it off as it can be a little off-putting when it comes to music. The isolation on the the Mobius is not fantastic. When wearing them outside, you can definitely hear louder noises like cars, trains, planes etc.. But I still found myself enjoying them when wearing them outside. If you are looking for noise isolation or cancellation in a wireless pair of headphones though, I would look elsewhere. If you are looking for fantastic sound though, the Mobius is exactly where you should be looking. The Mobius beats out the other wireless headphones in its space quite easily when it comes to sound. It doesn't have that bloated consumer bass that you find in a lot of the wireless noise cancelling headphones. Instead it has a much more natural sound with a warm sound signature. Like I said before though, it isn't quite as laid-back as Audeze's LCD sound. Everything feels a little tighter and punchier.
I did find that when I was listening wirelessly I was generally pushing the volume in the 80-85% range on my phone. The Mobius lasted between 6-10 hours before needing a charge and the charge time is in the 2-3 hour range so it is definitely a headphone that you will have to remember to charge overnight or before a long flight.
USB SoundIn terms of USB listening, I was using the USB C to USB C cable on with my Macbook Pro. One quick note is the Mobius do require a little bit of juice so if you are using a Macbook, you will have to plug it into the left side instead of the right as the right side doesn't provide enough power. The Audio mode of choice for me was High-Resolution and the EQ preset was music. This was just my go-to and is what made me decide to buy a pair before I even got test them out for gaming. It gives the Mobius a warm, detailed sound signature that I absolutely love. The Mobius is also one of the few Audeze headphones where I didn't stick to trance / synth and used it for a variety of genres. The sound reminds me of the AEON Flow Closed but the sound is livelier and fun. The Mobius' low-end just sounds impressively natural. Mids are present and detailed. Highs are a little recessed (but I think that has more to do with the music EQ preset. Using it in something like the default makes everything feel a little more balanced and if you throw it on RPG the highs are present while losing a little bit of the low-end). I used a wide variety of tracks for testing and I've been listening to them for just over 80 hours now. Some of the test tracks are:
I don’t think I can emphasize enough how much I enjoy the sound of the Mobius. There is a definite improvement in sound quality between wireless and the USB though and I am not sure how much of that has to do with the option of the High-Resolution mode. If you use just the Mobius for wired music listening use, it also justifies the $399 price tag by itself.
Please see the post farther down in the thread for some clarification on 7.1 for console gaming as well as head tracking.
The Mobius provides an immersive gaming experience that I haven’t experienced with other gaming headphones. I haven’t tried the cheaper headsets from the likes of HyperX or Razor but from the mix of audiophile headphone manufacturers who have all made “high-end” gaming headphones (Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, Beyerdynamic to name a few) the Mobius is one of the few that actually sounds and feels like a high-end gaming headphone. All that without the RGB lighting which manufacturers seem to think is required for gaming headphones.This is where the 3D Mode and 7.1 Audio Mode really shine. You do have to be connected with a wire though, whether it be aux to your controller or USB to your Macbook/PC (or if your PS4 or Xbox are close enough you can go through those USB ports). Wirelessly as stated above, only 2 channel stereo is available to you. 3D mode can still be used but its not the same experience at all as having the 7.1 enabled. I am not going to get into too much detail on the gaming side but I will say these are the best gaming headphones I will ever own (at least until the technology is pushed farther along in a few years). My wife last 10 minutes with them on while playing Until Dawn before she had to take them off because she could hear too much detail. Which is an excellent problem to have!
ConclusionIf you can't tell from my impressions, I really like the Mobius. It offers ridiculous value for its price and Audeze probably could have gotten away with charging more for it if they weren't marketing it as a gaming headphone. The musical experience is fun and fantastic, wirelessly they can actually qualify as audiophile wireless headphones and they provide a deep, immersive gaming experience. The design will definitely be off-putting for some but I actually quite like the blue on the Mobius. I think if Audeze wants to fully realize the Mobius potential, they will release a black version or something a little more understated than their already understated design and they will easily tackle a large portion of the market. The Mobius delivers on so many more levels than I expected. I will say though, that due to the amount of features that are built into the headphone there are bound to be some QC issues which I thankfully did not run into. To those of you who got in on the indie go go campaign early, you guys are in for a treat. And for those looking for wireless headphones that actually boast good sound, I would definitely recommend giving the Mobius a look.
Great review, and great pictures as always. I am still very excited to receive my pair. Did you try out the head tracking at all? I might have missed that in the review.
I touched on it a little bit but didn’t discuss it in great detail.
I did use the head tracking “3D Mode” for gaming and movie watching. I don’t like it for music as it mostly detracts from the listening experience as its not natural to be listening to music and have it only be going into one ear with no sound in the other.
There are 3 modes when it comes to 3D mode
3D Auto - automatically chooses a centre for you
3D Manual - allows you to manually centre the 3D mode.
3D off - turns off the 3D mode.
There are probably some who will enjoy the 3D mode effect for music but for me it is definitely just gamimg and movies.
Thanks for the review, as it reaffirmed my decision to back the Indiegogo campaign. It was somewhat of a gamble, but it’s turning out to be worth the risk. Can’t wait for my pair to arrive.
Would you mind going a little more in depth with your gaming experience, for me? I’m really excited for these, and your review is not helping (in a good way lol). I specifically am curious about the USB into the Xbox One did that actually provide the 7.1 features? Also did you have on the Atmos or Sonic surround feature on the xbox? Oh so many questions =)
Awesome review @taronlissimore! That was very comprehensive and it is making me excited about getting my set. I would also be interested in hearing more specifics about gaming with consoles? I do all my gaming on Xbox One and I was under the impression that 7.1 doesn’t work for that. Can you clarify what modes you were able to use on PS4/Xbox One and how that experience compared to the PC?
Thanks for sharing your impressions!
I’m curious to your use of Mobius with the Nintendo Switch.
When docked, are you connecting via USB C to USB C with 7.1 selected?
When mobile, I assume you are using the 1/8” connector and 2-channel mode with 3D enabled?
Any clarification on what works and what doesn’t with the Switch would be greatly appreciated. Besides movies on my MBP laptop, I will be using Mobius with Switch for gaming.
Guess I should have talked about the gaming part a little bit more! Haha
7.1 Surround is fully supported by all the consoles. You can use all the audio modes. The only time you can’t use audio modes is when you are using Bluetooth (Which isn’t supported by the Xbox One anyways).
I did not use either of those features. I leave all the audio settings at the default stereo uncompressed.
This is a slight mistake since it is only PS4 that supports USB headsets. The Xbox does not without a USB adapter on your controller.
All three audio modes are supported by the Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. The Xbox One only supports 3.5mm into the controller (unless you buy a USB adapter and then you can use USB into the controller). The PS4 and Switch support USB and 3.5mm and I believe you can go bluetooth with the PS4 but I never tested it. I did find the USB connection to be the best when it came to consoles and PC. However, the difference between USB and 3.5mm was minimal. And I will reiterate that 7.1 Surround is fully supported for all the consoles. I also read some misinformation a while back making me think that 7.1 was only supported for PC and I am very happy to say that is not the case!
When docked, I went USB A to USB C with 7.1 selected. And on mobile, I went through the 3.5mm jack (1/8") with 7.1 selected. You can also charge your headphones through the USB C port while playing but I found it created feedback. 3D mode enabled for both docked and mobile.
One thing to note is the USB cables are fairly short so if you’re PS4 or Switch are a decent distance away from where you are sitting and you want to go USB, you will probably have to buy a longer USB cable.
Oh man, now I’m even more excited to get these! Thank you for responding with more information. I will be using these a lot I think for all my gaming, and now potentially on the go needs. I hope we get more info soon about the JDS labs spin off gaming headset.
Thanks for going into detail on the gaming side of things. I know this forum isn’t centered around that, but these headphones are pretty geared toward that section of consumer. I bought them mainly for gaming so that is where my interest lies. The fact that they double as a great set of wireless (or wired) headphones for music is a great added bonus.
What I have gathered from most reviews is that the 3D tracking is not really good for music, as it takes away from the experience. However the 3D tracking really adds another level to movies and games. I think reviews for these two use cases should be completely separate, because muddying the two leads to confusion. This unit is going to be hard for reviewers to concisely report on due to its many use cases and endless features. It’s almost like the reviewer has to dedicate a section to each of those different use cases and features, which would be very time consuming. Every single user is going to have a different set of settings and uses, so writing a review for each of those will be near impossible.
Thanks again for the review, I thought you did a very good job at testing a myriad of features in the short time you had these.
Thanks for the updates!
Hmm I wonder if what you area hearing from consoles is really just the 3D processing, and not actually the virtual 5.1 or 7.1 setup? Audeze was pretty specific about saying that 5.1 and 7.1 wouldn’t work with consoles and only PC through USB.
I saw this quote from MadLustEnvy in the head-fi thread: “5.1/7.1 is through usb only, on PC. The rest will be two channel, so you won’t get the full fat 3d audio, though head tracking works and it’ll be like your audio is coming from two speakers in a virtual room if not using 5.1/7.1 pc source.”
Audeze official also posted this: "We would like to set realistic expectations. Options for interfacing with consoles is a matter of what can be done with existing input/output interfaces on Mobius.
Mobius has three input options:
1. USB: Supports 2/2.1/5.1/7.1
2. BT: As of today, even the best codec supports only 2 Channels
3. Aux: Is an analog interface and limited to 2 channels only
1. As of today there does not exist a console that can output 5.1 or 7.1 over USB (Edit: without licensing involved)
2. Aux out on consoles can output 2 channel only, either plain stereo or with some form of spatialization already done
3. Some consoles may support Bluetooth, here too you can get only two channels or some spatialization already done.
4. Optical out/Toslink: It does not have the bandwidth to support lossless 5.1 or 7.1 channels, so some form of encoding is required. Dolby/DTS can output compressed/lossy multi-channel audio over optical. But Mobius does not have an Optical input, so adding a Dolby/DTS decoder is of no use.
The only true solution I see here is if someone designs a Dolby/DTS decoder that will put out 5.1/7.1 channels over USB. If we find one we will certainly test and recommend one, we do not have current plans on building one from scratch.
If you switch off 3D on Mobius, you will still be able to take full advantage of what Mixamp offers except for head tracking."
And again Audeze mentioned this: “Mobius will have a special USB mode (switchable using some button combination) that will allow it to be used with a PS4 with USB. Headtracking and 3D emulation will work. Only Stereo is supported over USB for PS4”
But honestly if you aren’t really hearing a big difference between console and PC that is really promising, even if it technically isn’t using 5.1/7.1. The end result is more important than exactly which technology is being used. It sounds like the Mobius might really make Audeze more mainstream and a more recognizable name in the headphone/gaming communities.
Really excited to receive mine. I was one of the first hundred backers and won the referral contest as well.
I’ve only owned one other Audeze headphone, being the Sine. Can anyone compare the two? Or comment on similarities in sound sig to other headphones?
I talked with Sankar about it today.
Will be posting some updates in the impressions today to clear up some confusion!
Alright so I am just going to clarify some things from my impressions after speaking with Sankar from Audeze.
When I was speaking of gaming on the consoles, I was moreso talking about the ability to switch between audio modes. So you can switch between 7.1, 2 channel and high-res. However, due to limitations, the 2 channel and 7.1 are the same. It was the 3D mode effect that I was experiencing (and maybe some placebo as well since I am super hype about these). I definitely apologize for the confusion there but I think that also says something about the impressive 3D mode for gaming since it had me fooled into surround.
The next point I wanted to touch on was the head tracking. I said in my impressions that I didn’t like it for music as I found that when you turned your head you could only hear music out of one earcup. I just wanted to clarify this as this is still true. But, I was more so speaking if you are moving your head at a 90 degree angle which most people would not be doing on a regular basis. For regular use, you are only going to be moving your head a little bit. This more so applies to using them wirelessly since its hard to keep the headphones centred if you are walking around. I also learned some more about the Mobius app (Currently PC only, android and MacOS will be on their way at some point) which I will be doing more testing on over the weekend. Since my office laptop is a MacBook Pro that is where I have done most of the music listening. I will also do some more wireless listening with the head tracking on.
It is important to note that my above post was still impressions even though I have spent some time with the Mobius. There is a lot to unpack with them and they have a lot of new technology. I still stand behind what I said in my impressions about the Mobius being pretty much the best value in headphones you can get at $399.
Thank you for clarifying, I like that even while gaming it was hard to tell the difference between 2.0 and 7.1
Thanks for clarifying that. And like I said before, I do think that says something about their implementation of the 3D mode such that switching from 7.1 to 2.1 wasn’t drastically different. If it was subtle enough to be placebo then that is a win in my book, especially packed with all the other features Mobius has. I’ll be looking forward to receiving mine.
Looks like some early units are starting to roll out since people are now getting some impressions in!
I did spend the last week playing with the headtracking a little more since I would say I probably did not give it a fair shot since I kept turning it off while listening to music.
First off when listening in the high-resoution audio mode the 3D mode headtracking is completely bypassed so it can’t be used with high-resolution.
If you are looking to use it while plugged in for listening to music, your options are 2 channel or 7.1. When I was using the headtracking before, I was only using it in manual mode so I would need to recenter it multiple times and if you did turn your head at extreme angles there was sound only coming from whichever earcup was pointed towards where you centered. Unless you are turning your head constantly at more extreme angles, the 3D mode actually starts to feel pretty natural after a while. It does take a little bit to get used to though.
Where I found myself to actually really enjoy it was with wireless. The 3D auto was able to re-center pretty seamlessly where it ended up feeling a lot more natural. I would definitely not recommend 3D manual while walking though since there are a lot of direction changes. Unless you’re into hitting a lot of buttons constantly.
I did read of some sibilance and some hissing. I can say that I haven’t experienced any sibilance with the Mobius. The hissing I have only heard when I had the 3.5mm plugged into the headphone jack while having the USB C plugged in as well to charge. As soon as the USB C was unplugged from the Switch, there was no more background noise. I haven’t experienced any hissing or background noise while listening wirelessly or plugged into PC / Macbook.
Anyone else receive their unit?