Audeze Mobius Review / Preview - Head-Fi TV

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Aug 21, 2018 at 10:45 AM Post #5,311 of 7,676

rockytopwiz

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I have a pair of Mobius and I definitely have buyer's remorse. I primarily bought them for console gaming and they simply fall short of my existing setup. My existing setup is significantly more expensive than a Mobius, but I had some hopes that the Mobius would clean up some rough edges of my setup without a ton of quality sacrifices while also adding head tracking. It barely did any of what I was hoping for. Here's a summary of my experience with them.

Current gaming setup:
  • Xbox One X running Headphone Atmos > TV via HDMI > Mimby via optical > Magni 3 > HD700
    • Modmic plugged into controller with a splitter (only play multiplayer on X1X so this is moot for PS4 Pro config)
  • PS4 Pro in basic dual channel > TV via HDMI > Mimby via optical > Magni 3 > HD700

Pros of current setup:
  • HD700 are the most comfortable headphone I've ever worn. Hotspot on top of head doesn't flare, ears don't get warm, generally a 'barely there' feeling.
  • Headphone Atmos is great. So much better than the VSS from the Astro MixAmp that I ditched VSS on PS4 Pro just to have a simpler configuration and still retain it on X1X (most of my gaming is on X1X, including all my multiplayer).
  • Only have to manage a microphone and the extra wire when playing multiplayer (<20% of the time) as mic is removable.
  • Audio quality is all-around great.
  • HD700 are incredible for gaming in terms of conveying positional information and overall clarity.

Cons of current setup:
  • No VSS for PS4 Pro games.
  • Have to manage an external microphone connected to a controller rather than a nice, clean integration.
  • Pretty expensive (but that's sunk cost to me).

What I hoped Mobius would improve:
  1. Single-cable headphone/mic configuration with minimal sound quality drop.
  2. Headtracking on top of VSS.

What Mobius actually brought:
Pros:

  1. Single-cable headphone/mic configuration with minimal sound quality drop, but only on PS4 Pro (when connected to USB port). I don't play any multiplayer games on PS4 Pro, however.

Cons:
  • Simply uncomfortable. Hotspot on top of my head flares up in less than 30 minutes. Ears get sweaty.
    • Might be able to fix my complaints with different earpads and a Pilot pad.
  • I am incompatible with Sidetone, or at least this implementation of it. I struggle to speak when having my voice played back to me as I keep pausing to let the other me speak. I have to actively focus on continuing to speak instead of focusing on the game.
  • VSS + Headtracking is not a viable combination due to the positioning of the speakers in 2ch 3D Mode (which is used with consoles). Some other forum members mentioned changing room settings using Mobius as a possibility? I don't even have a PC to attempt that. Waiting for the Mac app.
  • Mobius starts up to settings I never use (7.1, 3D Mode on). I have to look at the Button Function guide nearly every time I want to use the Mobius.
    • Enhancement Request for Audeze: Remember the last used settings on that input.
  • Single-cable headphone/mic configuration with significant sound quality drop on Xbox One (due to going through controller).
  • Gaming sound quality in 2ch with 3D Mode off is...fine? It's definitely a step down from the HD700 and even a step down from the HE400i that I keep as my backup gaming headphones.
  • If I don't connect over USB, I have to manage batteries. Yes, console controllers also have batteries, but those last for dozens of hours and new X1X batteries can be swapped in within a minute. Mobius never ran out of battery in my playtime with it, but I was frequently switching back to USB connection on my Mac to get music impressions, too.

Other thoughts:
  • Musically, these are just not for me. Even in HiRes connected over USB to my Mac, I just don't think it's particularly good. Everything sounds so flat and hollow in Default EQ mode (I haven't branched out past Default more than a few minutes). Clarity is good but not great. Fatigue is very low, but that's due to overall sound dullness.
    • I'm a sub-basshead (check out Loki settings in sig) who also emphasizes clarity and energy of female vocals. Mobius simply fall flat in both regards. Even with my Loki in bypass mode, Dekoni Blues are superior in nearly every way, but especially the ways that matter to me. I even find the HE400i preferable overall (there is a tiny bit more subbass on the Mobius than the HE400i but I prefer nearly everything else about the HE400i's sound).
    • Overall, they sound like a ~$150-200 headphone, so it's not a bad deal deal considering I paid $200 and they have a lot of whizbang features. I just don't use those whizbang features at this point.
  • Mobius kind of feel cheap. I don't think they are cheap (they're super flexible and that's marketed as a positive), but due to the lack of touchable metal I'm used to from headphones, these just feel cheap.
  • If I want to use Mobius with Loki, I have to connect to the Loki output to avoid double amping, which is pain. And I have to manage batteries.
  • Oh, there's also the hiss. After listening to a lot of music with the hiss, I've started to get over it. I couldn't with just gaming, however.

TL;DR, Mobius just isn't great for my uses and my incumbent headphones and setup are superior. I don't necessarily regret getting them, but I don't intend to use them very much without improvements.

I'll get these replaced with a hiss-fixed unit and probably shelve them until a Mac app comes along for me to try modifying room so I can get console VSS + headtracking. In the meantime, I've ordered a Sound Blaster X7 so I can add VSS back to the PS4 Pro.

Thanks for your writeup, much appreciated. Sorry to thread-jack here but isn't Atmos headphones only available for certain titles? Or do they still have a VSS it plays through even if it's a game without Atmos?
 
Aug 21, 2018 at 11:24 AM Post #5,312 of 7,676

Ted23

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Thanks for your writeup, much appreciated. Sorry to thread-jack here but isn't Atmos headphones only available for certain titles? Or do they still have a VSS it plays through even if it's a game without Atmos?
You are correct it’s certain titles only. There’s also a Windows Sonic option but again the game needs to have surround sound in order for the codec to convert it to its VSS headphone presentation.
 
Aug 21, 2018 at 11:34 AM Post #5,313 of 7,676

Xmetaldavex

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You are correct it’s certain titles only. There’s also a Windows Sonic option but again the game needs to have surround sound in order for the codec to convert it to its VSS headphone presentation.
The Atmos for headphones add-on on Xbox one adds processing for everything. However, there are certain games such as overwatch that have Atmos built in.
 
Aug 21, 2018 at 3:42 PM Post #5,315 of 7,676

X-Frame

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I definitely had high expectations and that was a part of my disappointment. I also acknowledge that I have a use case it just doesn't support well (console gaming). I hoped for head-tracking plus console VSS, but it's just not in the cards right now. I hope other console gamers can set their expectations accordingly. I could have avoided this part of my disappointment by parsing the marketing materials and public comments on threads better.

The biggest barriers for me using the Mobius are the other issues though, like the discomfort, the sidetone, the frequent adjustment of settings, and the general meh-ness of the sound quality for both gaming and music. These are the things that make me want to not use the Mobius. Sidetone and startup settings can hopefully be fixed in firmware, discomfort with aftermarket products, but I'm not sure what to make the sound quality, longterm. But circling back to expectations, my incumbent setups (gaming or music) were probably not going to be matched by a $300 AIO headphone.

Thank you for your write-up and impressions.

I don’t have a PC and intended to use mine with my PS4 Pro. I already have an Astro Mixamp Pro that I use with my Fidelio X2’s (and BoomPro Mic Cable), and thought I could either connect my Mobius to the Mixamp via Aux to maintain the Game vs Chat Volume slider (I don’t use the Dolby Surround anyway), or just plug the Mobius directly into the PS4 via USB to avoid double-amping.

I also would be waiting for an iOS or Mac app to adjust as well.

Questions — if I do connect to the PS4 Pro vs USB then am I able to bias game vs. chat volume on the Mobius? I don't recall the button layout on the Mobius. You listed this option as a “Pro” in your write-up. This setup would still work well for multiplayer and voice chat right?

Why did you end up going with the X7 as opposed to using the Mixamp? Is it the extra power?

Thank you!
 
Aug 21, 2018 at 4:15 PM Post #5,316 of 7,676

Vader2k

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Questions — if I do connect to the PS4 Pro vs USB then am I able to bias game vs. chat volume on the Mobius? I don't recall the button layout on the Mobius. You listed this option as a “Pro” in your write-up. This setup would still work well for multiplayer and voice chat right?

I know you're asking GenEricOne, but I'll chime in since I too have a PS4 Pro.

On the Mobius itself, you'll only be able to adjust the overall volume of the sound sent to the Mobius. Adjustments to game volume or chat volume individually will need to be done via the PS4, either through the quick menu or jumping out to the dashboard and going into the specific settings from there.

I know you said you don't use DH on the Mixamp, but for what it's worth I noticed when using 3D on the Mobius, my party chat had the 3D effect applied to it same as the game audio did. It's different than it is on the Mixamp where the non-VSS processed voice is mixed on top of the DH processed game sound and took a little getting used to at first. That said, running a single USB cable straight to the PS4 as opposed to the whole Mixamp setup is quite nice.
 
Aug 21, 2018 at 4:28 PM Post #5,317 of 7,676

X-Frame

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I know you're asking GenEricOne, but I'll chime in since I too have a PS4 Pro.

On the Mobius itself, you'll only be able to adjust the overall volume of the sound sent to the Mobius. Adjustments to game volume or chat volume individually will need to be done via the PS4, either through the quick menu or jumping out to the dashboard and going into the specific settings from there.

I know you said you don't use DH on the Mixamp, but for what it's worth I noticed when using 3D on the Mobius, my party chat had the 3D effect applied to it same as the game audio did. It's different than it is on the Mixamp where the non-VSS processed voice is mixed on top of the DH processed game sound and took a little getting used to at first. That said, running a single USB cable straight to the PS4 as opposed to the whole Mixamp setup is quite nice.

I appreciate you replying!

Interesting. I’ll definitely be giving that a shot, and may actually prefer it since I have my Mixamp near my TV and I sit on the couch, so for me to adjust the volume or chat bias I need to get up off the couch. Connecting the Mobius to the PS4 and I can do that through the menu when needed.
 
Aug 21, 2018 at 5:04 PM Post #5,318 of 7,676

Supreme_Emperor

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Thank you for your write-up and impressions.

I don’t have a PC and intended to use mine with my PS4 Pro. I already have an Astro Mixamp Pro that I use with my Fidelio X2’s (and BoomPro Mic Cable), and thought I could either connect my Mobius to the Mixamp via Aux to maintain the Game vs Chat Volume slider (I don’t use the Dolby Surround anyway), or just plug the Mobius directly into the PS4 via USB to avoid double-amping.

I also would be waiting for an iOS or Mac app to adjust as well.

Questions — if I do connect to the PS4 Pro vs USB then am I able to bias game vs. chat volume on the Mobius? I don't recall the button layout on the Mobius. You listed this option as a “Pro” in your write-up. This setup would still work well for multiplayer and voice chat right?

Why did you end up going with the X7 as opposed to using the Mixamp? Is it the extra power?

Thank you!
If you really dont use the VSS on the Mixamp, than there is no reason not to connect the Mobius directly to the PS4. The Mixamp would even hinder the potential of the Mobius because the DAC in the Mixamp is not as good as the one inside the Mobius. You also dont risk double-amping this way. And the Reason why he ended up with the X7 is the same reason as well i presume. The X7 is just superior in everything compared to the Mixamp and you have a lot more customization options available.
 
Aug 21, 2018 at 5:20 PM Post #5,319 of 7,676
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As I already mentioned earlier, those who are expecting a noise free fixed version better curb your expectations, as they are NOT noise free. They are considerably REDUCED noise version.

If that bothers you, don't waste your time with the Mobius KNOWING this and STILL complaining that it isn't noise free. When you buy wireless products with so much internal circuitry, you run the risk of having to deal with SOME noise.

So get that out of your heads. THIS IS NOT COMPLETELY NOISE FREE.

The fixed version has minor background noise, but compared to the hissy version, is very, VERY tolerable in comparison. I'll let Audeze give the details when they're well and ready as it is not my place to discuss about what was done, what could have been done, and what have you.
 
Aug 21, 2018 at 5:37 PM Post #5,320 of 7,676

Vader2k

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As I already mentioned earlier, those who are expecting a noise free fixed version better curb your expectations, as they are NOT noise free. They are considerably REDUCED noise version.

If that bothers you, don't waste your time with the Mobius KNOWING this and STILL complaining that it isn't noise free. When you buy wireless products with so much internal circuitry, you run the risk of having to deal with SOME noise.

So get that out of your heads. THIS IS NOT COMPLETELY NOISE FREE.

The fixed version has minor background noise, but compared to the hissy version, is very, VERY tolerable in comparison. I'll let Audeze give the details when they're well and ready as it is not my place to discuss about what was done, what could have been done, and what have you.

That's good enough for me! Significant reduction is all I was hoping for. :)
 
Aug 21, 2018 at 5:39 PM Post #5,321 of 7,676

CT007

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That's good enough for me! Significant reduction is all I was hoping for.
Hopefully they will make a better sounding, non-wireless, passive version with better materials, where we can use our own amps. ^ ^
 
Aug 21, 2018 at 5:52 PM Post #5,323 of 7,676

caenlenfromOCN

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no email from Audeze, and no posting here from Audeze... time for bed... and 5 days later... fingers crossed for that email... sigh
Hopefully they will make a better sounding, non-wireless, passive version with better materials, where we can use our own amps. ^ ^


yeah i kind of wish this too, as i will never use it in wireless mode. most likely will be selling mine within two days of it arriving though anyway. i'm kind of picky about my my audio.
 
Aug 21, 2018 at 6:09 PM Post #5,324 of 7,676

Kazekeil

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To quote audeze, bold my emphasis:

We are in the business of making the best headphones on the planet. We want our users to be completely satisfied with their purchase. We will certainly fix this issue. The new solution seems to be the right direction to proceed. (There are additional fixes on top of what we are testing). The fix includes a firmware fix and a hardware change. Fortunately, the fix is minor and does not require re-certification. We will improve the noise floor further to make it imperceptible.

So audeze set the expectation there. That said I'm sure they will be perfectly acceptable with a much reduced hiss and I will keep and love my pair. Still, audeze maybe needs to not write checks they can't cash. With the above statement in bold it is completely reasonable to expect an imperceptible noise floor because, well audeze said it.

Again, I don't need silence, the original hiss was just too much and audeze is doing a great job fixing it. Cut by half I'd be perfectly happy. It's just worth pointing out they said it would be imperceptible.
 
Aug 21, 2018 at 7:05 PM Post #5,325 of 7,676

X-Frame

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If you really dont use the VSS on the Mixamp, than there is no reason not to connect the Mobius directly to the PS4. The Mixamp would even hinder the potential of the Mobius because the DAC in the Mixamp is not as good as the one inside the Mobius. You also dont risk double-amping this way. And the Reason why he ended up with the X7 is the same reason as well i presume. The X7 is just superior in everything compared to the Mixamp and you have a lot more customization options available.

Thank you! And that is exactly what I am going to do when I get my Mobius. Also, kinda wish I knew about the X7 then before I bought the Mixamp a few years ago. Oh well.
 

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