Audeze Penrose X and Penrose
Dec 9, 2020 at 9:35 AM Post #2,973 of 5,758

sanonym

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What bugs me a bit about this type of post (have seen it a few times here and on reddit) is that the Penrose has always been advertised as something for those wanting to maximize audio quality in a wireless headset. This was never for the average consumer (there are cheaper alternatives for them) and people who did not consider themselves audio enthusiasts. While anyone is able to notice that the Penrose is better sound quality-wise, not noticing why the sound is actually so much better will naturally diminish your appreciation, especially if you like the grossly exaggerated bass of most "average consumer" audio products.

Bottom of the line, if you didn't consider yourself an audio enthusiast (or if you have to, audiophile) to begin with, you shouldn't have been looking at the Penrose to begin with.

I agree with you! I also ultimately went for the Penrose because above all else I wanted the best sounding headset for my use case.

I just wrote down my own perception of the the APW because while there are, without question, many great alternatives to it, I read mainly negative opinions and as mine was rather positive, I was trying to offer a positive perspective of it.
 
Dec 9, 2020 at 9:46 AM Post #2,974 of 5,758

Breadwinka

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I got the beta firmware last night. The mic does sound much better in wireless mode now specially in discord, and the biggest issue the whoosh ("wind") noise is gone. Really happy with the purchase these are a huge upgrade over my Sennheiser HD598 at least from what i can tell of swapping back in fourth between them. The only downside is now when you listen to low quality crap on youtube you really hear it.
 
Dec 9, 2020 at 9:48 AM Post #2,975 of 5,758

itsmewes

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@Audeze could I possibly get the beta firmware as well? The mic is pretty unusable over Zoom for work calls right now in its current state.

Wireless range also isn't great. I can't even walk in to my kitchen without connection dropping and there's only 1 wall separating it from my desk. The dongle is also plugged in to the front USB port of my PC with nothing blocking it (except the wall).
 
Dec 9, 2020 at 9:54 AM Post #2,976 of 5,758

candurin

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I received mine yesterday (pre-ordered on 10/28, shipped 11/2 and delivered 11/8 - I am on the US east coast). Just unboxed them this morning and they are charging now. My initial impression is that they are solidly built. I tried them on for all of a minute before starting work. The horizontal clamp wasn't uncomfortable, however, the centrally located "cushion" on the head band may be an issue for me. As someone with a small, bald, head this will likely be a source of discomfort as it definitely creates a central push point just based on my very first time putting them on. Not sure why they didn't have a full width cushion.

I have been using the Drop/Sennheiser PC37x for almost 2 years and they are extremely comfortable and I have worn them for hours on end.

I'll give a better evaluation of comfort and sound later today once they fully charge and I am finished with my morning meetings.

@Audeze I did request the beta firmware two days ago via PM but received no response.
 
Dec 9, 2020 at 10:37 AM Post #2,977 of 5,758

manserotti

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The Arctis Pro Wireless are 2.4GHZ and bluetooth £299, anyone tried these yet?

I had 2 of them, the ear cup literally break up an detached and the other one also had the same issue and threw it in the trash. really bad build quality.

this happens after a couple of months of putting and removing the headset on your head.

regarding audio quality penrose is so much better and higher quality audio.

penrose have better build quality and the tight clamp out of the box unless you wear it out or use the pillow stretch.

bluetooth+wireless connectivity beats the penrose at the moment (waiting if the update will fix that)
 
Dec 9, 2020 at 10:49 AM Post #2,978 of 5,758

ericking

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Finally got a good 4 hours of testing between the Audeze Penrose (via wireless dongle to PS5/Switch, bluetooth to iphone, and aux into my Woo WA7), Steelseries Arctis 7p (wireless dongle to PS5/Switch, aux into WA7) and Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3.0 (Genki AptX LL adapter to PS5/Switch, Bluetooth to iphone). I also use my Sony Z1R during the day when I'm working (I like to listen to music as I code), sometimes swapping to Focal Clear depending on my mood. The Z1R is my preference for PC gaming, so I didn't even test any of these wireless headphones for that purpose.

Just to state again, my primary use case for a wireless headphone is convenient console gaming. I have plenty of other headphones or true wireless buds for other purposes (PC gaming, music, podcasts), and I don't play any competitive games so I didn't even attach the mic to test it. Although console gaming is my primary use case, I was also looking forward to the simultaneous Bluetooth aspect of the Penrose to listen to music or podcasts from my iPhone at times when gaming; then Arctis has no similar feature, and while my Momentum 3.0 does offer multipoint bluetooth pairing, only one source plays at a time (as far as I can tell). It's still nice for answering phone calls if necessary though.

I've been stretching out the Penrose using the pillow method for the last 2 nights and all day today. I've also updated to the new beta firmware which solves the "whoosh" issue and offers 5 EQ presets instead of 2. It also lowers the "Connected" voice, which is nice, but it does nothing to address any connection issues (straight from Audeze's mouth through email correspondence).

First of all, of the 3 wireless options I own, the Penrose have the best audio quality by far. If we were to judge the headphones purely on audio potential, the Penrose would win quite handily. While it doesn't approach my preferred setup (Z1R or Clear to an external Amp/DAC), it still offers the best musical clarity compared to the Momentum and Arctis. In comparison, the Momentums have rather muddy bass (a common "feature" among mainstream ANC headsets, supposedly because it's preferential when moving/walking around) and suppressed vocals. The Arctis 7P have better bass than the Momentum, but still have recessed vocals compared to the Penrose. Audeze also has a nice "quickness" to its beats and attack, though not as crisp here compared to Focal Clear. It also has excellent sub-bass extension, which is a trait I adore in most planar magnetics.

However, I also think some people are denigrating the Arctis 7P a bit too much. I personally don't think it's a slouch in audio - it's not the best, but I didn't hear distortion in bass or explosions as one poster experienced. Audio quality while gaming sounded fine, and its soundstage was better than the Momentums and comparable to the Penrose. While it doesn't do vocals as well as the Penrose, I hardly noticed this during my gaming session... only noticed it really when listening to music (even tried watching some more Hamilton via PS5's Disney Plus app).

So the Penrose is a winner when it comes to audio. How come I still feel unfulfilled? Overall, I had a pretty negative user experience while wearing the Penrose.

First, even after stretching the band for over 24 hours, it still does not feel very comfortable. The clamp isn't actually that bad for the first 30 minutes or hour (and honestly, I actually prefer its snug fit initially compared to the looser fit of the Arctis) but after that I start feeling hot spots around my ears and the one spot on my head where the headband has significant padding. After more than an hour of wearing it, switching to the Arctis was a breath of fresh air.

Second, the simultaneous Bluetooth/Wireless feature is useless to me. Connecting my iphone immediately lowers my wireless/PS5 volume dramatically. While I can just increase the volume of the Penrose, this also increases the volume of my phone (which doesn't control independently from the PS5) and makes it much too loud to listen to comfortably. Not that big of a deal, but a miss considering I was looking forward to this feature.

But most importantly, I still experience way too many connection issues with the Penrose. I listened to suggestions and tried several configurations: dongle into PS5 rear USB, dongle into USB extender from rear USB, dongle into USB hub into USB extender from rear USB. I tried 3 different USB extenders (2' 2.0, 3' 3.0 and 5' 3.0). My experience was still MUCH better than my initial impressions (where I had about 5-10 disconnects an hour with intermittent crackling and brief audio dropouts), but it wasn't good enough. I still experienced the occasional disconnect while playing and would even get dropouts or crackling if I just moved my head the wrong way. Moving to the kitchen would consistently disconnect the Penrose. I discussed this with Audeze, and they gave a response regarding the balance between latency and stability and linked me to their wireless stability article (here). I admit that this may be more of a problem for me since I run a smart home which may cause more wireless 2.4ghz interference than others. However, I did not experience ANY disconnect with the Arctis 7P in my hour or two of playing with it. Not only could I walk to the kitchen for a drink, but I could move to the opposite end of my house before disconnect. I never had any crackling or dropouts at all either.

Because of this, I've realized that the Penrose is just not right for me. While the audio is good, it's not great enough to overcome the suboptimal and frustrating user experience I've had so far. Since I already have the latest firmware, I'm not comfortable waiting for a fairy tale "future firmware" that might fix my connection issues that probably won't come out before my return window closes. Also, I still think audiophiles trash the audio quality of the Arctis 7P too much. This is purely subjective of course, but while the Penrose are the second best wireless headphones I've owned (I still prefer my old Oppo PM3's over it to be honest), the Arctis 7P would be my third favorites. I'm actually surprised I prefer them over my Momentum 3.0's, which cost twice as much. The Arctis are also much more comfortable for long gaming or media sessions. It doesn't automatically switch audio output when turned on, which is annoying (even the Penrose does this), but it's not too difficult to switch that in the PS5 quick menu.

These are just my impressions. Several others have chimed in saying they have no connection issues. However, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that Audeze may have sacrificed stability a bit too much compared to other gaming headsets like the Arctis 7P. I did briefly own the Pulse 3D and it had no such connection issue in my house either (though in this case, the audio quality was abysmal enough for me to return it rather quickly, haha).

Thanks for the updated impressions. I’m unfortunately still in the same boat. I’ve tried out the PS5’s front and back USB ports, along with different lengths of USB extenders to test out different placements, and nothing I do completely solves the disconnects and crackling. I want to keep trying to see if I can find a fix, but honestly we shouldn’t be dealing with this many issues with a $300 headset considering I wasn’t experiencing any of the same with the $100 Pulse 3D headset.

I’m still on the old firmware as I don’t have access to a PC (and Audeze haven’t provided a timeline for Mac yet even after I’ve asked multiple times, so who knows when it will be available), but it sounds like the update won’t address these connection issues anyway.

I’m going to give it another few days, but I’m leaning at the moment towards returning mine and getting something like the PC38X. I know that’s pretty different in that it’s open and wired as opposed to closed and wireless, but I’m kind of over dealing with connection issues at this point and just want something that works so I can enjoy my PS5 games without distractions.
 
Dec 9, 2020 at 11:10 AM Post #2,979 of 5,758

Arkard1

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What bugs me a bit about this type of post (have seen it a few times here and on reddit) is that the Penrose has always been advertised as something for those wanting to maximize audio quality in a wireless headset. This was never for the average consumer (there are cheaper alternatives for them) and people who did not consider themselves audio enthusiasts. While anyone is able to notice that the Penrose is better sound quality-wise, not noticing why the sound is actually so much better will naturally diminish your appreciation, especially if you like the grossly exaggerated bass of most "average consumer" audio products.

Bottom of the line, if you didn't consider yourself an audio enthusiast (or if you have to, audiophile) to begin with, you shouldn't have been looking at the Penrose to begin with.

I don't agree with this. I don't think anyone has to be an "enthusiast" to want the best sound. I had a baby this year so a lot of my gaming went from my 7.2 sound system to a headset. I knew I was missing some sound from this and since switching a primary headset use I wanted something better then my current option. My search led me to the Penrose (there is a whole subreddit that was shilling these since there announcement and calling everything else wireless "trash" level. For all the negatives talked about other wireless headsets I was expecting to be blown away by the audio differences. What I found so far was a small increase in audio quality while sacrificing features that don't work as advertised and a whole lot of comfort. I recognize my other headset was bass heavy, and I still want a more true sound reproduction, but not at the cost of everything else, especially in a Headset that cost 2x or 3x the competition.
 
Dec 9, 2020 at 11:20 AM Post #2,980 of 5,758

atCodus

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I don't agree with this. I don't think anyone has to be an "enthusiast" to want the best sound. I had a baby this year so a lot of my gaming went from my 7.2 sound system to a headset. I knew I was missing some sound from this and since switching a primary headset use I wanted something better then my current option. My search led me to the Penrose (there is a whole subreddit that was shilling these since there announcement and calling everything else wireless "trash" level. For all the negatives talked about other wireless headsets I was expecting to be blown away by the audio differences. What I found so far was a small increase in audio quality while sacrificing features that don't work as advertised and a whole lot of comfort. I recognize my other headset was bass heavy, and I still want a more true sound reproduction, but not at the cost of everything else, especially in a Headset that cost 2x or 3x the competition.

The audio differences are probably "different" to what you were expecting, and that is perfectly fine. No headset can make you hear things that aren't there. The main cost of these headphoes are the planar technology, and I've bought a pair of these knowing from hours and hours of research what that should mean to my sound, and it is something I want to experience. It just so happens that these should fit my use case perfectly, but I understand that will not be the same for all people.

I am well aware that they will likely not sound "better" than my wired, open back DT1990, but better is a subjective term.
 
Dec 9, 2020 at 11:27 AM Post #2,981 of 5,758

dingeth

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Had these for two days now and I have to say, it's been flawless. I've not had a single disconnect either via Bluetooth or wireless dongle and I've used them for music and movies for around 10 hours combined.

One thing I have noticed is that the pads do seal very well and since they're not as large as those on my LCD's, they do make my ears get very warm quite quickly. It's summer here as well which probably exacerbates the situation. Comfort is solid otherwise, and the clamp doesn't bother me at all, but I do understand that comfort is a personal thing dependent on a number of factors, so I'm lucky on that front.

Material quality is the only thing I wish was a bit better, but I guess those are some of the sacrifices that were made to get the weight down and meet the price point.

Going to reinstall the Witcher 3 tonight to re-experience that soundtrack and atmosphere on the new cans, can't wait!
 
Dec 9, 2020 at 11:42 AM Post #2,982 of 5,758

waltdisneypixar

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Finally got a good 4 hours of testing between the Audeze Penrose (via wireless dongle to PS5/Switch, bluetooth to iphone, and aux into my Woo WA7), Steelseries Arctis 7p (wireless dongle to PS5/Switch, aux into WA7) and Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3.0 (Genki AptX LL adapter to PS5/Switch, Bluetooth to iphone). I also use my Sony Z1R during the day when I'm working (I like to listen to music as I code), sometimes swapping to Focal Clear depending on my mood. The Z1R is my preference for PC gaming, so I didn't even test any of these wireless headphones for that purpose.

Just to state again, my primary use case for a wireless headphone is convenient console gaming. I have plenty of other headphones or true wireless buds for other purposes (PC gaming, music, podcasts), and I don't play any competitive games so I didn't even attach the mic to test it. Although console gaming is my primary use case, I was also looking forward to the simultaneous Bluetooth aspect of the Penrose to listen to music or podcasts from my iPhone at times when gaming; then Arctis has no similar feature, and while my Momentum 3.0 does offer multipoint bluetooth pairing, only one source plays at a time (as far as I can tell). It's still nice for answering phone calls if necessary though.

I've been stretching out the Penrose using the pillow method for the last 2 nights and all day today. I've also updated to the new beta firmware which solves the "whoosh" issue and offers 5 EQ presets instead of 2. It also lowers the "Connected" voice, which is nice, but it does nothing to address any connection issues (straight from Audeze's mouth through email correspondence).

First of all, of the 3 wireless options I own, the Penrose have the best audio quality by far. If we were to judge the headphones purely on audio potential, the Penrose would win quite handily. While it doesn't approach my preferred setup (Z1R or Clear to an external Amp/DAC), it still offers the best musical clarity compared to the Momentum and Arctis. In comparison, the Momentums have rather muddy bass (a common "feature" among mainstream ANC headsets, supposedly because it's preferential when moving/walking around) and suppressed vocals. The Arctis 7P have better bass than the Momentum, but still have recessed vocals compared to the Penrose. Audeze also has a nice "quickness" to its beats and attack, though not as crisp here compared to Focal Clear. It also has excellent sub-bass extension, which is a trait I adore in most planar magnetics.

However, I also think some people are denigrating the Arctis 7P a bit too much. I personally don't think it's a slouch in audio - it's not the best, but I didn't hear distortion in bass or explosions as one poster experienced. Audio quality while gaming sounded fine, and its soundstage was better than the Momentums and comparable to the Penrose. While it doesn't do vocals as well as the Penrose, I hardly noticed this during my gaming session... only noticed it really when listening to music (even tried watching some more Hamilton via PS5's Disney Plus app).

So the Penrose is a winner when it comes to audio. How come I still feel unfulfilled? Overall, I had a pretty negative user experience while wearing the Penrose.

First, even after stretching the band for over 24 hours, it still does not feel very comfortable. The clamp isn't actually that bad for the first 30 minutes or hour (and honestly, I actually prefer its snug fit initially compared to the looser fit of the Arctis) but after that I start feeling hot spots around my ears and the one spot on my head where the headband has significant padding. After more than an hour of wearing it, switching to the Arctis was a breath of fresh air.

Second, the simultaneous Bluetooth/Wireless feature is useless to me. Connecting my iphone immediately lowers my wireless/PS5 volume dramatically. While I can just increase the volume of the Penrose, this also increases the volume of my phone (which doesn't control independently from the PS5) and makes it much too loud to listen to comfortably. Not that big of a deal, but a miss considering I was looking forward to this feature.

But most importantly, I still experience way too many connection issues with the Penrose. I listened to suggestions and tried several configurations: dongle into PS5 rear USB, dongle into USB extender from rear USB, dongle into USB hub into USB extender from rear USB. I tried 3 different USB extenders (2' 2.0, 3' 3.0 and 5' 3.0). My experience was still MUCH better than my initial impressions (where I had about 5-10 disconnects an hour with intermittent crackling and brief audio dropouts), but it wasn't good enough. I still experienced the occasional disconnect while playing and would even get dropouts or crackling if I just moved my head the wrong way. Moving to the kitchen would consistently disconnect the Penrose. I discussed this with Audeze, and they gave a response regarding the balance between latency and stability and linked me to their wireless stability article (here). I admit that this may be more of a problem for me since I run a smart home which may cause more wireless 2.4ghz interference than others. However, I did not experience ANY disconnect with the Arctis 7P in my hour or two of playing with it. Not only could I walk to the kitchen for a drink, but I could move to the opposite end of my house before disconnect. I never had any crackling or dropouts at all either.

Because of this, I've realized that the Penrose is just not right for me. While the audio is good, it's not great enough to overcome the suboptimal and frustrating user experience I've had so far. Since I already have the latest firmware, I'm not comfortable waiting for a fairy tale "future firmware" that might fix my connection issues that probably won't come out before my return window closes. Also, I still think audiophiles trash the audio quality of the Arctis 7P too much. This is purely subjective of course, but while the Penrose are the second best wireless headphones I've owned (I still prefer my old Oppo PM3's over it to be honest), the Arctis 7P would be my third favorites. I'm actually surprised I prefer them over my Momentum 3.0's, which cost twice as much. The Arctis are also much more comfortable for long gaming or media sessions. It doesn't automatically switch audio output when turned on, which is annoying (even the Penrose does this), but it's not too difficult to switch that in the PS5 quick menu.

These are just my impressions. Several others have chimed in saying they have no connection issues. However, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that Audeze may have sacrificed stability a bit too much compared to other gaming headsets like the Arctis 7P. I did briefly own the Pulse 3D and it had no such connection issue in my house either (though in this case, the audio quality was abysmal enough for me to return it rather quickly, haha).

Thank you for your post

My two concerns are cuts and comfort. I will try and if not return like you
Thanks

And 7p was my initial buy but i found out about these.
 
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Dec 9, 2020 at 11:47 AM Post #2,983 of 5,758

OJGloveless

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What bugs me a bit about this type of post (have seen it a few times here and on reddit) is that the Penrose has always been advertised as something for those wanting to maximize audio quality in a wireless headset. This was never for the average consumer (there are cheaper alternatives for them) and people who did not consider themselves audio enthusiasts. While anyone is able to notice that the Penrose is better sound quality-wise, not noticing why the sound is actually so much better will naturally diminish your appreciation, especially if you like the grossly exaggerated bass of most "average consumer" audio products.

Bottom of the line, if you didn't consider yourself an audio enthusiast (or if you have to, audiophile) to begin with, you shouldn't have been looking at the Penrose to begin with.

I guess just because I’ve never considered myself an audio enthusiast - but enjoy high audio quality in games, means I should cancel my pre-order for a gaming headset. For the sheer fact I may not understand, why the audio I’m listening to is better.

Makes sense.
 
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Dec 9, 2020 at 11:54 AM Post #2,984 of 5,758

waltdisneypixar

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Had these for two days now and I have to say, it's been flawless. I've not had a single disconnect either via Bluetooth or wireless dongle and I've used them for music and movies for around 10 hours combined.

One thing I have noticed is that the pads do seal very well and since they're not as large as those on my LCD's, they do make my ears get very warm quite quickly. It's summer here as well which probably exacerbates the situation. Comfort is solid otherwise, and the clamp doesn't bother me at all, but I do understand that comfort is a personal thing dependent on a number of factors, so I'm lucky on that front.

Material quality is the only thing I wish was a bit better, but I guess those are some of the sacrifices that were made to get the weight down and meet the price point.

Going to reinstall the Witcher 3 tonight to re-experience that soundtrack and atmosphere on the new cans, can't wait!

PS5?
 
Dec 9, 2020 at 12:01 PM Post #2,985 of 5,758

drsnowball

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I don't agree with this. I don't think anyone has to be an "enthusiast" to want the best sound. I had a baby this year so a lot of my gaming went from my 7.2 sound system to a headset. I knew I was missing some sound from this and since switching a primary headset use I wanted something better then my current option. My search led me to the Penrose (there is a whole subreddit that was shilling these since there announcement and calling everything else wireless "trash" level. For all the negatives talked about other wireless headsets I was expecting to be blown away by the audio differences. What I found so far was a small increase in audio quality while sacrificing features that don't work as advertised and a whole lot of comfort. I recognize my other headset was bass heavy, and I still want a more true sound reproduction, but not at the cost of everything else, especially in a Headset that cost 2x or 3x the competition.

Seconded. I don’t (and shouldn’t) need to be an audio enthusiast to recognize that this product shipped in a rough state with multiple missing features, and other features working in unexpected and disappointing ways.

Even ignoring the launch issues, the Penrose, like any headphone, makes trade-offs. The trade-offs the Penrose makes are larger than many commenters expected and probably dealbreakers for me. That’s not because I’m less or more of an enthusiast, and gatekeeping in that manner avoids addressing why the Penrose is missing the mark for some people.
 

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