Last year I reviewed the Audeze Mobius planar magnetic gaming headphones for all of you PC gamers out there. Now with a new generation of consoles coming out, Audeze was nice enough to send out its Penrose wireless gaming headset made especially for them.
When it comes to the look and style of the Penrose X, Audeze keeps it simple and understated. Besides the larger size, flourish of green, and additional controls–the Penrose X could easily be mistaken for a typical pair of over-ear cans. That’s fine by me, I don’t need my gaming headset to have an edgy design or include a bunch of embellishments.
What does matter about the design is the access to frequently used controls, such as the volume dial, mic volume dial, mic mute switch, and multi-function button that’s used for switching sources–all of which are housed on the left ear cup. That’s not all though, when the dials are pressed they gain additional functionality.
For example, pressing on the mic dial enables you to adjust the chat and game mix audio on the Penrose X. Long-pressing for three-seconds on the volume wheel will also cycle through your five different equalizer presets, while doing the same on the mic wheel enables or disables sidetone.
Besides the buttons, the Audeze Penrose X also has a multitude of ports, including one for the boom mic, a 3.5mm jack, and a USB-C port.
With all these ports you have your choice of connecting the Penrose X with either the wireless dongle, Bluetooth, or with a 3.5mm cable. Unfortunately, you cannot use the USB-C port to connect the headset as you could with the Audeze Mobius, it is strictly reserved for charging on the Penrose X.
The Penrose X is a hefty headset when compared to traditional over-ear headphones, however, it’s about average for most gaming headsets. That means, you’re definitely going to feel these on your head, but the clamping force isn’t overly strong and the padding is adequate for wearing for long gaming sessions. Like most closed-back headphones though, your ears will tend to get warm after extended periods.
First off, let me say that I’m a PlayStation 5 user and I don’t currently own an Xbox. However, the Audeze Penrose X works with the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC, and even the PS5. Even though it’s not directly marketed towards the PS5, there are no issues whatsoever in using it with the PlayStation 5 if you toggle the dongle to PC. For that reason, the Penrose X is the do it all Penrose model and the one worth purchasing.
My experience with the Penrose X was near exceptional. I was able to use it with my PS5, my PC, a Chromebook, and it even worked when I plugged it into my Stadia controller while using a USB-C adapter.
However, I wouldn’t recommend the last one, as it kept cutting in and out when using it with the Stadia controller. It was more of a curiosity to see how universal the Penrose X is when using the wireless dongle.
Early reports showed some users having issues with the connection cutting out when using the Penrose. Perhaps those were isolated incidents or it was fixed with software updates over time, because I didn’t experience one dropout while using mine the past couple of months. Although, my PS5 is only around 8-10 feet away, but I did try the dongle in both the back and front USB ports.
The headset has received several updates though, and each brought bug fixes and improved functionality, such as disabling side-tone by default and adding new ways to change settings with the wheels on the ear cups.
Additionally, Audeze has since released the Audeze HQ app to help you manage the Penrose headsets. That’s really nice because one of the key features of the Penrose is the ability to connect simultaneously between the wireless dongle and your phone.
This allows you to make calls on your phone or with chatting apps like Discord or Whatsapp while you’re playing. It’s perfect for joining group chats with your team on cross-platform games, and the app makes it easier to adjust the balance between game audio and call audio.
Using the Penrose X made me fall in love with using a gaming headset with my console. Previously, I always used a 5.1 surround sound system with my PS5, but when wearing the Penrose X, I found the audio score in games came to life and I was able to pick up little details like sound effects that I never previously heard. Part of this is attributed to just using a headset, but some of it is just because of how clean and rich the audio is from the Penrose headset.
The sound signature on the Audeze Penrose X is pretty flat giving all frequencies a level playing field. This means you get to clear crisp sound with detail throughout the range, similar to reference headphones.
Game audio sounds incredibly detailed and music is crisp and bright. However, Audeze makes several audio presets available aimed at changing the sound profile for gaming and music on its website. These presets can do wonders at bringing out the low-end for more bass and boom when playing games or listening to music, as well as helping to isolate certain sounds like footsteps.
My only complaint with the Penrose X is the low-level hiss I would sometimes hear during silent moments in games, between music tracks, or when a song is paused. It’s only irritating to hear during those quiet moments and doesn’t affect the sound quality when there is sound playing though.
Audeze touts a detachable boom mic designed with help from Shure. In my experience, the microphone performed very well. My friends were able to hear me clearly and listening to recordings of my voice showed that it has no troubles in reproducing my voice.
I found that the Audeze Penrose X was easily able to last me through gaming sessions of four hours or longer. In fact, I’d say I didn’t have to charge it up until after a good eight hours or more of gaming time.
If your battery starts running low during a heated gaming session, then no worries, the Penrose X allows you to charge up while actively using them. Sure, it adds a wire to your wireless headset, but that’s better than not being able to use them until they have time to charge up.
Overall, the Audeze Penrose X ushers in a new era of high-quality wireless audio when gaming with your console or PC. Audeze has shown it is dedicated to providing updates to enhance the Penrose headsets, while also providing stellar audio quality. Even though they may be on the expensive side, you get what you pay for with a great pair of headphones for gaming, listening to music, or watching movies.
I will say that if you are exclusively a PC gamer and don’t mind wires, then I’d suggest the Audeze Mobius. The 5.1 sound processing and head tracking really make a difference on PC, but when it comes to consoles there’s really no benefit.