Although the corporate primarily focuses on high-end headphones, Audeze isn’t any stranger to gaming headsets. Its earlier headset, the Audeze Penrose, received our Editors’ Alternative award due to the superb sound produced by its planar magnetic drivers. The wi-fi Audeze Maxwell ($299) sounds simply nearly as good, is much more comfy to put on, and is available in PlayStation and Xbox variations that each work with PCs. Although costly for a wi-fi gaming headset (significantly one which lacks PC-centric spatial audio), the Audeze Maxwell nonetheless earns our Editors’ Alternative award for the excellent listening and gaming expertise it gives.
Chunky, However Comfy
The Maxwell appears like a chunky, no-nonsense pair of headphones, with no actual “gamer” aptitude. The earcups are massive and round, connecting to the headscarf by way of two sturdy, U-shaped steel struts that permit the earcups tilt up and down, and rotate flat for storage. The scarf is a large steel strip that helps give the Maxwell a sturdy really feel. The trade-off is that the headset is reasonably heavy at 17.3 ounces; it weighs greater than 4 ounces greater than the equally cumbersome Razer Kraken V3 Professional ($199.99).
Regardless of its weight, the Maxwell is a snug, well-balanced headset. The earpads have beneficiant quantities of sentimental reminiscence foam wrapped in supple, surprisingly cool fake leather-based. The scarf’s underside is thinly padded, however this part received’t instantly contact your head due to the suspension beneath it. A large, thick fake leather-based arch runs beneath the headscarf, lifting the headset above the scalp. There are simply three adjustment choices, however the headset match my head fairly effectively due to the massive earpads and the earcups’ pretty wide selection of movement.
All connections and controls sit on the left earcup, with the facility button and mic mute swap instantly on the again panel. The earcup’s backside edge has a mic noise suppression button, a connector for the removable increase mic, a USB-C port for charging and utilizing the headset in a wired trend, a 3.5mm aux port, and two quantity wheels for the headphones and mic.
The included USB transmitter is a small, rectangular USB-C adapter with an indicator LED on the face and a PC-console swap on the facet. A USB-C-to-USB-A cable is included if you happen to don’t have any free USB-C ports, although the headset doesn’t include a 3.5mm cable.
Made for Consoles
Relying on the model you buy, the Audeze Maxwell will wirelessly work with both a PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 or an Xbox One and Xbox Collection X/S console by way of the included transmitter. The transmitter additionally works with PCs, Macs, the Nintendo Swap, and the Steam Deck. As well as, the headset works wirelessly with out the transmitter over Bluetooth 5.3 and helps the AAC and high-res LDAC codecs. LDAC is uncommon in most Bluetooth headphones (particularly gaming headsets) and may please audiophiles. Based on Audeze, the Maxwell can last as long as 80 hours on a cost.
The Audeze Maxwell is a stereo gaming headset. The PlayStation model makes use of the PS5’s built-in 3D audio processing for spatial audio, whereas the Xbox model robotically authorizes Dolby Atmos on the Xbox Collection X/S by means of the USB transmitter. If you need spatial audio on PC, you should add it utilizing Razer THX Spatial Audio ($19.99), Dolby Atmos for Headphones ($14.99), or one other platform.
The increase microphone is evident, however a bit of quirky. Check recordings sounded principally clear with a robust dynamic vary, although I picked up a contact of fuzziness within the increased frequencies. It typically sounds good, however if you happen to’re critical about content material creation, it is best to think about getting a separate USB mic that may produce an excellent higher sign.
Audeze Maxwell Sound High quality
Planar magnetic drivers are typically recognized for wonderful element within the mid and higher ranges, however the Maxwell’s 90mm drivers pump out critical low-end sound. In our bass take a look at monitor, The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the bass drum palpably thumps at increased volumes and would not distort at most (and unsafe) quantity. It is not a very head-shaking sound, however there’s sufficient low-frequency response current to be bodily felt.
Sure’ “Roundabout” additionally sounds wonderful by means of the headset. The opening acoustic guitar plucks comprise full, low-mid resonance that provides realistically crisp string textures within the increased frequencies. Each ingredient within the combine receives correct consideration when the monitor picks up, with none instrument overshadowing one other. It is an correct, balanced sound that ought to please audiophiles as a lot as any gaming headset can.
Likewise, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt sounded clear and detailed in testing, with robust directional imaging due to the PlayStation 5’s spatial audio processing. Throughout a feast, the sounds of chatter, music, and flames remained distinct. The place of every close by visitor was discernible because the digital camera panned, with the audio panning precisely with it.
The Maxwell’s wonderful audio profile additionally placed on a robust displaying whereas I performed Fortnite. I might simply inform what course distant gunfire got here from with out trying on the audio markers on the sport’s compass. The precise mixing credit score goes principally to Sony for its Tempest 3D processing, however the impact wouldn’t work practically as effectively if the Maxwell didn’t sound so balanced and detailed.
A Excessive-Finish Gaming Headset for Audiophiles
The Audeze Maxwell follows within the footsteps of the Penrose as a unbelievable gaming headset with few frills. It makes no compromises in efficiency and feels even sturdier and extra comfy than its predecessor for a similar value. $300 continues to be costly for a gaming headset, thoughts you, particularly one with no PC spatial audio characteristic by itself. Nevertheless, the audiophile-worthy sound high quality alone makes the Maxwell an Editors’ Alternative winner for gaming headsets. When you love music as a lot as video games and need a headset that may faithfully deal with each, the Audeze Maxwell is a best choice.
When you do not need to spend fairly as a lot cash, the Razer Barracuda X ($99.99) gives robust audio high quality for the worth, together with a superb microphone. Within the different course, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Professional Wi-fi ($349.99) is costlier than the Maxwell and lacks the identical audiophile-quality sound, nevertheless it has a parametric equalizer, spatial audio processing, twin USB connections, and two swappable batteries.