Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the Santa Ana factory of Audeze and CEO Sankar Thiagasamudram. I really had no idea what a big and sophisticated operation Audeze had become. Of course, being a Magnepan guy, I instantly fell in love with the Audeze headphones when my friend Chris Sommovigo got a pair right at the beginning of the company’s history. Since then, Sankar has expanded the line into more refined models using Fazor technology and ever thinner diaphragms for more accuracy. He has also gotten into inner ear monitors with the brilliant iSine line and the flagship LCDi4s. There are of course, the more compact Sine headphones for portable use. However, at the factory Sankar had two surprises for me as I rolled up on a typically sunny day.
But first a quick mention of a factory tour. We arrived on a Sunday and while the place was empty, it was impressive. It was large, clean, and well-lit. They actually make their own diaphragm film at this facility now. Workbenches, headphone testing stations, neatly organized parts containers… very well designed with a sense of true professionalism which reminded me about of my recent Wilson Audio factory tour. After a walk around and some manufacturing commentary by Sankar, we headed back to his office to see two new product categories that are now a focus of the Audeze team.
The first was a selection of Audeze microphones. Beautifully crafted, they seemed very solid although we did not use them. I suspect the pro market will be quite interested in these. It seems the pro market has been embracing their new MX-4 full size cans for mixing and mastering. Not really much more to say here as we did not get to test the microphones by listening to their recordings.
The second was an entirely new area for Audeze. Gaming headphones. At true budget pricing: $259 USD on Indiegogo right now ($399 USD is regular post-launch MSRP). Hells yeah. I can hear my friends snickering now… Lee’s a gamer? Lol, no. But these headphones have an interesting feature besides the usual gaming features. They create a surround field that is astonishing. Sankar’s background in electrical circuits and DSP is serving him well here. He played us a world music track that offered percussion and other instruments in a way that circled our head. I’d sworn to Sankar I would keep my big mouth shut until the launch and, well, here we are. I’ve heard 3D sound localization before but this was truly immersive. Perhaps the headphone space is catching up now to the promise of those surround-sound DVD Audio discs we once collected. Localization is pretty mind-blowing. Imagine you are looking forward and listening to a wide sound field. If you move your head, the sound moves with it but the Mobius can “localize” that centered sound as you move your head left and right. It’s kind of spooky and fun. Mobius has tracking sensors that monitor your precise head movements. There’s even “room emulation” that can create a realistic sense of a room and its sound reflections.
As for the particulars of the Mobius features, I will let the press release speak to that but I recommend you hear these cans. The surround sound is spectacular. If you are a gamer or surround fan, then I’d jump on that Indiegogo campaign and get in on the cheap.
Hear your favourite games, and movies, like never before! Audeze is bringing it’s award winning-audiophile sound to the gaming world. Mobius features full 3D emulation with support for surround sound modes, and an integrated 3D head-tracking system that works seamlessly with today’s most popular content. Coupled with state-of-the-art room emulation technology and anatomy calibration, Mobius is truly optimized for the way your brain processes sound in a manner consistent with real-world listening.
At Audeze, we create products that break the mold and change the rules. We strive to create magical experiences for our customers that go beyond just being an ordinary headphone. We have been at the forefront of the planar revolution honouring the audiophile and exciting the audio pro. Movies, television, and video games are all experiencing an era of unprecedented transformation. Media consumption is also undergoing extraordinary changes. We wanted to create a headphone that could enhance this new frontier and provide an immersive cinematic experience that echoes the scope and grandeur the gaming and media world has become. Mobius is our take on the ultimate gaming and media headphone.
Mobius is more than headphone, it is an experience, an opportunity to dynamically interlace your gaming audio in a 3D environment around yourself: to truly live and exist within your media. Whether or not it’s a plane flying overhead or the rustling of brush from an enemy behind, the Mobius breathes life into every experience, taking the game from the screen to an entire room. Mobius is the first premium high-end, fully immersive 3D cinematic audio and head tracking-enabled headphone designed specifically for gamers. Mobius harnesses Audeze’s award winning planar magnetic technology and combines with leading-edge head-tracking, room emulation, and sound localization technologies to unlock the full potential of gaming audio.
Audeze headphones have achieved worldwide acclaim among music industry professionals and audiophiles alike for their pure, spacious, and highly detailed sound and for innovation which has kept Audeze on the cutting-edge of audio technology for a decade. Conceived under the belief that audio quality should never be compromised for the sake of utility, Mobius will be the first headphone to provide the unsurpassed level of detail, clarity, and positional accuracy of planar magnetic drivers in a feature-rich package designed specifically around the needs of both professional and casual gamers.
Read more HERE.