Whereas Razer, Logitech, and different corporations are engaged on their 2023 gaming headsets, Audeze has introduced its new Maxwell wi-fi mannequin that begins at $299 with assist for PlayStation, Home windows, macOS, Nintendo Swap, and cellular — every thing however Xbox. There’s an Xbox model that prices $30 extra and makes up for among the value improve with a Dolby Atmos license that prompts robotically. It’ll begin delivery in late December 2022.
Audeze usually makes huge guarantees about nice audio high quality, which is ok as a result of the merchandise often again them up. The Maxwell has 90mm planar magnetic drivers, that are barely smaller than those in its 2021 Penrose headset. By means of them, you possibly can take heed to hi-res audio when linked by way of the included USB-C cable or once you’re wirelessly tethered to its USB-C dongle.
As for wi-fi high quality, Audeze put some extra work into Bluetooth right here, bringing some welcome additions with the Bluetooth 5.3 LE tech. The Maxwell options multipoint assist (permitting it to hook up with a number of gadgets without delay) in addition to assist for the high-end LDAC codec together with AAC and SBC. It additionally touts assist for the extra environment friendly low-latency LC3 and LC3plus codecs that declare to not skimp on audio high quality. As for a way this impacts battery life, the generation-to-generation enchancment appears gorgeous. I received about 10 hours per cost with the Penrose, however Audeze guarantees a whopping 80-plus hours per cost whereas listening wirelessly at 80 decibels.
I assumed the last-gen Penrose was a delight to take heed to, however as noted in my review, I assumed it was uncomfortable to put on for even quick bursts of time. Audeze’s press launch says the Maxwell chassis options “a spring-steel headband with an adjustable suspension strap for better consolation over lengthy gaming periods.” I gained’t know till I put it on my head if these adjustments are sufficient of an enchancment. Nevertheless, I’m involved that that is heavier than the Penrose, weighing 490 grams versus 320 grams.
Just like the Penrose, the Maxwell is loaded with inputs, nevertheless it’s all constructed right into a design that appears extra subdued. Other than a colorized Audeze emblem on its aspect denoting console compatibility, the plain black ear cups assist this gaming headset masquerade as an everyday set of over-ear headphones. It’s bizarre that Audeze is utilizing Phillips head screws in its $300 headset to mount its suspension strap, a DIY look which will or could not align together with your style.
The entire buttons and ports are crammed onto the left ear cup, and that features a mute swap, an influence button, a sport / chat audio dial, a quantity dial, a multifunction button for Bluetooth management, a port for its Shure-developed increase mic, a USB-C port, and a 3.5mm port. The Maxwell additionally options mics on the chassis, so that you don’t want to make use of the increase mic to talk over Bluetooth.
I look ahead to testing new gaming headsets of all types, however I get particularly excited to check out ones from high-end audio corporations like Audeze. Based mostly on its previous makes an attempt, I haven’t been satisfied that spending $300 is what most avid gamers ought to do, but when the consolation is true within the Maxwell, it would change my tune.
Replace December eighth, 11:28AM ET: After this submit was printed, Audeze spokesperson Ari Morguelan notified The Verge that the corporate made a last-minute resolution to decrease the price of the Xbox model from $349 to $329. The submit now displays the correct value.