Product: Audeze Penrose
Intended Use: Gaming Headset
Being in an age where brand trust is more important than ever, newer companies have to work double-time to compete with already largely funded names. In the gaming industry, we can see names like Corsair and Logitech making huge strides in gaming hardware products to ensure a larger brand ecosystem, and in return, a stronger trust between them and the consumer.
When it comes to audio products, the market is swimming with brands rushing into the headset space, as profits seem easy. My problem is I find these to be mostly sub-par in performance, overpriced, and mass-produced. This is where Audeze strikes into the gaming audio market, specializing in premium studio audio for more than 10 years.
When I look for audio products, I look for brands that SPECIALIZE in audio. Otherwise, can I really expect exceptional quality for price? I can say that the Stereo Wireless Gaming Headset, the Audeze Penrose, is one of the best audio products I have ever used, and I haven’t been more excited about something like this in some time. Let’s take a deeper look into why all eyes should be on Audeze and how they can change the Audio space in the next coming years.
Style / Feel / Build / Hardware
The Penrose headset feels like a well-built headset, both from the first time you use it to the hundredth. The materials used on the inside are anti-scratch, while the exterior cushion feels smooth to the touch. The leather earpads are easily removed and replaceable, but I found them less comfortable than expected. However, after a little use, the comfort grew on me and became perfect for my ears.
When you first put the headset on, the Audeze Penrose tries to fight you a little bit, but again, give the headset a little time to break-in, and everything should be sitting comfortably after a few uses. However, I did find the Penrose lacks padding comfort on the top of your head. There is a cushion, but not nearly enough to prevent head pain and discomfort after 2 hours of use. I found myself shifting it to buy myself some rest time from the sharp pain.
Some companies struggle with perfecting the top padding, and it is crucial to prevent headaches. Shame I had to complain about this because we are just getting started. The Audeze Penrose features award-winning 100mm Planar Magnetic drivers, closely resembling the look and feel of electrostatic drivers, at least in my opinion. The provided boom mic is nice and long for extra adjustability, along with being equipped with a broadcast quality microphone manufactured by the popular mic company, Shure.
Performance / Hands on Use / Features / User Experience / Analysis / Etc.
The second you turn the audio on, the Audeze Penrose comes full swinging with unrivaled audio quality. Offering quotably “Lossless” output through wired or wireless, the Penrose sounds like a dreamscape you didn’t know existed. The sound tone is like nothing I have heard in quite some time, and it sounds quite tasty. That’s not even the best part, as the headset offers powerful volume output and bass through its separate onboard amp controls.
This is how you know you have a great headset. The drivers are amplified separately from your 0-100 volume on your PC. Besides being impressed by the volume output, it actually is incredibly loud in the best way possible. You can say that I picked up a new hobby of singing because I can’t get enough music on this set of drivers. It has been a while since I was this impressed by the distinct sounds I was able to hear in music that I previously wasn’t able to hear on lesser grade drivers. The lossless audio transmission is no advertising ploy, and it truly comes into play listening to bass-heavy music or lossless Wav audio files.
The headset features a Multi-Function button that allows you to cycle between wireless audio, aux audio, and Bluetooth for whatever purpose your headset serves that day. I didn’t notice any distinguishable audio difference from the wireless option with the USB charging cable, which is a huge plus for wireless audio technology. You can feel comfortable that you are getting the best audio experience regardless of connection format.
I also tested it out on a PlayStation 4, and it worked like a charm. Don’t be scared, though, because this headset also supports next-gen consoles. Quality doesn’t fall short at the mic either designed by the well-known audio brand, Shure. This En”shures” that you get what you pay for out of this headset, a decent mic paired with top-notch headphones for everyday life and gaming. I did find the mic has a lot of room for improvement, but cost trade-offs were probably considered. One can make content with the boom mic, take it to work for their music for the day, and use it for their gaming console in their spare time.
Here is a mic test so you can hear for yourself. …….. Side note, the headset has a mic dial for your personal voice volume, so adjust carefully so your friends can hear you or so you don’t blow their ears out.
The fun continues when it comes to the Audeze HQ Software and their mobile app. The design is modern and stylish but slightly confusing due to the wording. If you click profile, it will take you to the selection for your headset, but I found it only lets you change settings when plugged in directly to the computer. This is where you can adjust your preferred mic sidetone and mixing style. Save up to 6 presets, if you have that time.
I messed with the mix a little bit, but this headset sounded awesome out of the box. Audeze HQ also has a device info screen that lays out your headset as a diagram, along with a firmware update page to make sure you get the best functionality. I experienced some bugs, such as having to unplug and replug the dongle when my PC was rebooted. I hope they fix this in future updates, as they are always making the headset better through day to day hard work, quoted from the CEO of Audeze. Going over battery performance, I found it consistently lasting around 10 hours for my taste in volume needs. I charge it after a full day of stay-at-home work and blasting music. It says up to 15 hours of battery life in the specifications, and I can’t argue with that.
In my full audio nerd opinion, and audio quality is something I take seriously, this headset is a superior breed and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the brand, get familiar because they are making some serious product. The Audeze Penrose is one of the best headsets I have ever used. They were straight-up impressive in every way, except for the damn top head cushion. The mic was fair, with room for improvement, and can be used for content creators on a budget after spending all of their bonus money on this headset. If this review doesn’t convince you to consider Audeze as your favorite audio brand, then I wish you luck spending $700 on a headset, amp, and DAC kit, when this $300 wireless headset with a dope boom has a better game.
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.