Bringing their technology from the popular Mobius gaming headset, Audeze delivers planar magnetic drivers to the console crowd with Penrose and Penrose X. While the wireless adapter and Bluetooth connectivity enable use with many different platforms, Penrose X brings premium audio to the Xbox Series X|S along with a premium price tag of $299.99. So how does the Audeze Penrose X perform for the price? Be sure to watch the video below and see all the details.
Out of the box/design
Audeze has variations of the Penrose for both Playstation and Xbox with some cosmetic changes separating the two. Naturally, the Penrose X has a black and green colorway to coincide with the Xbox scheme. There are little graphics and patterns all over the headset that add to the technical gamer style of the headset.
All of the controls are located on the left earcup. On the outside of the can are the power button and the microphone mute toggle. Along the perimeter of the Audeze Penrose X, we find a multi-function button that cycles through input modes, the plug for the removable mic, a USB-C port for charging and making changes on a PC, a 3.5mm plug, microphone volume dial, and headset volume dial. For adjusting the game/chat mix while playing on Xbox, just push in the mic volume dial and turn it up or down.
Large and comfortable
Large soft memory foam earpads surround your ears and provide plenty of cushion. The headset has considerable clamping force, but that helps to get better passive noise cancellation. Across the top of the headset is a memory foam headband that I found to be plenty flexible and comfortable. While not as comfortable as the Arctis 9x and 7x, the Penrose seems to be more catered to passive noise cancellation for better sound.
Audeze Penrose X: video
Setting up the Audeze Penrose X
Penrose X uses a wireless 2.4gHz dongle instead of the completely wire-free Xbox protocol. This enables the headset to also be used on PC, which is a huge bonus. To connect to the Xbox, though, just make sure the dongle is in the Xbox mode, plug it into a USB port, and turn on the headset. It’s simple to get up and running and the connection was rock solid, in my experience.
Additionally, Penrose X also supports Bluetooth so you can connect the headset to a mobile device to listen to music, take calls, or chat with a team on Discord while simultaneously listening to game audio from an Xbox, PC, or another device.
For analog listening, Penrose X also has a 3.5mm input. The headset has to be powered on, and input modes can be cycled with the button in front of the microphone port.
How does it sound?
Like most products from Audeze, the Penrose X sounds incredible. Large 100mm planar magnetic drivers deliver a huge frequency response from 10-50,000Hz. The low end is full, detailed, and impactful while mids and highs come through crisp and clear. Stereo separation and positioning are great for gaming.
EQ is pretty flat right out of the box, but it can be tweaked to add more low end for a bigger sound or cut bass frequencies for more focus while gaming.
The Audeze Penrose X also sounds great for listening to music. When playing casually, it’s nice to be able to connect with Bluetooth and listen to some music.
Adjusting EQ and other settings on the Audeze Penrose X can be accomplished through the Auedeze HQ app that is currently only available on Windows 10. On their website, Audeze says support for Android and macOS is on the way.
After a recent update, there are slots for five different preset EQ settings, a mic volume slider, sidetone toggle, and an adjuster for the game/chat mix.
For communicating with teammates, the removable broadcast-quality microphone adds some nice functionality to the Penrose X, though it doesn’t sound great, in my opinion. When recording through Audition on my PC at least, it sounds a bit muffled. Of course, most gaming headsets don’t have a great microphone for streaming or VO purposes.
At $300, Audeze’s Penrose X is a premium gaming headset that sounds great but is a hard sell considering that it’s the same price as a next-gen console itself. Of course, if you game on multiple platforms and want a great-sounding pair of wireless headphones with Bluetooth, then the Audeze Penrose X definitely ticks those boxes. But with options like the Steel Series Arctis 7X and Turtle Beach Steal 700 Gen 2 for $149.99, it’s a hard sell.
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