Audeze Penrose wireless gaming headset review: great sound for PlayStation, Xbox at a better price
The Audeze Penrose gaming headset delivers full, rich sound, with a wide soundstage for more immersive gameplay made possible by sound. It’s also $ 299 and in a world full of great games and , this price is high. However, since this is Audeze’s cheapest gaming option, with the and above, the Penrose is a more accessible audiophile grade headset.
The Penrose is essentially a pared-down version of the company. It looks the same and uses a similar microphone and drivers, but the Penrose lacks the Mobius’ surround sound, 3D audio, and head tracking features. In addition, the Mobius was designed for PC gaming while the Penrose and Penrose X are designed for PlayStation and Xbox consoles. The only differences between the two Penrose versions are the color and the wireless dongle. The dongle for Xbox has Microsoft’s security chip.
Although the Penrose is primarily intended for console use, you can insert its USB drive into your PC for wireless use or connect with the included 3.5mm analog cable. The headset also has Bluetooth 5.0, but it is more intended for use with your phone. You can connect to the 2.4 GHz adapter and Bluetooth simultaneously so that you can use your phone to chat, listen to music or hear notifications. After the initial Bluetooth pairing, Audeze makes it easy to reconnect with just the push of a button after turning on the headphones.
Also, while there are USB-C-to-USB-A and USB-C-to-USB-C cables in the box, the cables are just for charging. They’re also disappointingly generic plastic instead of more durable braided cables. The Penrose’s battery life is estimated at up to 15 hours and they have a charge time of three hours. I hit around 10 hours using both bluetooth and the wireless adapter. You can also charge while you use them.
Both versions of Penrose can be used with third-party audio processing like Dolby Atmos, Windows Sonic, and Sony’s Tempest Engine on the PS5 (here’s how to set it up). The Audeze software for headphones, AudezeHQ, is quite poor in functionality. Available for Windows and Mac, you can use it to store up to five EQ presets on the headphones, turn sidetone on and off, adjust game and vocal mix, and mic volume. Audeze also has an Android app that you can use to change headset settings.
The detachable mic, which was designed with help from Shure, is excellent overall. The people I played with could hear me clearly as long as I had the mic placed about 1 to 2 inches from my mouth. Since the wireless signal has bandwidth limits, you will get better voice quality by using the 3.5mm auxiliary jack instead. Audeze posted audio samples using wireless and wired connections to SoundCloud.
Initially, the Penrose helmet that I tested had some issues. The 2.4GHz wireless had a constant modulating background hiss and the signal dropped steadily even within a few feet of its wireless adapter. Wireless issues may or may not have been related to my setup. Anyway, after a recent firmware update both issues are gone. Plus, it added new controls on the headset to adjust the bluetooth and wireless volume mix, balance for gaming and chat, turning sidetone on and off, and switching your EQ presets.
As for the fit, well, like any helmet, it will depend on your head size and your preferences. The headphones fit my ears well. As the band was pretty tight on my head, it really tightened the memory foam cushions, sealing out external noise. The cushions make my ears pretty warm, though, and if you prefer a looser headset, you might find the Penrose too tight. I will say that has relaxed some since I started testing them. Audeze also has a 30-day refund policy, just in case.
The audio quality of Audeze Penrose is undeniably good. Whether for games, movies, or music, the headset has excellent clarity, tight bass, and open sound despite being closed. Combined with the excellent chat quality, wireless and lossless Bluetooth, and updated features from its April 30 firmware update, the Penrose delivers the premium Audeze sound experience for gaming.