Gaming

Review: Audeze Penrose X Wireless Planar Magnetic Headset for Xbox

Review: Audeze Penrose X Wireless Planar Magnetic Headset for Xbox

We cover a plethora of Xbox gaming headsets here at Royal Flush Magazine. So, it is always a treat when a gaming headset comes from a new player in console gaming. Audeze is far from new in the audio realm, with over ten years in the business of making audiophile products. We got to check out their latest PC gaming headset, the Mobius, back at the NYC CanJam convention last February. We were plenty impressed, to say the least. Now, we get the chance vet Audeze’s dip into console gaming via their new Audeze Penrose X Wireless Planar Magnetic Headset for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles.

Let’s dive right into in.

Audeze Penrose X Specs

StyleOver-ear, closed-circumaural
Transducer typePlanar Magnetic
Magnetic structureFluxor™ magnet array
Phase managementFazor
Magnet typeNeodymium N50
Diaphragm typeUltra-thin Uniforce
Transducer size100 mm
Maximum SPL>120dB
Frequency response10Hz – 50kHz
THD<0.1% (1 kHz, 1mW)
EarpadsContoured memory foam: artificial leather
MicrophoneDetachable broadcast quality mic
Battery typeLithium-polymer (15hr battery life, 3hr charge time)
Wireless Connection2.4 GHz Wireless (16bit/48kHz) + Bluetooth
Wired Connection3.5mm analog audio, USB-A-to-C charging
Weight320g (including battery)
Specs taken from product page.

A purchase of the Audeze Penrose X lands you the headset itself, a 2.4GHz Wireless Dongle, a detachable microphone, a USB-A to USB-C cable, and a 3.5mm cable.

Build and Comfort

The Audeze Penrose X comes with the best that Audeze has to offer console gaming. This headset houses Audeze‘s patented Planar Magnetic driver technology, featuring their Fluxor™ magnet array, Fazor™ waveguides and Uniforce™ voice coils. That Fluxor™ magnet array is designed to deliver double the power of other Neodymium headphone drivers. The Fazor™ waveguides and Uniforce™ voice coils reinforce the drivers by combatting distortion. This headset then pairs those high-end drivers with a microphone designed in partnership with Shure™, a brand known for their microphones. The Penrose X tops that off with dual wireless connectivity, which simultaneously connects to the Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S via 2.4GHz wireless and your mobile device via Bluetooth.

At its core, the Audeze Penrose X is a wireless headset with full compatibility with the Xbox Series X|S, the Xbox One family of consoles, and Windows 10 PC’s. However, that compatibility expands beyond that, thanks to its Bluetooth connectivity with Android devices, 3.5mm wired audio capabilities, and wireless compatibility with the Nintendo Switch. When connected to either your Android device via Bluetooth or PC via the USB-A to USB-C cable, you can control and customize your headset via the Audeze HQ app for Android or Windows 10.

The Penrose X looks much like the Audeze Mobius wireless PC headset, except with light green highlights. You have memory foam and artificial leather cushioning for the ear cups and under the headband, where the headset comes in contact with your head. The left ear cup houses all of the headset’s ports and controls. On the outside of the earcup, you have the main power button and mic mute switch. Along the bottom, you have a multi-function button, the port for the removable mic, a USB-C port, a 3.5mm jack, a mic balance dial, and the volume dial.

The multifunction button is mainly used for toggling between the headset’s three source types: 2.4 GHz wireless, Bluetooth, and Aux (for wired connections). It also used for re-pairing with the wireless USB dongle. Both dials are also buttons themselves, which allow them each to control two headset aspects. The volume dial controls the master volume while pressing the button allows you to connect to the last Bluetooth device. The mic balance dial allows you to adjust your mic gain. However, you can also press and then scroll with this dial to control game and chat mix levels.

Off the bat, I love the amount of control the Audeze Penrose X gives you from just the headset alone. Before even diving into the expanded functionality of the Audeze HQ app, you have the kind of control you would expect from any wireless gaming headset out now. Volume, game and chat balancing, mic muting, and audio source toggling are all at your fingertips.

There is a feature that I wish for in all console gaming headsets, but so far have only seen done well in the Astro A50’s. That feature is mic gain. Having a mic that can hear the gamer while ignoring  background sounds is something you can achieve with ease on PC. Discord, Ventrillo, Teamspeak, and other VoIP communication platforms allow you to control exactly how much the mic should “listen”. The PC gamer can easily find the right level where the mic hears them without also picking up a nearby TV or sounds from the streets. Outside of the Astro A50’s, you do not have this level of control on Xbox headset mics. That is of course, until the Penrose X showed up. Being able to control mic gain on the fly is a great boon that all Xbox gamers should have, and it is shocking that it is this rare.

As far as handling goes, finagling the controls on the Audeze Penrose X is straightforward and par for the course. The press-and-scroll control of the mic volume dial took a little getting used to. I found it odd that the default control for this dial was mic gain instead of its alternate control for game and chat mix. Game and chat balancing is something that is adjusted very often, especially when you play with people with different speaking volumes. Mic gain is something that you would only mess with until you find that sweet spot, which you would then leave alone. Having the game and chat balance be the default control would have made more sense here, instead of having to press-and-scroll to control it.

Going into comfort, the Audeze Penrose X is quite comfortable maintaining a solid but gentle hold on your head. The leatherette ear cushions form a solid acoustic seal that lets you properly immerse yourself in the sound from those Planar Magnetic drivers. Despite being of leatherette, as opposed to fabric or mesh, I did not get much wearing fatigue until about five to six hours of continuous playtime. Even then, it was still plenty bearable, even if my ears did not get to breathe as well as they would with fabric or mesh cushions. That said, I am still happy they went with leatherette as passive sound isolation is always higher on my list than comfort. Best of all, the headset played nicely with my glasses frames.

Performance and Functionality

Audeze’s 100mm Planar Magnetic drivers come through in a big way in the Penrose X. These drivers deliver powerful, vibrant and clear audio throughout gameplay. Before even touching EQ’s via the Audeze HQ app, the Planar Magnetic drivers give you balanced sound devoid of distortion. The low range is immersive making explosions and vehicle sounds deep and strong. Mids are solid, allowing both in-game and party chat vocals to come through clearly. Highs are sharp, allowing you to pick up gun shots and footsteps with ease.

The Penrose X’s fullest capabilities open up via the Audeze HQ app, where you can make the headset perform exactly how you like it. The mobile app takes full advantage of the headset’s simultaneous connection to both your mobile device and Xbox One.  The app lets you make finer adjustments than what you would make by fiddling with physical dials, and it gives you live visuals of the various levels of your settings. 

Through the app, you can fully customize up to five EQ’s to your tastes. If you are looking for starting points for EQ ideas, you can load Audeze-created EQ’s from their website using the PC version of the app. I loaded Audeze’s premade CoD Warzone EQ preset, assuming correctly that it was designed to focus on the high range. Footsteps were as clear as day to throughout my many Apex Legends playthroughs as Fuse. Win or lose, people did not easily sneak up on me.

I also loaded up some of Audeze’s Power Up Your Music presets, playing around with their “Classical and Acoustic Space” and “RoundAndMuscular” settings. I sat back and enjoyed some of my favorite video game music covers. I was treated to crystal clear percussion, vibrant vocals, and a deep and solid bass. There were no distortions, just an excellent music enjoyment experience.

Outside of that, the app gives you dials and switches a plenty, allowing you to use either your phone or your PC as a live command console for your headset. Also, quite importantly, the app can also be used for installing firmware updates. Surely enough, a firmware update came in for the Penrose X during my review, and I am glad it did. Amongst some new feature additions, the firmware also vastly improved mic clarity. Now I can happily talk on mic performance in a much more positive sense than I had originally planned.

The mic on the Penrose X delivered crisp and clear audio to my Apex Legend teammates. Thanks to the mic gain controls of the Penrose X, I was able to have the mic at a level that only listened to me, and not the 55-inch television to my right or the sounds outside of the window on my left. That quality combined with the mic gain functionality and side tone feature made communicating with the Penrose X as comfortable as it can get in console gameplay.

Final Thoughts

If you are going to put out a $299 gaming headset, it better do more than just sound good. The Audeze Penrose X validates its price point with its quality, functionality, and (interestingly) its versatility. When it comes to quality, the Planar Magnetic drivers provide an excellent sound presentation which you can fully tweak to your desires. The broadcast quality mic not only gets the job done, but also allows you to control its mic gain. This is simply a feature that should be in any mid to top-tier console gaming headset and it is shocking that it is not more mainstream.

Being able to connect the headset via Bluetooth to your mobile device opens the door to Discord communication. Have some PC friends that you want to play Call of Duty: Warzone with from your Xbox One? Just meet up with them via Discord on your phone and enjoy cross platform communication with your team while still connected to the Xbox One or Xbox Series X.

Touching on versatility, you have a headset that works at full capacity with the Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows 10 PCs. You can remove the mic if you want to take it on the go to use with either your Bluetooth ready mobile device or any source that has a 3.5mm jack. You can even use it wirelessly with Nintendo Switch while the console it docked. Just plug in the USB dongle and enjoy wireless audio with your Nintendo Switch and the Penrose X.

For me, the Audeze Penrose X has become the wireless headset to beat when it comes to high-end wireless solutions for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles. It is a hefty investment, sure. However, it is a powerful headset that has everything you would want in a high-end product. Even Audeze’s timely firmware release shows how much they are dedicated to this product’s success. I am very impressed.

Are you in the market for a new Xbox wireless headset and you want to make a serious purchase to cover the bulk of your gaming needs? Then you should definitely check out the Audeze Penrose X Wireless Planar Magnetic Headset for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S by clicking here.

If you are a Playstation 4 or Playstation 5 gamer looking for the same kind of product, then you are in luck. The Audeze Penrose Wireless Planar Magnetic Headset for the Playstation 4 and Playstation 5 is the option for you. It houses all of the same functionality as the Penrose X, but is designed for PS4 and PS5 support. That model can be seen here.

† As usual, there are no affiliate links contained within this post. We were provided an Audeze Penrose X Wireless Planar Magnetic Headset and some product stock images for review purposes and were not compensated for this review.