The Audeze Penrose X is a newcomer to the Xbox headset scene, compatible with both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, as well as the Xbox One consoles.
Audeze is a big name in the headphone market, making all sorts of products for media enthusiasts, gamers, music fans, and more. This is the firm’s main flagship product for Xbox, baking wireless connectivity for both Xbox and PC, alongside Bluetooth for direct connectivity to laptops and mobile devices.
The Audeze name carries a lot of weight, and this headset carried an uncharacteristic amount of hype for a product of this kind. Is it worth the wait, or perhaps, more importantly, the astronomical price point? We went ears-on to find out if it would make the cut in our lists of best Xbox One headset and best Xbox Series X/S headsets roundups.
A whole lot of headset
Bottom line: The Audeze Penrose X is among the best-sounding Xbox headsets on the market. Despite the massive sound, the similarly massive price point is hard to swallow.
- Truly awesome sound
- Huge set of features
- Comfortable and lightweight
- At $300, there are far cheaper options that are at least as good
- Toy-like design doesn’t fit its premium price point
What I love about the Audeze Penrose X
|Drivers||100mm Audeze planar drivers|
|Connectivity||2.4GHz to PC and Xbox, Bluetooth to PC and mobile, 3.5mm cable|
|Freq. Response||10hz to 50kHz|
|Mic features||Detachable, with optional sidetone monitoring|
The Audeze Penrose X is a premium headset for those with plenty of cash to splash, which carries with it certain expectations. For the most part, Audeze nails every aspect of the Penrose X.
The Audeze Penrose X comes with premium materials throughout, with metal connectors that give it a sturdy and robust feel. The plastics are dense and soft to the touch, which feels great to handle, with thick leatherette cups that isolate sound without being warm and clammy. The headset is lightweight, too, making it a pleasure to wear across long sessions.
One aspect I appreciate immensely about the Penrose X is the on-ear controls — the dials, switches, and buttons. The quality with on-ear controls on most headsets is often problematic in various ways, either with unclear designations or poor action. The Audeze Penrose X controls feel great, with clear sounds for when you’re hitting maximum or minimum, with a unique design that lets you control two separate things on a single dial.
A quick start guide in the box details what each button and dial does, including switching between input modes, power and pairing, volume, mic gain, and chat mix, as well as a mic mute switch. They work well as described, but you can take it further with the Audeze app on Android and iOS, which lets you fine-tune the audio balance and disable the mic monitoring if you so choose.
Simply put, this is one of the best-sounding Xbox headsets I’ve ever used.
This headset features 100mm Audeze planar drivers, with a massive 10hz to 50kHz frequency response range, almost double the range of most competing headsets. Whether or not the human ear can actually discern a lot of those upper frequencies seems to be a matter of debate. Most headsets seem to gun for around 20kHz, given the degradation of hearing sensitivity we all experience as we age.
That said, I have to say I noticed audio details in games I am incredibly familiar with that I didn’t notice previously with other headsets. Competitive games like Overwatch felt as immersive as they did tactically elevated, with Dolby Atmos and Windows Sonic providing a surround-sound experience with Audeze’s crisp detailing adding flair.
Simply put, this is one of the best-sounding Xbox headsets I’ve ever used, with very clear, very delicate details separated well from sweeping, immersive bass, and clear mids and highs. The Audeze drivers deliver in a big way and will not disappoint. The overall product is far from perfect, though, I feel.
What I dislike about the Audeze Penrose X
The big sticking point, for me, is that this headset is an astronomical _ $300_, which for whatever reason, despite exchange rates, translates to £300 in the UK. This makes the Penrose X cost more than an Xbox Series S. If you’re in the UK, at this price point, it’s tough to recommend this headset to anyone.
I feel like headsets at $300 should deliver a specific experience. There are few headsets in this price range that deserve the designation. The Astro A50 comes with a base station charge dock, which goes some way to justify the price. The feature-comparable LucidSound LS50X matches the Audeze Penrose X on features, complete with Bluetooth connectivity, PC, and Xbox 2.4GHz connectivity. However, it’s arguably a far more attractive headset, ditching the toy-like green plastic stripe reminiscent of low-end headsets from the start of the Xbox One generation for steel accents. The LS50X also comes with a carrying case, an extra 5 hours of listed battery life, and is $50 cheaper.
It could be argued that the Audeze edges the competition when it comes to pure audio. Still, the microphone experience is hardly better than similarly-priced options, despite the “broadcast quality” claim on the box.
The Audeze Penrose X _ sounds_ awesome, but I’m not sure the overall package justifies that sky-high price point.
Should you buy the Audeze Penrose X?
The Audeze Penrose X is a truly impressive product with some of the best audio reproduction I’ve ever experienced. Whether you’re using them for music, chat, games, or movies, the Penrose X delivers in a big way and will not disappoint.
I have the privilege of being able to test dozens and dozens of headsets, making quick comparisons between similar products easy. Audeze makes a bold claim by listing this product at $300, and the truth is, there are comparable options that are far cheaper out there. LucidSound’s LS50X is the obvious Bluetooth-capable Xbox option. Still, if you’re not planning to use Bluetooth at all, you could gun for something even cheaper like the LucidSound LS35X or Corsair HS75 XB and still retain a comparable sound experience. Additionally, the green “gamer” plastic sort of betrays the headset’s point as a mobile option since they certainly aren’t subtle in visual design.
If you do grab it, I’m not sure anyone would be disappointed with the overall result. It sounds great; it works well and feels premium throughout. It lacks the “X” factor that I feel a headset at this price point should have, though, despite having an “X” in its name.
Large sound, large price.
If the Audeze Penrose X was $50 to $100 cheaper, it might have emerged as the best headset of all time, but the price point makes this headset tough to recommend in a very competitive market.
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This post was written by Jez Corden and was first posted to WindowsCentral
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