CanJam SoCal 2019: HyperX and Audeze

I stopped by the HyperX booth on Saturday mainly intending to take a break from more intensive listening, and found myself doing quite the opposite.

The headphone is essentially a wired-only version of the Mobius with a tuning by HyperX. As usual, take show impressions with quite a grain of salt, but my immediate impression on putting them on was that they sounded better than the original Mobius itself. The bass was punchier and tighter, and the upper midrange seemed more natural and less artificial than the Mobius. The frequency response improvements also seemed to result in a marginally larger soundstage in both 3D and two-channel modes.

*Note:I recently heard from Sankar Thiagasamudram, the head of Audeze. He says there are not in fact any tuning differences between the HyperX headphones and the Mobius. Both sets are manufactured by Audeze and are identical outside of the Wireless sections and 3D capability on the Orbit.

Regarding show impressions, it’s always important to remember these are just that - impressions taken in a noisy, often unfamiliar environment with sometimes unfamiliar music of varying qualities and connection standards. I’m leaving the impressions up as a reminder of this, and that we’re all human.

The new headphones, the Orbit and Orbit S also come in at $299 USD and $329 USD respectively, which for the lack of wireless seems an entirely fair tradeoff. The Orbit S comes with the 3D waves head tracking, while the Orbit does not include this feature.

HyperX is bringing some of the huge strengths of the Mobius down to a slightly lower price point, and I look forward to checking these out in more detail once they launch officially. This was the first of my positive encounters with gaming-oriented gear at the show, but not the last – there’s some big movement happening in the gaming space, and I saw some great example of it this CanJam.

Audeze’s LCD-GX was the next one up, which is Audeze’s second gaming-oriented offering. It dispenses with all the 3D spatialization and processing, and strips the experience back to a two-channel headphone with the high-quality microphone of the Mobius. The tuning is somewhat similar to the LCD-X, with a slightly colored midrange, and slightly recessed upper midrange and treble.

This is quite tasteful however, and for gaming this is usually a great tuning choice because it allows sharp noises to jump out without being ear-piercing. The bass is the clean, textured Audeze bass the brand is known for, and although not as mid-bassy as some folks like, is clean enough to work for music, movies or games. The GX uses the new carbon-suspension headband Audeze has been putting on all their cans recently, and has the more form-fitting cup style of the MX-4, which helps cut down on weight a lot. These are some of the lightest and most comfortable Audeze’s I’ve worn yet, which is vital for long gaming sessions. The LCD-GX retails for $899 USD and includes a boom mic cable, and non-mic cable, as well as a splitter for headphone and mic inputs, and comes in a neat red and black color scheme.

I think both of these products represent interesting and useful deviations from the Harman curve. The basic curve is still valid in this case, but the needs and specific characteristics of gaming may necessitate slightly different tunings. There’s more gaming products to check out, so I’ll share more of my thoughts as I see what folks have come up with. I suspect, many of these will be diverse as game sound can be as diverse as musical genres. Anyways, more to come, stay tuned.

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COMMENTS
Impulse's picture

Does Audeze have any plans to sell that mini XLR mic cable separately? I imagine a few existing Audeze (and ZMF) customers would be all over it, I'd be interested...

Grover Neville's picture

Not to my knowledge, but definitely email them and suggest it. Its a very good mic for what it is in my experience.

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