What do you get for the gamer in your life this Christmas? One possibility is the Audeze Maxwell, a new gaming headset with low latency, impressive sonic chops and a marathon 80-hour battery life.
The Maxwell follows the Mobius, Penrose and LCD-GX in Audeze's range of gaming headsets. But the firm also makes pure audio headphones, such as the open-backed LCD-1.
It's incorporated some of this knowhow into the Maxwell, which features Audeze's own planar magnetic drivers, made in California. Audeze claims the 90mm planar magnetic drivers have three times more surface area than its competitors' drivers to give more sonic detail.
Ultra-low-latency, high-resolution audio is the order of the day, with bitrates up to 24-bit 96kHz supported when connected to the bundled USB dongle. The low-latency wireless range and stability are both up to three times better than Audeze's Penrose headset, according to the brand, while Bluetooth 5.3 LE (the latest version) comes as standard. This version supports both L3 and L3 Plus codecs, while SBC, AAC and LDAC are also supported. Plug in via USB and you can listen to lossless hi-res audio up to 24-bit/96kHz.
There's noise-cancellation onboard too, though Audeze calls it noise-filtration. It uses AI to eliminate background noise – just press a button to activate it, there's no additional setup required. And to make sure you're heard, there are five microphones built-in along with a detachable boom mic made by Shure.
The chassis features a spring-steel headband with adjustable suspension strap, which should make it comfy for long gaming sessions. And noise-isolation comes courtesy of the earcups' reinforced dual-chamber design.
Finally, that battery life. It's nothing short of stunning – 80 hours puts even class-leading headphones such as the Sennheiser Momentum 4 True Wireless in the shade (a paltry 60 hours – pah!). The battery of the recently reviewed Razer Barracuda Pro headset, meanwhile, taps out after 40 hours.
The Maxwell comes in two varieties. Maxwell for Xbox & PC is officially licensed by Microsoft, and comes with the first auto-activating Dolby Atmos license. Maxwell for PlayStation & PC lacks Atmos (which isn't a feature of the PS5), but instead supports PlayStation's own Tempest 3D Audio.
Both versions support Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Nintendo Switch.
Both also support features such as Game-Chat mix, gaming presets, and personalised multi-band equaliser. You can also use the Audeze HQ gaming app to customise the headsets further.
And both are due in January. Maxwell for PlayStation costs £319 / $299 (around AU$445), while Maxwell for Xbox is pricier at £349 / $349 (AU$520).
Check out the best gaming headsets
And the best gaming TVs
PS4 vs PS5: should you upgrade? Find out here
Showdown! PS5 vs Xbox Series X: specs, price and features compared