With the arrival of a new generation of consoles comes the next generation of accessories, and there’s none more impactful to the quality of your daily play sessions than those concerning audio. If you’re looking for the best Xbox Series X headset, you needn’t look much further than this new offering from Audeze – the legendary headphones company that entered the market in 2019 with a line of audiophile gaming sets that landed with phenomenal performance and a price point to reflect it.
Much like its LCD-GX and Mobius headsets before it, the Audeze Penrose X is a costly high-end headset that offers a clarity, depth, and detail in sound that few of its competitors can match. For $299 you’re getting a headset equipped with powerful 100mm planar magnetic drivers, a solid microphone that can be controlled via in-ear monitoring capabilities, and a suite of connectivity options to give you the freedom to use the Penrose X on almost everything – but it’s on your Xbox console that you’ll have the most enjoyment.
Design & Features
Once you’ve exchanged a three hour charge time for 15 hours of playtime, the Audeze Penrose X gives you very few reasons to uncouple it from your ears. It’s a comfortable, surprisingly lightweight headset that stands the test of lengthy play sessions. The headband sits pretty tight, but that will ease over time without sacrificing any of the grip it has – even while you’re writhing around and blaming hackers for your deaths in Call of Duty: Warzone.
The Penrose X keeps all of its controls and ports on the left cup for convenience. There’s the slot for the detachable microphone, a mute button, a USB-C connection for charging, a 3.5mm jack should you want to go wired, a button that effortlessly lets you switch between your most used devices over Bluetooth, and two multi-use turn wheels.
Using these, you can alter the levels of in-game audio volume and microphone gain separately, and even rebalance the sound to prioritise your friends or game audio in the mix during multiplayer sessions. It’s surprisingly versatile and easy to use, although Audeze will let you dig into the detail when it comes to audio balance and mic-monitoring for the Penrose X should you download the accompanying app for Android or iOS.
As you’d hope for a headset that costs as much as an Xbox Series S, the Penrose X delivers truly phenomenal performance across a spectrum of games, movies, and television. The virtual surround sound presentation, particularly when paired with Dolby Atmos on Xbox Series X, never failed to impress in our testing, offering a clarity and depth that works to highlight even the smallest details and further draw you into your favorite worlds.
You’ll be able to quickly and cleanly pick out minute details in big-scale multiplayer shooters like Warzone and Apex Legends. Being able to adjust the chat mix to better hear friends over the slow roll of the ocean was a bonus for Sea of Thieves, while the likes of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Gears 5 are really accented by the Penrose X.
The 2.4GHz wireless dongle that lets you pair the headphones with Xbox Series X helps quash any latency concerns, which is especially impressive given just how much noise the Penrose X is able to cut through to ensure that you’re aware of every gunshot, footstep, and environmental detail. You might find that you need to mess around with the positioning of the microphone to get the best out of it, but once you’ve found the sweet spot you’ll be barking orders to your teammates in no time.
Overall – should you buy it?
It’s difficult to discern whether something is good value for money, but what I can tell you is that the Audeze Penrose X has changed my relationship with the games that I’m playing on Xbox Series X. It’s made me more appreciative of the work that goes into soundscapes and more accurate in my ability to track action through loud and vibrant multiplayer arenas.
The Penrose X from Audeze is a high-end device with a price tag that reflects its build quality and performance. Such is its quality, we are eagerly awaiting an opportunity to rate its sister-headset, the Penrose, as – if it’s standard is anywhere near the same – it will surely be rated as one of the best PS5 headsets to complete set, as it were.
The Penrose X is one of the best wireless gaming headsets on the market right now, offering a fantastic feature set that is easy to fine-tune for maximum performance. In its price bracket, you’ll struggle to find anything better.