Audeze Penrose Wireless Gaming Headset Review
I wouldn’t call myself an audiophile. Not by any stretch. I am a dude; however, who loves a superior-sounding gaming headset that lasts, is comfortable, and ultimately affordable. Lately, headphone companies have been flogging a ton of low-priced headphones. Head into any Best Buy and you’ll be inundated with el cheapo cans. So it can be difficult to find headphones that hits the sweet spot, striking a balance between affordability, comfort, and sweet sound.
Audeze have quickly established themselves as makers of high-end headphones that aren’t exactly inexpensive. While the Audeze Penrose remains a rather sizable expense at $300 (on sale at Amazon at time of writing), it is an impressive wireless headset and will be my permanent go-to PlayStation 5 headset for years to come.
Back in 2019, my man Garret reviewed the Audeze Mobius calling them a “remarkable set of headphones”. He scored them a 95/100 which is one of the highest review scores we’ve ever given a headset. It’s high praise but let’s be honest, for $400 usd I expect outstanding quality. Regardless Garrett was blow away by the Mobius. Likewise, you won’t be disappointed with the Penrose either.
Sleak & Sexy
One thing that immediately stood out when I pulled the Penrose out of the box was the sexy looking design. It’s elegant with a sharp black and blue color design. It looks nearly identical to the Mobius, but the blue rings really pop and matches nicely with all my other PlayStation accessories and crap. The headset features a flexible memory foam headband, faux leather-covered earpads and oval-shaped earcups. All the functions and buttons are located on one ear cup. Pretty standard stuff but bottom line, the headset is wonderfully designed and looks terrific.
Inside the box, you get everything you would expect, except a travel case or stand. Many high-end headsets include some kind of storage case or stand so it was definitely a bummer the Penrose didn’t include one. Otherwise, you get the 2.4 GHz wireless dongle, USB charging cable, mic, and 3.5mm audio cable. And, of course, you get a quick reference guide. Everything you need is in the box. Well almost. For some of the advanced features, it is recommended you download the Audeze mobile app.
Light as a Feather
Comfort-wise, the Penrose delivered. The headset is super light weighing in at 3.53 ounces and doesn’t feel heavy on my head at all, which was wonderful. After extended play sessions, my ears never felt sore or overly sweaty. Sure, after a couple of hours my ears were a little warm, but I have yet to experience any headset that is able to keep my fat ears cool. That said, they are easily adjustable and seem to fit perfectly on my melon.
I should mention, I loved how the mic was detachable. I don’t tend to use the boom mic very often on my PS5, so I appreciated the fact the mic easily unplugs so you are never forced to have it dangling off the side of your headset. A nice touch indeed. Likewise, connecting the headset to your PS5 is as easy as clipping in the USB dongle into the PS5 and pairing your headphones. It was remarkably easy and fast. Same goes for the Bluetooth functionality. Quick, easy, and seamless.
So how do they actually sound? Well, impressively good. Granted, you don’t get DTS or any kind of surround sound. That is a bummer when many similar priced headsets all seem to offer some kind of surround sound. The Penrose is essentially a stereo headset. Which sounds like a huge turnoff, but it isn’t. The lack of surround sound doesn’t take away from how incredibly awesome these headphones sound.
Like I mentioned at the top, I am not a techy headset expert by any stretch of the imagination; so when it comes to the technical aspects of the hardware, much of it is over my head. The Penrose equips each ear cup with a 100mm planar magnetic driver, which isn’t something you’ll commonly see in other headphones. These drivers are super high end and the sound quality is brilliant. It isn’t a base heavy driver but it’s super clear with detailed highs and rich lows. Everything just sounds better with these headphones on.
I played some Spider-Man: Miles Morales, God of War, and Astro’s Playroom. All three games sounded incredible. Everything from the dynamic music as you swing through the New York City skyline to Kratos demolishing enemies, the Penrose delivered in a big way in the sound department. The clear highs and rich sounds made for audio experience that fully immerses you into the game. Likewise, music sounds fantastic as well. I had the headset connected to my phone and every single Spotify song I listened to sounded great. I didn’t want to take them off.
The Penrose supports 2.4 GHz wireless and Bluetooth 5.0. This is fantastic for folks who not only want to use these wireless cans for gaming but for listening to music or the Press X podcast on the go. I didn’t notice any lag or discernible delays in sound, at all.
The 15-hour battery life is decent, but not the best. Simply put, other comparable headsets hold a longer charge, but this isn’t a huge deal for someone like me who charges their headset after every play session. The included USB charge cable is a decent length, so if they do die while playing your cord should reach any area within an arms reach. But never a bad idea to keep a portable charger handy.
Overall, the Audeze Penrose is a superb headset despite some of its relatively minor shortcomings. Not only are they great looking headphones but they fit incredibly comfortable and the planar magnetic drivers are game-changers. The clarity in the sounds will have you grinning from ear to ear. What can I say? I love these cans. There is no doubt there are better headsets on the market and cheaper ones; but the Penrose is a rock solid investment and a headset you’ll be able to use for about as long as you’ll have your PlayStation 5.
***Headset provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of this review***
- Planar magnetic drivers
- Amazing clarity
- Sexy design
- A bit pricey
- No travel case or stand
- Battery life could be better