Audeze Maxwell Wireless Gaming Headset Review

The Audeze Maxwell Wireless Gaming Headset offers audiophile-level audio quality and a strong, attractive build at a competitive price.
Audeze Maxwell Wireless Gaming Headset

The Audeze Maxwell Wireless Gaming Headset is just about the best gaming headset I’ve ever used.

It’s one of those rare pieces of hardware that actually stands out from the rest, and genuinely makes me sad to return after reviewing. It’s a triple threat – it sounds exceptional, it looks and feels great, and the battery life is so good that you’re shocked when you’re eventually reminded that you have to charge it.

For those unfamiliar with the company, Audeze is a longtime audiophile headphone brand based out of the USA, designing high-end audio equipment primarily for musicians, studio engineers, and rich enthusiasts. I’ve always had the impression it’s much more of a boutique brand than the giants of Sennheiser and Audio-Technica, and as such, its products have always flown high above my personal price range. I’ve only ever known them by reputation, rather than experience.

But like those aforementioned brands, Audeze must have seen a huge opportunity in the gaming market – and it has entered the space with a product that is far more affordable than its typical flagship ranges, but is still very high quality where it counts. The Audeze Maxwell Wireless Gaming Headset is also competitively priced against its gaming headset rivals.

And given that the company was recently acquired by PlayStation, it seems like there’s even bigger things in store.

Design and Build

The Audeze Maxwell doesn’t look like a gaming headset. Pull the detachable boom mic off, and it basically looks like the company’s entry-level studio headphones, the MM-100’s. This suits my tastes perfectly.

A number of gaming accessory manufacturers offer up the idea of using their high-end headsets for purposes other than gaming, to make the investment seem more justifiable (like portable music listening, for instance). But personally, I certainly wouldn’t want to be sporting some of those aesthetic designs while walking down the street. The Maxwell however, is a different story.

The Maxwell is sleek and understated, and feels like it could blend into a number of scenarios. But more important than that, its build quality is very good. The chassis of the Audeze Maxwell is built out of aluminium and steel, with strong hinges and yokes across the board, and a very comfortable and replaceable leatherette suspension strap. The construction feels very solid, giving you the confidence that this pair of cans could survive being thrown into a bag and being used outside of the house for a long period of time. 

Audeze Maxwell Wireless Gaming Headset Review
Everything in the box: Headset, boom mic, USB-C dongle, USB-C to USB-C cord, and a 3.5mm male-to-male cord. (Image: Audeze)


Its incredible battery life is also a testament to its capabilities as a strong, multi-purpose headset – the company regards it as 80+ hours, and given that I only needed to charge the headset once every 1.5 weeks or so with heavy usage, that figure seems more than fair.

The Maxwell has a number of connectivity options, featuring rare support for the efficient and high-quality Bluetooth 5.3 LC3plus codec, as well as support for USB-C and 3.5mm jacks for direct Digital and Analog options. All of these options are good for use in a variety of situations, including smartphones and Nintendo Switch consoles, among countless other devices.

For playing PC and console games, the Audeze Maxwell has its own wireless frequency, delivered over a USB-C dongle, and is the lowest latency solution. And while there typically aren’t notable things to say about the different wireless solutions used by different audio manufacturers, with the Maxwells, I was definitely struck by the absence of interference in my very signal-heavy room (most wireless headsets tend to cut in and out occasionally). 

More impressively, I was struck by the incredible range it managed to hold, piping through clear audio as I walked to the other side of the house, through multiple rooms and brick walls (over at least 20 metres, by my estimate).

Audio Quality

Audeze Maxwell Wireless Gaming Headset Review
Image: Audeze

Naturally, where the Maxwell shines strongest is in its audio quality. The headset sports Audeze’s longtime signature Planar Magnetic Drivers, which provide a very high level of fidelity. I won’t dive into graph comparisons, as that kind of granular data is easily available elsewhere. But anecdotally, its strengths were very easily noticeable in our direct sound comparison tests, using both a PlayStation Pulse 3D Headset and a higher-end Sennheiser GSP 670 as reference points.

On paper, the frequency response of the Maxwell is double both of the reference headsets, and its drivers are 90mm in size, whereas most of its nearest rivals are around 40-45mm at most. Practically, the difference is like night and day. Its handling of bass-heavy sounds was impressively clean, while still being very powerful, and soundscapes higher up in the range are captured with an amazing crispness.

Being a closed-back pair of headphones, there are some inherent audio traits that can sway your decision, depending on what kind of audio profile you like. The strengths in the Maxwell come from its very physically roomy and noise-isolating earcup chambers, which further accentuate lower-end sounds by trapping the reverberations in there and keeping most external sounds out. The company also points to a reinforced earcup design that results in better passive noise reduction.

But as someone who prefers open-back headphones for music listening, the strength of these Audeze drivers – my first prolonged experience with them – had me wondering about bigger possibilities. It also put me in a few tough spots when I couldn’t hear someone shouting at me from just a couple of metres away, but that’s more a personal problem.

Audeze Maxwell Wireless Gaming Headset Review
Image: Audeze

Other niceties, like soft, thick and deep leatherette earpads, a physical mute switch for when the boom mic is attached, and on-board microphone noise suppression round out the very strong gaming feature set for the Audeze Maxwell. Volume and chat mixing are thankfully controlled by dials, and the headset also supports Tempest 3D Audio on the PlayStation 5 model – as the majority of headphones do – as well as Dolby Atmos support on the Xbox version.

Those who often shop for gaming headsets might notice the lack of flashy features like virtual surround sound and other minor bells and whistles – but that’s what makes the Audeze Maxwell stand out.

This is a headset that focuses and excels at all its core functions. It prioritises strong build quality and style, comfort and functionality that lends itself to true multipurpose use, exceptional battery life and wireless tech, and of course, industry-leading audio quality. For the audiophile who wants a reasonably-priced, high-end wireless headset for games and potentially other things as well, the Audeze Maxwell is it.

Five Stars: ★★★★

Audeze Maxwell Wireless Gaming Headset
Manufacturer: Audeze
Release Date: Available Now
Price: PlayStation: AUD$469 / NZD$549 / USD $299.00 | Xbox: AUD$519 / NZD$599 / USD $329

The Audeze Maxwell Wireless Gaming Headset is available exclusively in Australia and New Zealand through Busisoft AV dealers, such as Addicted to Audio

Audeze Maxwell Wireless Gaming Headset for PlayStation, Mac, PC, and Switch

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05/17/2024 05:07 am GMT

The Audeze Maxwell Wireless Gaming Headset was provided on a temporary loan for the purposes of this review.

Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran