The Audeze Maxwell Wireless are feature-packed gaming headphones that come in Xbox and PlayStation variants. They have a detachable boom mic as well as an integrated mic, support LDAC codec for streaming Hi-Res audio, and you can pair them with two different devices in many ways. However, what sets them apart from competitors like the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless For Xbox, are their planar magnetic drivers, which help them reproduce a more extended bass, create a more immersive soundstage, and keep distortion low compared to more common dynamic drivers. This kind of driver is pretty heavy and can be fatiguing to wear over time. Planar magnetics are also more complex and harder to match; our model's L/R drivers have some phase mismatch, affecting the placement of objects in the stereo image.
Update 05/03/2023: We have concluded our investigation into our Audeze Maxwell measurements and have updated our results. For more detail, please check out our article here.
The Audeze Maxwell are very good for neutral sound. Out of the box, their default 'Audeze' EQ has a very neutral sound, ensuring adequate punch, thump, and boom, while vocals and instruments sound clear and natural. They have EQ presets available in their companion app, and the 'Immersive' EQ is even flatter and more neutral. These headphones also support LDAC, which is great if you want to stream Hi-Res audio via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, they're closed-back headphones, so their soundstage isn't very immersive or spacious.
The Audeze Maxwell are gaming headphones, and while you can make them look more casual by detaching their boom mic, they're still heavy and bulky, which can be a deal breaker if you want to use them for commuting. They also don't block out much of the low rumble of bus and plane engines, and their fit can become fatiguing over time. That said, they have a very long battery life to last through long days on the go.
The Audeze Maxwell are gaming headphones and aren't the best choice for sports and fitness. They're heavy, bulky, and can easily fall off your head with moderate movement. On the upside, you can detach the boom mic to help minimize their gamer-centric design.
The Audeze Maxwell are decent for office use if you don't mind the heavy, gamer-centric design. They have over 70 hours of continuous playback time and can be paired with your PC and smartphone simultaneously via several different connectivity options. While they lack noise cancelling, they can block out some mid-range noise like ambient chatter and a lot of high-pitched noise like the hum of AC fans. That said, their fit can be fatiguing to wear for long periods.
The Audeze Maxwell are very good for wireless gaming. They come in Xbox and PlayStation variants, so it's important to ensure you get the right model for your needs. Their wireless dongle ensures low latency, so your audio and visuals stay in sync while gaming. They have a fairly neutral sound out of the box, but you can also use their companion software's EQ presets to adjust their sound to suit your tastes. If you like to game with others, their boom mic ensures your voice sounds clear and accurate, even if you're talking in noisy environments. You can pair the headphones with your console and smartphone simultaneously too.
The Audeze Maxwell are very good for wired gaming. You can use either variant of these headphones via analog or wired USB on PCs, but if you're gaming on console, it's better to stick to the model specific to that console system. Otherwise, you may encounter issues getting controls to work. In addition, there's some feedback present when using the analog cable, and the mic can pick it up, which is a little disappointing. On the upside, the headphones have a neutral sound that most users will enjoy, and their boom mic offers a great overall performance, ensuring you're heard clearly, even in noisy environments.
The Audeze Maxwell are very good for phone calls. Using their boom mic, your voice sounds clear and natural, even if you're calling from a noisy environment like a busy street. These headphones also have an integrated mic for a more casual look, and although it doesn't perform as well as the boom mic, your voice is still intelligible to others on the line. It has some trouble separating speech from noise, so if you want to use this mic to take calls, it's best to do so from a quieter environment. These over-ears also lack noise cancelling and have a hard time reducing ambient sound around you.
The Audeze Maxwell come in two console-locked variants: 'Xbox' and 'PlayStation'. We tested the 'Xbox' variant, but both variants only come in one color: 'Black'. If you come across another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the discussions.
The Audeze Maxwell are premium planar magnetic headphones that come in PlayStation and Xbox variants. Like the Audeze Penrose Wireless and Audeze Mobius, they're equipped with a boom mic as well as an integrated mic to suit your usage. They also have a pretty neutral sound out of the box, and there are EQ presets available in their companion app to help you get the best sound. They're pretty heavy compared to other gaming headphones, which can be a drawback during long gaming sessions. They're not as customizable as the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless for Xbox or the Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019 either, but they offer robust connectivity options and have an exceptionally long continuous playback time.
If you're looking for more headphones, check out our recommendations for the best gaming headsets, the best headsets for Xbox Series X/S, and the best wireless gaming headsets.
The Audeze Maxwell Wireless have the edge over the Audeze Penrose Wireless. While both headphones have similar levels of low latency, the Maxwell are better built, have a more neutral sound, which some users may prefer, and have a better overall mic performance, which is good if you want to game with others. They also have an exceptionally longer continuous battery life and support LDAC, which is nice if you want to stream Hi-Res content. However, the Penrose are more comfortable as they weigh less.
The Audeze Maxwell Wireless are a solid step up from the Audeze Mobius. The Maxwell are better-built, have a more neutral sound profile out of the box, which some users may prefer, their continuous battery life is significantly longer lasting, and you can connect them with up to two devices at a time. They also support non-Bluetooth wireless, although their latency falls slightly out of good values. In contrast, the Mobius are more comfortable and have a better overall boom mic performance.
The Auzede Maxwell Wireless have a slight edge over the Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019. While both headphones are well-built, the Audeze have a significantly longer continuous battery life, and support Bluetooth. They have a slightly more neutral sound profile out of the box, which some users may prefer, and they can also be used wired via USB or analog too. However, the Astro are more comfortable, their boom mic offers a better overall performance, and have a more immersive passive soundstage. They also have even lower non-Bluetooth wireless latency.
The Audeze Maxwell Wireless are better overall headphones than the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless for Xbox. While both headphones are similarly comfortable and well-built, the Audeze have a more neutral sound out of the box, which some users may prefer, and have a more robust virtual soundstage feature. Their boom mic also offers better overall performance, and they have significantly longer continuous battery life. However, the SteelSeries have slightly lower non-Bluetooth wireless latency and have a fair noise cancelling system, which can be handy if you like to game in noisy environments. Their wireless transmitter also puts controls like EQ and sidetone at your fingertips.
The Audeze Maxwell are much more understated in design than the Audeze Penrose Wireless and Audeze Mobius, with mostly black satin design. They have a removable boom mic as well as an integrated mic to help them transition into more casual environments. Although these headphones come in either an 'Xbox' or 'PlayStation' variant, both models have the same black design.
These headphones are decently comfortable. They have ear cups that are spacious and well-padded. However, their planar magnetic drivers are heavy, which adds to their total weight. Overall, they're heavier than the Audeze Penrose Wireless. Audeze has offset the weight by switching from a more traditional headband to a leather ski-band design, which helps distribute the weight more evenly on your head. There are three different settings for the headband, but if you're between sizes, it can be hard to get the right fit. While you can adjust it by moving only one band on either side of the ear cups, this could also disrupt the seal of the headphones. Unfortunately, even with the ski-band headband, the headphones can cause fatigue over time.
The Audeze Maxwell have good physical controls. They're located on the left ear cup and are easy to use. There are voice prompts as well as chimes to let you know when you're changing settings. There's also an LED indicator light to let you know whether you're connected via dongle or Bluetooth, in pairing mode, and the status of the battery. That said, the volume and game chat wheels feel the same, and it can be hard to tell them apart when you're wearing them.
AI Noise Reduction button:
Game chat wheel:
These headphones are pretty bulky and aren't intended for use on the go. Their ear cups can swivel to lay flat to help reduce their footprint, but they still take up space in your bag. They also lack a carrying case to protect the headphones when on the go.
The Audeze Maxwell's build quality is great. These premium over-ears are made of a combination of materials and feel more sturdy than the Audeze Penrose Wireless and Audeze Mobius. The faux leather ear cups are spacious, deep, and detachable. The headband frame is also reinforced with metal, while the headband is made from leather. That said, each time you readjust the headband, it leaves behind leathery residue, and there are only three adjustment levels, which can make it harder to get a good fit. That said, this design isn't meant to be adjusted over and over again, and once you get a good fit, you won't have to adjust it again.
Using the 'Audeze' EQ, which is the default setting, the Audeze Maxwell have a neutral sound profile, making them well-suited for most uses. Sound effects like explosions and gunfire are present, while dialogue and instruments are clear, natural, and accurate. That said, if you prefer a different sound, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you customize their sound to your liking.
If you're looking for an even more neutral sound, then you'll want to check out their 'Immersive' EQ's Sound Profile and Raw Frequency Response. This EQ helps level the bass and treble amount even further, which some users may prefer.
The frequency response consistency is mediocre. The leather headband has a limited range of adjustment due to it only having three levels, making it difficult to get a good fit during our human passes. As a result, we had to adjust one side to be smaller than the other side to achieve a proper fitting. Overall, these headphones are prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery. You may also notice a drop in bass if you have thick hair or wear glasses.
The bass accuracy is outstanding. Although they're light on thump and rumble, the rest of the range is fairly flat and even, ensuring that sound effects like footsteps or weaponry clinking in Bayonetta 3 are clear and present in your gameplay.
The Auzede Maxwell's peaks and dips performance is great. Overall, there aren't many significant peaks and dips. A small peak in the low-bass adds thump and rumble to the mix, while another between the high-mid to low-treble makes dialogue and instruments bright. The uneven mid-treble turns sibilants alternatingly dull and piercing.
Planar magnetic drivers such as those used in these headphones differ from more commonly found dynamic drivers. Their design is more complex, making them more prone to L/R driver mismatch than dynamic drivers, and can have more variance from unit to unit. Audeze usually has good quality control and ergonomics, and our unit's L/R drivers are well-matched in group delay, ensuring tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. They're also well-matched in amplitude and frequency response, ensuring a stable stereo soundstage.
However, there's some phase mismatch present, and is audible in subjective listening, as male voices, in particular, sound recessed and incorrectly placed in the soundstage. There's also some rattling and warping in the low-bass, affecting the soundstage's quality. For more information regarding our assessment and retest of phase response, you can check out our investigation article here. It's worth noting that imaging varies between units, but if you have experienced this issue, please let us know in the forums.
The Audeze Maxwell's passive soundstage is sub-par, mostly due to their closed-back design. Their soundstage doesn't feel very spacious or immersive compared to open-backs like the Drop + Sennheiser PC38X, and they struggle to create an open, out-of-head listening experience. However, their soundstage feels more spacious and wide than the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless for Xbox. It's likely in part due to their planar magnetic drivers, which can create a broader wave front than dynamic drivers to create a better representation of the stereo image.
The Xbox variant comes with a Dolby Atmos subscription included in the box, which works on Xbox and PC. This feature offers EQ presets with their own spatial settings to help create a more immersive gaming experience. If you have the PlayStation variant, unfortunately, this subscription has to be bought separately.
The Audeze Maxwell's weighted harmonic distortion performance is good. There's some distortion present, noticeably in the right driver's low-bass and in both drivers in the mid-treble range at moderate volumes. Both peaks are narrow and can be hard to hear with real-life content. The rest of the frequencies fall within good limits, which results in mostly clear and pure audio reproduction.
These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when used in this configuration.
The noise isolation performance is disappointing, but these headphones aren't designed to block out a lot of sound. They won't reduce any of the low rumbles of traffic from an open window. That said, they can reduce some ambient chatter and do a significantly better job of cutting down the high-pitch whirl of computer fans.
The leakage performance is decent. Leakage is mostly spread in the mid range and sounds somewhat full. If you like to crank up the volume while gaming, others around you will hear it in a quiet space like a living room. It isn't so noticeable in noisier places, though.
This headset has two mics: a detachable boom mic and an integrated mic. The detachable boom mic is quite flexible, but if you need to adjust it, it's best to do so from its base as the mic can easily fall down.
The boom mic has good recording quality. Your voice sounds very clear, making the mic a solid choice if you like to game with others.
The integrated mic also captures your voice very clearly, and you can hear this mic's recorded speech file here. Whoever's on the other end of the line will hear you well.
The boom mic's noise handling performance is outstanding. You'll be heard clearly whether you're talking in a noisy environment like a gaming tournament or chatting with friends at home.
The integrated mic doesn't perform quite as well as the boom mic, especially with loud noise like a subway. You can hear our recordings of 'Speech + Pink Noise' and 'Speech + Subway Noise'. Your voice is drowned out by loud sound, so if you want to take a call using the integrated mic, it's best to do so from a quieter environment.
The Audeze Maxwell have outstanding battery performance. The manufacturer advertises them to last 80 hours at 80dB, and we measured a similar amount, which means you can game multiple days in a row without recharging them. Battery life depends on usage and volume, though. Luckily, they have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when not in use. The manufacturer also advertises them to deliver 20-30 hours of play time after charging for 20 minutes.
The Audeze HQ app is decent. You can also see a video of how it works here. Unlike most gaming companion software, you can use it on mobile devices as well as on PCs. Both pieces of software offer the same level of controls and features, too. There are a few EQ presets for you to choose from, but you can also access the game/chat mixers, toggle the sidetone on/off, and adjust the sidetone's level.
The Audeze Maxwell have excellent Bluetooth connectivity. They support Bluetooth version 5.3 and you can connect these headphones with up to two devices in the following ways: via two Bluetooth devices; a device connected via Bluetooth and another connected via dongle; USB wired and Bluetooth (simultaneously); and analog and Bluetooth (simultaneously). You'll need to manually switch audio between devices for any connection that isn't simultaneous, as you can't play audio at the same time. The headphones will also prioritize the output path and automatically switch to Bluetooth (HFP), dongle, Bluetooth (A2DP), USB-C, or analog, depending on the connection.
These headphones support Bluetooth LE Audio, which is a wireless standard that's designed with low power consumption in mind. This wireless standard also supports LC3 and LC3+ codecs, both of which offer more efficient audio transmission with higher audio quality. However, we're not currently able to adequately test these codecs. They also support LDAC codec, which is a proprietary codec from Sony for streaming Hi-Res content. This codec has high latency but isn't designed for streaming video and won't be noticeable if you're only listening to audio. That said, these headphones have high latency via SBC on PCs, so this connection may not be the best if you want to game via Bluetooth. Their latency is lower on mobile devices, ensuring your audio and visuals stay in sync. Some apps and devices compensate for latency.
These headphones have excellent non-Bluetooth wireless connectivity. On our first pass, we noticed higher-than-expected latency using the dongle as we measured ~85 ms consistently across three passes. However, the manufacturer claims the results should be closer to 20 ms. Using the same PC but plugging and replugging the dongle into the same port resulted in an average of 34 ms across ten new passes. It's more representative of user experience and day-to-day performance. You can also see how latency varies across PCs when using the Audeze Maxwell and the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless here.
In addition to our retest, we tried measuring the latency using 'Audacity' software, resulting in 96 ms of latency, which is higher than our original results of 85 ms. We also noticed that our latency results fluctuated depending on the PC we were connected to and even if we unplugged and replugged the dongle into the same USB port. Following Audacity, we used ASIO4ALL. We were able to get results closer to what the manufacturer advertises, but plugging and replugging in the dongle once again resulted in a variety of values.
These headphones come with a 1/8" TRS cable, a USB-C to USB-C audio/charging cable, and a USB-A to USB-C adapter, also for audio and charging. The USB-C cable has fairly low latency, ensuring your audio and visuals stay in sync while gaming.
Just like with non-Bluetooth wireless latency, wired USB latency can also vary. While we originally measured 43 ms of latency, we retested the latency ten times, unplugging and replugging the USB into the same port. You can see a comparison of all our wired USB passes here. Note that while were able to get lower results, there's still some variation present across passes.
The Audeze Maxwell Xbox have full audio and mic compatibility with PCs, whether you're using Bluetooth, the dongle, or even their analog or USB cable.
The Audeze Maxwell comes in two console-specific variants: Xbox and PlayStation. The manufacturer states in their FAQ section that Xbox variant isn't officially supported on this console, which can result in 'some limitations in volume control and other possible loss of functionality'. They also recommend that you use the correct variant with each console.
We were still able to get our Xbox variant to work with the PS4 and PS5 via analog, non-Bluetooth wireless, and wired USB with full audio and mic compatibility. There's slight static from the drivers when connected via analog, and the mic can pick up the feedback, though. To use the headphones wirelessly, you'll need to set the USB dongle to 'PC mode' for mic and audio to work. However, you lose game/chat mix controls and will be limited in volume control. You can use PS5 Audio Tempest though, which can help make your audio seem more immersive.
If you have the PlayStation variant of this console, you can connect these headphones with these consoles in every way with full compatibility. You won't lose out on features, either.
The Audeze Maxwell Xbox have full audio and mic compatibility when connected via analog or non-Bluetooth wireless. That said, some users have experienced issues connecting this variant to their Xbox Series X|S consoles. It also happened to us during testing, but resetting the console seemed to eliminate the issue. If you're using them via analog, there's slight static coming from the drivers, which the mic can pick up.
The PlayStation variant of these headphones aren't officially supported on this console. While you can connect them via analog with full audio and mic compatibility, you may lose out on other features.
The Auzede Maxwell comes with a wireless USB dongle. Depending on your variant, it offers full audio and mic compatibility with either the Xbox or PlayStation consoles.