Audeze Penrose Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Feb 11, 2021 at 11:02 am
Audeze Penrose Wireless Picture
6.8
Mixed Usage
7.1
Neutral Sound
6.5
Commute/Travel
6.7
Sports/Fitness
6.5
Office
7.6
Wireless Gaming
7.8
Wired Gaming
7.3
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Planar Magnetic

The Audeze Penrose Wireless are planar magnetic headphones designed for gaming. They retain the same level of comfort as the Audeze Mobius, as well as a similarly neutral, although slightly dark sound profile suitable for a variety of audio content. You can also customize it to your liking using the AudezeHQ app. These headphones support Bluetooth for more casual day-to-day use, as well as non-Bluetooth wireless, which ensures low latency while you game. They have slightly over 13 hours of continuous battery life. However, unlike the Mobius, they lack a built-in virtual surround feature as well as a carrying case.

Our Verdict

6.8 Mixed Usage

The Audeze Penrose are fair for mixed use. These headphones have a comfortable build and over 13 hours of continuous battery life, which is great for long gaming sessions. They also support Bluetooth so you can take them with you on-the-go, and have a neutral sound profile that can be customized using their companion app. Their detachable boom mic does a great overall job if you want to take calls or chat on the phone. However, they can't block out noise during your commute or shift at the office, and they aren't stable enough for physical activity.

Pros
  • Customizable sound profile.
  • Comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Not very breathable.
  • Don't isolate a lot of noise.
7.1 Neutral Sound

The Audeze Penrose are decent for neutral sound. They have a neutral sound profile due to their flat bass and mid-ranges. However, the treble range is underemphasized, resulting in a dark, veiled sound. Unlike the Audeze Mobius, they also lack built-in virtual soundstage features, which is a little disappointing. While they also deliver audio somewhat consistently, they're prone to slight variations in the treble range.

Pros
  • Customizable sound profile.
  • Comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Not very breathable.
  • Disappointing passive soundstage.
6.5 Commute/Travel

The Audeze Penrose are adequate for commute and travel. While they're comfortable, well-built, and have a good overall battery life, they barely block out any noise, so you're likely to hear the rumble of bus engines or ambient chatter from other passengers. They're also bulky and lack a carrying case to protect them when you're on-the-go.

Pros
  • Customizable sound profile.
  • Comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Not very breathable.
  • Don't isolate a lot of noise.
6.7 Sports/Fitness

The Audeze Penrose are okay for sports and fitness, but they're not really designed for this purpose. While they're comfortable and can be used wirelessly with your smartphone via Bluetooth, they can fall off your head with moderate movement. They also have a bulky design and aren't very portable.

Pros
  • Customizable sound profile.
Cons
  • Not very breathable.
6.5 Office

The Audeze Penrose are reasonable for office use. They have a comfortable fit as well as a bit over 13 hours of continuous playback time, which should be enough to last through long days at the office. However, they struggle to reduce ambient chatter around you and they leak a little bit of audio, so your colleagues may be able to hear it.

Pros
  • Customizable sound profile.
  • Comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Not very breathable.
  • Don't isolate a lot of noise.
7.6 Wireless Gaming

The Audeze Penrose are good for wireless gaming. These comfortable headphones have low latency via their wireless dongle and deliver over 13 hours of continuous playtime. They also have a neutral sound profile that can be customized via their companion app, and their mic offers great overall performance, so teammates can easily understand you. On the downside, unlike the Audeze Mobius, they lack a built-in virtual soundstage feature.

Pros
  • Low latency via non-Bluetooth wireless.
  • Customizable sound profile.
  • Comfortable fit.
  • Good overall mic performance.
Cons
  • Not very breathable.
  • Disappointing passive soundstage.
7.8 Wired Gaming

The Audeze Penrose are very good for wired gaming. Their 1/8" TRRS cable offers full compatibility with consoles that have an AUX jack. They're also comfortable, have a neutral sound profile that can be customized through their companion app, and their boom mic can capture your voice clearly. However, they lack a built-in virtual soundstage feature.

Pros
  • Customizable sound profile.
  • Comfortable fit.
  • Good overall mic performance.
Cons
  • Not very breathable.
  • Disappointing passive soundstage.
7.3 Phone Calls

The Audeze Penrose are decent for phone calls. Their detachable boom mic does a good job of capturing your voice, so speech sounds clear and full-bodied, although thin. It can also separate your voice from ambient noise around you, even in loud environments like a busy street. However, these headphones struggle to cut down noise around you, so you're likely to hear everything from bus engines to coffee-shop chatter, which can be distracting on a phone call.

Pros
  • Customizable sound profile.
  • Good overall mic performance.
Cons
  • Not very breathable.
  • Don't isolate a lot of noise.
  • 6.8 Mixed Usage
  • 7.1 Neutral Sound
  • 6.5 Commute/Travel
  • 6.7 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.5 Office
  • 7.6 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.8 Wired Gaming
  • 7.3 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Feb 11, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Feb 08, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Audeze Penrose have a very similar look to the Audeze Mobius with a sleek black frame and blue detailing on the ear cups. They have a removable boom microphone, which helps them look a little more casual. Note that the Xbox-compatible variant have yellow detailing, to set the two apart.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.82 lbs
Clamping Force
1.4 lbs

The Audeze Penrose are comfortable. Their headband and ear cups have nice padding that feels good on the skin. The ear cups also have a good range of motion. However, they do clamp quite tightly on your ears, which can feel a little tight, especially if you have a large head or big ears.

7.4
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Okay
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
Yes
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Bluetooth + Multi function

The Audeze Penrose have decent controls. All the controls are found on the left ear cup. There's a power button that allows you to play, pause, answer, and end calls with a single click. A double click enters Bluetooth pairing mode. A three-second long press powers them on or rejects a call, while a five-second long press powers the headphones off. Also, there's a multi-function button, and pressing it once allows you to cycle through wireless, Bluetooth, and AUX connections with voice prompts to let you know which one you've selected. A long press also allows you to enter wireless dongle pairing. There are also infinite volume and microphone wheels as well as a mic-mute switch. However, the controls aren't very intuitive, and entering pairing mode can take a couple of tries. Both the volume and mic wheels feel the same and lack clear demarcation between levels, and it could be hard to tell them apart when you're wearing them.

4.8
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 9.4 °C

The Audeze Penrose have poor breathability. The faux leather padding traps in heat and doesn't allow for adequate airflow. You may sweat a bit more wearing them if you're listening to audio for long periods. However, you may feel discomfort sooner if you wear them while doing physical exercise.

5.5
Design
Portability
L 7.1"
W 7.4"
H 3.4"
Volume 176 in³
Transmitter Required No

These headphones aren't very portable. They have a bulky over-ear design which takes up a lot of space and their ear cups can't swivel to lay flat to help reduce their footprint. They also don't come with a carrying case.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

Unlike the Audeze Mobius, these headphones don't come with a case to help protect them while you're on-the-go.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Audeze Penrose have a good build quality. They're mostly made of plastic, which feels durable and sturdy. They also have faux leather padding on the ear cups and headband. The boom microphone can also be detached when not in use. Overall, they feel like they should be able to withstand a few drops or bumps without taking too much damage.

6.5
Design
Stability

The Audeze Penrose are fairly stable headphones. They have a high clamping force but can move around your head, even with slight motions. While they should stay put during a long gaming session, they can fall off your head during more intense physical exercise.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Audeze Penrose headphones
  • 1/8" TRRS cable
  • USB-C to USB-C charging cable
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-1.38 dB
Treble Amount
-2.13 dB

The Audeze Penrose have a neutral although dark sound profile. Vocals and lead instruments sound mostly clear and present. However, sibilants like cymbals can sound dull. Luckily, if you prefer a different sound, their companion software offers customizable audio presets that can be customized via a 10-band EQ.

During our tests, we could hear a crackling and buzzing noise coming from the left driver without any audio playing. The right driver also would make a whopping noise when we tested the bass range. While it could just be our model that does this, there have been some users that have also experienced noise coming from one of their drivers.

7.4
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.52 dB

These headphones have decent frequency response consistency. Their bass response doesn't deviate too much, even if you have glasses or thick hair, which can break the ear cups' seal against your ears. However, treble delivery can deliver depending on how the headphones fit and their positioning on your head.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.4
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.18 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
14.35 Hz
Low-Bass
-3.64 dB
Mid-Bass
-2 dB
High-Bass
-1.34 dB

The Audeze Penrose have great bass accuracy. It's underemphasized across the range, but it's still a very flat response. Although mixes may lack boom, punch, and thump, you can tweak their sound to add more of a bass-heavy sound via their companion software.

9.2
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.08 dB
Low-Mid
-0.53 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.88 dB
High-Mid
-0.13 dB

The Audeze Penrose have outstanding mid accuracy. It's quite neutral and flat across the range, resulting in an accurate, clear, and detailed reproduction of vocals and lead instruments.

5.5
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.94 dB
Low-Treble
-4.51 dB
Mid-Treble
-3.71 dB
High-Treble
-5.6 dB

The treble accuracy of the Audeze Penrose is disappointing. It's underemphasized, so vocals and lead instruments sound veiled while sibilants such as cymbals are dull.

7.6
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.36 dB
Dips
1.56 dB

The peaks and dips performance is good. The left driver delivers extra thump, while the right driver lacks rumble. There's also a peak in the high-mids, so vocals and lead instruments sound honky and harsh while a dip in the low-treble veils the upper harmonics of these notes. Another large peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants sound piercing.

8.2
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.22
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.07
Weighted Phase Mismatch
7.68

The Audeze Penrose have a great imaging performance. The entire group delay response is well within the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. Our test unit's L/R drivers are also extremely well-matched in amplitude and frequency response, which results in the accurate placement and localization of objects (such as voices, instruments, and video game effects). However, there's a bit of mismatch in phase response, so there may be some inaccuracies in the stereo image at certain frequencies. That said, these results are only valid for our unit, and your experience may vary.

5.3
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.7 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
3.47 dB
PRTF Distance
7.9 dB
Openness
5.8
Acoustic Space Excitation
4.0

The Audeze Penrose have a disappointing passive soundstage. These headphones have a closed-back design, so their soundstage is perceived as small, closed-off, and slightly unnatural. It also feels like it's coming from inside your head, rather than from speakers out in front of you.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No

Unlike the Audeze Mobius, they don't have a built-in virtual soundstage feature. However, you can still use any spatial audio system with them, so long as it's software-based and doesn't rely on the headphones to process audio.

5.6
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.436
WHD @ 100
1.745

The Audeze Penrose have a sub-par weighted harmonic distortion performance. There's distortion in the treble range at moderate listening levels. It also jumps at a higher volume, so the audio may not sound clear. That said, distortion can be hard to hear with real-life content.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
0.1.5
Power
On
Connection
Wireless (Proprietary)
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Default
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Boom

These are the settings used to test these headphones, therefore our results are only valid when using these settings.

Isolation
4.1
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-11.59 dB
Bass
0.26 dB
Mid
-3.96 dB
Treble
-31.12 dB

The Audeze Penrose have poor noise isolation. They don't block out any bass-range noise like bus or plane engines. They also struggle to cut down mid-range noise such as ambient chatter. However, they can cut out a significant amount of high-pitched noise such as the hum of an AC unit.

6.5
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
42.23 dB

The leakage performance is alright. If you listen to audio at a high volume, people around you can hear part of it, even in a noisier environment like an office.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
Yes
Detachable Boom
Yes
7.6
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
20 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.48 dB
HFE
6,088.74 Hz
Weighted THD
1.799
Gain
31.99 dB

The recording quality of the Audeze Penrose's boom mic is good. Your voice should sound clear, full-bodied, and natural, although a little veiled.

8.8
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
40.63 dB

The boom microphone's noise handling performance is amazing. It can separate your voice from ambient noise, even in loud environments like a busy street.

Active Features
7.6
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
13.1 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
13.1 hrs
Charge Time
4.3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Audeze Penrose have a good battery performance. They're advertised to last around 15 hours but we measured slightly over 13 hours. To help conserve battery life, they have an auto-off timer and you can still receive audio while they're charging. They have an LED light to let you know their status while they're charging too.

During our testing, we noticed that our headphones were fully charged via the AudezeHQ app. However, their LED light still flashed red instead of turning green. We currently don't know if this issue is limited to our model unit.

7.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name AudezeHQ
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS Yes
Windows Yes
Equalizer
Presets
ANC Control
No
Mic Control Adjustable Level
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

The AudezeHQ is a decent app. It has five presets which you can customize using their 10-band EQ. There's also a mic volume level, a game/chat mixer, and you can turn the mic's sidetone on and off.

Connectivity
6.8
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
109 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
252 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
30 ms
Android Latency
28 ms

The Audeze Penrose have alright Bluetooth connectivity. While they don't support multi-device or NFC pairing, they have low audio latency on Android and iOS devices, which is great if you like to stream video. However, their latency on PC is very high, so you may experience audio lag. That said, different apps and devices seem to compensate for latency differently, so your experiences may vary.

8.5
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
51 ft
Non-BT Latency
24 ms

The Audeze Penrose have excellent non-Bluetooth wireless connectivity when using their USB dongle. They have low latency, so you shouldn't experience too much of a delay between your audio and video.

Some users have reported that they experience audio clipping or disconnection from their audio, even when they're close to the USB dongle. While we didn't notice this during testing, if you experienced this issue, please let us know in the discussion section below.

9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 3.9 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

These headphones come with a detachable 1/8" TRRS cable. They also come with a USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cable that you can only use for charging the headphones.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
Audio + Microphone

The Audeze Penrose have full audio and microphone compatibility on PC, PS4, and PS5 consoles by plugging in their 1/8" TRRS cable into an AUX jack. You can also connect to Bluetooth-enabled PCs or use non-Bluetooth wireless to connect to your PC, PS4, or PS5.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No

You can plug the headphones' 1/8" TRRS cable directly into your Xbox One or Xbox Series X console's controller for full audio and microphone compatibility.

3.4
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Wireless USB Dongle
USB Input
Yes
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
USB

The Audeze Penrose come with a wireless USB dongle that offers full audio and microphone support when used with a PC, PS4, or PS5 console.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Audeze Penrose come in one color variant: 'Black'. That said, these headphones are only advertised as compatible with PC, PS4, and PS5 consoles. Audeze also manufactures the 'Penrose X', which are also black but are compatible with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X consoles. Instead of blue detailing, they have a yellow detailing. Due to their differences in their compatibility, we don't know if this variant performs similarly to our own.

If you come across another variant, please let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Audeze Penrose are planar magnetic headphones designed for gaming. They're similarly comfortable as the Auzede Mobius and have a neutral sound profile that can be customized in their companion software. They can also connect to devices using Bluetooth, non-Bluetooth wireless, or via their 1/8" TRRS audio cable. However, they lack a built-in virtual surround feature, which some users may find disappointing. Check out our recommendations for the best gaming headsets, the best PS4 gaming headsets, and the best wireless gaming headsets.

Audeze Mobius

The Audeze Mobius and the Audeze Penrose Wireless are similarly designed headphones but depending on your needs, you may prefer one over the other. The Mobius come with a hard case and have a slightly bass-heavy sound profile out-of-the-box that some people may prefer. They also have a fantastic virtual soundstage feature with adjustable settings, although we don't test for this, and their mic performs better too. However, the Penrose have a better battery performance and support non-Bluetooth wireless. 

SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless are better gaming headphones than the Audeze Penrose Wireless. The SteelSeries are better-built, have a better-balanced sound profile right out-of-the-box, and have a virtual soundstage. Their boom microphone offers better overall performance, they have a longer-lasting battery life, and their wireless dock also allows you to charge their second battery pack in addition to offering several different inputs. However, the Audeze are planar magnetic headphones, which some users may prefer.

Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019

The Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019 are better wireless gaming headphones than the Audeze Penrose Wireless. The Astro are more comfortable, feel better-built, and are more balanced right out-of-the-box. They also support Dolby 7.1, their boom microphone offers better overall performance, and their continuous battery life is longer. However, the Audeze support Bluetooth. They're also planar magnetic headphones, which some users may prefer.

Corsair VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless XT

The Audeze Penrose Wireless and the Corsair VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless XT have different strengths, and you may prefer either one. The Audeze are planar magnetic gaming headphones that are more comfortable and have lower non-Bluetooth latency. However, the Corsair feel better-built, can be used passively, and their boom mic offers significantly better recording quality.

Astro A50 Gen 3 Wireless 2017

The Astro A50 Gen 3 Wireless 2017 are somewhat better gaming headphones than the Auzede Penrose Wireless. The Astro are more comfortable, feel better-built, and use a wireless dock with lots of different inputs, which some users may prefer. They also have Dolby 7.1 virtual soundstage support. However, the Auzede are planar magnetic headphones that support Bluetooth for more casual use. They have a slightly better microphone performance, and a longer continuous battery life. They can also connect to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S consoles via an analog connection with full compatibility.

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