Audeze Maxwell Review featured image

Audeze Maxwell Review


You do not need an amplifier to get the best out of a gaming experience for online play. If you are playing single-player, wireless mode and running 3.5mm with a quality amplifier won’t matter too much at all, due to the internal circuitry actively passing analog 3.5mm into the DAC chip, then routing that to the drivers.

Planars can be hard to drive so the extra juice, but in this case, the internal power is adapted specifically to push the drivers properly with the right voltage with the internal battery power.

Of course, you can run 3.5mm if you prefer not to use a wireless connection, such as through your console controllers that have a 3.5mm output.

But does the lower output and still powerful portable amp sound good with it? Yes and no. The sterile tone of the CEntrance HiFi M8 V2, for example, doesn’t mesh with the slightly warm and cozy feel of the Maxwell, so tone pairing is difficult in that regard.

In this context, it becomes entirely about the tone and physical quantity of the spectrum being added through the 3.5mm source or amplifier, which then goes into the internal DAC/amp circuit and essentially gets double-amped.

You can replicate the DSPs available with the Audeze app, of course, with your amplifier or source with EQ if you want it. I prefer to do it that way, but the internal Audeze App’s DSP functions are great.

Example: The Footsteps preset is dedicated and suited for pinpointing enemy movements and raising the treble a bit in quantity and brightness over one of the more standard presets that sound flatter. These headphones are rounded feeling in tone, and soft on the approach from top to bottom.

Audeze Maxwell beside an Xbox

Gaming Impressions

I can’t see how a single pro gamer would not want these on their head. A few rounds of CoD recently with these proved that it is almost cheating. I got booted from a custom server because they thought I was ‘aimboting’ or had a see-through walls hack turned on.

I would constantly lead with a rocket launcher and fire on the ground, right where an enemy was about to run around a corner. I did it so much, that I felt unstoppable. It was easy, I could effortlessly tell where that person was behind the wall because the walls don’t exactly stop the sound emitting or deaden it too much. Distance in the games usually does that.

Single-player experiences with these headphones are just so lush and magnificent sometimes. However, I do find myself toggling bass modes often to get more out of it.

Sometimes, I feel it is too lean to do justice to explosions and distant rumbles, weather, thunder, etc. All the visceral elements in the music track or experience on the low end are lacking depth and tonal heft.

Audeze Maxwell microphone
Copyright Audeze 2023

Mic performance

Pinpoint imaging abilities on this model are very nice, but even nicer is the ability to mute my mic with a hard switch and not a button. I want to know 100% it’s off and the satisfying click for OFF is absolutely a pleasure and one I wanted in my gaming set for a long time.

Prior, I was gaming with my Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless. No mic disable function on those, which was annoying, to say the very least. While more comfortable than the Maxwell, it offered less gaming potential usefulness overall.

The included boom mic is also decent, it sounds better than the included interior mic on the Momentum 4 Wireless. But there is certainly a cutoff between it and my Blue Yeti desktop mic.

It’s not fair to compare a gaming mic from a headset to a Yeti, but I can say that the Yeti sounds thicker, and bassier. While the included Audeze mic sounds thinner, loose, and a bit hot on the treble at times.

Audeze Maxwell with Sennheiser Momentum 4 wireless

Select Comparisons

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless.

For roughly the same price, the Momentum 4 Wireless offers much better comfort and far less weight. It also offers a slew of touch controls and a great disable the music when you lift the headphone off feature.

The headphones are a much thinner feeling in tone than the Maxwell, which feels more refined, clean, clear, lush, dense, and focused. The Sennheiser has much more bass and much more bass EQ potential. The Maxwell is closer to a balanced feeling in stature.

Drop + Ultrasone Signature X design

Drop + Ultrasone Signature X

The Signature X is a bass lover’s dream and the one I will be playing single-player games with for years to come. It is lightweight, extremely comfy, and does not require a lot of voltage to get the best out of it. However, its pinpoint gaming abilities are totally nonexistent compared to the Maxwell.

The Audeze is noticeably more refined, smoother, wider, and cleaner from top to bottom, but lacks the Ultrasone’s impressive bass capabilities and genre versatility.

Audeze Maxwell with beyerdynamic T5 3rd gen

Beyerdynamic T5 3rd Generation

Yea. The T5 is $999. But it doesn’t matter anymore because I think the Audeze Maxwell sounds cleaner from top to bottom. The bass fidelity on the T5 3rd Generation sounds audibly inferior, and one note in approach.

The entire stereo void of the T5 lacks the depth and width of the Maxwell, but the Maxwell lacks the coherency of the Beyerdynamic that is nearly unrivaled in the audio world.

For gaming? I’d be using the Maxwell for everything from this point onward and will be retiring the T5 G5 until Beyerdynamic releases something a lot better to withstand the new market trends.

Audeze Maxwell retail packaging

Our Verdict

The Audeze Maxell is the best gaming headphone I have heard to date, branded for gamers, by guys and gals who know gaming over at Audeze.

In its stock tuning, it is bass-neutral, but that’s ok because this model is aimed toward online FPS players. If you want to enhance the bass performance, there are a wide range of options in the Audeze HQ app including a full custom EQ as well as a bass boost mode.

The Maxwell is heavy at 490g, but the comfort is still very nice. Fantastic build quality, spacious imaging for a closed back, and excellent pinpoint abilities make this model great for anyone into the CoD and Battlefield scene.

This headphone made me want to go back and start playing online again, but only because I have the Maxwell as a secret cheat hack.

Audeze Maxwell Specifications

  • Driver Type 90mm Planar Magnetic
  • Frequency Response 10 Hz – 50,000 Hz
  • Design Style Over-ear (circumaural), closed-back
  • Microphone Type Detachable boom mic, built-in beamforming array
  • Connectivity 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth, AUX
  • Weight 28 ounces / 490g
  • Battery Life 80+ hours
  • Lighting N/A
  • Software Audeze HQ

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