My, oh my.
We're about 5 days in on the Audeze Mobius Indigogo campaign, and 2100+ backers have already raised $550k, blowing through the $50K goal by an order of magnitude! Doesn't surprise me a bit, Sankar Thiagasamudram, Audeze's CEO, told me of these forthcoming headphones some time ago and I've been chomping at the bit to have a listen.
While there have been various 3D virtualizing headphones showing up for a while now, none, to my way of thinking, have been a solid step forward into the new category. Usually, they just didn't sound all that great, and often they had quite limited use in terms of compatibility with various hardware and software formats. The Mobius, it seems to me, may be the first serious entry into the category as its features and functions appear to work with a fairly wide variety of source material.
Touted largely as a gaming headset, the Mobius is an over-ear, sealed planar magnetic headphone that can operate wired with an analog cable, or over a USB cable, and will connect wirelessly with Bluetooth. It also comes with a detachable boom microphone with a separate volume control—man I like that idea. Being a fully digital headphone, it will not run passively on the analog cable when batteries run dry.
Mobius includes a 6-axis head tracker (3-axis rotation, 3-axis accelleration) to provide positional input for DSP synthesis of spacial cues needed to produce out-of-head localized external sounds. The DSP also creates a synthetic "room" that can be use customized to help stabilize a sense of space in listening. To increase the accuracy of psychoacoustic cues, there will be a couple of methods to calibrate the headphone's psychoacoustic cues to the size and shape of your head.
Wired and Bluetooth operation will allow decoding and virtualization of 2.0 and 2.1 surround program material; using a USB connection to a computer will allow virtualization of 5.1 and 7.1 surround material.
Rather than parrot information readily available elsewhere, I'll point you toward the Audeze Mobius product page and Indegogo campaign, as well as Jude's quite informative, as usual, video introduction, and Head-Fi member Mad Lust Envy's Mobius prototype review.
You will, of course, be hearing more from me on this tantalizing new headphone. I'll be traveling to Southern California in mid-April for CanJam SoCal, and will be visiting Audeze's headquarters for a bit of one-on-one time with the Mobius.
Now all I have to do is find a computer game I'd like to play.