Here are the frequency response measurements of the Audeze Maxwell, done on the B&K 5128.
The Audeze Maxwell has a number of different presets, the results of which I’ll post below as well, but my general evaluation of this is going to be based on the ‘Audeze’ preset. Also worth noting is that this is all entirely done with the wireless DONGLE on a PC - and that’s important because the Maxwell also has other connectivity available. I will be doing additional testing for some time with the Maxwell, but this is its core functionality.
Note that this headphone uses DSP in all modes, and my primary testing is done with the dongle, and it is MEANT to be used like this. I know there will always be someone wanting to know how it sounds with a cable and using it from a fancy amplifier, but let me just say if that is how you primarily want to use a headphone, I suggest looking at a wired alternative and not the Maxwell. This isn’t one where you get the best sound by running it with 3.5mm from a fancy amplifier, that connection is just there for convenience.
Raw - the target is diffuse field with an 8dB slope applied
Here are the presets:
Note the higher smoothing just to make the differences easier to read
So, leaving the presets aside for now, the default Audeze preset makes the Maxwell one of the best measuring (and sounding) headphones I’ve come across at the $300 price point - certainly for closed-back wireless headphones. There are a couple of fine-grained quirks, but the Maxwell’s general sound signature is very close to our reference curve, and dare I say this is the best measuring Audeze headphone to date! Turns out DSP is a hell of a drug.
While this is all still a preliminary judgement (subject to change), I am truly impressed by what they’ve achieved here at the Maxwell’s asking price. And… even though this is a headphone targeted at gamers, I expect this is going to be a hit with the audiophile crowd for music listening as well - especially those looking for a generally neutral or neutral with a bass boost kind of sound signature.
Now, speaking personally… I do think I’d prefer maybe 2dB less energy around 3khz, because I’m particularly sensitive to that region, but that’s about all I can nitpick with this one for the moment. There’s still lots more to test before giving a full review, but the Audeze Maxwell is a headphone that should be on your radar if you’re looking for a great sounding wireless closed-back headphone around the $300 price point.
- Not nearly as clampy as Audeze’s other recent releases like the MM-500 or LCD-5. It’s on the heavy side compared to other gaming products, but I’d say quite comfortable by audiophile standards.
- Build feels very solid and durable. This is a well-built product.
- Technical performance is certainly acceptable at this price point - it’s not going to blow you away for image separation or dynamics, but it’s on the good end of what I’d expect at this price point for being able to hear the finer little nuances in the mix. Not nearly as blunted as the Panda for example.
- Soundstage is a bit intimate, and I think this is a consequence of the tuning being more ‘filled in’ throughout the mids and upper mids. For gaming, I’ll have to test some of the additional presets to see how that goes. People tend to overvalue soundstage because they think it matters in games, but we’re in the process of testing these assumptions and it’s not that straightforward.