$1000+ headphones Impressions Meze Empyrean Orthodynamic review Technology

Meze Empyrean – First Contact

Meze Audio

Disclaimer: The Meze Empyrean despatched to us was bought by us and is an ex-demo unit with burn-in. We thank the staff at Meze for giving us this chance to evaluate at this early stage.

To learn extra about Meze merchandise we reviewed on Headfonics click on right here.

That is an thrilling First Contact for me immediately as a result of it’s Meze’s new flagship $2999 Empyrean isodynamic hybrid array headphones. This can be a headphone I’ve seen plenty of variations off over virtually 12 months and spoke at size with Anton Meze on the way it was creating throughout that point.

Our first indication that Meze perhaps onto one thing a bit particular for his or her subsequent headphone after the Neo and Basic vary was at CanJam Singapore 2018. You’ll be able to learn our in-depth report right here.

The Empyrean was on show through the present and in addition a showcase of their Rinaro collaborative isodynamic drive design. I used to be fortunate sufficient on the time to even have an extended chat with the CEO of Rinaro, Pavlo Shymanovych.

Meze Audio

It was he who shed some fascinating mild on the distinctive options of not solely the driving force but in addition a number of the distinctive design parts on this flagship headphone. Parts such because the magnetic pads which shaped a part of the ultimate tuning and efficiency quite than simply seal and luxury and the hybrid diaphragm design itself.

Meze Audio Empyrean

Hybrid Driver

The diaphragm design is extremely distinctive with a selected function within the form and movement. This can be a steady hint however with two distinctive shapes. On the prime is a curved line switchback hint which focuses on the low-finish supply (bass) and the round sample on the backside is designed to concentrate on the mids and highs.

Now the positioning of the hint is such to get that round sample instantly over your ear. In doing so there ought to be a qualitative discount in non-mirrored soundwaves and an improved notion of imaging a greater staging.

The hybrid facet of the design might be present in how Meze have organized the magnets both aspect of the diaphragm. The symmetrical placement of the neodymium magnets both aspect is to maximise the effectivity of the isodynamic magnetic subject. Ideally, the diaphragm will function in a uniform and constant method consequently. That is essential given the twin hint design of the diaphragm for each lows and highs.

Ultimate Design

“Out of the Box” so to talk not a lot has modified when it comes to exterior design and aesthetics since we first noticed the Empyrean. That may be a actually good factor to be trustworthy as a result of the look is each putting and beautiful.

The Empyrean CNC aluminum grilled faceplates, particularly, stand out on first impressions. They’ve much less of a muscular Audeze or the ‘window shade’ Hifiman look and extra of a velvety, virtually ‘Persian design’ really feel to the intricate grill patterns. It’s much more elaborate up shut in actual life than any image can adequately convey. The machining behind this should have been very complicated and time-consuming to get the patterns completely right.

Meze Empyrean

You’ll discover that the prototype in Singapore 2018 had a black and gold end and this one is extra of gunmetal and black. I do consider sooner or later the black and gold end might turn out to be obtainable. Personally, I favor the present product runs extra discreet exterior colour firming.


At 430g it isn’t the lightest headphone on the earth and positively a great deal heavier than the 290g Ether 2 from MrSpeakers. That being stated, the preliminary impression on the top is superb, to be trustworthy. The gimbal and pivot system is extremely clean and noise free. You possibly can actually flip the cups on their central metal column 360 levels with none undue considerations about strain or cracking.

Meze Empyrean

Meze has actually nailed the strain distribution with that twin carbon fiber archway and leather-based arched strap design. The strap itself has the arch ironed proper into it and it makes an instantaneous distinction by creating an enormous contact space with the highest of your head. The strain dissipation mixed with these deep pads (Alcantara or perforated leather-based) makes the Empyrean appear a lot lighter and comfier than a 430g weighting would initially recommend.

Meze Empyrean

There’s not an excessive amount of aspect clamping both and with 2 decisions of deep-wall pads, perforated leather-based or Alcantara, you shouldn’t have a problem with sweat or itchiness after lengthy durations. By the best way, the pads are magnetically lined and simply clamp on and off. The pads are very easy to vary and don’t seem like they may go flat actual straightforward both after extended use. (Early days on that however I’ll affirm on full evaluation).

Meze Empyrean

I feel it was round July that Meze first floated the thought of a correct journey case however it was not till the HK AV Present in August that I received a primary peek at it. The ultimate manufacturing model is identical save for the accent itemizing which now consists of the choice for a 1.2m three.5mm connection or a 3m 6.35mm OFC cable.

It’s also possible to optionally improve to Furukawa copper cables which embrace a balanced four-pin XLR, 2.5mm and four.4mm connection choice. AT a later stage I’m advised Mezed will add silver plated improve cables terminated in 2.5mm, four.4mm, 6.3mm, and XLR. We acquired the four-pin Furukawa OFC XLR choice so our testing in the primary evaluate might be based mostly on that.

Protecting Journey Case

The aluminum case is on the identical strains because the Audeze journey case although in additional or a briefcase type issue than the deeper stubbier container for the LCD collection. I consider it’s aspect resistant additionally. It is a wonderful various to cardboard packaging and appears very useful certainly for transporting the Empyrean round with loads of foam safety on the within.

The field I’ve is the preliminary batch run which is definitely not deep sufficient by round 1″ or so. It tends to place just a little strain on the scarf of the Empyrean when closed. I’ve been advised the brand new instances delivery is, in truth, deeper and this won’t current the identical situation.

Meze Empyrean

Early days but however the Empyrean is shaping as much as be fairly a particular sounding headphone and undoubtedly distinctive in its presentation to the likes of competing flagships such because the Last D8000, LCD-four, and the Hifiman Susvara. Meze requested me in Singapore about what I considered the sound high quality and I blurted out “impressively organic” which in a method I nonetheless really feel the case on preliminary impressions of the ultimate manufacturing pattern.

Nevertheless, it’s also a bit difficult to say briefly what the precise sound signature is of the Empyrean as a result of the pads alter the sound signature in a marked style. Thus, you get two distinct signatures versus only one.

Leather-based Pads

On preliminary impressions, the leather-based pads really feel a bit extra reference of their presentation and the element is certainly wonderful. I don’t truthfully discover the leather-based pad tonal alterations to supply a chilly or medical sound, an HD800 it’s most definitely not.

Nevertheless, With the leather-based pads, you get fairly a impartial sound with a bit extra higher mid and decrease treble emphasis which appears to jive with the notion of the Empyrean having a really linear and flat low-finish to 1k frequency response. It sounds extremely coherent however might lack a bit heat and physique in comparison with the Alcantara pads juicier and extra expansive presentation.

Alcantara Pads

With the Alcantara pads, I get some extra low-finish to decrease midrange heat, a bigger soundstage and usually a smoother sound. The readability of the leather-based pads has been swapped for some barely laid-again musicality.

As an alternative of that cleaner tone and a extra intimate higher-mids to decrease-treble area emphasis, you get a one thing extra expansive however on the similar time barely darker in tone however with out sounding shelved down.

The Alcantara pads pair very nicely for my moodier synth-wave tracks the place I want some wonderful width and depth. I discover myself choosing the leather-based pads most of the time for vocal performances.

Meze Empyrean


It does appear from our temporary time with the Empyrean so far that it not the toughest planar headphone on the market to drive. Definitely, a lot simpler than the Susvara, HE6 and the brand new MrSpeakers Ether 2. 32Ω and 100dB sensitivity is spectacular, to be trustworthy. It’s a testimony to Rinaro’s driver design mixed with the pads for getting such a superb response with decrease ranges of energy.

I’ll say, nevertheless, I nonetheless assume you’d be mad to plug these solely right into a telephone or DAP (outdoors of the Cayin N8). The truth that Meze has not provided any cables with a three.5mm termination ought to point out their ideas on how greatest to energy the Empyrean.

Amp Testing

Our preliminary testing on our two award-profitable amps, the tube-based mostly Auris HA-2SE and the strong-state Method S from XI Audio, point out that the Empyrean loves high quality over amount. The Formulation S greatest paired with the Alcantara hotter pads the HA-2SE with the extra impartial sounding leather-based pads. Neither of them required any actually heavy quantity. My regular pre-amping ranges of the Components S was truly turned down by round 25% over the Susvara’s normal ranges if that’s a complicated indication.

There’s undoubtedly tons extra to discover with the Empyrean past what we’ve got outlined on this First Contact function. The pad tonal variations alone imply there’s numerous fascinating pairing alternatives to not point out the mini-XLR cable connectors offering me with a number of cable rolling choices past the cables provided within the package deal.

At this early stage although the Empyrean is a wonderful however distinctive sounding headphone. I’m already considering it has the chops to be a possible contender for 2019 awards recognition and it’s simply January!

  • Driver Sort Rinaro Isodynamic Hybrid Array
  • Working Precept Open
  • Ear Coupling Circumaural
  • Frequency response four – 110,000 Hz
  • Impedance 31.6 Ω
  • Nominal SPL100 dB (1 mW/1kHz)
  • Most SPL >130 dB
  • Complete Harmonic Distortion (THD) <zero.1%
  • Weight 430 g

Meze Empyrean – First Contact

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