Pander to them just a bit and the Meze Audio Empyrean II show smarter than your common audiophile-orientated passive hard-wired over-ear headphones…
- Poised, informative and endlessly listenable
- Specified, constructed and completed with out obvious compromise
- Comfy via even the longest listening periods
- Not low cost to purchase
- Not discreet to put on
- Not as outright punchy as you may want
ConnectivityA alternative of 10 connecting cables
Put onEquipped with two totally different pairs of earpads
Drive itemsRinaro Isodynamics hybrid array driver
In lower than a dozen years, Romania’s Meze Audio has established itself as a headphone pressure to be reckoned with.
It’s additionally demonstrated a bloody-mindedness of the very best variety – the place parts, supplies and design are involved, Meze Audio is more than pleased to fly within the face of each vogue and obtained knowledge. To butcher a way more well-known statement, those that like issues like Meze Audio will discover Meze Audio issues the form of factor they like.
5 years in the past, Meze Audio launched its Empyrean wired over-ear headphones to various acclaim. This v2 model intends to select up the place the unique left off, in each respect – so these headphones are distinctive in appears to be like, uncompromising in specification and stomach-churning in expense.
After all, a hard-nosed method to design and specification is not any assure of efficiency. Are the Meze Audio Empyrean II all bark and no chunk?
The Meze Audio Empyrean II are on sale now, and in the UK they promote for £2749 a pair. In america they’re extra like $2999, whereas in Australia you’re taking a look at AU$5499 or thereabouts.
That’s a exceptional asking worth, no two methods about it – however equally exceptional is the quantity of competitors Meze Audio faces on this market. Manufacturers as venerable as Grado, Sennheiser, Shure and Yamaha are all able to half you from this form of cash for a pair of their competing passive, hard-wired headphones.
So Meze Audio goes to must do a bit extra than simply present up and sound nice to safe your hard-earned…
- CMC-milled aluminium
- Suspension wings (!)
Meze Audio, in fact, understands there’s a restrict to the quantity of designing that may be carried out the place over-ear headphones are involved. However, in fact, Meze Audio has carried out its damnedest to make the Empyrean II as singular and distinctive as doable.
So the tiered earcup body is fabricated from CMC-milled aluminium, so it feels about as indulgent because it appears to be like – and there’s room for an enormous, assertive firm brand the place it accommodates the sliding headband adjuster. The open-backed grille that sits inside it’s perforated with a small, repeating three-pointed sample impressed by the Artwork Deco motion.
And so far as maintaining the Empyrean II in place is worried, Meze Audio has no truck with something as widespread as a hanger mechanism. The patent that covers the mix of suspension wings with a broad, skinny leather-based headband is pending… and it really works extraordinarily nicely. The Empyrean II weigh 385g, however as a result of the system is so adept at maximising the contact level between headband and head whereas minimising strain, they don’t really feel it – not even after many hours in place.
- Rinaro Isodynamics hybrid array driver
- 8Hz – 110kHz frequency response
- Quite a few cable choices
The Empyrean II are, partially, a results of the corporate’s ongoing (and madly profitable) collaboration with Ukraine’s Rinaro Isodynamics.
The elemental sonic enterprise right here is completed by a tweaked model of the MZ3 isodynamic hybrid array driver Rinaro first developed for the unique Empyrean. So the motive force meeting consists of a hybrid magnet array on the rear, organized to ship uniform activation throughout the entire floor of the diaphragm itself.
There’s a fibreglass-infused ABS body on the entrance. Sandwiched in between is the isoplanar diaphragm itself – Rinaro’s terribly painstaking manufacturing course of, which entails heating and stretching the isotropic polymer, leads to robust, stiff, and secure diaphragm with an energetic space of 4650mm2 but a complete weight of simply 0.16g.
The diaphragm’s dual-coil association is equally exceptional. The higher part accommodates a switchback coil to deal with decrease frequencies, with a spiral coil beneath it taking good care of midrange and above – the claimed frequency response from this association is a staggering 8Hz – 100kHz.
The spiral coil is positioned to sit down just about straight dealing with the wearer’s ear canal – Meze Audio reckons this format means soundwaves enter the ear with out significant time delays, and negates the tendency for the soundfield to lack definition if soundwave size is shorter than the bodily depth of the within of the ear cushion.
The truth that there’s a few pairs of earpads included within the Empyrean II’s frankly overspecified carry-case/briefcase, and the truth that they’ve been particularly tuned for various sonic signatures, is simply one other indication that we’re coping with very critical individuals right here.
There’s an angled pair, lined in Alcantara with a advantageous mesh masking the grille, tuned to ship a “detailed, ethereal and correct listening expertise for the traditional audiophile”, and there’s additionally a “duo” pair fabricated from a mixture of Alcantara, and leather-based tuned to serve up a “harmonious” tonal stability. Switching between the 2 is easy, as a result of they connect to the earcups utilizing Rinaro’s isomagnetic coupling expertise. It makes use of the demagnetising area generated by the motive force to safe the earpads, whereas redirecting the magnetic area again into the motive force on the identical time to extend effectivity. Which is, I feel we are able to all agree, neat.
Every of the earcups has a connection for a four-pin mini-XLR plug. Meze Audio provides 5 totally different cable sorts (three of 1.3m size ending in both 2.5mm, 3.5mm or 4.4mm terminations, and two of two.5m size ending with both a 6.3mm jack or four-pin XLR), every in a alternative of two supplies (copper or silver-plated). So that you get a alternative of ten totally different cables when inserting your order.
Sound High quality
- Outstanding powers of element retrieval and backbone
- Beautiful tonal stability
- Unfussy about recording high quality
I could as nicely get proper to it right here: the Meze Audio Empyrean II are a gloriously full and totally pleasant hear. They’ve all of the credentials required of some avowedly ‘audiophile’ headphones, most definitely – however they add an enormous serving to of leisure proper together with it.
Clearly, they require to be handled accurately if you happen to’re going to get all the things they’ve to offer. An honest headphone amplifier is a should, and it doesn’t do any hurt to make use of large, high-resolution content material both – though the dimensions of the digital audio file you take heed to is much less essential than the best way you amplify the sign. Do the best factor by the Meze Audio, and they’ll reward you large time.
Their tonal stability, for instance, is mainly impeccable – from the underside of the frequency vary to the highest, they’re impartial and naturalistic. A properly produced, musicianly recording like David Sylvian’s Orpheus sounds balanced and convincing all through – and the prodigious quantity of element, each broad and advantageous, the Meze Audio retain and reveal helps no finish on this regard.
Management is sweet, rhythmic expression is assured, and the Empyrean II create a convincing soundstage. They’ve the dynamic headroom to trace will increase in depth with out obvious effort, they usually don’t have any downside finding the essence of a recording. The midrange right here, for instance, is totally loaded with data concerning tone, timbre, approach in addition to loads of different stuff that doesn’t begin with ‘T’.
The Meze Audio are greater than able to peering deep into complicated or dense recordings and returning with loads of pertinent data – however they’re not analytical for its personal sake. As an alternative, they’re an lively, entertaining hear and sound completely engaged. This isn’t the form of perspective I’d mechanically affiliate with passive hard-wired headphones at this form of cash.
Some listeners might discover this determinedly impartial presentation a bit of light-weight – not less than at first. The Empyrean II aren’t about to ramp up the low frequencies within the identify of pleasure – they’re a vigorous sufficient hear as it’s. The low finish right here is substantial, deep, and extensively textured – nevertheless it’s managed with absolute authority.
This implies momentum is maintained in each circumstance, nevertheless it additionally signifies that the fleet-footed bass may initially sound a bit of skinny. It isn’t, in fact – it’s simply as nicely realised as the remainder of the frequency vary. Nevertheless it isn’t ponderous, which is what units it aside from the bass copy of fairly a couple of nominal opponents.
Must you purchase it?
You need a full and uncoloured account
The Meze Audio extract as a lot element as doable out of your recordings after which get the hell out of their means
You are concerned about what individuals suppose
The self-conscious are unlikely to tolerate sporting the Empyrean II for any size of time except they’re alone (and, ideally, in a darkened room)
I don’t think about myself notably useless – however on the identical time, I don’t exit of my technique to make myself look daft. I’m ready to make an exception for the Meze Audio Empyrean II, although. Sure, they nigh-on double the width of my head – however as soon as my head is inside them, there’s greater than sufficient in the best way they sound to make up for it.
How we check
We check each set of headphones we evaluate totally over an prolonged time frame. We use business commonplace assessments to match options correctly. We’ll all the time inform you what we discover. We by no means, ever, settle for cash to evaluate a product.
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Examined with actual world use
These headphones weigh 385g, though based on our reviewer, when worn on the top they don’t really feel almost as a lot