I was already a big fan of what Meze Audio were doing with the business since I instantly fell in love with their 99 classic headphones, now they were releasing the Meze Empyrean.
I had heard rumblings for a while that they were trying to break out of the extreme value for money market. They were due to make their initial offering in the high end arena and it was going to be a bit special.
Then arrives the announcement of the Empyrean headphones. Again these immediately made me take note by the hybrid planar technology that they had implemented with Rinaro. They had created a world first with their isodynamic hybrid array headphone. Their aim was to overcome some of the issues that planar magnetic drivers can sometimes exhibit.
My patience was well and truly tested with these headphones since their initial announcement as I was desperate to hear them. I finally managed to grab a prolonged listen at CanJam London 2018. They had 2 systems at the show using the headphones that I physically tried out. One was with the 8.5k Chord DAVE and the other a circa 7k Chord Mscaler + TT2 setup. Both systems were incredibly detailed and gave the Empyrean a lot of information to deal with.
The test track I use all the time is Beverly Craven – Joey. What an incredibly insightful track when played correctly and boy was it played correctly with the Empyrean attached.
From sliding the Empyrean from the headphone stand it is perched on you can instantly tell you are going to enjoy your time with them.
The sumptuous earpads are some of the best you will find on any headphone at any price and they offer an awesome amount of isolation and comfort. The headband has been meticulously designed to actually work……putting them onto your head it immediately takes the weight of the headphone entirely and accurately distributes the load so that it doesn’t even feel like you are wearing them.
Onto the sound……it reminds me of a cross between the Focal Clear and the Focal Utopia with the warmth of an Audeze LCD headphone thrown in. Just like the Clear, the Empyrean appears easy to pair with an amplifier and achieve utmost enjoyment from it with ludicrous amounts of musicality. It has incredible detail and speed, similar to that of the Utopia but has a degree of warmth that you find in LCD headphones from Audeze.
I think the Empyrean will do exceptionally well with its innate ability to work impeccably with a range of sources. It’s brilliant build quality and comfort also helps to cement its place as a true flagship product and pride of ownership.