Meze Empyrean is a top of the line product by Romanian Meze. It is a true staple of current headphone audio market coming at whooping 2999 USD.
Empyrean’s box and accessories included scream quality. Firstly, we are greeted with an aluminium suitcase which is both a pleasure to look at, but also insures safety of our headphones.
Inside, you’ll find two pairs of earpads – real leather and alcantara. Both are of very high quality and they attach/deattach magnetically, which means that swapping them takes a couple of seconds.
Also, getting your Empyrean you can choose between three different cables to be included in the box – 6,3mm, 3,5mm or 4-pin XLR. Keep in mind, that the 3,5mm variant is 1.2m, and the two others are 2.5m
The cables included with the Empyrean are one of the best stock cables I’ve ever seen in any headphones period. All connectors are high quality, they are comfortable and sonically doesn’t limit the quality whatsoever.
However, spending 3000 USD (and probably even more for the rest of the setup) you can’t go wrong with a screaming edge aftermarket cable, and you’ll get an improvement. As we all know, with hi-end audio the differences are starting to get really slight the more expensive you go, but seeing that Meze really cares about the cable that they include in the box is a treat. At the end of the day, stock cables that are included by some of the other’s manufacturer’s flagships (wink wink Sennheiser and Grado) are shameful in comparison.
In terms of the build quality and an overall feeling of the Empyrean I’d like to put this straight – it is the best built pair of headphones on the planet.
All materials used are top quality, the whole unit doesn’t make a sound while using them or adjusting the headband size. It is a true joy having them in your hands and on your head. The only other headphone on the market that I could even compare the Empyrean to is Focal Utopia, which is also a top tier build quality, but Meze feel even just a bit better.
Once again Meze Empyrean is nothing else than astonishing. It’s a rather big construction, but the headband distributes its weight flawlessly, the earcups are big and soft which leads to being able to spend a whole day with Empyreans on your head. It is not AS comfortable as the almighty (in that terms) Sennheiser HD800, but it’s much better than every Audeze, Hifiman and Focal headphone that I’ve ever used.
Empyrean uses an isodynamic, hybrid array driver developed by the Rinaro company. It is one of the most (if not THE most) sophisticated and unique driver unit in the whole headphone market. I don’t want to write a book about it, as all you need to know is on Meze official website. For more info about this great technology, go to mezeaudio.com
Meze Empyrean are fantastically built, well engineered and an overall joy to use, but it doesn’t end there. They deliver a very enjoyable, rich and pleasing tone, which is so easy to love.
Bass is probably the worst part of Empyrean. Don’t get me wrong, its great, but it sometimes underperform a little bit. Of course, it vastly depend on the choice of AMP you’re using with these, but I’ve never heard the bass to really get on the level of Hifiman HE-1000 or Abyss AB-1266. It lack’s a little bit of definition and texture. It’s a joy to listen to, as it’s rich, thick and has plenty of body, but it’s not the best I’ve heard.
The midrange is where the Empyrean shines. Warm, lush and rich, yet very detailed and so natural. Vocals sound extraordinary and it creates a sort of mist, that wraps around you and delicately whispers into your ears. Intimate, analog and just crazy enjoyable.
Treble is natural and well balanced. It never gets harsh, but its not muddy and restrained. Lots of details, high frequencies just shine and deliver a sparkly, vibrant show full of sophistication. It sits perfectly in the middle of where it should be – detailed and crispy yet delicate and thick.
As for the soundstage, Empyrean creates just about a perfect sense of airiness and openness. It’s wide, deep and very, very accurate. Imaging and separation are spot on, you’re easily able to distinguish every single instrument playing and point its exact place on the stage. Fantastic.
Meze Empyrean is the most complete product in the headphone market right now. Where it’s competitors offer an outstanding aspects they do tend to fall short in one or more categories. Focal Utopias are fantastically made, but their sound signature is very unforgiving and not for everyone. Hifiman HE-1000SE and Susvara offer almost unreal sonic capabilities, but the build quality is somehow doubtful for the price.
Meze Empyrean has it all – are fantastically made, beautiful, comes with great accessories and they sound extraordinary, while being very pleasing and involving to the ear. If you’re looking for a top of the line headphone, Meze Empyrean should be on the top of your list.
Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
- Headphones – Audeze LCD3, Focal Utopia, Hifiman HE-1000SE, Abyss AB-1266, Kennerton Odin, Sennheiser HD800
- AMP – Cayin HA-300, iFi iDSD Pro + iCan Pro, Fezz Audio Omega Lupi, Cayin HA1A mk2,