Meze provided Empyrean on loan for the purpose of my honest review, for good or ill.
Meze is one of those manufacturers who stand out, possessing a style you cannot mistake for any other. The first time I laid eyes on the 99 Classics, my heart was theirs. How fortunate for the world they care just as much for sound quality.
Empyrean is Meze’s current flagship. Indeed, it’s a name worthy for a top of the line audiophile headphone, or even a mighty seafaring vessel. The suggestion is dominance.
This is Meze artistry utterly unleashed. The CNC motifs, the carbon fiber, the leather (vegan alternative available)… it all comes together in beauty, luxury, and tremendous comfort. The headphones are light, sturdy, and can be worn forever without any sign of fatigue.
Jet Black and Black Copper color choices are available. Seeing photos of the Black Copper, I can’t imagine anyone choosing the Jet Black I have for review. Those copper-hued grills are so goddamn lovely.
Empyrean is, fundamentally, an open-back planar magnetic headphone. However, it’s a cutting edge design, called the Isodynamic Hybrid Array Driver, developed in collaboration between Meze Audio and Rinaro Isodynamics. If you’re curious for more information, I encourage you to visit Meze’s website, as the technology is rather involved and beyond my ability to articulate.
They utilize what I call Audeze style connectors: 4-pin mini-XLR going to each cup. It’s a solid setup that I’ve favored over the years, having never experiences any failures from it.
The stock cable is very long, at 2.5m, this one terminated with 4-pin full-size XLR for balanced outputs. There’s a nice cloth sheath over the length of the cord, and it’s not too stiff, though I would like it to be less so. Luckily, Meze offers both copper and silver braided upgrade cables. While I don’t have those to review, I suspect I’d like them quite a bit more.
The carry case is a strong aluminum, briefcase form factor, with foam inserts to hold everything stable and secure during travel.
Yes, this package very much feels like it costs $3,000. The wealth is on full display, found in every detail.