Meze Audio Empyrean

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thomasu

Head-Fier
Maybe I’m Not an Audiophile?
Pros: Comfort
Realism & weight
Expansive soundstage
Deep punchy bass
Lush and airy vocals
Cons: Technicalities for the price
Warm signature may not be for everyone
EQ is needed to really make them shine

Intro​

I have to preface this review by saying I feel incredibly weird that I’m about to review these headphones in such a positive light when the general sentiment online is that the Empyrean is basically overpriced muddy Beats by Meze™. I would like to explain exactly where I'm coming from and why these might be my favorite cans that I've ever had the pleasure of owning. This review is going to be entirely subjective (if you couldn't tell already).

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Who wore it better?​


I’ve been around the block when it comes to the TOTL headphones - I’ve had the Hifiman Susvara, Abyss 1266 Phi TC, and Focal Utopia in my possession over the last year. While I love them all in different ways, I always felt that there was something off when it came to each of them whether it be lack of bass, comfort, or metallic timbre respectively. My music is a mix of everything under the sun, but I do mainly listen to music with female vocalists (Kpop, modern pop, acoustic pop, etc.), so the vocal/mid section is the biggest priority for me. The next priority would be the sounds of guitars in classic rock, alt rock, and progressive rock. I do not see myself owning more than one pair of headphones, so I’ve been searching for that one pair of headphones that satisfies most of my needs even if it may not be the best in every category.

Here comes the Meze Empyrean.

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(Ignore the lack of tubes. I'm waiting for some new ones to come in.)

Build & Design​

The Empyrean is built completely out of metal, carbon fiber, and leather. No expense was spared when it came to the design and materials which cannot be said for the Susvara or Utopia. The stock cables are really well built and not stiff nor microphonic. They also don’t feel like an IV tube for $6000 Hifiman headphones. I don’t think the Empyrean would survive being run over by a truck, so I guess it loses to the TC in that sense. Aesthetics-wise, I like (I hesitate to say “love”) the way the Empyrean looks... although it reminds me of something you’d find at a Dwarven armory in an Elder Scrolls game.

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Did I mention that the pads are HUGE? It looks about as ridiculous as the TC on your head- okay maybe not as ridiculous as the TC, but very close.

Oh yeah and you get an aluminum briefcase. I don’t think I would actually use it to carry the headphones, but it is a nice value add.

Comfort (yes, it’s getting its own section.)​

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The Meze Empyrean is the most comfortable set of headphones I’ve tried so far (at least in this multi-kilobuck range). It has the ability to almost feel as light as a pair of Bose QC’s, and I was able to wear them for many hours on end without any discomfort at the top of my head or on my temple. The Susvara would be a close second in terms of comfort although it had the uncanny ability to pull on my hair at the swivel points occasionally. The Utopia is no slouch either, but I would definitely start feeling some pressure at the top of my head and on my temple area if I used it for more than 4 hours.

The TC is completely different in terms of fit from all these other headphones. The TC does not sit on your head like a traditional headphone. It is meant to hover over your ears to create an air gap so that you can fine tune the sound to your preference. In doing so, it’s almost like balancing the headphones on the top of your head. There is no actual weight or clamping force on your head, but rather the weight is displaced through pressure on your neck. It takes a while to get used to, and you’ll definitely work out your neck muscles, but I found that this kind of setup forced you to be incredibly still while you were using them. Any major movement up, down, left, or right would inevitably cause them to start tilting off your head. This is fine if you plan to sit back and only listen to music, but for me that meant I could not use them while I was working or I had to consciously pre plan my movements to make sure they didn’t fall off.

Sound​

Okay that’s all great, but how does the Empyrean sound?

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Equipment:
Holo Spring 3 KTE
Ferrum OOR + Hypsos
Meze Silver Plated PCUHD Cable

Test Tracks:
The Eagles - Hotel California (both versions, you know which versions)
Steely Dan - Deacon Blues
Pink Floyd - Time
Santana - Incident at Neshabur
Fleetwood Mac - Dreams

Asian Kung-Fu Generation - Blue Train
Tame Impala - Instant Destiny
The Weeknd - Out of Time
Daft Punk - Contact
Gorillaz - Empire Ants (feat. Little Dragon)

aespa - Lucid Dream
EVERGLOW - Untouchable (hi precog.)
Kai - Amnesia
IU - Through the Night
IZ*ONE - FIESTA
LOONA - Colors
Red Velvet - Perfect 10

Without EQ
Well… here’s the thing. I actually hate the stock tuning of the Empyreans with the default leather pads. The bass region is bloomy and it easily bleeds into the mids. For me, that is a sin bad enough to kill a headphone. I have to think this is some concession to make a general consumer focused tuning, but I think it really does these headphones a disservice. It reminds me of the warm tuning of the Sony MDR-Z1R, but without the huge treble spike. If you liked the Z1R, maybe you’ll like the default tuning of the Empyrean, but for me it felt like there was a layer of haze coming across the entire spectrum. If you only used the Empyrean in this way, I can see how you could arrive at the conclusion that they are Beats by Meze™.

That’s all I’m going to say about the leather pads (for now).

And there’s the alcantara pads (please use these instead). These are much more natural sounding, with a great expansive soundstage, a ton of air, but with a little less precise imaging and none of that bloomy bass. Honestly, the tradeoffs are well worth it for a more coherent tuning. The Empyrean may not hit as hard as the Utopia, but it has a respectable amount of bass quantity and slam. Vocalists come across with this amazing weight, realism, and sweetness that gets very close to the level of the Susvara. Another thing that really amazed me was how big the soundstage was on the Empyrean. It’s not HD 800s levels of near infinite soundstage, but I would put it very close behind. Where the TC has the tendency to throw everything into a wide soundstage, the Empyrean does it in a way that’s natural. When the music calls for a wide soundstage, it pushes it as far as it can, and when the music calls for a more intimate presentation, it is hands off and lets the music be intimate.

The Empyrean is fairly forgiving for poorly recorded music, but it has enough treble energy and detail retrieval to satisfy a moderately discerning audiophile without being harsh or sibilant. Once you get into headphones in this range, you could make the argument that the homogenized push towards an analytical tuning can make certain genres like rock/metal come off as dry and unengaging. I’m happy to say this is not the case with the Empyrean.

The Empyrean is the definition of a musical headphone. No matter what genres I threw at it, I was always engrossed in the music. Vocals are forward, but not in a way that feels forced. The overall presentation of instruments reminded me a lot of the Hifiman Arya. Instruments will envelop you and get placed around this giant orb of music in front and behind you. Sounds will also pan around the X and Y axis of the soundscape with relative ease.

If you were more genre specific, I would recommend the Susvara for orchestral, jazz, and acoustic music and the TC for rock, EDM, and pop. The Empyrean cannot touch those two headphones in their respective genres, but it is able to be in this goldilocks zone where it's good enough to be suitable for a wide variety of genres.

This is the point where I say you’d be okay leaving the headphones as is if you’re happy with the sound. It is a decently "well balanced" sound for the price, but if you really want to get the most out of the Empyrean you should really consider EQ.

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With EQ
Now here’s the plot twist. After dabbling with EQ, I slightly prefer using the leather pads. You can pretty much fix all the problems with the stock tuning and keep the extra sub-bass punch and energy. If you EQ the alcantara pads, you’ll get more clarity and air, but an EQ’ed leather pad gives me enough of the top end that I chose to have more sub-bass instead. I’ll leave my EQ profile below if you want to experiment with it. Big thanks to Oratory1990 - my settings are mainly based on their Harman target profile with some slight changes to better fit my music and preferences.

Soundstage, imaging, instrument separation, naturalism, midrange energy all improved dramatically after I applied these settings. Honestly, they all reached a point where I don’t really feel the need to throw thousands more dollars to get to the next level. Yes, I will concede that you are not at the top of the summit by staying here, but whether you are willing to throw more money to chase something else entirely that would be entirely up to you. After EQ, I got enough information to scratch that analytical itch while still having the body and musicality of the stock Empyrean tuning. It’s got almost as good of: the soundstage of the HD 800s, the sweetness of the Susvara, and some of the bass energy of the Utopia. For me, that’s all I could’ve wanted.

Leather EQ:
Preamp: -3.1 dB
Filter: ON LSC Fc 97 Hz Gain -2.6 dB Q 0.71
Filter: ON LSC Fc 105 Hz Gain 5.5 dB Q 0.71
Filter: ON PK Fc 210 Hz Gain -5.5 dB Q 0.5
Filter: ON PK Fc 400 Hz Gain 1.6 dB Q 1
Filter: ON PK Fc 1050 Hz Gain -1 dB Q 2.2
Filter: ON PK Fc 1800 Hz Gain 2.2 dB Q 1.4
Filter: ON PK Fc 4000 Hz Gain -1 dB Q 1.4
Filter: ON PK Fc 7900 Hz Gain 2 dB Q 1
Filter: ON PK Fc 8000 Hz Gain -3 dB Q 5
Filter: ON HSC Fc 11000 Hz Gain 3 dB Q 0.71

Alcantara EQ:
Preamp: -5.5 dB
Filter: ON PK Fc 65 Hz Gain -2.6 dB Q 1
Filter: ON LSC Fc 105 Hz Gain 5.5 dB Q 0.71
Filter: ON PK Fc 200 Hz Gain -2.6 dB Q 0.7
Filter: ON PK Fc 350 Hz Gain 1.5 dB Q 2
Filter: ON PK Fc 1050 Hz Gain -1 dB Q 2.2
Filter: ON PK Fc 1950 Hz Gain 4 dB Q 1
Filter: ON PK Fc 4500 Hz Gain -1.8 dB Q 2
Filter: ON PK Fc 7900 Hz Gain 2 dB Q 1
Filter: ON PK Fc 8000 Hz Gain -2 dB Q 5
Filter: ON HSC Fc 11000 Hz Gain -3 dB Q 0.71

Conclusion:​

I know I'm going to ruffle some feathers for the mere suggestion that these Romanian deer antlers could possibly be better than the Hifiman Susvara, but it turned out to be the right fit for me. The Empyreans are the headphones you pick up after a long day at work. You just put them on and get lost for hours. You use them not to listen to your gear or source chain, but to just listen to the music. This is what I’ve been searching for, and I would be happy with these being my daily driver going forward. I wrote the entirety of this review while wearing them. Sure they may not be the most technical in any one aspect - the Susvara will remain the king of timbre, the Utopia has pinpoint imaging, and the TC has the visceral punch and rumble of its bass, but the Empyrean has enough of everything that presentation feels coherent and natural. The Empyrean is able to render electric guitars without dryness, have the amazing grunt of the sub-bass, and still make vocals lush and airy. It is what I would describe as having a “full sound." I think you would be hard pressed to find another headphone that can be as well rounded and musical as the Empyrean.
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frix
frix
Really good review. I agree on EQing. I use the same setting and once EQed the leather pads are the better choice with superior bass impact. The empy does improve a lot with EQ in terms of clarity.
T
turbofeet
Nice.
I EQ these (Oratory) as well as the Meze Elite's (jaakkopasanen) with great success.
They are both the most Enjoyable headphones I've ever heard.
Try some "Rage Against The Machine" (1992) on these cans - they rock!

icefalkon

Headphoneus Supremus
The Meze Empyrean Review
Pros: Fantastic sound
Easy to drive
Comfortable
Pick up every detail of the track
Cons: Price
Highs are pronounced on some recorded tracks
Pick up every detail of the track
The Meze Empyrean Review

By

Icefalkon


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When I received these from another Head-fi member as part of the review tour, I had to let them sit for a few days as my DAC has experienced some troubles. So, I unpacked them, went “oohhh…. ahhhh” over the box and the insanely good cables that came with them. Then about three days later I started listening to them. Now, these were a replacement as the original ones put on tour had a problem. The previous reviewer got to demo these for some extra time and burn them in before I got them. They are more than sufficiently burned in at the time of this review.



For this review, I will be using my Test Music microSD card attached to an iBasso DX220 MAX, an iBasso DX220 EX with AMP 8EX, and my Monolith 788. I will be using both Furukawa cables that come with the headphones and my own pure silver Litz cable consisting of 4 conductor 21AWG wire. The music in this review is an eclectic mix of the different genres all FLAC and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon in 512bit DSD format.



For starters, make no mistake, these are TOTL (Top of the Line) headphones made by Meze in Romania. These are the first Isodynamic Hybrid Array Driver Headphones ever produced. They were designed and created by Meze Audio and Rinaro Isodynamics, two companies known for their creativity and innovation in their fields of expertise. These are planar magnetic headphones of the highest quality. Everything about them is high end. From the feel of the cans themselves to the earpads to the comfort level, high end. The headphones are impeccably designed and feature a slew of innovations within. Also, of note these headphones are completely assembled by hand. Here are some pics and numbers for those who care.





Manufacturer: Meze Audio www.mezeaudio.com

ACCESSORIES

• Case: High-strength aluminum suitcase with foam inserts
• Two sets of earpads included: one real leather, one Alcantara
• Cable options:
- 2.5m OFC cable, 4pin mini XLR plugs ending with 6.3 jack connector
or
- 1.2m OFC cable, 4pin mini XLR plugs ending with 3.5 jack connector
or
- 2.5m OFC cable, 4pin mini XLR plugs ending with 4 pin XLR connector

*Vegan option available upon request.



EMPYREAN TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Driver Type: Rinaro Isodynamic

Operating Principle: Hybrid Array

Ear Coupling:

Frequency Response: 4 – 110,000 Hz

Impedance: 31.6Ω

Nominal SPL: 100dB (1mW / 1 kHz)

Maximum SPL: >130 dB

Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): <0.1%

Weight: - 430g

MZ3 DRIVER SPECIFICATIONS

*PHYSICAL*

Geometrical Shape: Ovoid

Size: 102mm x 73mm

Weight: 82g

Casing: Fiberglass Infused ABS

*DIAPHRAGM*

Type: Rinaro ISOPLANAR©

Active Area: 4650 mm2

Weight: 0.16g

Acoustic Mass: 10.7 kg/m4

Lower Frequency Limit: 4Hz

Upper Frequency Limit: 110.000Hz

*MAGNET ARRAY*

Type: Isodynamic

Size: 75mm x 49mm

Magnetic Flux: 0.35T

Warranty Period: 2 Years


These are beautifully designed and extremely comfortable to wear.


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As you can see, these headphones are top-notch and feature unparalleled engineering. After unpacking the unit, it was time to get down to business. Starting with the iBasso DX220 MAX using my own pure silver Litz cable with a 4.4mm connector. I began with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”. This song sounded amazing through the Empyreans. I head things that I never heard with any of the other headphones I own or have reviewed before. At the beginning of the song, in the left channel, I heard a melody that I never heard before. Also, one can hear an off-tempo guitar strumming in the background. It sounded as if I was in the studio with them. The piano and lead guitar were particularly beautiful, and the soundstage was expansive. These took one of my favorite songs of all time and made it new and fresh.

Moving on to “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang I found the highs a little pronounced, but the bass is excellent and headspace is superb. I was surprised by the tone of the highs so my next pick was for Emmerson Lake and Palmers, “Lucky Man”. The guitar was so vivid and clear it was surreal. The balance of tone in this piece is crazy. You can clearly hear the finger picks and the harmonies were spot on. Moving through twenty more songs I began getting a good feel for these. It was time for a more complicated track so “Tom Sawyer” by Rush seemed to fit the bill. Lee’s vocals are already high pitched so I wanted to see if the Empyreans would handle them nicely or make them sound shrill. I was pleasantly surprised that the highs did not sound as shrill as they did in the other song. I then cued up the iconic Beastie Boys “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right”. I wasn’t sure how this would sound on these, but I have to tell you…with a smile, this song kicked ASS on these headphones. Every single instrument was placed perfectly, the background cymbals were crisp, and the response was fast. The soundstage was prominent, and the texture of the sound was awesome. Thoroughly enjoyable!

Another high performer with these headphones was Def Leppard. Everything from “Foolin” to “Pour Some Sugar on Me” to “Two Steps Behind” sounded as if I was right there during a rehearsal. Again, these headphones are made to sound amazing across any genre, that is for sure.

At this point, I have to mention the most impressive live recording I heard on these headphones and that was “Bohemian Rhapsody” from Queen: Live at the Bowl. This is another song I use to judge the quality of headphones as this is a great recording with a lot of complex sounds coming at you in this live show. The detail was outstanding! Everything from the audiences’ response to Freddie Mercury singing, to the harmonics, was out of this world. When Brian May’s solo came in I was taken back to seeing them live myself…and to Wayne’s World! I can’t type or read this without laughing. This song was my absolute favorite with these headphones. Period!

Other songs of note that sounded over the top were:

Yesterday – John Lennon

Turn the Page – Bob Seger

Fur Elise – Beethoven

Southern Cross – Crosby, Stills & Nash

Suite #1 For Unaccompanied Cello – Bach (Performed by Yo-Yo Ma)

(I just) Died In Your Arms Tonight – Cutting Crew

Serenade #13 for Strings in G Minor – Mozart

Desperado – The Eagles

America – Razorlight

Baba O’Reilly – The Who

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – David Archuleta

Lift Me Up (featuring Rob Halford) – Five Finger Death Punch

I must give a special shout out to Tim McGraw’s “Don’t Take the Girl”. This song is also recorded exceptionally and everything about this track sounded amazing. The layering of sound and the texture brought out more emotion than I, or my wife, have ever heard and brought out with this song. The details of the steel guitar in the background and the placement of instruments was mind-blowing. If you do get to try these, I highly recommend this song, and I dare you to not get emotional during it.

WOW.

I moved on to the iconic “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd. This timeless album is a staple of many audiophiles and spans generations. There is no need to focus on any single song here, they all sounded ethereal and the quality of the sound was superb. Everything had an amazing “studio-like” quality to it. As if…one were right there with the recording engineers for the entire album. I cannot really express the crazy smile I was wearing the entire time I was listening to DSotM. It simply blew me away. What I can say is that I have never heard this album the way I have with these. OUTSTANDING!

What I noticed with these is that they are extremely versatile and easy to drive. The bass has an amazing impact for an open-back headphone. It was surprising and I kept taking them off in wonder! I swapped out the DX220 MAX to use my PC as the source feeding into my Monolith 788 DAC and out the balanced XLR port. The sound was just as good as with the DAP but I did notice some things that I did not before. The most important to relay is that vinyl rips did not sound very pleasant with these headphones. They are very precise, and with that being said, you hear every single nuance of the recording. IF you ripped from a vinyl record, you would hear the scratching of the vinyl. Also, of note is something I am always reminding people about, your headphones are only as good as the files you play. These will pick up every “wrong” detail just as easily as they pick up the “great” details of a song. Keep that in mind when considering purchasing these. I found that if I excluded all the vinyl rips in my collection, I would still have thousands of hours of amazing playtime with these and never miss the rips. But I felt it must be conveyed in the review.

I went back and forth to the DX220 MAX and the Monolith 788 for the better part of three weeks. I hit every genre in my collection, and nothing sounded less than amazing. There were a few tracks where the highs were more pronounced but after comparing with my other headphones, I determined that it was the recording of the track that produced the sound. The Empyreans come with two sets of magnetic earpads. The leather ones produced a tighter sound but the cloth ones were a joy to use. Going back and forth from leather to cloth was the real joy here as it was so easy. I did find that wearing the cloth ones was more pleasing to my ears both sound wise and comfort-wise. You can wear cloth earpads for hours on end without discomfort.



FINAL THOUGHTS

Well as my time with these came to a close, my listening became almost desperate. I wanted to hear EVERYTHING in my entire collection but there was simply not enough time. Personally, I listen to a lot of different genre’s but with these, I found my two favorites were Rock and Classical. These headphones, to me, sounded like they were made for these two genres. I loved everything about the Empyreans. The build quality is fantastic, the comfort level is outstanding, and the sound quality is WAY above this price point. I found that anything I threw at these headphones came out sounding awesome. The sound quality this produces really is at the top of the heap. There are not many things I say that I enjoy enough to want to own in this hobby anymore. These are not one of those things.

I want these.

Bravo Meze…Bravo.

Thanks for reading!
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icefalkon
icefalkon
H
Hoegaardener70
Thanks. I actually own the Empy and also the ab-1266 and Utopia. Both are clearly above the Empy in terms of SQ, imho. But the Empy is so fantastic even with modest gear, which for me is its real strong point.
icefalkon
icefalkon
@Hoegaardener70 my point was that they are right up there in sound and cost less. That, for me, equates to more bang for your buck.

rev92

Reviewer at Ear Fidelity
Meze Empyrean
Pros: Build quality
Accessories
Very mature, musically engaging and highly involving sound that is easy to love
Comfort
Plays every genre of music
Stunning looks
Fair price
Cons: Bass isn't the best i've heard
Not for neutral and crispy sound signature fans
p8420200.jpg

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.

Packaging

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


Cable

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.
Build quality

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.
Comfort

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.
Driver

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
Sound

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, vibrantshow 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.
Summary

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


    For more reviews visit ear-fidelity.com

Comments

Beagle

His body's not a canvas, and he wasn't raised by apes.
Very nice, well written review. But it sounds like it's a 'sound'.
 

Tekunda

100+ Head-Fier
You describe yourself as a bass guy, so I wonder if you ever had a chance to audition the Abyss 1266 phi Tc?
From what I have read here many times, they seem to have a superb bass performance and since I also listen to similar music you mentioned, they are on the very top of my audition list. I hope to get a chance to hear them at the highend show in Munich in May.
(But after your review, the Empyrean gained a spot right next to the Abyss on my list).
 

xEcuToR

500+ Head-Fier
Nice review. I have been A-B ING the Empyreans' with the 007 MK1 & Mk2s for the last few days and even my second favorite Stax the MK2 is outclassing the Empyrean on every parameter. In recordings with warm tonality, the Empyrean does pretty well, keeps up with the Mk2s but overall they fall short. It's a lovely looking headphone but only if it had a lighter and kink free wire and was available for $1000 , it would have been justified, personally speaking.
 

Beagle

His body's not a canvas, and he wasn't raised by apes.
Very nice, well written review. But it sounds like it's a 'sound'.
Your description of the sound would indicate to me that the FR response is sculpted as opposed to a neutral/balanced response..
 

WhiteZ

New Head-Fier
In addition to sounding musical they also sound cinematic when watching movies and the the surround effect when playing games with Windows 10's sonic surround feature is very good.
The pads make a significant difference; the sound signature of the leather ones is more bass heavy and intimate, while the signature of the alcantara pads is a bit more detailed and neutral while still having plenty of bass.
 

koover

Headphoneus Supremus
Very nice, well written review. But it sounds like it's a 'sound'.
Ok, gotcha. Yeah, I thought about that. I probably could have worded it better by saying they’re balanced with the bass being emphasized. Overall though, they are quite balanced to me. Thanx for the critique as im very open minded to others opinions and critique. I’ll get better in my skills the more reviews I do.
 

koover

Headphoneus Supremus
You describe yourself as a bass guy, so I wonder if you ever had a chance to audition the Abyss 1266 phi Tc?
From what I have read here many times, they seem to have a superb bass performance and since I also listen to similar music you mentioned, they are on the very top of my audition list. I hope to get a chance to hear them at the highend show in Munich in May.
(But after your review, the Empyrean gained a spot right next to the Abyss on my list).
No, I’ve never heard them but would like to. Since it seems you’ll be testing them soon in Munich, I’ll live precariously through you after you’ve had the opportunity to listen to them.
 

koover

Headphoneus Supremus
In addition to sounding musical they also sound cinematic when watching movies and the the surround effect when playing games with Windows 10's sonic surround feature is very good.
The pads make a significant difference; the sound signature of the leather ones is more bass heavy and intimate, while the signature of the alcantara pads is a bit more detailed and neutral while still having plenty of bass.
Yeah know, I have a killer home theater set up and for the life of me, I can’t believe I never listened to them for cinema. Well, when I eventually pick these up, it’ll be something I’ll try out right away. Thanx!
 

koover

Headphoneus Supremus
Nice review. I have been A-B ING the Empyreans' with the 007 MK1 & Mk2s for the last few days and even my second favorite Stax the MK2 is outclassing the Empyrean on every parameter. In recordings with warm tonality, the Empyrean does pretty well, keeps up with the Mk2s but overall they fall short. It's a lovely looking headphone but only if it had a lighter and kink free wire and was available for $1000 , it would have been justified, personally speaking.
I definitely understand they’re not for everyone. For me? I absolutely couldn’t get enough of them and became depressed (jokingly) when I had send to send them on.
 

Beagle

His body's not a canvas, and he wasn't raised by apes.
Very nice, well written review. But it sounds like it's a 'sound'.
Your review skills are top-notch. So much so that I could almost hear the headphone through the review. I was also a bit concerned about the FR being fit-dependent, since I had that problem with the HD820.
 
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