Meze EMPYREAN - the First Isodynamic Hybrid Array Headphone
Jun 7, 2019 at 5:25 PM Post #3,933 of 12,066

mixman

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As someone here who is looking to get an Empyrean, I do find it funny we are comparing the sound of a $3K HP to what is now a $700 HP used and last listed at $1.2K. Starting to hear from many that I trust that the Empy’s lack the resolution they should have for such a TOTL HP. My preference at the end of the day would have been for some of that $3K put into the best resolution and less into aesthetics, because at the need of the day when you put those cans on the only thing that matters is sound and comfort. They have the comfort thing down but the sound......
 
Jun 7, 2019 at 5:33 PM Post #3,934 of 12,066

Hifiearspeakers

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As someone here who is looking to get an Empyrean, I do find it funny we are comparing the sound of a $3K HP to what is now a $700 HP used and last listed at $1.2K. Starting to hear from many that I trust that the Empy’s lack the resolution they should have for such a TOTL HP. My preference at the end of the day would have been for some of that $3K put into the best resolution and less into aesthetics, because at the need of the day when you put those cans on the only thing that matters is sound and comfort. They have the comfort thing down but the sound......

Although I agree with everything you said here, there is another element of sound that shouldn’t be overlooked, and that is subjective preference. Not everyone wants a super-highly detailed/analytical headphone. Some might prefer a more laid back sound or a warmer signature. And there’s nothing wrong with that either.
 
Jun 7, 2019 at 5:37 PM Post #3,935 of 12,066

mixman

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Although I agree with everything you said here, there is another element of sound that shouldn’t be overlooked, and that is subjective preference. Not everyone wants a super-highly detailed/analytical headphone. Some might prefer a more laid back sound or a warmer signature. And there’s nothing wrong with that either.
Ah, but as you already know with the 4Z and remember you are the one telling me this.......you can have that resolution without being super analytical......correct?
 
Jun 7, 2019 at 5:41 PM Post #3,936 of 12,066

Pharmaboy

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Although I agree with everything you said here, there is another element of sound that shouldn’t be overlooked, and that is subjective preference. Not everyone wants a super-highly detailed/analytical headphone. Some might prefer a more laid back sound or a warmer signature. And there’s nothing wrong with that either.

Again, I totally agree. If it's resolution & detail you seek, probably better to get an HD800 or Utopia (or among planars, the HE-1000 v2 or Susvara). But if it's musicality, natural tone, a slightly warm, relaxed/organic sound--it's the Empyrean. Or the HEX v2. Or just about any of the ZMF dynamics, for that matter.

Particularly when spending real $$ on headphones (any audio gear) it helps if you really know what kind of sound you love, then go for that. There are always bigger/better implementations of your favored sound (more $$).

But even if you score an inexpensive example of headphone sound you really don't go for, it would feel like a bad purchase.
 
Jun 7, 2019 at 5:41 PM Post #3,937 of 12,066

Hifiearspeakers

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Ah, but as you already know with the 4Z and remember you are the one telling me this.......you can have that resolution without being super analytical......correct?

To a degree, yes. But it’s all relative right? My analytical can is the Sennheiser 800S. I didn’t buy the 4Z to trump it, I bought it to compliment it. But to my ears, the 4Z is more resolving than the Empyrean, but less than the 800S, Utopia, and possibly the HEKse, for example.
 
Jun 7, 2019 at 5:42 PM Post #3,938 of 12,066

Hifiearspeakers

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Again, I totally agree. If it's resolution & detail you seek, probably better to get an HD800 or Utopia (or among planars, the HE-1000 v2 or Susvara). But if it's musicality, natural tone, a slightly warm, relaxed/organic sound--it's the Empyrean. Or the HEX v2. Or just about any of the ZMF dynamics, for that matter.

Particularly when spending real $$ on headphones (any audio gear) it helps if you really know what kind of sound you love, then go for that. There are always bigger/better implementations of your favored sound (more $$).

But even if you score an inexpensive example of headphone sound you really don't go for, it would feel like a bad purchase.

Spot on.
 
Jun 7, 2019 at 5:45 PM Post #3,939 of 12,066

ken6217

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As someone here who is looking to get an Empyrean, I do find it funny we are comparing the sound of a $3K HP to what is now a $700 HP used and last listed at $1.2K. Starting to hear from many that I trust that the Empy’s lack the resolution they should have for such a TOTL HP. My preference at the end of the day would have been for some of that $3K put into the best resolution and less into aesthetics, because at the need of the day when you put those cans on the only thing that matters is sound and comfort. They have the comfort thing down but the sound......

Why don’t you listen to the headphones you are contemplating and make your own decision Instead of asking other people.
 
Jun 7, 2019 at 5:52 PM Post #3,940 of 12,066

mixman

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To a degree, yes. But it’s all relative right? My analytical can is the Sennheiser 800S. I didn’t buy the 4Z to trump it, I bought it to compliment it. But to my ears, the 4Z is more resolving than the Empyrean, but less than the 800S, Utopia, and possibly the HEKse, for example.
So then you can have a that same relaxed sound signature and a little more resolution with on can? For me, that would be what I say should be done. Have the best resolution and sq as possible and a little less with the aesthetics.
 
Jun 7, 2019 at 5:55 PM Post #3,941 of 12,066

mixman

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Why don’t you listen to the headphones you are contemplating and make your own decision Instead of asking other people.


Maybe consider the fact that I have listened to the Empyrean and that’s why I am considering them. I would not speak about HP’s I have never heard, but I have not owned all of the TOTL HP’s, so I ask those that have.
 
Jun 7, 2019 at 6:56 PM Post #3,943 of 12,066

kumar402

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As someone here who is looking to get an Empyrean, I do find it funny we are comparing the sound of a $3K HP to what is now a $700 HP used and last listed at $1.2K. Starting to hear from many that I trust that the Empy’s lack the resolution they should have for such a TOTL HP. My preference at the end of the day would have been for some of that $3K put into the best resolution and less into aesthetics, because at the need of the day when you put those cans on the only thing that matters is sound and comfort. They have the comfort thing down but the sound......
HD800 or 800s will give all resolution if that is what you are after
 
Jun 8, 2019 at 12:48 AM Post #3,945 of 12,066

irishnutter

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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I wish I had access to listen to these phones but in my area (Tampa), it's mostly Senns. The nearest Meze dealer is 4 hours away. I'd love to hear the various ZMF options also but that's not the easiest thing to do either.

I've only gotten into head-fi recently but am spending way more time with this setup vs. firing up the big 2-channel rig. I've had some extreme 2-channel systems over the past 30 years but rarely had a decent headfi rig other than some Stax in the late 80s. My most recent path started with the THX00, then the Nighthawks, then the HexV2. The Hifiman was far superior to the other two (for me at least). And since I'm really enjoying them, I was just curious about viable upgrade options, and then figuring out how to actually hear them.

I do have an Audeze dealer about 40 mins away, so I might see if they happen to have a demo 4z which was mentioned.

I know I could focus on upgrading the electronics/cabling as well but I really wanted to check out the headphones first to see how well the Cayin gear scales.

Like many, I'm sucked in by the looks of the Empy and the lengthy R&D effort that went into the product appeals to me. But if it's really mostly a lateral move sonically, it's probably not the right move. I do like the musical tonality of the Hex which is why I thought the Empy, or Auteur/Verite, or the other Hifimans would likely be better options than Senns/Focal/etc.
 

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