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Meze EMPYREAN - the First Isodynamic Hybrid Array Headphone

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by MezeTeam, Feb 9, 2018.
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  1. mixman
    I see you have an HEK SE along with the Empyrean. What do you feel are the tonal and soundstage differences between the two?
  2. LeMat
    Thanks! Finally a more contrasted comparison between the 2!
    I see you have the HE1000SE as well. Any comparison would be appreciated!
  3. popof94
    I sold my SE 1 month ago. I don’t like the Hifiman headphones: not the Susvara, and not the HE1000V2 or SE too.
    On live music, on all Hifiman headphones except the HE6SE we are placed far from the stage. we have a large soundstage of the theater but none of the musicians. on the Meze as on the D8000 we are placed near the musicians. the soundstage is created between the musicians.
    The tonal of the SE is good for me except some hiss on treebles. It’s the one I prefer from the 3 high ends Hifiman headphones. But at the end I prefer the bass and sub bass, and the incredibly rich medium of the Meze.
    The Meze, the D8000, the 009S and the Utopia are actually my prefered headphones. The Empyrean the one I listen every days.

    Recently I bought the TC from Abyss but I realy prefer the empyrean.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  4. tradyblix
    The serial is also written in the card in the top left foam of the case.

    It seems like from your post and photo its time to update your sig :wink:
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
    Jwakeford likes this.
  5. mixman
    Thanks for the comparison. I actually like that airy distant feeling of the Hifiman, but I am also looking for a contrast to that, as long as it doesn’t have too warm a sound. It’s been a while since I have heard the Empyrean so I am trying to figure out whether it aligns to my present taste.
    tradyblix likes this.
  6. LCMusicLover
    Yes, I have both. Frankly, I wouldn't call either 'bright', and it's not really a 'this is warmer than that' story. E2 has a bit of recessed treble but is pretty linear otherwise. Empy has a bit of emphasized mid-bass/lower mids, which to me make it seem a bit warmer, in contrast to the slightly more emphasized treble, which make it seem a bit brighter.
    Mostly agree with this, although I would have said:
    Empyrean with leather pads > Empyrean with velour pads > Ether 2 with standard pads
    Apparently my head isn't so big -- I've not been troubled by the clamping force.
    Agree that E2 seems 'thinner', but disagree about sub-bass and headstage. I find the E2 bass very well extended, with great character. E2 stage is open and expansive while Empy stage is enveloping. To me, Empy seems 'lush' while E2 seems 'spare'. And for me, voices can go either way, depending on the singer and the mix. And, I (politely I hope) disagree with the overall assessment of of E2 being 'nothing to compare' with Empy. I like them both as Empy has really been growing on me. But E2 is wonderful for tracks which are mixed to have an open, airy stage (Loreena McKennitt).

    Honestly, at first listen, Empy might seem more appealing as it has a more 'fun', accessible tonality, while E2 can seem leaner and less musical. But over time, Empy turns out to have excellent technicalities which overcome it's 'fun' facade, while E2 presents a refined and detailed soundscape.

    BTW, switching to a silver cable, swapping tubes in my Liquid Platinum amp (from Siemens E88CC/CCa to Brimar CV-2492) and rolling in a Gumby vs my Denafrips Pontus DAC all have helped me appreciate the Empy more. Note that I only use the suede Empy pads -- I find the leather Empy pads to be too warm (tonally, not temperature).
    Chidi, Currawong and xxx1313 like this.
  7. popof94
    I just bought here a silver cable for the Meze. We will see when it arrive.
    tradyblix likes this.
  8. xxx1313
    Silver cables are great for the Empyrean, imo. It sounds spectacular with my Norne Einvaldi (silver hybrid) cable, for example.
    Wildcatsare1 likes this.
  9. popof94
    xxx1313 likes this.
  10. xxx1313
  11. popof94
    Of course:beyersmile:
  12. SammYyYyY
    Ahh yes. The Tazzy, I've also considered that. How do you think it compares to the Hugo 2? I'm thinking of getting a Hugo 2; I've seen brand new sealed units go for 1800 in eBay and Chord transfers the warranty as long as it's purchased within the same region. I've read that the H2 is what Meze recommends themselves, and the idea of a transportable is really nice; the ability to connect it to my phone with BT and just casually listen on the couch or bed would be amazing.
  13. lazard
    I've been mainly using a portable setup (Headstage Arrow 5TX EBB + CIEM) due to work travel. Looking to buy the Empyrean for home use. Since the arrow is most likely not ideal, seeking recommendations for a dac + amp to pair with the empyrean...looking to spend around $1K max.
  14. tradyblix
    They sound quite different. Hugo 2 is a pretty amazing dac... it's certainly got something special to it. It's kind of in the timing of the music to me more than the resolution, although it certainly has it. It can be kinda unforgiving tho on some types of music depending on your transport, even if you use the filters. You'll understand when you hear it. But you'll also understand when listening to high res sources with it how good it is. Also the weird color gecko eyes really grow on you. I get excited seeing the main light light up gold for 96khz, etc. It has crossfeed options too. And yeah, if you want something portable that has surprising power for its size and a high end dac, it's hard to go wrong with it, plus it has bluetooth although I never use it. It really complements the Empy well. I suppose if you're getting a Hugo2, you really ought to consider if you want something portable or whether it might make sense to go direct to Hugo TT 2. Because you are going to want a Hugo TT 2 or an M Scaler, or both after you get it :)

    The tazzy on the other hand is really built like a tank, it's build quality is very satisfying. It's a much more laid back sound, smoother, more relaxed, not quite as resolving or having that special timing that the Hugo does, but still great. More chill for long listening sessions when you might not want a super analytical dac. It amp doesn't seem to have as much headroom as the Hugo does, but it is better to adjust volume levels. Give me a nice slow volume pot with fine adjustments anyday on an amp :)
    Probably wouldn't be my pick for power hungry headphones like Abyss or Susvara, etc but it's good with a variety of cans I've used with it. I like it's ergonomics and output choices, and I like its features to emulate an analog sound and DSD resampling of sources. It's great if you have differently terminated headphones, since it supports a wide array of options. I've also tried them together, hugo as dac and tazzy as amp, but I tend to prefer them separate. I'm not sure they have the right synergy together.

    Gotten spine tingling moments from both. There's alot of great dac/amps out there tho. Think of the Benchmark DAC series or Holo Audio, or Schiit, and all the tube amps out there. Truly a great time to be headphone enthusiast.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  15. SammYyYyY
    Brilliant! Thanks for the feedback. Looks like the H2 is gonna be more my cup of tea. I heard the Empy on the WA11, WA8, and FiiO Q5 at CanJam, and of those 3, I liked the Q5 the most (I think this has to do with the fact that the Woo amps are all very warm while the Empys are pretty warm as is). Since that was the case, I originally was gonna go for a THX AAA 789/RME ADI-2 DAC combo; that is until I realized how cheap you can get the H2 used (or even sometimes new if you get lucky, a brand new sealed unit sold for like 1700 on eBay about a month back). Size, portability, and whether the DAC/Amp is a combo unit isn't really a concern, but the transportable factor of the H2 is just a bonus to me. I would love to be able to get a TT2/MScaler combo, but that's outta my budget. The H2 is about as far out as I can go. If I could chose anything I think I'd chose either a TT2/MScaler or the Benchmark DAC3/HPA4 combo unit, that sounded amazing coming out of the Hifiman Susvaras. And on the Holo DAC, I contacted Meze earlier this week asking for recommendations under 2 grand, and they recommended the Holo Spring DAC (I didn't specify that I was okay with used though, so I suspect they'd jump to the H2 in that case). I suspect that if I ever find the H2 harsh, I could throw on the Alcantara pads and put the warmest filter on and be good to go.
    bimmer100 and tradyblix like this.
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