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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. Maxx134
    I hate to burst your bubbles.
    There has been a recent tendancy to stray away from neutral headphones, and resulting in genre specific headphones.
    The Verite is an example.
    It has a very eratic looking FR & CSD graph.
    To put it nicely, this is by no means a neutral headphone.
    I personally do not like it's sound, but I do like other "lesser" ZMF cans.

    This empyrean is more neutral than probably all of the other recent headphones that came out.
    The advantage of a neutral headphone cannot be underestimated.
    We want a true perception of the reproduction.
    We don't need to be component matching.

    While I personally would still choose a much cheaper looking made HEKV2 for a touch more on the upper end, I feel these two are very much in same league in high resolve.

    Few dynamics reach this level of resolve.
    Focal stelia&utopia can
    Denon 9200 can
    Sony Z1R can
    And Senn hd800 is above all these "dynamics" mentioned(in resolve).
    Yet I am not convinced that any other dynamics reached this level (resolve, not signature).
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
    Rowethren likes this.
  2. betula
    I agree with most of your points.

    I also prefer the Aeolus to the Verite from the ZMF headphones. It is personal taste. I respect and love Zach's work but no dynamic headphones can give me the bass I need.

    I would (and did) pick the Empy vs. HEKV2. I agree they are in the same league but very different sound presentation.

    Another thing that's worth mentioning is a brighter or slightly more elevated treble often conveys the false impression of more details/higher resolving capabilities...
    Currawong and Maxx134 like this.
  3. Maxx134
    Not even the Sony?
    It has the largest dynamic driver size.

    Good point.

    Agreed... It's a toss up over a preference choice.
    Yet the quality of the empyrean is so, so impressive that it does (admittedly) become a factor.

    I have loved and defended his work especially the Eikon, but lately both Zack & MrSpeakers have turned towards less and less neutral signatures which to me is dissapointing because they both have such immense potential.
    They practically force you to own more than one headphone.
    We're all guilty of that anyways lol.
    tradyblix likes this.
  4. Darthpool
    I have used it with my A&K sr15 not great but it works well enough :wink:

    I also have used it with the THX 788 and 789, SPL Phonitor XE and a bunch of other solid states, all sound great with the Verite.

    But as far as tubes go, I do think they have better synergy with tube amps. I found the (Mass)Drop Eddie Current ZDT Jr worked really well with them. It my current favorite pairing is my Bottlehead Crack w/Speedball and tube swapping. I also have a Cayin Ha-1a mkii that they sound great with.

    But everyone hears things differently and you just need to find your preference. Also to note pad swapping is noticeable with ZMF cans and can help narrow down preference. Another thing to note is the Verite does need breaking in...it was a cool experience hearing them change, nothing hugely drastic but enough to notice, at least for me.
    Maxx134 likes this.
  5. mixman
    All cans stray from neutral in one respect or another, The Empy, has that extra midbass thing and other cans have their own Let's face it, totally neutral cans would be boring and wouldn't sell, except to mixing and mastering engineers. People expect flavor.......just one that they like!
    tradyblix likes this.
  6. Rowethren
    Lucky I have the Z1R as my closed headphone at the moment then I guess :p
  7. bimmer100
    Definitely a basshead’s dream cans. My wife and I both love our z1r’s and certainly the best bass I’ve ever heard in a pair of headphones.
    akãjerovia likes this.
  8. betula
    When it comes to closed back dynamic headphones that is a different story. Closed backs do have a strong bass (TH900 for example) but all closed back dynamic headphones I have heard had an (over)emphasised (mid)bass. Planars have a balanced, more neutral, airy but impactful bass. I call it 'higher quality' bass. I haven't tried the Z1R, was never really drawn to it due to the many controversial opinions and the fact I don't like closed back headphones.

    I know my preference very well. I auditioned most ZMF headphones from a Hugo TT2/MScaler combo and when I shared my experience in ZMF threads I was told that combo is not 'enough' for ZMF cans, they need tubes. I find it ridiculous or if it is true (it is not) I am simply not interested in buying TOTL OTL amps atm when there are other great and more efficient headphone choices out there (Empy).
  9. Darthpool
    We are all on our own individual journeys in this hobby, If you like something who cares what others think. I found the Verite to scale well with all my sources, they definitely have better synergy with tube amps, from expensive to not. The Eddie Current ZDT Jr is $400, my Bottlehead Crack was around $500(I’m including supplies needed to build, it was probably closer to $600 if I include soldering station) and my Cayin Ha-1a mkii was $700 range. All sound great with the Verite. I’ve listened to a friends monoblock WA234 with the Verite and it was awesome, but don’t feel like I’m missing out going back to my tube amps.

    At the end of the day, do you, share “your” experiences, and have fun. Anyone that try’s to make decisions for you, or pushes what “they” believe, can be ignored. I’m all for learning, as long as it is from respectful people, I don’t have time for the other type :wink:

    Back on track, the Empyrean is growing on me, busy weekend and week, has not been good for quality listening though. I may have to bring them into the office and work in a concentration room with them on for a couple days to get a real feel for them. Maybe tomorrow =)
  10. betula
    I don't care about what others think in cases like this. I think on this level all of us have learnt to follow our own ears. I just thought I share my experience.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
    Darthpool and bimmer100 like this.
  11. LCMusicLover
    Agree, but very different tonality, as you suggest. I like them both, but for different reasons, and for different music and moods.
    I haven't heard the Verite, but based on my Auteur and Ether 2, I'd have to mildly disagree. Auteur sounds very neutral to me. E2, less so, but only due to somewhat recessed treble. And I don't hear it as significantly more rolled off than Empy. Plus, to me, Empy's mid-bass moves it at least as far away from neutral as E2. Note that both sound best from LP w/ Brimar CV-2492 tubes.

    For reference sake, I would call my HEKv2 my most neutral headphone, especially from Pontus / LP w/ Siemens CCa / Lazuli Ref chain. That followed closely by Blackwood Auteur from the same chain, and somewhat less closely by Utopia from same chain.
    Darthpool likes this.
  12. LeMat
    Docharsha89 likes this.
  13. tradyblix
    I use them with the Hugo2. You won't be disappointed.

    You might even find a new use for the Alcantara pads if you listen straight out of the Hugo2.

    You will want to use the leather in cases where you are more interested in detail and or using a warm amp tho.

    Never heard the original Hugo but I'm sure you can make it work with it if it's similar to the Hugo2.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  14. tradyblix
    I'm not asking about whether XLR is better in cases where you have an XLR choice on the amp. I'm asking about if it's okay to use an adapter on a cable that was terminated for XLR, or if it would make sense to get a whole new cable specifically terminated for that amp (ie, a new 1/4 inch cable). Because to me, using an adapter seemed okay.
  15. kumar402
    I think it’s better to get a high quality adapter instead of buying separate cables. Once you buy adapter you can use it with any headphones. A good adapter made with high quality connector and wire will not act as bottleneck.
    tradyblix and ls13coco like this.
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