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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. ken6217
    It's not just that, the law of diminishing returns set in when you get to the higher pricing. Also price ism necessarily an indicator of better sound. I sold my dCs Debussy DAC that cost $12k, and replaced it with a Metrum Pavane that was less than half the price and it sounds so much better to me.
    kid vic and mixman like this.
  2. jlbrach
    total agreement that if you have a top end DAC you need a top end HP to be able to appreciate it
    betula likes this.
  3. mixman
    Yes I do agree. Also didn't think I needed to mention that law of diminishing returns since that would be preaching to the choir since we all know this well. That law definitely applies even to headphones too!

    I am glad you mentioned that price is not an absolute indication of better sound as many here seem to think you can just buy your way to sonic bliss rather than carefully choosing your components well, so that there is a sonic synergy in place.
  4. triggsviola
    “Useless” is a bit strong. I have two setups: my office has the Yggy/Euforia/Utopia setup and my nightstand has a Mimby/Vali2/HD6XX setup. Every once in awhile I’ll bring the Utopias into the bedroom and, while not as detailed or holographic or whatever audiophile term you want, I still got a lot more enjoyment out of it than with the HD6XX. The main reason I don’t have the Utopia in there all the time is because sometimes I fall asleep while listening (not a good idea with $4000 strapped to your head). They’re certainly not useless out of the Mimby/Vali2. If I HAD to sell something to get over a hump, it’d probably be the Yggy. Then later on down the road I can try something different like a Denafrips or a Chord. In my experience (and I’ve always been told by people with more wisdom than me) is that the biggest different comes from the transducer.
    Hoegaardener70, up late and Bern2 like this.
  5. LCMusicLover
  6. kid vic
    My vote is that you sell the Utopia; the reason being is that I found it to be a very average sounding headphone. I personally thought that the treable and mids were nothing special, the bass was lacking, the soundstage was small and the imaging was good. I personally think that there are a lot of similar sounding headphones at much lower prices. I think that one of the reasons that so many Utopias are on sale and why they are selling for such low prices.
    I understand why you like them I just personally think you could get another neutral-bright headphone to do what it does more or less equally.
    Hifiearspeakers and mixman like this.
  7. Roasty
    After having had some more time with the empy and utopia..

    My impressions:
    Utopia + woo audio 22 + nice tubes = an enjoyable and engaging listening time. No lack of bass. Awesome up top smoothness but still crystal clear. Keep wanting to listen more.
    Utopia + hpa4 = super clean and analytical, bordering on bright. Fast sounding combo. Gets a bit tiring tho.
    Empy + hpa4 = smooth and pleasant all round. Flattish signature. No harshness at all. Oodles of bass and midbass. Sometimes prefer with suede pads..
    Empy + wa 22 = bass monster lots of impact and sub bass. Adds a bit of edginess to the empy. Soundstage is big.

    If I had to choose.. Utopia + wa22. So much fun and character.
    Hoegaardener70 and up late like this.
  8. Hoegaardener70
    Thanks for your perspective, but this is not what I hear with the utopia (i summarised my impressions vs the empy in an earlier post). But we all hear different.

    @Roasty - yes, that comes close to my finding, the empy is the smooth „feed me anything and I’ll bring out relaxed music“ vs the unpredictable Utopia‘s „here is what I make out of music“ - and often it is exciting - approach.
  9. wojpol
    I once owned three headphones: Meze Empyrean, Focal Utopia and Final D8000. I now own two, having sold the Utopias. Utopias had a thin, bright sound compared to Empys and D8000s. No one here mentions owning the Japanese Final D8000 headphones. Amazing sounding headphones which can compete with Empyreans and even beat them. I am old now and still have all my music on CD & vinyl. No DACS, etc. for me, just a decent single CD player and turntable will satisfy me. I do own a great Yamaha S2100 amplifier. Those members here that love the Focal Utopia headphones, like I did for awhile, because it was my first high end headphone purchase and I had nothing else to compare them to, will change their minds if they ever listen to top planar magnetic headphones. The dynamic driver headphones are too bright sounding, in your face and lack bass.

    I am anxiously waiting for the new ear pads for the Empys. Does anyone know if Meze Audio was asking for suggestions from customers as to what kind of sound they wanted the new ear pads to deliver?
  10. mixman
    Not all Dynamics are bright just Focals, Beyers and HD800’s. Try ZMF, definitely not bright, they are warm sounding dynamics.
  11. betula
    New Empy review out there. Honestly, I thought he will be a little more impressed.
  12. ken6217
    Why? I think he pretty much nailed it. I don't think anyone that owns it would disagree with his characterization of it. A headphone can't do everything. There are going to be tradeoffs with any headphone, and what this headphone does for my listening experience, makes it the best headphone I have ever owned.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  13. mixman
    I thought that was a really good review of the Empy. You have to realize not everyone will love the Empy’s sound signature. Some actually hate it. I think the Empy is turning out to be one of the most universally liked TOTL headphones. I think it’s remarkable that many across all genre’s of music like these. You can’t say these headphones are just for.......pick your favorite genre of music.
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  14. LCMusicLover
    Better than his Ether 2 review.
    I think it’s a pretty accurate review. He’s a little vague in his characterization of Empy’s tonality, but that’s just his style.

    My only area of disagreement w/ this review is his characterization of Empy’s imaging and headstage. He seems to consider HD-800 stage to be the bullseye. I agree that by comparison Empy stage is more intimate. I call it enveloping. But I wouldn’t call it a negative — I actually find Empy’s stage quite engaging.
    tradyblix likes this.
  15. tradyblix
    I have both both the empyrean and the utopia and that would be a difficult one for me. I feel like between these 2's radically different presentations I have all my bases covered honestly and would not want to let either go. If it were one tho, it would be the Utopia. For a couple reasons, one, the empyrean is finer from a build quality point of view and two I can probably get more money for it on the secondary market. But I'd never, honestly. Not yet.

    I saw Joshua Valour's review. I tended to agree with everything he said. I think he did a fair review. I mean I used to own the HD800 and while it's a fine headphone, especially if you only listen to classical there's no way I'd want to go back to it compared to the Empyrean, smaller "soundstage" be damned lol. Could you even imagine listening to electronic or rap music on a stock HD800 after owning any high end planar ?

    I appreciate all the time and effort the YouTube reviewers put into making reviews for everyone. The only thing I don't like is when they start getting little cults going on where people are constantly using them as their reasoning for why some headphones are better than others instead of their own ears or when they are not thinking for themselves but taking the word of reviewers alone. That's the only thing that gets on my nerves about it.
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