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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
    I don’t know how you can understand a review when you can’t understand a comment. I said you’re a snob, not an AH. However as you said let’s be done. Please go back to your ivory castle and listen to your “in your mind” top-of-the-line Hugo.
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  2. betula
    My frustrated friend. If you knew how much of a financial sacrifice it was for me to get to this level, you wouldn't talk about ivory castles.
    With some financial discipline you can get here too and perhaps that will ease your bitterness for all of our sake.
    Hoegaardener70 likes this.
  3. Imusicman
    Guys, can we please move on

    Happy Listening
    tradyblix, bimmer100 and betula like this.
  4. ken6217
    My friend, no bitterness. Checkout my profile page. My rig is north of $15k.

    I was standing up for the people in the hobby that don’t have the means.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  5. mixman
    TOTL gear? Where is your Dave, where is your dCS Bartok and many much more expensive setups? Keep in mind for others what you have is mid fi.....it's all relative. Also, while many can hear the differences in headphones easily many cannot hear that difference in associated gear and thus no need for them to get that more expensive piece of kit.
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  6. betula
    I don't get it then but I am still happy to hear a cold-minded explanation why you think it is not important to match high-end headphones with high-end gear.
  7. betula
    I was accused being super rich, hence my comments. It is all relative, as you say. I couldn't afford a Bartok or a Dave at the moment.

    All I said was, TOTL headphones should be paired with matching gear. I haven't read a logical counter argument, just mud throwing so far.
  8. CaptainFantastic
    Can't afford a Dave? Then how dare you, sir, buy the Empyrean. I just do not understand it.
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  9. betula
    Ok, so you are suggesting it is difficult to draw the line what counts as 'adequate enough' for a TOTL headphone. Fair point.
    I know, RRP is a very tricky thing in audio, but I would suggest to spend approximately the same amount of money on DAC/amp what you spend on your dream headphones.
    How about that?
  10. latestyle
    In the spirit of moving forward. For TOTL type of cans like Empyrean that are pretty easy to drive, one could enjoy comparatively superlative sound out of "lower-tiered" set up than via similarly-easy-to-drive cans that are less accomplished.

    People have different sweet spots. Some may be content listening to Empys on "mid-fi" (however that's defined) and decide that the law of diminishing return after a certain point is not worth the obsession. I'd much rather listen to the Empys through my LG phones in the office than, I dunno, AirPods. I'm sure many would agree. I guess you can think of "scalability" in this sense, to apply to the lower end of the spectrum than the higher?

    This doesn't mean of course that Empys don't scale up with uber-nice gear. Of course they do. But the notion that one must match high-end cans with high-end gear sounds dogmatic to me, much less make logical sense for cans like Empys that sound pretty damn awesome from humbler gear, and for many, perfectly lovable, enjoyable & bees' knees =).
    kid vic and Hifiearspeakers like this.
  11. CaptainFantastic
    Logical counter argument:

    A man or woman has 5k to spend on a set up for headphone enjoyment. Does he/she:

    a) spend 1000 EUR on what is now seen as mid-fi headphones and 4000 EUR on DAC/AMP?


    b) spend 4000 on TOTL headphones and 1k on an the DAC/AMP?

    Some of us, from experience, have decided that by far the most important factor in the audiophile experience are the headphones themselves, then, way further back, the DAC/AMP.

    So yes, you are wrong to say that for EVERYONE only option (a) can be right.

    My experience which I am sure is shared by others: I can hear a massive difference between my mid-fi HD-600/650 and TOTL LCD-MX4 when listening out of the same RME ADI-2. I did go with my MX4 to an audiophile shop and paired it with much higher end gear and the difference was minor. The Empyrean is a similarly low impedance headphone and while it may scale up better than the MX4, you see my point - for many audiophiles the headphones themselves make the biggest difference, so it is absolutely normal to invest the majority of money there as long as the DAC/AMP is at least decent.

    I also listened at the same shop to the Empyrean during 2-sessions of about one hour. I walked away thinking I am not sure I prefer it to the MX4 (which I love, so this is a compliment to the Empyrean).
    kid vic and Hifiearspeakers like this.
  12. ken6217
    It’s not about that. Why shouldn’t everybody have the right to buy these headphones even if they don’t have top of the line gear to go along with it?

    These headphones will make any level source component sound better. Will you get more out of it with better gear? Yes, but you can still enjoy it with all gear.
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  13. betula
    A calm voice is welcomed. Thanks for your input.
    I can understand why someone is buying the Empyrean with a Magni 3 for instance, but can't accept that this individual would never want to upgrade that Magni 3. (Exaggerated example on purpose.)
    Yes, the Empyrean sounds good out of many budget amps. But I would argue that Magni 3 with Empyrean is more enjoyable than let's say an LCD2 out of Qutest and Taurus MKII or a Focal Clear out of an iFi Pro iDSD combo. All being around the same price.
    I think it is important to get the priorities right. Many folks go for expensive headphones without improving their gear. I think that's not necessarily the best route.
  14. betula
    See my other recent posts regarding how to share money between headphones and gear. I suggested 50-50.
    The Empyreans (and the LCD4Z or HEXV2) and all other 'efficient' headphones scale (not, but) almost as well as the historically 'difficult to drive' headphones in my experience.
    Saying a TOTL headphone is efficient enough to be driven from a DAP is pure marketing. (Sure, it will be loud enough but will lack dynamics, details, extension, and so on.)
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  15. Hoegaardener70
    I thought the whole raison d’être of the Empyrean is - at least to a degree- exactly that it does not need a chord Dave to be properly driven. It’s part of its appeal. I have heard it at a 11k dac, and then I plugged it into my ifi micro black label. Guess what? It still sounded nice.

    Saying that, betula is of course right with the scaling. But some need it more than others, and the empy —- thankfully —— less so than the other TOTLs. I love it for that.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
    xxx1313 and Hifiearspeakers like this.
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