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tooooo be.... I'll pass
Love it......where do I sign up?
"Black Copper" in comparison to "Gunmetal"
Both are nice and I could live with either of them, but I prefer my 'original' pair's more subtle look. (If the Empyrean can look 'subtle' at all. )
The copper is a bit over the top for me just like the gold on the 99's.
Can't help to see strong ressemblance with a mtb Fox fork with kashima coating!
Seriously, this copper version is nice but a bit over the top indeed. Copper is always difficult to judge on picture though.
W T F lovely.
Empyrean or utopias? Still pick empyrean if then both would sell for same price? Which is funnier to listen?
I assume by 'funnier' you mean 'more fun'. I'd say Empy is 'funner'. Utopia can be a bit demanding of the listener's attention. Empy much less so. On the other hand, Utopia has that knife-edge sharp detail. To my ears, Empy has a more enveloping headstage, while Utopia's stage/imaging is more precise. Also to my ears, they are both very good, and compliment each other. I can easily imagine someone keeping both
Thank you for your answer!
Bit of an over reaction there... In the case of Hifiman they actually changed the sound. With the Meze it is just colour changes, really not the end of the world!
I was only joking I like the copper color. If I didn’t have a set I’d buy them.
As seen at Axpona 2018... not bad actually... that color scheme is growing on me.
Why the Empyrean is the best headphone under £3000 in 2019?
Let's have a look at the prices of the competition. Reviews and this forum have defined the competition; headphones the Empyrean is most often compared to.
1, Audeze LCD4, 4z, 24 (£3239-3599)
With its £2699 (£2749) retail price the Empyrean is significantly more affordable. Also much lighter and more comfortable (430g vs 540g (24) / 610g (4z) / 710g (4)).
Preferred sound signature is down to personal preference. I do like Audeze sound, I love their bass. I think the LCD2C kills any headphones under £1000. To my ears the LCD4 has slightly better bass than the Empyrean, but the mids and treble on the Empyrean are a little bit more natural and airy. Even though I am a bass addict, I choose the 9/10 bass of the Empyrean versus the 10/10 bass of the LCD4 because of the level of benefits the Meze flagship brings in the upper-mids and treble: more lifelike, more breathable. And a 9/10 bass is still world class bass.
2, HiFiMan HE1000SE (£3249)
Again, much more expensive than the Empyrean. Extremely spacious, tall and wide sound. A fair alternative, if this is what you like. To my taste the treble can be too bright and bass can lack impact. Not always as focused as I like it.
3, Abyss Phi TC (£4950)
Sure it is awesome, but for almost twice the price of the Empyreans? Also, it is hard to drive like Susvara.
4, HiFiMan Susvara (£5699)
HiFiMan has designed a 20W amplifier to drive them. And they cost way more than two Empyreans.
5, Final D8000 (£2999)
Still more expensive and heavier than the Empyrean. And most reviews say it is rather V shaped.
6, Focal Utopia (£3495)
Crazy detailed, but often sounds too forward, too bright and bass light. Often feels like a microscope, not necessarily the most pleasurable headphone.
7, MrSpeaker's Ether 2 (£1900)
Significantly cheaper, significantly lighter. Unfortunately all comparison reviews and forums say they are not quite on the same sound quality level of the (more expensive!) competition.
From these flagship and for sure awesome headphones I have only tried the LCD4, Utopia and the HE1000SE. Relying on trustworthy sources I am pretty sure I would like the sound of the Abyss but not the rest.
To answer our original question: 'why the Empyrean is the best headphone under £3000' is simply because almost all the competition cost more. All the headphones below this price range sounded much inferior to my ears. (Focal Clear, LCD2, LCD3 and so on.)
For nitpickers let's have a quick look on secondhand market too.
Top LCDs go around £2500-3000. Abyss just over £3000, HiFiMans drop to almost half their retail price. same is true for Focal (£1600-2500). Ether 2 is around £1500.
I haven't seen many Empyreans on the secondhand market, but if one appears it goes quickly around £2200-2300.
In my opinion secondhand market often reflects value better than retail prices. Of course, the choice between these TOTL headphones most of all comes down to personal preference.
Still, I think we can see a pattern regarding the Empyrean what value it offers both when it comes to price and sound quality in this crazy-priced flagship headphone world.
If you are as lucky as I was, you can negotiate that retail price pretty close to £2000 which leaves you with a world-class headphone that cost 40% less than the average RRP of the competition. I am not expecting anyone to follow my taste and route, but I think I am settled with my Empys for the foreseeable future.
Meze has definitely created a jewel and a mile stone in headphone world. Perhaps, technically the Empyreans offer 'only' 90% of technicalities that exist in 2019, but for sure it gives you 110% musicality. Looking at the overall package, price to performance ratio they seem unbeatable. As always, YMMV.