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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. MacedonianHero Contributor
    I'm listening to Liam Galagher's newest release "Why Me, Why Not?" on Qobuz tonight with my Empyrean right out of my Chord DAVE (and their upgraded silver plated PCHUD cable) and these headphones just rock! They just disappear into the background due to their transparency and comfort. The DAVE is such a revealing source and these headphones can keep up with it! Going back and forth with my Hugo2, you can really hear the differences thanks to the Empy's drivers.
    betula and xxx1313 like this.
  2. John Blackshear
    Recently purchased these cans and I’m floored by how great these are!!
    kid vic, Jvincent, Rowethren and 3 others like this.
  3. betula
    I have just ordered my pure silver cables for my Empyrean from Lavricables. I am looking forward to hearing it and potentially writing a brief review about them.
    What is your experience with silver cables on the Empyrean?
  4. Art Garfunkel
    I did. Let me know when I have permission to pass further judgement.
  5. betula
    This thread is supposed to be an Empyrean appreciation thread. It has been anything like that in the past month or so. I appreciate the work of mods but perhaps they should be a bit more strict with deleting inappropriate/irrelevant content?

    Here is some appreciation to the Empyrean with the intention of starting a new chapter in the stormy history of this thread.

    I have tried many headphones from all kind. I have realised that I need planar bass. No dynamic driver is able to produce the bass extension, flat bass response, bass clarity and authority of planar transducers. Perfect bass is mission critical to me as I mostly listen to progressive ambient, electronic kind of music. Bass layers are extremely important in this genre.
    I do listen to everything else as well, including some classical music every now and then so I need kind of an all-rounder. I am also not a headphone collector. I want one pair which works when it is on my head.

    My sub £1000 favourite was the LCD2C. I simply loved the bass performance. Upper-mids and treble of course wasn't on par with similarly priced offerings, but the bass kept me hooked. For this reason I rejected to upgrade to the Focal Clear, HE6, HEXV2 and so on... I knew I am missing out in the upper registers but couldn't let that punchy bass go.

    When I first auditioned the Empyrean it was a shock. For the first time ever I felt everything is in place and nothing is missing. The HD800S sounds awesome, but the treble can be a bit hot and bass authority is missing. Utopia is fantastic, but still the bass doesn't give me what I want (extension, punch). LCD4 bass is sublime. Even a notch better than the Empyrean but the rest of the sound is shadowed, recessed.

    The Empyrean gives me 90% of the perfect bass of the LCD4 and it also gives me more lifelike vocals and a much more airy treble where instruments can breathe.
    Not to mention comfort on long term listening sessions.

    With the Empyrean I feel I hardly sacrifice anything compared to the LCD4 but gaining a lot!

    The Empyrean is £2700 at the moment, but if you are lucky you can negotiate that price pretty close to £2000. That is like 40-50% discount compared to other flagship headphones.

    The Empyrean might lack the last 5-10% of resolution compared to the Susvara or Abyss TC but those headphones cost twice as much.

    If your budget is £2000-2500 for headphones the Empyrean is simply the best. They absolutely slaughter anything else below this price point and compete with headphones cost significantly more.
    nwavesailor, xxx1313 and Beagle like this.
  6. Roasty
    I have the lavricable grand line for the empy. Cable looks fantastic. Sounds good to me, detailed highs and tight bass. Needs a long time to run in though. Out of the box it felt screechy and congested. I've used them maybe a good few weeks now. I have a norne silvergarde S3 which I recently received and am running that in too, but early comparison is that the lavricable seems more forward in presentation but the S3 has smoother tops. Will use the S3 a bit more before saying anything else.
    betula likes this.
  7. ken6217
    Good post.
  8. Pastwa
    Empyreans are indeed very good, but you got a bit overexcited with your statement. Pioneer Master 1 for 1699£ is in the same class (and even its sound character is similar), also Grado PS2000e and even HD800s when they have replaced the cable with Black Dragon from Moon Audio (which adds extra mass and punch to the bass, and weight/body to sound plus it civilizes the treble a lot). There are probably a few more headphones I haven't mentioned.
  9. jlbrach
    empyrean is a fine product I owned it and sold it...beautiful and comfortable.....but IMHO the LCD-4 is a fair bit better
    Dobrescu George likes this.
  10. up late
    i see little point in doing that when your bias is already apparent in your posts and "likes"
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
  11. up late
    i don't see "appreciation" in the thread title. if i recall rightly, the moderators clamped down on the creation of appreciation threads. i presume that's because they discouraged critical discussion, which is what forums are for after all. you can still praise the empyrean here as much as you want tho.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  12. betula
    I might be over excited, but it is because the Empyrean is the first headphone that ticks all my boxes. Comfort, build quality, planar bass, natural, spacious sound, good resolution...
    All the headphones you mentioned are nice but use dynamic drivers. To my taste only planars can offer satisfying bass with that last bit of extension and flat response. For this reason dynamics don't stand a chance with me.
  13. Pastwa
    If powerful bass is your main objective then you should try Ultrasone Tribute 7, they have the most 'muscular' low frequencies, regardless of the technology, the Ultrasone go deeper and hit much harder than Empyrean or even D8000 and by a substantial margin, at the same time are very transparent (as opposed to LCD2 for example).
  14. betula
    My objective is not powerful bass but well extended and balanced bass without the mid-bass bloat of dynamic drivers.

    Edit: Ultrasone especially but also other dynamic driver based cans artificially boost bass. What I want is a natural bass with authority. I am repeating myself here, but no dynamic driver is able to offer the bass extension of planars. And this for me is extremely important as 60% of my music is finely layered progressive ambient. I do need that quality bass. Dynamic drivers just don't extend to the depth I need. They don't have the finesse, clarity, layering. Believe me, I tried most.
    The D8000 is a bit V shaped for me. At least for the price it is V shaped.
    While my main objective is the perfect bass, I do appreciate other qualities too. I like a lifelike and airy midrange. I like a detailed but natural and smooth treble. I like to have as much space/air as possible while keeping all my previous points.
    Good bass in my book is not about quantity, but balance, detail and quality. I like bass where sub-bass is on the same level as mid-bass, and there is no bleed to mids. This bass is refined and audible at all frequency ranges. It is present, but not overwhelming. This bass gives you a good base, contour and frame to everything else. It has authority but it is not overpowering or artificially exaggerated.

    The best bass I have ever heard was the LCD4. If the LCD4 bass is 10/10 the Empy bass is 9/10. So still pretty damn good. I rate the LCD2C bass 8/10, Focal Clear 6/10. 800s 6/10 just for a perspective.
    The Empy versus the LCD4 to my ears have a more natural sound. More lifelike mids and a more airy and natural treble. It just feels more natural, spacious and it is breathing more.
    So I am happy to go for the 9/10 bass when I am gaining so much elsewhere.
    And yes, the LCD4 might be more resolving by 5-10%, but still, I feel the gains on the side of the Empyrean are absolutely worth it. So even though I love Audeze, my choice is Empyrean vs. the LCD4. Not to mention comfort and that 300g (!) weight difference. The LCD4 almost feels like a helmet in comparison.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
    nwavesailor likes this.
  15. Art Garfunkel
    Then perhaps, since you are selective in who you feel is "qualified" to contribute to a subject/idea posted in a public thread, you might want to confine to a PM with whomever you wish to squabble with, which seems to be a common article in a lot of threads you participate in.
    betula likes this.
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