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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. triggsviola
    That’s very interesting. I only have a Dragonfly Red and I notice a HUGE difference!
    Hifiearspeakers and tradyblix like this.
  2. tradyblix
    There may be something wrong with your hearing if you cant hear dragonfly is better than an onboard dac. Seriously that is almost absurd just on its face.

    Besides having a Sabre 9018, it can also decode MQA even from phones now which means you can get some tidal hi res sound.

    I drove it from my red and it works passably. Its low 32 ohm impedance makes it an okay match for lower power dac amps like those. Obviously its better to use it with proper desktop amplification tho. DF Red is really for portable use mainly on the go. I’d never take a 3,000 headphone with me like that but I guess in a hotel room in a pinch it can happen.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  3. tradyblix
    I decided not to. I don’t really wanna mess with the warm sound. Have the utopia for that. (detail)
  4. FourT6and2
    Guys, before you freak out and attack me, try to think a little. I'm talking about specifically the Cobalt. It's a turd. And think here. The Empyrean is a high-sensitivity, low impedance headphone. It's easy to drive. A laptop or phone can drive it it to painfully loud volumes. I can't speak for the Red or Black. But the Cobalt doesn't do anything. It sounds no different from my laptop or phone on any headphone I've tried. It outputs a fraction of a volt more than my laptop but by that level you're at earsplitting volume so it doesn't matter.

    And to the guy who says why buy the Empyrean then over a $100 pair of headphones, that has nothing to do with what I'm saying. It's a non-sequitor. Do the Empyrean sound better than some Radio Shack headphones? Uhhh of course. What's that got to do with the Dragonfly Cobalt? Nothing.

    If you want/need a DAC or an amp, then get something better than the Cobalt. Because honestly I can't hear a difference between the Cobalt and just plugging straight into my phone or laptop. Now... using an actual full-size dedicated desktop amp and DAC... yes there's a difference. But not the Cobalt. The thing is $300. Three hundred! For that price you can actually get a good DAC and amp. Not portable though.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  5. tradyblix
    I haven’t actually heard the Cobalt, but it is using a more modern Sabre 9038. At the very least, you get an MQA Renderer and therefore higher bit rate and sampling rates than most onboard dacs. Specifically with phones this is a big deal. That definitely makes a noticable difference on most material on tidal that is a master... You didnt mention what onboard dac or phone you are using it with. Some phones have nicer audio dacs than others, some dont have one at all. Same with laptops. Maybe the delta for you is not so large.

    I have a DF Red, and I can tell the difference between it and a 3.5 to lightning dongle any day of the week. Its actually better against my computer, where I can tell the difference between it and the mac’s stock wolfson codec (which isnt bad...)

    I dont mean to attack you personally, but what you are saying doesnt really jive with my experiences, which is why I wonder about the other variable here: your ears/brain.

    I mean if you want to think dacs make no difference at all in audio reproduction be my guest, but dont be surprised if some people call shenanigans when you represent that here.

    I will agree the empyrean at least is more easily drivable by normal devices than some other past flagships, but you are NOT getting its peak performance.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  6. betula
    Running your Empyrean out of your phone/laptop and you are happy? It is like buying a Lamborghini to do the shopping from the grocery store on the corner. You are loosing out a lot on the Empyrean not driving them properly. Sure, they are efficient and get loud enough, but man. Buying a $3000 headphone and not giving a F about amps?
    If you don't hear any difference between your phone and the Cobalt I have serious doubts you would hear the difference between a £100 headphone and the Empyrean. You could save some money there as well. Don't take it personally, but what you are saying is more than enough to raise an eyebrow.
  7. FourT6and2
    I'm talking about the Cobalt specifically. Not worth it in my opinion. There are better options.
  8. FourT6and2
    I got rid of my Cobalt. I use a dedicated amp and DAC. Sounds better. I don't take $3K headphones on walks around town.
    betula likes this.
  9. tradyblix
    Okay. I have no opinion on the cobalt. It just sounded like you were suggesting people should listen without using a dac amp at all.
    betula likes this.
  10. nick97
    Nevermind, sorry just saw your other post
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  11. nick97
    Does your empyrean sound alright with it???
  12. mixman
    They are probably about the same, 4z might actually be easier to drive. Don't swap the 4z for the Empy for ease of drive, do it because you prefer the sound.
  13. betula
    A good silver cable can improve clarity. Silver doesn't make sound brighter. It makes it cleaner: tighter, more spacious; more dynamic, more impactful. Clarity and not brightness what a silver cable improves. 5-15% of improvement depending on gear, ears and so on... 10% extra clarity, dynamic punch and details is more than worthwhile for me versus the stock cable.
    tradyblix and mixman like this.
  14. betula
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  15. tradyblix
    While I'm sure this is true, I have seen a lot of folks say silver makes things brighter. I've seen people say they prefer copper or copper/silver plated instead, so...

    Also it's incredibly expensive for a cable. I try not to spend over 10 percent of the system cost on cabling, rule of thumb.
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