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Meze EMPYREAN - the First Isodynamic Hybrid Array Headphone

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  1. Pharmaboy
    Please everybody, stop beating this cable thing to death--also the speculation about Meze's margins, profitability, design/development costs, etc. There are any number of venerated/endgame headphones that don't get this "dissect the mfr's costs & motives" treatment (or much less of it).

    This is not about personalities. Some who are posting often here about this stuff are among my favorite Head-Fi'ers. But this is getting oppressive.

    I'm on this thread to finally hear about users' real-world experience with this headphone: how it sounds to them, how it interacts w/a variety of sources & amps, etc.
    Kuh-Fi, baseonmars, Deftone and 7 others like this.
  2. smodtactical
    Ya barely anyone runs balanced. LOL.
  3. paul2qute
    Now I could be wrong as I never went to Oxford but don't more ppl use balanced in America more than England
  4. kp297
    Consider folks like myself that own the TAZH1ES that delivers 300 mW unbalanced, and a balanced connection (4.4 or XLR) delivers 1200 mW. One can realize that a balanced connection allows better power delivery which directly translates into a better listening experience. By not offering a balanced option, this is causing unnecessary hassle for those that prefer listening out of a WM1Z or Cayin N8, or WA11 Passport. The industry is transitioning to a new 4.4 standard, and not offering this option for a flagship is a bit silly. Even HifiMan is adopting this standard, and includes it as a cable in the box. @MezeTeam consider moving with the times, and offer a 4.4mm, even if one needs to pay for this option. Unlike MQA 4.4mm isn't going away any time soon.
    endlesswaves and smodtactical like this.
  5. paul2qute
    I don't see the big deal in balanced I really don't and that's just my opinion, balanced was invented to eliminate noise in cables long distance so how does that relate to headphones that are 2 metres in length?
  6. kp297
    I agree with you, but as DAPS and some amps are moving to 4.4 it would not only help the industry to settle on a standard, but it also helps those who wish to invest in premium cables, it greatly simplifies ones cable collection.

    I found, sonically, balanced doesn’t make a noticeable difference. But for portables and underpowered amps, it does. Flagship headphones symbolize future trends, and Meze should allow an option for us who wish to transition to 4.4 mm. We are seeing high end efficient planars from Hifiman and Audeze (HE1000SE, 4z, Ananda, MX4) and inefficient planars are becoming more niche. I see a future with 4.4 mm allowing customers use flagships from portable devices. The days of requiring beefy amps are numbered, and portability is becoming more relevant than ever. Even if I’m completely wrong, Meze should be looking to increase their customer base, and offer different termination options.
  7. paul2qute
    Thanks for the reply, I'm really not getting into the argument with Meze and balanced cables I just don't understand how balanced is better from a scientific point of view
  8. kp297
    Sure. As this is an Emp thread I will try to keep this brief. I believe bal vs unbalanced is moot.


    I believe bal has value when it comes down to power delivery. If you can deliver enough power to a headphone (not sure what the Emp’s requirement is but probably over 300mW) via unbalanced then you’re golden. Balanced such as 4.4mm allows for more power to be delivered to the headphone, which results in a better sound (useful for portables).
  9. racebit
    I agree with you, but quoting you, "Even" Focal who ships 3 cables in the box, does not include a 4.4mm, but a useless XLR. Useless because as you say balanced is useful for mobile and mobile devices do not have XLR connector. And remember what most people are asking here as third option is a XLR cable. So, please remind me again, how many more cables should Meze offer as an option? How many types of balanced connectors are there, 3?

    And then, I have my rights too, I hate long (3 meters) cables. For example Sony Z1r ships with 1.2m 4.4.mm and 3m SE. But I don't have any 4.4mm device, so must use the 3m cable.
    So.... for each type of connector Meze should offer 3 lengths (short, medium and long), that would be 15 options. But I am trying to help, so let's make it simple, two lengths only, short (1.5m) and long (3m). And the mini balanced don't need long cables. So 8 cable options. Easy.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
    Antonio Meze and Hifiearspeakers like this.
  10. xenithon
    The irony is that the majority of balanced “social justice warriors” are probably going to procure an aftermarket balanced cable at 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of the headphone themselves, letting the stock cable colllect dust. We’ve seen this time and again with the likes of the HD800S, Z1R and Clear - owners believing in the benefits of balanced (and cables in general) buying standalone exotic, bespoke cables.
    Antonio Meze and Hifiearspeakers like this.
  11. paul2qute
    My hugo TT 2 delivers 7 W
    Nik74 likes this.
  12. kp297
    What I’m saying is Meze should offer a 4.4 mm. Edit: yes
    That’s an amp/dac I’d love to own in the future. No need for balanced with that beast!
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  13. smodtactical
    Look at the specs of the he9 balanced vs unbalanced. And there is no 4.4mm output on it. To utilize its full power I need to run balanced.

    And no I won’t be getting a $1000 aftermarket cable.
    kp297 likes this.
  14. racebit
    So, on that I agree with you. 4.4.mm is the future. XLR is obsolete.
    Kuh-Fi and kp297 like this.
  15. racebit
    Yes, but that was a typo from Chord. It was "Hustay TT".
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