Meze EMPYREAN - the First Isodynamic Hybrid Array Headphone
May 9, 2021 at 10:59 AM Post #9,886 of 10,238

SonicFade

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Alright I like where this is going. Since we’re on the subject of pairing, can people give me a list of DAP’s that would do well and deliver the goods (bass).

I’m hearing a lot of good things about the shanling m8. It is class A. From what people have been telling me, it is suited well for IEM’s. I don’t want the response to be to laid back because I’ll be listening to metal.
 
May 9, 2021 at 8:28 PM Post #9,888 of 10,238

fuhransahis

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Alright I like where this is going. Since we’re on the subject of pairing, can people give me a list of DAP’s that would do well and deliver the goods (bass).

I’m hearing a lot of good things about the shanling m8. It is class A. From what people have been telling me, it is suited well for IEM’s. I don’t want the response to be to laid back because I’ll be listening to metal.
From the iBasso DX300 it is more than well-driven (puts out about 1250mw into 32ohms), and plenty of headspace, not just volume, as it uses discrete power for the amp. Very slightly warm only in that it's not clinically neutral and sterile but keeps the inherent naturalness and musicality of the Empy intact, while maintaining excellent clarity and imaging.
 
May 10, 2021 at 2:55 AM Post #9,889 of 10,238

Louisiana

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I've already written it in the ZMF Auteur thread, I'll write it here again :)

Ever since I got the Auteur, the Empy has been in the closet!
I'm thinking of selling it, and if so, it's probably here at Head-Fi.
So if anyone is interested, keep your eyes peeled! :D

The Empy is too good to be left in the closet!
 
May 10, 2021 at 5:00 AM Post #9,890 of 10,238

Newsee

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I've already written it in the ZMF Auteur thread, I'll write it here again :)

Ever since I got the Auteur, the Empy has been in the closet!
I'm thinking of selling it, and if so, it's probably here at Head-Fi.
So if anyone is interested, keep your eyes peeled! :D

The Empy is too good to be left in the closet!
Strange places you find to store your headphones.
 
May 10, 2021 at 11:40 AM Post #9,892 of 10,238

NOMOS

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I've already written it in the ZMF Auteur thread, I'll write it here again :)

Ever since I got the Auteur, the Empy has been in the closet!
I'm thinking of selling it, and if so, it's probably here at Head-Fi.
So if anyone is interested, keep your eyes peeled! :D

The Empy is too good to be left in the closet!
Hallo Louisiana .

What disciplines do you like the Auteur more than the Empy ?
Best Greetings , Nomos
 
May 11, 2021 at 6:13 AM Post #9,893 of 10,238

andy20

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Sorry for the late response. After reading this whole thread, I noticed that a few folks seem to find that the Burson Conductor to be a good pairing with the Empyreans, but I'll leave that to actual owners can obviously chime in with their more informed thoughts. I definitely endorse the Topping DX7 Pro as a budget pick, but take my input with a healthy bit of salt, as I'm wet behind the ears with gear and have not tried any other options. That said, I hear what I hear, and from my standpoint, the DX7 Pro has been very good for me, definitely no lack of clean power.

If anything though, the DX7 Pro's reputation to be more on the analytical side is certainly true for me, and I personally find that with my chain, the leather pads in particular can be a bit on the harsh/bright side with a some of my music, although YMMV. As such, I do think it's possible that an upgrade to something perhaps a bit on the warmer side while still being plenty detailed (like the Conductor) might be exactly what I'm looking for in general, although I'm not going to upgrade at all without an audition and finding something I find to be worth it, as the Topping DX7 Pro is pretty solid.


Thank you so much for this review, it's a great read and extremely helpful to the rest of us. I find that your comparison to (perhaps more well regarded) TOTL choices that you own is very interesting. I would think that given your gear, it'd be really hard not to either A) be completely biased based towards the great headphones that you already own and are used to or B) get overly excited about something because it's new and fresh. Well done!

I totally agree with you about the differences between the leather and Alcantara pads, even though your chain is superior than mine, and we listen to totally different music.

Again, to sum it up the most general, simple terms, for me, with my present equipment, the leather pads are high reward/high risk, and are best suited for slower and less complex music (again, being very general here). The Alcantaras being the more solid choice really shocks me. If the Alcantaras still sounded like they did when my Empys were brand new- I would have been totally disappointed overall, and that's fascinating to me. My biggest question, how much of it is equipment breaking in versus my brain getting used to the Empys?

Honestly, it doesn't really matter, because perception is everything, and I'm really happy. I'm sure that there are other headphones that are purely better at detail retrieval, but I'm honestly not too hung up on that, I find that the Empys offer microdetails in a way that I find that to be natural and enjoyable. I hear chairs move around in song that I haven't heard before and can almost visualize the positions of the chairs, just more details in everything, seemingly (with Alcantara pads). I've listened to Violent Femmes "Add It Up" dozens of times over the years, and tonight was the first time that I SAW Gordon Gaino smirk when singing a certain line. Very cool. The resolution and overall sound makes me not want to listen to my Elexes, period, no offense to anyone who also owns and likes the Elex (and they're a heck of a lot less money).

Headphones are one of the most subjective hobbies that I've been around (besides visual art and music itself), but there are definitely key distinct similarities with other hobbies I've enjoyed.

Depending on the hobby, I find that often, buying better quality/flagship gear is not assured to work better for everyone. Why? Higher quality gear is typically designed by opinionated enthusiasts with their own specific tastes in mind, just something to be aware of.
Hi, I also have a similar set up, but I changed the opamps of the DX7pro with Sparkos Labs SS3602 and I must say that the sound has become warmer and slightly more powerful than before, while remaining detailed. It is not difficult to change them and in my opinion you can make a significant change with little expense.
 
May 11, 2021 at 11:08 AM Post #9,894 of 10,238

iceofnine

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Hi, I also have a similar set up, but I changed the opamps of the DX7pro with Sparkos Labs SS3602 and I must say that the sound has become warmer and slightly more powerful than before, while remaining detailed. It is not difficult to change them and in my opinion you can make a significant change with little expense.
Thank you, very helpful! I've looked at changing opamps, and will definitely take that under advisement. It seems that as typical with most things audiophile, changing the opamps out is quite the divisive issue: lots of people insist that changing them doesn't do anything/makes the Amp sound worse, and others like yourself have done it and swear by it. For the price, I'm tempted to find out, and have been looking at the Sparkos or Burson opamps (if I do Bursons, I'll be sure to run them with some adapters so I can actually run the amp with the case top on).

EDIT- I'm also looking at the Burson Conductor 3XP, which is pretty reasonably priced and from what Betula and others have said, that may give me the warmer/still detailed sound that I'm looking for.
 
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May 11, 2021 at 6:10 PM Post #9,895 of 10,238

betula

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Empyrean Encyclopaedia post number 'too many':
(Skip to next post if you are not a fan of the Empyrean or not a fan of betula.)

IMO it is worth to try the Empyrean from different sources and amps. Despite being a low impedance headphone, the sound can change more than expected.
IMO you simply can't judge a low-impedance high-end headphone driven out of the simplest gear that drives them loud enough.
IMO being driven loud enough is kind of a marketing term. Yes, the 32 ohm Empyrean can sound loud enough even from a mobile phone. But honestly I don't think Meze would agree that a loud enough Empyrean driven by a mobile phone is sufficient to reflect the capabilities of their master-crafted high-end headphones.

There is so much more to the Empyrean than entry or even mid-fi level amps and DACs can display. This headphone (like most other higher-end headphones) scale big time, despite the low impedance rating.

Everyone says, headphones make the biggest difference in the chain. And this is true by all means.
But it is almost nowhere said, that there is a flexible line, a room to move between the links in the audio chain.

If your headphone is 100% but your DAC and amp are only 10% each, you are likely not to hear the full potential of your headphones. IMO and according to my experience all pieces of the chain should be on the same (or very similar) level to squeeze out the best of each other.

Summit-fi headphones driven by entry level equipment can only provide a limited experience. Perhaps one would be better off with mid-fi headphones and mid-fi DAC/amps instead.

Yes, headphones make the biggest difference, but you need that good amp and DAC to fully discover the capabilities of your beloved high-end headphones. It is not a coincidence, that supercars run the best on 100 octane fuel.
 
May 11, 2021 at 6:21 PM Post #9,897 of 10,238

ThanatosVI

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Empyrean Encyclopaedia post number 'too many':
(Skip to next post if you are not a fan of the Empyrean or not a fan of betula.)

IMO it is worth to try the Empyrean from different sources and amps. Despite being a low impedance headphone, the sound can change more than expected.
IMO you simply can't judge a low-impedance high-end headphone driven out of the simplest gear that drives them loud enough.
IMO being driven loud enough is kind of a marketing term. Yes, the 32 ohm Empyrean can sound loud enough even from a mobile phone. But honestly I don't think Meze would agree that a loud enough Empyrean driven by a mobile phone is sufficient to reflect the capabilities of their master-crafted high-end headphones.

There is so much more to the Empyrean than entry or even mid-fi level amps and DACs can display. This headphone (like most other higher-end headphones) scale big time, despite the low impedance rating.

Everyone says, headphones make the biggest difference in the chain. And this is true by all means.
But it is almost nowhere said, that there is a flexible line, a room to move between the links in the audio chain.

If your headphone is 100% but your DAC and amp are only 10% each, you are likely not to hear the full potential of your headphones. IMO and according to my experience all pieces of the chain should be on the same (or very similar) level to squeeze out the best of each other.

Summit-fi headphones driven by entry level equipment can only provide a limited experience. Perhaps one would be better off with mid-fi headphones and mid-fi DAC/amps instead.

Yes, headphones make the biggest difference, but you need that good amp and DAC to fully discover the capabilities of your beloved high-end headphones. It is not a coincidence, that supercars run the best on 100 octane fuel.
Yeah I'd also say, while you don't need as "high end" gear to get the Empyrean shining it doesn't scale any less with gear than those headphones that do need high end gear to be enjoyable
 
May 11, 2021 at 6:38 PM Post #9,898 of 10,238

mgmvegas

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Hi - I am going to take the plunge on the Empyreun , Just got a Shandling M8 and looking for a good desktop solution to pair with these.
Can I use the M8 as my desktop dac or should i go with a Burson Conductor 3x ? any advice would be good ...
 
May 11, 2021 at 6:48 PM Post #9,899 of 10,238

fuhransahis

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Empyrean Encyclopaedia post number 'too many':
(Skip to next post if you are not a fan of the Empyrean or not a fan of betula.)

IMO it is worth to try the Empyrean from different sources and amps. Despite being a low impedance headphone, the sound can change more than expected.
IMO you simply can't judge a low-impedance high-end headphone driven out of the simplest gear that drives them loud enough.
IMO being driven loud enough is kind of a marketing term. Yes, the 32 ohm Empyrean can sound loud enough even from a mobile phone. But honestly I don't think Meze would agree that a loud enough Empyrean driven by a mobile phone is sufficient to reflect the capabilities of their master-crafted high-end headphones.

There is so much more to the Empyrean than entry or even mid-fi level amps and DACs can display. This headphone (like most other higher-end headphones) scale big time, despite the low impedance rating.

Everyone says, headphones make the biggest difference in the chain. And this is true by all means.
But it is almost nowhere said, that there is a flexible line, a room to move between the links in the audio chain.

If your headphone is 100% but your DAC and amp are only 10% each, you are likely not to hear the full potential of your headphones. IMO and according to my experience all pieces of the chain should be on the same (or very similar) level to squeeze out the best of each other.

Summit-fi headphones driven by entry level equipment can only provide a limited experience. Perhaps one would be better off with mid-fi headphones and mid-fi DAC/amps instead.

Yes, headphones make the biggest difference, but you need that good amp and DAC to fully discover the capabilities of your beloved high-end headphones. It is not a coincidence, that supercars run the best on 100 octane fuel.
What setups have you been using to achieve your preferred results?
 
May 11, 2021 at 7:01 PM Post #9,900 of 10,238

Terriero

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Empyrean Encyclopaedia post number 'too many':
(Skip to next post if you are not a fan of the Empyrean or not a fan of betula.)

IMO it is worth to try the Empyrean from different sources and amps. Despite being a low impedance headphone, the sound can change more than expected.
IMO you simply can't judge a low-impedance high-end headphone driven out of the simplest gear that drives them loud enough.
IMO being driven loud enough is kind of a marketing term. Yes, the 32 ohm Empyrean can sound loud enough even from a mobile phone. But honestly I don't think Meze would agree that a loud enough Empyrean driven by a mobile phone is sufficient to reflect the capabilities of their master-crafted high-end headphones.

There is so much more to the Empyrean than entry or even mid-fi level amps and DACs can display. This headphone (like most other higher-end headphones) scale big time, despite the low impedance rating.

Everyone says, headphones make the biggest difference in the chain. And this is true by all means.
But it is almost nowhere said, that there is a flexible line, a room to move between the links in the audio chain.

If your headphone is 100% but your DAC and amp are only 10% each, you are likely not to hear the full potential of your headphones. IMO and according to my experience all pieces of the chain should be on the same (or very similar) level to squeeze out the best of each other.

Summit-fi headphones driven by entry level equipment can only provide a limited experience. Perhaps one would be better off with mid-fi headphones and mid-fi DAC/amps instead.

Yes, headphones make the biggest difference, but you need that good amp and DAC to fully discover the capabilities of your beloved high-end headphones. It is not a coincidence, that supercars run the best on 100 octane fuel.
Antonio betula words... :wink:

You haven't considered in your new encyclopaedia posting headphones like the Senn HD 600, which for many people in the forum scale a lot with high end amps, and right now - at their price - they can be considered "mid-fi".
 

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