(November 8, 2023) Today, we're pulling back the curtain to reveal a new headphone entry by Romania's Meze Audio. Meze was technically founded in 2011 but didn't launch its first headphone model – the 99 Classic (on sale for Black Friday in Gold and Silver) – until 2015. It's since developed and launched eight over-ear and in-ear models, all the while ignoring trends that may deviate the brand from its principles of strict standards, quality materials, and a development process that's anchored by an "as long as it takes to get the right result" ethos.
The new Empyrean II ($2,999) is a planar magnetic headphone that builds upon the original Empyrean model, slotting second in line behind the company's top-end Elite ($4000) design. Meze's team says it's further refined an exceptional Isodynamic Hybrid Array driver design from Rinaro Isodynamics, delivering a notable leap in performance.
“When creating Empyrean II, our goal was to enhance the headphones’ ability to reproduce fine details and achieve a more neutral sound signature, all the while preserving the original “easy to listen to” character. With this in mind, our engineers have masterfully harnessed the driver’s power to reveal new possibilities in terms of responsiveness and accuracy and even make the driver more reliable in challenging acoustic environments,” explains Meze Audio’s Managing Director, Mircea Fanatan.
The headphone's driver utilizes a diaphragm with two key components. The diaphragm portion that hovers over the ear canal has a spiral coil pattern dedicated to high frequency reproduction. Above that is a switchback coil that's responsible for low frequencies. A hybrid neodymium magnetic array is positioned on each side of this diaphragm, creating an efficient Isodynamic magnetic field required for a uniform activation across its entire surface. Meze says the resulting output spans 5Hz to an astonishing 110kHz, extending well beyond the range of human hearing.
Physically speaking, the Empyrean II is loaded with visual appeal, sporting a sleek black matte frame with silver accents, and a redesigned aluminum grille inspired by art deco artistry. And its comfort is spearheaded by two sets of earpads. The "Duo Earpads" are bespoke to the Empyrean II, crafted from a precise blend of premium leather and Alcantara, while the Angled Alcantara Earpads "render intricate details and nuances in your recordings." Meze says the angled shape creates more space inside the earpad, translating to an airier sound signature with cleaner bass and an improved midrange presence.
You can preorder the Empyrean II today, November 8, by visiting mezeaudio.com, mezeaudio.eu, or select dealers around the world.