Meze Audio Releases Empyrean
A culmination of three decades of research and development, ‘Empyrean' is the brand new flagship high-end headphone from Romanian manufacturer Meze Audio. The aim of Empyrean was to develop the most technologically innovative pair of planar magnetic headphones in the world by harnessing premium materials, exquisite craftsmanship and ‘Meze standard’ detailing.
Always keen to take on feedback from their audience, Meze have been kind enough to give audiophiles a sneak peak at pre-release sets in recent months at consumer audio trade shows such as Canjam London and the HiFi News' HiFi Show Live in Windsor. But for those who have not yet had the pleasure – or those in need of a recap – today we’ll give a quick overview of this rather special headphones and the features that make it so unique.
Empyrean was born from passion, curiosity and innovation. As a business, we have allowed ourselves the freedom to experiment and take risks in search of the perfect sound. To generate something truly remarkable, one must dare to explore, and that’s what we did with Empyrean. We pushed and refined industry standards and achieved a true game-changer for audiophiles.
Anto Meze (Founder, Meze Audio)
The Empyrean’s design employs several pioneering and unusual technologies to achieve its sound.
Hybrid Magnet Array
Each of the Empyrean’s eighteen neodymium magnets is situated symmetrically on either side of each diaphragm in a hybrid array configuration. This creates a highly efficient isodynamic magnetic field and allows for uniform activation across the surface of each diaphragm. Meze’s combination of two independently shaped voice coils are then able to deliver even more selective acoustic performance to the listener.
Conventional planar magnetic arrays tend to reflect signals along the ear canal with varying time delays which destabilises the 3D sound image. The Empyrean’s hybrid array driver uses a unique combination of switchback and spiral coils decreasing the impact of shortwave time delays and allowing more precise targeting, imaging and increased sound wave exposure (particularly for frequencies above the 10kHz range).
To develop the drivers, Meze Audio partnered with Ukrainian audio company Rinaro, a company at the forefront of planar magnetic development and research over the last 30 years. Find out more about Rinaro Isodynamic here.
Power vs. Weight
The Empyrean’s unique ovoid shape provides a close and comfortable fit for ears, and that’s not by accident. To alleviate weight Meze have optimised the magnet structure around the ovoid, while their bespoke coil and magnet design prevents any drop in output. With this unique combination, Meze master the tricky business of developing a headphone both as powerful as it is comfortable.
Each Isomagnetic ear cup attachment utilises the demagnetising field created by each driver to hold each ear cup in place. Simultaneously, the magnetic field is also redirected back into each driver to aid its efficiency by 1dB (roughly equal to 12%) and deflecting the majority of stray fields away from the listener’s head.
In another stride towards ultimate comfort, Meze have developed patented ‘pressure distribution’ suspension wings which, when applied to the Empyrean’s leather headrest increase the contact surface with the head and minimise any uncomfortable pressure points. This allows listeners to enjoy even longer listening sessions without discomfort.
Excited to get listening? We thought so! The very first shipment of Meze Audio Empyrean’s has now arrived in the UK and our network of authorised retailers now have sets ready to sample.
A brief listen to the Empyrean left me thoroughly impressed with the headphone’s natural presentation and unforced expressiveness and nuance.
Chris Martens (Reviewer, Hi-Fi+)
To find your nearest dealer and for further information on specifications head to our Empyrean product page. For even more information - drop us a line!