Last Updated on February 20, 2022 by James Smith
The luxury headphone segment is mostly untouched. The headphone market in the world stands at around $20 billion. According to market statistics, in 2021 alone, there were 21 million luxury headphones sold worldwide.
So, the top-end audio market is still thriving despite the pandemic. Users want to listen to high-quality music. After all, work from home is gaining momentum, and workers are keen to spend more time at home than in the office.
That calls for one thing, good headphones. Today, we will be reading about two luxury models that are quite expensive. But that is the point. When you use unique, expensive models, you are above the rest.
Are they worth that kind of money? They are not priced at $10,000, but they are priced under $4000. Are they worth your time? That is for us to find out through this review. After the Cold War, European audio equipment manufacturers wanted to support their own industry.
As a result of that, today, you can notice brands like Trafomatic Audio (Serbia), Heed Audio (Hungary), Kuzma (Slovenia), and Meze Audio (Romania) present. They are producing fabulous headphones to take on giants like Sony, Bose, and Sennheiser.
Meze Audio is based in Romania, and they are popularly known for their 99 Classics closed-back headphones produced in 2015. The founder and head designer, Antonio Meze, wants to produce eloquent devices that cater to the needs of users of all ages.
With that said, we are going to be reviewing two fantastic models that are sold in the market, the Meze Audio Elite headphone vs the Meze Audio Empyrean headphone. The Meze Audio Elite results from more than 3 years of intense research on their previous models.
Users will truly respect this aspect of Meze Audio. Each of their models comes with something unique and special in them. It makes use of the isodynamic hybrid array technology with a new innovative low mass acoustic diaphragm.
This feature is designed on the biaxially oriented semi-crystalline film. It comes with spectacular features like the isomagnetic earpad attachment that makes use of the demagnetizing field. It also redirects the magnetic field, thus improving driver efficiency.
It is immensely comfortable. Likewise, the Meze Audio Empyrean is an exceptional open-back model. It is very ergonomic in design, and the build quality is fabulous. It is able to provide you with a 1/4″ TRS connector.
When you want to operate the AUX port, you have to get an adapter separately. The model is not designed to block noise outside, so you will be able to hear it. Moreover, they can leak audio, and others around you will be disturbed.
Are they worth the price that they come for? There is only one way to find out, by reading the review. We have mentioned the winner at the end of the post.
Also check: Meze Audio Liric vs Focal Utopia
|MEZE AUDIO ELITE||MEZE AUDIO EMPYREAN|
|The model is comfortable and lightweight.|
The headphone is elegantly built and robust in design.
It provides you with an immersive listening experience.
It offers you with exceptional technical performance.
The product comes with a 2-year warranty.
|The model comes with an ergonomic shape driver structure.|
The unit has an exceptional build design that can last years.
It comes with a superb reproduction with total harmonic distortion (THD).
It has stunning, high-resolution audio.
The product is ultra-efficient with high performance, not requiring amplification.
|The headphone is priced under $4000, making them pricey.||Like Audio Elite, the Empyrean model is priced under $300, making it very expensive.|
|CHECK ON AMAZON||CHECK ON AMAZON|
Meze Audio Elite VS Empyrean: Design & Comfort
The Meze Audio Elite headphone is the successor of the Empyrean model. That means we expected it to shine more on the design aspect of things. Thankfully, the maker has not meddled too much with the design of the Elite.
It comes with a different color tone, and there are some differences in the textures used there. You do not find the dark copper design anymore. A nice-looking, silver aluminum frame replaces them.
The pivot rod is an excellent design factor present in the model. We thought that it changed the entire complexion of the unit. Not to mention, you can find the suspension wings design, which is patented, along with the leather strap.
Otherwise, everything else is the same that is found in the Empyrean model. You can find the oval-shaped earcups and the dark grill pattern present there. Besides, the headband frame is produced from light carbon fiber.
You can swing the headphone up to 360-degrees. You would delight in the Alcantara earpad designed for the Empyrean model not coming with any changes. Though leather earpads are not meant for everybody, they come with their own charm.
When you are located in a tropical region, then things can get a bit difficult. The Meze Empyrean headphone comes with a luxurious appeal to it. The materials and the texture present on the headphone are second to none.
They are open-back designs and the first Rinaro isodynamic hybrid array planar magnetic model. It immensely aids in the decrease of the driver’s weight. Besides, the model can also offer you magnificent sound capabilities.
It also decreases the harmonic distortion. The unit has a soft outer finish. It also comes with the hybrid ear cushions that offer you with an amazing fit. Users can find that it has the perfect balance of leather and comfort in a single design.
Meze Audio Elite VS Empyrean: Build Quality
The Meze Audio Elite comes with exquisite build quality. It is one of the best in the market for the price range. You would be astounded to know that the remainder of the competition does not stand a chance in front of this amazing beauty.
Maybe they must learn how to select materials and choose the right model design and production capability. You can notice that the headphone frame is produced from single-piece aluminum.
It is done using a CNC milling process that takes close to 20 hours to complete. There is a deep black grill with amazing carvings that can give the earcup with flawless design. You can notice the headband is produced from carbon fiber.
It is able to give you a lightweight feel. Besides, the suspension wings come slightly elongated at both ends. They descend on each of the sides of the head and are able to distribute the weight properly.
The Meze Audio Empyrean headphone comes with superb build quality. It is produced from top-end materials. You can find that the headband is made from carbon fiber and the headrest from leather.
It not only gives the headphone a stunning appearance but helps in the durability aspect too. Moreover, it comes with adjustable hinges, and the earcups grilles are sturdy. The balance of the unit is good.
You can notice that the weight is evenly adjusted on both the ears and on your head as well. There are earpads, one pair manufactured from Alcantara, and a microfiber. You can find a magnetic contact surface on the earcups that make it simple for you to select the padding on the isometric hybrid array driver.
Meze Audio Elite VS Empyrean: Audio Performance
The Meze Audio headphone offers you with extraordinary audio quality. It comes infused with a newly designed driver, the Rinaro Isodynamics. The ultra-low distortion comes with a harmonic distortion (THD) measuring under 0.05% in the whole frequency range.
The upper-frequency limit of audio reproduction is 112,000 Hz. You can use the 101db@1mw/1kHz on any source without amplification. The isodynamic hybrid array technology is one of the most advanced planar magnetic technologies.
Using the isodynamic hybrid array driver technology enables the sound wave to come accurately. It takes the shape of your ears. There is a natural sound and a wide soundstage. Most other models suffer from planar magnetic arrays.
Here the sound enters the ears with some delay in time. The Meze Audio Empyrean headphone provides you with an amazing audio performance. It is an open-back headphone that comes with no low bass.
However, they have additional high bass that is able to provide some boom to the sound effects. The sound treble is weak, and the vocals do not sound terrific at times. Maybe that is because of the leather earpads.
Users commended that there is a difference between using the leather and the Alcantara material there. It comes with an amazing frequency response consistency. That depends on the fit of your head.
Unfortunately, we were surprised to see that the noise isolation is quite bad. Of course, consumers can expect that from an open-back design. The noise cancelation is also pretty awkward because they do not block outside noises.
Meze Audio Elite VS Empyrean: Microphone Performance
The Meze Audio Elite headphone does not come with a microphone. We were not able to measure the recording quality of the unit. You cannot utilize the unit for calling or attending any calls, which we felt was a major disappointment for a $4000 product.
The Meze Audio Empyrean headphone does not have a microphone, and you cannot use the model for communication with others. We were also not able to find out the recording quality. However, if you want to use the microphone feature, then you need to look elsewhere.
Meze Audio Elite VS Empyrean: Compatibility
The compatibility of the headphones is pretty much standard. Let us read to find out how you can use them on other devices. The Meze Audio Elite headphone comes infused with a stunning OFC cable.
The cable is in different lengths that you can choose when purchasing them. It is kind of portable, having several jack terminations, including the 4-pin XLR balanced, 6.35mm, and 3.5mm TRS single-ended.
The Meze Audio Empyrean headphone has a decent 2.5mm OFC cable. It comes with 2 4-pin mini XLR plugs. Using that, you can now connect to the earcups. At the end of the connection is the 1/4″ TRS connector.
You can only connect with a PC or laptop using the analog connection. Not to mention, they do not come with a microphone, and you can only hear the audio from them. You can use them on your Play Station and other gaming consoles.
However, they can only provide you with the audio, and you cannot communicate with others. But you can use a 1/4″ to 1/8″ adapter to plug the cable on the AUX port. Please do realize that the item does not come with the package.
It can be operated on the Xbox One gaming console AUX port, which works well on it. But it comes with a 1/4″ TRS connector. Like we have mentioned above, you will require to use the 1/4″ to 1/8″ adapter to plug it in.
Meze Audio Elite VS Empyrean: Price
The Meze Audio Elite headphone is priced under $4000. The luxury headphone provides listeners with ultra-low distortion. You can also make use of the total harmonic distortion (THD) feature infused in it that is under 0.05% in the whole frequency range.
It is extremely lightweight at 75grams and is designed to provide you with an immersive listening session. You will be delighted to find out that the upper-frequency limit of the audio reproduction is 112,000 Hz.
The unit comes with a Rinaro Parus diaphragm designed using the ultrathin biaxially oriented semi-crystalline film. You can make use of any device that you want with the help of the 101db@1mw/1kHz, 32Ohm.
You will not require amplification. A notable feature would be the isodynamic hybrid array technology, an advanced planar magnetic technology in the world. The Meze Audio Empyrean headphone is priced under $3000.
It comes with a $1000 price difference. We are not sure that it would cause users to sway from this model to the other one due to the pricing. These are luxury models, and the pricing was expected to be quite high.
The Empyrean driver combines the individual switchback and spiral-shaped voice coils. You can notice that the shape is unique, letting the audio offer you with more accuracy. This model is able to take the natural form of your ears.
It provides you with an enhanced audio wave frequency of more than 10kHz range. There is also improvement in the imaging. You can also decrease the effects of shortwave time delays. Field reflections can diffuse them.
The model is extremely lightweight, thanks to reduced driver weight. You can now take part in prolonged listening sessions. Moreover, they come very uniquely designed along with an ergonomically shaped driver structure providing you an increased active area.
Meze Audio Elite VS Empyrean: Verdict
We have ended our review on the Meze Audio Elite headphone vs the Meze Audio Empyrean headphone. We hope that you enjoyed reading the review and were able to make your decision.
If you haven’t, then we suggest that you please go through the post again. We are confident that you will find something for your liking. The Meze Audio Elite model is the newer model and, as expected, sounds better; it has an ergonomic design and opulent features.
The sound performance is phenomenal, considering the fact that it is a lot shinier. When you want superb vocal quality, then you have that as well. There is also an adequate staging presence. This model is second to none in comfort and builds quality.
On the other hand, the Meze Empyrean model is ideal for neutral sound. It is because of the open-back design. We want to mention that open-back designs have only a particular set of takers.
Because the passive soundstage will be open and spacious, the planar magnetic drivers on the unit enable the bass to sound better. They lack low bass and require an amp to drive them to achieve their full potential.
It is alright for gaming if you want and provides you with an amazing listening experience. The audio profile is ideal for gaming. It immensely helps in enhancing the audio effects when you play games.
They both are priced expensive, and one might want to really think hard before spending so much money. So, do you want to give out that kind of cash for music? The answer is a yes. When you see the feedback, you will be surprised that they are the best in the market.
Our winner in the comparison review between the Meze Audio Elite headphone vs the Meze Audio Empyrean headphone is the Audio Elite. The Elite comes with too many features that are hard to ignore. Having said that, the Empyrean is not a bad model either.
James Smith has always been intrigued by electronic products since his childhood. After his post graduation in electronics from a popular university, he decided to pursue a career in the electronics sector. But his calling for writing about these marvellous pieces of work got the better of him. That is how UBG was started. With a writing career spanning more than 12 years, James has worked on several hundred product reviews. During his free time, he like to spend time with his pet dog and relax in the swimming pool.