A few years back, I had the chance to use the Empyrean headphones from Meze Audio. It proved to be one of the most fascinating listens, a planar magnetic that took on the best in the business.
The Meze Audio Elite finds the Romanian boutique headphone maker pairing up with acoustic specialist Rinaro Isodynamics again, with both companies claiming this new flagship model is their most advanced planar magnetic set of headphones to date.
Elite is reportedly the result of three years of research and development. Powering the headphones is a custom-developed MZ3SE Isodynamic Hybrid Array driver created by Rinaro, which utilises a combination of individual switchback and spiral shaped voice coils in its one driver, thus promising to target soundwaves with more accuracy around the natural form of the ear.
The driver features Rinaro Parus, a new diaphragm material that has been developed specifically for the Elite. This low mass acoustic diaphragm is produced with bespoke sequential biaxial lengthening technology, a process that involves stretching the material in transverse directions at elevated temperatures to improve structural performance.
On the outside, the striking, otherworldly chassis combines aluminium, carbon fibre and leather to boast maximum comfort and durability. Another new addition developed especially for the Elite is the 25mm-deep hybrid ear cushions, a solution which aims to marry the qualities of Alcantara and leather into a single design. Besides comfort, the combination promises to lower the bass pressure and deliver an airy sound signature in which sound waves appear to transcend the space around to create an immersive experience.
As with the Empyrean, there is a nod to long-term sustainability, as the Elites are also fully serviceable: from the replaceable earpads to the high-performance materials used, every part on the headphone chassis can be easily disassembled and serviced.
Meze Audio Elite is now available for pre-order worldwide, retailing for $4000 at MezeAudio and select retailers.