Meze Empyrean II Review Leave a comment

The iconically expressive and warm Meze Empyrean is getting a facelift. Despite the original Empyrean being heralded as one of the most emotional and musical headphones ever built, some nitpickers have criticized it for being a little too slow or too heavy or too warm. Transparency is another area where critics have suggested there is room for improvement.

Well, Meze has heeded the call of anal audiophiles all over he world to make an amazing headphone even more impressive. How different is the Empyrean II’s sound signature from the original model? And what can you expect in terms of skill and performance. 

What’s in the Box?

  • Meze Empyrean II Headphones

  • Heavy duty ABS plastic suitcase with foam inserts and leather handle

  • Two sets of ear pads

  • Choice of cable: Silver-plated or Copper

  • Choice of connector type: 2.5 mm, 3.5 mm, 4.4 mm, 6.3 mm, 4 pin XLR

Look and Feel

The build of the Empyrean II is as detailed and elegant as the sound signature suggests. Similar to its predecessor, the Empyrean II places a significant emphasis on craftsmanship in its design. The aluminum frame, shaped through CNC milling, shows off an sophisticated matte black finish, elevating its aesthetic appeal. The redesigned grill further enhances the overall visual allure, showcasing Meze’s commitment to both form and function. And if the design is not Meze enough for you, the silver accent with the brand’s distinguished logo on the ear cups really hits it home.

As for fit, I ran into no issues. The headphones never feel heavy on my head and the velour ear pads were super comfy and roomy. As long as I forget I’m wearing headphones, I’m happy. And such was the case with the Empyrean II.

Meze Empyrean II Review: Look and Feel

Meze Empyrean II Review: Headband


For this model, Meze teamed up with Rinaro to integrate their Isodynamic Hybrid Array Driver, which according to Meze, “combines individual switchback and spiral shaped voice coils in one driver, allowing sound to be targeted with more accuracy around the natural form of the ear.” Another Rinaro design is its Isomagnetic coupling technology, which simplifies the process of changing earpads; it utilizes the demagnetizing field generated by the driver to secure the earcup in place, while redirecting the magnetic field back into the driver, enhancing overall efficiency. Neat.

Meze Empyrean II Review: Design

Sound Impressions


This soundstage will particularly appeal to the purists out there; the stage or scale is never exaggerated or whimsical; height and depth feel realistic (though the stereo field is what seems most expansive). And although the imaging does a solid job of creating dimension, it is a very focused stage that puts you smack center in a deliciously contained space. You’ll still get an adequate sense of depth, for example, but everything sits relatively up close, enhancing the emotiveness of the music and creating an intimate relationship with the performance. 

Of course, the pristine level of separation also does wonders for stage, adding space between elements and allowing for clean and colorful layering in even the most crowded mixes.


Although far from obnoxious, there is a heft to the low-end that’s both warm and highly majestic. I particularly enjoyed the extra depth and flavor that the Empyrean II injects into acoustic instruments. At the same time, listening to strings in this range, the level of transparency was outstanding. Perhaps even more striking was how natural the timbral qualities of the elements sounded. Cellos and double basses, for instance, revealed enhanced subtitles in wood and bow vibration, presenting it with a rich, yet natural color that felt both substantial and unadulterated at the same time.

Certainly, despite its uncompromising clarity and tidiness, there’s nothing clinical or boring about this low-end presentation. Pop tracks have ample punch, and the bass takes the stage when called upon. I was also pretty impressed by the speed of the bass, especially given past criticism of the original Empyrean as being somewhat sluggish. But there’s absolutely nothing lazy about the Empyrean’s delivery.


As mentioned above, the mids are ridiculously clean and well separated, which I didn’t expect to be one of the Empyrean II’s most defining qualities. But it’s impossible to ignore. The low-mids, while not overly weighty, create some warmth, acting as the perfect topping to a full, yet disciplined and contained bass. And while the midrange may not be purely even, there is enough equilibrium created between the low and high-mids to make for a very comprehensive and all encompassing sound. Certainly, this is not the kind of tuning where the upper mids pop out at you. Rather, this midrange is easy, and no element is ever lost in the mix. And thanks in part to the intimate soundstage, vocals and other lead instruments sound incredibly expressive. Still, the slightly leaner, more neutral presentation seems to be a slight departure from the original sound signature.


It’s been a while since I first listened to the first Empyrean. But I don’t remember it having any pronounced brightness in the treble. The Empyrean II certainly has that lively quality in the highs, even if particularly sensitive ears may consider it a touch sharp on certain tracks (such as hip-hop songs with higher-pitched snares, which sound a little sizzly). Personally, I was rarely bothered by this added radiance, which peeked through periodically. In fact, I found it perfectly complemented the heavy lower frequencies, injecting the impression of speed and energy into modern music, especially. 


The Empyrean II is like a hot and heavy summer romance that fills you with longing and heartbreak. If that’s going too far, then let me say, at the very least, that no other sound signature can combine this much skill with this much charisma. Uber-musical and emotive with the most masterful execution I’ve heard in a long time, it’s best not to listen to these cans unless you plan on buying them. The Empyrean II is just that good.

You can buy the Meze Empyrean II at Audio 46.

Meze Empyrean II Review: Where to buy now?

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