Meze Previews Newly Refined Planar-Magnetic ’Phones

High-end headphone specialist Meze Audio today announced a new model that improves one of its most advanced planar-magnetic designs.

An update of the original Empyrean, the Empyrean II headphones feature an advanced Isodynamic Hybrid Array driver developed by the Ukrainian R&D company Rinaro, which was founded during the Cold War to innovate in the field of electro-acoustics and has been focused on perfecting planar-magnetic diaphragms for almost 40 years.

Weighing just 0.16 grams, the 4 x 3-inch Rinaro driver combines switchback and spiral-shaped voice coils that allow “sound to be targeted with more accuracy around the natural form of the ear.” The switchback coil reproduces low frequencies and is positioned in the upper part of the driver, while the spiral coil reproduces mid/high frequencies and is positioned directly over the ear canal to enable “more direct sound waves to enter the ear without any time delays.”

Neodymium magnets are arranged symmetrically on either side of the diaphragm to create an “isodynamic” magnetic field that remains uniform across the entire surface of the driver. Key specs include <0.05% total harmonic distortion (THD) across the frequency range, which is rated as 8 Hz – 110 kHz.

Meze’s primary goals for the update were to enhance its ability to reproduce fine details and achieve a more neutral sound signature. The stated result: “More clarity, more depth, more fun.”

The headphones come with two sets of earpads, each made of leather with a suede-like Alcantara surface that rests against the ear and designed to deliver a different sonic experience. One set is angled to “create more space inside the earpad, which translates to an airier sound signature, with cleaner bass and improved midrange presence.”

The earpads attach via Rinaro’s Isomagnetic coupling technology, making them easy to switch out. A demagnetizing field generated by the driver secures each earcup in place, while simultaneously redirecting the magnetic field back into the driver to enhance efficiency.

Like their predecessor, the frame of the Empyrean II headphones are crafted via CNC milling and built to ensure comfort by minimizing weight and pressure on your head. The finish is matte black with silver accents and new art deco-inspired grille covers. Adapters for 2.5mm, 3.5mm (1/8 inch), 4.4mm, 6.3 mm (1/4 inch), and 4-pin XLR connectors are included.

The Empyrean II headphones will be unveiled this weekend at CanJam Dallas and are slated to ship in late November. Pricing is $2,999, the same as the original.

Meze Audio is based in Romania and was founded by Antonio Meze in 2011. For more information and to preorder, visit

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