Meze – Elite Dark Mystery Limited Edition
Meze Audio has been creating audiophile Meze – Elite Dark Mystery Limited Edition headphones and earbuds known for their classic designs, uncompromised comfort, and captivating, vibrant sound. Meze Audio products are made to outlast all passing fads and turn into heirlooms rather than simply another pair of headphones. In Baia Mare, Romania, founder Antonio Meze and his talented staff design and develop their goods in accordance with their initial “no-compromise” philosophy.
That entails the new Elite flagship model for Meze. A hybrid isodynamic array driver upgrade results in a form factor similar to the previous flagship Empyrean, but with more reference-style tuning and better resolution.
On the surface, it appears that the new Elite does not much differ from the previous Empyrean format. It still employs an open-back circumaural design with an ovoid hybrid isodynamic array driver and magnetic lined detachable earcups that operate almost identically to the driver itself.
The shape and flow of the diaphragm designed with a very specific function in mind. There are two distinct shapes in this continuous trace. The circular pattern at the bottom is intended to focus on the mids and highs, while the curved line switchback trace at the top concentrates on the low-end delivery (bass).
Aesthetic Design with Comfortable Weight
Although the Empyrean form factor has a different color palette and some subtle but distinct finishing details, it nevertheless has a similar comfortable weight (430g).
The old, deeper black and copper designs are gone, replaced by a CNC aluminum frame that is just as sleek but has a brighter silver finish, along with ‘Elite’ distinctive embellishments on either side of the pivot rod. To match the Elite silver frame, the pivot rod was also changed from the Empyrean’s aged copper to a pure black color.
The branding on the leather strap with the “patented suspension wings design” is the last visual alteration, replacing the original Empyrean emblem with the Elite signature.
Nearly everything else remains unchanged. This refers to the exquisite ovoid-shaped cups with the perfect black, detailed, quasi-Persian grill pattern and the incredibly light carbon fiber headband frame.
The hue color is one minor aesthetic consideration for the grill. It appears to be a touch lighter than the Empyrean, but this is just the color of the new driver material showing through, which gives it a slight glitter in some circumstances.
In order to seamlessly include the gimbal and pivot mechanism, the cup rings continue to a house that cleverly expanded shape and flows on the exterior of the faceplate. The gimbal really resembles the triangle grill cuts in shape and seems rather integrated as opposed to protruding in an unsettling dysfunctional manner.
A wonderful level of lateral mobility is provided by the fact that the complete pivot mechanism can gently swing 360 degrees on the top rod. Similar to the Empyrean, the vertical is somewhat more constrained and allows for a very little movement. The included pads, though, are flexible enough to make up for it.
The Elite borrows a little from Empyrean’s gesture to listeners who want a smoother sound over clinical reference qualities, but it actually presents a totally different argument from the original.
Putting aside the variations in pad tuning, the Elite is a big-sounding presentation with a spacious quality and a laid-back tone. Unlike the Empyrean, the Elite still has considerable head gain in the upper mids, but it never sounds aggressive, shouty, or out of balance.
You could even say that it has a lighter touch than before thanks to the Empyrean’s bass response, which is more linear, tight, and articulate. The upper bass bloom has reduced in the Elite bass response, which allows the mids and vocals, in particular, to sound clear and natural.
This time, the Elite’s treble presence has received a welcome presence bump over the original, however, as before, it is not a shape-piercing adjustment. Instead, it sounds more coherent, has a better harmonic balance, and a greater extension, which leaves more room for the mids to breathe.
Last Thought about Meze – Elite Dark Mystery Limited Edition
The Elite is comparable to taking the fantastic Empyrean, considering some of the comments, and producing an even more endearing and satisfying flagship headphone.
It has additional air and treble shimmer for those who wanted it. You also have the amazing vocal presence and that authentic Meze house tone for those who still desire it.
Well, bingo, you now have a tighter, more articulate, and polished-sounding low-end for the group that felt the bass was too overpowering. Finally, the Elite will surprise you if you wanted more staging presence.
The Elite is an improvement, but only in the extremely cutthroat high-end headphone market. Fortunately, it has a distinctive sound identity. That statement applies to desktop and portable audiophiles, which is unusual for flagship plans.
Meze – Elite Dark Mystery Limited Edition Specification
- Driver Type: Rinaro Isodynamic Hybrid Array® [MZ3SE]
- Operating Principle: Open
- Ear Coupling: Circumaural
- Frequency Response: 3 – 112,000Hz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Nominal SPL: 101 dB (1mW / 1kHz)
- Maximum SPL: > 130dB
- Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): <0.05% (in the whole frequency range)
- Weight: 430g