Following 10 years of headphone innovation in the HiFi and portable audio sector, Romanian company Meze Audio present a brand new addition to their high-end listening range, designed and built in partnership with long-term Ukrainian collaborators Rinaro Isodynamics.
“With ELITE, we’ve created something that transcends all barriers of headphone design and engineering and moves to a new, artistic, graceful level. Following in the footsteps of a successful partnership, together with Rinaro Isodynamics we managed to exceed our expectations once again and create something for the ages. It’s not mass production; it’s the craftsmanship that sparks the magic and wonder in ELITE, what makes it exciting, and these are values that we choose over any shortcuts.”
– Antonio Meze, Founder (Meze Audio)
Over the past decade Meze Audio have earned a well deserved reputation for excelling in headphone design with a variety of models from affordable in-ears to game-changing planar magnetics. Antonio Meze’s team in Baia, Romania maintain a no-compromise philosophy to deliver engaging, vivid sound assisted by pure comfort in every headphone they produce.
With the introduction of Empyrean in 2018 Meze revealed a fruitful collaboration with Rinaro Isodynamics, a driver manufacturer originating from the USSR and initially state-funded to specifically research planar magnetic technology. Rinaro were able to maintain focus and innovation long beyond the cold war and now boast more than thirty years of experience in the field.
A New Benchmark of Acoustic Performance
Continuing their collaboration since the hugely successful launch of the Empyrean, Meze and Rinaro are delighted to introduce a new luxury headphone model which combines Meze’s well-known aesthetic with state-of-the-art engineering to create a powerful and immersive listening experience.
ELITE is a hybrid array powered isodynamic headphone and the product of three years of intense research and development. The design features an entirely new Rinaro driver built from the ground up to deliver accurate, authentic audio reproduction.
Introducing Rinaro Parus
The beating heart of Meze Audio’s Elite is the new MZ3SE driver, an innovative hybrid array that selectively targets areas within the structure of the ear. Building on the research of the Empyrean’s MZ3 driver, the new design benefits from new advances in material technology to achieve even higher resolution as well as accuracy in sound.
Chief among the MZ3SE’s innovations is Rinaro’s new trademarked Parus diaphragm, constructed from ultra-thin biaxially oriented semi-crystalline polymer film. The material is stretched in transverse directions with elevated temperatures to develop an internal microstructure that exhibits unprecedented strength, stability and stiffness.
When integrated with Rinaro’s hybrid array driver technology, the unique combination produces natural sound transparency and a hugely articulate soundstage.
Two Heads Are Better Than One
Whilst planar magnetic technology conventionally reflects signals entering the ear canal, 3d sound imaging can often be compromised due to varying time delays for each reflection. By combining dual voice coil configurations, ELITE succeeds in providing a better distribution of sound intensity across the audio wavefront even at higher frequencies.
Of the two coils employed, ELITE harnesses a switchback coil focused on lower frequencies and positioned in the upper part of the driver, along with a spiral coil which focuses more on mid and higher frequencies positioned directly over the ear canal.
This configuration allows better frequency targeting throughout the ear canal, improves acoustical perception and creates a superior overall balance across the frequency range.
Inheriting a key feature from its Empyrean sibling, ELITE features fully isomagnetic earpad attachments held in place purely from the demagnetising field of the headphone’s driver whilst separately redirecting magnetism back to the driver for maximum efficiency.
Adding an additional layer of personalisation, ELITE ships with two ear pad types which can be swapped out depending on user preference. Alacantara is a 30mm deep pad covered in a material akin to suede, while the hybrid pad combines a real leather exterior with an Alacantara internal fabric all measuring in at 25mm thickness.
Finally, ELITE also inherits Meze’s patent pending suspension wings developed for the Empyrean model. Elongated curves at both ends help to distribute weight evenly across the diameter of the head for maximum comfort during listening.
Arriving Autumn 2021
Meze Audio’s ELITE will begin shipping in September of 2021. For more details check out our product page, or for enquiries relating to sales, pricing and authorised dealers get in touch.
Meze ELITE UK RRP – £3,699 inc VAT. Available to order now.