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, Lead Designer and Founder of Meze Audio
For the past 10 years, Meze Audio has been developing audiophile headphones and earphones renowned for their timeless design, pure comfort and engaging, vivid sound. From looks to technology, Meze Audio products are designed to surpass all short-living trends and become heirlooms, rather than just headphones. Today, founder Antonio Meze and his skilled team design and develop their products in Baia Mare, Romania, in the spirit of their original ‘no-compromise’ vision.
Rinaro originated in the USSR (today’s Ukraine) during the Cold War as part of a state-funded acoustic technology research program. With government backing and access to advanced testing facilities, the team was able to focus all of its efforts on planar magnetics. A field they have continued to innovate in for the last 30 years, since the collapse of the USSR. In the last decade, Rinaro have expanded their capabilities and capacity with the development of state-of-the-art R&D and manufacturing facilities in Ukraine and Poland. The new facilities have been a driving force in the creation of the revolutionary Isodynamic Hybrid Array technology found in Meze Empyrean and ELITE headphones.
Tailored for long listening sessions!
A core belief of Meze Audio is to create products that last through years and years of industry changes, bringing long-lasting value to the customer. Elite is no different. From looks to technology, this headphone was designed to surpass all short-living trends and become a true heirloom. Take a closer look to discover the highly complex geometrical imprint accentuated through the silver finish of the CNC aluminum frame. A deep black grill with intricate carvings completes the look, turning ELITE into a futuristic take on personal audio design.
Materials were chosen not just for the exciting sensory experience their raw texture provides, but also for comfort and durability. A carbon fiber headband with a real leather headrest were added to the frame, for an ultra-light feel and maximum durability.
The patent-pending suspension wings support system is elongated and curved at both ends, descending further on the side of the head and distributing the weight of the headphone evenly, for an utmost comfortable listening experience.
Creating a flagship headphone takes time and patience to do well, and it’s that kind of craftsmanship that separates the average from the great. The process of making a single aluminum frame takes about 20 hours. To that, we add days of inspecting each part of the headphone, assembling the parts and making sure the final product rises up to our high standards. This can’t be achieved through mass-production and that means delivery times can be longer, but we guarantee it’s worth it.
ELITE is hand assembled with care and painstaking attention to detail in Baia Mare, Romania.
With a custom, newly designed driver, created by Rinaro Isodynamics, ELITE is the result of 3 years of research and development through which we strived to create a powerful, lifelike, and immersive experience that awakens the senses of the listener.
The MZ3SE driver builds on the pioneering technology of the flagship MZ3 driver found in the Empyrean headphone. The innovative Isodynamic Hybrid Array technology delivers a more selective acoustic performance to the various areas within the structure of the ear. Advances in diaphragm materials have opened the doors to even higher resolution and accuracy of the sound reproduction, setting a new benchmark in headphone design.
RINARO PARUS® a new low mass diaphragm material.
The new driver behind ELITE features Rinaro Parus®, an innovative low mass acoustic diaphragm built on an ultra-thin biaxially oriented semi-crystalline polymer film. This, combined with the signature Isodynamic Hybrid Array Driver technology, allows sound waves to flow freely past the ears and out, producing a natural sound transparency and a wide, articulate sound-stage. This results in improved definition and speed over the entire frequency range.
The polymer is produced with bespoke sequential biaxial lengthening technology, a process that involves stretching the polymer in transverse directions at elevated temperatures to improve structural performance. This result is a complex semi-crystalline micro structure developing in the material, which exhibits remarkable strength, stiffness, and stability, combined with an extremely low acoustic mass.
The use of different voice coil configurations found in the Isodynamic Hybrid Array creates the opportunity to improve the sound intensity distribution at high frequencies when directed at the auricle and ear canal. This solves a common problem with conventional planar magnetic arrays whereby reflected signals enter the ear canal with different time delays, thereby worsening the focus of 3D sound imaging. The use of dual coil arrays not only creates a balanced frequency response around the whole range, it also allows for better frequency targeting within diﬀerent areas of the ear, improving acoustical perception on the upper frequency range.
SWITCHBACK COIL-The switchback coil is more eﬃcient at reproducing lower frequencies and is positioned in the upper part of the driver.
SPIRAL COIL-The spiral coil is more efficient at reproducing middle-high frequencies and is positioned directly over the ear canal, enabling more direct sound waves to enter the ear without any time delays.
At frequencies above 10kHz, where sound wave length is smaller than the cushions' inner cavity, the sound ﬁeld becomes diﬀused with an amount of direct and reﬂected sound waves within the ear canal. A signiﬁcant increase of direct sound waves can be achieved by positioning the most eﬃcient part of the diaphragm in mid-high frequencies directly over the ear canal, resulting in improved 3D imaging and spatial localization.
The Meze Elite headphone comes with two uniquely shaped earpads developed by Rinaro to allow for personal calibration of the sound signature.
ALCANTARA®:This is the well known 30mm deep Alcantara ear pad originally developed for the Empyrean headphone in 2018.
LEATHER + ALCANTARA® HYBRID:With a soft, yet durable outer finish, the HYBRID ear cushions are a new addition to our earpad family that perfectly balances the qualities of Alcantara and leather into a single design. Besides the high wearing comfort, this unique combo lowers the bass pressure and delivers an airy sound signature, in which sound waves appear to trancend the space around you to create an immersive experience.
• Meze Elite
• Case: High-strength aluminum suitcase with foam inserts
• One Pair Alcantara® EarPads
• One Pair Leather+Alcantara® Hybrid Pads
• Vegan option available upon request
• 2.5m OFC cable, 4pin mini XLR plugs ending with 6.3 jack connector/p>
• 1.2m OFC cable, 4pin mini XLR plugs ending with 3.5 jack connector
• 2.5m OFC cable, 4pin mini XLR plugs ending with 4 pin XLR connector
• Driver Type: Rinaro Isodynamic Hybrid Array®
• Frequency Response: 3-112,000 Hz
• Impedance 32Ω
• Nominal SPL 101 dB (1 mW / 1 kHz)
• Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) <0.05%
• Weight: ~420 g
• Geometrical Shape Ovoid
• Size: 102 x 73mm / Weight: 75g
• Casing: Fibreglass reinforced polymer
• Active Area 4650mm2 / Weight 0.011g / Acoustic Mass 7.5kg/m4