landscape by Meze

Spotlight on Meze Audio

Hailing from Romania, Meze is a headphone brand that has taken the hi0end arena by storm with its planar magnetic headphones, with a build philosophy that makes them a genuine lifetime product.

We sit down with company owner and founder Antonio Meze.

Antonio Meze

Antonio Meze, headphone hero

It’s not very often we speak to an audio brand based in Romania – what are Meze Audio’s origins and ethos?

Antonio replies: “Meze Audio was born in Baia Mare, Romania in 2011, however, the idea of it was planted during my many travels around the world. During that time, I was always carrying a pair of headphones with me, and, somehow, all the headphones I owned back then felt too utilitarian and lifeless. And so, I started envisioning how I might create a pair of headphones that I could relate to, in the same way I felt connected to my Fender Stratocaster guitar. An object to pour my passion for music in. An object full of personality and life, which also incorporates the attributes of high-end technology.

“We started small, acquiring knowledge by experimenting with parts already on the market, searching and researching for the right materials and engineering solutions in the quest for the perfect sound and feel. Today, we have a full team of passionate, diverse, and talented designers, engineers, musicians, and artists who create and build with the same original vision in mind: every headphone we make should bring real value to people, it should inspire and surprise them on a higher level. Headphones can be more than just sound. When made properly, they can deliver an entire sensorial experiences.

“We are fortunate that our work really is our passion and we develop each model as if making it for ourselves.”

Meze factory shot 1

What makes Meze Audio’s headphones so particularly well suited to music fans and high-end listeners?

“To us, it is important that the products we create stand the test of time and surpass all short-lived trends. We want them to fulfil not only functional needs, but also have meaning for the customer, so that they end up using them with the same enthusiasm, over and over again.

“Our headphones offer a 360° listening experience with a high degree of comfort, balance and immersive sound, thus making them ideal for audiophiles and music enthusiasts who seek both performance and aesthetic appeal​.”

Meze factory shot 2

For anyone not familiar with the brand, walk us through the range and what the different models offer to listeners.

“In the past few years, we’ve diversified our line-up and we believe that we’re starting to fill in all the gaps in our customers’ needs. Our first headphone model, the 99 Classics, was launched nine years ago, and it is still one of our most appreciated and best-selling products. This is an entry-level closed-back headphone that features a dynamic driver and has a very particular, one of a kind design, thanks to its wooden ear cups. Together with the 99 Neo, they are very popular for their warm, fun sound and elegant, sleek design.

“After the 99 Classics, we took a leap into the audiophile world, when we launched our first planar magnetic open-back headphones, the Empyrean, a move that put us on the map. And following this we’ve already launched a second edition, the Empyrean II, which was very well received by the community and is already gathered a fair amount of accolades.

Meze Elite

Meze Elite

“Our top-of-the-line headphone is Elite, a headphone that delivers a powerful, lifelike and immersive experience that awakens the senses of the listener. With Elite, we tried to set a new standard in top-of-the-line audio performance.

“Featuring the same technology inside, the Liric 2nd generation is our closed-back headphone using the same isodynamic driver, scaled down and tuned to deliver a similar audio experience as its larger counterparts, the Empyrean II and Elite.

“The 109 PRO is our first open-back dynamic headphone, and one of our best-rated models to date, thanks to its smooth, rounded and versatile sound signature.”

Meze 109 PRO

Meze 109 PRO

Sustainability, repairability and modular designs are clearly important to Meze. What materials do you use and why and what aftersales support is on offer?

“We always use high quality, durable materials such as aluminium, carbon fibre, and real wood in our products. Our headphones are designed to be fully serviceable and modular, allowing for easy repairs and part replacements.

“This approach not only extends the lifespan of our products but also aligns with our commitment to sustainability. We offer comprehensive after sales support, and if a headphone breaks or the customer loses a screw or a bolt, we can send just that one screw or bolt, without the customer having to send the whole headphone in for repairs.”

Meze 109 PRO parts

Where can headphone fans get their hands and ears on Meze Audio products in the UK?

“We are fortunate to have a network of very reliable and dedicated dealers throughout UK. Our official UK distributor is SCV Distribution, and our dealers’ network has more than 70 stores in the UK alone.

“We also showcase at various audio shows and events, providing opportunities for potential customers to test our products in person and engage with the brand directly.”

Your YouTube series Meze in the Studio is going from strength to strengh, what’s it all about and what guests have you had on?

“It’s our newest YouTube series! Aimed at bringing an insider’s look into the world of music and audio creation. It features in-depth reviews and testimonials from some of the most talented artists in the industry. We have been lucky to work with Emmy and Grammy-award winning names, such as Michael Price, Ed Kultzer, Fab DuPont, David Khane, and Dub Fx to name a few.

“We have been working with several artists since 2016, and we’re truly happy our that headphones were chosen to be part of their journey through sound. The “Meze in the Studio” idea came to life when we decided to translate these collaborations into video format, so they have more impact and are more visible to our followers.”

Who would be your dream producers and artists to have on the series and why?

“We’ve been closely following Andrew Scheps and Rick Rubin and it would be an honour and a delight to work with them. There is so much learning potential when you meet a true creator, and it would be an amazing opportunity for us to have these legends walk us through their creative processes, to have insights and knowledge about the way their minds work.”

You’ve curated a specially curated Qobuz playlist for us. Give us a flavour of what’s on it and why.

“It’s an eclectic mix of genres, showcasing the broad musical tastes that inspire me. Expect to find tracks that highlight the capabilities of Meze headphones in delivering rich, detailed soundscapes across various styles of music​.

“And thanks to my little kids, I recently got very interested in Gundam, a Japanese military science-fiction series, that has a very diverse and catchy soundtrack, so I might have thrown a few tracks in there, since they’re the songs I mostly listen to lately!”

Meze factory shot 3

Who else do you admire in the audio space and why?

“I admire companies and individuals who prioritise innovation, quality, and artistic integrity. This includes brands that push the boundaries of audio technology and design, as well as producers and musicians who create personal, emotional, high-quality recordings. My respect for such entities aligns with Meze Audio’s philosophy of no-compromise in both design and sound​.”

What’s next for Meze Audio?

“Thankfully, we are a very creative company that never runs out of ideas. So we have plenty of new projects in different stages of development. This year, we are already working towards the launch of our newest IEM, called Alba, and a new and accessible open-back headphone that will hit the market in just a few months. Beyond that, it’s the continuous, arduous work to evolve and get better in everything that we do, something that we invest and believe in as a company.”

Find out more about Meze Audio and its philosophy.


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