Meze, a well-known Romanian headphone manufacturer, has just launched its latest pair of open headphones. While the flagship Empyrean and Elite are teeth-grindingly expensive, the new 109 Pro model is likely to cost under €1,000, and Meze promises it will offer many of the same qualities, both in terms of sound and craftsmanship. And that gets our attention.
Dynamic, open-back headphones
Where the flagships are planar magnetic, meaning a thin foil is suspended between two opposing magnetic fields and vibrates in time with them, the 109 Pro is the manufacturer’s first open-back headphones of the traditional, dynamic type.
The open-back headphones have real walnut ear cups, both to match the aesthetic of Meze Audio, but also because they believe it gives a more natural sound. We’re promised an “exceptional soundstage and a highly detailed, enveloping sound, with just the right amount of punch”.
In addition, the construction is mainly made of an alloy of manganese and steel, and we also find zinc in a few places. All parts are screwed together, not glued, so servicing is easy.
For music lovers
Although the model is called 109 Pro, we don’t get the impression that the headphones are specifically aimed at sound engineers. It’s music lovers Meze is targeting in their marketing. And given the warm sound we remember from the 99 Classics, we shouldn’t be surprised if the 109 Pro also follows the same tonal balance. That is, more aimed at pure music enjoyment than the heavy analytical sound one expects from a pair of pro earphones.
Meze 109 Pro: Price and availability
Meze has previously announced that the 109 Pro will cost “under $1,000”, and many speculate whether we end up around $800.
Read the full press release here