Best Open-Back Audiophile Headphones of 2023 | Moon Audio
Best Open-Back Audiophile Headphones of 2023 | Moon Audio
Meze Audio and Rinaro Isodynamics continue their collaboration for the release of the new ELITE Isodynamic Hybrid Array headphone. Combining the outstanding mechanical design and ergonomics from Meze Audio with the signature technology and acoustic engineering of Rinaro, ELITE is here to set a new standard in top of the line headphone performance.
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.
Combining an exclusive aesthetic with state-of-the-art engineering, ELITE delivers an accurate, authentic listening experience ready to meet the highest expectations of the proficient audiophile. With a no-compromise mindset, driven by our love for art and sound, we built a one-of-a-kind headphone using innovative designs and technologies that perfectly complete each other to create pure emotion.
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.
Total harmonic distortion (THD) measures under 0.05% in the whole frequency range.
75g combined driver weight designed to create a headphone that offers prolonged listening sessions.
Upper frequency limit of audio reproduction is 112,000 Hz.
An innovative low mass acoustic diaphragm constructed on an ultra-thin biaxially oriented semi-crystalline film.
101dB@1mw/1kHz; 32Ω Can be driven by almost any source without the need for amplification.
One of the most sophisticated and advanced planar magnetic technologies in the world.
The MZ3SE driver builds on the pioneering technology of the flagship MZ3 driver found in the Empyrean headphone.
Reinforced polymer housing designed to withstand the demanding 12,7N load generated by the Hybrid Magnet Array.
Weighing only 0.11g with a large active area of 4650mm.
Symmetrically placed on either side of the diaphragm, two neodymium magnets are arranged into a Hybrid Array to create a 0.35 Tesla Isodynamic magnetic field required for a uniform activation across the whole diaphragm surface.
Advances in polymer processing have led way to improved acoustic performance.
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 be targeted with more accuracy around the shape of the ear, producing natural sound transparency and a wide, articulate soundstage. 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 results in a complex semi-crystalline micro-structure developing in the material, which exhibits remarkable strength, stiffness, and stability, combined with an extremely low acoustic mass.
Conventional planar magnetic technology reflects the signals entering the ear canal with time-varying delays, which affects the 3D sound imaging of the headphone. Using different voice coil configurations, the hybrid array determines a better distribution of the sound intensity across the sound wave front, when directed to the auricle and ear canal, even at high frequencies.
Rinaro Parus® is an innovative low mass acoustic diaphragm built on an ultra-thin biaxially oriented semi-crystalline polymer film.
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. The switchback coil is more efficient at reproducing lower frequencies and is positioned in the upper part of the driver. 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 the 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.
It takes more than 100 hours to produce and test each driver unit that has been manufactured at Rinaro Isodynamics in Ukraine, before delivering the drivers to Meze Audio for final assembly of the headphone.
An innovative design feature developed by Rinaro is the Isomagnetic® earpad attachment, which uses the demagnetizing field generated by the driver to hold the earpad in place, whilst also redirecting the magnetic field back into the driver and improving driver efficiency.
The ferromagnetic earpads decrease the magnetic stray field affecting the listeners head by 95%
LOCKING SYSTEM This innovation uses the magnetic field of the drivers to keep the earpads in place
Patented ferromagnetic plates channel the magnetic field back into the driver increasing output by 1dB or 12%
The Meze ELITE headphone comes with two uniquely shaped earpads developed by Rinaro, which allow for personal calibration of the sound signature.
This is the well known 30mm deep Alcantara earpad, originally developed for the Empyrean headphone in 2018.
Developed especially for ELITE by Rinaro, the 25mm deep Leather + Alcantara earpad is a new addition to the line-up that combines the best of two materials
A core belief of Meze 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. Taking long-term sustainability to a new level, Elite is also fully serviceable: from the replaceable earpads to the high-performance materials used, every part on the headphone chassis is available to be easily disassembled and serviced.
|Driver Type||Rinaro Isodynamic Hybrid Array® [MZ3SE]|
|Frequency Response||3 - 112,000 Hz|
|Nominal SPL||101 dB (1 mW / 1 kHz)|
|Maximum SPL||> 130 dB|
|Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)||<0.05% (in the whole frequency range)|
|Size||102 mm x 73 mm|
|Casing||Fibreglass reinforced polymer|
|Type||Rinaro Parus® [MZ3SE]|
|Active Area||4650 mm2|
|Acoustic Mass||7.5 kg/m4|
|Lower Frequency Limit||3 Hz|
|Upper-Frequency Limit||112,000 Hz|
|Size||75 mm x 49 mm|
|Magnetic Flux||0.35 T|