Meze Audio Liric: One Minute Review

Extended functionality? No. Standard price? Barely. Adaptable or undemanding? No opportunity. You won't be spoiled by the Meze Audio Liric Wired Headphones, except for one thing. Buy a pair and you will do the most healing.

A considerable amount of money put in the way of Meze Audio buys an outdated product. The Lirics are chunky wired headphones with esoteric planar magnetic drivers, and while their closed configuration and (ridiculously large) case make them better for portable listening than most Meze Audio headphones, they're not. discreet nor especially portable.

  • Meze Liric on World Wide Stereo for €2,000 (opens in a new tab)

However, they are beautifully crafted from high-quality materials. And if there's one thing to take away from this Meze Audio Liric review, it's that they sound, with one caveat, excellent. If it's the details you want, the proper reproduction of a recording as a performance, the understanding of pitch and timbre, and the shape of individual notes, you've come to the right place. The Lirics are a compelling, fully musical listen, and are among the best over-the-ear headphones for sheer fidelity.

They're not the most powerful or heaviest headphones out there, and for some listeners, they're not going to fly. But if you can live with a fairly modest low-frequency presence, the Meze Audio Lirics are money well spent.

Meze Audio Liric: price and release date

  • €1,999 / €1,799 / AU$3,399
  • Posted in November 2021

The Meze Audio Lirics are available to buy now, and in the UK you'll need to part with €1,799 to get a pair. The equivalent in the United States is €1.999, while in Australia they cost around AU€3.399.

"Not cheap," then, is a bit of an understatement of Meze Audio's pricing strategy. Just because the company sells headphones that cost more than twice that amount, it's impossible to avoid the fact that you can have almost five pairs of Sony WH-1000XM5s for the same amount of money. So how on earth does Meze Audio justify the asking price?

The headband system helps make the Meze Audio Liric feel lighter than expected. (Image credit: TechRadar)

Meze Audio Liric: design and features

  • Premium quality materials, carefully assembled
  • Feel lighter than its 391 g
  • It will not suit the listener with large ears.

If you thought a higher price meant more functionality, think again. Meze Audio Liric are headphones: you put them on your head, physically connect them to your music source, and then listen. There's no voice assistance, no active noise cancellation... just a wire from each earbud at one end and a 3,5mm jack at the other.

Two cables are supplied in the huge hard case that the Liric arrives in: one 1,5m long and the other 3m long. They are both robust and feature robust and rather dazzling finishes. When it comes to attention to detail and perceived value, efforts have clearly been made.

The headphones themselves are an equally high-end proposition. By carefully combining leather, aluminium, magnesium and steel, Meze Audio has produced what is, by today's standards, an aesthetically pleasing and tactile pair of headphones. The headband/hanger mechanism distributes its 391g weight evenly and comfortably, the exposed adjustment mechanism feels built to last, and the clamping force is rated very well. However, the plump ear cushions are quite narrow - anyone with slightly larger than average ears will find the fit quite comfortable.

The Lirics are a bit more cohesive, design-wise, than some of Meze Audio's other models; Often times, the company seems to include all textures, materials, and patterns in its headphones, but not here. But if we get a proper review of the design, it's worth noting that the Liric doesn't fold. That's why its (equally tactile) carrying case is so fiddly. "Closed" is great for portability credentials, but "massive case" is not.

It is not the first time that when it comes to their more expensive products, Meze Audio has hired the services of the Ukrainian specialist Rinaro Isodynamics to help them commercially. Rinaro has built a significant reputation in planar magnetic drivers over several decades, and for the Liric he developed the MZ4.

The MZ4 is a 92mm x 63mm elliptical planar magnetic driver, a remarkably lightweight diaphragm with two distinct coil arrangements etched into it. The lower half features a spiral coil that handles mid and high frequencies – its position places it almost directly above the wearer's ear canal.

From there, the theory goes, it cancels out the sound's tendency to blur if the sound's wavelength is shorter than the physical depth of the earpiece, which should result in better accuracy and more concentrated sound. The top of the driver has a switching coil that processes all the remaining information (the lower frequencies, basically).

Most other helmets require additional explanation. Control app, touch controls, battery life and everything you need to chat. But the Meze Audio Liric dispenses with all that. They have a job and are designed and specified to do it well.

Meze Audio Liric on outdoor table

The Meze Audio Liric offers more detail than anything else on the market. (Image credit: TechRadar)

Meze Audio Liric: audio performance

  • Detailed to an almost comical degree
  • eloquently communicative
  • Not as sturdy as expected

First of all, don't expect to be impressed by the prowess of nearly two thousand headphones if you plug them into a mediocre music source. Free Spotify subscribers, owners of virtually any smartphone that still has a physical connection for headphones, people who want to plug them right into the side of their laptop should a) look elsewhere and b) spend a lot less money on headphones. . The Lirics are totally intolerant of all this.

However, subscribers to high-profile streaming services, owners of dedicated digital audio players, and those who understand the need for a dedicated DAC or headphone amp when using a laptop as a source can read on. Treat Meze Audio with care and the rewards are immediate and substantial.

Key specs

Acoustic design: closed, in-ear
Weight: 391g
Speakers: plane magnetic
Wires: 1,5m, 3m
Connection: 3,5mm jack (6,3mm adapter included)

What is most immediately surprising is how the Liric opens up a recording to accommodate the extraordinary amount of detail that it retains. No element of a song is too small or too transient to escape the attention of these headphones: the attack and drop percussion elements of PJ Harvey's 50-foot Queenie, for example, are packed with information. Do not hesitate: if you go into these headphones in the first place, everything will come out again.

His dynamism, whether moving through the dark silences and howls of this song or outlining the tiny harmonic variations of Nils Frahm's In the Sky and On the Ground, is unmistakable. His eloquence in the midrange, where virtually every singer's voice is found and which is essential to the emotional and attitudinal impact of a recording, is enormous. And despite what might appear to be a rather analytical perspective, Liric unites each individual thread of a recording into a single, self-contained, totally persuasive whole.

There is impressive clarity and consistent tonality throughout the frequency range. The lower frequencies, however, pose the only problem that Meze Audio cannot solve decisively. Bass sounds are the same shape, as richly detailed and as musical as anything above them, but they don't pack as much punch as they could.

The Lirics don't want oomph, but they lack that low-end presence and authority that certain music (and you know the genre) is built on. If your tastes lean towards "punchy" in terms of presentation, you'll need to listen to these headphones for a long time before committing.

The rest of us, however, will be sold after a short listen. That's how good these headphones are.

Detail of the Meze Audio Liric headband on the outside table

The weighted headband helps keep the Meze Audio Liric comfortable during long listening sessions. (Image credit: TechRadar)

Should I buy Meze Audio Liric?

Buy them if...

Don't buy them if...

Also consider

Think Meze Audio Liric might not be the audiophile headphone for you? Okay, here are three alternative high-end wired options that can offer the mix of sophisticated style and sound quality you're looking for.

First revision: May 2022


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