November 12th: "We opened preorders for Empyrean and are now assembling the first batch which is almost sold out already. The plan is to send you a loaner by the end of this month or beginning of December."

Watching their YouTube video on how a CNC router shapes the final cup assembly and grill drives home just how labour-intense that machine-shop enterprise is for each and every pair.

Seen up close, the grill pattern seems almost impossibly delicate to be milled from solid.

Photos of driver production in an ISO 9001 certified facility shift from water-cooling jets, drill bits and aluminium dust to quasi clean-room environments, white gloves and pincers.

The end result is an ovoid driver of 102x73mm which works out to an active area of 4'650mm² but only weighs 0.16g. The 75x49mm magnet array creates 0.35T of flux. Given the membrane's minuscule moving mass, that's very high to net us that desirable 100dB sensitivity spec.

Meze's drawing—of how their winged head band increases the contact patch across the skull for more even weight distribution, hence greater comfort—is perfectly intuitive.

The same goes for the next illustration on how double-tasking the driver magnetics as an ear pillow attachment reduces the motor's stray field.

A triple ditto for showing how the quasi tweeter's positioning makes for better radiation focus on the ear canal; and how the final ovoid shape of driver and ear pillow reduced size thus weight.

The Empyrean clearly isn't just an object d'art which happens to be exceptionally well made. From an audio perspective, it incorporates a number of patent-pending tech innovations. Combined, such an assault on furthering the art should be expected from an industrial major like Germany's Sennheiser. That it would come from a small boutique operation in Romania whose previous full-size headphone sold for €309 is very surprising indeed.