Meze Audio LIRIC 2 Review

This is the review of the brand new Meze Audio LIRIC 2. That’s right, it’s time for the new LIRIC 2 closed-back headphone!

 

Disclaimer: The Meze Audio LIRIC 2 was sent to me by Meze directly in exchange for our honest opinion.

Meze Audio

Meze Audio has become famous and big over the last few years, Their headphones have top-quality sound, great build quality and they even offer budget-friendly gear. If you haven’t heard about them then you can read their “Philosophy” on their website, right here.

The Meze Audio headphones have won awards all over the world and that doesn’t come as any surprise, as a lot of people seem to love the Meze creations. On top of that, the Meze team is always friendly, they know what they’re talking about and they’re just really nice people to communicate with. It’s one of the nicest companies in audio for sure.

We have reviewed many of Meze’s products here on Headfonia, and you can find all of those reviews here. We reviewed their latest award winning headphone, the Empyrean 2, not so long ago but Meze is back already with a new version of their LIRIC closed-back headphone, and that’s what we’re looking at today.

Introduction

It was a well-kept secret, and we found out about the LIRIC 2 only two weeks ago. The Meze team got in touch and introduced us to the new LIRIC 2, though we couldn’t share the news at that time.

The new Meze Audio LIRIC 2 was officially announced on March 7, so most of you have seen the news by now already. That said, we’re only a few days after the launch now, and we have the LIRIC 2 review for you already. If you’re not familiar yet with the original Meze Audio LIRIC, we strongly advise you to read up on that headphone first. You can do so here:

No need to keep you all waiting any longer, let’s dive in !

Meze Audio LIRIC 2

The new LIRIC 2 doesn’t only look a little different, but Meze also retuned the LIRIC 2 based on the customer feedback, and they introduced some new technologies.

The Meze Audio LIRIC 2’s dedicated web page can be found here. Here’s a quick preview video of the all-new LIRIC 2:

The new LIRIC 2 is selling for $2,000 USD and it is replacing the original version, which no longer is available in the official shop. You can buy the LIRIC 2 directly from Meze right here.

This 2nd Generation of LIRIC represents a new chapter in our quest to evolve, featuring a new and refined sound profile, detachable magnetic ear pads, sublime Macassar ebony ear cups, and one of our premium hand-braided copper cables.

The LIRIC 2 still features the state-of-the-art technology developed by Rinaro, re-engineered for day-to-day use. The MZ4 Isodynamic Hybrid Array driver was purposefully scaled down and tuned to deliver a similar audio experience with its larger counterparts found in the Empyrean II and Elite. All the driver info can be found on Meze’s web site here.

With the LIRIC 2, Meze however introduces a couple of new technologies as well. First of we have the QWRM which stands for Quarter Wavelength Resonator Mask. It is a precision-crafted metal component that strategically covers select openings in the driver frame, to effectively attenuate high-frequency peaks above 7kHz for a less fatiguing listening experience. Second we have the PES, which stands for PRESSURE EQUALIZATION SYSTEM. This basically allows for optimal ear cup chamber pressure and better airflow control and it has been upgraded to achieve a smoother transition from the bass frequency region into the low midrange.

Last but not least is the Phase-X™, Immersive Spatial Sound Imaging. It is an innovation to the MZ4 driver and it is a system created by Rinaro as a way to minimize phase distortion issues, typically found in closed-back headphone designs. This patent-pending technology – according to Meze and Rinaro – improves the accuracy of spatial imaging. With the addition of the Phase-X™ system, LIRIC achieves a more linear phase response and a faster transient response decay. This allows for a more faithful reproduction of transient sounds and improves ambience and spatial imaging for the listener, taking them closer to the original source recording.

The higher aim of our design and development process has always been to deliver a transformational experience for people, a transformation through emotions and sensations. Every day we try to get just a little bit better at it.”

Next to the tech novelties, Meze is also introducing their new Macassar ebony wood earcups. Macassar ebony is a heavy, dense, aesthetically pleasing hardwood known for its deep, rich brown coloration punctuated by intricate golden-brown stripes. Meze states they extend an invitation to connect with the feeling of warmth that only Mother Nature can provide. To be honest, I’m not sure about that, but we’ll get to that later in this article.

Last but not least, the earpads. Merging form with function, the earpads have been re-engineered for effortless maintenance, now adopting a detachable magnetic design. Meze’s premium hand-braided copper cable now serves as the stock cable for the LIRIC 2.

We’ll go into details on how the LIRIC 2 sounds in a dedicated chapter later in this review, but we can already share that LIRIC 2 introduces a richer sound and refined tuning. Actually, the LIRIC 2’s sound has been refined with the help of the community’s feedback, and it now – according to Meze – falls in between a balanced and a warm profile. This means you get a mix of clear and accurate audio, with a touch of warmth for added depth.

We’ll find out if that is correct later in this article, keep reading. 

The Box, Accessories & Price

The new LIRIC is selling for $2,000 USD, and that’s exactly the same price as the original. The LIRIC 2 is now up for pre-order and if you do so, one extra year of warranty is added automatically for all LIRIC 2 orders (through March 31st, 2024). The pre-order units should be delivered within 2 weeks.

There’s nothing special to say about the box and how the LIRIC is being delivered. It’s a big, nice box just like with the original LIRIC and it has top quality written all over it. Together with the LIRIC 2, you inside the box find the following set of accessories:

  • One PU Leather cable pouch
  • One 6.3 mm & airplane jack adapter
  • One Hard EVA pouch with velvet lining
  • One 1.3 m braided Furukawa PCUHD copper cable with 4.4 mm jack
  • One 3 m soft TPE cable with 3.5 mm jack

We’ve focused our efforts towards enhancing the listening experience, offering a 4.4 mm termination premium cable suitable for most portable headphone amplifiers, as well as a 3 m soft TPE cable with a 3.5 mm jack, ideal for home headphone setups. Personally the 4.4mm cable for me is a little short, especially as I like using a balanced connection in my desktop setup as well. That said, the sound quality of the cable is excellent and perfectly matches with the LIRIC 2.

All-in-all, a very nice package and set of accessories. Where most companies increase the price when launching revisions, Meze chose to not do that and we can only give them kudos for that.

Design, Build Quality & Comfort

Design-wise a lot and nothing has changed at the same time. The LIRIC 2 weighs an impressive 427g but because of the superefficient and comfortable head band and padding, it disappears on your head. The head band perfectly distributes the weight on the top of your head and the side clamping force for me sits just right. Even though there’s a pressurization chambre in the closed-back design, the LIRIC 2 doesn’t leak any sound in our out. It’s perfect for at home if you don’t want to be disturbed or disturb anyone, but you can also use it on the go without loss of quality, just be careful when crossing the street.

The build quality also is excellent, as we’re used to from Meze Audio and each driver is entirely hand-assembled and tested by in Rinaro’s industrial facility in Ukraine. Basically all is the same as with the original LIRIC.

Design-wise the detachable magnetic ear pads are new for the LIRIC 2, but we have seen them before in the Empyrean and ELITE headphones . This design choice – according to Meze – ultimately translates into enhanced reliability and serviceability, characteristics that audiophiles and music enthusiasts worldwide have grown accustomed to. I do want to stress to make sure you have a proper seal when using the LIRIC, as a bad seal seriously impacts the bass, body and overall sound quality.

The new LIRIC 2 pretty much looks like the original but it now is a fusion of leather, wood, and metal. The big new feature in the design of course are the Maramures wooden earcups. This is what Meze has to say about it:

Coming from a tradition of Maramures craftsmanship, we decided to preserve the design language of the first generation of LIRIC, but warm it up with the introduction of wood. This journey we embarked on led us to discover the most potent fit in Macassar ebony – a heavy, dense, aesthetically pleasing hardwood known for its deep, rich brown coloration punctuated by intricate golden-brown stripes.

I love seeing the use of wood in headphones (think ZMF and the old Audeze just to name 2) but personally I am not very fond of the way the wood sits inside the ear cups, to me it looks a bit weird. I am pretty sure however that many of you will love it. Maybe if the whole cup would have been wood that it would suit me more, but it is what it is.

Anyway, enough about how the LIRIC 2 looks and feels, it’s time for the part on sound.

Click here to go the next page with the part on sound, or use the jumps below.

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