Meze Audio Epoque headphones elevate flagship engineering with Art Noveau design

Meze Audio Epoque
(Image credit: Meze Audio)

It is a pity that the owner of a pair of gorgeous-looking pair of headphones naturally cannot appreciate the aesthetic while using them. Because if we owned a pair of Meze Audio Epoque headphones, we would want to be able to look at them as much as possible.

The latest pair in Meze Audio’s Art Gallery collection, the Epoque are limited-edition versions of the Romanian company's flagship Elite planar magnetic headphones and pay homage to the iconic Art Nouveau ('new art' in French) artistic movement and the Belle Epoque ('beautiful era') time period to which it belonged.

“This particular style of art had a significant importance throughout my creative journey, and I wanted to express my admiration for it through my own craft," says Antonio Meze, lead designer and founder of Meze Audio. "Much like the artists of that time, we are inspired by shapes, textures and patterns from nature. We try to revive creativity and bring genuine artistic value to a world of mass production. Epoque is the perfect reflection of our artistic sensibilities.”

Meze Audio Epoque

(Image credit: Meze Audio)

When we say 'limited edition', we really do mean it: only 100 units of the Epoque will be available worldwide, priced at $5000 each.

As you can hopefully see from the accompanying images, the inspiration for the design is apparent in the intricate decoration that has gone into the Epoque's finish. The headphones' aluminium frame features various shades of grey, while Meze says that shapes resembling stems and flowers are hand-applied with precision on the cups, as well as on the carbon fiber headband. Apparently, due to such a meticulous painting process, each frame takes more than a day to complete.

As for the engineering behind the art, the Epoque, like the Elite, represent the pinnacle of Meze's engineering. At their core is the same custom MZ3SE Isodynamic Hybrid Array driver (created by driver specialists Rinaro) which utilises a combination of individual switchback and spiral-shaped voice coils in an effort to target soundwaves with more accuracy around the natural form of the ear. 

You can read more about the technology inside the Meze Epoque and Elite here, and while we haven't put either pair through twelve rounds of testing yet, we have been impressed by what we have heard from Meze models so far.

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Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her eight years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.