Meze Audio's Alba are affordable wired earbuds for the 21st century

Meze Audio Alba in-ear wired headphones with A&K player
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Meze Audio has attracted quite the following in recent years, having designed several aesthetically and sonically pleasing wired over-ear headphones in its native Romania. Two years ago it added a pair of high-end in-ears to its ranks, and now it welcomes a more accessible earbud to the family – Alba.

Following their debut at High End Munich in May, the Alba are striking not only for their classy, pearl white finish but also their USB-C inclusivity. While they are terminated with a traditional 3.5mm jack for plugging into a portable music player or another traditional source, they also come bundled with a USB-C adaptor for fuss-free connectivity to the iPhone 15, Android phones and other USB-C sources. This adaptor naturally features a built-in DAC, which you would hope is more advanced when it comes to the all-important digital-to-analogue conversion process than 'standard' off-the-shelf USB-C adaptors.

Additionally, the Alba come with four sizes of eartips.

Meze Audio Alba wired earbuds on a grey background

(Image credit: Meze Audio)

With 'Alba' meaning ‘first light’ in Romanian, they have been designed for those who are "inspired by elevated audio enjoyment" and thus looking to transition from wireless earbuds to wired. After all, the best wired earbuds sound significantly better than the best similarly priced wireless earbuds.

Despite the earbuds' precious, pearlescent looks, Meze says that their combination of zinc alloy and anodized aluminium parts make for a resilient build, at the heart of which is a 10.8mm dynamic driver. 

The Alba's £139 / $159 asking price puts them in the firing line of Shure's class-leading Aonic 3, and they will need to be more than a pretty face to overcome their closest rival. If Meze's over-ear efforts are anything to go by, the Alba should be a promising package indeed.


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Becky Roberts

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 10+ years in the hi-fi industry, she has reviewed all manner of audio gear, from budget amplifiers to high-end speakers, and particularly specialises in headphones and head-fi devices. In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.