Meze Advar Review: S$1000... But Worth It?
Meze Audio’s products have always been great, and I loved the Rai Penta when I had a chance to try them a year or two ago. Now, we have these new single-driver IEMs, the Meze Audio ADVAR IEMs with us today, and they sound very, very good for the price.
So, let’s talk design first. Anything that comes from Meze Audio looks absolutely awesome, and the ADVAR IEMs are no exception. Made with stainless steel, it’s certainly quite hefty in the hand. It feels solid and dense and very, very premium. You get this glossy black chrome plating on the main body, although there are satin gold accents near the nozzle as well as around the vent. There’s also a golden ring around the MMCX connector and all in all, it’s a very beautiful pair of IEMs.
Just based on the design alone, I’d say this is definitely what I would expect from a pair of IEMs that cost 700 euros, US$699, or S$1,100.
The cable that comes included is a 4-braid silver-plated copper cable terminating in a 3.5mm jack. Not the best, and you do have to pay for an upgrade to a 2.5mm or 4.4mm balanced cable, so that’s not fantastic, but at least there’s the option there. That being said, the MMXC connectors are tight and snug and it’s definitely quite assuring. There’s also no microphonics and the cable itself doesn’t have much memory, so that’s nice. There is memory wire near the MMCX connectors, although they’re not very stiff, so while they do keep their shape, it’s not uncomfortable.
The shells themselves are pretty small, and if you have bigger ears, you’ll be able to lie on your side with no problems at all. In fact, even for me, with smaller ears, these are pretty much flush with my ears and it’s not too painful to lie on my side for a short while. The IEMs come with Final Audio Type E ear tips, and they’re pretty good.
So let’s move on to sound. These are single-driver IEMs, so no crossovers and the like, which means you get a very coherent sound. And these, sound very beautiful and musical.
The bass is well-controlled and natural, with a good amount of air. There’s also no bass bleed, which is an excellent thing for a single dynamic driver IEM. There’s good rumble, good texture and definition, and all in all, there’s almost nothing to fault here.
As for the mids, they are a touch recessed, but still plenty detailed with a lot of resolution. The upper mids do start to get a bit lifted all the way into the treble, but there’s a warmth in there that elevates the vocals and makes it feel a bit more intimate.
There’s plenty of energy and sparkle in the treble and I’m definitely a fan. It’s nicely defined with a good amount of spaciousness and airiness, which is fantastic.
The soundstage is quite wide as well, and positioning is excellent with plenty of space and air.
The one downside in my opinion for these IEMs, is that because of the vent, they don’t block out as much external noise. You do hear a lot of your external environment with these, and that might not be ideal. These also have an impedance of around 31 ohms, which means that they’re not the easiest to drive. They certainly benefit from getting a bit more power.
All in all, though, these are fantastic. At around S$1,000, they’re definitely very value for money and if you’re looking for a good pair of wired earbuds, these fit the bill.