Here at MajorHiFi, we’ve constantly got our ears to the ground regarding new headphones and earphones. And for a while now I’ve been itching to demo the new Mera earphone – a single dynamic driver hailing from the good old U-S-of-A. But at $299, can it live up to the expectations that come along with the price? And how does this earphone stack up against its competition?
Light Harmonic Mera Review
The Light Harmonic Mera comes in a snazzy box with a posh carrying case, and six pairs of eartips.
Featuring a removable cable, the Mera connects via an MMCX connection. As a result, this earphone offers compatibility with a wide range of third-party cables. But don’t take that as a snub at the supplied cable. Featuring a silver-plated copper construction, the cable measures a standard 1.2 m (4 ft) length.
Each earpiece featurs a hexagonal sound chamber and carries a single dual-layer dynamic driver. The nozzles are fashioned from copper alloy, supposedly to supply a silky-smooth sound.
Overall, the earphones feel fairly premium, thanks to the aluminum housing and robust cabling. The supplied tips come in handy in trying to find the perfect fit. And make no mistake, the fit is crucial with this earphone.
Personally, I found the fit a bit difficult, even with my giant ears. But experimenting with the supplied tips and some third party tips, I found the Final E-Type tips to offer the best fit and seal. Maybe my ears are shaped weird, or maybe it’s the wide nozzle, but it took some extra effort to get this earphone to sit properly.
Even if difficult to fit, the Mera remains easy to drive. For my review, I paired it with my iPhone 8, a modded iPod and pocket amp, and running straight from my lackluster work computer. In every instance, this earphone sounded fantastic, but probably sounded the best with just a little amplification. That being said, if you played this earphone straight from a smartphone, you’d still be floored by the audio quality.
Light Harmonic Mera Review – Sound Quality
Thanks to that dynamic driver, the Mera offers a pretty luscious low end. There’s detail here, and bass, and both benefit from a tight sense of control. This results in a sound with minimal bleed, but one that also remains emotive. And with that it mind, it still feels pretty accurate. I’m torn between lauding this low end for its fun, intoxicating sound, and lambasting it for the massive timesink it provides through hours-long listening sessions.
When it comes to the mids, I was actually really surprised at how good the Mera sounds. Most single dynamic drivers slack of in the mids and highs, with more compression at the center of the frequency range. Yet, with this headphone, the midrange remains present and articulate, no matter what I am listening too. Vocals are smooth and intimate, but instrumentation really steals the show here. Every single note seems to appear and fade away with exacting precision.
A little rolled off, these highs never seem too bright or piercing. Still, there’s just enough zazz here to lend something special to pop and classical tracks – or anywhere that displays strings. This natural-but-energetic high end works well with the robust lows, giving the Mera a bottom-heavy but immensely fun sound.
Better than what I was expecting, the Mera delivers some good depth and even a paltry sense of space. Granted, it can’t really compare to a good over-ear open-back like the Grado GH4, but for an IEM, this soundstage actually comes across as decent. There’s some slight overlap with instruments, but the clarity and separation in the mids help push vocals away from surrounding sources.
Light Harmonic Mera Review – Conclusion
Pros and Cons
Pros: A solid sound that really shows what the right dynamic driver can do for an earphone. Gorgeous looks and great build quality help push the bang further from your buck. Really, a solid option for the price.
Cons: A tough fit, even for chaps with big ‘ole radar dish ears. Finding the right eartips remains imperative, but that quest for comfort may lead you to third party tips.
At $299, the Light Harmonic Mera offers an impressive level of sound quality. Despite the simple single-dynamic driver setup, the sound remains rich and complex. While I found the fit a little wonky, the extra effort in getting the right seal definitely pays off. Listeners can expect superb detail and a highly emotive sound throughout, making this a solid mid-fi earphone for folks who want to listen to all kinds of music for hours on end.
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