It has been a while since we’ve seen a new IEM release from Meze, which is why I am excited to have finally listened to their new ADVAR model. Only revealed about a week ago at CanJam in Singapore, the ADVAR has quickly made the rounds as a launch to get eager for. Being a fan of their previous efforts with the Rai Penta and Rai Solo, the ADVAR has a good amount of promise to live up to. This IEM is priced between those two models at $699.
What You Get
- Case: Hard eco-friendly leather carrying pouch
- Stock cable: MMCX connector ending in gold plated 3.5mm
- 5 pairs (SS, S, M, L, LL) Final Audio Type E ear tips,
- 1 x MMCX removal tool
- 1 x cleaning tool
- 1 x user manual
Look and Feel
Up against the Rai Solo and Rai Penta, which have similar builds, the ADVAR can be seen as a departure from Meze’s IEM construction. There’s a completely different design introduced here, and it’s a great one. The ADVAR is built using solid-stainless steel with a glossy black chrome plating. It’s a solid housing that has an incredible look, with a copper-shaded identifier reminiscent of Meze’s 99 Classics. As for the fit, you get a sufficient level of comfort. Being made of strong materials doesn’t mean that the earphones need to be weighty, as the ADVAR demonstrates a natural fit that sits just right in your concha.
The ADVAR only needs a single 10.2mm dynamic driver to deliver its output. Its stock cable seems like one of Meze’s standard silver cables. It uses MMCX earphone connectors that end in a gold-plated 3.5mm jack.
|Frequency Response||10 Hz – 30 kHz|
|Distortion||<1% at 1kHz|
Meze can always be trusted to deliver a great stage for your tracks to play in, and the ADVAR presents one of their best in their IEM line. While the width of the stage goes as far as you might expect, the real impressive quality here is its depth and spatial presence. The ADVAR has a ton to offer in terms of how it responds dimensionally, providing left and right, as well as forward and back imaging. In effect, this gives the ADVAR a nice outward, almost airy character. The sound elements are still brought in to appear in front of your face rather than in a more live environment like an open-back headphone, but for an IEM, the soundstage and spatial imaging are given a natural sense of layered separation and localized identity. Instrumentals and effects are easy to follow in the stereo field, as they propagate with great articulation and height.
The amount of strength shown by the bass of the ADVAR is spectacular. It consists of this defiant slam that gives an immediate gripping tonality to its response. These bass accents give the timbre a powerful but controlled pop with tight punches of mid-bass drive. You never feel like the bass is going overboard, rather it is having a lot of fun while showing restraint. No extra bloat can be spotted, just clean and articulate details that give the sound signature a ton of depth.
After the impact of the bass, it is nice to hear a sweet and balanced midrange response. Although not as voluminous as the low-end of the spectrum, the mids display a good level of natural accuracy in their detail retrieval. Textured with a fair amount of warmth in the low-mids, the frequency response evens out in its fundamental mid-bands. Vocals feel slightly more pushed forward than most instrumentals, which gave the mids some extra force. Everything reveals itself with pure clarity, and you can’t really ask for much more.
There’s so much energy in this sound signature, and the highs do a great job helping smooth it all out. While not as defined as the lows or some areas of the mids, the treble provides a more delicate timbre to its response. The frequency content is clear and resolute while offering crispness in the upper highs that give the sound signature a book-ended emphasis that compliments itself in contrast to the bass and midrange.
The ADVAR had a lot to live up to, being from a brand I hold in high regard, and it knocks it out of the park. Its tight and powerful response is unlike a lot of IEMs on the market right now, especially for one that is not in that thousand-dollar range. Its sound signature is almost addictive with how much slam it can produce. It is such an energetic sound that has depth and rich character with a stylish design that balances aesthetic with comfort wonderfully. The ADVAR should be on your radar immediately, as I think it might be one of the most sought-after IEMs this year.
The Meze ADVAR will soon be available at Audio46.