Meze Liric Vs Liric II Comparison Review

The Meze Liric II was recently announced, and the hype for it has been growing since then. I praised it in my review as a fantastic new addition to their closed-back product line and one of the best I’ve heard in a long time. However, how exactly does the Liric II compare to the first iteration, and is it worth upgrading if you already own the Meze Liric? What are the differences in sound, and will you personally prefer the new tuning the new version goes for?

What You Get

Liric Liric II
  • Carrying case with soft plush interior
  • 1.5m soft TPE Cable with aluminum casings, ending with 3.5mm jack
  • 3m soft TPE cable, with aluminum casings, ending with 3.5mm jack
  • Quarter-inch adapter
  • Airplane adapter
  • Carrying case
  • Leather drawstring pouch
  • 3.5mm standard cable
  • 4.4mm balanced copper premium cable
  • Quarter-inch adapter
  • Airplane adapter

Look & Feel

In terms of looks, both headphones have the same basic frame. They have the same outline, from the size of the earcups to the yokes, the Liric and Liric II feature identical designs. Where they differ is the new wood plates on the earcups of the Liric II. They give the Liric II more of an artisanal look, and it highlights the craftsmanship of the headphones. I would consider both headphones to have a luxury build though, so I don’t think you’ll be missing out in terms of style with either Liric version. The same goes for comfort, as both headphones use similar earpads that you can interchange with one another. They’ll both give you a nice seal with plenty of isolation.


The original Liric was introduced with Meze’s Isodynamic MZ4 driver in collaboration with Rinaro, which the Liric II tries to improve upon. What the Liric II contributes to this configuration is Meze’s new Phase-X technology, which is implemented to help expand the soundstage by combating non-linear phasing. Both headphones carry a low-impedance that makes them fairly easy to drive.


A lot was done to improve the soundstage on the Liric II. Meze’s new Phase X technology was made to ensure that. This is very apparent when listening to the Liric one and two back to back. When the first Liric was released a few years ago it had one of the best soundstages on closed-back headphones, but it has been eclipsed since then. Up against the Liric II, the soundstage on the original Liric appears a lot more restrictive, like there’s a harder limit on how far the imaging can expand its stereo field.

In no way is the original Liric too closed in, as it’s still very wide and spacious compared to most other closed-back headphones. In terms of accuracy, the Liric one and two are actually pretty close to each other. With the Liric II though, there is even more separation and expansion of layers that makes localization better. There’s a very clear sphere of sound that surrounds your headspace compared to the more centered original.

Low End

The bass of the original Liric has some eventful frequencies, showcasing a thick tone. These frequencies don’t feature much restraint, and absorb a lot of the detail to form a dark timbre. The meatiest textures are concentrated in the mid-bass, which leaves the biggest impression on the sound signature as a whole. On the Liric II, the lows are a lot more balanced. You still get an enveloping warmth, but it’s presented more elegantly and leaves room for more clarity and detail. Everything is easier to decipher, with layers of detail presenting a smoother surface.


Comparing these two headphones in terms of timbre they are quite similar. Both versions of the Liric have a midrange that feels detailed but relaxed. Everything feels present and dynamic, but the energy of its tone is mostly laid back. This suited the darker timbre of the first Liric, but with the Liric II the more balanced response makes the instruments appear more breathable. The sound elements have more noticeable room and it makes them feel more distinct. It makes the midrange more organized and easier to comprehend, with a more noticeable definition. Some of the frequency response on the first Liric can appear a bit cloudy in comparison, but you may prefer its texture.


While I would consider both headphones to have a bright timbre, the Liric II takes it to another level. With the original Liric, the treble was very present but controlled. On the Liric II, there are more pointed peaks, with a more forward presentation. Both headphones feature a crisp texture, but the Liric II has a clearer ring to it. It’s not a piercing tone, but some might consider it a bit too potent. When a pair of headphones knows how to present this type of profile in a way that adds a ton of character and sparkle, I tend to prefer it, but those who are more sensitive to that region might not feel the same.


I loved the Liric when it first launched, and while other closed-back headphones have come a long and made a significant impression since then the Liric has stood tall as a major competitor. Now with the Liric II, I think it might be hard to convince someone to go for the original considering how much it upgrades in terms of sound. The Liric II addresses a lot of the criticisms of the original without sacrificing its character. Those who already own the Liric II and are still enjoying it might be the ones who won’t be won over. I think the presentation of the soundstage of the Liric II is enough for me though, but no matter how you feel these are still two of the best closed-back headphones currently available.

The Meze Liric and the Liric II are available at Audio46.

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Alex S. is a sound designer and voice-over artist who has worked in film, commercials, and podcasts. He loves horror movies and emo music.