Meze Audio upgrades its high-end planar magnetic headphones with stunning striped ebony

A model wear the new Meze Audio Liric 2nd Gen headphones
The new Meze Audio Liric 2nd Gen headphones will be available to buy from March 7. (Image credit: Meze Audio)

If you've recently been hunting around for a pair of Meze Audio's high-end planar magnetic Liric headphones, then you may have noticed that they haven't been available to buy on the brand's website. That's because they've been discontinued but luckily Meze Audio has been working on their successor, the Liric 2nd Gen, which as of March 7, 2024, is now officially available to buy.

We're very excited about the launch of Meze Audio's latest closed-back headphones, not least because the only two models it currently has in this design are the 99 Neo from 2022 and the iconic 99 Classics from 2015. The original Meze Audio Liric had been released in November 2021, so the successor has been eagerly awaited.     

We already rated the Meze Audio Liric among the best wired headphones for audiophiles, awarding them five stars in our review for their "impressive clarity and consistent tonality throughout the frequency range". However, we did note – and this was our only let down when it came to audio quality – that they struggled to deliver impactful bass. But looking at the information released for the Liric 2nd Gen, this might not be a problem anymore.  

Meze Audio Liric 2nd Gen: Key specs 

The new Meze Audio Liric 2nd Gen headphones on a stand on top of a desk

Meze Audio has given the new Liric 2nd Gen the same price as the original Liric released in 2021. (Image credit: Meze Audio)

Meze Audio's Liric 2nd Gen appears to be a lot like the original apart from three key upgrades to the design, drivers and ear pads of the headphones. The most noticeable of these is the stunningly new ebony wood finish, which replaces the plastic exterior of the previous model. Meze Audio has a habit of mixing textures, and while we appreciated the more stripped-back design of the original Liric, there's no doubt that this more premium material elevates their overall look.

Underneath the headphone's wooden exterior, there are a lot more improvements that should help to enhance the new generation's sound profile. Firstly, the hybrid array planar magnetic drivers that Ukrainian specialist Rinaro Isodynamics had helped build for the original Liric have apparently been scaled down and tuned to be the same as its you find in Meze's Empyrean II headphones. It's also added a new Quarter Wavelength Resonator Mask, which is claimed to help smooth higher frequencies by covering certain openings of the driver frame. 

The last new feature that's been added to the Liric 2nd Gen is a minor one, but no less thoughtful. Meze Audio has made the ear pads of the headphones detachable so that you can upgrade or replace them more easily, which is a nice sustainability touch. Outside of these upgrades, we've also noticed that the new generation is slightly heavier at 427g, compared to 391g.  

The Meze Audio Liric 2nd Gen being worn

The all-new Liric 2nd Gen don't look to have a folding design, which is a shame for ease of portability.  (Image credit: Meze Audio)

We haven't yet had the opportunity to test out the all-new Meze Audio Liric 2nd Gen so can't confirm how they compare to the original, but looking at the improvements listed, these could be the next step-up we've been looking for that will see them added to our roundup of the best over-ear headphones

The new headphones are available to buy starting today (March 7) from Meze Audio's website and select retailers worldwide for an extremely premium price tag of $2,000 / £1,850 / about AU$3,000. 

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Amelia Schwanke
Senior Editor UK, Home Entertainment

Amelia became the Senior Editor for Home Entertainment at TechRadar in the UK in April 2023. With a background of more than eight years in tech and finance publishing, she's now leading our coverage to bring you a fresh perspective on everything to do with TV and audio. When she's not tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos in the ever-evolving world of home entertainment, you’ll find her watching movies, taking pictures and travelling.