Overall Score: 84/100

Meze ALBA IEMs Review – When Affordable Sounds High-End

Before departing for the High End Show in Munich this year, a little birdie told me that Meze would be unveiling new products at the show. Curious by nature, the first booth that I visited was Meze’s, and sure enough, the 105 AER open-back headphones were unveiled first, and then some tiny IEMs that I didn’t check out immediately. Vlad, the mastermind behind these tiny IEMs, asked again and again if I had tried them, and since I have a deep respect for musicians and engineers, I sat down for a longer listen. Sincerely, I was taken away by their natural and effortless sound, but even more so by their affordable price point, but more about that in a minute. These are called MEZE ALBA, a name that signifies the first light of the day in my mother tongue, and I think it’s the right time to check them out!

I tried them first with a high-end portable DAP from Astell&Kern and then with their own USB-C dongle included in the package. To my surprise, there wasn’t a massive difference between the expensive Astell&Kern player and the USB-C dongle; they sounded great from both, with minimal differences. A few moments later, Vlad and Antonio started asking us how much we thought these would cost, together with the dongle. I think I said 900 Euros, a friend said 1000, and somebody said that they sounded better than their RAI PENTA, so they should cost a pretty penny. The moment Vlad told us that they would cost €159 and $159 respectively, was the moment when our faces went through different states of shock and excitement. We couldn’t believe that and asked if there was a hidden camera and if we were part of a prank. There weren’t any hidden cameras, as these IEMs were made as an introduction to the Meze house sound that could easily compete with any ChiFi IEMs and even with expensive ones as well.

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