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Meze’s new in-ear monitors are just $159 and come with their own DAC

Meze Alba in-ear monitors without cables.

Meze Audio, the Romanian company known for its high-end, audiophile headphones and wired in-ear monitors (IEMs) that often cost thousands of dollars, has just announced its most affordable product yet, the $159 Meze Alba. The Alba possess the same distinct, curvy design as some of Meze’s more expensive models, and use similar materials like zinc alloy and anodized aluminum.

Editor’s note: an earlier version of this article claimed the price of the Meze Audio Alba was $149. This has been corrected.

Meze Alba in-ear monitors.

Meze says that the Alba are designed to act as the first touchpoint in Meze’s growing portfolio. They “beautifully preserve the brand’s design language while providing high levels of comfort, noise isolation and most importantly, an unmistakable immersive listening experience.”

Meze Alba in-ear monitors with USB-C to 3.5mm adapter.

But what really sets the Alba apart from other IEMs is that Meze ships them with their own USB-C to 3.5mm adapter that contains a hi-res digital-to-analog converter (DAC) so that you can use the Alba with any source, like the USB-C port on Android phones or the iPhone 15 family.

Meze Alba in-ear monitors with USB-C to 3.5mm adapter.

That DAC can decode PCM audio at up to 32-bit/384kHz, with a frequency response of 20Hz to 40KHz, which will make it compatible with virtually all hi-res audio streaming content except MQA and DSD.

The Alba themselves possess 10.8mm dynamic drivers and a 15-25kHz frequency range, and can produce a sound pressure level (SPL) of 109 decibels. Also included in the box are silicone eartips in four sizes (S, M, L, XL), plus a zippered, hard-shell travel case that has room for the Alba and all of the included accessories.

The Alba use the very popular 2-pin style of cable connection, and they come with a cable tipped with a gold-plated 3.5mm unbalanced connector. However, those who prefer balanced connections can buy a 4.4mm balanced cable separately.

Simon Cohen
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like spatial…
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