When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works

Home / Hot Stuff / The Meze Audio Alba earphones see audiophile meet affordable

The Meze Audio Alba earphones see audiophile meet affordable

Cables look cool again with these pearl-like IEMs

Meze Audio Alba hot stuff

Meze Audio is practically still in diapers compared to some long-running audio brands, but the Romanian headphone upstart knows a thing or two about great sound – and great design. The new Alba in-ear monitor wired headphones promise both, at a price point that won’t make you wince.

These aren’t Meze’s first in-ears – the firm has been around for more than a decade now, after all. But considering previous efforts could run you north of four figures, the Alba ($159/£139 via Meze Audio) looks like a relative bargain. Especially as you’re also getting a 3.5mm to USB-C dongle in the box; this diminutive in-line DAC lets you plug in to almost any gadget, not just ones with a headphone port. That includes the latest crop of iPhones, which no longer ship with adapters in the box.

Made from a mix of zinc alloy and anodised aluminium treated with an iridescent white finish, the Alba in-ears (which apparently means “first light” in Romanian) continue the firm’s penchant for intricate designs inspired by nature. I think they look a bit like pearls that’ve washed up on the beach.

Meze Audio Alba with DAC

An over-the-ear cable arrangement should keep each earbud comfortably in place, while the braided cable is long enough to comfortably reach whatever pocket you keep your music player in. There’s also a choice of four different silicone ear tips to find a perfect fit. A carry case made from eco-leather should then keep them safe while in transit.

Inside, each bud holds a 10.8mm dynamic driver good for 15-25kHz, which as been tuned to match Meze’s neutral sound profile with “an added touch of warmth”. A low 32ohms impedance means even the weediest of phones, music players or other devices will be able to drive them at peak performance.

The Meze Audio Alba is available to pre-order right now directly from Meze Audio, for $159/£139. That’s a big leap from value-minded ‘buds such as the Soundmagic E80D, but head to head with entry audiophile models including the Sennheiser IE200.

Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor


A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming