The latest in the Classics series, the Meze 12 doesn’t reveal itself immediately. The walnut...

Meze 12 Classics

Rating:
4.06818/5,
  • The latest in the Classics series, the Meze 12 doesn’t reveal itself immediately.

    The walnut wood housing changes, slightly, over time in tone and contrast. Its mystery isn’t quick to vanish.

    The signature sound of a Meze, on the other hand, is and will be unchanged.

Recent Reviews

  1. Kervsky
    A Chill Classic
    Written by Kervsky
    Published Oct 19, 2018 at 2:22 PM
    4.0/5,
    Pros - A good balanced signature, smooth sound, good detail retrieval, fatigue free listening, great build quality, beautiful wooden shell and overall aesthetics, has a microphone for mobile/internet calls.
    Cons - Cable microphonics
    [​IMG]

    Introduction: Meze Audio, is a company that is well known, even in the Asian markets that are far from their native land of Baia Mare, Romania. It is here, amongst the scenic and medieval touched landscape that Antonio Meze, through his love for music, started Meze Audio in 2009. Starting small and gaining experience through the years, they were able to break through in 2015 with their 99 Classics which garnered them much accolades, awards and a lot of smiling happy customers. Following the success of their headphones, they came out with the Meze 11 Neo and 12 classics, like miniature versions of their 99 Neo and 99 classics, they were developed in house, and designed with their own aesthetic of timelessness, functionality, ergonomics and of course a flair for style while maintaining a high standard for quality and a sound that should be vivid and immersive.

    Today, I'll be reviewing the Meze Audio 12 Classics (in gunmetal). and I'd like to thank Doina Ferrent and the people of Meze Audio for the chance to review the 12 Classics in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. You can buy the Meze Audio 12 Classics at the Meze Audio website or locally if you have an official retailer for Meze Audio products.

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    Specification:
    Driver: 8mm Dynamic, Copper-clad Aluminum voice coil
    Diaphragm: Titanium coated Mylar
    Sensitivity: 101dB (+/- 3db)
    Frequency Response: 16Hz - 24KHz
    Impedance: 16Ohm
    Total harmonic distortion: < 0.5%
    Material: Wood and Aluminum
    Cable Material: 7N OFC cable
    Cable Length: 1.2m
    Plug: 3.5mm gold-plated jack

    The 12 Classics are quite easy to drive thanks to its low impedance and can get to loud volumes with its sensitivity. Real world usage on my Xperia XZ Premium is able to drive it to 95db at max volume, which isn't the loudest but adequate enough to silence most ambient noise. The nice thing about the 12 Classics is that it can scale depending on the source, in particular, it can sound a lot better with more power provided, sounding more musical and articulate with better sources and still sound fun and entertaining with just a phone as a source.

    [​IMG]

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    Unboxing: The Meze 12 Classics arrives in a nice sturdy white box as seen above and has all the info necessary for an informed purchase if perused at say a store. It has a nice complimentary aesthetic for me and though it's not as minimalist as I'd like, the choice they made was a statement of how they view their products, that being worth the effort and flair and it shows with how the inner layout is made in homage to the Meze Audio logo which also mimics the front cover photo.

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    Inside are the basic necessities for Meze 12 Classics as well as some goodies:
    1 x Meze 12 Classics
    1 x Cable clip
    1 x Carrying Case
    1 x 3 sets of silicone ear-tips (S, M, L)
    1 x Set of double flange tips
    1 x Set of Comply foam ear tips
    1 x Booklet
    1 x Circular Meze Audio sticker
    1 x Rectangular Meze Audio sticker

    The tip selection is standard but the double flange and real Comply tips are a great addition to insure comfort and fit in almost any ear geometry. The clip can be a necessity as I'll explain later and the carrying case can be a godsend if you do not have your own case to use, though the case in itself is pretty awesome it's sturdy and quite compact. I'm not sure if the stickers are a recent addition but I think they are really a nice touch, it gives you the opportunity to show your love for Meze by using it on your favorite things, the refrigerator, a diary, laptops etc..

    [​IMG]

    Cable/Build/Design: The Meze 12 Classics has a non-removable cable that looks reinforced for durability and made of 7N Oxygen Free Copper (OFC), the jacket is a bit on the thick side, this adds to a bit of stiffness and microphonics of the cable but also prevents kinks and tangling. There is adequate strain relief in all places where to expect it (after the plug, before and after splitter and mic, before the drivers), a standard mobile case friendly straight gold plated plug adorns the connection end of the 12 Classics which the cable leads to a nice metallic Y-split with the Meze Audio branding, on the right cable, there is a microphone and button module for mobile use. The microphone has been tested with calls on cellular and internet calls and is quite clear with good and clear sound pickup. The overall build of the cable system inspires confidence in its resilience.

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    The driver shells of the 12 Classic are a nice mix of aluminum and wood, which is unique for each set, mine has already displayed it's characteristics in that one is lighter than the other. In hand they feel solid and textured but not rough or overly smooth. There is a small embossed letter L and R on the respective side of the strain relief of each shell and an additional dot on the left side, which incidentally isn't really necessary as you can just feel or look at the microphone module and know that side is the right.

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    There are two vents on the 12 Classics, one at the bottom for diaphragm venting and one near the front/nozzle is for insertion venting (to avoid driver flex). The front vent can be covered by a small piece of Blu Tack (or something similar) so there will be no air escaping the front side, this usually increases the bass of most IEMs with similar vents. The nozzle has a prominent tip lip made of Aluminum that holds any tip used securely. There is a fine mesh cover on the nozzle to prevent naturally occurring cerumen to enter the shell. The strain relief here is thick and flexible, giving it a good level of protection from accidental pulls and general manhandling. Aesthetic wise, the 12 Classics are easy on the eyes, look classy and seem to impart a feeling of inviting warmth and stability.

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    Sound Analysis: When I first listened to the 12 Classics, it felt like a spacious and enjoyable tuning though bass felt a bit fast and controlled, it didn't overwhelm me with bass, or very forwarded mids and a bright treble, it also felt that the upper mids were a little recessed compared to the mids which struck me as odd. Still it was a fun listen and the lightness of the overall tuning gave me an easy listening vibe. Considering the belief that dynamics need clocked usage for it to reach its best performance, I used the Meze 12 Classics with music for over 200 hours before doing my review. I used Symbio W tips for listening and various sources (calibrated to 85db) though most was done using the Sony WM1a to compare and find the sound of the 12 Classics.

    Bass: First off, the Meze 12 Classics are not bass head IEMs, now that is out of the way, with an 8mm dynamic driver, the Meze 12 Classics is able to push out a good amount of bass. The sub-bass is of average reach and is controlled with a faster than average decay which lets Dragonborn's battle drums slam and reach a decent depth before resounding enthusiastically into the next notes, this does reflect well for its responsiveness and ability to resolve details. Bass has good impact, owing to a boost in this part of the frequency, giving the 12 Classics an above average punch that is felt well with Acid Rain's bass slams and bass guitars have that nice grungy crunch, giving Lithium an effervescent quality (aka lively). Overall, the 12 Classics has good bass texture, blending smoothly with the warmth, attack and decay of the music.

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    Mids: The mids for me can be a make or break situation considering I really like this frequency range, and it's fortunate (for me) that the Meze 12 Classics has good mids that are near balanced in tonality with a leaning towards a little more thickness with a touch of warmth for that rather organic smoothness. This is apparent with Dream a Little Dream of Me (Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong) where the music has a good amount of thickness that defines their voices well just as the instruments sound distinct and harmonious. This also displays how balanced the mids are with both voices being on the same level and are a little forward in overall placement.

    There is ample space and detail retrieval in the 12 Classics for it to sound clear and uncompressed, Pandemic sounds good with every instrument and voice identifiable and don't meld incoherently with one another in this otherwise wall of sound of a song. Pianos in Do What You have to Do sound a little on the light side in this range and give some crisp as the offset while guitars and synths positively respond on this frequency. Alive's (Pearl Jam) rhythm guitar sound smooth with a grungy bite while the lead has a bit of crisp to its note. Clair Marlo's Till They take my Heart Away is particularly nice for me with the synths sounding crisp, the bass guitars strumming a good beat and sounding melodious while her voice wrapped in a warmth and smoothness sings emotively.

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    Treble: The Meze 12 has an above average reach for the treble, providing a good amount of air and some sparkle, Silent Lucidity's harmonics sound particularly crisp and clear, inviting with a semblance of brightness that does not induce harshness or fatigue. Hit the Lights' cymbal crashes and high hats arrive well and nicely detailed, sounding quite natural. The 12 Classics provide a needed clarity and separation to avoid congestion as the sounds in Hit the Lights can overlap and merge on gear that has poor tuning and ability. Sibilance is well controlled here and without sounding rolled off or cut off too early, an overall good sounding area for the 12 Classics.

    Soundstage: Left and right staging has very good width, moving outward in a natural way, going up to around 4 inches away in distance for some sounds and on most songs a little out of the ear. Front and back staging distance is on the average size, while up and down depth is a little above average. Instrument separation and layering is pretty good as it prevents you from feeling or hearing any congestion in the music no matter how busy it gets. Imaging is accurate for positioning of source sounds.

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    Conclusion: The Meze 12 Classics is one of the good all arounder IEMs out in the market, it has an overall balanced and organic sound that's fatigue and harshness free, perfect for chilling through your daily routine. With a fast and punctuating bass, smooth and detailed mids, a crisp, airy treble framed in a stage that is both layered and spacious, the Meze 12 Classic is an enjoyable listen for many genres that don't overly rely on very strong bass presence. The overall physical attributes of the 12 Classic are also worth noting, built with sturdy cables and provided with a good control microphone that compliments the well built aluminum and classy wooden shell, a merging of both modern and organic aesthetics.

    One other thing to note is the vent a little after the nozzle, if you accidentally smother it with a foam tip or intentionally cover it with some Blu Tack, the bass on the Meze 12 Classic will become stronger, able to hit harder and have more quantity, at this level, the mids are not overwhelmed by the bass but you can say that it could possibly satisfy a basshead. Mids and treble, clarity, separation and layering are largely unaffected though the stage feels a bit smaller overall. Covering the vents can introduce a bit of driver flex which is usually not damaging to the IEMs so use proper insertion methods to avoid this in case you want the basshead version of the Meze 12 Classics.

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    Sound testing was done using a Sony WM1a (Primarily), a Hiby R6, Zishan Z1(for comparison), Audirect Beam (for computer convenience) and a phone (for checking driveability) volume matched to 90.X db of max volume for safe hearing below 8 hours of use and calibrated using a 1kh tone on a dedicated DB Meter, all sources patched through a switcher. More information will be available on the About Me page (once I find the time to write it up.)
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  2. techinblack
    Fun listening experience
    Written by techinblack
    Published Oct 16, 2018 at 4:55 AM
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Great build quality, choice of materials and design
    Punchy and quick bass
    Fun sound signature
    Cons - Fit (Subjective)
    Mic sounds a bit muffled
    Some specifications (from mezeaudio.com):

    • Frequency response: 16Hz – 24KHz
    • Impedance: 16Ohm
    • Sensitivity: 101dB (+/- 3db)
    • Total harmonic distortion: < 0.5%
    • Noise attenuation: up to 26dB
    • Titanium coated 8mm mylar driver
    • Copper-clad aluminum voice coil
    • 3.5mm gold-plated jack plug
    • 7N OFC cable, length: 1.2m
    [​IMG]

    Unboxing, fit and first thoughts

    If the goodness of a product shines through its presentation, this – judging from the cover – is a wonderful one. It may be obvious for someone, giving the long experience in product design of Antonio Meze, but nothing must be taken for granted.

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    This box is elegant, while clearly ready for being exposed in the stores. The picture of the earphones on the front face is the real position of them inside the box itself; and the shape of it reprises the Meze logo. This sign of cure is a constant in every way concerning these In-Ears. Every face of the box is smartly used to give us all the information about the earphones themselves as well as the accessories and other useful advertisements. The most interesting thing here, for audiophile people, is the frequency response graphic, which reveals the characteristic tuning of the company.

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    Inside the box you’ll find a carrying pouch with the Meze logo, a pair of Comply foam ear tips (great to find them!), three silicon tips (S, M, L) and a double-flange pair. Great selection. And there’s a clip to attach the cable on a T-shirt or something: guess… with the Meze logo! The “instruction manual”, which may sound useless, has instead some really useful tips like dangerous volumes ecc.. There’s also a Meze sticker which is good to add to your MacBook with all the others I’m sure you all have out there!

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    The “Classic” name that Meze gives to some of its products could mean two things: that you’re looking at a classy product (usually with wooden inserts); that it’s perfect for classical music (that is a difficult genre to reproduce, because of the transients and the soundstage it needs). Why did I think that? Because if you try some Neo versions of the same ear/headphones of Meze, you will find punchier basses and a slightly different tuning, more popular and modern. You can read our reviews of the 99s (Classics and Neo) to better understand this. We will see later if that’s the case even with these “12”.

    Anyway, when you look at these earphones you immediately realize to hold a product developed with passion (if you saw the interviews with Antonio Meze you can understand what I mean). The wood gives a premium feel to the product and the overall build quality is top notch. The cable is not my favorite, I’d rather a braided style, but it’s well done and the metal inserts with the Meze logo are very high quality. It’s also oxygen-free, which means that the interferences are very low.

    There is an issue regarding the fit of the 12 Classics with my ears: I’ve tried every silicon ear tip and everyone can’t help falling off. I now go with the Comply ones (which are much, much better), but I must be very careful when I walk or move because the fit is not the greatest for me anyway. That didn’t happen with my girlfriend, which found them perfect, for example. You can always wrap the cable around your ear like in IEMs and obtain a better fit for you.

    [​IMG]

    Sound

    My main source was a FiiO M7 DAP. I’ve also used my 2012 MacBook Pro (also with a Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface), my Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 with default dongle and with Audirect Whistle DAC/Amp.

    I generally liked the sound of these 12 Classics. The signature is not so conventional, and you have to like a warm and pretty dark sound to appreciate them. If you are fan of clarity and brilliant treble, these aren’t probably your first choice. The instrument separation is decent, even though I heard everything pretty unbalanced on the lower side; this is a pro for certain kinds of music, because the bass is quick and punchy, and very dense, but it’s a con for other ones. I have to say that initially the soundstage was very limited, so I recommend following the tips of Meze and let them burn in several hours. Now it’s so much better than before, even though it’s not the widest stage you’ll ever find. The most enjoyable experience you can have with these is with certain kinds of modern music that are minimal and dynamic (sounds strange with the name Classics!) like Lorde, Oh Wonder and so on.

    With classical music the things are a bit different. The enhanced lower frequencies remain, but the instrument separation is generally better. Still I didn’t find a perfect imaging, you haven’t the feeling to be inside the scene. The treble voices have sometimes too much reverb; the strange thing is that’s something affecting the male voices more than the female ones. Unusual fact, in my opinion. The particular tuning probably affects the sound in that way. I did find however a really enjoyable sound, fast and precise, more on a fun side than a reference one. From the provided frequency response graph, you can effectively see that the higher frequencies (from 10 kHz) are not the best; it’s the same signature as the 11 series, but I believe that they are tuned with some differences. And the wood may give some “naturalness” to the sound, for the ones who believe it in such small earphones.

    The sound leak is almost inexistent, which is great.

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    The mic, unfortunately, isn’t great. It sounds a bit muffled, but I understand the majority of people prefer having it, even for emergency purpose. With this kind of earphones, I’d rather have a better cable with no mic, because they are made for music listening.

    So, summing up, the bass is very good, the mid is okay, the treble is not the clearest one. I liked them a lot, because of the punchiness and the quick bass. The sound is embracing, and it surprises: I tried a lot of honest headphones which haven’t some impressive features; these are instead very “warm” in terms of sound, and really convincing. You must know that it’s not the most usual sound signature, however.

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    Conclusion

    Do I recommend the 12 Classics? For sure, because you get a good, non-fatiguing listening experience and a quick and detailed sound, even if a little bit dark, and they are easy to drive even with your smartphone. Consider that you might have some small fit issues, like me, and if you need to make a lot of calls with them you may find the mic not so good. I would take them as my daily drivers, if my ears were matching them better, because the sound is pleasant. And they look amazing.

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      MezeTeam and B9Scrambler like this.
  3. theoutsider
    A Designer Earphone
    Written by theoutsider
    Published Jul 5, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Gorgeous product design, very likable sound.
    Cons - The soundstage leaves a lot to be desired.
    Introduction

    Meze Audio is the company behind the now iconic wooden headphones, 99 Classics. Many articles I read mentioned the fascinating story of how Antonio Meze started his company. In one of the interview, Antonio stated that he tried in vain to find a pair of headphones that he can connect with so he ended up making his own. Prior to founding his namesake company, Antonio Meze worked as an industrial designer, he very much got into the audio business as an outsider.

    Take a look at Meze Audio official website and you will notice the 4 products that they are currently selling, 2 headphones and 2 earphones. 99 Neo headphone is essentially the lower end version of 99 Classics headphone. Both headphones share the same internal components, 99 Neo being the cheaper sibling does not have the signature wooden earcups. The same product segmentation method is used for their earphones/IEM, 11 Neo is essentially the strip-down version of 12 Classics. The wooden cover of 12 Classics had been omitted from 11 Neo so Meze Audio is able to sell it for 20usd less. Aside from the cosmetic, I noticed that the copper-clad aluminium coil is also absent from 11 Neo. I have done some goggling and I discovered that Meze Audio used to sell 11 Classics and 11 Deco, the now discontinued predecessors to the aforementioned earphones.

    99 Classics is a great headphone that is lauded by audio critics, the lesser known 12 Classics earphone is no slouch either. In this review, I will talk in detail about 12 Classics.

    Disclaimer

    I am grateful to be sent a pair of 12 Classics Iridium for evaluation and I would like to thank Meze Audio for the opportunity to review the product. I am writing this review as I see fit and not commercially associated with them.

    https://www.mezeaudio.com/collections/all/products/12-classics-iridium


    Unboxing



    I don’t really believe in the saying that an earphone is not to be judged by its box because first impression does matter!



    12 Classics came in a classy looking box. Once I broke the seal and opened the box up, I was greeted by the earphone, a protective pouch, a lapel clip and some eartips. Meze Audio also included a pair of Comply Isolation premium eartips as part of the package. The whole packaging felt right, I had a dopamine rush unboxing the earphone!


    Physical

    Earphone

    The text “Designed by Antonio Meze” is apparent on the side of the packaging box. Antonio Meze, the owner of the company is also the industrial designer behind both 12 Classics and 99 Classics.



    I received Meze 12 Classics in Iridium colour and I must say, the earphone screams luxury! It is perhaps the most intricately made earphone I have ever owned. The last few years have seen a boom in affordable Chinese Fi earphones and I for one might have spent too much time with those earphones to the extend that I became accustomed to the usually not so great earphone aesthetics. To lay my hands on Meze 12 Classics felt rather refreshing, it reinvigorated my appreciation for premium products and good designs.



    12 Classics is a great combination of premium materials and robust construction. The walnut wood cover looks good in pictures and in real life. Take a read at Meze’s website, they mentioned that the wood trim will age gracefully overtime, I think that’s pretty cool. Wood usually absorbs moisture and oil and will darken with age but my 3 months old unit looks the same thus far so only time will tell. The shiny part of the earphone is cold to touch so I am assuming those are aluminum. The quality control of this earphones seems good, I don’t see any glue residue or uneven gaps that I can complain about.

    I have compared 12 Classics to some of my other earphones, the earphone itself is large to medium-sized for a single dynamic driver setup. The diameter of the nozzle (the protruded part that holds the eartip) is on the larger side and I will explain later why that is not a good thing.


    Cable and Plug

    Meze 12 Classics cable is hefty, springy and rubbery. I usually coil and tie up my earphones for storage. When I unwind 12 Classics for use, the cable immediately curls up due to its memory effect. Most people might not see that as an issue but that bothers me quite a bit.



    I noticed strain reliefs on all the joints of 12 Classics so I am quite convinced that the earphone will not break down anytime soon. That said, I think the Y-split and microphone might be over-designed. The oversized Y-split and microphone could have been a lot smaller and still function the same.



    Given that 12 Classics is equipped with a smartphone button and an in-line microphone, I believe 12 Classics was planned as a consumer earphone for the masses. I have so far tested 12 Classics on my DAC, laptop and smartphones. 12 Classics has a 4-pole TRRS CTIA jack that works flawlessly with my phone and ipad but the same can not be said with Sabaj Da2. I will only hear from one side of the earphone if I push 12 Classics jack all the way into the DAC socket so most of the time I have to adjust the insertion depth to regain stereo sound. That might not be a big deal but I felt the need to mention the issue here.



    One thing that troubled me the most is the left and right indications, of which 12 Classics barely has. Only if you inspect the earphone carefully that you will be able to find the small L and R embossed on the strain relieves. I guess users have to resort to memorizing the microphone side as the right side. Ya I know that sounds easy but it is not, audio makers don’t always have the microphone on the right side.


    Comfort

    The fit of 12 Classics is okay but not the greatest. 12 Classics fits my ears snugly but it doesn’t seem to stay firmly in my ears like smaller earphones do. 12 Classics usually slips out of my ear canals after some 45 minutes of use. I was quite puzzled. After some comparisons, I figured that those earphones that stay firmly in my ears tend to have smaller nozzles. As you can see in the pictures below, the nozzle diameter of 12 Classics is quite a bit bigger than the other earphones.



    Specification

    Earphone Type: In- Ear
    Connection Type: Wired
    Plug Type: 3.5mm 4 poles straight gold-plated plug
    Driver: Titanium coated 8mm mylar driver
    Coil: Copper-clad aluminum voice coil
    Impedance: 16ohm
    Sensitivity: 101dB (+/- 3db)
    Frequency response: 16Hz-24 KHz
    Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.5%
    Noise attenuation: up to 26dB
    Cable: 1.2m 7N OFC


    The Sound

    Soundwise, I think 12 Classics is very consumer orientated. Such a sound signature can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, the mainstream tuning is easy to like, but on the other it might not be able to please audiophiles who crave for analytical listening.



    The frequency response graph that I have generated only vaguely resembles the one from Meze. I have double checked my settings, setup and I got the same result in every test. At least from my finding, I am certain that there’s no inbalance between the left and right channel since the lines overlap properly in the graph.

    Much like 99 Classics, 12 Classics excels in the low. The decent bass in 12 Classics made it a suitable earphone for modern and jazz music. The bass quantity is good and the rumble is sufficient. Mid frequency is also a cakewalk for 12 Classics, the sound is just buttery smooth and coherent.



    The treble of 12 Classics is not something I would write home about. The earphone has a high that is tamed at 7k Hz and cut off at around 12k Hz. I have listened to sharp vocals and harmonica rich songs with this earphone and have not encountered any sibilance in the sound. I wish the sound could be a little more exciting and I believe the treble should be a little more elevated since I believe 99 Classics is supposed to be a fun sounding earphone.

    Overall, I think 12 Classics has a pretty good sound.


    Soundstage



    12 Classics has a congested soundstage. The soundstage is small and the sound imaging is average at best. I have noticed two small ports on each side of the earphone but I believe those only help with the bass and do nothing for the soundstage.


    Source

    12 Classics sounded muffled when I used it with my laptop. The sound quality scaled up quite a bit when I had it plugged to my usb DAC. With a good source, the sound clarity will improve significantly but the soundstage will not open up a bit.


    Conclusion:

    Meze 12 Classics is both style and substance, it sounds nice and looks great. I really enjoy the earphone as a whole.

    There's a lot to love about 12 Classics. If you can look past the narrow soundstage, 12 Classics might be the earphone for you.
      MezeTeam likes this.
  4. Moonstar
    The Wooden Classics
    Written by Moonstar
    Published May 1, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Great build quality and wonderful wooden housing,
    Good detail level for the price,
    Nice balanced sound signature,
    Comfortable fit
    Cons - No detachable cable,
    Missing of some micro detail
    The Wooden Classics


    Introduction:

    Meze Audio was founded by Antonio Meze in 2009 in Baia Mare, Romania, who was looking for a pair of headphones that he could connect to in the same way that he felt connected to his Fender Stratocaster guitar. The real breakthrough year for Meze was 2015 with the release of the Meze 99 Classics. The Meze 12 Classics is their latest product in the Classics series.


    20180422_133800.jpg


    Disclaimer:

    The Meze 12 Classics was provided to me by the Meze for free of charge as a review sample. I am not affiliated with Meze beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinions about the product.

    Price:

    The MSRP price for the Meze 12 Classics is 79,00 USD.



    Package and Accessories:

    The Meze 12 Classics comes in a relative small white card box that consists from two pieces, the upper cover and bottom box.

    20180422_134755.jpg

    This box includes the following contents;

    • 1 x Meze 12 Classics
    • 1 x Cable clip
    • 1 x Carrying Case
    • 1 x 4 sets of silicone ear-tips (S, M, L & Double flange)
    • 1 x Extra set of Comply foam ear-tips
    20180422_134721.jpg

    The Meze 12 Classics comes with 4 sets of silicone ear-tips which are soft and comfy. The package is including an extra pair of comply foam tips which is a nice addition.

    The zipper case is a bit small but doses it job. There is also a cable clip which is also a nice extra.

    20180422_134622.jpg



    Specifications:

    • Driver Type : Titanium coated 8mm Mylar driver
    • Coil Type : Copper-clad aluminum voice coil
    • Frequency response : 16 Hz – 24 KHz
    • Impedance : 16 Ohm
    • Sensitivity : 101dB (+/- 3db)
    • Total Harmonic Distortion : < 0.5%
    • Noise attenuation : up to 26dB
    • Headphone Jack : 3.5mm gold-plated jack plug
    • Cable Material : 7N OFC cable,
    • Cable Length : 1.2m

    About the Mylar driver:

    The Meze 12 Classics features an 8mm diameter single driver with a titanium coated driver membrane which has a copper-clad aluminum voice coil.

    12c-gm-explosion.jpg



    Design, Fit/Comfort and Build Quality:

    The Meze 12 Classics has a small form factor is light weight and very well made. They are two color options which are Iridium and Gun Metal. My unit came in Gun Metal color which has a nice appearance.

    The housing of the Meze 12 Classics is a combination of aluminum and wood. The wooden chamber is made of walnut wood and looks beautiful.

    20180422_134601.jpg

    The back of the housing sports the Meze logo and on the front is the straight nozzle, where you can find also a small bass vent.

    20180422_134435.jpg

    The Meze 12 Classics has a fixed cable, which means you have not the option to chance/upgrade the cable if needed, but looks solid anyway.

    The cable wire is made of 7N purity OFC (Oxygen Free Cooper) and has a grey TPU coating which looks like a high quality plastic, but that is prone for microphonic effects.



    20180422_134214.jpg 20180422_134111.jpg

    This cable sports a microphone and a straight 3.5mm gold plated headphone jack.

    20180422_134256.jpg

    The Meze 12 Classics is a quite comfortable IEM which is ideal to wear cable down.

    The noise isolation of this In Ear Monitor is above average.



    Albums & tracks used for this review:

    • Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why (DSD)
    • Saskia Bruin – The Look of Love (DSF)
    • Celine Dion – The Power of Love (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • LP (Laura Pergolizzi) – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (Spotify)
    • George Michael – Older Album (Apple Music)
    • Dire Straits – Money for Nothing (DSD)
    • Mile Davis – Kind of Blue Album (Tidal Hi-fi)
    • Emmanuel Pahud (Claude Debussy) – Syrinx (Spotify)
    • Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/96 KHz Binaural Recording)
    • Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Daft Punk – Get Lucky (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
    • Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (DSF)
    • Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)

    Sources used for this review:

    • IEM : Meze 12 Classics, Shozy Hibiki, MEE audio Pinnacle P2
    • DAP/DAC : Cayin N5II, Chord Mojo, Hifiman HM603s

    20180422_134002.jpg



    The Sound:

    This review is written after a burn-in process of approx. 90 – 100 hours and I have used the stock medium silicone ear tips which came in the box.

    Please note that this is an entry level Mid-Fi IEM and all my comments about the sound quality are in consideration of this price range.

    Tonality:

    The Meze 12 Classics is a musical sounding IEM with a warmer then neutral tonality which is a result of the mildly boosted mid-bass area.


    Frequencies:

    The bass presentation of the Meze 12 Classics is mainly focused on the mid-bass area. The sub-bass between 20 – 50 Hz are missing some depth, but sounds otherwise controlled and have also some nice texture.

    The bass response of the Meze 12 Classics is accurate and fast for a single dynamic driver and sounds also pretty natural, which is a good ability for genres with real instrumental like acoustic or jazz music. The guitar performance in Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – The River sounds quite natural and exiting.

    The mid-bass of the Meze 12 Classics gives the overall presentation a nice touch of warmth. It is nicely textured and is not overwhelming. The transition between mid-bass to the mids is nicely done.

    The midrange of the Meze 12 Classics doesn't sound thin or very full and has a nice balanced presentation. The midrange of Meze 12 Classics sounds also relative transparent and has a clean presentation, which is rarely found in this price category.

    Male artists like George Michael or Freddy Mercury sounding relative organic, but the vocal presentation of female artists like Laura Pergolizzi or Saskia Bruin sounds in general more organic. I didn’t observe any overshadowing of the midrange which sounds in most situations clean.

    The midrange of the 12 Classics has a nice sense of space and there is enough air between instruments. Some instruments like pianos and drums are missing some weight, but the overall realism it’s quite acceptable for this price range. The detail level and overall resolution is better than I have exempted for his price category.

    The upper midrange of the Meze 12 Classics is pretty controlled and has only some minor problems with some female vocals like Laura Pergolizzi, Celine Dion and with some bad recorded/mastered tracks.

    The Meze 12 Classics has a treble texture which extends pretty well. The detail retrieval is in a moderate level and instruments like cymbals, bells, violas etc. doesn’t sounding in a metallic or unnatural way. The Meze 12 classics, displays also some nice clarity which is a big plus for an IEM in this price range.

    The upper treble range is bright but is not of the sort which could fatigue your ears after some long listening periods. The side flute (transverse flute) performance in Emmanuel Pahud’s track “Syrinx” has some nice sparkle and sound also quite realistic.


    Soundstage:

    The Meze 12 Classics has a decent soundstage presentation for an IEM at a price of 79.00 USD. The soundstage is pretty wide and the depth is above average. The instrument separation is quite good and the positioning of instruments and vocals quite accurate.

    20180422_133525.jpg



    Comparison:

    Vs. Shozy Hibiki:

    Both IEM’s have a slightly warm tonality with a pretty good level of clarity.

    When it comes to bass presentation, the Meze 12 Classics has slightly better dynamics and bass rendering, but both sounding fairly controlled in the bass department. The difference starts in the sub-bass and mid-bass area. The Shozy Hibiki IEM has more sub-bas quantity, while the Meze 12 classics have a more bass and mid-bass focused presentation.

    The sub-bass of the Hibiki reaches deeper and has slightly more rumble, while the Meze 12 Classic sounds more controlled and fuller in the bass and mid-bass area.

    Meze 12 Classics has a slightly more forward midrange presentation and sound also more natural in its presentation. I don’t know if this is a result of the wooden chamber but the 12 Classic sounds more organic compared to the Shozy Hibiki. The Meze 12 Classics sounds also more transparent and smooth, compared to the grainier presentation of the Shozy Hibiki.

    The Shozy Hibiki suits better for male vocals, while the Meze 12 Classics sound more romantic with female vocals. Both IEM’s have good instrument rendering, while the Meze 12 Classics performs better with instrument like guitars, pianos or drums due its more organic presentation. The instrument separation of both IEM’s is nearly identical and pretty good for this price range.

    The upper midrange of the Shozy Hibiki sounds a bit harsher compared to those of the Meze 12 Classics. The Meze sounds relative bright but has more control in the upper register.

    The Shozy Hibiki sounds a bit too dry in the treble, but the detail level is on par with those of the Meze 12 Classics. The treble speed of the Meze 12 Classics is better, which is most noticeable with instruments like cymbals, bells etc. The Shozy Hibiki sounds a bit harsh especially in higher volume levels, where the Meze 12 Classics sounds more controlled.

    The difference for soundstage performance is not too much, but the soundstage of the Meze 12 Classics sounds slightly deeper and wider to my ears. The Meze 12 Classics has also more air and space between instruments compared to the Shozy Hibiki.


    Vs. MEE audio Pinnacle P2

    The first noticeable difference is the lower frequency region of this IEM’s, where the Pinnacle P2 has more sub-bass and bass quantity then the Meze 12 Classics which sounds more balanced.

    The sub-bass of the Pinnacle P2 sounds deeper and has also more rumble. The Meze 12 classics on the other hand sound a bit more controlled and faster in this region.

    The bass especially the mid-bass region of the Pinnacle P2 has better weight and extension then those of the Meze 12 Classics which sounds otherwise more natural.

    The Midrange of the Pinnacle P2 sounds warmer and fuller then those of the Meze 12 Classics. But there is a difference in clarity, where the Meze 12 Classics sounds cleaner and more transparent then Pinnacle P2, which sounds veiled due some mid-bass bleed.

    The Pinnacle P2 sounds great with Male vocals but a bit too thick with female voices where the Meze 12 Classics sound more natural. The instrument presentation of the MEE audio Pinnacle P2 is pretty good for this price range, but the Meze 12 Classics has additional micro detail, which is really great for the price.

    The upper midrange of the Pinnacle P2 sounds a bit more controlled, while the resolution of both IEM’s is quite good. There is no remarkable harshness for both IEM’s, which is a good thing in this price range.

    The Pinnacle P2 sounds a bit hot in the treble range where the Meze 12 Classics has also additional brightness and clarity. The Meze 12 Classics has the better speed and control compared to the Pinnacle P2.

    The Pinnacle P2 has more consumer friendly upper treble tuning which sounds slightly rolled off, while the Meze 12 Classics has some additional sparkle and detail in this area.

    Both IEMs have nearly the same soundstage performance, but the Meze 12 Classics has slightly more depth, while both IEM’s have nearly identical soundstage wideness.

    20180422_133605.jpg



    Conclusion:

    The Meze 12 Classics is a very well made IEM with a wonderful wooden housing, which has a quite detailed sound with a balanced sound signature that will satisfy its owner for a price of 79,00 USD.

    Summary (Pros and Cons):

    • + Great build quality and wonderful wooden housing
    • + Good detail level for the price
    • + Nice balanced sound signature
    • + Comfortable fit
    • - No detachable cable
    • - Missing of some micro detail
    20180422_134027.jpg


    This review was originally posted on "Moonstar Reviews" :
    https://moonstarreviews.net



    ...
      karanehir35 likes this.
    1. MezeTeam
      Thank you for your honest opinion and good photos
      MezeTeam, May 7, 2018
      Moonstar likes this.
  5. Bansaku
    Another instant Classic!
    Written by Bansaku
    Published Apr 23, 2017
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Organic and natural sound, quality build and gorgeous design, genuine Comply foam tips, value
    Cons - Microphonic cable noise, no tripple flange ear-tip
     
     
    Intro
     
        Meze Headphones is a company with a simple philosophy;  Motivation, Values, People. With a passion for art and music, achieved through patience and dedication, Meze design timeless masterpieces. Ignoring current trends that come and go with the seasons, influenced by none, they create headphones as if for themselves. Consisting of passionate specialists, with backgrounds in sound engineering, design, crafting, and music, the team has stood by their company’s values since the beginning.
     
        With the release of the well reviewed and highly regarded 99 Classics,  Meze gave us something we didn’t even know we wanted; A gorgeous headphone with a fun yet timeless audiophile sound at a very affordable price! Continuing on their success, Meze Audio went back to the drawing board and answered with the 12 Classics, an affordable IEM featuring both the timeless style of wood-metal fusion and the familiar warm yet crisp sound of the 99 Classics.
          
    moneyshot.jpg
     
    Disclaimer
     
        As part of the  review tour, the 12 Classics were provided to me by Meze in exchange for my honest opinion and review. It matters not how I obtained my pair, this review will be both honest and objective, free of hype and/or bias.
     
    About Me
        
        38 years old, I grew up in a family consisting of musicians, broadcaster/sound engineers, and amateur DJs, I always had a deep appreciation and understanding of both music and sound. I was further educated in this self interest after taking courses in both electronics and sound (Electro-Acousto aka The Path to Golden Ears). While I believe a listener’s preference in sound is subjective, the science behind it is not. I am not swayed by buzzwords, hype, trends, brand recognition, or big numbers on charts; I am the nemesis of the commissioned salesperson. Opinionated as I am, my words are not only objective but honest. I view all criticism as constructive, as long as it is sincere. 
     
    Specifications
     
    1. Transducer size: 8mm
    2. Transducer Type: Titanium coated mylar
    3. Copper-clad aluminium voice coil
    4. Frequency response: 16Hz - 24KHz
    5. Impedance: 16Ohm
    6. Sensitivity: 101dB (+/- 3dB)
    7. THD: < 0.5%
    8. Noise attenuation: Up to 26dB
    9. Plug Type: 3.5mm gold plated
    10. Cable: 7N OFC 1.2M
     
    boxfront.jpg   boxback.jpg  
     
    Accessories
     
    1. Leatherette carry case
    2. 4 pairs of silicone tips (S, M, L, Double flange)
    3. Genuine Comply 500 premium ear tips
    4. Cable clip
     
    asce.jpg  
     
    For more information and nice eye candy, head over to the 12 Classics website.
    To read up on general discussion and impressions, check out the official thread here.
     
    Burn-in
     
    40 hours is what is recommended by Meze, and I highly encourage anyone to give the 12 Classics at least that amount of time before any critical reviews. Bass becomes more controlled, less loose and bloomy, and treble detail definitely comes up a few notches. Overall, after burn-in the sound becomes less ridged and and more natural and balanced.
     
    Design & Ergonomics 
     
        Similar in design and style, the 12 Classics can best be described as the love-child between the 11 Neo and the 99 Classics! Constructed of walnut wood and gunmetal aluminium, the 12 Classics are one gorgeous IEM! Every angle, every curve seem to be carefully thought out to add both stunning form and functionality! The main body is constructed by the same walnut wood as the 99 Classics, with the contrasting aluminium end caps being a dark gunmetal grey. The Meze Audio logo featured in white is present on the butt of each bud and is a nice touch, easily letting on-lookers know what are in your ears! 
     
    pair.jpg   pair2.jpg
     
        The stylish and sexy cable is thick, and very well reinforced. Despite the thickness, the cable it is very pliable that both hangs incredibly straight yet retains an invisible memory that allows for one to easily loop up for storage within the case. Rarely do I see a cable that falls so straight yet has no issues wanting to be wound up. Although the cable is non-removable, every entry point has a generous amount of reinforcement for strain relief. Whether is was dangling my iPod or ripping out the buds by the cable, never did I get a sense that a was putting too much stress for the connections to handle.
     
    logo.jpg
     
        The in-line control talk module works as it should with no issue. The placement for me is at the correct position that easily allows me to reach blind and find the unit, as well I found the button itself to have a great tactile feel and quick response. My only issue is the fact that I both prefer and am accustomed to having the module on the left side. Not a negative, just a  personal gripe. The mic also works equally well, with calls over wifi as well as Siri voice commands being easily audible and recognizable. The strain relieve on the module as well as the Y-split are of exceptional quality, allowing for easy movement and bending yet remain sturdy and rugged enough that much like the connections at the plug and buds, I foresee no issues with splits or breaks. 
        
    mic.jpg
     
        Cable microphonic noise is not too bad, especially considering the thickness of the cable, although it is noticeable and above average. This can easily be remedied with the included cable clip. When attached, microphonic noise is grounded and greatly reduced. While walking to the store or even riding my bike cable microphonic noise wasn’t too bad when using the clip, switching things up to a quick jog or even working out with free-weights will undoubtedly cause cable knocking and thus an increase in distracting noise. In my opinion, the 12 Classics are designed for portability, but in no way would I consider them to be suitable for “active” use.
     
        The included ear tips are of decent quality. I wouldn’t call them super premium nor would I call them cheap, rather they are simply of high enough quality reflective off their price point. Each of the standard tips seem to be a happy average respective of their size. Comparing them to what other manufacturers include, I see no reason how the average person couldn’t find a size that works with their ears. Including a double flange tip is a nice addition, though personally I would have liked to see a triple flange set, going as far as including 2 sizes as it gives the user more fit and comfort options. The icing on the cake has to be the genuine Comply premium ear tips. Too many manufacturers include generic foam ear tips that seemingly last as long as my morning bus ride, so it is fantastic to see Meze going the extra mile and giving us quality!
     
    size.jpg
    For size comparison: Polk Nu Voe, Apple EarPod, 12 Classics
     
    First Impressions
     
        As part of the tour, I received both the 11 Neo and 12 Classics at the same time. I chose to listen to the 11 Neo first, and for those wanting to know my impressions, by all means check them out here. In short, the 11 Neo got the respectable nod of approval for their balanced, almost neutral (as one can get for a dynamic IEM) sound. As with all of Meze’s products, the presentation of of the box and packaging of the product makes one feel as if they are receiving a premium product; First impressions matter! The 12 Classic along with the carry case containing the accessories were nicely nestled in foam, and to add a bit of personality make up the shape of the Meze logo! Nice, and well done! Upon switching IEMs from the 11 Neo to the 12 Classics, I was greeted with the familiar sound of the 99 Classics, just in miniature form! Coupled with the unique quality of the walnut housing, the 12 Classics brought to a new refinement to essentially everything the 11 Neo did right!
     
    inside.jpg
     
        Much like the 99 Classics, the 12’s brought the wow factor! As aforementioned the 12 Classics sounded like a baby 99 featuring controlled and well extended bass, smooth mids, and crisp, detailed treble combined with the earthy tonality of the walnut wood. It didn’t take too long for me to be swept away in the music, and as usual a couple of hours had passed! Once again Meze has magically enchanted their wood with faerie dust or trapped the spirit of a muse inside the casing because I didn’t want to take the 12 Classics out! Since I had already ran pink noise for 40 hours while I gathered impressions about the 11 Neo, I couldn’t use the excuse that I needed to listen for changes due to burn-in. But wait… The walnut wood housing changes, slightly, over time in tone and contrast. Its mystery isn’t quick to vanish. “  Thanks Meze, you just justified me staying up past my bed-time… on a work night! 
     
        In all seriousness, for the next few days, during my downtime, the 12 Classics never left my ears. Normally I would go into analytical mode and start putting a pair of headphones/earphones through my gauntlet of tests, but the 12 Classics simply made me want to relax and enjoy the music! In all honesty it wasn’t until shortly before I started writing this review that I sat down, plugged the 12 Classics into my iCAN SE, and loaded up Audirvana with a few analyzing VST plug-ins enabled. Needless to say, right from the get go I was impressed with what I was hearing out of the 12 Classics!
        
    Sound - The Basics
     
    Bass - Much like all of Meze’s products, bass plays an prominent role in the overall sound of the 12 Classics. Mid bass can be described and tight, taut, and nimble. It has the ability to slam when it needs to yet remained controlled enough that I never had to listen hard to discern say the bass guitar from the bass drum. Texture is some of the best I have heard in any IEM of any price range, being both speedy and detailed. Sub-bass can only be described as beautifully weighted. It digs deep when called upon and never does it trounce on the upper bass and mids. Thanks to the nature of the walnut wood, the bass has a very natural, almost earthy tonality to it. Overall, the bass slightly above neutral, and is well suited towards audiophiles and purists, yet as someone who appreciates a little extra oomph when needed, the 12 Classics do not disappoint.
     
    Mid Range - First and foremost, the 12 Classics are a mid-centric IEM and goes without saying are natural, organic, and Meze smooth! I wouldn’t quite describe the midrange as liquid, rather organic and earthy, something I contribute to the walnut housing(s). I think out of the rest of the frequency spectrum, the tonality of the wood is more prevalent in the midrange. None the less, thanks to the slight boost in the lower-mids male vocals have great range and body, never sounding boxy or honky while having ruler flat upper-mids gives female vocals a controlled yet sweet sound with absolutely no harshness in the upper octaves. Instruments and effects have great texture and resolve, and possess a natural, almost classic quality to them.
     
    Treble - Crisp, well extended, and detailed. While the lower treble does sit higher than the upper regions, it does so without adding to the sibilance; It is what it is in the source, with zero harshness or accentuation! Despite having a gentle roll-off before levelling out, the upper treble still has the ability to add what I can only describe as the perfect amount of sparkle and shine! Overall, the treble has a very clean resolve with just the right amount of air contributing to an absolutely fatigue free sound!
     
    Soundstage and Imaging - One word: Fantastic! In terms of an IEM, the 12 Classics soundstage is quite large! Both width and height are in my estimation equal, extending quite a ways outside one’s head. Forward and backwards depth is above average, never sounding congested resulting in good instrument separation as well as imaging. Thanks to the copper-clad aluminium voice coil, focus is pretty darn good for an IEM in it’s class helping to contribute to the amount of black space between the sounds.
     
    Sound - Music, Movies, Games
     
    Music (Vocals - Male) - Male vocals sound spot on. The deeper tones of artists such as Leonard Cohen or Allan Taylor are wonderfully rendered with the perfect amount of low-end body as well as grit. The wide ranged vocals of the a capello groups The Persuasions all possess a beautiful tonality with each singer’s unique contrasting voice sounding well layered and detailed, possessing great body and never sounding distant or detached. Whether it be the high-piched screams or guttural grunting, the 12 Classics held their own when it came to the more aggressive style of heavy metal. While the vocals of the former (such as Judas Priest’s Rob Halford) sound detailed and relatively smooth with little to no harshness, when reaching the upper octaves the presentation does tend to become a little bit earthy sounding. I wouldn’t describe it as being a negative, rather it is a unique tonal characteristic of the walnut housing, and in all honesty can take a little while to become accustomed to. On the opposite end, grunting sounds fantastic… for what it is. The 12 Classics render the lower octaves with great speed and texture with the right amount of weight as to not make the already (arguably) hard to discern vocals muddy or overpowering.
     
    Music (Vocals - Female) - When it comes to female vocals the 12 Classics are more of a mystery when it comes to consistency. The walnut wood housing changes, slightly, over time in tone and contrast. Its mystery isn’t quick to vanish. “  couldn’t be more true. During my time putting the 12 Classics through my battery of tests, heck even as I listen to them now as I write this review, I am having a hard time pinpointing exactly what I even mean. While overall female vocals sound Meze smooth, possessing great body and detail with an excellent sense of breath, at times they can take on the characteristics of the walnut, sounding (much like certain higher-pithed male vocals) earthy. The trouble I have is that I am not sure if is a certain frequency range that taps into the power of wood, or if it is that in combination of certain effects (I.e. reverb). It matters not if I am listening to the soft and sweet sounding Rebecca Pidgeon, of the power vocals of Floor Janssen, or a single song or album in specific, the mystery of walnut sneaks in, giving the sound that unique woody-tonal quality to it. 
     
    Music (Instruments and Effects) - Detailed, textured, and extremely well rendered. Acoustic guitars and stringed instruments sound fantastic, possessing a very natural and organic quality to them. The body of a double-bass or cello resonate deep, with excellent weight and exceptional speed leading way to detailed texture as the bows are drawn across their strings. Violins sound sweet and airy, reaching the top frequencies without harshness or fatigue. Brass sounds fantastic with speed and exceptional bite. Cymbals splash with a good combination of body and air with excellent decay, never sounding thin or overly metallic. All in all, natural instruments sound, well, very natural, and because of the walnut housing have a classic sound to their presentation. But what about non-natural instruments, such as electronic and computer generated effects? Simply put, freakishly awesome! The 12 Classics’ speed and detail coupled with it’s exceptional soundstage render modern sounds and effects with fantastic precision! Whether it was synth-pop or dubstep, my ears were blown away with fast, textured awesomeness! To end off this section, I have to give a special mention of electric guitars. Once again, the walnut comes into play and can, depending on the presentation from the source, can take on that unique earthy tonality. I give this special mention simply because out of all the instruments and effects, electric guitar distortion takes on the wood characteristics more-so than the others. To some, this will sound pleasing, however some purists may not like the altered sound. To each their own, eh?
     
    Youtube -  I watch quite a few “vloggers”, and thanks to the wide range of both recording devices and environments in play, it goes without saying that the consistency of the audio is all over the place. I was actually quite impressed with the 12 Classics’ overall handling and presentation of the varying sources. The dialogue and narration always sounded very clear, natural, and controlled, regardless of the quality of the recordings! It mattered not if the voices had a lot of uncontrolled room reverb, added bass for that radio Dj effect, or thin sounding due to a cheap microphone, the 12 Classics, for better or for worse, accurately rendered the source and allowed me to get a real sense of how and where the audio was recorded. An added bonus was the fact that due to not only the comfort of the IEM, but tonality and control, I was able to sit at my desk and listen/watch without discomfort for quite a long time before I needed to take a break (always recommended).
     
    Movies - As always Pacific Rim is my defect go-to for testing, specifically the opening 15 minutes. It has narration, an epic score, action packed and immersive sound effects, and a good mix of environmental dialogue. Oh, and giant robots fighting giant monsters!! The 12 Classics did not disappoint! Charlie Hunnan’s narration comes across as clear, crisp, and well centred and while nicely sitting in the background still came across as appropriately forward. The dialogue was not only easily discernible amongst the score and action but had a naturalness quality in relation to their environment I.e. Inside a Jaeger’s cockpit, on the deck of a fishing troller. The epic score sounded large and dynamic, and it goes without saying that the sound and effects were equally immersive with every subtle sound, from the raindrops upon steel to the mechanics of gears and pistons at work, coming forth with life and excitement and never getting lost in amongst the busy scene. If I were on a long trip, or even relaxing in bed or on the couch, I would have no issues watching a movie on a phone or tablet with the 12 Classics.
     
    Games - Regardless if paired with a smart device, hand held gaming system, or one’s PC, the 12 Classics faired exceptionally well with gaming. Because of the large and spacious soundstage coupled with fast, detailed bass, natural treble, and mid-centric sound signature, the 12 Classics are a perfect fit. I never really gave IEMs much consideration when it came to gaming due to the fact that I greatly prefer full sized circumaural headphones, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well the 12 Classics performed! Thanks to the detailed midrange dialogue and narration was clear and natural sounding. Environmental sounds and effects were quite immersive and well rendered, positional audio was spot on, and much like movies the score sounded large and dynamic. During my testing of various games, at times I actually forgot (briefly) that I was listening to an IEM! 
     
    Scaleability
     
        The 12 Classics are a good example of “ garbage in, garbage out “, in other words the better the hardware or source material the better the IEMs will perform. For comparison sake, an IEM such as Monster’s Lady Gaga Heartbeats (don’t judge) or my iPod’s pack-in EarPods simply do not have the ability to render the finer details of a properly recorded 24/96 Hi-Rez track. Listening to a 128 AAC conversion of Rebecca Pidgeon’s Spanish Harlem from a 16/44 source out of my iPod sounds pretty close to the 24/96 lossless copy out of my micro iCAN SE. With the 12 Classics in play, I can easily hear the differences in presentation between my iPod(s) and my iFi stack in relation to the hardware as well as the sample rates, irrespective of lossy/lossless. 
     
    Amping
     
        Being 16 Ohms with a sensitivity of 101 dB, the 12 Classics are able to be driver by most sources and achieve a deafening volume. While adding an amp in the mix is always a benefit, I found the 11 Neo to be just as enjoyable using my iPod as my iFi stack. These are meant to be on-the-go IEMs so plug them in to whatever you have, push play, and enjoy!
     
    Value
     
        Stylish, rugged, and great sound, at $79 US one simply can not go wrong with the 12 Classics! In my humble opinion, their timeless design and solid construction warrant a much higher price tag, let alone their competent and scalable sound. I am not sure how Meze managed to release such quality products at the price point they do! While their competitors use cheap plastic and equally cheap cables Meze uses real walnut wood and aluminium, with one of the sturdiest cables I have seen on an IEM in this price range, and include genuine Comply ear-tips! Being an affordable $79, whether you are a headphone junkie or simply needing a new pair of IEM, the 12 Classics are a bargain!
     
    Conclusion
     
        Meze did the seemingly impossible and shrank the 99 Classics into an IEM! The 12 Classics possess a classic and natural sound, offering up hours of detailed, fatigue free listening enjoyment! Much like the Neo 11 and 99 Classics, it really is hard to fault the 12 Classics in any regard. Genre after genre the 12 Classics continued to impress, with none standing out as being ‘more better suited’ than another, which I can’t say about a lot of IEMs I have had the (dis)pleasure of listening to. While true of many circumaural I have heard, when it comes to IEMs it’s not often I have one of those nights when “one more song” turned into, well, many many more, yet the 12 Classics are the rare exception! 
     
        The 12 Classics’ stunning, gorgeous, timeless design, coupled with their detailed and balanced sound easily makes them an incredible bargain at a $79 price tag! Once again Meze has a real winner on it’s hands! Rightfully taking their spot in my collection ,I proudly hang my 12 Classics on display next to the likes of my Q701, HD600, and 99 Classics. It is clear that the great folks at Meze really care about quality products, and with their well received recent products (and highly anticipated soon to be released), is determined to carve out it’s legacy within the headphone community. Once again, my hat’s off to you guys and keep up the great work!
     
     
     
     
  6. suman134
    Like the way it sounds.
    Written by suman134
    Published Apr 15, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Good sub bass presence, nice dynamics, balanced sound, nice package.
    Cons - Sounds veiled or say grainy, bad microphonics.

    INTRO:-
     
     MEZE is a relatively new entrant in this world of head gears. Hailing from Romania they have made an promising and grand entrance into this crazy and ever so exciting world of headphones with their 99 classic which won hearts of experts and consumers with its true to nature sound quality and classic looking wood back design.
     
     This time around they have come up with a newer addition to their earphone line up, MEZE 12 classics, housing a titanium coated 8mm driver with aluminum voice coil, with a walnut wood housing which gives it its classic looks, there is a MIC unit on the right earpiece cable, no non-MIC version. 12 classics is placed above the 11 neo. Priced $79 will face competition from similarly priced earphones like Brainwavz B100, M100, RE-400, TZF 5 series, VSD5/S and many more!!
     
     You can buy from these links:-
     https://www.amazon.com/Meze-Classics-GunMetal-fidelity-earphones/dp/B01LLXG6QQ
     https://mezeheadphones.com/products/meze-12-classics-gun-metal-wood-earphones
     
      I would like to thank MEZE team for this review unit.

    IMG_20161126_143631.jpg   IMG_20161126_143640.jpg

    IMG_20161126_143647.jpg   IMG_20161126_143705.jpg

     ACCESSORIES AND ERGONOMICS:-
     
     12 classics comes in a nice looking box, easy to open unlike some other brands. Inside the box one can find 4 pair of silicone tips inside, one of them Is bi-flange, a pair of comply T-500 tips, a sweet looking carry case and a cable clip.
     
      It has a good looking strong cable ending with a 90 degree jack. There is enough stress relieving at both ends and at the MIC unit too, flexible and will do the job. There is no chin slider. Even when the cable is not bouncy the biggest problem with this cable is its microphonics which is bad, make sure to use the cable clip. L/R marings are hard to locate, they are on the stress relievers of the earpieces but for your info. put the side with the MIC unit in your right ear.
     
     It’s a beautiful looking earphone, I love it when companies use wood. Ergonomically it’s a straight barrel but it takes time to get a comfortable fit and nice seal.
     
     Isolation too is just about average.

    IMG_20161126_143846.jpg   IMG_20161220_111836.jpg

    IMG_20161220_111850.jpg   IMG_20161220_112023.jpg

     REMOTE AND MIC :-
     
     MEZE has put a single button remote and a MIC on its right earpiece cable. This remote operates like all other one button units, has good feedback when clicked and works fine with all my android devices. Sound quality at both ends is good, only complaint is that it tends to sound a bit unnatural.
     
     All in all it has nice clarity and quality, gets the work done.

    IMG_20161220_124144.jpg

    SOUND QUALITY:-
     
     Let me confirm that this earphone is burned for more than 120hrs and I have used stock single flange tips for the review. These are really nice out of any mobile device and won't need an amp sound good, but if you have one use it, why? Go to the "mid range" section and I will tell you.
     
     This one has a nice and easy type of signature, neutral and laid back to be precise. I love this type of signature. But there is something not so good with this earphone and we will talk about it in the mid range section.
     
     BASS:-
     
     Everything apart, I have to admit 12 classic has one of the best sub bass presence for under $100, last one in my quiver is the WooDuo 2, before that Hisound crystal. It moves good amount of air, has nice slam, impact is oh oh.. splendid, someone who loves bass will admire this impact. And the perk is that, it's not snappy still relatively fast, Brainwavz B100 is snapy, yes B100 doesn’t have this kind of impact but it too has a big one when it comes to sub-bass. For extension, let me do a Kanye here "Don’t talk about extension you will ---- embarrass you" ( Kanye goes like"  don’t talk about style you will ___ embarrass you"). In other words One of the best when it comes to lower end extension.
     
     It has good body and rumble, moves better amount of air compared to B100. The awesome thing about this bass is that it doesn’t swell out of proportion, it stays nicely under control with no mid bass or upper bass hump. Mid bass just goes with sub-bass and keeps a lower profile. There is plenty of details with acceptable amount of control, no bleeding at all. Sounds full bodied and seriously meaty.
     Add an amp and Bass gains some speed but loses a little bit of impact.
     
     This bass is better than Shozy Zero, Nebula one even IM-70, as I said earlier, one of the best.
     
     Mannn… I Am impressed with the bass.
     
     MID RANGE:-
     
     Mid range is acceptable for me, has good amount of details, one can pick some micro details too. Has good instrument clarity and transparency. Notes are really nice with thickness, its thick and meaty for male vocals and sharp and deep for female vocals. It doesn’t lack much energy but doesn’t sound full of it either.
     
    The problem starts here, Bass was splendid and meaty, mid range is kind of pale in comparison. It lacks the level of decibels  of the bass and fells like falling into the V but it's not really drowned but downed, specially the vocal range, there is a dip. Another problem is the consistency of the lower vocal range, which is better than average but the texture is inconsistent and is kind of grainy, not the cleanest of the lot, similar to what I had experienced with the RE-400.
     
     Vocals are good though, I love the way it keeps the notes deep and keeps one seated with its natural and cohesive nature. Both male and female vocals are equally energetic.
     
     Presentation and imaging is really good, I have not seen better from other earphone in this price range, Zero was good too but meze is better, VSD5/s even better though. Sonicality of the 12 is really good too, not as good as GR-07 or RE-400 but slightly less.
     
     Sound stage is average, but the good thing is its nicely rounded off with good width height and acceptable depth which manages to give a nice sense of space.
     
     Welcome an amplifier (E5 in my case) and things change for good, the graininess is gone, mid range gains some energy, things start to sound cleaner with better imaging. If you can manage an amp while you are on the move, please do.
     
     Not the best mids, I have seen better, it sounds average when out of mobile device and good when amped.
     
     HIGHS:-
     
     Highs are not exactly the best from an earphone in this price but it has good presence, enough for me. Highs have good clarity, good extension ( there are better performers like VSD5/s) and energy with nice sharpness with the notes and instruments, it has the bite I look for. Transparency and imaging too are up to the mark, all the instruments are clear and nicely pronounced, you won't miss any beat.
     
     Things go wrong when it comes to space. Don’t mix it up with separation or layering, separation and layering is acceptable, 12 Classic lacks the sense of space, instruments are clear but they kind of feel crammed, you have to put a bit of mind into it to feels the separation and layering. I would have liked a bigger sense of space for sure.
     
     VSD5/S, HA2, Brainwavz S3, R3 and RE-400 all are better with highs, all have better extension. VSD5 is sharper, and all other have smoother and more even presentation.
     
     Good highs nevertheless.

    IMG_20161220_124002.jpg   IMG_20161220_124016.jpg

    IMG_20161230_115542.jpg   IMG_20161230_115831.jpg

    COMPARISON:-
     
     VS- B100 :-  B100, priced $60, has similar impact but lacks some body and rumble. 12 sounds more natural and meaty. Both have similar extension, decay is good on both. 100 sounds a bit more to the point or say a bit more accurate. Mid range is better on B100, more precise, and more consistent, 12 has better timber. On highs, 100 is better with good extension and better space. 12 has better sonicality, dynamics and better mid range stage size.
     
     B100 has better micro details retrieval. When it comes to fitting comfort and isolation B100 beats the 12 hands down.
     
     Rosewill EX-700 :-  EX-700, priced $50 for an hybrid earphone with an 8mm dynamic driver inside is more V shaped and has better overall bass presence where 12 has more of sub bass presence and lacks dynamics when it comes to upper bass. 12 has better extension, far better decay. 700 sounds more enjoyable with bigger impact and more rumble. Even though mids are slightly less emphasized it's not grainy like meze, it has good details, notes are better defined and sounds really good for its price, meze sounds more organic and natural, has similar sonicality but better dynamics. Highs are better on the EX-700, has better sense of space, even better than B100. 700 has the bigger stage too. Its a fantastic performer for just $50.
     
     700 is biger in size, has a full metal shell, build quality is awesome, has better cables with lower microphonics.
     
     If you love bass, and don’t love it tight and fast, EX-700 is the one to get. Newegg has it. ( I am not fan of bass as big as this one)
     
    IMG_20170415_194754.jpg
     
     11 Neo:- 11 neo is essentially a 12 classic with different shell and smaller sub bass impact. Everything else is same, let it be design or cable or package. 11 neo sounds more balanced and slightly clearer with mid range with similar sound signature and presentation. Highs are exactly same. 11 has a bit of more even mid bass but that’s it.
     
     You just simply can't chose one.
     
    Let me try and sum this up with a table.
     
      parameters
       12 classic
        11 neo
        B100
        EX-700
      Bass
       8.15
        7.8
        8.0
        7.5
      Mid range
       7.5
        7.7
        7.8
        7.3
      Highs
       6.5
        6.5
        7.0
        7.3
      Stage
       7.0
        7.0
        7.2
        7.5
      Sonicality & dynamics
       7.7
        7.7
        7.3
        7.5
      Isolation
       6.7
        6.7
        7.8
        6.0
      Fitment
       6.5
        6.5
        8.0
        6.0


    CONCLUSION:-
     
     It’s one of the best looking earphone you can buy for under $100, comes with a MIC and remote unit and should grab the eyes of anyone who is in the market for an sub-bass heavy earphone for their daily useage. It has really nice timber, sounds really natural and has good sonicality.
     
     Yes it doesn’t have awesome isolation, earpieces do lose seal for reasons unknown to human kind ( let me tell you a magic trick, use foam tips out of the box), yes it doesn’t have the best midrange nor the highs, even doesn’t sound all so cohesive for an earphone like the B100 or the Rockjaw Clarito, but it does have everything done good with nearly perfect bass.
     
     Add an amp if you can, cuz for me these are intended for mobile phone users. If you add an amp you will be treated with better mids, tighter but slightly smaller bass, a bit more sense of space with highs.
     
     If you have an appetite for sub atomic bass ( I mean sub-bass) rumbling your eardrums for good, Do yourself a favor, grab one. You will thank me.
     
     I hope you guys are having an awesome time, cheers. Enjoy.

      MezeTeam, puppyfi and superuser1 like this.
    1. C97DDR
      Meze 12 or Shozy Zero?
      C97DDR, Apr 20, 2017
    2. suman134
      @C97DDR Zero is not bad, but I would prefer the meze 12 over it.
      suman134, Apr 20, 2017
  7. ExpatinJapan
    AMeze-ing. Woody, get your buzz on
    Written by ExpatinJapan
    Published Mar 14, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Great sound, woody signature, comfortable, remote and mic, light, good cable.
    Cons - None really

    Meze 12 Classics Review - Expatinjapan

     
    [​IMG]
    Meze 12 Classic and CEntrance DACportable​
     ​
    Meze 12 Classics review
    -expatinjapan​
     ​
     ​
    I am always keen to try any earphones or headphones with a wooden component. I like the style and I love the sound. I still keep my ATH-ESW9 (recently refurbished, all except for the drivers), the stellar ATH-ESW11, the Shozy Zero and the crowd favorite of late the Meze 99 Classic headphones.
     
    The use of wood brings something different to the table than metal, plastic or acrylic. The resonance is more natural and well, organic.
     ​
    I reviewed the Meze Neo 11 earlier:​
     ​
    [​IMG]
    Meze Neo 11 and Opus#1 dap​
     ​
    Unboxing
     
    [​IMG]
     
    [​IMG]
     
    [​IMG]
     
    [​IMG]
     
    [​IMG]
     ​
    Whats in the box​
     
    [​IMG]
     
    [​IMG]
     ​
    Build
    The build like all Meze products is a combination of good design, aesthetics and construction.
    Beautiful to look at, easy to use, pleasurable to listen to. 
     
    It has a mic and a remote.
     
    [​IMG]
     
    [​IMG]
     
    [​IMG]
     ​
    Specifications
     
    Frequency response: 16Hz - 24KHz
    Impedance: 16Ohm
    Sensitivity: 101dB (+/- 3db)
    Total harmonic distortion: < 0.5%
    Noise attenuation: up to 26dB
    Titanium coated 8mm mylar driver
    Copper-clad aluminum voice coil
    3.5mm gold-plated jack plug
    7N OFC cable, length: 1.2m
     
     
    [​IMG]
     ​
     ​
     ​
    Value
     
    The Meze 12 Classic at $79 on amazon USA, and the Neo 11 at $59.
     
    They are affordable for most, and a sound to match. Very listenable.
     
    [​IMG]
     ​
    Sound
     ​
    [​IMG]
     ​
    I connected the Meze 12 Classic, Meze Neo 11 and the Shozy Zero (for extra comparison) to a headphone switcher box and used a SPL app to get the volume the same across all three earphones.
     
    Daps used: iBasso DX200, Opus#1, Hifiman MegaMini, CEntrance DACportable and the Cozoy REI dac/amp.
     
    The LineP headphone switcher box was connected to the daps with three ALO Audio SXC 8 mini to mini interconnects.
     
    The music files were FLAC 16/44 mostly, with each Dap playing the same track as I switched between them.
     
    [​IMG]
     ​
    The Meze 12 Classic has a full sound, deep and good resolution.
    It upscales well and when paired with the iBasso DX200 and it demonstrated an increase in separation, more space, larger sound stage and overall resolution when used with a more upmarket source.
     
    The Meze Neo 11 was lighter overall, vocals focussed, more highs and air, less sub bass and a slightly smaller sound stage. It seemed to have more clarity at times, but I perceive that to be more basically of metal vs wood.
     
    [​IMG]
    Circling clockwise from the black round Meze 12 Classic carry case.​
    The Shozy Zero, Meze Neo 11, Meze 12 Classic, Opus#1, Hifiman MegaMini and the iBasso DX200.​
     ​
    [​IMG]
    ALO Audio SXC 8 mini to mini interconnects​
    [​IMG]
     ​
    [​IMG]
     ​
     ​
    Overview
    The Meze 12 Classic is a great little earphone. Like its sibling the Neo 11 its price is at entry level and affordable for most people.
     
    They make a good complimentary pair, each offering something a little different but retaining a similar sound signature from their parent company.
     
    The Meze 12 Classic natural sound is typical of wooden ear/headphones.
     
    I like them :)
     
    [​IMG]
    Just for fun :)
     ​
    Thank you to Meze for sending the Meze 12 Classics for review​
    -expatinjapan​

    1. Brettclue
      If you don't really find any cons in it, why rate it 3.5 stars?
      Brettclue, Mar 14, 2017
    2. BloodyPenguin
      I too am confused by your 3.5 rating.  I have one and agree with your findings and would rate it a 4.5.  It is my favorite IEM I have heard for this price range. 
      BloodyPenguin, Mar 14, 2017
    3. ExpatinJapan
      Whoops I meant rate it a 4 star.

      It certainly performs well within its price bracket.

      Understandably maintaining consistancy across 50 reviews or so within the linitations of a 5 star
      System of scoring becomes difficult over time.

      Brooko wrote about I think on his head-fi blog.

      Regards
      Expat
      ExpatinJapan, Mar 19, 2017
  8. Cinder
    Beautiful, But Average
    Written by Cinder
    Published Dec 27, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Fantastic machining precision on aluminum build, well-fitted construction, good case, warm and inviting sound signature, included Comply eartips
    Cons - Imprecise, lacking clarity for the price, very microphonic cable
    1Lq2p0CgQ9cO32eSzGIbHKg.jpg

    Meze 12 Classics Review: Beautiful, But Average

    Meze is a boutique headphone company based in Romania. Started by Antonio Meze, the company took the audiophile world by storm with the release of its highly-praised 99 Classics headphones. Recently, building upon the success of their previous products, Meze released two earphones: the 11 Neo and the 12 Classics. Coming in at $59 and $79 respectively, these two earphones are quite beautiful. Today I’ll be reviewing the 12 Classics. You can find my 11 Neo review here.
    You can find the 12 Classics on sale here for $79.
    Disclaimer: This review is based upon a sample unit provided to me by a manufacturer or distributor in exchange for my honest opinion and un-edited words. I do not profit in any way from the writing of the review. I would like to thank Lorand at Meze for sending me this review unit.
    Preference and Bias: Before reading a review, it is worth mentioning that there is no way for a reviewer to objectively pass judgment on the enjoy-ability of a product: such a thing is inherently subjective. Therefore, I find it necessary for you to read and understand what I take a natural liking to and how that might affect my rating of a product.
    My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, bass. The mids should be slightly less pronounced than the treble, but still ahead of the bass. I prefer a more bright upper range.
    Source: The 12 Classics were powered like so:
    Nexus 6P -> earphones
    or
    Hidizs AP100 -> earphones
    or
    HiFiMAN MegaMini -> earphones
    or
    PC optical out -> HiFiMe SPDIF 9018 Sabre DAC 3.5mm out -> earphones
    All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.
    I found my Nexus 6P to be sufficient to drive the 12 Classics at near-peak levels of performance.

    Sound Signature

    Initial Impressions:
    The 12 Classics does imitate the sound signature of the 99 Classics reasonably well. The 12 Classics has a nice and naturally-warm sound signature. It’s an easy-going and inviting experience, although not one that is too precise and “clean”. The treble is slightly ahead of the upper-mids, while the upper mids are behind the lower-mids. The bass is matched with the lower-mids, being only slightly more emphasized.
    Treble: Songs used: In One EarMidnight CityOutlands
    The first thing I noticed about the treble was how well it decayed. This is a trait that I absolutely loved with the 99 Classics, and I’m glad to hear that the Meze crew managed to maintain it on 12 Classics. The high-hats of In One Ear were clear and decayed well. While they didn’t have the cutting precision of other IEMs in this price-range, their performance was passable.
    The electric synths of Midnight City were well positioned in the mix, and had a medium hardness to them. This is reflective of the 12 Classics’ laid-back tuning and healthy attack and decay speeds. Unfortunately, as the song progressed past the intro, I found that these synths tended to get lost a bit in the mix. While they were never inaudible, the synths did tend to get pushed around a lot by the other instruments.
    The violins of Outlands were decently separated from the mix, but lacked air. While they weren’t particularly congested, I didn’t find them to convey any sense of grandeur like they do with some of my other IEMs. The background violins lacked definition, and could have certainly been articulated better.
    Mids: Songs used: Flagpole SittaJacked UpI Am The HighwayDreams
    The 12 Classics tends to perform better on songs that have a drier production style. Thusly, Flagpole Sitta did sound quite good on them. The various electric guitars and bass guitar sounded hearty and full with a decently electric “crunch” to them. Instrumental separation was decent, though individual articulation of these instruments wasn’t particularly impressive.
    The vocals of Jacked Up forward and well-defined. Vocal intelligibility is above-average. The pianos had a medium hardness, indicating that the mids have a rather healthy decay. This is a point of personal preference. I find that I enjoy my mids to decay a little bit faster than this, though I don’t mind how it sounds currently.
    Bass: Songs used: Lights(Bassnectar Remix)Gold DustIn For The Kill (Skream Remix)Leave Me
    Bass impact is decent, while bass rumble is a little lacking. In Lights, I found that, while audible, the sub-bass simply didn’t reach far enough down into the 20Hz–50Hz range to feel like it had good depth.
    In For The Kill performed similarly. While the sub-bass had good dynamics, it failed to really feel deep and rumbly.
    Leave Me sounded quite good, but suffered from the same ailments as In For The Kill and Lights. While the bass-head in me wants more impact and rumble, I do honestly think that the bass in its current state will be enough to satisfy most listeners looking for a more balanced take on their music.

    Packaging / Unboxing

    The 12 Classics come in a rather standard box that is structurally identical to the one the 11 Neo came in. This isn’t a problem, as there isn’t too much to put in the package anyways due to the clever way the accessories are stored.
    1ldHD3UlIeFINJeokeWDnQw.jpg

    1zPWnxhpJdggTanTsHJKJyA.jpg

    Build

    Construction Quality
    This is where Meze consistently shines. I really enjoy the aesthetic of the 12 Classics, much more so than their more steely sibling, the 11 Neo. The stark textural contrast of brushed aluminum against the grain wood is one that is understated but still stylish.
    12E8ObNqPxsaW5nHIdNo9QA.jpg

    The driver housings are, as I mentioned, built from wood and aluminum. These two materials are fitted well against each-other, with no visually abrasive seems. The nozzle of the housing is attached via a well-machined slope. Unfortunately, however, this means that certain eartips will shift around of the nozzle a bit. I haven’t had any fall or slip off yet, but it’s still worth noting.
    1O8hBXickji9cuqJ3Z0LAew.jpg
    The cable is visually quite nice and has a good thickness to it. There’s a generous amount of stress relief on all the relevant portions of the cable, including the 3.5mm jack, the Y-splitter, the inline remote, and the driver housing connections. However, this cable is very microphonic, so much so that it is a bit annoying to listen to while wearing a frilly jacket, or one made from a harder material like denim. The included shirt-clip did help, but didn’t solve the problem to any significant degree. That’s a shame, as the cable otherwise gets perfect marks.
     
    1zYnHFGNIlMM5P3jjLU6X3w.jpg
    The 3.5mm jack is housed in brushed aluminum and is cool to the touch. While I don’t find it necessary, I think it would be cool to see what an aluminum 45-degree 3.5mm jack would look like, as I’ve yet to see one.
    1gsLuwZVUzpGk7VNskOEJ5w.jpg
     
    The inline remote has a single button that works on all the devices I tested, barring a very old Nokia Lumia 900 (Windows Phone 7.8). The button feels much better than the one on my 11 Neo despite the fact that they appear to be made from the same assembly. For this price, I’d like to see full volume controls.
    1gsLuwZVUzpGk7VNskOEJ5w.jpg
    Comfort
    The 12 Classics are comfortable, as they are light and come with a nice set of Comply eartips. The nozzle is small enough that it won’t affect most people’s comfort negatively.

    Accessories

    Inside the packaging of the 12 Classics you will find:
    1. 1x Semi-hard round carrying case
    2. 1x Pair of Comply memory foam eartips
    3. 1x Pair of double-flange eartips
    4. 3x Pairs of silicone eartips
    1aBPtdlw4jNdae2uSrwKklA.jpg
    1RgBKHESYgHxKLUPLAYqu-A.jpg
    This is a reasonable set of accessories, but it certainly not the best I’ve seen at this price-point. I would like to have seen a couple more sets of eartips.
    The case is pretty good though. It is hard enough to protect the 12 Classics well, but compact enough to just slip into your pocket. Inside the case is a small section of netting. Inside there, I store all the extra eartips that Meze included. It’s great that the package is so self-contained.

    Summary

    The 12 Classics is a decent entry in Meze’s first earphone lineup. Boasting high-quality craftsmanship, it will certainly catch the attention of those who see it. However, given its rather standard accessory package and average audio performance, I would recommend you look around at other IEMs in this price-point if you are looking for the best bang-for-your-buck.
     
    This review was initially posted on my Medium publication, Resonance Reviews.

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  9. alffla
    A nice first effort from Meze with a neutral sound.
    Written by alffla
    Published Dec 16, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Classy design and nice build quality, flat midrange makes it ideal for vocals and acoustic music.
    Cons - Boosted midrange sounds slightly odd, driver sometimes sounds a little veiled. Highly microphonic cable. Not suitable for rock or bass heavy music.
    [​IMG]

    Meze, a small Romanian company which has had some experience with over-ear headphones and now has a small earphone lineup, has come out with their latest earphone - the 12 Classics.

    The 12 Classics is Meze's first in ear earphone product offering (along with the 11 Neo). They seem to have a pretty decent reputation from what I've seen online - their 99 Classics over-ear headphone comes at a competitive price, and has quite a lot of good reviews about it. I haven't had a chance to try them myself, but seeing the overall good reaction gave me more confidence in their earphone product, even though headphones and earphones are entirely different beasts.

    Encased in a classy exterior of walnut wood and gun metal grey aluminium housing the 79USD (598HKD) 12 Classics definitely looks... classic. It's a very simple design - a dynamic driver inside a cylindrical tube designed to be placed straight into your ears. But at this entry-level price point, does it offer sound that beats out the thousands of other competitors at this price bracket?

    [​IMG]

    Summary for the Lazy

    The verdict? Meze's 12 Classics is painfully average for its price. It's sound signature is not the most versatile, with a big midrange bump that sounds a little congested and echoey at times. Bass and highs noticeably roll off. It's not worse than many other IEMs at this price range, but apart from its classy wooden look, it doesn't exactly stand out from the crowd either. The stiff cable is also highly prone to microphonics. Meze's 99 Classics headphones are well regarded, so hopefully they can step up their earphone game.

    [​IMG]

    Meze, a small Romanian company which has had some experience with over-ear headphones and now has a small earphone lineup, has come out with their latest earphone - the 12 Classics.

    data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7

    The 12 Classics is Meze's first in ear earphone product offering (along with the 11 Neo). They seem to have a pretty decent reputation from what I've seen online - their 99 Classics over-ear headphone comes at a competitive price, and has quite a lot of good reviews about it. I haven't had a chance to try them myself, but seeing the overall good reaction gave me more confidence in their earphone product, even though headphones and earphones are entirely different beasts.

    Encased in a classy exterior of walnut wood and gun metal grey aluminium housing the 79USD (598HKD) 12 Classics definitely looks... classic. It's a very simple design - a dynamic driver inside a cylindrical tube designed to be placed straight into your ears. But at this entry-level price point, does it offer sound that beats out the thousands of other competitors at this price bracket?

    [​IMG]

    Summary for the Lazy

    The verdict? Meze's 12 Classics is painfully average for its price. It's sound signature is not the most versatile, with a big midrange bump that sounds a little congested and echoey at times. Bass and highs noticeably roll off. It's not worse than many other IEMs at this price range, but apart from its classy wooden look, it doesn't exactly stand out from the crowd either. The stiff cable is also highly prone to microphonics. Meze's 99 Classics headphones are well regarded, so hopefully they can step up their earphone game.

     

    [​IMG]

    Pros

    -Classy looking wood and aluminium design with great build quality

    -Comes with a mic

    -Easy to wear

    -Ideal for mid lovers; sounds most acceptable with classical and jazz

    Cons

    -Not ideal for non-mid lovers; midrange sounds a little strange and isn't as suitable for other genres

    -Cable is highly microphonic

    -Not the most refined sound for $600 HKD these days. However, they're very generous with the accessories!

    Specs

    1. Frequency response: 16Hz - 24KHz
    2. Impedance: 16Ohm
    3. Sensitivity: 101dB (+/- 3db)
    4. Total harmonic distortion: < 0.5%
    5. Noise attenuation: up to 26dB
    6. Titanium coated 8mm mylar driver
    7. Copper-clad aluminum voice coil
    8. 3.5mm gold-plated jack plug
    9. 7N OFC cable, lenght: 1.2m
     

    [​IMG]

    Design and Ergonomics

    The design of Meze's products seems to really favour the use of wood, as seen in their popular 99 Classics over ear headphones, a design philosophy that has also transferred itself to the 12 Classics as well. The barrel of the housing is made of a nice looking walnut, sandwiched by two gun metal aluminium pieces for the nozzle and back. Aluminium is also used for parts like the plug, mic, and y-cinch piece, giving a nice sense of classiness to the overall look.

    [​IMG]

    Ergonomically it is also comfortable as the earphones are very light weight, and combined with the basic barrel shape, it's hard to go wrong with this design.

    However, despite the nice use of materials and comfort, the Meze 12 Classics falls flat on its face in terms of cable microphonics. The gunmetal grey cable made with a slighty stiff sleeving is good in that it's not prone to tangling, but it has horrible microphonics - I was able to hear the impact every time something brushed against it. Definitely minus points here.

    [​IMG]

    Questionable Tuning?

    The Meze 12 Classics has a very midrange focused sound - so much that I felt it sounded very strange on first listen. I had never heard anything like it before, and while I definitely didn't think it was the muddiest and worst earphone, I just couldn't pinpoint what it was.

    While most earphone tuning consists of either a boost to the bass frequencies or the highs, with slight dip from upper bass to mids, or sometimes rolled off bass but more succinct mids and highs, the Meze 12 Classics didn't sound like any of the above. Bass frequencies seemed to roll off quite quickly, resulting in a very soft fuzzy low end with anaemic bass impact. Vocals and most instruments were presented quite forward, with very decent low-mid detail, and while they generally sounded more acceptable, there was still constantly a sense of veil to it; an unshakable feeling of distorted graininess that I did not really enjoy. Even as someone who isn't fully convinced of the effects of "burn-in", I decided to give the 12 Classics another chance as a review said that they needed some to smooth out the sound.

    It didn't really change much for me, and I decided the best way to solve this mystery was to take measurements. Overall the midrange is very flat, with little high extension.

     

    [​IMG]
    Frequency response graph taken with the Vibro Veritas; not exactly accurate below 100Hz and after 10000Hz, but should be overall acceptable.


     
    Even though the graph shows quite a bit of bass boost, somehow I didn't feel that it had a very solid bass impact. However, Meze may have been aiming for a more neutral tuning and I believe they succeeded in this aspect. Judging from my findings, the flat frequency response of the midrange probably led to what I felt was bit of a strange echoey quality to the sound, and with the lack of any dips anywhere, I felt like there was a lack of contrast and dynamism in the sound quality. If the mids could be either pulled back slightly, along with better high presence for clarity and better detail retrieval, I imagine that Meze would have a very decent mid-high focused earphone on their hands. 

    A bit of EQing made me enjoy the sound more, as I pulled down the 200 - 2000Hz range a bit which eliminated the odd sounding mids, and provided a much needed push to the bass and highs, but it could not eliminate the fuzzy sounding feeling, which I suspect is either being caused by harmonic distortion of some sort, or just a result of the tuning with slightly rolled off highs.

    [​IMG]

    Conclusion

    This budget to entry level price point is an awkward transition point for earphones, especially in the current highly competitive market where 100-300HKD options (mostly coming out of China) are getting better and better. Personally, as someone who has tried everything from the $25 to $22,000 earphones, I feel that a 600HKD investment should be leaps better than the 100-200HKD offerings, and if I were to recommend it to a friend who wanted to dip their toes in the world of audiophilia, I would also want them to get the best bang for their buck with their first "big" purchase . I'm not really sure the Meze 12 Classics gives me that feeling when I listen to it. It somewhat lags behind the other earphones in this price bracket such as the ATH IM50 in terms of resolution, but the 12 Classics is definitely better for someone who does not want such a bassy listening experience.

    It might just be that I'm not used to this frequency response with such a flat midrange. Perhaps if Meze could push the highs slightly it would create a more fun, airy sound, and some of my experience playing with the EQ was able to achieve this.
    Pros

    -Classy looking wood and aluminium design with great build quality

    -Comes with a mic

    -Easy to wear

    -Ideal for mid lovers; sounds most acceptable with classical and jazz

    Cons

    -Not ideal for non-mid lovers; midrange sounds a little strange and isn't as suitable for other genres

    -Cable is highly microphonic

    -Not the most refined sound for $600 HKD these days. However, they're very generous with the accessories!

    Specs

    1. Frequency response: 16Hz - 24KHz
    2. Impedance: 16Ohm
    3. Sensitivity: 101dB (+/- 3db)
    4. Total harmonic distortion: < 0.5%
    5. Noise attenuation: up to 26dB
    6. Titanium coated 8mm mylar driver
    7. Copper-clad aluminum voice coil
    8. 3.5mm gold-plated jack plug
    9. 7N OFC cable, lenght: 1.2m
     

    [​IMG]

    Design and Ergonomics

    The design of Meze's products seems to really favour the use of wood, as seen in their popular 99 Classics over ear headphones, a design philosophy that has also transferred itself to the 12 Classics as well. The barrel of the housing is made of a nice looking walnut, sandwiched by two gun metal aluminium pieces for the nozzle and back. Aluminium is also used for parts like the plug, mic, and y-cinch piece, giving a nice sense of classiness to the overall look.

    [​IMG]

    Ergonomically it is also comfortable as the earphones are very light weight, and combined with the basic barrel shape, it's hard to go wrong with this design.

    However, despite the nice use of materials and comfort, the Meze 12 Classics falls flat on its face in terms of cable microphonics. The gunmetal grey cable made with a slighty stiff sleeving is good in that it's not prone to tangling, but it has horrible microphonics - I was able to hear the impact every time something brushed against it. Definitely minus points here.

    [​IMG]

    Questionable Tuning?

    The Meze 12 Classics has a very midrange focused sound - so much that I felt it sounded very strange on first listen. I had never heard anything like it before, and while I definitely didn't think it was the muddiest and worst earphone, I just couldn't pinpoint what it was.

    While most earphone tuning consists of either a boost to the bass frequencies or the highs, with slight dip from upper bass to mids, or sometimes rolled off bass but more succinct mids and highs, the Meze 12 Classics didn't sound like any of the above. Bass frequencies seemed to roll off quite quickly, resulting in a very soft fuzzy low end with anaemic bass impact. Vocals and most instruments were presented quite forward, with very decent low-mid detail, and while they generally sounded more acceptable, there was still constantly a sense of veil to it; an unshakable feeling of distorted graininess that I did not really enjoy. Even as someone who isn't fully convinced of the effects of "burn-in", I decided to give the 12 Classics another chance as a review said that they needed some to smooth out the sound.

    It didn't really change much for me, and I decided the best way to solve this mystery was to take measurements. Overall the midrange is very flat, with little high extension.

     

    [​IMG]
    Frequency response graph taken with the Vibro Veritas; not exactly accurate below 100Hz and after 10000Hz, but should be overall acceptable.


     
    Even though the graph shows quite a bit of bass boost, somehow I didn't feel that it had a very solid bass impact. However, Meze may have been aiming for a more neutral tuning and I believe they succeeded in this aspect. Judging from my findings, the flat frequency response of the midrange probably led to what I felt was bit of a strange echoey quality to the sound, and with the lack of any dips anywhere, I felt like there was a lack of contrast and dynamism in the sound quality. If the mids could be either pulled back slightly, along with better high presence for clarity and better detail retrieval, I imagine that Meze would have a very decent mid-high focused earphone on their hands. 

    A bit of EQing made me enjoy the sound more, as I pulled down the 200 - 2000Hz range a bit which eliminated the odd sounding mids, and provided a much needed push to the bass and highs, but it could not eliminate the fuzzy sounding feeling, which I suspect is either being caused by harmonic distortion of some sort, or just a result of the tuning with slightly rolled off highs.

    [​IMG]

    Conclusion

    This budget to entry level price point is an awkward transition point for earphones, especially in the current highly competitive market where 100-300HKD options (mostly coming out of China) are getting better and better. Personally, as someone who has tried everything from the $25 to $22,000 earphones, I feel that a 600HKD investment should be leaps better than the 100-200HKD offerings, and if I were to recommend it to a friend who wanted to dip their toes in the world of audiophilia, I would also want them to get the best bang for their buck with their first "big" purchase . I'm not really sure the Meze 12 Classics gives me that feeling when I listen to it. It somewhat lags behind the other earphones in this price bracket such as the ATH IM50 in terms of resolution, but the 12 Classics is definitely better for someone who does not want such a bassy listening experience.

    It might just be that I'm not used to this frequency response with such a flat midrange. Perhaps if Meze could push the highs slightly it would create a more fun, airy sound, and some of my experience playing with the EQ was able to achieve this. 
     
    [EDIT]
    After more deliberation and testing with musical genres I don't usually listen to, I may have found that my apprehension towards it may have been because the tuning of the 12 Classics with a more neutral bass and flat midrange does not sound so great (in my opinion) with rock and metal and heavier music which I listen to the most. It is actually very capable of a rich, warm vocal representation which makes it ideal for more quieter, acoustic musical genres.


    Originally posted on AccessibleAudio

      s4tch, ryanjsoo and Cinder like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. ryanjsoo
      Interesting to hear your impressions, they are similar to my own in regards to the midrange. Thought I was mad since almost no one else had similar impressions to me, perhaps you can try the manual burn-in that I featured in my review? I found it helped but I still prefer the 11 Neo. 
      ryanjsoo, Dec 16, 2016
    3. alffla
      @ryanjsoo What kind of music do you usually listen to? I found it really unappealing for the rock/ metal / trance music that I listen to the most, so I may have been a bit biased against the 12 Classics. After forcing myself to listen to more acoustic and vocal music, I found that my opinion of them changed a little. I will definitely check your review out, thanks for the heads up! 

      @Cinder Perhaps it may be my slight bias against it due to my usual music choice of rock / metal which I haven't found the 12 Classics to be really appealing for! 
      alffla, Dec 17, 2016
    4. BlendedTwice
      Thanks for this review! I was looking at these today and really liked them aesthetically, but I too listen to a bit too much rock/metal/punk, and I already have good hps for the lighter end of the spectrum.
      BlendedTwice, Dec 17, 2016
  10. OSiRiSsk
    Meze 12 : An instant Classics
    Written by OSiRiSsk
    Published Dec 4, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - comfort, great imaging, overall warm, enjoyable, non-fatiguing sound
    Cons - average soundstage, not audiophile-like detail

    Intro

     
    The Meze 12 Classics has been provided to me by the Meze company as part of the official European review tour in exchange for my honest opinion.
    Later on Meze decided the participants can keep their headphones which I am grateful for.
    Specification:
    I don't want to cloud this review with boring specs, so here is the link my fellow readers:
    https://mezeheadphones.com/products/meze-12-classics-gun-metal-wood-earphones
    Retail price is 79.99 $


    Non-sound characteristics

     
    THE PACKAGING
    First of all - and I know this is really subjective, the Meze 12 looks really beautiful. The wooden element just makes them feel special.
    The Meze 12 comes with a nice little black case and number of various tips - including silicon ones in different sizes and one pair of comply foam tips. Some sort of clip is included too, but I haven't figured out out the use case too, so doesn't look essential :).
     
    init.jpg
    upon its arrival​
    acc.jpg
    accessories​

     
    THE CABLE

    Cable is non-detachable which is kind of a standard thing in the budget sector. I wish EU would issue a law that all headphones must have detachable cables :). No idea why this isn't a standard yet. Cable looks sturdy enough to me. It also has a a microphone but since I haven't used Meze 12 with my phone I can't comment on this any further.
    Initially I've experience pretty serious microphonics - but oddly, only when I *was not* walking with them. When I was listening Meze 12 in the office and the cable touched my desk the microphonics was almost unbearable. However, when using them on the go, I haven't experienced anything like this. Not sure how this can be explained, but it's a true story :wink:.
     
    THE ISOLATION & LEAK

    Isolation & leak depends on the selected tips and the fit. With the comply tips, isolation was very high and leak was almost non-existent.
     
    THE COMFORT

    Similarly to isolation & leak this is also dependant on the selected tips. You likely will need to experiment to find a right one, but this is the same with any other IEMs out there. It's fair to say that Meze 12 are really small and should fit in most ears really well.
    It certainly did into mines - I found the comfort exceptional, and wearing them for couple of hours is not issue at all. I was using comply tips and I was really impressed with the comfort. In this regard, I can nothing but recommend them.


    Sound characteristics

     
    I am not the one who can provide you with thorough description of each frequency range. I don't even find it all that useful. When I listen to music I don't measure - when I listen to music, I actually listen to music. And I can either find the headphones enjoyable or not. It's more of a feeling thing. You just know when something feels right. Let me know tell you what I hear & feel when I listen to Meze 12 classics.
    I have used them mostly with FiiO X7 AM2 and also little with Cayin i5.
     
    beaut.jpg
    seriously just look at them..gorgeous​
    IMG_20161204_085651_HDR.jpg
    pairing with Cayin i5 squeezed that extra drop of detail​

     
    I find the overall signature to be rather on the warm side. It's really non fatiguing, listening to them for hours is not a problem.

    If I should really the shortest description possible I'd use *pleasant & enjoyable*. I'd also call this sound really full, almost juicy. You'll definitely get a mouthful of your favourite music when you listen to these.
     I've never experienced any sibilance in the treble area, so no need to worry. The midrange is also very pleasant to hear - vocals are really smooth and makes the whole listening experience very very natural.
     The bass gives these headphones that fun factor which many of us looks for. It goes deep, extends just the right amount, and the impact is also there. They are not for bassheads I'd say, but because of the bass I can't really call them neutral. I listen to lots of electronic, hip hop, d&b music, and these really work well with these genres.
     
     The soundstage is quite average though. When I first listened to them I almost wanted to say that soundstage is non existent. But when I listened to some more quality recordings I've realized that these headphones simply don't exaggerate or emphasizes the soundstage. If it's there, you will hear it. If not, you won't. All in all - the soundstage is just mediocre. And if you want to use this for listening to your classical concerts it may not be the best fit.
     
     The detail on these is actually quite nice - not the highest resolution, but for 79.99$ really impressive. You want to use good source to squeeze the maximum out of these. Both FiiO X7 and Cayin i5 managed to do it, Cayin providing slightly  better resolution which catapulted these into higher level. These really has potential to shine. 
     Unlike soundstage, the imaging is actually absolutely superb. Goes well above the asking price if you ask me. When you close your eyes you can totally see the instruments in your head. However, given the smaller soundstage, it's a bit crowded in there :).

     The average soundstage is in my opinion also the reason why the detail can't go that extra mile to make these audiophiles headphones.
     But that wasn't really expected I'd say.
     
     The detail, imaging, overall tonality, bass - all of these aspects goes well above the asking price, and I'd call them exceptional value. Soundstage is probably only part of the overall signature which I can all average. Everything else just kicks ass.
     
     Word of caution: All of these impressions are based on using Comply foam tips. With other tips I haven't had such a good experience.
     Especially some of the silicone tips didn't provide such a good seal, therefore the back was lacking, and the sound wasn't so full / warm.
     I strongly recommend to try various tips to fight the one providing best fit - as in other iems, these are no exception that good seal drastically influence the resultant sound.
     Meze 12 were reasonably easy to drive. With FiiO X7 AM2 I was using about 50-60 volume (out of 120). So roughly 50% was sufficient for my listening levels.
     
     Comparison with Fidue A71:

     Fidue A71 are selling for almost exactly the same price, which makes it a good candidate for a comparison. They are more easily to drive than Meze 12 classics. They are slightly larger which may them more prone to being uncomfortable. I was able to achieve a good seal and comfort, but this may not be true for everybody. I think it would be necessary to try them out before buying..
     Their sound is quite different - it's definitely darker, treble more recessed. The bass has more impact than Meze 12 - which with my music genres is actually pretty enjoyable. While the impact is bigger, I don't feel it leaks to other frequencies. They are actually quite midrange centric.
     There is something absolutely addictive about their bass and midrange - which I struggle to put in words. 
     The overall value they offer is pretty much the same as in Meze 12, it's just they are quite different animals. I'd call it a tie between these two  and leave it to your sound signature preference. Also, Meze 12 will most likely fit any ears, while Fidue may struggle in comfort area with some people.
    comp.jpg
    Collection is growing..​


     Summary:


     You already know this - I really like these headphones. They are beautiful, super comfortable (with right tips), offers great imaging, warm, enjoyable sound signature. While not offering the audiophile-like detail it still kicks well above the asking price. The only minus is the average soundstage - but they are simply honest about the recording, and even this is not reason enough to not give a great rating.
     With all being said I have no other choice than to recommend these - I've heard Meze 99 in the past, now Meze 12 and it seems Meze is really going in the great direction. Well done!

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