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

Meze 12 Classics

Rating:
4.05263/5,
  • 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. 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.


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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.



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

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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
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    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.
  2. 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.
          
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    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
     
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    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! 
     
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        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.
     
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        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. 
        
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        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!
     
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    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!
     
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        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!
     
     
     
     
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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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  6. 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
  7. 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!
  8. Mightygrey
    Another gorgeous wooden classic from Meze
    Written by Mightygrey
    Published Dec 2, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Enjoyable warm sound profile; balanced; great design; accessories; price
    Cons - Cable microphonics; not entirely snug fit (for me); L/R marking
    Two things to get out of the way up-front:

    1. this review was undertaken as part of the world-tour for the launch of the Meze 12 Classics, and the team @ Meze kindly sent me a pair of their new IEM's in exchange for my unbiased opinion and thoughts on how they've done.

    2. I really like the cut of Meze's jib. For a company that's come out of relative obscurity in the past couple of years, they've certainly made their mark. Their "99 Classics" have managed to combine looks, build and sound, in a bloody well-executed package. I bought a pair sight-unseen (unheard?) on the strength of rave reviews, and left my thoughts on them here. I also have nothing to say but praise about their customer-service, website, and overall brand-presentation. The premium nature of their products is mirrored in their customer experience - great job.

    So when I heard they were releasing an IEM I shot my hand up immediately to be one of the first to give them a listen. I've spent a couple of weeks with them now, and I'm happy to say they're thoroughly impressive - particularly for the price ($79 USD) and they're my current OTG daily drivers.

    About me + testing set-up

    I'm a 34 y.o music/hifi/headfi-fan with good hearing up to about 17kHZ. I'm mainly a speaker-guy, and prefer full-sized cans where possible. I wear IEMs on public transport every day to and from work, using USB Audio Player PRO on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge with an Audioquest Dragonfly Red - this is the set-up I used to test the Meze 12 Classics.

    Music listened-to for testing:

    AC/DC - Highway to Hell
    Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
    The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream
    Guns 'N Roses - Appetite for Destruction
    Tame Impala - Currents
    Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
    Radiohead - The Bends, In Rainbows, A Moon Shaped Pool

    Packaging and presentation

    A particular strong-point from Meze, and the 12's are no exception. As an ad-guy, I think it's pretty cool how they've made their logo using a posed photo of the 12's on the front cover. I must point out that there's a pretty obvious typo/spelling-mistake on the back of the box - I'll leave it to Meze to find that one : )

    Bravo. Inside, there's a sturdy and good-looking zip-up clamshell case; a pair of genuine Comply tips, and no less than four sets of silicone tips (large; medium; small; double-flange). There's also a spring-clip attachment inside, which I'll write on more below, but became essential for use.

    20161115_215051.jpg

    20161115_215627.jpg

    20161116_093536.jpg

    20161116_111107.jpg

    Design and build

    In a word? Sexy. The genuine walnut surrounding the drivers is simply gorgeous, and the unique wood patterns give them a special, personalised feel. The wood is complemented with a silvery brushed aluminium which is great to the touch and uber-cool. Sturdy rubberised strain-relief at each cable connection-point which inspires confidence in their longevity, especially as they'll likely be subjected to gym-bags, airline overhead compartments, pockets, and the like. There's a nice Nice Meze-branded Y-splitter as well.

    The cable overall feels well-built and slightly rubberised - it's on the thick-side, but springy and doesn't tend to kink or hold its memory. Being thick, I must add that getting it to fit into the plastic claw on the clip was extremely difficult - after five minutes of shimmying and bending, I was seriously worried about either kinking/damaging the cable, or breaking the clip! The inline mic has one button (play/pause from what I can tell), and works as intended.

    After searching high-and-low I genuinely thought there were no "L" or "R" markings on either driver. It took me listening to a very familiar tune which I knew the L/R stereo separation of to work out that the driver with the mic belonged on the right hand side. I've since noticed that they do exist - very faint raised embossing on the strain relief.

    20161115_215931.jpg

    20161116_112254.jpg

    20161115_220126.jpg


    Fit and ergonomics

    I've showed the 12 Classics below side-by-side with the Carbo Tenore from Zero Audio - another sub-$100 IEM wunderkind that's also received rave reviews (my own one here for reference), which are my closest and most relevant point of comparison. The 12's are much larger in diameter, but they're by no means huge - the Carbo Tenores are just miniscule...but I love them so. That being said, I'm not able to get a as good a snug insertion with the Mezes. I think it might be a case of the driver tip being slightly wider in diameter, and flaring out to the much wider-barrel sooner. It's not a huge-problem and I'm probably nit-picking here, but just what I've found.

    Ok so they're in, and now comes my single-biggest complaint with the Meze 12 Classics - that premium-feeling and sturdy cable I mentioned earlier is noisy. Terribly noisy. Any movement or brushing of the cable on clothing, desks or limbs sends "DOINKS" and "THUMPS" up the cable, and straight into your ear. I experienced some microphonics with the CT's as well, but this was easily overcome by using an over-the-ear fit. This is trickier with the Mezes, as the think cable and close proximity of the inline mic to the driver makes it somewhat awkward - it flops heavily against the side of your temple/face. So the only solution (aside from sitting absolutely still...) was to use the supplied clip and attach it to the front of my clothing and give the cable some slack to avoid it bouncing. It seems to work reasonably well, and I use it every time. But still, if your primary promise as a brand is "PERFECT NATURAL SOUND", I'd expect the sound to not be interrupted by the cable noise. The 99's which I love like a baby also have great quality knitted fabric-covered cables, but dammit they're noisy too. Can't win 'em all hey?

    Of the generously-included range of five tips, the ones I found worked best were the 'medium' and the Comply foam tips. The double-flange and smaller tips simply didn't give me a good seal. Interestingly, they don't give isolation - in my case anyway, even with the Comply tips, which act like sound-proofing ear-plugs on the CT's. There's a fair amount of ambient sound still noticeable with music at a low-medium volume.

    20161115_224421.jpg


    How do they sound?

    Very pleasant, actually. The lower isolation plus a surprisingly wide "head-stage" gives a slightly airy sense, and good L/R separation. Overall I'd describe the sound as fairly balanced with a slight mid-bass hump, and also a slight upper-mid/lower treble hump that makes male vocals in particular quite enjoyable. It's a slightly 'warm' presentation that's relaxing (but not laid-back), and can be enjoyed all-day. Compared to the Carbo Tenore's, there's slightly less sub-bass extension/impact, and also slightly less transparency - voices and instruments aren't quite as close and immediate, but they're bloody good.


    20161125_073737.jpg

    20161125_093002.jpg

    Overall

    Very classy package, and incredibly great value. On build, packaging and pure sonic terms, they feel like they should be much more expensive than their price-tag denotes. I think Meze have another 'Classic' on their hands here, and they've made a welcome addition to my collection as my go-to-on-the-go audio solution. They just need to find a solution for their noisy cable! I hope this feedback's helpful in terms of informing your purchasing/listening choices - please hit me up if you have any questions, I'm only too happy to reply. I also hope this feedback is helpful for the Meze team with regards to future product development (and proof-reading!).

    Update: A year on.

    Sound stopped working in the Right-hand channel, and the wooden chamber had become disconnected from the driver section - could be my fault for all I know, bumping around in the bottom of my bag or something. Both the wires connecting to the driver had become separated. I shot a note to Meze tech support, who promptly sent me a shot indicating where I should re-solder the wires to the driver. I got out my soldering iron, made a couple of joins, re-glued the driver to the wooden barrel, and voila! Back working again.

    Thanks again to Vlad in Meze tech support for being so helpful.


    Cheers,

    Mightygrey
      B9Scrambler, MezeTeam and Zedethree like this.
  9. B9Scrambler
    Meze 12 Classics: The Walnut Wonder
    Written by B9Scrambler
    Published Nov 29, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Design - Material Quality - Comforting Sound Signature
    Cons - Cable Noise - Their Less Expensive Sibling
    Greetings Head-fi!
     
    Today we will be checking out another wooden wonder from the brilliant minds at Meze, the aptly named 12 Classics.
     
    Hailing from Romania, Meze is a company that needs no introduction with the Head-fi crowd. Despite only being on the market for a short period of time, their 99 Classics model has become ubiquitously associated with all-round quality and a timeless design. When Meze released news of their upcoming 11 Neo and 12 Classics in-ears, it was clear they hadn't been resting on their laurels while relishing in the success of the 99 Classics.
     
    Both the 11 Neo and 12 Classics feature a titanium coated driver membrane. What sets the two apart and links the 12 Classics to their full-sized counterpart is the difference in housing material; all-aluminum versus an aluminum/walnut wood hybrid. The 12 Classics additionally toss in a copper-clad, aluminum voice coil for good measure.
     
    Do the 12 Classics live up to the Classics name, offering the premium build and sound quality we've come to expect from the Meze name. For the most part, they sure do.
     
    Disclaimer:
     
    I would like to thank @MezeTeam for selecting me to take part in the Head-fi 12 Classics review tour. I am not receiving any financial compensation for this review and all comments and views within are my honest opinions. They are not representative of Meze or any other entity.
     
    The 12 Classics can be purchased from Meze at the cost of 79.99 USD; https://mezeheadphones.com/products/meze-12-classics-gun-metal-wood-earphones
     
    A Little About Me:
     
    Over the last couple years I decided to dive head first into the world of portable audio. After reading pretty much the entirety of IjokerI's multi-earphone review thread and being greatly inspired, I took a chance and started writing my own reviews. Fast forward a couple years and I've had the opportunity to write about some great products for wonderful companies like RHA, Havi, FiiO, NarMoo, Brainwavz, and Meze. I don't do it for money or free stuff, but because I enjoy it. If my reviews can help guide someone to an earphone that makes them happy, I'll consider that a job well done.
     
    The gear I use for testing is pretty basic composing of an XDuoo X3 (with Rockbox update) HTC One M8 cellphone, Topping NX1 portable amplifier, and my aging Asus G73 gaming laptop paired with a Plantronics Rig USB amp. I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. When it comes to signature preference I tend to lean towards aggressive and energetic, but I try not to limit myself to one signature only. I also tend to listen at lower than average volumes.
     
     

     
    IMAG2040.jpg       DSCN0668.jpg       IMAG2041.jpg
     ​

     
    Packaging and Accessories:
     
    The 12 Classics unboxing experience is price appropriate, with a few eye-catching aspects. The first thing that struck me was just how solid the cardboard used is. It's not that flimsy, thin stuff most manufacturer's opt to go with, but is thick, firm, and durable. Second, the direct nods to Meze's trident logo in the orientation of the image of the 12 Classics on the front of the box, and again inside nestled among the foam padding. This are nice details that show Meze put some thought into the packaging without going overboard and making it too extravagant.
     
    It's also refreshing to see a complete lack of marketing blurbs, mission statement, and the like, though sometimes that can be pretty entertaining. The closest Meze gets is with the statement, "Perfect Natural Sound," printed on the left side. This packaging is all business; images of the complete product, a breakdown of the components and construction, specifications, and key features.
     
    The included accessories are everything you need to ensure a good listening experience. You are provided the same silicone tips that come with a trillion other earphones in s/m/l, and a set of dual flange as well. Meze also includes a set of genuine Comply T500 Isolation tips. I didn't think they would suit the 12 Classics since they're not a bright earphone, but they paired surprisingly well and helped combat microphonics (cable noise). A handy little Velcro strip is provided and helps with cable management during storage.
     
    Overall the 12 Classic's unboxing experience is pleasant. The presentation is very clean and straightforward, and the included accessories pair well with the 12 Classics and their sound signature.
     

     
    DSCN0720.jpg       DSCN0721.jpg       DSCN0724.jpg
     

     
    Build, Design, Comfort, and Isolation:
     
    Meze's 99 Classics set a high standard for the build quality and design of all future Meze products in my opinion. They're absolutely stunning and look even better in person. Despite their sub-100 USD price tag, the 12 Classics uphold expectations with a unique design and quality materials, though fit and finish on the earpieces could use some additional TLC.
     
    There are minor nicks and blemishes at the edges of the walnut wood selected for the earpieces where it connects with the aluminum end cap and nozzle section. These pieces also happen to avoid sitting perfectly flush with each other. I would chalk this up to the use of natural materials, but this is not something I noticed to the same extent on other wood earphones like the Thinksound MS01 or even the House of Marley Smile Jamaica and Uplift.
     
    Meze selected a quality cable for the 12 Classics. It's thick and has a hefty, dense sheath that is flexible enough and doesn't retain memory of bends or kinks. It would be near perfect if it wasn't for the overly invasive microphonics that nearly ruin the experience. Luckily, wearing them cable over-ear effectively negates the issue, but not completely. I want to point out and give great thanks to Meze for getting strain relief right. Someone finally gets it! At all major intersections relief is present and effective; jack, y-split, in-line controller, and leading into the earpieces. To everyone who is not Meze; effective strain relief isn't difficult to implement.
     
    The 12 Classics are very comfortable and I can only see someone having issues if they need extremely slim nozzles like those found on the Shure SE215, Fidue A31s, or Klipsche S3. The front aluminum nozzle section is smooth and curves naturally into the rest of the housing, completely free of sharp edges or awkward angles. The curves continue along the body of the housing making gripping them easy and natural as they conform to the natural shape of your fingers. Finally, we get to what is oddly my favorite part of the 12 Classics; the rear dimple containing the Meze logo. For whatever reason I find it immensely satisfying to set the tip of my finger on there. Oh, and it's useful for inserting them into your ear. What I'm getting at is Meze did their homework and nailed the ergonomics.
     
    Isolation is solid, and better than I was expecting given there are two vents in each earpiece; one right behind the nozzle and another in front of the strain relief. At the overly low volumes I listen they were unable to fully snuff out the whirling dervish that is my work computer and it's horribly noisy fans; not so much of an issue at more average listening volumes. It was also enough for walking around in the real world, letting in just enough external stimuli to remain safe-ish. I live in London, Ontario, Canada, a city notorious for having some of the worst drivers in the country. You're never truly safe...
     
    Overall the 12 Classics are an attractive, comfortable earphone made from quality materials that suffers slightly from an abundance of cable noise and slightly sub-par fit and finish where the wood and aluminum meets. These negatives are in no way deal killers, just noteworthy items.
     

     
    DSCN0710.jpg       DSCN0718.jpg       DSCN0725.jpg
     

     
    Sound:
     
    Tips: I'm a big fan of tip rolling and feel it is integral to getting the most out of your earphone in terms of both comfort and sound. The stock tips Meze provides are about as generic as they get, but they work. I have no complaints about them whatsoever. They're comfortable, they don't feel cheap and flimsy, and they pair well with the 12 Classics sound signature. That said, I use KZ's new star tips. They give me a more consistent seal in my left ear, and the wider bore brings the treble forward a touch.
     
    Amping: I honestly didn't spend much time with them attached to my NX1 or Rig USB amp. It worked just fine with my HTC One M8 and XDuoo X3 so the need just wasn't there. I've read they scale quite well but since my gear is still more-or-less entry level, I recommend checking out other reviews for more in depth information on this subject.
     
    Meze played it safe, no, smart with the 12 Classics' tuning. They weren't being adventurous, trying to offer up something overly unique or polarizing. Instead, they dialed in a balanced sound with a mildly boosted mid-bass presence that gives the 12 Classics a warm, welcoming presentation. It's near perfectly weighted, never coming across too thin and wispy or thick and soupy. This balance really lets the natural mid-range stand out despite being slightly recessed. Treble is tight and well-controlled with excellent extension that falls well short of bright but isn't lacking energy and panache. They're very musical. Imaging is quite good with sound moving cleanly between channels without any 'dead-zones' or vague spots. Detail, however, is merely adequate. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything, but at the same time they're not wowing me by picking up the smallest of nuances.
     
    Overall the 12 Classics present sound effortlessly. They don't struggle or distort, and simply provide listeners with a comforting and musical experience.
     
    Select Comparisons:
     
    House of Marley Uplift (39.99 USD): Really, B9? A House of Marley earphone. Yeah, because it's actually a pretty solid product and shares a similar signature. I found the Uplift to be even more balanced than the 12 Classics due to their more even mid-bass/sub-bass progression. Treble is similarly emphasized and extended, and the mid-range clear and prominent.
     
    Where the near 40 USD difference shows is in refinement. The 12 Classics are smoother in the treble and more detailed. The Uplift's bass hits with a slightly muffed thud vs. the 12 Classics clean, crisp thump. Soundstage is similarly presented, but the 12 Classics move sound around with more natural precision and greater accuracy.
     
    Material quality is split but build quality goes to the Uplift. They have what I think is one of the best fabric cables in the business, at least of those earphones I've tried with fabric cables, and fit and finish is excellent where the aluminum and wood meets. Strain relief is lacking at the y-split though.
     
    Meze 11 Neo (59.99 USD): How does the 12 Classics' little brother stack up? Quite well, to the point I feel the 11 Neo offers better value. It is the model to get if you don't absolutely need the sexy walnut wood housings and are willing to sacrifice what would to most listeners would be a negligible level of technical competence.
     
    The 12 Classics and 11 Neo share sound signatures, design, and for the most part, materials. The 12 Classics have slightly more emphasized treble and mids. The 11 Neo are a wee bit warmer, smoother, and slower, sacrificing some detail for listening ease. Unless listening to them back to back, your average listener probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
     
    Build quality and ergonomics are identical minus the 11 Neo swapping out the walnut for more aluminum. To me, that by default means the Neo will be the more durable and longer lasting of the two.
     
    Thinksound MS02 (99.00 USD): Yet another attractive wooden earphone, the MS02 makes for a great comparison with the 12 Classics. While they offer similar signatures, the MS02 comes across as the more 'hi-fi' of the two. They're brighter, less bassy, and have an even more prominent midrange. I found the MS02 offers a touch more clarity and detail at the cost of soundstage width/height. They come across as more direct and focused than the 12 Classics.
     
    The wooden portion of the MS02 is cleaner cut and better finished than the 12 Classics, and the aluminum front portion fits with great precision. Meze's cable is much thicker and more durable above the y-split. Gauge is very similar below the y-split. Thinksound's cable is the more flexible of the two, but also happens to retain very mild hints of bends and kinks.
     
    Overall they're both great earphones and it would be hard to choose one over the other.
     

     
    DSCN0711.jpg       DSCN0712.jpg       DSCN0713.jpg
     

     
    Final Thoughts:
     
    The Meze 12 Classics are an amazing looking product with a very appealing sound signature. They provide outstanding comfort and ergonomics. The cable is stellar if you can get around the near-crippling noise it funnels into your ears when worn down. The in-line mic is practical and a welcome addition, and the materials selected appear top notch. While the 11 Neo offers up nearly the same experience for 20 USD less, you can't deny the appeal of the 12 Classics beautiful walnut housings and the extra clarity afforded by the copper-coated voice coils.
     
    What is all comes down to is that Meze has released another stellar product into the market. It competes well with earphones in and above it's category, and their mass-appeal sound signature makes them easy to recommend. Great job again, Meze!
     
    Thanks for reading!
     
    - B9Scrambler
     
    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****
     
    Test Songs:
     
    Aesop Rock - Saturn Missles
    BT - The Antikythera Mechanism
    Daft Punk - Touch
    Gramatik - Bluestep (Album Version)
    Incubus - 2nd/3rd/4th Movements of the Odyssey
    Infected Mushroom - Converting Vegetarians
    Infected Mushroom - Deeply Disturbed
    Jessie J - Bang Bang
    Kiesza - Hideaway
    King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black
    Run The Jewels - Oh My Darling (Don't Cry)
    Skindred - Death to all Spies
    Supertramp - Rudy
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Bansaku
      2 thumbs up!
      Bansaku, Dec 1, 2016
    3. Aerosphere
      Great review!
      Aerosphere, Dec 4, 2016
    4. B9Scrambler
      Thanks all :)
      B9Scrambler, Dec 4, 2016
  10. FortisFlyer75
    12 Classics: another Meze punching above it's weight again.
    Written by FortisFlyer75
    Published Nov 28, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Detailed musical signature, scalability, similar house sound to the 99 Classics, Build quality, real value.
    Cons - Microphonic cable, - not detachable, recessed vocals, soundstage not as wide as other IEMs out there.
    Meze Classic 12 review
    November 2016
     
    DSC01413.jpg
     
     
     
    Intro….
     
    I was lucky enough to recently review the Meze Classic 99’s which were a big revelation for a sensible price which took on other headphones in the industry costing a fair bit more than Meze was asking for on their 99’s so again I am lucky enough to be able to do a review on the Classic 12’s to see if these too also exhibit the same ability to out-perform their price point at all and how similar they may sound to their big brother headphone version in the 99’s for those who may own the 99’s already looking for that same house sound to take away with them on the go in the form of an IEM.
     
    I am accustomed now days to really only listening to higher price IEMs and own a set of custom monitors in the JH16Pros which I know are by today’s fast evolving paced world are getting dated now as I’ve heard the freq phase V2 version which is more refined and balanced more so to my original 16’s but still a good IEM which share a couple of traits of a Meze signature and to be honest was not looking at doing a review for the classic 12’s but finally got to meet the Meze team on their CanJam London stand earlier this year.
     
    It was then I had a brief listen to them and was pleasantly surprised with the quick listen I had to them how they sounded but that was in not ideal in show world conditions with background noise still of  a few hundred people all talking about their passion for the same subject which of course us Head-fi geeks don’t get to socialise on this scale too often so is understandable it is not going to be a monastery at these events.  So I decided as I loved my 99’s so much and intrigued with what I had briefly heard wanted to listen to these in a perfect home setting to see how they would compare to my 99’s as well as to see if Meze for the future are going in the right direction for other products with their IEMs as well as their headphones. 
     
    So big thanks again Meze for opportunity to be on the Classic 12 tour and been able to listen to these in comfort of my own home for several days.  
     
    Packaging…
     
    Have to say I’m not quite sure how Meze do this especially with the packaging in terms of quality and design and the way it is presented for the price?  It was one thing to do this with the Classic 99’s with a nice outer box and one of the best headphone travel cases I have ever come across but for $79 I’m not sure how they manage it without compromising on the quality of the given product in hand. 
     
    Meze seem to have such an eye for detail I now realize it is no fluke with the 99’s and is carried over with the classic 12’s and there is always the right amount of detail and info on the box without over-crowding to let you know what you have in this box from top to bottom. The clever little touch was the IEMS on the front of the box shaped into the design of the Meze company crest and also the way the 12's are laid out in the foam insert again has accents of been designed to form of the company's crest. 
     
    Sorry but I’m anal like that and (it’s not the be all and end all as sound is preference but when you get this included anyway!) Meze eye for this sort of thing is just a guilty pleasure I appreciate. Can’t wait to see what they do with packaging when they start doing £1K headphones or £500 IEMS!
    Upon opening the box I was again further taken aback to see it laid out in a nice quality foam die cut insert holding the round zipper travel case and the 12’s greeting you laying in their moulded foam inserts. 
     
     
    DSC01409.jpg DSC01438.jpg DSC01411.jpg
     
     
     
    FITMENT…
    The great thing about the 12’s is the small size and how light these are so they fit straight into the ear with no fuss. It comes with a three different size Silicone tips, one pair of double flange silicone tips and most welcome attention to detail is Meze also throwing in a pair of medium size T500 comply tips which is a nice touch especially at this price range there may be some buying this never tried Comply tips before. Also there is a shirt clip included for those who find them useful.
     
    I found silicone or comply tips just as comfortable even though they yield different effects with the sound which I will describe in greater detail later on the Sound impressions section…
    They can be worn over ear which I actually found to hold in better into the ear than the hang down style of wearing but did find as they are primary designed for hang down wear the cable is not one for staying looped round the ear properly so gets annoying.  The cable itself is a little stiffer than some out there but not too much of an issue, in fact I found it nice for spooling for storage as was not so tangle happy as some cables and was easy to manage in this respect.
     
    I do wish and from experience no matter what budget of earphone they made the cable detachable by preference and then maybe at least give us the choice of having an over ear designed cable or hang down version and one without the in line control unit with mic for those who do not use this feature with a phone. Yes even on a budget IEM some of us still only use it with a dedicated dap and not a phone.
     
    In-Line remote and mic…
     
     For the sake of review purposes I did try the in line remote feature hooked up to my HTC M9 and its play/ pause function worked flawlessly and made a call to try out the mic and it sounded clear hearing the person the other end and they had no problem hearing me although they did notice it sounded a bit different to normal and I did find it a little strange talking like that with the isolation of both buds in my ear as cannot gauge your own voice level so was probably like Dom Jolly shouting down the mic piece! But in short it worked well and would be served well by those who use this feature on the move to take calls and have control pause button. 
     
    Even if they just supplied the current in line remote cable bundled and then done the over ear and normal hang down cable as optional extra to buy from them. At least everyone gets an option of how they want to adapt their Meze IEM for best use with their own personal reference of use. One noticeable thing which was present was micro-phonics on this cable which was apparent at times and for some reason there is an omission of a cinch on the “Y” section cable like most IEMS have which would still be nice to of been present.  
     
    Over all though it does feel like a quite strong durable cable and only time will tell how it holds up to the cable join into the actual shell. 
     
     
    Build and design….
     
    The first thing I noticed is how light these were when I picked them up as it feels like they weigh hardly anything which really aids the comfortable and easy fit I was about to experience with these small wooden delights.  The materials used are with purpose using a Titanium coated 8mm mylar driver with a copper clad aluminium voice coil with a front aluminium nozzle and rear casing plate with the wooden housing chamber in between to give natural timbres and detail with clear and balanced sound with good bass response.
    Spec list:
     
    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
    10.  
    To see more info on the classics and Meze in general: https://mezeheadphones.com/
     
     
     
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    Sound impressions…
     
    DSC01462.jpg
     
    I had to delay this review as I caught an unfortunate case of man flu so had to wait until I was fully clear of it before starting so in the mean time I was fortunate enough as this was a new unit to burn these in continuously 24/7 for almost two weeks before listening to them in the safe knowledge I would be jumping into a less rigid or edgy pair of sounding IEMS. 
     
    Firstly a note on tips….  I have not owned universal IEM’s for a while (despite listening to many) having customs but recently seemed to gain two pairs of universals in quick succession before hearing the classic 12’s.  They were the balanced pair I received with my HIFIMAN SuperMini that came bundled in and probably come in around the same price area of the Classic 12’s and the RHA T20’s which I got just before that are in the £149 mark. 
     
    One thing I have found from these and some other universals I have had a listen to of late is how much the tips really change the signature for the worse or better or sometimes both so is a laborious job trying to find the best balance for listening to different equipment across the board so for listening consistency after long deliberation In this case I actually found the 12’s better suited to comply tips to the silicone ones as they provide better seal giving more tighter bass response and more depth.
    But then lay another problem as I have a few different types of Comply’s anyway ended up with the TS-500 series (rounded end with wax guard) which I found a better balance than their isolation models which gave better clarity and cohesion between the bass, mids and treble range on the 12’s. 
     
    There is nothing too wrong with silicone per-sae which give a more lively feel which some might prefer but in comparison the comply’s really pulled things together with better cohesion which is for me saying something as I have had a strange time with some Comply’s not been comfortable or even staying in no matter which size but these seem to stay there with good comfort and let the full range of frequency’s through to the ear canal. 
     
    Upon finally choosing which tips to go with my first impression was Okay… these do sound familiar, oh yes; it’s reminiscent of the 99’s to a degree straight of the bat signature wise with whichever source I used so I’m thinking we are on the right tracks there but it is not until later on with more time and listening to the 99’s back and forth the real intricate differences are there to be heard which I will touch upon later on under the heading 99’s & 12’s…
     
    Using with Daps…
     
     The HIFIMAN SuperMini seems to have a flatter signature with little bass roll off which the 12’s reflect in its delivery and resonates bass notes with a hard delivery or slam which has even more impact than the ZX1 actually delivers listening to the same songs. This is a good pairing for having a more reference flat style listening session from the 12’s then the SuperMini will provide this style with the 12’s.  You can still hear the warmth of the natural timbres the woody side of the 12’s bring but it is like having the best of both worlds with the SuperMini source providing more reference balanced signature. 
     
    Not sure how this combo sounds like this as the irony is the SuperMini is also tilted to been a bit warmer just like my ZX1 is which I think might be the SuperMini’s flatter response I the mids giving it a flatter feel as this becomes primary in what you hear before any lower or sub bass delivery. I do love the SuperMinis slam delivery of notes which are precise with authority.
     
    Sony ZX1 really has a great synergy with the 12’s which is really making them have more depth and dynamics with quicker imaging and speed than I’ve heard out of the 12’s although it sounds a little more closed in to the SuperMini which just sounded to have a bit more space to breath with the 12’s to the ZX1 but the ZX1 is the more musical sound when hooked up with the 12’s.
     
    The ZX1 also renders more micro details out of the 12’s to what the Supermini does and has more headroom control and vocals are a little less recessed to the SuperMini with the 12’s. The Meze warmth seems to match the Sony’s warmish signature side quite well and is not overkill having it like this. If anything it brings more musicality and involvement and the mids are closer yet the lower mids and sub bass have great transition between each other with the treble been articulate in detail with been finely balanced not over shouting the rest of the range. 
     
    Only thing I noticed was bass guitar notes could have been a bit more lower with more reverb on the strings as it had a tendency to sound a little underwhelming or muted on tracks using a bass guitar on this player to normal.  Other than that I found the 12’s with the ZX1 really enjoyable pairing with a good balance across the board with a speed to match the dynamism the ZX1 gave the 12’s.
     
    With Chord Hugo & Vorzuge Pureii+ …
     
    After finally trying this with a couple of daps as after all that is what most people will be using this for is trying this with my Chord Hugo with my laptop and this is pretty much the best I will get to squeeze every last ounce out of these 12’s and have to say it is the more balanced sound of the Hugo that matches the Meze warmer signature very well and gives the 12’s an even keel with it been a cross between both my daps having a natural balance with good levels of detail courtesy to the Hugo’s DAC which makes music sound analog to some DACS which helps make the Meze sound more free flowing and easy to listen too.
     
    I did find this on the dap which has become more apparent with the Hugo is the 12’s will sound just fine with run of the mill okay recorded material  as the 12’s are not an analytical IEM but what was a bolt out of the blue initially when I first heard it was with very good mastered recording’s on the 12’s it really transformed the little wooden Meze drivers into a different IEM.
    To be honest I was left quite shocked as there was more control and better rendering in details of notes are more accurate and full bodied yet transparency is improved also and to be honest I started to forget they just cost $79.  So with high quality recordings the 12’s scale very well and become a little bit closer too it’s big brother 99 classics as the intricacies in details are more apparent.
     
    Using the Vorzuge Pureii+ hooked up to the Hugo, (Reason being I found quite a few headphones and even certain IEMS like the Ortofon EQ8’s for example the Hugo had difficulty with them and could become too shrill on the top end and the Hugo could not reproduce low end bass the EQ8’s are capable of and sound anaemic with no real authority) and having a Vorzuge amp once before (DUO) found these was a good match for those that struggled synergy wise with the Hugo’s amp side… so the sound is more dynamic with a keen eye for detail  on the bass response region been more prominent and less treble happy with the Pure amp than the Hugo is, but good as it sounds with the Pure amp as most things do I felt the Meze was better balanced on this occasion with just the Hugo running on its own and had a perfect synergy as the Mayas are not that hard to drive.
     
    Sound in general….    DSC01429.jpg DSC01467.jpg
     
    Over all I was finding the evolving amount of detail with the overtures of the wooden timbre balanced by a steely side to it with the aluminium fittings make most genres sound good at minimum and excellent at its peak with Rock, Metal, Pop, Dance, R&B all at home and classical, OST’s  or jazz sounding good but just lacking that bit of air they need to excel like the other genres mentioned.
    Instruments sounded natural for most part and top end was tuned with good clarity and detail and not over powering. 
     
    Tonally vocals sound natural and contrasting but sound a little recessed and almost feels like been masked behind the music sometimes and just wish it was a little more forward, closer and engaging in this area. What makes the 12’s exhilarating to listen to is the mid bass which is the driving force to its punchy delivery but has a tight sub bass that can come from nowhere and your left wandering did that just happen!  I feel is only getting better with time still as these IEMS get more use as details for an IEM in this price point is quite an accomplishment as micro details is what just gives these IEMS that extra performance edge in its class.
     
    99’s & 12’s sibling rivalry?…
     
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    So the 12’s start out sounding like a Meze signature I am now accustomed too but after X amount of hours in it is becoming apparent the tiny 8mm drivers have their own take on the Meze signature and deliver a more crisp, sharper and more present top end delivery to the 99’s. Where the 99’s was more in the mix and unobtrusive you can hear is more to the fore with the 12’s. There is still good overall balance on the 12’s but is more obvious the treble is wanting it’s place at the table without sounding piercing or shrill. Don’t think Meze know how to do one of them anyway!
     
     The 12’s possesses a good tight solid deep bass like the 99’s which is not maybe not the most tigh-test bass but has more of a blanket thunder rolling type of bass with having the luxury of 40mm drivers and bigger cups to an IEM to create that effect.  There is a clear cohesion between the mid and low bass with the 12’s but the 99’s seem to have better graduation of transfer through the range that can be heard on the 99’s. 
     
    The mids are similar in the approach with vocals on the 12’s not quite as close and seemed dialled down a couple of dbs’ in the mix to the 99’s but the timbre of instruments and vocals are 99’esque in approach to delivering that familiar 99 signature in a tiny light weight IEM.
     
    They do both share a house sound with similar tuning but the 99’s will always have that luxury of bigger soundstage, depth and height and more essentially more detail presentation which is what some headphones at more expensive prices struggled to reproduce like the 99’s do so it would always be asking a lot for these budget end pair of IEMs even by Meze to be level footing to the 99’s but if you already have the 99’s and love the sound, then the 12’s would give you that familiar tuning you have become accustomed in a more practical solution for on the move when commuting.
     
    Conclusion…
     
    In a “wooden” nut shell the 12 is like a little brother to the 99’s which you like to think will evolve with age into a mature IEM later on down the line with a model that is equal to the 99’s in an IEM.
     
    Over all sound verdict  of the 12’s is it’s not perfect by any means as it’s soundstage is a little to enclosed and narrow (even though this did improve on the Hugo to a degree) which even on an IEM this  affordable I was hoping for a bit more room for them to breath and did find sometimes the upper mids would get a little congested losing control and focus when faced with loud heavy music like rock or metal but that is really only couple of niggles apart from wanting the vocals just placed a bit more forward and concise I have to remember these are $79 after all and not my £1k customs!
     
    I have had experience of listening to this end of the scale with the likes of the RHA MA350 & 600’s as well as the Future Sonics Atrio MG7’s and the Meze 12’s probably mixes the best of both worlds between those two brands model versions I heard
     
    The up side was they do many thing’s for their price very well and was pleasantly surprised how they scaled with something like the Hugo’s ability to take on the detail it produced and the better recorded songs in general on any device made these shine.  It was when I heard them like this I got the distinct feeling they could of charged $100 -120 if Meze had wanted the way these scale with top recordings. 
     
    My experience after trying and owning the Classic 99’s is with the 12’s Meze are going in the right direction with making a good detailed musical IEM that punches above its weight and think Meze are one to watch for the future as they grow and evolve.
     
    For those who like the 99 classics and interested in a IEM version of this will like it despite it not quite been on the same level of the 99’s and for those who are just looking for an affordable IEM that is practical for on the go with in line remote control for your phone or just like a warmer side of neutral musical signature with reasonable amounts of detail at this price and a natural timbre produced by its wooden chamber which is not offensive on the top end with friendly mid-range that has a good tight punch and capable of a nice deep sub bass without been obtrusive or over blown which should keep bass heads happy may want to give these a try for sure. 
     
    Classic 12 Review has now ended and left the building….
     
    Thank you for getting this far!
     
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      jinxy245, B9Scrambler and MezeTeam like this.

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