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Meze 99 Classics

Rating:
4.34559/5,
  1. musicday
    The Meze 99 Classics : simply, a great pair of headphones
    Written by musicday
    Published Sep 2, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Detailed sound quality,great built quality, design
    Cons - synthetic leather,small ear pads that gets warm after long use
    The Meze 99 Classics : simply , an wonderful headphone.
    Introduction :
    Usually in life you get high end headphones that deserve lots of praise and they cost lots of money, but is not always true that more expensive mean particularly better. In this case here we have a rather affordable, good looking closed on ear headphone . At the time of writing this review the price of Meze 99 Classics is £259 in UK , so you do not have to break the bank to buy something that sounds and looks as good.
    DSCN2100.jpg
     
    You still haven’t heard of the Meze 99 Classics headphones yet? Then take your time and  read further about those wonderful headphones. Meze is a small company located in Romania where they design in house all their products, and Meze 99 Classics is one of them.

    Specifications :
    Transducer size: 40mm
    Frequency response: 15Hz - 25KHz
    Sensitivity: 103dB at 1KHz, 1mW
    Impedance: 32Ohm
    Rated input power: 30mW
    Maximum input power: 50mW
    Detachable Kevlar OFC cable
    Ear-cups: walnut wood
     
    Once you open the rather luxurious box, you are delighted by the build quality of these headphones and how pretty they look.They seem to be built to last and all the used materials are premium with real walnut wood for the ear cups.
    DSCN2106.jpg
     
    In the box :
    They come in a nice premium box and also a hard case for storage is included .
     
    1 x cable  1.2 m Kevlar OFC with mic and remote to use with your smartphone.
    1 x cable  3.0 m OFC for home use.
    1 x 6.3 gold plated jack
    1 x airplane adaptor jack
    1 x hard Case for storage with another small fabric case to store the cables when not in use. I am personally pleased with the accessories included in the package on top of the quality of the headphones itself. No doubt about it , this will make a wonderful gift for your friends.
    DSCN2107.jpg
     
    Build :
    As soon as you take a closer look at the headphones you will realise that the construction is simply amazing with a great choice of nice materials being used here. “CNC carved wood ear cups, cast zinc alloy hardware with electroplated coating, stamped manganese spring steel headband, memory foam and soft PU leather”. My only criticism will be not including real leather for the headband and ear cups, but that’s like asking too much at this price point.
     
    On the head:
    The Meze 99 Classics being and over ear headphones, are not as comfortable as full size headphones, but are very close and the reduced weight really helps , 260 gr without cables. Overall they are comfortable to wear for long period of times and you don’t really notice that are on your head. I really like the feeling with that self adjusting spring headband. You put them on your head and that’s all, no need to adjust and readjust. With a clean, straight and simple design for sure are a winner.
     
     
    About the sound :
    The most important thing for anyone is the sound quality, apart from comfort and looks. And they do sound, great and detailed.
    Bass : While it doesn’t go as deep as other headphones in this price category the Meze 99 Classics have a wonderful, lighter bass, that’s not aggressive and in your face, but is there and is blending nicely with the mids and highs. Wonderful for instrument orchestra and vocal music.
    Mids : The mids are the best this headphone can deliver and they are wonderful presented ,dynamic and detailed with clarity and accuracy speed. You need to hear them for yourself to fully understand what i am trying to describe here.
    Highs : The highs are presented but can’t reach very high, and that is not particularly a bad thing, making for a non-fatique, easy laid back sound. Isolation is quite good for this headphone, making it pleasant to use in noisy environments, or where a closed back headphone is required.
    Soundstage : Meze 99 Classics soundstage is well defined and quite open with nice instrument separation and you literally  feel the music surrounding you, which i really enjoyed. Using straight out of my Asus laptop was a great experience watching movies where i could hear lots of micro detailes.
    DSCN2105.jpg
     
    Players used :
    Straight out of the box i have been really enjoying the Meze 99 Classics headphones with my Tera Player, Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge +, and LG Flex. If the sound signature will improve with the burn in, is even better, but very little criticise about.
    Tera Player : the pairing was really good, but lacking somehow bass, but a great detailed spacious sound, with plenty of headroom.
    LG Flex and Galaxy 6 Edge + with FLAC files sounded better with fuller sound because of the low impedance of those phones, where the Tera Player output is 10 Ohm and 20 Ohm.
    Final words :  Wow, this is simply all i can say about this pair of headphones and congratulation to the Romanian team for the overall complete package they have achieved : sound, built, materials use, packaging. If you are in the market looking to purchase a great sounding headphone then look no further, Meze 99 Classics are that second pair you want, even if you have more expensive headphones in your collection. This is a one all purpose headphone suitable for serious listening, gym use, walk in the park, watching movies, you name it. And being a low impedance headphone is not hard to be driven straight from your phone with great results.
    I fully recommend to try to hear them for yourself if you can, but at this price point is hard to recommend something else as good.
  2. Takeanidea
    Meze 99 Classic - wooden elegance Indiegogo smash hit....and a great set of headphones
    Written by Takeanidea
    Published Jun 13, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Bass Soundstage Value
    Cons - Isolation

    MEZE 99 CLASSIC
    What beats beneath the elegance?

     
    99-gold-product1_21_08_2015_13_12_44_0_570x720.jpg
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    It has been mentioned that a review has the potential for bias. [​IMG]The headphones are sent to us for free evaluation for 7 days in return for an honest review on Headfi. [​IMG]We ship them onwards at our own cost and for the majority of us we do not get to keep the headphones. Reviewers are doing this because they like listening to different headphones and writing about them. [​IMG]As for the companies who are offering their product to the community for testing , I believe this is something to celebrate and to embrace. In my opinion , it gives the products offered up for review a positive start. From thereon all bets are off . The headphones sink or swim accordingly. Thankfully , all ears are different all headphones are different and all musical tastes are different. This is why we hope as reviewers you will find this as some benefit in your decision as to which headphone or headphones you choose to buy with your hard earned cash.
     
    A tale of Trev and his tumultuous trip with the wooden marvel that is sure to be talked about until revision II hits the market.
    Many months ago I was perusing the head fi threads and found the Meze page scouting for reviewers for a European Tour. The looks alone convinced me that these would be worth a listen so I put my name forward and luckily was chosen.
    Finally my turn has come up. I can give you my findings based on a week with them.

     

    Introduction
     

    Meze are an up and coming Romanian company who did a kickstarter campaign for the 99 Classics. We can speculate as to why this was but I believe this phone is the first bespoke full size product they have made.  Their website is well presented and currently only 2 products are on sale, the 99 and an IEM. Clearly there are high hopes for this phone.
    With thanks to Meze ,I have had the pleasure of listening to their sole over the ear headphone for a little over a week.
    I hope I can give you a flavour of their sound signature and some insight into comfort, fit, looks, sensitivity and versatility.
    The 99 Classics are the result of in house development and a successful Indiegogo campaign. I am not a fan of Indiegogo because of having to pay money up front for a product which may not have a working prototype. Meze, being an established company carry no such pitfalls and reached their investment goal in 2 days.
    The 99 Classics are an over the ear design. They have chosen wood for their cup design in keeping with previous models. Meze believe that a wood design is timeless and they have built their headphones to last. The wood cups take 45 days of work before they are ready. They are highly polished and each cup is unique in the grain it has.
    The cups and pads are relatively thin and of a medium width. They are a closed design. The drivers are close to the ear. My ears fit inside the cups but I do have small ears. Meze are looking at the design to see if larger cups ,thicker pads etc are feasible but for now let us look at what is real.

     

    The Sound
     
     
    The sound signature is a fun one, many reviewers seem agreed on this. I found the bass to be quite prominent without bleeding markedly into the mids and highs. There are advantages to this signature particularly with regard to tracks which are considered bass shy.
    Modern tracks are not bass shy in my opinion. Even to the point of eqing some bass off hip hop /loudness wars type material, I have had more fun listening to other genres.
    Classical music has a new lease of life with the 99. Without sacrificing the grandeur of the violins and piano and horn sections there is a pleasant background oomph that gives a nice body to the presentation. I would encourage any owners to send us their impression of Classical Music for good or for bad. For me I found it really lent something and had me searching for my favourite selections. For those who are not necessarily die hard classical fans but don't mind a few strings lending some depth to a song , please try Eve of the War by Jeff Wayne.

    [​IMG]
    The extra bass lifts the track in my opinion.
    There are many tracks out there that lend themselves to the Meze style of delivery - Gary Numan’s Replicas

    [​IMG]
     
    sounds like a different recording for example.
    The low end I would describe as somewhat slow in it’s decay possibly even a little flabby. This is not a criticism because I found it extremely pleasing on much of the music I listened to.

     
    For all the bass weight here there are other redeeming factors for those seeking a refinement in their sound quality.  Put any track you like on - there is a clarity here that makes it’s way through the bass. I felt that the obvious characteristic of this clarity could be heard through the echo and separation of the instruments. The Meze headphones have got this right, certainly for the sound I look for in a headphone.
    We have bass and we have clarity so in terms of a €300 headphone we have some very good plusses.
     
    As a comparison I have a pair of Pendulumic Stance S1+ bluetooth closed phones .
     
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    They retail at £174.99 or €221.56 , approximately 26% cheaper.
     
    They are a neutral sounding headphone with what I’ve considered to be a competitive sound quality for this price brand. The Stance sounded relatively boring when pitted against the 99s.
    Next up , the more expensive Mr Speakers Alpha Dogs, a closed full size with larger cups and larger pads.

    DSC01749.jpg
     
    A quote from a head announcement from Dan as of May 2016  -
    “To celebrate the end of an era and thank our customers, especially the Head-Fi community for so much encouragement and support, we're holding a "Thank You" sale for our entire line of T50-based Mad Dog and Alpha headphones.  These will be the last we make, and once these Alpha and Mad Dog headphones are gone… “That's all folks!”
     
    Mad Dog:  $299.99 now $269.99
    Mad Dog Pro: $449.99 now $379.99
    Alpha Dog: $599.99 now $499.99
    Alpha Prime: $999.99 now $799.99
    …which makes the Alpha Dogs €434 or 44% more expensive.


    The Alpha Dogs sound more airy and refined than the Meze 99 Classics. The Meze Classics have more bass extension , far more, than the Alpha Dogs. The difference is not a subtle one.  The Dogs have an arguably more accurate , faster decaying low end response.  
     
    How do the Meze Classics compare to similar priced IEM’s? The concept behind the full size and In Ear is entirely different but the results are the same - sound comes out. I had a set of Sony XBA4ips knocking about so I tested the 2 side by side.
    Sony-XBA-4-400x300.jpg
     

    The Sony ’s have 4 drivers each side - all balanced armature - 1 full range 1 tweeter 1 woofer and 1 super woofer.
    They are now discontinued but are highly regarded in the In Ear world.

     
    A pair can now be had for £199 or €252 - 16% cheaper than the Meze.
    The Meze has better sound quality in my opinion. The bass is far bigger on the Classics, the sound is much richer and thicker , the sound stage is bigger and the clarity and separation beats the Sonys.

     

    Sound Quality Conclusions
     
     

    The Meze 99 Classics have a bassy, rich , thick , clear, wide sound signature. They can compete favourably with IEMs and closed headphones in the same price bracket and some will prefer the sound signature over closed headphones  costing significantly more.
    Is the hump in the bass likely to become fatiguing over weeks , months and years? This is a question many may ask.  I feel a responsibility to addressing this issue , particularly as it seems I have recommended these headphones for classical recordings. Most people I know are using the classical genre as a means to relax ; to use a headphone that is screaming and punching rather than soothing and caressing is not really what we are looking for! The reason I am hoping the Meze won’t fatigue is because they are not just about bass ; they have lots of other qualities. Those qualities do not need lots of volume to become part of the signature , they are present at relatively low listening levels. I believe one of the key factors in listening fatigue stems from not only listening to artificially enhanced frequency ranges , it also comes from being forced to listen at a high volume to bring all of the dynamics of the music into the mix.

     
     

    The Style
     
     
    The unit I was sent was one of 3 models being sold.
    The Walnut Classic Gold model - elegance with the wood cups, the 3 colour scheme and the size is understated. The understated has been achieved with the thinness of the pads the ear cups and the non solid dual rings supporting the headband.

    99-gold-product1_21_08_2015_13_12_44_0_570x720.jpg
     
    The Walnut Silver - for those who will love the walnut effect but may feel the gold as a darker colour may look perhaps a little too much. The silver offsets the darkness of the finish of the cups quite pleasantly in my opinion.
    99-platinum-product1_09_02_2016_12_56_51_0_570x720.jpg
     
     
    The Maple Silver - a much more modern styling , much brighter and lighter in colour scheme of course. My favourite combination of traditional wood with advanced minimalism. Beautiful.
    99-silver-product1_22_09_2015_15_53_53_0_570x720.jpg
     

    The Fit
     
     The headphones fit my ears extremely well. I have small ears. The drivers are very close to my ears. I am certain this is giving the bass a lift. However, I have no feeling that there is a lack of upper range frequency loss due to the proximity. For this reason , I am wondering whether there would be an advantage with thicker pads. This may well over time lend more comfort to the listening experience for those with larger ears so if Meze manage to achieve the same sound quality with bigger pads then this is surely some research worth pursuing.
    The headband has just the right amount of tension in it that the leather adjustment band rests easily around the top of the head ; no pulling clamps and adjustment bolts at the side of the headphone and everything is done in a second.
    There is a degree of movement on the cups against the ears and there is a slight clamping effect.to This will maintain that proximity to the ears and help to generate the bass. It’s all about the bass!

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    Sensitivity
     
    The Meze Classics are loud enough to use on your phone and ask for no amplification. Below my Cubot H1
    Cubot.H1.jpg
     
    tested extensively with Deezer on numerous 320 kps tracks as well as some uploaded flacs. They respond to a cleaner crisper source and you will hear differences between a phone and a DAP.  I was fortunate to coincide this review with a loan from HiFiHeadphones of the Audio Opus 1 Digital Audio Player.
    the-bit-opus1-dap-baladeur-hifi-dac-cs4398-x2-24bit192khz-dsd_1__1.jpg
     

    I loved the sound of this player hooked up to the Meze headphones. They performed extremely well together and in fact the vast majority of my testing was done sat in a comfortable chair as close to the outside as the weather would allow.
    On some days , this was directly outside in sweltering heat with only my music and a chilled pint or two of beer to comfort me. I have no hesitation in recommending this as ideal listening conditions. The writing was done when it was raining and the listening was done when the sun was shining.

    Tequila-Sunrise.jpg
     
     
    The correct way round I’m sure you’ll agree.

    In the spirit of researching this article , I decided to see what difference, if any , adding the Chord Mojo Dac/Amp par excellence to the stack would make.
    eabd6-Image.jpg
     
    Attaching the optical out cable from the Opus 1 to the Mojo the Classics were put into 1 of the 2 headphone outs of the Mojo. To my surprise , I did not like the output from the Mojo. The Meze Classics sounded better direct from the Opus 1! Amezing!
    The sound thickened up using the Mojo, it sounded like the Meze were being pushed too hard.  This makes life much easier in my opinion. ……or does it? Much experimentation can be done with sources for the Classics; some will make the Meze sound too bassy some will hit that sweet spot. Many of the cheaper sources are bass light that I have heard; the Colorfly C3 for example may be a good bet.

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    Lovely looking very small not particularly powerful or great storage or UI but sounded lovely with the Classics. And pretty cheap…
     
     
    Isolation
     
     
    The Meze 99s have average isolation. At moderate listening levels in a quiet environment none of the outside world gets in.  With the TV on sat beside your loved one there will be an issue.
    The headphones don’t bleed so they can’t be heard by anyone else whilst they are being worn. The thinness of the pads and cups leads to some outside noise getting in. Whether people consider the Meze suitable for out and about  is a moot point ; there is an advantage to a headphone with some isolation but not overmuch. Some traffic noise can be considered  necessary for safety.

    The finish of these may lead people to consider them for indoor
    Versatility use only.  Maze however have supplied 2 leads - 1 is a 3 metre cable for indoor listening ,the 2nd much shorter with an inline mic for hands free phone calls.

    99-classics-accessories.jpg
     

    Out and about use is further enhanced by the large carry case provided.
    99-classics-design.jpg
     
     

     The phones do not fold flat so the case is too large for pockets but will fit in a backpack for  commuter  / tourist use.
    I would strongly recommend when not being worn and carried around that the headphones stay in their case. God forbid that they might be dropped on their cups and get scraped on the pavement.
    Oh hang on……

     
     
    The Company
     
     
     The next part of the story is a tale of disaster! Yes, even reviewers get clumsy sometimes. For reasons unknown to me I ended carrying the Meze 99s into work from my vehicle in a velour bag. I was that confident they couldn’t possibly be dropped by me ; I am far too careful for such things.  Suffice it to say , I tripped on a crack in the pavement that didn’t exist, stopped myself from falling by means of a double fast trot on the spot and a good bit of windmilling and grabbing at air, and something had to give. The Meze 99 Classics did just that. They came out of my hands which were too busy flailing around to save them from hitting the ground! To my horror I noticed I had created some small chips on both wooden cups! This is both a testimony to the Meze’s strength (they didn’t crack right down the middle or on any of the seams-there aren’t any) and the fragility of the veneer finish.  
    Had the same happened to any set of headphones I am sure the result would have been similar. In short, please look after them!
    I immediately contacted Meze and offered to pay for them in full.  To their credit Meze sent me a prompt reply stating accidents happen , the headphones were repairable and there would be no question of me buying these headphones.
    Bear in mind that all parts of Meze 99 Classics are replaceable.

    99-classics-fully-serviceable1.jpg
     
    No glue is used. I have a pair of AKG K1000s , built to last , looking as good as the day they were made. Apart from they are struggling with  subbass on the right driver. I believe the reason to be that the glue has deteriorated over the course of the 20+ years since they were made. Not an impossible task to remedy by any means , but a long discontinued phone of this sort of value means either an expensive specialist repair or an unenviable DIY repair. All this for a pinprick hole in a bead of glue. Maze have sensibly avoided this pitfall . No glue is used, everything can be unscrewed.  Another consumer friendly aspect to these phones.
     

    Conclusions
     
     
    The Meze 99 Classics have a distinctive rich sound. They add bass to tracks , some will benefit from this , some will not . There is much more to these headphones sound than bass. Due to the combination of all these things, I would recommend them for classical music and bass shy music. I had a great deal of fun listening to all my favourite tracks and genres of music with them.
    There are 3 distinctive styles, hopefully there is a style available for everyones taste.
    The headphones can be used outdoors as well as indoors and go very loud even from a smartphone. Isolation is not in the top tier - tube rides and busy roads may lend themselves to a different headphone. If you do use them outside be careful. If you can’t be careful, don’t worry! They’ll fix them for you.
    Meze have a winner on their hands with the Meze 99 Classics. They are fun sound with some serious styling and are built to last.

    1. View previous replies...
    2. FortisFlyer75
      Very enjoyable read and to the point with nice smattering of humor ; )
       
      (I long to hear these again and have missed the Classic's sound sig.)
      FortisFlyer75, Jun 14, 2016
    3. Takeanidea
      @Bansaku thanks for your observations - that's exactly what we needed to hear
      @FortisFlyer75 thanks for the kind comment
      Takeanidea, Jun 15, 2016
    4. glassmonkey
      Nice review! I totally agree with using a leaner source on these. Love the Meghan Trainor gif!
       
      Here's a cover of All About That Bass with some actual bass for all the fans of Avi Kaplan of Pentatonix.
      glassmonkey, Jun 15, 2016
  3. kosq83
    Little cans BIG sounding!
    Written by kosq83
    Published May 8, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Easily driven of a smartphone, very portable, fun sounding, airy, some stronger base withoit a V shape sounding
    Cons - Microphone effect, imo not for home use
    Welcome everybody to my review. It is a first one for me - so please take it easy, have a beer or two, popcorn handy and have fun reading. I don't mind if Yous will slap me for that what You'll read - but it is what I think.
     
    I would like to thank you Meze Team for letting me testing these cans for a little bit longer than usually as I have a quite limited time for tunes in my every day life. And as a disclaimer I would like to mention that this review is genuinely what I think and what I hear.
     
     
    Shortcut:

    Meze produces some big big sound - being such a light and quite little cans - they can even massage ears. All the frequencies are well pronounced, I didn't hear any V shape sounding listening them - but there is some stronger base in them. The base gives a really fun drive - but it never goes too far into other frequencies. Mids - and so vocals are rather forward and well present in tunes.I had no issues whatsoever with the high tones - they are airy - even very airy, well separated and not stingy at all. On the HTC M9 everything was coherent I wasn't missing anything in the sound.
     
     
    The Unimportant
     
    You can skip that to the part below immediately.
    My audio background. As a quite non-existent headfier I'll let to describe myself. I'm in audio world about six years now, started with the help of other much more experienced audio hardcore maniac - ave Adivxv!- getting Xonar STX (and later on a few sets of decent opamps)and ATH-A700X + DT770 PRO 250Ohm - so my start was with not too bassy sounding with quite good soundstaging.  The soundstaing - and other aspects connected with - happen to be my thing in sound. And so it started. Today and for the sake of the tests I had been using as follow:
    Aune S16, Yulong D200 as source/amp combos
    Yulong A28 as Amp
    Ultraviolet 7 and some cheap interconnectors, and power conditioning plug
    And the most important - HTC M9 phone
    Nothing super special as you can see.
    The rivals for the Meze Classic99 were:
    Philips Fidelio X2 (big thanks to Mr Pepis!)
    Audio Technica ATH-AD700X ATH-A700X
    Ultrasone PRO900 and HFI-780
    AKG K550

    The last thing I would like to mention is that I've never read any review about the Meze cans. Yes, You may not believe in it - I don't mind - but I retained not to read anything online or anywhere else - first because my time is quite limited, and later on when I knew I will receive them for testing I wanted to have a clear mind of the other reviewers thoughts. What else I am a person who is hype resistant - so I take everything rather cold. Okay enough mumbling. So let's get to the point:
     

    The somewhat important

    Somewhat important to me reviewing the headphones is the other things which comes along with them apart of the sound. The cans - when I got the parcel from FortisFlyer75 - they came immaculate, looking as a new and untouched, so the impression was like buying a new cans. First thoughts very positive. The build quality - nothing to grip. Feels like a luxury product. The feel and the look just spot on. The wood very nice in touch. The pads rather shallow, but very soft and super nice in touch. The two different length "wires" are like a shoe lace covered in a cloth (similar to the ATH-A700X cable) which of my preference is the best cable to live with. They're soft as well. One is with the microphone - which I've tested as well using HTC M9 - loud and clear both ways, no issues at all. There is some extras as well in the box - but that probably everybody knows anywhere. So the package is complete - which I think is a good thing and nicely thought by the producer.
    The only bad thing is the microphone effect when the metal band is touched by anything. There is a minor microphone effect of the cables - but really minor- and disappearing when music plays even at low volume. The headband adjusts itself - I have quite a big potato head - and had no problems with the comfort at all.
    The comfort - as I mention the pads are very soft. The cans aren't big at all. From all the cans I own they're the smallest ones - I was a little bit suprised bu the size of the cups - my ears just just fit in - they don't seat on the ears - but I wouldn't call them totally over the ear. The closest cans I know well comfortwise are the HFI-780 - which are less comfy than the Meze.
    The circumstances I most of the time listen the music - is mostly the night time when I'm off - so I put a playlist on, lay back relaxed in bed and totally spacing myself out - I'll mention about that later on - but the comfortwise Meze during such a sessions were less comfy than the big cans (X2, AD700x, A700X or DT150 - but these are bigger full cans, so really there is no wonder..) - and I had to be careful not to cause the microphone effect of the headband - so they wouldn't be my first choice for these kind of night sessions.
    The look - furthermore it is worth to mention about the look - but from the other, not a quality side - but the look as a fassion thing (or such, you know what I mean). I was taking Meze with me to the public places - parks, cafe places and such - and I can report that the people were looking at them - in my opinion they would fit to the person wearing smart or formal clothes - shirts, ties and such - it is just a classy look. I personally don't give a duck how do I look like in the headphones when I'm out and about - as I am taking out with me HFI-780, K550 or even A700X - but none of them look classy at all. Meze are.
     
     
    And the important - the sound
     
    Now the only really important bet of the review. First impressions - when I got them it just happened I was listening some tunes on D200+ OTG cable+ USB Audio Player Pro and A700X. First impressions were quite sour - as I just simply preferred A700X over the Meze. Why? What I'm after the sound is the soundstaging - as wider, as deeper as more holographic - then better. A700X were producing to my taste better soundstage. So the first impressions were a little bit disappointing. Later on on next occasion I teamed them up with all my equipment and X2, AD700X, DT150 - and each time I wasn't so impressed with the Meze. The X2 weren't mine and they had to go back to the owner (thanks again Pepis!) so I had feelings that I am wasting time with Meze - cause I knew I had to review them. I know You must be boiling here by now - I know that. X2 are semi opened AD700X are opened, A700X is a soundstaging wide killer at the price point - well all of my cans are super spatial - the Meze were not. Than - than I had an idea to plug them to HTC M9 and take them with me going out. And from then on the magic started. What is my opinion (I may be here a captain obvious - but honestly I didn't read a word about them at all) these cans are ment for on the go use. Than longer I had been using them with the phone the more I liked them - hmm I loved them from the first tune - and It just was progressing till the last day. The are like K550 (not sounding like for a record) - the similarity is that  they play so good of a phone it is quite impressive. Really the worse source the better sounding (metaphor). After I undiscovered that - I didn't plug them into the stationary machinery at all - and I've been listening all the time of my phone.
     
     
    Sounding:

    If it is about the soundstaging presentation - It is all there. The show is rather happening inside the head deeper than wider- but everything is well separated and with some good imagining. Well made tracks were taking me "there" with ease.
    Meze produces some big big sound - being such a light and quite little cans - they can even massage ears. All the frequencies are well pronounced, I didn't hear any V shape sounding listening them - but there is some stronger base in them. The base gives a really fun drive - but it never goes too far into other frequencies. Mids - and so vocals are rather forward and well present in tunes.I had no issues whatsoever with the high tones - they are airy - even very airy, well separated and not stingy at all. On the HTC M9 everything was coherent I wasn't missing anything in the sound.
    Sitting in a cafe or any other place I was totally chewed in the tunes every time I was listening anything - and the repertuar was spread in between the edm, pop, rock, and some other random music - even Rihana tracks hehe. Every time wow effect on.
    During relaxing home sessions in my bed - I also was chewed in the tracks. I started liking the soundstaging more and more - and the drive of the base - It is really pleasant and interesting. It may not be going down like in PRO900 (but that I will mention next).
    Overall - my opinion (again I'm most likely a Captain Obvious) the Meze are ment to be a headphones to take them outdoors, for a journey, for a delegation, wherever when we can't take our gear. There is no need for them to pair them with any audiophile stuff - they fly of the phone.The sound doesn't scale with stationary amps and DACs - but they are so good without it... Other cans are better in other ways - Meze to my ears are very musical - more musical than spatial, they give tons of fun listening to basically anything I was listening to - they make me want to listen more and more - yes, they can be fatiguing - but such is a fun listening.
     
     
    Final thoughts:

    I can totally recommend the Meze cans - but only, only for a portable, on the go cans. They got all the attributes needed.
    I can totally recommend them as well for the people without any home audio gear. Since they really shine just plugged to the smarphone - there is no need for anything else.
    Since they look classy - I think it could be a good material for a gift to anybody.
    For a sit at home - stationary gear - I would never use them - cause other cans do that better.
     
     
    Thanks for reading!
    Peter
    1. View previous replies...
    2. kosq83
      Thanks Guys for good words!
      FortisFlyer75
      Yes, Classics scale higher with better gear - but to me they are left behind if it is about the soundstaging - but considering the cans whey had to rival with - I am not supprised at all. I would get them purely for their tonality :)
      Villy
      I did my best to produce an honest one - that was the point Mate :)
      kosq83, May 12, 2016
    3. FortisFlyer75
      No one can deny it was an honest one bud, that's what I liked about it.

      Soundstage, I've heard better with closed backs but at same time have heard worse, ie. like my Sony 7520's but I still love them!

      Yes tonality is what melts the heart with these I guess which is something to a lot with those lovely wooden cups : )
      FortisFlyer75, May 12, 2016
    4. reddog
      A good, informative review.
      reddog, May 12, 2016
  4. kman1211
    Stylish and very good sounding wooden headphone.
    Written by kman1211
    Published Mar 16, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Excellent build quality, very easy to drive, balanced natural sound, dynamic and extremely smooth treble.
    Cons - Earcups a bit too small for larger ears. Mediocre comfort for larger heads and ears.
    Meze 99 Classics Review
     
    The Meze 99 Classics was sent to me as part of the review tour. Impressions of the headphone are based on a week of use. They are a headphone I've been curious about trying and seeing how they sound, the Meze 99 Classics sounded better than I ever expected. I tried the Meze on a variety of gear from my Sony UDA-1, Project Sunrise III(Toshiba D-getter 12AU7 tubes), Hifiman EF2A(6A5K GE tubes), Creative E5, and straight out of the iPad. The headphones I owned at the time of having the Meze 99's in house were the Audioquest Nighthawks, Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Limited Edition, and the Sennheiser HD 650. I'm not really going to directly compare this headphone to them but rather just use them as a baseline in describing the Meze 99 Classics sound. The more in-depth aspects of the sound I may not fully describe properly as it has been a bit of time since I listened to them. Note: Sorry about lack of pictures and mediocre picture quality in this review, forget to back up all of my pictures. 
     
    IMG_1577.jpg
     
    Build:
     
    The build quality of the Meze 99 Classics is excellent, didn't see any plastic parts on the actual headphone itself, just metal, wood, and what I think is some sort of faux leather. The headband is self-adjusting like that found in AKGs and headphones like the Audioquest Nighthawk. There is no designation of right or left on the headphone so it all depends on what end of the cable is plugged into each earcup. The earcups are solid walnut, making it one of the better valued wooden headphones out there. I honestly wish there were more wooden headphones out there. The build has a nice feel and feels sturdy. Overall I would rate the build and quality of build very highly, somewhere between the HD 650 and the Audioquest Nighthawks(these being sturdier and more substantial feeling in the hands).
     
    Comfort:
     
    This is honestly where I find this headphone falls short for many people. Comfort was one problem I had with this headphone, the earcups were simply too small for my ears and thus rested on the outer part of my ears which caused discomfort after about 30 minutes, I also have a larger head than many people which made this a bit worse for me personally. Though changing the earcups will likely also affect the sound signature in a way that may hurt it's excellent tuning. People with smaller heads and ears shouldn't have problems with the comfort. I have found after spending a few days with them I got used to their comfort though.
     
    Drivability:
     
    These headphones are extremely easy to drive, in fact the easiest to drive of any headphone I've tested, in fact they sound really good directly out of my iPad Air 2, so much so I don't really feel the need for dedicated amplification for the Meze 99 Classics. 
     
    Sound Quality:
     
    This is the main focus of the review. Do they sound good? Yes, they sound very good and well worth their asking price. Of all my headphones, they sound the most like the Sennheiser HD 650, actually oddly similar in their tuning but also a bit different. They are full-bodied and warm sounding overall with nice punchy dynamics and good imaging. They are also very musical and euphoric making music listening a joy. The headphone is very well balanced and quite well extended in both the bass and the treble. Nothing really comes off as offensive or bothers me about it's sound.
     
    Treble:
     
    The treble on the Meze 99 Classics is neither too dark or too bright, they balance the treble out just right. The treble is articulate and quite refined. What struck out to me is the utter lack of excessive sibilance in the headphone, having heard headphones with similar levels of brightness I was expected to be hit by some mild sibilance around the level found on the HD 600. In fact they are one of the least sibilant headphones I've ever heard. Reminded me some of vintage headphones in this aspect, but without sounding old like a vintage headphone.
     
    Midrange:
     
    The midrange is very smooth and has excellent timbre and tone, simply the best midrange I've heard on a portable headphone. The midrange had a strangely addicting tone to it I really enjoyed and honestly miss. Vocals are smooth with good body and focus. A minor quibble I have found is that on some systems the upper midrange can have a slight nasally tone, but this is system dependent and likely fit dependent as well. There is no sense of hollowness in the sound of this headphone.
     
    Bass:
     
    The bass on the Meze 99 Classics is well extended and is quite punchy, doesn't quite have the extension of some headphones, but I can hear plenty low and the sub-bass can hit when called for. Seems to have a bit of a mid-bass emphasis, but not too much. The bass is one of the ways I find it the most different than the HD 650, it's more intimate and not as big sounding. And has a different tone to it, hard for me to describe, but I enjoyed it's bass presentation.
     
    Soundstage/Imaging:
     
    The soundstaging and imaging is very good on the Meze 99 classics, while the soundstage is on the smaller side, it's fully articulate and has good focus, things never sound cluttered on the soundstage despite it's intimate presentation. You will hear most everything on these you hear on the HD 650 for example just in a smaller and more close-up manner. 
     
    Final Thoughts:
     
    The Meze 99 Classics are simply one of the best portable headphones I've ever heard and are an excellent value for their sound, build quality, and looks. I am a sucker for wooden headphones and am heavily considering getting myself a pair in the future. I would definitely recommend these to anyone looking for an excellent closed-back portable headphone that is very easy to drive to the point where extra amps, etc. are not really needed with these. This makes them a tremendous value due to how easy they are to drive and their sound quality directly from portable devices, making them the most viable portable headphone I've used as everything else I tried required an external amp to show what they are capable of even if the headphone is supposed to be easy to drive. I was genuinely impressed with these headphones, I was expecting just a mediocre headphone but when I plugged them in and played music, a smile came across my face.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Bocefuss4500
      liked the review .. now little worried about buying a pair have big head but small ears ...
      Bocefuss4500, Mar 21, 2016
    3. Frederose
      How would you compare the bass to your DT990s ?
      Frederose, Mar 22, 2016
    4. kman1211
      @Frederose I actually found the bass a bit similar in character, the DT 990 has a bit more emphasis in the bass though, I have the Limited Edition DT 990 which has the black pads though which change the sound a little from the stock one. Sadly I don't have the Meze 99 to compare with it anymore and I don't listen to my DT 990 much, so comparison are kind of hard.
      kman1211, Mar 26, 2016
  5. dweaver
    Wonderful Natural sounding headphone that looks as good as it sounds
    Written by dweaver
    Published Feb 27, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Wonderful craftmanship, warm detailed signature that is on the brighter side of warm. Most comfortable partial ear headphone I have tried.
    Cons - Cables are slightly noisy due to fabric. Cups are more like half to three quarter over ear versus fully over ear.
    First if I would like to thank Meze for including me in their review program. I did NOT receive these for free, like all other reviewers in the program I was given a 1 week window to review the headphone, then ship them on to the next reviewer. Having said that one of us will win a free pair as a thank you from Meze for reviewing their headphone. I personally do not feel the potential for a free headphone sways my opinion on how something sounds, looks, feels, or it's craftsmanship. To be blunt if I don't like it I wouldn't want to win it and if I do like it, well then any positive review I make is deserved...
     
    This headphone deserves a positive review...    [​IMG]
     
    Ok, so now that I have dealt with the usual disclaimers let get into the review.
     
    When the headphone arrived I loved how it looked. I personally love the dark walnut cups, the black headrest and suspension system and the gold accents. The headphone looks like a tasteful work of art and listening instrument. To be blunt I can't take pictures of the headphone that do it justice so I won't be lacing my review with pictures. Suffice it to say Meze's stock pictures look every bit as good as the finished product with no photo touching and glamorizing needed. Some will prefer the companies silver offerings more which is fine because I believe every picture offered by Meze is an honest depiction of their quality and craftsmanship so people can buy with confidence based on their personal fashion preference.
     
    The retail packaging also reflects the quality of the product without being excessive or over the top in an attempt to upsell an otherwise less than impressive product. Just as Meze has not needed to depict their product as more than they are in their pictures, they haven't felt the need to waste money with fancy packaging either. Which is great news because they then put that money into a great case to protect their works of art as well as a very nice soft case to hold their cables.
     
    Everything Meze has done shows their love for craftsmanship, design, and most importantly... MUSIC.
     
    So are there any flies in the ointment? Yes, there are two things that stand out.
    • The cables while looking very nice and being well built internally are cloth covered which makes then slightly noising when rubbing on things, with the smartphone cable being a bit less noisy due to the microphone/button acting as a noise absorber.
    • The cups are not truly over ear (at least for my average sized ears), being more of a 3/4 over ear, somewhat similar to the original Sennheiser Momentum. The good news for me is that while they are not truly over ear, they are far more comfortable than any other partial over ear headphone I have tried or owned and that's even when I wear my glasses. In fact I found them comfortable for several 2+ hour listening sessions.
     
    So how do these sound? In my opinion these sound as good as they look, reflecting the same esthetic values as their design. When I look at them I see a headphone that looks natural, with craftsmanship so solid there is no need for excessive coats of lacquer, over sized components, or glittery/shiny over polished accents. It's just so well put together it doesn't need to TRY THAT HARD! When I listen to them, THATS EXACTLY HOW THEY SOUND TOO! They have a boosted bass but it's never bombastic or over the top. They have a midrange that is clear, articulate, and engaging without ever feeling in your face and shouty. The treble similarly is detailed and slightly brighter than I have grown used to but never fatiguing. Their sound stage while smaller than my most expensive headphone and others I have owned or heard is still of a decent size and offers an above average 3D experience.
     
    In my testing I used these equally between my LG G4 phone and my Pono player with both devices sounding excellent with the headphone. I also did some listening sessions with my computer and Audio Engine 1 DAC. Again the headphone sounded impressive. In all 3 listening situations I was using a mix of standard and high definition FLAC files from a variety of musical genres from classical orchestra, choral, movie sound tracks (lots of Hans Zimmer), small ensemble, Celtic, classic rock, psychedelic rock, country, female jazz, and more.
     
    My usual review style is a breakdown of each area of the sound spectrum but I think I will fore go this process in favor of a brief comparison I wrote between the Meze 99 Classics, the VModa M100, and the Sony MDR-Z7.
     
    The bottom line is I think the Meze 99 Classic is EVER BIT THE TITLE. They are "classic".
     

     
    Meze 99, Vmoda M100, Sony MDR-Z7 shootout listening to 192kHz 24 bit FLAC song Code Cool by Patricia Barber on my Pono.

    Meze 99 and M100 played with standard stereo connection, Z7 played with balanced cable output.

    Ok before I get started I want to be clear about my preferences. Over the years I have fluctuated between bright and dark sounding headphones. Swaying as bright as the AKG K712 and as dark as RHA T10. The T10 actually started me down the path to darker headphones until I settled on the Z7 which found a good balance between a dark sound with just the right sparkle and treble detail for me. For the past year and half it has been my go to headphone for listening enjoyment in full size gear.

    M100 - Comparing the 3 headphones with this song really shows the M100's main stream signature and it's weaknesses. Starting with the bass while almost as strong as the Z7 it lacks the Z7 punch, detail and texture, sounding slightly hollow in comparison. The midrange is slightly subdued compared to the Z7 and the 99 while having a vocal pitch closer to the 99as compared to the warmer sounding Z7. Strangely the midrange sounds less cohesive due to the gap between the bass and the midrange. Treble is slightly hotter than the Z7 while still not being as bright or as detailed as the 99. The hotness of the treble makes the M100 ever so slightly more fatiguing than the 99 and Z7. The sound stage is slightly larger than the 99 but smaller than the Z7 but has an artificial quality assocated with its V shaped signature. Of the three the M100 has the least detail and imaging prowess.

    MDR-Z7 - The Z7 has the biggest bass of the three headphones while having good punch and texture. The bass is definitely the Z7 strength and for many will be its Achilles heel. In this song the Big Bass (instrument) sounds slightly slightly larger than normal. Personally I enjoy the slightly larger than life experience but again many would not appreciate the coloration. The midrange is the warmest of the three headphones and yet retains detail, urgency, and is very cohesive with the bass. But this also means vocals have a level of huskiness that some would again find colored. The treble is finely detailed and articulate while being slightly relaxed, never approaching anything close to fatiguing. 3D imaging and sound stage is immensly satisfying and large beating both 99 and M100 handily.

    Meze 99 - The bass of the 99 is the lowest in quantity while having as good a punch as the Z7 as well as detail and texture making it the most balanced of the three headphones. It is not a neutral headphone though, just more balanced than the other 2 in this comparison. The midrange similarly is brighter and as detailed and urgent as the Z7. The treble has none of the hotness of the M100 while being the brightest of the 3 headphones and yet fatigue free. While the 99 has the smallest sound stage it is very natural sounding and has as good instrument separation as the Z7.

    So given my leaning towards the dark side it would be easy to say I would like the Z7 the most, but strangely enough I found myself enjoying the Meze 99 as much or more than the Z7. Where the Z7 won in the 3D and sound stage department the 99 won in the clarity and natural department. Both were non-fatiguing.

    Comfort wise the Z7 wins but I actually found the 99 more comfortable than the M100 with extra large pads. In fact I can easily see living with the 99 from a comfort perspective which is shocking because I immensely prefer full over over versus on ear or half on ear. But the 99 has done a better job of comfort than any other half on ear headphone I have owned or tried.

    So there you have it. The Meze trounced the M100 and sounded as good as (or better if you don't like the sound of the Z7's signaure) my $700 Z7 running in its optimal balanced configuration. So I guess you could say I like the Meze 99 a lot [​IMG].
    1. View previous replies...
    2. MaxLee
      Well Should I Get The M100 Or Meze,Im A DJ But Still Love Classical Audiophile Music,And Love Bass Too.So...Which I Should Pick?
      MaxLee, Aug 1, 2016
    3. MadMusicJunkie
      Great review. I find comparisons the most effective way of getting an impression of a headphone over someone trying to just use words to describe complex sounds. As such, I've found this review to be the most helpful in my Meze 99 research!
      MadMusicJunkie, Apr 23, 2017
    4. dweaver
      MaxLee, I apologize for missing your question those many months ago, doubly so since I own both headphones! The 99 is the more balanced of the 2 headphones but the M100 is better for DJ purposes. From a purely audiophile pers[ective I think the Calssic's win hands down though. But if you REALLY love some bass the M100 is the more bassy headphone and darned fun to listen to.
       
      Thanks for the complement MadMusicJunkie, I have just finished a review / comparison between the 99 Classic and the new 99 Neo, which you might find a good read as well. www.head-fi.org/products/meze-99-neo/reviews/18490
      dweaver, Apr 23, 2017
  6. jon parker
    A really enjoyable ride for music lovers!
    Written by jon parker
    Published Feb 13, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Solid quality build, Good instrument separation / sound stage, Well balanced sound, Exciting 'live feel'
    Cons - Cup fit may be uncomfortable for some, Microphonic cable
    Introduction
     
    As other reviewers have already posted pics, company info etc I mainly want to talk about how they sound.
    I am a Sound Engineer and Producer by trade, an Audiophile for pleasure and sometimes a Music Lover as well :) 
    I listen to all genres but prefer 'Hi Res' 24/96 / Vinyl rips / SACD. My main DAP is the iBasso DX80
     
    In Brief...
     
    High's
     
    The highs have been wonderfully tuned, no sibilance yet never lacking in clarity or detail. I confess to
    being a bit of a 'high head' and not so much a 'bass head' Im also not a huge fan of 'warm sounding' headphones
    but I find the silky smooth crisp highs to be SO nice on these headphones.
    Listening to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Billy Holiday is simply divine
     
    Mid's
     
    Seem well tuned and sit nicely in their own area without being adversely effected by lows and highs
    Look to other reviews for a more detailed analysis in this area! (to be honest, mid's are not my strong point)
     
    Lows
     
    This is where it gets interesting for me. the bass is certainly a part of what this headphone is about. You
    wont ever find it lacking! I am no bass head so for me this is perhaps the only thing I would personally like
    to see toned down a bit. Another reviewer touched on this adding that 'although it is always there, its not really a
    problem'...but can be noticeable. However, when the bass works, it works Really well.
    Classical music is an absolute delight with cello bass for example, sounding warm and natural.
    Its important to add though that even when the bass is a tad prominent [for me] the mids and highs still shine and
    maintain their presence... a lovely quality of this headphone
    The Meze 99's are a good example of a headphone that rewards you with well mixed and mastered audio 
     
    Soundstage
     
    I think most reviews have reported the Meze 99's as having a wide sound stage, especially for a closed back headphone 
    I would agree with this but at times I have noticed that the sound stage has two other qualities that I really enjoy:
     
    1, They have a lovely 3D sound stage. Sometimes with classical you can hear and clearly visualise where the various
    instruments where in the auditorium during the recording session. There can therefore be a wonderful sense of space with
    each instrument having its own space to shine in - useful if you are a Bach lover!
    If the singer or band where recording in an area that had a lot of space these headphones do a delightful job of reproducing this
     
    2, One thing I noticed today was how the sound stage is not only great in the left and right but also does a great job filling in
    the middle as well, something I didn't realise other headphones don't always do so well until listening to the Meze 99's!
     
    Due to these points I find these to be something of an 'Audiophile' headphone in that they are great for detail.
     
    Over all sound
     
    Meze claim to have produced a neutral tuned and warm [fun?] sounding headphone. I find this a bit of a contradiction!
    not in a bad way although I do find elements of both [neutral & fun]
     
    When I read that these headphones had been tuned neutral I was excited because as an Audiophile I seek neutral headphones
    so that I can enjoy music that is well mixed and mastered on a DAP that has the quality, presicion and power to replicate as
    close as possible, the sound of the original studio recording
    When I read they had a 'warm wood earcup sound' and (did I read 'fun' somewhere?) I was also looking forward to this because sometimes
    I just like to listen to and enjoy music ( as oppose to 'critical detail' Audiophile listening!!)
    To be fair, it must be difficult to find a balance between tuning a 'neutral' headphone whilst keeping them interesting to listen to as well
    I feel Meze has done a very good job here with this although they don't sound to me like how the graph appears :) 
     
    So I find myself very happy and yet a tiny bit dissapointed with these headphones.
    A tad dissapointed because... I don't think they could be considered 'Audiophile' headphones BUT if that bass was a tad more balanced . . .  
    they would start getting into that area.
    To be fair though Meze have not sold them as such and I say this, if anything, as a compliment.
    I find myself very happy with these headphones though because they are such fun to listen too...for pleasure!
     
    >>> In essence, they have an energy, a life to them which reminds me of that 'live music feeling' you get at concerts.
    As soon as I put them on for the first time they just seemed to sing, straight out of the box. They seemed so happy and excited to play
    some music for me :)  They are a very endearing headphone and I already find they have a place in my heart
     
    The bad
     
    The cups - I have to agree with other reviewers - I have small ears and the fit is snug so for people with big ears...?
     
    The cable - If i scratch to cable above the cinch it sounds like my fingers are scratching inside the cups themselves! I tend to listen to headphones
    lying down so this is not as issue for me, but the microphonics are not great
     
    The bass - sometimes can be a little intrusive to my tastes but not to the degree that is becomes a problem
     
    Conclusion
     
    In conclusion the only downsides are the cable and the small cups (which may effect some)
    I feel they are priced about right.
    I think Meze have done a great job, producing a lovingly well made, high quality headphone with an interesting & wonderfully energetic, engaging sound
    that when given well mixed and mastered audio will give great delight and a wonderful dynamic experience to the listener 
    To give a score out of 100 I would probably only take off 10-15 points
     
    thank you Meze! I will be keeping a very close eye out for future headphones
  7. ostewart
    Such an enjoyable listen
    Written by ostewart
    Published Jun 18, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Build quality, looks, overall sound
    Cons - slight mid-bass hump/resonance, cups are not the largest
    Firstly I would like to thank Meze for sending me this sample, they have been used for well over 50hrs before writing this review.

    *disclaimer: This sample was provided for the purpose of writing a review, no incentive was given to write a favourable review. All opinions expressed are my own subjective findings.

    Gear Used: HP Laptop > Keces S3 / JDS Labs OL DAC + O2 / iBasso DX200 / Audio Opus #2 > 99 Classics

    DSC_0309.jpg

    Tech Specs:
    · Transducer size: 40mm
    · Frequency response: 15Hz - 25KHz
    · Sensitivity: 103dB at 1KHz, 1mW
    · Impedance: 32 Ohm
    · Rated input power: 30mW
    · Maximum input power: 50mW
    · Detachable Kevlar OFC cable
    · Plug: 3.5mm gold plated
    · Weight: 260 gr (9.2 ounces) without cables
    · Ear-cups: walnut wood
    https://www.mezeaudio.com/products/meze-99-classics-walnut-silver-wood-headphones

    Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories:
    The Meze 99 Classics come in a lovely box, with a picture of the headphones on the front, a frequency graph and tech specs on one side and features on the other. On the back it is just black with the shape of the headphones in a glossy black outline. The packaging looks and feels great, you open the front via a magnetic flap and inside you will find the headphone case, and inside this are the headphones and accessories. I really like the detailing on the outer packaging; it is a great first impression.

    DSC_0312.jpg

    Built quality is flawless; each pair will be unique due to the wood having a different shade/grain naturally. The cups are impeccably finished and everything feels great. The cable is detachable, they come with 2 cables which are covered in fabric below the y-split and rubbery above, the 3.5mm jacks that go into the headphones are very slim so using aftermarket cables will be tricky, but the stock cables work fine and are well built. There is good strain relief and the microphone and controls on the shorter cable feel great. I have no issues with the build quality, and every part should be easily replaceable if anything goes wrong.

    Accessory wise you get a nice hard carry case that is just the right size to fit the headphones in, they do however fit better if you remove the cable before putting them in the case. You also get a little fabric pouch that holds the rest of the accessories, like both cables (1.2m with mic/controls + 3m regular), airplane adaptor and 3.5mm to 6.3mm adaptor. Overall the included accessories are brilliant and everything you need to get going.

    DSC_0294.jpg

    Comfort and Isolation:
    The 99 Classics are super comfortable, the self adjusting headband distributes the weight perfectly and they are pretty lightweight anyway. The earpads have changed since they originally came out, to slightly larger ones that fit my ears fine and are just the right depth. These are closed back so your ears will heat up a little over time, but overall they are very comfortable and I can wear them for long periods of time with no issues.

    Isolation is pretty good on these, not as good as most IEM’s but they do drown out most moderate noises quite well and would be perfect for office use. They don’t leak either, and they would also suit general daily use well.

    DSC_0305.jpg

    Sound:
    Split into the usual categories with a conclusion at the end.

    Lows: The 99 Classics have a great low end; they are full with good extension yet without sounding too bloated. There is great articulation of bass guitars, and they sound relatively well controlled too. There is one tiny bit of resonance in the mid-bass that creates a little bloat, but this can easily be fixed with EQ and this is a result of the newer larger earpads. I really like the low end response of these as they have enough quantity to please most, but they are also well behaved for the most part; without bleeding heavily into the midrange. As I said previously, bass guitars have really good articulation, and kick drums have good slam. The lows only fall slightly behind when it comes to very fast and technical passages of some heavy metal where that mid-bass resonance can be a little overpowering.

    Mids: The midrange is well separated from the lows, there is a small amount of bleed but for the most part they are clean and well detailed. The strengths here are timbre, acoustic guitars sound exceptional and there is great separation in the midrange. Both male and female vocals sound excellent, with plenty of detail but no harsh or sharp edges to notes. They are not quite as forward as the lows, but these are not really v-shaped sounding headphones, they manage to have a full low end with an insightful midrange too. Electric guitars don’t always have the bite that some more neutral headphones have and notes can sometimes sound a little rounded. But they are fatigue free with a smooth transition from the midrange to the highs.

    Highs: The treble response of the 99 Classics is actually fantastic, it is smooth and fatigue free but not lacking in detail or presence. I was worried with the bump in the mid-bass that these headphones may come across a little dark, but again after spending some time with them I was pleasantly surprised at how transparent they are in the treble regions. There are no annoying peaks, they are not aggressive but they are resolving with good air and extension. The key up here is the tonality, they avoid the slight metallic tone that some headphones suffer from, and they are very natural and effortless.

    The soundstage is wider than most closed back headphones, but they are not the most spacious sounding headphones. There is however good separation between everything and you can easily separate complex mixes.

    DSC_0317.jpg

    Conclusion: As I said before, the more time I spent with these the more I came to appreciate their strengths and sound. At first some might find the bass to be the focus point, and in some ways it is, but they strike a fine balance between sounding fun and technical prowess. They do have a slightly elevated bass response, but the midrange comes across with excellent clarity and the highs have an effortless tone that is always present but never fatiguing. As a whole the 99 Classics individual attributes come together to create a relatively well balanced sound that is highly enjoyable without forgetting about the finer details.

    Sound Perfection Rating: 9/10 (slight mid-bass resonance, but highly enjoyable overall)

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  8. Loquah
    Meze 99 Classics - gorgeous, comfortable, fun
    Written by Loquah
    Published May 14, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Gorgeous looks, supreme comfort, warm sound, solid bass, excellent accessories, useful cable options, well-priced
    Cons - Slight lack of mid-range texture, treble may be lacking for some, treble quality is slightly grainy / edgy
    I recently reviewed the 99 Classics on my blog page so I thought I'd share a brief summary here and my video review.

    The 99 Classics are made by Meze Audio out of Romania. Retailing at approximately $300 they are at the lower end of the mid-price range of headphones and compete with many long-standing stalwarts of the industry, but they do it a bit differently.

    To summarise my thoughts, the 99 Classics look amazing - they are one of the best looking headphones on the market and they are supremely comfortable thanks to the very soft ear pads and suspension-style headband. In terms of sound, they are warm and bassy, but articulate and fairly precise. They lean strongly towards warmth and musicality, but I don't ever find them slow or thick. Check out the video below for more details...

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  9. SOULSIK
    Meze 99 Classic – comparison with the neo
    Written by SOULSIK
    Published Jun 19, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Wooden cups. Sound. Build. Less clamping force
    Cons - Not that different from the neo. debatable if its worth an extra 100.
    Video review:


    sound demo:



    INTRODUCTION


    Previously, I reviewed the Meze 99 neo, a great headphone that everyone on my team loved. I even put it as “all in one solution” for both home and portable usage. Now we review its bigger brother, the Meze 99 classic. With minimal differences, I was doubtful that there would be any sound differences. However, to my surprise there were few notable differences aside from the “looks.” Read on to find out more.

    ABOUT MEZE

    Meze is a Romanian audio company that has their values set right.

    Their values:

    Meze Headphones had stood by its values since the beginning of the company, we did not follow trends and let them influence the audio quality and design of our headphones. They are timeless objects that will not go out of style the next season. We achieved this through patience and dedication.

    And where there is values lies passion:

    Our passion for music and art is the drive behind Meze headphones. We created our range of headphones and earphones with this aspect in mind. We created them as if for ourselves.

    and their wood craftsman ship set above normal standards:

    The choice of wood is an inherently difficult one. Obtaining the desired qualities for wooden parts is a long and hard path. The rich colors of walnut require the use of air drying, the longer and more expensive process. Steam or kiln drying are cheaper techniques, but the colors tend to be washed out and there are also structural risks. It takes eighteen months for the wood to dry properly. This is the timeframe needed only for curing and drying the lumber before any further processing can begin. We are patient: we know that the result is worth the wait.

    Then, the process of shaping just a single pair of earcups takes up to 8 hours. The whole process of sanding, lacquering, and finishing lasts 45 days. We could cut corners, but we don’t sell ice cream. We fight time: this is the pride of the creator.
    The craftsmanship of our designs is paramount. It allows us to show the world our products almost exactly as imagined. The wooden components are carefully inspected and no flaws are permitted to reach the final assembly. Aesthetics are as important for us as they are for you. We want you to wear a pair of Meze Headphones and know that you are enjoying a timeless art piece.

    It is worth mentioning that all the wood that we use in our headphones is strictly harvested from sources with certificate of origin. That is, mature trees that have reached the end of their life cycle. This way, we are helping the environment and we’re giving the old trees a chance to shine one more time in the shape of Meze Headphones.

    DISCLAIMER

    This review unit was sent to me by Meze for this review. As usual, all my reviews will stay honest and unbiased

    SPECS

    • Transducer size: 40mm
    • Frequency response: 15Hz – 25KHz
    • Sensitivity: 103dB at 1KHz, 1mW
    • Impedance: 32 Ohm
    • Rated input power: 30mW
    • Maximum input power: 50mW
    • Detachable Kevlar OFC cable
    • Plug: 3.5mm gold plated
    • Weight: 260 gr (9.2 ounces) without cables
    • Ear-cups: walnut wood
    THE BUILD QUALITY

    The build quality is incredible for the price and I have no complaints. Might as well skip this section if you are looking for anything but praise.

    The headphone is asymmetrical, allowing you to plug in the connectors any way you like it. Left & Right is irrelevant. This might seem like a small thing but it is extremely convenient in the long run. – same as the 99 neo

    Meze also decided to magically make the headphones more comfortable and fit large types of head sizes be making the headphone adjustments “auto-adjustable,” with it stretching mechanism. There is nothing you need to do to get the perfect fit, Meze says “this is our job.” The headphone fit perfectly with great comfort and isolation. I felt like the headphones were customized for my head. – same as the 99 neo

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Unlike its little brother, the classic comes in nice walnut wooden cups, which in my opinion looks incredible and contributed to the sonic characteristics of this unit.

    I do not understand how Meze can automatically find a way to make great stock cables when most companies out there cannot. With that being said, they do come with two cables, one longer cable for home use and one shorter one with control buttons for travel. The cables are braided up to the point of the splitters and then splits into a plastic/rubbery material that also do not feel cheap. I prefer this kind of mechanism (as long as it does not feel like cheap plastic/rubber) because it reduces the microphonic. – Same as the neo

    The connectors are 3.5mm and terminates in a 3.5mm with a ¼ inch adaptor.

    The case that comes with the headphones is very nice and sturdy however, the headphones do not fit unless you unplug the connectors. They do include a separate case just for the cables but this is very inconvenient on the go and I would like to see a case where you do not need to unplug the connectors. – same as the neo

    The clamping force is less than the neo, which I believe contributes to the sound differences.

    The metal suspension seems sturdy and very solid. Although I felt like it was a little bit thin, I understand that the headphone needed to lose all the weight it can, for transportation use. – same as the neo

    The pads are also very soft and surprisingly comfortable despite its small size. I did find that the cups were a little bit too small and may not fit everyone’s ears perfectly “inside the cups” – same as the neo

    [​IMG]

    You want to talk about style. Let us talk about style. Hands down, my favorite looking headphones. I personally like the wooden design more than the 99 neo.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    SOUND QUALITY

    Overall, the sound signature is like that of the neo, so go check out that review for more “how it sounds like,” here, I will be talking about the differences.

    What I believe changes the sound: different clamping force & wooden cups.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Overall Thoughts

    There is not much sound difference unless you really sit down and go back and forth numerous time on the same track. If you want a great all in one solution at a cheaper value, you go with the neo. If you have a big head or really like wood then you go with the classic.

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  10. F700
    A-meze-ing! If 309 USD are still not enough to reach reference high end sound... Romania is seriously working on it!
    Written by F700
    Published Oct 3, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Amazing allrounder, nicely crafted piece of audio equipment setting a new standard for the price, lovely midrange, customer experience with Meze
    Cons - Earcups could be a tad larger and the bass a bit tighter with some music genres and recordings, average soundstage, slightly microphonic cables
    There already are a lot of reviews available for the Meze 99 Classics. So, why writing another one? Well, I used to buy and sell a respectable amount of headphones since approx. 7 years now - when the fever started - and never reviewed one of them until now. Today, I want to share my impressions on a product that IMHO stands out of the competition regarding the sound and the quality you get for the price. 
     
    English not being my first language, I thank you in advance for your comprehension while reading the following review
     
    I bought the 99 Classics in Walnut/Silver directly from Meze’s website and wasn’t asked for a review by that company. What follows is just my honest opinion. 
     
    Before starting with the review itself, you maybe would like to know what kind of music has been played and which pieces of equipment have been used for that purpose. So, I mainly am listening to pop/rock/alternative (Elbow, The National, Bruce Springsteen, Sufjan Stevens, i.a.), Vocalists (Amos Lee, Peter Gabriel, Alison Goldfrapp, Kate Bush, Julia Holter, i.a.), french male & female songwriter and, last but not least, dark ambient, electronic, drone and (techno) dub music, which represent a good 50% of « my sound ». Ok, I am also listening to Jazz and movie soundtracks, but these genres are not on my everyday tracklist, so I focused on the music I really can get lost in, but also be very critical with, when having "careful listening" sessions. For this review, I let a bit the instrumental pieces of music aside and concentrated on tracks containing lyrics. Regarding the gears I used for this review, this is where some readers may lose interest in reading it. I only am and will listen to the 99 Classics at home on my desktop setup, which is composed of a Violectric V200 and a Schitt Yggy in balanced mode. I usually use this setup with my reference headphones, that are the LCD-X and the HD 800S. The Yggy adds to the slightly dark V200 the sparkle that is missing just a bit. On the go, I use IEM (Cardas A8) with my iPhone 6S. Nothing like the size of the Meze, it’s a matter of taste and comfort. I mainly used ALAC and FLAC audio-files, from 16/44.1kHz to 24/192 kHz. When the music has been well recorded, I don’t notice any difference between these resolution levels. 
     
    Let’s start with the beginning, meaning ordering the headphone directly on the website of Meze. Nice website. Ordering a new pair of headphone is a always a pleasure :wink:. Once you’ve made the payment, you get an e-mail from a member of the team thanking you to have placed your order and offering you assistance if you have any question. Tracking number is included. This a service I am awaiting after having ordered a +1000 USD headphone. Not a 309 EUR one. Customer experience is top notch. 
     
    I won’t explain the story or philosophy behind the Meze company, which is situated in Romania. If you’re interested in knowing Meze better, have a look at their website or get some information on Head-Fi or the Internet.
     
    The postman knocked at the door five working days after I ordered the headphones. My « precious » have finally arrived. Inside the box, which looks premium as you can see on the following pictures, you get the 99 Classics, a solid carrying case made of premium plastic with a layer of leather on the surface. You also get a small box made of a nice cloth. Inside it, the cables (1.2 & 3 meters) and adapters are awaiting for you. I looked everywhere but didn’t find any L or R indications on the cups. Actually, this is the cable that defines the left and right channels. Nice feature. 
     
    Here are some pictures of the headphone and the packaging:
     
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    I usually don’t burn my headphones in. I’ve previously made it with my LCD-X and HD 800S, not with the other ones. Here again, I thought that a 72 hours pink noise program wouldn’t damage the headphone anyway. Moreover, I got them on a Tuesday and knew that I wouldn’t be able to hear them before the weekend. 
     
    Alright, Friday night, everyone’s sleeping at home, let’s start. When you put the 99 Classics on your head, you first may wish that the cups are a bit bigger. I have normal sized ears. For me, it remains an over-ear headphone. For people having large ears, it could become an on-ear headphone. This is an important aspect regarding the comfort I think. Otherwise, the 99 Classics are comfortable and the clamping force is quite low. You feel it just a bit, but personally I like to feel the weight of a headphone on my head (I love the 600 grams of my LCD-X). The replaceable pads are made of good quality synthetic leather and the wooden cups are really nice to the touch. I think that no glue has been used to assemble all the parts together. For a product « made in China », I am well surprised. No problem with the cables as well. They are made of good material, just a bit microphonic.  
     
    How is the sound? Well, if the customer experience was great and the unboxing a very nice moment, I have to admit that the first minutes spent with the 99 Classics were impressive. I don’t like superlatives. They tend to express emotions that are too immediate, without hindsight, often unable to stand the test of time. Nevertheless, it’s difficult not being immediately pleased by the details retrieval and the slightly warm and rich sound signature that is coming out of the Meze. Some reviewers used the word « fun » to describe the sound. I agree with that statement, but it goes beyond that, I think. Compared to other closed headphones I used to own or spent a few weeks with, the 99 Classics are more balanced, or, if I could say so, equilibrated. The ATH-MSR7 for example has a very pleasant sound and not harsh as usually stated if used with an appropriate setup. I like the sparkle in the treble, the imaging and the slightly forward sound presentation. Details retrieval is very good as well. The comfort, with your ears getting sweaty pretty fast, and the bass lacking impact, are the only issues. Overall, I would say that it can compete with headphones costing a few hundred bucks more, as long as you are looking for its specific sound signature along with a coherent setup. On the other hand, I liked to put the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 over-ear on my head (lend from a friend). Very well assembled and beautiful looking. The rolled-off treble is the main problem here. It has a pleasant warm sound, with a good bass and lovely midrange. But air is lacking in the highs. For me, with such a treble, it’s game over. Finally, the Mr. Speakers Alpha Dog is quite a piece of a headphone. Very comfy and sexy to look at, if I can express myself like that. If the Meze plays in the upper price category, I wasn’t satisfied with the sound of the Alpha Dog, especially at 699 USD. The imaging isn’t that good I think. Soundstage was great, but otherwise I found them pretty boring to listen at. The 99 Classics combines all the strong points of my previous closed cans, without the weaknesses. Okay, the highs of the ATH-MSR7 and the soundstage of the Alpha Dog remain unbeaten for me, but the Meze does a very good score, especially in the treble area. So, what about the sound characteristics?
     
    BASS: At high volume levels or with average quality recordings you will hear some distortion or get an unpleasant boomy effect. Most of the time the bass is powerful, with an impressive reverb effect and goes deep. It sometimes could be better controlled. Bassheads will likely love it. But not only them actually. I am not considering myself as a basshead, but this bass put a smile on my face a few times, when the recording quality was good enough. However, on some recordings, I would have preferred to have a tighter bass. It could be overwhelming at times and it doesn’t suit all music genres. All in all, the bass is good, doing the show it was meant to do, but could have been a tad more precise and tighter for my taste.
     
    MIDRANGE: The midrange is sweet and very good rendered. A nice touch of warmth on male and female vocals tracks easily makes you close your eyes and enjoy your music without analyzing what you’re listening to. A very positive point of that headphone. It makes you forget that you are wearing one, so you just can focus on your music and having fun. Great job Meze!
     
    TREBLE: With a sweet midrange and a powerful bass, you could think that the treble has gone forgotten and then will be rolled-off or damped. I was surprised to notice that I didn’t have to make that compromise with the 99 Classics. The treble is airy enough without being harsh or sibilant on well recorded tracks. Impressive job here as well. 
     
    DETAILS RETRIEVAL: Although we are not in presence of a sound surgeon like the HD 800S, I find the details retrieval to be very good, clearly better than what you could expect from a 300 EUR headphone.  
     
    IMAGING: The very slight forward presentation is a matter of taste. I like it personally. It’s easy to pinpoint the different instruments and to position the singer on vocal tracks. 
     
    SOUNDSTAGE: For a closed headphone, it does quite well. Honestly, it could be a bit wider. The good imaging made me sometimes forget that I was listening to a closed pair of cans. So, nothing bad here, but nothing fantastic either. 
     
    ISOLATION: Honestly, I don't care. My reference cans being open and having the opportunity to have a dedicated audio-room, I don't need isolation for my listening sessions. When I cover the inner pads with my hands, I don't hear much sound leaking out. I then assume that isolation should be good or sufficient enough to use the 99 Classics in public transport.
     
    OVERALL: I would say that the SQ of the Meze is better that the sum of every part taken separately. The Meze engineers and the resulting combination of the different sound characteristics gave birth to a great pair of headphones, which is really difficult to dislike IHMO. If someone does, I am very curious to know why. On averagely recorded music, you may hear distortion or being bothered by a slight sibilance and a bass that lacks precision and may get boomy. Please remember that I've done my listening on a desktop setup and that portable devices haven't been used for it. 
     
    CONCLUSION
    I am not giving 5 stars although I easily could do it regarding the concurrence at the price. Being firmly convinced that Meze will go even further and better in the months to come, my 5 stars are waiting for the extra mile to be done by an already serious european audio company. For 309 EUR, the 99 Classics is an amazing pair of headphones and a marvelous allrounder, beautifully and carefully crafted with premium materials. It’s difficult to find real weakness at that price point. The bass could be tighter, with more precision and the soundstage a bit wider. That’s all for me. If you’re on the market for a closed headphone that does a lot right and nothing wrong, while not having unusual large ears, I strongly recommend to give the Meze a listen or even to blindly purchase them without an audition as long as you trust all the positive reviews around enough for it. It definitely has the potential to put some headphones belonging to the same price category to shame, depending on what kind of sound signature you are looking for. Bravo Meze for that wonderful 99 Classics! 
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