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Meze 99 Classics

Rating:
4.34559/5,
  1. Mark Up
    Great Future Potential
    Written by Mark Up
    Published Feb 13, 2016
    3.0/5,
    Pros - Quality Build, General Honest Sound, No Hype
    Cons - Fit / Size Issues, Mids, Lacking Low Sub Bass
    Meze 99 Classic
    This is my first review. I was part of the review tour. I want to thank Meze for doing this. 

    Background
    I'm a lifelong musician, live and studio sound engineer, always with heavy duty earplugs. Often the only one in my band wearing them, but then, I've retained my unusually sensitive hearing because of it. I've tried too many headphones and in ears to list. I'll refer to what I've tried where it's relevant in the review, to keep it simple. I've got some I'm happy with now, but I'm never tired of trying new things, so that brought me to these.

    What I Look For
    I prefer warmer headphones, full lower mids, flat mids, reduced high mids. More than a moderate mid bass bump bothers me, and sub bass rarely extends low enough in most quality cans I'll try. I'll say "quality" since there are plenty that are explosive down there, but often at the expense of everything else. Some have said you can't have all frequencies well represented, but enough come close to this, so I know this can be done.

    Common Issues
    Fit has had me reject 80% of what I've tried. I much prefer over-ear. It's hard enough to get over-ear to go over everyone's ears (Senn. Momentum 1 for example, Momentum 2 isn't much better). My ears fairly flat and proportional to being 6'5". My head is also, with Triple X hat size (few of those fit either). Most companies could fit larger heads, with an inch more band extension, but only some seem to take that into consideration.

    Design and Comfort
    These arrived well package and designed. Nice solid case and aesthetics. Very light yet sturdy. The wood is a nice touch but as long as headphones don't look ridiculous, I'm more into the sound aspect (and the fit, naturally). The band auto-fits easily, though like many with this design on me, they tend to contract a bit when worn and have to be pulled back down sometimes. The design seems to allow some flex to fit you better.

    Still there was no way I would attempt radically bending these. Fully extended they just reached my ears but they exert pressure on the top part of the cup likely due to the width of my head, so I can not keep them on long. The pads are soft, not quite deep enough, and could be a bit longer top to bottom to fit my above average ears. This could reduce the bass a little more, but that could be addressed, in voicing the driver itself.

    Sound Quality and Ideas
    As commonly happens, I find them brighter than what I read in reviews, but not at all harsh. They do clarity very well, without sibilance or hype. This early in the game, they tamed one of the most difficult areas. There seems to be a mid-fi quality to them. A notch above Creative Aurvana Live! 2, but below the Sony MDR-Z7 / Sennheiser HD650. It's hard to quantify, but often (not always) cans can sound more or less "expensive".

    The high mids are just right, blending with the highs perfectly. Another big win. The true mids (roughly 500 hz to 2 khz) are flat, which to my ears is a bit more than I'd like. Particularly in the 1 khz area. Some have put dips there (Audio Quest Nighthawk V1 (should a V2 be in the works) that are too much, and some are worse there (some AKG). This isn't very bothersome, it's just slightly north of what I'd like, in these headphones.

    The lower mids seem a bit recessed. I'd call them just south of flat. Not as lacking as you think for two reasons. One, many like it just north of flat to warm it up. Two, the mids I talk about, and a slightly north of flat mid bass make these seem to be less than they really are. So these are actually close to just right. 1 db more, carefully done to avoid resonant "hollow" "ringy" sound some (as the ATH-M50 for example) can suffer from. 

    The mid bass is perfect. Just the right amount of boost. Not an overbearing "boop" in the kick drums that bother me in the higher end Fostex, not scooped like the Sennheiser HD380. The fun starts to end under 40 hz where it rolls off. This is common. Just slightly below where a Sennheiser HD650 rolls off. Extending slightly farther than the HD650, but leaving me wishing for more extension, with less roll off, to complete things.

    How They Make This Better
    They look like high grade home use in pictures. Out of the box - they're smaller and lighter than you expect, with mid grade sound. The above sonic ideas would help. What bugs me about attempts at portable is this. If they don't fold, and foldability depends on thin cups, make the cups thicker. Companies should try on the cans, and when normal ears barely fit / touch the driver, make thicker & longer pads. This may impact bass.

    Thus they should implement sonic changes to allow that. You can have longer, deeper pads with more sub bass (the Sony MDR-Z7 for example). The larger area around the ears should improve the spatial depth as that is another area lacking, as it does on most cans that barely get around your ears (ie. Momentum 2, Beats Studio, etc.). They could even look at angled drivers, some have that to add more natural spaciousness.

    Given this is my first review, I hope I was still able to convey my ideas. These headphones don't hype things, and have potential small acoustic area and tuning changes that could bring big results. I could mostly trust mixing on these if I had to (though I prefer to mix with studio monitors and a properly set up sub in a properly set up room). I can't say that about many headphones. Keep up the good work Meze and keep us posted.
      Currawong and MezeTeam like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. reddog
      A very nice review, that has lots of information, especially on ear size and the ear hitting the driver.
      reddog, Feb 13, 2016
    3. jon parker
      Thanks for your review. you have added a few more details on top of other reviews which is most helpful
      agree 100% on this point you raised "have potential small acoustic area and tuning changes that could bring big results"
      Thanks :)
      jon parker, Feb 13, 2016
    4. Mark Up
      Thanks folks. jinxy245 - One star off for sound, very good, but not quite there. One star off for fit. These I consider accurate in general. Just not ideal for what I like, which I've described in my sonic suggestions.

      PS: jinxy245 - You have accidently posted your comment twice. You can delete one of them if you'd like.
      Mark Up, Feb 14, 2016
  2. newdoughboy
    Meze 99 Classics mini-Review, a well defined product
    Written by newdoughboy
    Published Feb 3, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Beautiful, Great Build Quality, Fun Sound, Easy to drive
    Cons - Sound signature lean toward energetic fun, with the bass a bit bloated
    Meze 99 Classics mini-Review
     
    Introduction:
    Let me start by stating that this is my third review of an audio product. I am an audio enthusiast, being that I spend tons of money on decent audio gear. I can tell what sounds good to me, and that generally falls in line with the general consensus amongst fellow audio enthusiasts. So take from this what you can, especially with my lack of audio vocab.  I have had 5 days to evaluate these headphones, so this is a mini-review at most.
     
    Equipment wise, I own/have owned HT Omega Claro Halo, K702, HD650, K550, Beats Studio, SE535 Reshelled (CIEM), Xiaomi Piston 2, TTPOD T1-E, Xuelin ihifi960, Blox BE03, Brainwavz S5, Bravo Audio Ocean, PreSonus HP4, Racoon SG-300, Audio Technica AT-LP120 Modded, Anthem Integrated 225, Burson Soloist, Supreme Sound Lycan. So I get a good sense of what I can get in terms of sound quality for the extra cost. My favourite combination is Foobar with ASIO playback to HT Omega to my K702. The source is very important, and most of my music is in FLAC.
     
    Methodology:
    The source of this review will be my Xuelin DAP (ihifi960), HT Omega Claro Halo, and LG G3. No separate amps will be added to the mix.
     
    Meze 99 Classics is a low impedance closed headphone, and it will mainly be compared to my K702, and Beats by Dre Studio.
     
    Build Quality and Ergonomics:
    The "99s" looks drop dead gorgeous. It exhibits exceptionally beautiful craftsmanship from the first moment I laid my eyes on them. The soft PU leather feels great, though I wished that they were a tad thicker to allow the pads to seal even better. The stitching on the pads has some imperfections, but only the moderate OCD person will be bothered by it. The wood and metallic parts are all manufactured beautifully. The 99s are very light and comfy on the head, and can be worn for extended periods without fatigue.  The internal spring mechanism hides beautifully within the leather band, however; it occasionally will catch my hair. The cord is good looking and plenty adequate for a headphone asking $300+.
     
    Sound Quality:
     
    Soundstage is very good for closed headphones. I feel that it is approximately 75% that of the K702s which has a huge soundstage. In my experience, it is only bested in this area by the K550s.
     
    The highs are quite detailed. It doesn't extend very high, though that is not all bad. The highs feel smooth and soft.
     
    The mids are very forward, a little too much so in my taste. It does make some genres more fun eg. R&B, Pop, EDM.
     
    The bass is very powerful; in some regards too much. It over-emphasizes the bass similar to the way Beats by Dre Studio does it. It is very good at massaging the ear drum, and makes you feel like you are at a club. The bass will bleed into the other frequencies, and lack a bit of control. It just contributes to its unique sound signature. Again, being that I prefer the more analytical approach of the K702s, the 99s not necessarily suit my taste, especially when I already own the Beats Studio already.
     
    Conclusion:
    These headphones are beautiful. If you want to convey to others that you are a person of sophistication and class, these are the headphones to get. That's without even talking about the sound quality. Let's not dismiss what is in my opinion a great asset for the 99s, low impedance. These headphones are light with low impedance; that makes for an awesome on-the-go pair of cans. If these were around when the Beats by Dre Studios hit the market, I would have purchased these in a heartbeat. They give me the same pleasure as the Studio in terms of enjoying Billboard's top 100 etc, with the bonus of not requiring additional amplification (Studios require 2 AAA).
    When comparing to K702s, they are too different. Though they costs approximately the same, the K702s are soft and controlled, compared to the in-your-face nature of the 99s. It's not that if you like the K702s, then you won't like the 99s. They are actually quite complimentary; I would want the K702s at home for relaxed or critical listening. I would want the 99s for commuting, where the closed back design eliminates most of the busy world while sounding good from my DAP or phone.
     
    Personal Note: Due to the relative easy nature of the assembly/disassembly of the 99s, I am very curious to see how the community will develop around these; whether home hobbyists will alter the wooden cups or the pads for a more custom approach.
     
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      Wilashort and jinxy245 like this.
    1. Bansaku
      Nice review!
      Bansaku, Feb 3, 2016
    2. reddog
      A good review with good information and pictures.
      reddog, Feb 3, 2016
  3. Dadracer
    Meze 99 Classic, a surprisingly good closed back headphone.
    Written by Dadracer
    Published Jan 27, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Great sound balance, Good sound stage despite closed back, Very comfortable, High quality build
    Cons - Slighty microphonic cable
    Meze99Classicgold.jpg
    I have these headphones on loan from ifi Audio/Meze headphones due in part to my iClub membership and I thank both companies for this opportunity.
    But rather than spend time on specifications let me get straight on with practicalities and sound quality if I may as the specs are well covered in other posts and reviews already.
    The Meze headphones are nicely packaged and look and feel more premium product than I was expecting at their listed price. The wooden ear cups are especially good looking. They are very comfortable although they are over ear are not as large as the HD700s. They do not feel hot or heavy over a protracted period of listening and don’t have any pressure points. The headband especially is nice and wide so making it an easy and comfortable fit wherever you position them on your head.
    I used them with my laptop/ifi micro iDSD/iUSB power/iP2 system using Tidal Hi Fi as source and compared them to my existing headphone of choice for that system which is the Sennheiser HD700.
    Albums included……..
    Aretha, Chain of fools
    James Bay, Chaos & the calm
    Dusty, In Memphis
    Eagles, Hotel California
    Keb Mo', Keb Mo'
    Leon Bridges, Coming Home
    Lou, Transformer
    Rickie Lee Jones, RLJ
    Gregory Porter, Liquid Spirit
    Bob Marley, Legend
    T.Rex, Electric Warrior
    First I have to say I found it very difficult to concentrate on individual tracks and found myself drifting off and just enjoying the music. Perhaps that is enough of a review right there?
    Secondly and more perplexing I found it really difficult to choose which headphone I preferred overall. They both had individual strengths but I found time and time again I thought I had a winner only to change my mind when I swapped back.
    In terms of bass then the Meze is warmer and has a more obvious bass component but is not any more extended than the HD700 and is not a loose or thick bass. It sounds like you had activated the X bass on the micro iDSD and then left it out in the HD700. 
    The midranges of the 2 headphones are very close to ideal with the HD700 a bit more neutral and the Meze slightly more forward but left me unable to say which I would prefer overall.
    In the treble the HD700 feels more extended while the Meze is certainly not rolled off but just a little less crystal clear. I am sure that many people would find the Meze almost perfect in this respect but for me it was like the bass situation but reversed if you get my meaning.
    So on balance and if I had to choose only one based on sound across the board I would take the Meze by a hairs breadth.
    What the HD700 now does to turn the table back is to present a bigger, wider and more focussed sound stage. The Meze is very good and for a closed back phone very good compared to others I have heard. The HD700 is closer to my preferred imaging again by a small amount.
    So, and this is where my dilemma rests. I cannot say which overall I would pick and this despite I have paid my own money for the HD700s.
    If I was travelling a lot and needed more noise isolation then the Meze would be great. Likewise if I am at home and the family are not using all the Wi-Fi bandwidth then I might stick with the HD700s.
    It’s too close to call and much closer than I expected, and how and where did Meze get the expertise to develop these headphones compared to one of the biggest audiophile headphone companies globally?
    Let me conclude by saying the Meze 99 Classics are surprisingly good headphones of any type for the money and I could happily use them on a daily basis.
    Dear ifi Audio & Meze thanks for the loan, and are you sure that you want them back???????    
      Wilashort and MezeTeam like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. barondla
      Meze website says $309. Thought that might be more.
      barondla, Jan 27, 2016
    3. Dadracer
      Thanks and I didn't put the price on as I am not certain what the UK (my home) price will be in £GBP but the Euro price is on their website at €309. 
      Dadracer, Jan 27, 2016
    4. Murf926
      I've had my Meze 99 Classics for about 3 weeks now.  I ordered them because every review I read rated them very highly and described a sound profile that was just about exactly what I was looking for.  I have to say that I was blown away by how wonderful they sound!  They were everything I had hoped for and then some!  After listening to them I would have gladly paid an extra $100 or more if that were the price.  Great value!
      Murf926, Jan 28, 2016
  4. fleasbaby
    "...if you think ahm seeeeexy..."
    Written by fleasbaby
    Published Jan 16, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Pretty, pretty, pretty...
    Cons - Smaller ear cups, can get hot
    I would like to thank Meze for kindly allowing me to listen to a review sample of their 99 Classics model. I will freely admit to being a little bit of a review whore lately. I have become curious to hear what is going on outside of my normal headphone stomping grounds. I am a Grado modder and an earbuds enthusiast. I turn my own wooden cups on a lathe in my workshop, and am always trying new drivers, new shapes, new headbands, etc, etc. I am also a very devoted follower of the new earbuds being put out by Venture Electronics. The Zen V1 and V2 are like nothing I have heard in such a tiny package.
     
    I listen to a wide variety of music, but focus mainly on Jazz and the Blues. I believe firmly that there is “good” music and “bad” music in this world, the differentiator being the intent and sincerity of the artist in their delivery. This means any genre or era can tickle my fancy, but not just any artist or band in those genres. The truth is always conveyed in their work…
     
    I was not provided with any monetary compensation for listening to the 99 Classics, and spent 7 days with them before mailing them on to the next tour participant. During that time I took them to my office, and as is my habit spent my working hours listening as I worked….I usually use a Pono player or a Rockboxed Sansa Clip +. I also plug directly into my Macbook Air and listen to Bandcamp a lot.
     
    The Meze 99 Classics arrived in a very pretty box, that contained a very pretty carrying case, and in said case, the headphones themselves….which were very pretty. They are almost self-conscious in their beauty, with handsome wooden cups made from Walnut, black leather for their headband and pads, and a nice, matte black springsteel headband. They also have gold metal trim around the cable entry-points on the cups and on the suspension points for the headband pad.
     
    They come with two cables. A long one, with no microphone/buttons, and a short one, with the aforementioned doohickys. These are in a nice little soft pouchy-type thingy with an airplane seat adaptor. The pouchy-type thingy sits comfortably in the carrying case. I found the cables a little microphonic and noisy. The headband made a bit of a racket when I touched it with the cans on my head as well for some reason. Interestingly enough, the cups (which are flawlessly finished) aren’t labeled for left and right, but the cables are. I assume this means the cups can function as left and right, no problem, it’s just the connection on the cable that determines which side sits on which side of your head. This makes sense I guess….never thought of it, but if the cups are exactly alike (as they seem to be) then it doesn’t matter.
     
    The cups were a little smaller than I expected for some reason. From the pictures I thought they would be bigger and encompass my ears more easily. This was not the case, and I did start to hurt after a little while, and get hot ears using them. I am a taller person, with a bigger head and ears. Their connection to the headband was questionable. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on it for fear of breaking something. I am sure Meze stress-tested these though, and there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.
     
    How did they sound? Very, very relaxed. Almost Sennheiser-esque. This isn’t my usual sound preference. I look for just south of neutral with good extension on both ends. I am not going to lie though, you could listen to these things for days without any fatigue if they fit you well. They also sounded best out of my Macbook Air.  Overall I enjoyed my experience with them…but I couldn’t help but feel my colleagues at the office thought they were just a little too ostentatious. I got several comments to the tune of “fancy-schmancy headphones buddy…”. This was my primary dislike about them (and if you’re a manufacturer this is the least of your worries I think).
     
    They were almost over-designed. They look like something you would buy if you deliberately wanted people to think you spent a lot of money on them. Some people want this, others don’t. I fall into the latter school, not the former. This is personal preference though, and admittedly a silly one at that.
     
    Meze has done a sterling job of releasing a headphone that, if they fit you comfortably, will provide endless hours of sexy-looking, fatigue-free listening via your sexy-looking iDevice at the coffee shop while you sip espressos and shop for fancy leather brogues, mustache wax and expensive cologne online before joining your friends that evening at your local gastropub to drink microbrews and fancy whisky while discussing the Coachella lineup for this year and what you will wear while you’re there.
      7keys and Mark Up like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. reddog
      A great, informative review.
      reddog, Jan 16, 2016
    3. nmatheis
      Damn, Bruce. I love your reviews. Short, to the point, and injected with great, great humor. Head-Fi needs to keep feeding you gear!
      nmatheis, Feb 10, 2016
    4. fleasbaby
      LOL...thanks :).
      fleasbaby, Feb 11, 2016
  5. XBTed
    To Be Continued---
    Written by XBTed
    Published Nov 12, 2018
    2.5/5,
    Pros - Build quality is superb! Repairable! Balanced cables are available. Customer service is fantastic! They are comfortable and beautiful!
    Cons - The sound is absolutely awful. Sounds more like a noisy factory than music. Maybe they were defective.
    I tried out the 99 Classics, and wrote up my opinions on the sound. My opinions were not positive. I've had a bunch of comments and messages that the pair I tried were probably defective. If this is the case, then I can't use the pair I tried as an honest standard to judge these headphones. So I am going to seek out another pair to test, and if they sound good, well, I'm going to rewrite my review. If they sound the same, well...
    1. betula
      I only tried the 99 Classics from Meze. To be honest I also didn't really understand the hype about them. They sound quite alright for a warm and bassy can but nothing special really. Resolution, balance, transparency all lack.
      betula, Nov 12, 2018
    2. trevinthefionaapplefan
      I had the same exact experience. Probably 6 or 7 people had recommended these headphones to me (on headfi) and then when I got them they sounded too boomy and messy.
      trevinthefionaapplefan, Feb 15, 2019
  6. Ion Manascurtă
    Almost perfect for the price
    Written by Ion Manascurtă
    Published May 25, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Very musical, well built, stylish
    Cons - Tends to get uncomfortable if worn for longer periods of time.
    A lot has been said about these headphones so I will try not to focus on how awesome they are, revealing some aspects a potential customer should take into account before spending his or her hard earned money.

    Construction: These babies are built to last. The wood is prone to scratching of course but other than they will not break so easily. And don't forget you can always replace almost every single part in case it breaks. 5 stars.

    Design and fit: Best for casual or classic style. I would not recommend taking these headphones for a hike or in the gym. The band tends to stretch on every abrupt move and you'll get quite a lot of microphonics. Especially from the metal parts. Also the pads will get hot over time so you'll need to literally cool your head once in a while. The clamping force is very well managed and you can even wear glasses with the headphones (which is big plus in my case). Even so, a few minutes of rest every hour or two would be welcome for your ears and jaw muscles. 4 stars for comfort.

    Sound:
    • Bass: coming from an open back DT-880 Vintage (where the bass is like a whisper), I was literally blown away by M99C. The bass is punchy, well defined and controlled. It feels too much at times, especially in quiet environments but that is normal for a closed back. 4.5 stars.
    • Mids: The main reason why I bought these and I was right. A very natural reproduction of piano and guitar sound. Vocals are a bit forward, "in front of the orchestra", you can hear every whisper, every drop of saliva in the mouth of the vocalist. That is truly something. 5 stars.
    • Highs: I'm a spoiled child here. I own a pair of Sony XBA-H3 and their armature drivers create a tremble that is hard to beat. Meze's dinamic driver is simply not in the same league. Highs are played accurately and only on very complicated compositions a slight loss of detail can be observed. Still, they are not sparkling like on XBA. If you are into jazz or trap, Meze may not be for you. 4 stars.
    • Soundstage: It is OK. No praise, no complains here. The average soundstage of a closed back. The separation is good, though and that is enough. 4.5 stars
    • Overall: a mature sound signature, very natural and pleasant, with an engulfing bass and forward mids. I don't think these headphones have a "warm " sound. That is an epitet reserved for Senns. That makes M99C your best bet for live music, rock and classical music. In fact, Meze are quite omnivore and I am almost sure that every genre could be enjoyed with these cans. 4.5 stars
    Requirements to source:
    They work well straight from my iPod touch but will scale significantly with a good DAC (I use them with a Pegasus II HP). 5 stars
      rafaelo likes this.
  7. Cinder
    Fun Sound, Refined Build, and Classic Style.
    Written by Cinder
    Published Oct 7, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Tight, punchy bass, comfort, solid build, excellent case, no plastic
    Cons - Loss of treble resolution in busy songs, cable very long

    [​IMG]

    -Introduction-​

    I’ve reviewed for Meze once before, and gave their new 11 Neo earphone high praise. However, it was the release of the 99 Classics that really gained Meze the notoriety it has today. I’m lucky enough to be able to bring you a review of said headphone. Enjoy.
     
    The 99 Classics can be bought directly from Meze for $309 here.
     
    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 99 Classics was powered like so:
     
    PC optical out-> HifiMe SPDIF 9018 DAC 3.5mm out-> earphones
    or
    AP100 or AP60 -> earphones
     
    All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.
     
    As per Meze’s recommendation, I have burned in the 99 Classics for around 50 hours to get them “broken in”. While I intended to do a before-and-after comparison, it turns out my aural memory is too poor to pass judgement on such subtle distinctions between sound. I’ll have to trust Meze on this one.

     ​

    -Sound Signature-​

    Initial Impressions:
    I’m hearing a balanced middle and upper range with a slightly elevated mid and sub-bass. Vocals are pulled out of the mix slightly farther than the bass, making them the most commanding part of the song (at least when present). It’s a very natural presentation that really shines no matter what I throw at it.
     
    Treble: Songs used: White Flag, Midnight City, Outlands
    Treble is definitely present, and lends a good amount of clarity to the presentation. It is placed slightly in front of the mids, and is slightly behind the bass. In both White Flag and Midnight City, the treble was able to cut through the mix without sounding overbearing or sharp. When played through poorly or aggressively tuned headphones, White Flag tends to become sibilant, regardless of source. But Meze was able to give the 99 Classics decent extension and treble emphasis without decreasing the overall long-term listenability of the headphone.
     
    The treble is very detailed and able to convey minute differences in the tonality of the violins of Outlands well. The litany of treble-bound background elements also come through the song well enabling a decently symphonic experience.
     
    Mids: Songs used: Flagpole Sitta, Jacked Up, I Am The Highway, Good Life
    The attack and decay of the drums and guitars is quite good on the 99 Classics, as are their respective tonalities. A lot of detail comes through, and the instrumental separation is good. 
    Jacked Up was similarly good. The pianos, while not necessarily hard-edged, sounded pretty lifelike. The guitars in the background weren’t as tight and defined as I would have liked, but that’s simply because I hold Meze’s creations up to a higher standard, as its price should suggest. 
     
    The vocals of all my test songs were presented very well, with I Am The Highway and Flagpole Sitta taking the cake as best performers. While not pulled too far forwards, the vocals never loose control of the song, even when they are at their busiest. But my favorite feature of the vocals is their seemingly effortless integration into the dynamics of the song.
     
    Bass: Songs used: Lights, Gold Dust, 99 Problems (Hugo Cover), Leave Me
    The 99 Classics emphasizes the bass more than the 11 Neo does, and in my humble opinion, does so rightly. The kick-drum of Lights and 99 Problems resolves with a tight thud, having what I consider to be a near-perfect level of wetness.
     
    Gold Dust and Leave Me’s drops, as described by my roommate, are “filthy”. For those of you unacquainted with such youthful terminology, that’s synonymous to “pretty great”, and I’ll have to agree. The wetness that graces Lights and 99 Problems gives the aggressive bass sculpting in electronic songs a great tonality. However, please don’t confuse my comments on wetness for quantity of bass. While there’s certainly enough bass to go around, the 99 Classics are not a basshead’s pair of earphones, rather, they are somewhere around medium levels of bass.
     
    Clarity: Songs used: Throne, Map of The Problimatique, I’m Not Alright
    The 99 Classics performed decently across the board on my clarity test songs. My only point of concern is the articulation and range of the treble when the drivers are busy taking care of a lot of other sounds. In other words, the treble could be more resolving in busy songs.
     
    Sound Stage
    The sound stage of the 99 Classics is above average, but not large. This puts it at a nice middle-ground for listeners looking for a more energizing and intimate soundstage, but who don’t want to sacrifice the sense of airiness that a large soundstage can produce. Instrumental separation is good.

     ​

    -Packaging / Unboxing-​

    Please excuse the unsightly sticker residue. I tried my best to get rid of it without damaging the box. Click on the images to expand them.
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    IMG_1276.jpg
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    IMG_1277.jpg
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    IMG_1279.jpg
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    IMG_1280.jpg

    -Build-​

    Construction Quality
    I have to say, the 99 Classics is built rather nicely. The outer frame is made from what appears to be aluminum, while the inner frame holds the cushy leather headband in place. Hidden underneath the stitched leather is a self-adjustment system for the headband’s length, effectively eliminating the need to fiddle with the headphones to find the correct size to wear them at; an annoyance that I’m glad is gone. Then inner frame is secured to the outer frame using what looks like Torx screws. While I personally don’t see why they Meze couldn’t have gone with standard consumer-friendly screws, I still think the mechanism is quite secure, and feels solid. The Meze logo is emblazoned tastefully on the golden frame connector, and doesn’t appear to be wearing off any time soon. The real wood ear cups/driver housings are affixed to the frame via a ball joint that enables free rotation on two axes (not the tool, the plural of axis). Attached to the driver housings are medium-density memory foam ear pads. It’s a very impressive package that screams premium, with almost no real flaws.
    IMG_1282.jpg
     
    IMG_1284.jpg
    If I had to make a single suggestion to Meze, it would be to try and tighten up the ear cups on their rotational joint. While this might not make a functional difference, it would definitely make the 99 Classics feel all the more sturdy.
    IMG_1286.jpg
    Controls
    The 99 Classics does come with a cable that has inline controls on it, which consists of a single pause/play button and a microphone. It works well, and the button has a nice softness to it.
     
    Comfort
    I find the 99 Classics to be very comfortable. This is due mainly to the self-adjusting headband. The new, larger ear pads are just the right size for my ear, which is slightly above average in size. The 99 Classics isn’t very heavy, so expect it to disappear soon after you put it on. Natural, I have to put the disclaimer that my experiences won’t necessarily reflect yours given the fairly large number of possible anatomical differences between our heads.
     
    One thing to note about the new earpads is that they are only found in 99 Classics that have the updated packaging. If you bought an older pair, contact Meze about getting the larger ones, as they really do improve the long-term comfort of the cans. In some cases, they also help solidify the bass a bit.
    IMG_1297.jpg

    -Accessories-​

    Meze bequeathed the 99 Classics with a solid set of accessories including: 
     
    1. 1 comically long 3.5mm cloth cable
    2. 1 well-sized 3.5mm cable with inline controls
    3. 1 semi-hard headphone case
    4. 1 1/4inch to 3.5mm adapter
    IMG_1293.jpg
    Seriously though, one of the cables is waaay too long. I’m not sure what scenarios one might need so much cabling for, but I’m sure I won’t ever end up in one. That being said, the cable does feel very premium, with Meze giving even the Y-splitter special attention.

     ​

    -Summary-​

    The 99 Classics are the epitome of what Meze has to offer. A fully-serviceable construction, great sound, good comfort, and impeccable style all push me to recommend these headphones, even at their $309 price point. If you’ve got the cash and don’t mind a splash of extra bass, you won’t be disappointed.
      HungryPanda likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Cinder
      @tacit It's a shame that you don't like the 99 Classics. But given that they have won Bronze for overall best product of show at Canjam Europe 2016, I'd say that you might be in the minority here.
       
      I can't speak for other reviewers, but I do my best to be as upfront, clear, and forward as possible. I'm not in the business of tricking people, so if you have some advice for me as to how I can improve my reviews, then by all means, send them to me.
      Cinder, Oct 10, 2016
    3. tacit
      Cinder, it is ok for you to like Meze, and may be Bronze is fine:) and your review is no problem. I feel that people mistake look for quality and would like to warn them to listen carefully to forget about looks because their look would not take them far. No offense is intended, just surprise:)
      tacit, Oct 10, 2016
    4. Cinder
      @tacit That's a valid point. People should try, if possible, to find a place to demo expensive headphones like this before they try it, as that will go a long way in ensuring the purchase is a good one.
      Cinder, Oct 10, 2016
  8. cleg
    Great headphones with nice price/value relation
    Written by cleg
    Published Aug 9, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - build quality, premium look, accessories set, sound
    Cons - too fancy for portable usage on streets
    Recently, I've joined the crowd of people, using Meze 99Classics as primary headphones (or at least one of them), and I'd like share my opinion and join the praising choir :)

    First of all, I'll save some of your time, if you'll decide to read a review, and I'll skip almost everything, related to design, accessories and wear comfort. There are few dozens of reviews on Head-Fi, most of them covers this perfectly, and I can't add more to them. Just to summarise, Meze 99 looks great, sits comfortably on your head and has good set of accessories (carrying case, 2 cables, etc.). They fit on my head perfectly, and I have zero issues wearing them. One minor issue — earpads can be a bit small for people with big ears, but Meze promised to create a bigger earpads set, so this won't be a problem anymore in nearest future.
    1MainPic.jpg

    So, I'm skipping all this unboxing and other staff, and moving on to sound.

    2Box.jpg

    I've used following equipment for evaluation purposes.

    • NuPrime DAC-10H and Resonessence Labs Concero HP as DAC and amplifier
    • Apple MacBook Pro Retina 2013 as a source
    • Fidelia as a player
    • Fiio X7 and Luxury & Precission L5Pro as portable players

    I gave this Mezes about 48 hours of break-in, and they really improved their sound after first 20 hours of so.

    Sound designers of this model decided not to follow current trend of neutral and audiophiliac sounding, and made main focus on "tasty" colored representation with a small hint of darkness. And 99 Classics definitely demonstrates that it was a good idea.
    3Acessories.jpg

    Bass has a small accent in mid-bass region, but it's polite and a slighly softened, so this cans doesn't sound as tough as typical basshead models. In general, lows resolution is enough for most genres, and there is a nice separation of lower register instruments. Also bass has good texture, but on low-quality recordings lows accent can be a bit "too much". Fortunately, those track are really rare and mostly occurred in modern pop-music. Deep bass in this model are rolled off a bit, but when necessary shows it's presence.

    Mids are probably the strongest side of this headphones. It's really easy to fall in love with them after a few seconds of listening. Mids are represented smoothly and coherently, giving listener a good analog representation. "Classics" don't try to disassemble the music and highlight tiny nuances, like plannars do, their strong parts are emotions and vigor. An imaginary scene is good for closed headphones, although expectedly smaller then in open models. This headphones really begs about adding some good brandy and comfortable armchair.
    7Inner.jpg

    Treble also bear traces of painstaking tuning. They are detailed, but they do not try to move to the forefront and pulled the attention. They are performing traditional role of the cream topping on the cake, they are crowning the composition, giving it necessary airiness and lightness.

    Several subjective comparisons.

    Oppo PM3 This model is more suitable for portable because of folding construction and more strict appearance. From the sound point of view, PM-3 are more "boring", they do not have this pleasant effect of smoothness that Meze do. PM-3 have a little less bass, though it deeper, also PM-3 have better resolution in the midrange, while 99 Classics have more forgiving treble.
    8Cable.jpg

    Audio Technica MSR-7 Typical confrontation of "Asian" and "European" sound. Slightly brighter MSR-7 offers a more aggressive sound that reminds me fireworks and festivities, while a bit darkened Meze 99 Classics is more like a pleasant evening in a nice restaurant in a circle of close friends.

    Sennheiser Momentum 2 Those ones do have a bit similar representation with accent on lows, but they simply don't reach the level of Meze. There is no such a noble and smooth mids, and treble is mory harsh and dry.

    Compatibility
    There is a wire with a headset included with the headphones, and indeed, "Classics" is quite usable with phones or tablets, their representation smoothes the shortcomings of today's mobile devices's sound. But this headphones really benefits from a good player or a desktop DAC/amp. So, this Meze well suited to the role of headphones that are bought "for growth", you can bought them and use with your existing source, and later upgrade the source to something better.
    10WithFiioX7.jpg

    Genre-wise headphones are pretty versatile, with the exception of the simplest styles of electronic music, badly recorded pop and styles like that. Tracks with a strong emphasis on the lows or with strong DR compression - not the best option for this headphones.

    Conclusion

    Meze spent few years, creating this headphones, and they are really worth that. Great stylish design, good sound and nice price — you have all three of those. For now, I'm pretty sure that 99 Classics are the best closed-back headphones in their price range.

    I'd like to thank to Meze for providing me a sample in exchange to my honest opinion.

    As usual, I've made a video, showing my initial impressions.

      MezeTeam likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. cleg
      @oldmate next time I'll definitely ask you where I should place any sentence in my review
      cleg, Aug 11, 2016
    3. mikek200
      One of the worst reviews I ever read
      I agree with cleg,I had to read it 3x's,and still could not figure out ,what you were talking about
      From your review,I will never buy this headphone,I learned NOTHING
      mikek200, Aug 13, 2016
    4. jrflanne
      So you wouldn't buy a pair of these based on this review, but you would buy them based on another review? Hmm, logical. 
       
      Your review was fine, btw.How's the noise isolation?
      jrflanne, Aug 13, 2016
  9. mark2410
    Meze 99 Classics Quick Review by mark2410
    Written by mark2410
    Published Jul 5, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - WOW, seriously wow. Looks fantastic. Wow bass. Wow treble.
    Cons - Way too much wow. Shallow cups hurt my ears.
    Meze 99 Classics Quick Review by mark2410
     
    Thanks to Meze for the loaner.
     
    Full review here http://www.head-fi.org/t/813263/meze-99-classics-review-by-mark2410
     
    Brief:  All the wow and dazzle Romainia can muster.
     
    Price:  US$309 or 309 euro’s.  (£232 or £259)
     
    Specification:  Transducer size 40mm, Frequency response 15Hz - 25KHz, Sensitivity 103dB at 1KHz, 1mW, Impedance 32Ohm, Rated input power 30mW, Maximum input power 50mW, Cable make and material, Detachable Kevlar OFC cable, Plug 3.5mm gold plated, Weight 260 gr (9.2 ounces) without cables
     
    Accessories:  Baggy for the cable and bits, a hard case for everything, a long non phone cable, a shorter phone cable, a 6.25 to 3.5mm adapter and lastly a plane adapter.
     
    Build Quality:  Sumptuous.  Its looks superb, it feels superb.  This is an item of Quality.
     
    Isolation:  Pretty fair, you could maybe get away with using these on a bus.  Fine for walking out and about if you were so inclined.  Not one for Tube or flights though.  Oh and as ever you’ll need to look out for wheeled chariots of death because you won’t hear traffic.
     
    Comfort/Fit:  Fit was great, on and done.  Comfort though, the pads got all around my ears but the cups were shallow enough that the insides rested directly on my ears.  This rapidly got oppressive and grew to pain.  After an hour I wanted them off and hurled across the room.
     
    Aesthetics:  They look stunningly good.  I didn’t love the cream but even still, damn they look great don’t they?  I can’t imagine anyone not thinking these look impressive even if they may not be to their own personal tastes.
     
    Sound:  Wow.  Wow again.  They are V shaped but with a flat bottom.  The bass is elevated, very seriously elevated and loves to come rip roaring out of nowhere at you.  Its great quality though so that I don’t mind so much.  It’s punchy with a hint of bloom, a pretty spot on blend actually.  Though a little less maybe of it.  Actually if it would maybe just take a Valium and sit the F down for a bit.  It’s like someone just fed it a bag of sugar and fistfuls of blue Smartie’s.  The treble is just the same.  Too excitable, super impressive for sure, I mean it is seriously impressive but oh good lord please just sit still for a bit, please.  Now these certainly make a massively impressive first impression.  It’s simply all of the wow, so much wow, it’s off the charts impressive.  The mids, they are less wild but have a great breadth to them.  Lots of openness and a touch dry, great detail retrieval though and great clarity.
     
    Still the V shaped nature of the bass and treble I find overwhelming.  If it were the bass on its own it would be fine but the treble, ahh for me that’s too much.  Its Grado esq treble with a spike in there up somewhere high that is just exhausting to my ears.
     
    Value:  So long as you want its sound then it quite comfortably beats the Senn Momentum Over-Ears acoustically and detail levels.  It also looks fantastic.  Overall it’s a high quality item, more than deserving of its price.
     
    Pro’s:  WOW, seriously wow.  Looks fantastic.  Wow bass.  Wow treble.
     
    Con’s:  Way too much wow.  Shallow cups hurt my ears.
      MezeTeam likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. voxie
      Hey Mark, thanks for sharing. Just wondering are they built to last re everyday commute? 
      voxie, Jul 6, 2016
    3. mark2410
      well time is the only true test but they are really very very nicely constructed. i would expect they would survive well especially given the cable is easily changed (they the bit that usually goes) and the whole things can be dismantled and repaired, i would expect them to live as long as you want them to. if anything i would say their somewhat noticeable looks could be the biggest problem, you look at them and you can tell they were expensive so it might be a bit of an invitation to thieves.
      mark2410, Jul 6, 2016
    4. voxie
      Thanks Mark for your reply, agree re an invitation to thieves.
      voxie, Jul 6, 2016
  10. bala
    Pairing good looks with good sound.
    Written by bala
    Published Jun 19, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Design, comfort, build, easy-to-drive & lovely sound.
    Cons - Size/portability, microphonic cable, slight fit issue.
    The 99 Classics have an eye-catchy refined style about them. I had the Walnut Gold finish, though I like the both the Walnut and maple silver finishes more.The premium cable looks wonderful and complements the headphone design. These are a "good size" headphone provided with a nice hard pouch. There are two sets of detachable cables provided one for more mobile/smartphone use and the other for at-home listening.The headphone does not have predetermined LR (though the cables are marked), so it could in principle be worn either way which is a cool design in my book. Meze has done a wonderful job on the build of this headphone and one can "feel" the sturdiness the moment you lay hands on it. The solid metal band, lovely polished wooden earcups, and well-set earpads all rounded up by a compartmental design (have a look at the teardown on their homepage) makes this a thing of beauty. The headphone design also ensures an almost completely serviceable product.
     
    2016-05-2212.21.391.jpg
     
     
     

    The 99 Classics is a headphone that one cannot easily dislike - if that does not sound like a compliment, let me tell you that it is! The bass is catchy, pushed a bit forward and slightly loose or boomy (but I am of the opinion that's the "woody" character). Soundstage is very good for a closed headphone with appreciable dimensionality.Good treble presence with enough liveliness without getting into the "bright" territory.The mids are clean and clear and presented in a very neutral style (though I was expecting a mid-forward presentation). There are times when I felt that the bass got in the way of the music but these instances were far and few, sufficient to say that suitable source matching would make this headphone better but improper ones don't pull down the enjoyment factor much.Together, the presentation makes this a wonderful all-round headphone. On the go, the added bass warmth was very satisfying and complemented by the clean and clear mids and highs (this just made pop & electronic much more appealing). At home, the clarity provides a very engrossing listen.These headphones are driven well right out of my iPod Classic, Fiio X3 and my laptop. An entry level amp/DAC setup (say the Dragonfly) can only make things better by providing a cleaner source with more clarity - and they deserve it!
     
    Meze99classicsocialimage.jpg
     
    The comfort on these are wonderful if the earpads are seated in circumaural fashion (which it did for most of my friends!) but in my case the earpads actually turned to be smaller, applying more pressure on the upper ear! That meant I would have to re-adjust them every now and then to minimize discomfort. During outdoor use, I found the size of the headphone and the fact that the earcups do not fold flat as issues hampering comfort. Considering the sound quality, I decided to carry the headphone in a backpack than leaving haging on around my neck. These were the niggles that affected my experience with the otherwise wonderful headphone.
     
    The Meze 99 Classics are worthy of being considered as a good choice for the discerning music listener. They traverse the border of clarity and a fun sound very adept manner. Apart from the small complaints regarding comfort/fit I can heartily recommend them to everybody looking for a stylish, well built and good sounding headphone. My full review is available on my blog.
      MezeTeam likes this.