Meze 99 Classics

Rating:
4.37903/5,
  1. BloodyPenguin
    The Meze 99 Classics is Simply, Fantastic
    Written by BloodyPenguin
    Published Nov 9, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Amazingly Fun Sound Signature, Wonderful Build, Big Soundstage, Very Comfortable, Dual Detachable Cables
    Cons - Braided Cable is Prone to Being Microphonic, Ear pads Can Get a Tad Warm Over Time
    --
    I’m rarely surprised by headphones.  If anything, most of the time I am slightly let down, I think a headphone is going to sound great, but it then disappoints.
     
    With the Meze 99 Classics, it was the complete opposite; I thought they were just going to be another pretty face, a headphone focusing more on looks than sound, but I was SO wrong, so VERY wrong.  The Meze 99 is now one of my favorite headphones.  I‘m blown away by so many aspects of the 99, let me share those with you. 
     
     
    **All Photo Were Taken By Me, No Stock Images Were Used From the Manufacture**
     
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    *Specs*
     
    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
    Plug: 6.3mm gold plated
    Ear-cups: walnut wood
     
    https://www.mezeheadphones.com/meze-99-classics-gold-wood-headphones
     
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    *Accessories*

    As this is one of the first models out there, there are a few things missing from the full production run, like the 6.3mm to 3.5mm and airplane adapter.  But no worries about those as I have a million of them around the house. 

    The hard case itself is just awesome, as it is solid and understatedly handsome.  Inside the case you will find the 99 Classics sitting snug and safe along with another small, softer case for the cables.  It is a fully function and well laid out design. 
     
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    *Build*
     
    Over the top, beautiful; that is how I describe the Meze 99 Classics.  It is truly an elegant and tough built headphone.  This is a headphone that exquisite blends wood and metal.  You can tell Meze used very high end materials for this build, that include:  “CNC carved wood ear cups, cast zinc alloy hardware with electroplated coating, stamped manganese spring steel headband, memory foam and soft PU leather”.
     
    What caught my attention are the two braided cables.  One shorter with a microphone and one much longer without a mic (forgive me; I do not have exact lengths of each cable at this time).  Both cables are quite beautiful and have a very premium feel.  My only issue with the cables is that both seem to display a decent amount of Microphonics because of the cover material.  Being a detachable cable, maybe there will be an optional version that could be DIY or purchased through Meze at a later date. 

    Now, while I am more of a Function over form kind of guy, I feel like as long as it sounds good, it can also look this good.  I just hate when companies care about looks and catch phrases over actual sound substance.  With the Meze, there is no need to worry in any of those departments though.
     
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    *Fit*

    These are clearly an over ear headphone.  Comfort and distance around the ears is very good.  The only issue some might have is the pads getting a little warm with extended use, though I do love how soft the PU leather is, it is like a pillow around the ear. 

    The headband is very similar to the AKG K 240, with the headphone automatically adjusting to your head with some cleverly placed elastic materials.  I wish more headphones were like this as it allows for a perfect and quick fit.
     
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    *Sound*
     
    Bass – Does play a prominent role in the Meze 99 Classics sound signature.  There is a lot of warmth and fullness down low.  While I would say for the most part the bass stays controlled, it can wander a tad out of hand here and there.  Sub-bass kick is wonderful, a lot of force with its bite.

    Mids – I have a soft spot for the 99’s mids.  They are just north of neutral, while also being dynamic and detailed.  I think this is why I like these headphones so much, the middle is a great place to be.  A lot of speed, action and clarity resonate from here; this is where the magic happens.
     
    Highs – While the Meze 99 Classics don’t extend too high, I never feel a loss of detail.  A slightly early roll off leads to a smoothness and sophistication not often heard with many other headphones I have heard recently. 
     
    ­Isolation – Due to the easy fit and soft leather pads, the Meze 99 Classics can form quite a nice seal.  That seal in return leads to a really nice isolating headphone.  I just had my friend try these out a few minute ago while I was writing this, he was really impress how well these headphones block off noise.  He thought they were even noise canceling, until I quickly corrected him.
     
    Soundstage – Here I found the biggest surprise the 99 Classics had to offer, a huge, well-tuned soundstage.  It is so wide, yet instrument separation stays so crisp and organized.  I honestly can figure out how Meze got this broad feeling from a closed, well isolating headphone, it is remarkable.
     
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    *Overall Thoughts*

    As I you will have concluded from my review, I really like the Meze 99 Classics.  I think they are extremely fun and energetic, making them an obvious guilty pleasure for me.  They are analytical in their approach, yet still stay away from the label of monitoring.  They look incredible and have the personality to back it up.
     
    While these are almost perfect, I do have a few suggestions to expand the overall enjoyment of the 99 Classics.  As I already mentioned my thoughts on the braided cable, I think there is one more replacement part I would like to see available and that is set of velour pads.  I think those would help reduce a bit of the bass and also help a tad with longevity of wearing the Headphones.  If I find a pair of velour pads that work for the 99 Classics, I will update my review.
     
    I’ve reviewed over 30+ headphones this year alone and the Meze is a bright spot among them.  A surprise I honestly did not see coming. The 99 Classics is truly a great overall headphone for those looking for a warm, entertaining and detailed musical experience.
     
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    --
      Bert, Wilashort, Currawong and 11 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. apaar123
      is the soundstage good enough for gaming?
      apaar123, Oct 17, 2016
    3. MrOTL
      Nice pics!!! Gorgeous!
      MrOTL, Nov 1, 2016
    4. superuser1
      Great review.. so much so that im going to pick one up myself very soon. thank you
      superuser1, Jan 3, 2017
  2. dan.gheorghe
    Good all a rounder but excellent with classical / instrumental
    Written by dan.gheorghe
    Published Nov 3, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Excellent soundstage, details, transient response, very comfortable, beautiful design & finish
    Cons - Little distorsion on lower bass
    The design and finish of these headphones are absolutely gorgeous and they're also very comfortable. 
     
    Meze 99 Classics was an unexpected surprise. I didn't expect such performance from them especially in the areas that closed headphones don't usually excel. 
     
    I’ve  rarely heard such soundstage and such openness in closed headphones. They can compete here with lots of opened headphones in my opinion. 
     
    Let's make a summary with what impressed me the most:
     
    Soundstage
     
    I’ve  rarely heard such soundstage and such openness in closed headphones. They can compete in this area with lots of opened headphones in my opinion. This and some other things make them perfect for instrumental/classical music, but these headphones can be used with almost any musical genre.
     
    Imaging and Instrument Separation
     
    This is another section that impressed me very much. Every instrument is very well delimited showing very good imaging, instrument separation and layering. They handled crowded music passages with ease.
     
    Transients
     
    The transients are wonderful on Meze 99 Classics. The attack is explosive and the decay is fast but well extended. This leads to an energetic and tactile sound experience which I appreciate very much in the sound reproduction both in headphones and speakers!
     
    Details
     
    These headphones are quite analytical. I was surprised with the level of details they are capable of.  This was a major plus for listening to classical music. Combined with other strong points of the Meze 99, every instruments is vibrant and full of life.
     
    Besides a small bass bump, I found these headphones to be quite neutral. 
     
    The bass is fast, punchy and quite well extended showing very good sub bass as well. It might have a slight might bass hump somewhere but nothing to worry about. The sub bass might present some distortion that was noticeable on some songs but overall it wasn’t disturbing. Overall, I found the bass to be quite nice, engaging and to put meat (muscle because of the speed and punch)  on the bones of the songs.
     
    The treble is sparkly and airy. Not harsh, but won't mask recording faults.
     
    I think that Meze 99 Classics just became my favorite closed headphones at the moment. Actually let’s forget for a little while that they are closed and just say that they are wonderful headphones in general.
     
    Besides the eye candy looks, good quality and very nice finish, they also offer an incredible sound quality which made me loose myself inside my music often offering me goose bumps along the way.
      FortisFlyer75, ameze and MezeTeam like this.
    1. Joeybgood
      I agree with you review wholeheartedly Dan, I don't , however , find the earpads to be very comfortable. Despite the lightweight of this headphone my ears get sore fairly quickly. Do you have a replacement pad that you would recommend for these? tks
      Joeybgood, Jan 10, 2016