Meze 99 Neo

Rating:
4.2/5,
Tags:
  1. Squeaky Duck
    Well made headphones with good sound & good value
    Written by Squeaky Duck
    Published Jan 14, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - VERY efficient
    Left cable connector marked for easy ID
    Comfortable for extended listening time
    Complete with everything you need for home or on-the-go use
    Cons - Heavy mid-bass
    by Tom Lewis
    aka Squeaky Duck
    13 Jan 2018

    Recently I had the pleasure of being included in a worldwide tour posted here on Head-fi.org of the Meze Audio 99 Neo headphones. This is my personal opinion of these headphones.

    Disclaimer - I am by no means an audio professional. I am an audio enthusiast & hobbyist who likes to tinker, so this is my experience with the NEO 99 headphones pertaining to their sound quality, comfort, price and construction merits. My regularly used headphones are the KRK KNS-8400.

    The music I had chosen is what I am very familiar with and have had the pleasure of actually listening to live. My personal preference is jazz, 80's rock, classical, and some opera.


    My primary sound source is a digital audio workstation with Samplitude 2496 Recording & Editing Suite and VU Player running through an ASUS Xonar DS DTS sound card locked at 24bit/192k 2ch with Burr Brown op-amps, Monster interlink II cable feeding my Kenwood KA-5700 integrated amplifier. All of my electronics are powered from a 1kW APC Smart UPS which has good AC power filtering, and yes, it does make a difference and the noise floor is exceptionally low. All of my digital sourced music used here is FLAC or uncompressed PCM format.

    The Meze 99 Neo showed up in a nice storage box detailing some of the headphone's specs and features. Inside was a felt lined ballistic nylon hard case that provided excellent protection to what was inside, something many headphones should include but do not. I would love to get a case like this for my KRK headphones too. Nestled inside was a small round soft case with the full length 10 foot cable, a 4.5 foot cable with microphone for your smart phone, 1/4 inch adapter and an airline adapter. All bases covered here for use pretty much anywhere.

    Looking them over I was impressed with the attention to detail in the build quality. The main part of the headband is all black spring steel with silver colored die cast zinc mounts for the adjustable padded comfort band. The ear cups are ABS which seem inert and the ear pads are soft leather which was a nice touch and reflect the quality & workmanship. The cable connected to each ear with a 1/8 inch plug on the bottom of each ear. I liked this since it made it easy to store them and if your cables were to get damaged it would be a simple swap for new ones. The left plug has a ring crimped into the shell to identify it from the right. The headphone cable itself is wrapped in Kevlar weave to protect the wire and the connectors are metal, not cheap molded plastic.

    Meze Audio did their homework on the fit and comfort of these headphones. The ear cups are attached to the band to allow them to fit comfortably and secure without the proverbial "C-clamp" feel. The soft leather ear pads provided a good seal around the ears without the sweaty feel other leather pads may have. Their softness allowed me to wear my glasses with minimal discomfort. As for weight, they are very light, weighing in at only 9 ounces. I felt no big addition of weight even of an hour or two of use each night. The Kevlar jacket on the cable reduced the typical headphone microphonic rumble from moving around which is very good.

    Now as for the sound, this is subjective and merely what my impressions of this set can do.

    The mids and highs were smooth and balanced. vocals have a fairly neutral sound. The bass was more than I expected. These headphones will go as low as human hearing will allow, but with a pronounced hump in the mid-bass region that on some of my older recordings was a blessing, yet on well recorded music it was admittedly annoying and a bit muddy. I played around with the equalizer a bit to smooth it out which made a huge difference in long term listening. The settings I used were:
    80Hz, -3dB
    150Hz, -4.5dB
    300 Hz, -3.5dB
    Filter Q 1.4

    99 NEO Specifications
    Transducer size: 40mm
    Frequency response: 15Hz - 25KHz
    Sensitivity: 103dB at 1KHz, 1mW
    Impedance: 26 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: ABS Plastic

    Audio Playlist:
    Dawn Upshaw - World So Wide
    Lee Ritenour - 6 String Theory
    Michael Murray - Bach - Great Organ at Methuen
    Victims Family - Voltage and Violets
    Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab - The Power and the Majesty
    Tappi Tíkarrass - Miranda (vinyl)

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Listening Impressions

    Dawn Upshaw's - World So Wide
    This album was a good test of female vocals as Dawn's vocal range can and does reveal breakup on a lot of headsets & speakers making her sound a bit screechy if there is any breakup happening. In this case vocals came through in full detail with no detectable screechiness or sibilance. The vocals sounded neutral. Strings, woodwind instruments and percussion were well defined and clean. The only oddity I heard sticking out was tympani drums sounds a bit bloated despite the EQ curve I listed in this review.

    Lee Ritenour - 6 String Theory
    This had a nice warm sound listening to 16-year-old Canadian classical guitarist Shon Boublil playing two caprices by 19th Century Italian guitarist/ composer Luigi Legnani. You can hear him breathing and his sleeve moving on the nylon strings of his Martin Blackwell Classical guitar. What was interesting is being able to audibly judge how his fingers were sliding across the guitar frets as he played. The sound is clear with no harshness and the guitar's natural wood sound comes through.

    Michael Murray - Bach - The Great Organ at Methuen Memorial Music Hall
    If you like pipe organ music Michael Murray is an exceptional organist to listen to. Bach's Tocatta in F Major (BVW 540) played on the great organ at Methuen Memorial Music Hall in Methuen, Massachusetts. This used to be one of the largest organs in the world with 6,088 pipes and 84 registers. The biggest one I know of is the Fratelli Rufatti organ in the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco with 9,235 pipes and 147 registers. WOW. If you live in or near San Francisco GO SEE AND HEAR IT. Anyway, without the EQ curve used, the sound was heavy and there was loss of detail throughout. With the EQ curve, you can hear a lot of low end detail and the acoustics of the hall clearly. Listening to Passacaglia & Fugue in C Minor (BVW 582) you can hear just how BIG this organ truly is (and you can hear the mechanics of the valves working in the background if are listening closely for it).

    Victims Family - Voltage and Violets
    Quivering Lip is a tune making fun of movie plots. The recording is very clear on all vocals and the NEOs played them nicely and the sound was actually neutral. You can tell it was recorded in a basement. Son of Church is a snappy and well recorded instrumental. The drums came through with good percussion and were really snappy with punch. When I lived in California they performed often at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma. They are hardcore punk but a lot of fun to listen to.

    Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab - The Power and the Majesty
    Just for fun, I tried Mobile Fidelity's Thunderstorm on CD. The thunder sounded pretty damn real on the NEOs with the volume up. Just listening to the raindrops, wind and water running made me feel cold and wet. That's convincing sound.

    Tappi Tíkarrass - Miranda (vinyl)
    The recording on vinyl is very good but Björk has a natural edginess to her sound on this album. On lesser headphones Skrið has a hard sound that is not enjoyable. Listening to it on the NEOs without the EQ curve was actually good and very listenable. Drek-Lek and Beri Beri had a good sound stage on the NEOs. Vocals were good. Get Ekki Sofið had ambience with a large sound stage. With the EQ curve in play the vocals became more alive with a more defined sound stage which was very apparent with the drums. I've always liked listening to Björk Guðmundsdóttir. She has a unique sound and style to her music. When she was in San Francisco I saw her performance on the stage at pier 32 (great show). Tappi Tíkarrass was her first band in 1983.

    Lastly I tried them out on my Sonim XP5 smart phone with the same music. Now this is where these headphones really shine. Their inherent pronounced mid-bass characteristics and faint drop in the upper mid-band actually made for a really fun time listening to these and made up for the shortcomings of my phone's audio electronics. The sound was very well balanced and quite smooth with no equalization needed at all. I think I found a new add-on to buy for my smart phone here.

    Conclusion
    Overall, I like them. The build quality is there. The included accessories and hard shell case complete the ensemble well. The fact you can change out cables and use them with your cell phone to listen AND talk is a plus. Yes, they have a definite sound signature of their own, but on a lot of music they do the job well. If you are into critical monitoring for recording these are not headphones to get (that's what my KRK's are for). But for general listening at home they do the job well. They are very efficient which is good for portable electronics giving you more run time on batteries.

    Overall at $249 a set I think they are a good deal.

    In a nutshell, these are a good set of headphones I'd like to own for my portable electronics.
  2. jinxy245
    Audio Candy
    Written by jinxy245
    Published Nov 17, 2017
    3.5/5,
    Pros - easily driven by portables; smooth sound signature; forgiving with poor recordings; addictive bass
    Cons - noise prone frame; lack of micro details; mids a bit too thick; overzealous bass
    In early 2016, I had the pleasure of participating in the Meze 99 Classic tour. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. A new release from a relatively unknown company that sounded that good was impressive, not just to me but to many of those who had the pleasure of hearing them. When I heard that Meze had planned to release a less expensive version, ($249 USD MSRP, and an advertised $50 discount for Black Friday 2017) I was excited to sign up for the Neo tour. To see how the 99 Neo stacks up to its more famous older brother, read on.

    upload_2017-11-17_19-1-18.jpeg

    I found the 99 Classics to be a beautifully designed headphone, and the 99 Neo doesn’t fall far from that mark. Where the Classics had wooden earcups (Walnut is all that is offered on their website currently with either silver or gold trim) the Neo is listed as having “coal black textured earcups” made of ABS plastic, but I personally find them to be solidly built and no less attractive.

    upload_2017-11-17_19-1-59.jpeg

    The rest of the build is (from memory) all but identical to the 99 Classics, and the website states “As the Neo shares the DNA of the Classics, we guarantee that the 99's are serviceable if any parts ever need to be replaced.”

    Comfort wise, the Neo feels exactly how I remember the Classics to be, which is to say very comfortable (in fact the larger pads provided are even more so). The weight (260 gr or 9.2 ounces without cables) is very well distributed with no hot spots noted and the clamping pressure never caused me any discomfort (larger heads may have different results).

    There has been much discussion (here and elsewhere) about the earpads, so I’ll put a bit of my 2 cents in here. When the Classics were 1st released, there was much ado about the size of the earpads. Many felt that they were too small and uncomfortable (I and a minority of others had less of a problem with them). Meze, being the responsive company that they are had issued a couple of different pads to counter this, eventually settling on the size that is offered with the 99 Neo here. Since Tyll from Innerfidelity reviewed the Neo, there has been even more of a kerfuffle around how they affect the sound. I’ll leave my sound impressions for the appropriate section, but comfort wise, these earpads certainly fit the bill for me. Plush, fairly roomy, and made from medium density memory foam, I have no real complaints with the comfort these pads provide (of course YMMV, yadda yadda…).

    upload_2017-11-17_19-2-42.jpeg

    Accessories are very good for this price range. 1st off, there is a useful & sturdy carry case which is a decent size for throwing into a backpack without taking up too much room. The case could be smaller, but like the Classics, the Neo doesn’t fold flat. My major criticism is that you have to unplug the cable to fit the Neo into the case. Although the review unit came with a 10ft long cable more suited for desktop or living room listening, the Neo is only shipped with a 4’ cable best used portably, but long enough if you sit close to your computer. That cable has an inline button remote which is said to be compatible with Smartphones and Android capable DAPs, but I didn’t get the chance to test this myself. The headphones themselves are symmetrical, so the only way to tell the left from the right is the white on silver writing on the connections, which I found to be difficult to read without glasses.

    upload_2017-11-17_19-7-30.jpeg

    Rounding off the accessories is a 1/8” x ¼” adapter, as well as an airplane adapter.


    upload_2017-11-17_19-3-13.jpeg


    Before I offer my listening impressions, I’ll start with a little about myself. I’m 50 years old and have less than perfect hearing. I’ve been a music lover for as long as I can remember, and I learned to listen a little more critically during the few years I sold audio equipment (and I continue to learn the more I listen). My fascination/infatuation with headphones began about 5 years ago, and has only gotten stronger. The majority of my listening was done listening to FLAC, WAV & various MP3s with my Shanling M2 (1st gen), Fiio x3 (1st gen.) or through my HP all in one PC and Audioquest Dragonfly(V1.2). My tastes are fairly eclectic, but my listening centered on classic rock, folk, jazz, classical and some of the genres of EDM. I didn’t bother with burning in the headphones since this is a review pair and probably already have a few hundred hours on them, nor did I hear any difference throughout my evaluation.

    Isolation is about average for a closed back headphone, muting outside noise but not totally blocking it out. Even with music playing at reasonable volumes, some sound can intrude .The metal frame I found to be highly microphonic, noisily clanging whenever knocked against just about any object. The cable seems to be improved from the Classics in that regard; I experienced less microphonics than I remember with the Neo’s older brother. The Meze is incredibly easy to drive, reaching deafening volumes with any source I tried, but they did scale up with better sources.

    I’d describe the Neo as a lush and warm headphone. It’s not the most resolving headphone by a long shot but it is enjoyable to listen to nonetheless. It throws a fairly wide and deep soundstage for a closed back can, which I find particularly impressive in this price range.

    The bass on the Neo is pretty far north of neutral. Since the emphasis is more on the mid bass, I wouldn’t call these basshead cans. In fact there does deem to be bass roll off starting in the neighborhood of 50Hz. The lowest notes are audible, however they aren’t presented with authority. The quantity of bass can be problematic as it does bleed into the lower midrange, and it’s not the most detailed bass either. While not as crude as ‘one note bass’, upright bass can sound smeared and indistinct if the recording isn’t up to snuff. To spite all that, I found the presentation is pleasant, if not downright addictive. I doubt that the lack of nuances would be noticed by the majority of listeners, and most will enjoy the extra boom the Neo brings.

    The midrange is present and has good clarity overall. The biggest problem here is a slight ‘cupped hands’ resonance with certain voices, which is further evidence of the pumped up bass. It’s most obvious with male vocals, but it’s not a glaring problem and is fairly track dependent. There is little to no problem with sibilance or other upper midrange anomalies, so guitars and such sound natural with a good amount of bite, without glare or fatigue.

    The treble isn’t horribly rolled off, but I wouldn’t call it airy and extended either. There does seem to be a dip between 5 & 8K, but I found that to be pleasant and not ‘sucked out’ but rather smooth. Occasionally some of the more delicate cymbal work and other audio markers can get lost in the mix, but that is track (and age) dependent, I think. If you’re a fan of shimmer and sparkle, these won’t likely scratch your itch, but in the other direction all but the most treble sensitive would likely find these to be a satisfying headphone. The highs can be a tad coarse in ‘texture’ on some recordings, but again it’s never piercing, and it’s not horribly egregious.

    As I alluded to before, I feel any review I did would be incomplete without touching a bit more on how the earpads affect the sound. When Tyll from Innerfidelity reviewed the Neo, he concluded that “the sound is more colored and uneven” with the newer pads and that Meze had “gone backwards with these pads”. Anyone who hears the original 99 Classics & the 99 Neo will notice the difference in the bass right away. Even from memory, the difference was pretty stark. Personally, I’m not nearly as critical of the sound of the Neo. Is it a reference quality headphone? No…no it’s not. Nor was it intended to be, unless I miss my guess. Tyll is absolutely correct (IMO) that the Neo comes off as “colored & uneven”. This is a take on a ‘fun’ sound signature, and fun it is. There are always tradeoffs when designing headphones, and Meze made their choices.

    I couldn’t help but be curious how much the sound would change with a little pad rolling, so I did experiment a little. The closest pads I have on hand to the original Classics pads would be the stock AT M40X pads.

    upload_2017-11-17_19-15-31.jpeg

    The plastic lip on the rear of the pads are a little different in size compared to the Neo, so it was a bit of a PITA to get the pads on properly, but once I did, the Neo did come much closer in sound (from memory) to the original Classics. The Neo retained most of its bass slam, but there was less bass bleed into the mids. Clarity overall was improved, and a bit more air and definition was added to the treble. It didn’t work miracles, no sub bass was gained, and the bass was still on the loose side, but it was very similar from memory to the 99 Classics with the original pads. The other thing it had in common with the original pads was, yes, the comfort. Every complaint lodged against the original pads would apply here as well. It wasn’t unwearable to me, but others with larger (or different shaped) ears would likely have a problem. The newer pads are indeed more plush and roomy, and for many that could be a deal breaker. What a difference a pad makes.

    I have to stress that to spite all its flaws I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the 99 Neo. I was fairly critical of the Neo in my review because if you look (or listen) from a ‘reference sound’ perspective, this headphone falls short on several points. However, if you’re looking for a smooth bass enhanced sound signature that’s definitely more on the ‘fun’ side of the audio equation, The Meze 99 Neo is hard to beat. It is like audio candy for me. It's great every now & then, and satisfies a craving but I wouldn't really want it as a steady diet. Imperfect or not, I smiled many times while using the 99 Neo. In the end, that’s what many of listen to music for anyway
      Pharmaboy likes this.
  3. makan
    The Neo is value midfi for the bass-inclined
    Written by makan
    Published Oct 20, 2017
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Well priced, comfy, durable, inline control, nice case
    Cons - Does not fold flat
    Firstly, thanks to Meze for allowing me to participate in the loaner program. Lots of great reviews and photos of the Neo. I will provide a review based on my 40 something year-old ears whose favorite headphones currently are the Audeze LCD-XC and Hifiman HE-6. For a fairer comparison, for mid-fi closed headphones, I have the Denon D600 and Oppo PM-3.

    For its price, the Neo is really great value if you are looking for a durable, handsome, very comfy, darker, dynamic driver, bass heavy headphone with in-line controls. Compared to the planar PM-3, it is more comfortable and more bass-tilted. However, it does not fold flat and therefore is a little bit more bulky to transport…however, the case is very nice and like most headphones, you do need to unplug the cable to store it in the case. It works well out of my iphone 6 and to be honest, it sounds the same out of my Fiio X5 3rd gen. The Denon D600 is more V-shaped if you enjoy that, while the Neo is more balanced comparatively. I have also tried it out on my desktop amps, and again to be honest, I don’t think it scales up too much….perhaps, I don’t have golden ears.

    The fit is fantastic, as it is a self-adjusting mechanism and I figure it would fit most heads, and the headphones themselves are extremely light. I can wear them all day without any discomfort.

    So, what is the downside…none really, especially if you enjoy the bass-tilted sound. If you get a chance to try it and you like the sound, the value is unbeatable. If you are not sure, because it is not too pricey, it would be worth a gamble to purchase them and give them a go. If it does not work out, resell them later without much monetary loss.
      swspiers likes this.
  4. swspiers
    Solid and fun headphones for casual listening
    Written by swspiers
    Published Sep 22, 2017
    3.0/5,
    Pros - Good build quality.
    Excellent bass quantity.
    Easy to drive.
    Cons - Bass bleeds all over the mids.
    Far from neutral.
    Lacking detail and nuance.
    About 25 years ago, I had this horrible set of Pioneer 4-Way speakers. Not the wonderful ones built in Japan with premium drivers and accurate crossovers. Nope, these were the kind of speakers you find at garage sales with cheap the near peeling off the edges, along with Cerwin Vega and old JBL’s. As much as I can criticize them, I can honestly say I have never enjoyed a stereo as much as I enjoyed ‘em hooked up to an early nineties Yamaha stereo receiver. I have since moved on to much more accurate, expensive, and well-built equipment. But to be totally honest, listening with the Pioneers was just flipping fun.

    Nowadays my tastes have matured, and my headphone collection includes the Alpha Primes and the Sennheiser HD-800S’s. My search for neutrality has paid dividends, and my music collection is an eclectic blend of Stoner/Doom, Prog, World Music, Jazz and Classical. I have no complaints about my gear. However, I still remember the headbanging fun of those old speakers, and no matter how good my current headphones are, they don’t scratch that particular itch.

    Enter the Meze Neo 99’s.

    I tried the Classics when they were part of the tour about a year and a half ago, and reading my notes as well as my review clarified my memory of the experience. I loved those headphones, and gave them a solid four-star rating. I recently decided to reward myself with my first set of new headphones in a long, long time. Reading the reviews and thread comments confirmed my suspicion that the Neo 99’s might bring me even closer to the Pioneer experience. To make this review really, really short: I was right.

    You may notice that I am rating these headphones with a rather harsh three-stars. They simply do not have the clarity and detail of the Classics, at least not compared to the notes I took. For instance, the bass bleeds all over the mids, obscuring fine details. The most recent album by Argus is a good example of what I mean...

    “From Fields of Fire” is one of the best traditional or classic metal albums I’ve heard in years. The recording is exceptional, and the performance by the musicians is pretty strong. When I listen with the Neo 99’s, all of the emotional impact remains in the recording, but the tonal properties of the guitars, and especially the bass guitar, are severely lacking. Comparing the exact same recording on the exact same equipment with my venerable Grado SR-250i’s, the detail embedded in the recording was nothing short of remarkable. The sonic character of the bass as well as the drums were as if from an entirely different recording, and I heard the same thing with every other headphone that I own.

    Returning to the Neo’s, the fine detail, my reason for using headphones in the first place, was all but absent. This was also apparent in the vocals, guitars, and cymbal work of the drummer. Even the bass drum presence was limited to a lively ‘thud’. As a transducer, the Neo 99’s are simply not accurate instruments revealing the subtle, and even not-so-subtle, details of the recording. But for that matter, neither were ancient Pioneer 4-Ways sold at Circuit City and the Good Guys in the 80’s and 90’s. And the more I grow in this hobby, the more convinced I am that we should all have some Pioneer/Cerwin Vega/JBL speakers in our lives. Because the truth is, when I listen to anything heavy with my other cans and IEM’s, I always seem to reach for the Neo’s to hear if they give me that extra something I crave, and they usually do. I’m just not fooling myself into believing they are anything but what they are: good headphones at a competitive price that sacrifice detail for impact.

    I’m totally okay with that!
      Bansaku likes this.
  5. darmanastartes
    Closed-back excellence
    Written by darmanastartes
    Published Sep 13, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Fun-sounding, comfortable
    Cons - Small soundstage, might be too bass-heavy for some
    DISCLAIMER:
    This review is based upon a tour sample unit provided to me by the manufacturer in exchange for my honest and unfiltered opinion. I am not being compensated in any way for writing this review. I have shipped the sample unit to the next reviewer.


    ABOUT ME
    I listen mostly to heavy metal, hip hop, and electronic music, as well as movie and video game soundtracks. I value detail, clarity, and soundstage above other acoustic qualities. I like V-shaped sound signatures, generally those with more of an emphasis on the treble. Other headphones I own or have owned in the past include the E-MU Teak, Mee Audio P1 Pinnacle, Mee Audio P2 Pinnacle, Fostex TH-X00, V-Moda M-80, V-Moda LP2 Crossfade, Beyerdynamic DT-770 (250 ohm), KZ ATE, Mixcder X5, Mee Audio M6, Hifiman HE-400S, and (very briefly) Phillips Fidelio X2.



    SOURCES

    I have used the Meze 99 Neo with the following sources:

    Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Global > Meze 99 Neo

    Windows 10 PC > JDS Labs The Element > Meze 99 Neo

    I have tested these headphones with Spotify Premium high-quality streaming and local FLAC.

    DSC07179.JPG

    PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES
    The Meze comes in a sleek semi-glossy box. The unit I reviewed came with a high-quality rigid carry case, 2 cables (one longer cable for desktop use and one shorter for use with a mobile source), a cable container, a ¼” to 3.5mm adapter, and a stereo female to 2-prong mono splitter. The texture of the carry case is exquisite, and the cable container fits below the top of the headband inside the case so that every component is easily portable.

    DSC07137.JPG
    BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN

    The build quality of these headphones is excellent. I had previously thought about purchasing the Neos for myself, but ultimately decided not to based on the promotional images I’d seen. I had thought the luster of the cups was too shiny, but the sheen is much more subdued in person. Though I’m still not the biggest fan of the silver accents on the headband, I would not be embarrassed to wear these in public. The self-adjusting headband is smooth and stays in place perfectly while on my ears. I’d love to see it emulated on other headphones. The one negative point I’d like to make is that I’d occasionally get hairs caught in the silver parts of the headband. This did not happen often but was painful when it did.

    DSC07174.JPG
    FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION

    I’m somewhat sensitive to clamping earpads. I have replaced the stock earpads on the E-MU Teaks and TH-X00s I have owned with Dekoni lambskin earpads, as the stock earpads become uncomfortable after a short period of time. The Neos earpads are more comfortable than the stock Fostex earpads, but not as comfortable as the velour pads on the DT770s. I could wear them for about 3-4 hours before they became uncomfortable. The earpads completely enclose my ears without squashing them, but I have small ears, so YMMV. Isolation is above average, less than the DT770s but more than the semi-open Fostex headphones. I have a fairly noisy keyboard and I couldn’t hear myself typing over music at a moderate volume. The Neos passed the girlfriend noise leakage test with flying colors, for which the threshold for failure is very low. I could listen to my music at high volumes even lying next to her without her complaining. For comparison, she has complained about noise leakage from my TH-X00s at higher volumes while sitting about ten feet away. These are a great option for listeners using public/shared spaces.

    DSC07142.JPG

    SOUND SIGNATURE/QUALITY


    The sound signature of these headphones is very warm, with pronounced bass and mids and rolled off treble. The bass is not as strong as in the TH-X00 and E-MU Teak, and does not slam the way the Fostex variants do. The Neos lend themselves well to distorted electric guitar driven music like heavy metal and hard rock. Bass drums and snares sound great as well. Clarity and separation are good. The Neos are not overly detailed, but are pretty forgiving of poorly recorded music. On the negative side, the soundstage is small, probably smaller than the DT770s and definitely smaller than the semi-open Fostex headphones.

    DSC07175.JPG
    GAMING

    I did not game extensively during the time I had these headphones, but I can say that positional audio works the way it should in first person shooters like Battlefield 1. However as I mentioned in the previous section, soundstage is lacking compared to the semi-open Fostex variants.

    DSC07149.JPG

    AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

    The Neos are designed to be driven easily from mobile sources. I usually listened to music on my phone through the Neos at less than 50% volume, and at my desktop at less than a quarter turn from 0 on The Element on low gain. I did not notice a difference in sound quality between the two and did not test the Neos on my phone using an external amplifier.

    DSC07159.JPG

    CLOSING WORDS


    As I mentioned at the start of my review, I generally prefer detailed headphones with pronounced treble. The Neos cannot be described as such. The fact that the Neos impressed me so much in spite of this is a testament to how good these headphones are. They are easily driven, fun-sounding, well-built cans available at a very reasonable price ($200 retail). I cannot recommend these enough. Five stars.
      Bansaku likes this.
  6. dmhenley
    The Meze Audio 99 Neo
    Written by dmhenley
    Published Jul 16, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Warm, natural sound. Comfort and a classy style. Fully serviceable!
    Cons - Not as natural and linear as I'd like.
    I signed on for Meze Audio's Head-Fi tour a few months back, and their latest product arrived for a short visit this month. The Meze 99 Neo (US$249) headphones. Thanks so much to Meze for including me in the tour.

    This is my first time sitting down with any of their products, though I did read some reviews of both the Classics and the Neo in advance. I will keep this short, as there are many exhaustive reports already available online. I'll try to get to what I think are the key characteristics before you grow tired of me.

    [​IMG]
    Photo courtesy of Meze Audio

    Design
    I love the look of the 99 Neo. The build quality is impressive, and the design is classy. The electroplated zinc alloy hardware combined with the plastic black cups and memory foam ear pads makes for a sleek look. The fact that all parts are serviceable is outstanding. Not many out there today that can make the same claim.

    The hard shell carrying case for the 'phones, and the smaller accessory case are high quality. Both have a texture that is pleasing to touch. I assume the 99 Neo are aimed at users who are on the go. I did not have an opportunity to step out with the Neo.

    [​IMG]

    Fit
    The 99 Neo are 3oz. lighter than my main comparison for this report - the Audioquest Nighthawks. The Nighthawk's ear cups are slightly larger and shaped differently, so for my large melon, they're more comfortable. I've big ears too, so while the 99 Neo are quite comfortable, I've got more room in the Nighthawks stock pads.

    Again, the 99 Neo are very comfortable headphones. I had no problem with them over longer sessions. Of course, the closed design is going to be warmer than an open one. Out here in the desert, it is something to consider. Of course, for their target audience, the closed back may not be negotiable.

    Meze provide two cables - the short and the long. I used the longer cable the entire time, and appreciate having enough length to move around my office. My DHC cables are short, and keep me tethered to my source.

    [​IMG]

    Both headphones have similar impedance - 26db (99 Neo) vs 25db (Nighthawks). The Neo is rated at 103db sensitivity. That's 4db higher than the Nighthawk. Wow. I'm sticking with my AQ Dragonfly Red paired with an AQ Jitterbug for power. Streaming cd quality tracks via Tidal the entire session. I listened with both a PC source and Android phone.

    Listening
    These are great sounding headphones. And fun. The bumped mid-bass, or bloom, is readily apparent. That bloom - and, maybe a dip in the upper mid-range - in combination result in a somewhat warm and close presentation. Intimate. Cymbals lack some of the overtones that the Nighthawks present. It's quite subtle, and overall they sound linear and natural. The 99 Neo are an energetic headphone. Dynamic, and driving. Punchy. At times, the shove in the low end brought to mind two channel speakers.

    Based on my short time when them, I feel it's less about high frequency extension, and more about the slightly lifted low frequencies - this warmer, shadier tone. I really enjoy the sound. To my ears they are slightly less linear and natural in comparison to the Nighthawks with my Double Helix cable. You know, I would've have tried the DHC cable with the Neo, but the connectors did not fit. The Nighthawks are more relaxed, being a more open design.

    [​IMG]

    Fiona Apple's voice on "The Idler Wheel..." illustrates my earlier point. Less head, and a tiny bit more throat and chest in vocals. And, cymbals lose some of their overtones. Acoustic drum stick attack and body are highlighted with the overtones slightly diminished. Pianos and other assorted keys on this record reflect this same downward shift of the stage. Again, this is subtle, and not necessarily a mark against the Neo. Just my own observations set down here for your consideration.

    As for isolation - I don't have another closed pair available for a comparison. The 99 Neo seemed to isolate well. I was not able to test this in an office or elsewhere it might be needed.

    The 99 Neo are a great sounding and stylish headphone. They were easily driven by my OnePlus3 phone streaming Tidal HiFi. Likewise with my pc in combo with the Audioquest Dragonfly Red. I wanted more time to test a more powerful amps affect on these sensitive phones. I am currently without my usual tube amps, so have stuck with the portable rig for the entire session. I think this may be more relevant for folks who are considering the Neo, anyway.

    So, they are easy to drive, have a warm, natural voice, and are really comfortable. I think you can't go wrong if you are looking for a closed back and portable headphone in this price range. Add to this that they are stylish and fully serviceable, and they begin to compete outside this range. In a world of primarily recyclable products, one that has a higher probability of outliving me is very attractive.

    In my reading I found that Meze has a devoted following, and I now know why. The 99 Neo are an excellent product.

    Thanks for listening.
      Bansaku likes this.
  7. ExpatinJapan
    99 Neo - there is no spoon
    Written by ExpatinJapan
    Published Jul 11, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Beautiful with a neutral source, good separation, smooth, smexy
    Cons - slight micro phonics with cable and metal head piece
    Meze 99 Neo Headphones Review - Expatinjapan

    Meze 99 Neo review
    [​IMG]
    Meze 99 Neo and Opus#3 dap

    Meze 99 Neo headphones review
    -expatinjapan

    [​IMG]
    https://www.mezeaudio.com/collections/all/products/99-neo

    `A fresh take on the 99 series for the uptown audiophile, 99 Neo brings together Meze Audio’s signature sound quality with cutting edge style.` - Meze website

    Head pie has previously reviewed the Meze 99 Classics:
    http://headpie.blogspot.jp/2016/08/meze-99-classic-headphone-review.html

    A headphone which we love and has a strong fan base.
    let us see how the newer Neo measures up when compared.

    [​IMG]

    Build and unboxing
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The Meze 99 Neo packaging echoes the 99 Classic packaging.
    The Meze 99 Neo packaging echoes the 99 Classic packaging.
    The Meze 99 Neo packaging echoes the 99 Classic packaging.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Meze 99 Neo and CEntrance Hifi-M8

    [​IMG]
    Some specs for that special someone who likes specs and stuff.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Repeating the name so it gets embedded in your consciousness.
    99 Neo, 99 Neo, 99 Neo...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    99 Neo! By Meze! Designed by Antonio Meze.

    [​IMG]
    Its a box, Jim!

    [​IMG]
    Ooh, nice hard ass case to protect your precious goods whilst commuting or traveling across the world. But we all know you will just hang them around your neck to look cool.

    [​IMG]
    Whats in the soft circular pouch? Is it a tiny cat hat?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Exquisite detailing. Each piece specially designed to be replaceable If the need arises.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Those cups. Smexy styling for the audiophile about town.

    [​IMG]
    As an earlier review unit my headband lacks the 99 Neo logo that the final version will have.
    Buuurnn for Head pie *sad face*

    [​IMG]
    Ah there we go, a detachable cable for the 99 Neo.
    When you just want to look cool, hang em around your neck without the cable and tell everyone they`re bluetooth.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Bits and pieces of my broken heart, mind and soul.
    Oops, my mistake. included bits and bobs of fancy.
    *The retail version will not include the longer cable or airplane adapter. Buuurn for you this time.

    [​IMG]

    Sound.

    As expected there is the obvious question of what is the difference between the two models?
    The 99 Classic and the 99 Neo. Looks, material and sound in a nutshell.
    Some will buy based on looks alone, one crowd preferring the natural and smexy wood finish of the 99 Classic, the others perhaps more cyber urban preferring the sleek black look of the modern commuter or inner city cyber punk.
    Regardless one can`t be disappointed with either of these headphones by Meze. Like their earphones which echo the headphones look on a smaller scale having both would be ideal to match ones mood on any given day.
    As usual I burned in the headphones for a a decent amount of hours before commencing on the review to keep the believers and non believers alike happy.
    I used FLAC tracks of 16/44 mostly, and usually on a random shuffle mode. Daps employed for the purpose were the ipod touch 6G, iBasso DX200, Opus#1, Shozy Alien Gold and Opus#3.

    [​IMG]
    Meze 99 Neo and Opus#1 dap.
    Can`t got wrong with The Ramones!
    Not a fan? GTFO!

    The Meze 99 Neo differs from its predecessor in its cup change, from wood to black ABS plastic.
    The sound differences happily echo the experiences I had with the 12 Classic and 11 Neo earphones.

    Please see the earlier Head pie reviews:
    Meze 12 Classics http://headpie.blogspot.jp/2017/03/meze-12-classics-review-expatinjapan.html
    Meze 11 Neo http://headpie.blogspot.jp/2016/10/meze-neo-11-gun-metal-review.html
    One expects a certain sonic signature difference from wood versus plastic, whilst this is most certainly true with these two headphones the valley between them both isn`t so wide. They share much in common as the general specs reveal.

    [​IMG]
    Meze 99Neo and iBasso DX200. A bit of the sultry Lana del Rey.

    Lets take a look back at the Meze 99 Classics
    http://headpie.blogspot.jp/2016/08/meze-99-classic-headphone-review.html

    `Vocals: Neither too forward nor recessed the vocals on the Meze 99 Classic hit the sweet spot for me.
    Bass: A slight slow decay is present, but overall is fast enough to please with most music.
    Mids: As with most woodies the mids play an important part in the overall presentation, not overly warm as such, more on the liquid side of things rather than a deep lushness. fairly neutral and dynamic with a quick decay.
    Treble: It is clear and offers the detail one expects, it veers away from being extended to the point of harshness or sibilance and is pleasing to the ears. It reaches far enough for a good balance with the bass and the mids, each not over stepping their individual bounds.

    Instrument separation: Good separation, not crisp as such with a slight smudging at times. Overall very good.
    Sound stage: A decent soundstage that feels larger than my head, good instrument placement.`

    [​IMG]
    The Pixies, one of the groups along with The Smiths who redeemed the 80s.

    And now lets look at the Meze 99 Neo
    Vocals: nice and balanced with the music, not too forward nor back overall (mens vocals can be slightly forward at times), very smooth and even.
    Bass. Is tight and fast. At times deep and with a punch to it.
    Mids: Quite lush, present and defined. Very clear and smooth.
    Treble: It is not as stretched as I would imagine it might have been. But is more than satisfactory. It has a nice reach. It balances out the overly dark leaning sound signature and is its saving grace.

    Separation: Is crisp and well defined. Individual instruments are
    are differentiated from each other.
    Sound stage: It is above medium. It is a closed headphone so there are some limitations, but this didnt interfere with any enjoyment. Sound stage is more outside ones head, rather than inside it.

    It has a bit of a xXx signature at times, a bit of a lil something extra in the mids. at other times a XXx signature depending on what music is being fed to them.

    [​IMG]
    Meze 99 Neo and iBasso DX200
    `Laaaana` - ABC Warriors.

    [​IMG]

    Value
    Slipping in at a easy to digest US$249 - US$300 the Meze headphones are certainly an affordable entry point to high end sound, and high street looks.
    Build quality is immaculate. And If not, If per chance any part fails all the parts are replaceable.

    [​IMG]
    99 Classic versus the 99 Neo visually.

    [​IMG]
    A comparison of the packaging between the Meze 99 Classics and 99 Neo.

    [​IMG]
    Meze gave me a woody.

    [​IMG]
    Old and new pads.
    The new pads have a larger circumference and fit more comfortably over a more varied size of ears, also they are slightly thicker/higher.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Simply stunningly gorgeous in looks and sound.
    [​IMG]

    The 99 Neo has some a dampener, the newer 99 Classic also have the dampener over the headphone speaker....mine does not `insert sad face emoji`. So whilst my comparisons may be `close enough`, perhaps they aren`t exact due the lack of dampeners.

    [​IMG]

    Overall
    The Meze 99 Neo are a great complement to its older sibling the Meze 99 Classic and both echo the sonics of the earphone series which also match up wood against synthetic materials.

    Isolation is very good, so its handy for about town or commuting.

    Slight micro phonics with the cable, but not really noticeable unless one is jumping about.

    They are very easy to drive at 26ohms which is less than the 99 Classics.

    I found the 99 Neo performed well when fed to the Opus#2 , but very much enjoyed them when paired with the more neutral Opus#1 which tamed some of the low end.

    There isnt much between the Neo 99 and the 99 Classics being fairly near identical in build.

    The 99 Neo has more bass, but not in a bass head sense, and also more mid heavy. Not to mention the obvious cup difference

    It seems to handle most genres well, and my usual shuffle test rendered no complains, its a good all rounder as head phone.

    I recommend a more neutral dap to pair with the 99 Neo to bring out its best.

    I could listen to Mazzy Star for instance for hours with these headphones.

    Smexy, stylish, superb lows and super smooth highs and vocals.

    [​IMG]

    Thank you to Meze for sending Head pie the Neo 99 headphones for review

    [​IMG]
      Bansaku likes this.
  8. musicday
    Meze 99 Neo stylish headphone
    Written by musicday
    Published Jul 4, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - High build quality, comfortable, package, lightweight
    Cons - average cup size, a bit bulky, they warm up after a while
    Meze 99 Neo headphone review by Musicday



    I would like to say a big thank you to Meze Romania, especially to Mr. Lorand that was kind enough to provide me free of charge a review unit of the relatively new 99 Neo headphone in exchange of my honest written review.



    Introduction:


    Meze Audio is a company from Romania who design and produces high quality headphones and IEMs at affordable prices and they have a great success among audiophiles and anyone who love to listen to music on headphones around the world. Their current flagship Meze 99 Classics was introduced to the market late 2015 and it was a huge success.

    Meze 99 Neo is based on the same philosophy and concept of 99 Classics with great build quality while the price was reduced and that make these headphones more affordable for anyone wants a great headphone and have a limited budget.

    At the time of writing this review Meze 99 Neo price on Amazon.uk is £220.19



    Box and accessories:



    The headphones have arrived in a well packed box and their own box feels smooth and doesn't betray the relative affordable price.

    upload_2017-7-4_13-41-48.jpg


    In the box we find 1.2 m long Kevlar reinforced cable for extra durability. The headphones are very well built and will last you a long time.



    They can also can make a very nice present to your loved ones.

    upload_2017-7-4_13-41-48.jpg


    Specifications

    Transducer size: 40mm

    Transducer Type: Dynamic Neodymium / Mylar

    Frequency response: 15Hz - 25KHz

    Sensitivity: 103dB at 1KHz, 1mW

    Impedance: 26 Ohm

    Rated input power: 30mW

    Maximum input power: 50mW

    Detachable Kevlar OFC cable

    Plug: 3.5mm gold plated

    Ear-cups: ABS Plastic

    Weight: 260g (without cable)


    upload_2017-7-4_13-41-48.jpg

    For the retail price of 99 Neo what’s included in the box quite nice. The hard case to store your headphones is nice and offer protection. Also there is a small velvet like pouch to store your cable when not in use.
    A 3.5 mm-6.3 mm adaptor is included and an airplane adaptor.



    Comfort and usage :



    Having a low impedance and high sensitivity makes them very easy to drive, straight from your mobile phone or laptop. But i recommend a powerful music player or a DAC for best results. They weight only 260 gr without cable and they are very comfortable to use, but unfortunately after a long listening time my ears got warm and pause was needed. More likely leather earpads had to be sacrificed to keep the cost down.



    upload_2017-7-4_13-41-48.jpg



    Music players used :



    I have used when listening to 99 Neo the Tera Player, Shanling M2s and Chord Hugo 2 DAC paired straight to my laptop.

    upload_2017-7-4_13-41-48.jpg

    upload_2017-7-4_13-41-48.jpg



    Sound impressions:



    Tera Player with 99 Neo paired sounds good with warm and detailed texture, with punchy bass. The soundstage is not as opened semi opened headphones but it does a good job for a closed back headphone at this price point. I suppose the high impedance of the Tera Player didn’t help too much in this test.



    A better pairing was with Shanling M2s. This player has enough power to drive 99 Neo load and clear. Mids are smooth and clear and both male and female vocals are well reproduced. I find this headphone to be a bit bright for my taste but the treble is detailed and extended. From my understanding Meze Audio recommend that the headphones need to be burned in for around 40 hours for the sound to open up and stabilize.



    Foreigner: To know what love is being a good example of male vocals, and the higher mids clarity. Isolation is better than average for this type of headphones and there was no sound leakage when playing music next to someone.

    upload_2017-7-4_13-41-48.jpg



    When using Chord Hugo 2 things started to improve dramatically especially the clarity and the micro details that this headphone is capable of when paired with high quality gear. Is a pair that i have enjoyed using, being listening to music or watching a movie. 99 Neo offers more than one can expect at this price point.

    I am glad that Meze Audio came along to decrease the gap between affordable good sounding headphone and expensive headphones.



    Final words and conclusion:



    Meze Audio created another fine headphone in 99 Neo. Is nearly up there with the 99 Classics flagship at a lower price. Once again has been proved that in the low end headphone market you can still get very good headphones, still affordable that sound more then they cost. You need to give them a try and hear yourself but at the retail price IMHO there is not much to ask for.
    Well done Meze Audio !

    images

    1. DSCN2415.JPG
      Bansaku likes this.
  9. SOULSIK
    Meze 99 Neo - All in one solution
    Written by SOULSIK
    Published May 21, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - style, fit, build quality, bass
    Cons - a bit recessed mids and highs
    VIDEO REVIEW :






    INTRODUCTION

    I have always been a fan of headphones with unique sound signature. A lot of you will agree with me on this, but sennheiser has been many’s favorite. I am afraid that changes today as I tried the 99 neo from a company called Meze. I’ve always thought sennheiser had great open back sound signatures but lacked in the closed back design but meze offers a closed back design with unique sound signature that I instantly fell in love with. Also, it is a much more affordable price. The best thing is that you can use these for both home & travel.

    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 be by Meze as part of the headfi tour. As usual, all my reviews will stay honest and unbiased

    SPECS

    • Transducer size: 40mm
    • Frequency response: 15Hz - 25KHz
    • Sensitivity: 103dB at 1KHz, 1mW
    • Impedance: 26 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: ABS Plastic

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    Saying the cups are “plastic” is an understatement. These are high quality plastic that feels premium and rock solid.

    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.

    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.
    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.

    [​IMG]

    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”

    [​IMG]

    You want to talk about style. Let us talk about style. Hands down, my favorite looking headphones. Look at the picture and decide for yourself.

    [​IMG]

    SOUND QUALITY

    Lower Frequencies: I think the 99 Neo stands out in this frequency the most. Although it seems like the overall intent was for a balanced sound with emphasis on the bass, I found the bass to be not as tight as I wanted it to be, however this was after listening to other headphones that I’ve been reviewing and they are way above this price range. There is also sub-bass present and surprisingly very well presented. I would describe the bass to be punchy and even thumpy

    Mid Frequencies: I found this area to be a little bit recessed, especially the strings and vocals but it is not like it loses much detail. I believe this was also part of the sound signature that Meze was going for. Guitars and vocals are not as much as in your face but still presents itself with detail. Although clarity might be an issue here, I found it to be more and more pleasing as time passed by, listening to these headphones.

    High Frequencies: Not sibilant by any means, but also not that detailed. On the go, you wouldn’t here all the details anyways. However, there was nothing like “I hear stuff I never heard before,” it was plain old good treble that does not hurt your ears, it was much like the sennheiser HD6 - - series in this aspect.

    Sound Stage & Imaging: Obviously not the widest since these are a closed back design however, if you hear my demo, these are surprisingly good for a closed back design. I would say it gets close to the AKG 550 but not quite. Imaging is quite good, it is surprising what it can achieve in the small space it has, it is not a imaging of left and right but more towards up, down, left and right BUT in a closer /intimate way.

    Recommended song genres for the 99 Neo: Pop/Rock

    Overall Thoughts

    I’ve never seen a headphone so stylish that fits perfectly with such great sound. The sound signature offered by Meze is something special and something to enjoy for a long time without getting bored. I think for $250 USD, these are a steal and if you are looking for a ALL IN ONE SOLUTION for both home use and on the go, look no further, here it is.

    images

    1. 20170521_122004.jpg
    2. 20170521_122121.jpg
      Hisoundfi likes this.
  10. reddog
    The Meze 99 NEO is a very good potable headphone
    Written by reddog
    Published Apr 27, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Great bass, a fun musical signature, lighter the the Neo Classics, a sexy headphone to wear out and about
    Cons - Depending upon the dap / source the bass can be a tad boomy. The mids are lush but not as airy sounding as the Classics. I also felt the ear pads on the Neo are warmer and tended to make my ears sweat, if walking outside.
    The Meze 99 Neo is a great headphone, especially for the money. The Neo has the same sexy steam punk sorta look / design, and ruggedly build, however the cups are made of this jet black plastic composite, and all the fixtures and connectors are a nice nickel color. The Neo like the Classic has has a slight steam punk look.These amazing headphones are lighter than their slightly more expensive big brother the 99 Clasics. The Meze 99 Neo is extremely comfortable to wear, especially if your taking a stroll in a store or some other air conditioned area, otherwise the earcups can make your ears sweat (I live in Florida). These rugged cans fit nicely into my leather audio bag. The case that comes with the Neo is nice like the Classic, but the outer shell seems easier to grip. I just wish the headphones fit into the case with cables attached.
    The Neo like the Classic 's scales well with the audio equipment used. I primarily drove the Neo using my Questyle QP1R Dap. The Neo sounds amazing out of the QP1R, much better than using my tablet or IPad. But the Neo sounded really good out of my Schiit Audio Gungnir multibit and Mjolnir 2. I also was quite pleased when I used the Yggdrasil and Cavalli Liquid Gold. This combo allowed the Neo to sound so detailed and resolute. However I feel the Neo sounds best out of a tube amp.
    The Meze 99 Neo sounds Great. It has a good , fun musical signature with more stress on the bass and lower mids than say my Oppo or PM-3. The Neo has more bass ( quantitative ) than the Classics or the PM-3's. I felt the bass in "Uncle Remus" ( Frank Zappa Apostrophe) was deeper hitting than when using the Classic 's or the PM-3's. The bass is deeper but not as nuanced ( qualitative) than found in the Classics, or especially in the PM-3. Depending upon audio equipment used, the bass could be a tad boomy.
    Likewise I found the Midds in the Neo to be lush with a touch more emphasis on the lower end. However the midds on the Classic are more airy than the Neo. I loved the groups They Might Be Giants and Green Jello more on the Neo than the Classics. For instance "Intanbul" in They Might Be Giants album Flood is so much fun to jam out too, especially when I am walking through the park looking for the preverbial "bird house in my soul". And the Neo makes " Three Little Pigs" on Green Jello's Cereal Killer album sound bloody great. The treble on the Neo is rock solid and is not strident. I listened to Mozart and Tomita stuff and was impressed how good the Neo handled such music.
    In conclusion I think the Meze 99 Neo is a great headphone especially for the money. It sounds great and has a sweet steam punk look. The Neo is easy to drive, and sounds great out of the QP1R dap. The Neo scales up well with the equipment used. The bass at times could be a tad boomy depending upon the equipment used. And the ear cups can be a bit hot, especially used in hot Florida weather.
    My name is Andrew W Jones, I have been into this amazing hobby for about 3 years now. I did not receive and compensation for my review. I am just happy I was asked to participate in the Meze 99 tour. I hope sometime to be able to upload my pictures.
      Bansaku likes this.