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For 99 Classics & 99 Neo headphones

Meze 99 series 2.5mm balanced cable

Rating:
5/5,
  • The new Meze 99 series 2.5 balanced cable is compatible with 2.5mm balanced out for the DAPs made by Astell and Kern, Fiio, Onkyo, Cayin, Questyle, iBasso and other devices.

    99 series 2.5 balanced cable website.jpg

Recent Reviews

  1. cleg
    More affordable way to go balanced
    Written by cleg
    Published Aug 22, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - usability, price, sound
    Cons - none
    It's not the first Meze's attempt to offer a balanced cable, some time ago, they created great cable, but its price is pretty high, compared with more than affordable 99 Series headphones. So, Meze decided to create a new cable with a better price range, and now we've got it.
    1-Main Pic.jpg
    First of all, I'd like to thank Meze Audio for providing me this cable's sample in exchange to my honest and unbiased opinion.

    Of course, $99 is much better than $199, but maybe it's because the new cable is 2 times worse? Well, I can say: no. New cable offers a perfect price-quality ratio.
    2-Box.jpg
    The cable itself is made of silver-plated copper in TPU jacket, so it's soft, it's reliable, and it looks nice. It's not typical "audiophile" braided "rope," typical in the high-end segment, but with portable usage in mind, I'd prefer new cable, as the fancy old balanced wire is harder and less flexible.

    I'll skip parts related to package and installation, and I think it's predictable and will continue with sound.
    3-Cable.jpg
    As I'm a prominent skeptic when it comes to wires, I've tried to make this part as objective as possible and conducted a series of blind A/B tests. Of course, the most significant change when you'll switch to balanced cable will be caused by the different output of your DAP/DAC: more power, better channels separation — that's the primary source of sound improvement. However, I needed to find out a difference between this cable and the stock one, so I've decided to use 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm adapter supplied with Meze's $199 cable. I've tried it with few IEMs with balanced cable and found it sonically transparent and thus suitable for my tests. I've used SP1000 as a reference source to get the best possible sound quality.
    4-New vs Old.jpg
    So, compared with stock cable, the new one makes mids, especially upper mids a bit more forward, so they sound a bit more detailed. This change in representation also causes a slight increase in stage depth and width, not drastic, but noticeable, especially in layering. Also, bass became a bit less in quantity, but even tighter. Also, I think the treble became a bit more extended, but this change is barely audible, so I'm not 100% sure.
    5-Style Shot.jpg
    Besides that, I've made comparisons between "old" and "new" cables, using 2.5 mm output of my Ultima. Most expensive cable has the most forward mids, but of course, it preserves 99's signature with accented lows, but it gives them the maximum possible resolution and highlights emotions the most. Anyway, I can't say that I'd pay $100 extra for this cable, as changes between two balanced cables are way less than between stock and new 2.5 mm one.

    Of course, old balanced cable is better in absolute sound quality, but a new one offers better quality to price ratio.

      Semper HiFi and MezeTeam like this.

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