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Meze 99 Classics Discussion + Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by MezeTeam, Jan 13, 2016.
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  1. servion222
    Hello all! I'm a relative newbie seeking to get into high-end listening by starting my headphone collection with something in the <$400 range. I've done a lot of research, and tried to listen to everything I can get my hands on in local shops, but I think I'm going to be in a situation where I'm going to need to pull the trigger on a set of headphones that I can't listen to in person. My top contenders are the Meze 99 Classics and 1More Triple Drive Over Ear

    Here's my asking data:
    Price - prefer $400 or less
    Music - Mostly reggae and jazz, but have a wide collection and would like it to be a good "generalist" headphone with natural reproduction
    Sources - Laptop, android phone (tidal), portable music player in the future
    DAC/AMP - none to start, but will research and add a DAC later
    Must be on or over ear, must be closed back (will use in the office and with sleeping kids)

    I've been reading online for many hours and have stopped by all the high-end audio places which carry such things I can find, but after all my reading my top choices are this Meze 99 Classic, and the new 1More Triple Driver over-ear. I found Inner Fidelity and realized that both of these cans are on his wall of fame (awesome site). I was 5 seconds away from ordering the Meze 99 classics when I realized that the gentlemen from Inner Fidelity lowered his impressions substantially based on the larger ear pads. His blog on that topic was that he was considering removing them from the wall of fame: that was 1 year ago and they're still up, but this caused me to take pause and consider other options (which was when I encountered the 1Mores).

    Can anyone help point me in the right direction?
  2. PinkyPowers
    I haven't heard the 1-more, but the Meze is still WAY up there on my list of all-time best headphones.

    You may also want to include the AudioQuest NightOwl. They've recently dropped significantly in cost, and are very close to your asking price.
    koover likes this.
  3. koover
    I couldn’t agree more. The 99 classics are such a great headphones for the price.
    If they were retailed double what they are now, IMO, I’d probably still consider purchasing them, that’s how much I like them. But I do have the original pads and have no idea what the newer bigger pads sound like.
    On another note, I owned the Nightowl before and traded it. Wish I didn’t and for what they’re going for now, I agree with Pinky. That’s a hard one to pass up to be quite honest.
  4. mbwilson111
    All I can add is that I love my 99 Neo (which of course has larger pads), and my 1More Triple Drive Over Ear (which would be more versatile as it would be easier to travel with besides being good at home), and my Nighthawk. If I could only pick one I have no idea what I would do. Practicallity says the IMore. Sentimentallity says the Nighthawk. But then, there is something about that Neo...

    I enjoy my music whichever one I am using. Maybe I just have good music...
    HungryPanda and PinkyPowers like this.
  5. dwinnert
    Thanks to Lurk650, for selling me the original small pads, which allowed me to A/B them with the new larger pads. I will say the original pads do tame the bass a little, but I find them really uncomfortable for extended listening. They just don't fit my ears. I like the fit of the newer pads better and I can actually tweak the EQ to make both pads sound close enough that it's a moot point, unless you are against using an EQ.

    I will probably pick up the Dekoni Elite Sheepskin pads down the line because of the positive opinions.
    tili likes this.
  6. sauronmordor756
    Can I buy the small pads from you?
  7. Lurk650
    Dekoni are $60 and the BW I have are $40. I really like the SS BW paired with the Silver balanced cable. Hell IMO, the pads were more for comfort the cable is what changed the sound more drastically.
  8. sauronmordor756
    Yeah you should def consider the Meze 99 classics. However when visiting the stores where you sampled it did they have the larger or smaller earpads?
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  9. sauronmordor756
    Have you also tried the Dekoni or just the BWs?
  10. servion222
    Unfortunately, I am not able to listen to Meze or 1More cans in person before buying, nobody in my area carries them :frowning2: I've tried to listen to everything that I can that is supposedly comparable, but nobody local has anything that match my desired criteria in the price range.

    I am still refining what I prefer from a sound-signature perspective, but the best way I can describe it would be "neutral". I most definitely want to hear all the nuances of a bass guitar and a standup-bass for example, but don't want it slammed into my face with a false increase, so to speak. I want to hear all the nuances of the music without the over-emphasized "V" you get from lower-end headphones. Does that answer your question? Thanks for the help everyone :)
  11. dwinnert
    So the balanced cable will need a balanced amp I take it. Or will it work on a non balanced one?
  12. Lurk650
    Just the BW
    The Meze Balanced Silver is $200, will need a 2.5mm output from source/amp. I had mine custom made by Triton Audio, I bought the connectors from Meze and he said it was a bit of a PITA but he got it done of course and the cable was at a bit of discount due to another customer cancelling when cable was almost completed so I got it for cheaper (way less than the Meze cable too).

    For my ears the BW pads are thicker so driver is farther away from the ears so the bass has more time to develop and midbass isn't as boomy. The balanced cable added better separation and a more detailed sound with better imaging.
    dwinnert likes this.
  13. rafaelo
    I can assure you whatever the pads Bob Marley in Tidal sounds fantastic on the classics 99. One reviewer on youtube said for the classics that treble is what " makes the phone or brakes the phone". It definitely makes the classic and is the strongest point of this phone without the rest lacking.

    The second point is that Meze Classics 99 ( or Neo for that point) do not need nessessary an amp/DAC. Can be so much fun even from a phone (And accordingly they do not scale so much like other phones.) So if you want to buy a Dac/amp later this makes them a really strong contender since you can enjoy them from first minute.

    I was not a headphone guy, I love my speakers. But we have a baby and this is why ended up spending more on headphones than my speakers at the end. And for that very reason Meze is also a good option because it is practical in the sense that has decent isolation, I am sleeping next to the baby and I can listen moderate levels and most importantly the headphones are not falling from my head. I am not sure how the nightowls will behave in similar situation i.e. noise isolation and putting your head sideways on the pillow with them. I was literally one click before I ordered nightowls under the reduced price based of course on the excellent review from pinky powers but I stopped because of these two practical issues. (... And also because I spend all my money on massdrop two days before their price fall...)

    Finally, I will suggest something controversial that many people will disagree with me, but if you have no other choice for audition, try the z reviews sound demos. They might at least help you for finding your prefered sound signature.
    If someone now asks me for an advise between buying the Classics or Neo I would say read the pinky powers reviews and listen the z reviews sound demos and make your choice.
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  14. mbwilson111
    I find that I cannot recline comfortably with my Nighthawks (same form factor as the Night Owl). They do slip back a bit. I certainly would not be able to put my head on a pillow sideways.
    rafaelo likes this.
  15. Shane D
    I own the 99 Classics and the NightOwls.
    I find the Meze are much more stable on the head, have MUCH better isolation and do not need an amp.
    Also they look much better, if you are out and about.

    I do like the NightOwls with my lazyboy and my amp.

    Shane D
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