Meze 99 Classics Discussion + Impressions Thread
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JediMa70

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I wouldn't agree, but that's me. Elears have a huge dip in the upper midrange that makes the intial cymbal crash sound dull, also the bass is a bit all over the place. I actually find the 99 Classics to be much more coherent and a better allrounder (they could use a touch less mid-bass but apart from that they are excellent).
If you change pads they will solve that mid-bass excess but few here found that that bass reduction is too much
 
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Oscar-HiFi

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If you change pads they will solve that mid-bass excess but few here found that that bass reduction is too much
I have some angled pleather pads I might try, or we stock Dekoni so I might try some of those too.
 
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tskeng

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I cannot accept the changed sound with the brainwavz pads.

Reverted to stock pads.

The familiar sound is back!
 
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koover

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I wouldn't agree, but that's me. Elears have a huge dip in the upper midrange that makes the intial cymbal crash sound dull, also the bass is a bit all over the place. I actually find the 99 Classics to be much more coherent and a better allrounder (they could use a touch less mid-bass but apart from that they are excellent).
I agree on all accounts. I own both and the only similarities is that they're both on the warmer sound. The treble on the Elear absolutely ruins the overall sound signature. If the treble wasn't as jacked up as it is, this would be a really nice headphone. That's why so many people are dumping them and they're selling for under $500. I heard Sonorworks really helps them as I may check it out. The mid suck-out that most complain about isn't nearly as poor to me as it is to others.
I prefer both the 99's and Neo to the Elear on my desktop and portable. But hey...that's me :)
 
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I wouldn't agree, but that's me. Elears have a huge dip in the upper midrange that makes the intial cymbal crash sound dull, also the bass is a bit all over the place. I actually find the 99 Classics to be much more coherent and a better allrounder (they could use a touch less mid-bass but apart from that they are excellent).
I agree on all accounts. I own both and the only similarities is that they're both on the warmer sound. The treble on the Elear absolutely ruins the overall sound signature. If the treble wasn't as jacked up as it is, this would be a really nice headphone. That's why so many people are dumping them and they're selling for under $500. I heard Sonorworks really helps them as I may check it out. The mid suck-out that most complain about isn't nearly as poor to me as it is to others.
I prefer both the 99's and Neo to the Elear on my desktop and portable. But hey...that's me :)
There's probably some variation in the way we all hear, and that's probably partly due to variations in acoustic effects due to how the geometry of headgear interacts with the anatomical geometry of our outer ears (which varies quite a bit).

With my loaner Elear, I don't really notice any dip in the mids, nor excessive brightness. The tonal balance actually sounds just about right to me. By comparison, I had a loaner Utopia for several days, and did sound on the bright side to me, rendering some tracks unpleasant.

With the 99 Classics, I find that the sound is fairly sensitive to the amount of pressure of the cups against the head, since that affects the bass quite a bit.

Generally, I find the bass of the 99 Classics less controlled than the Elear, and for me that's most significant weak point for the 99 Classics, but it's certainly not a deal breaker.
 
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mbwilson111

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With the 99 Classics, I find that the sound is fairly sensitive to the amount of pressure of the cups against the head, since that affects the bass quite a bit.
I do not have much clamp with my Neo so maybe that is why I have problems understanding others complaints of too much or boomy bass. I don't hear it that way. Plentiful yes... too much... no.
 
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Phronesis

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I do not have much clamp with my Neo so maybe that is why I have problems understanding others complaints of too much or boomy bass. I don't hear it that way. Plentiful yes... too much... no.
Would be interesting to gather data on head width vs perceived bass of the 99 Classics, and see if there's a correlation.
 
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There's probably some variation in the way we all hear, and that's probably partly due to variations in acoustic effects due to how the geometry of headgear interacts with the anatomical geometry of our outer ears (which varies quite a bit).

With my loaner Elear, I don't really notice any dip in the mids, nor excessive brightness. The tonal balance actually sounds just about right to me. By comparison, I had a loaner Utopia for several days, and did sound on the bright side to me, rendering some tracks unpleasant.

With the 99 Classics, I find that the sound is fairly sensitive to the amount of pressure of the cups against the head, since that affects the bass quite a bit.

Generally, I find the bass of the 99 Classics less controlled than the Elear, and for me that's most significant weak point for the 99 Classics, but it's certainly not a deal breaker.
Actually, I want to clarify and add to this.

I find that perceived sound quality of headphones depends greatly on the genre and how particular tracks were recorded. I find that the Elear isn't really a versatile headphone, and works best for well-recorded jazz and classical, where the added detail and clarity is generally a positive. With rock, it's hit or miss with the Elear, and depends a lot on the tonal balance of the mix and the character of guitar distortion; with some rock tracks, the Elear is just too bright and thin, and the 99 Classics sounds better to my ear, due to the fuller bass and lack of treble shrillness (example track: "Universal Mind" by Liquid Tension Experiment).

Another factor is that when comparing headphones back to back, it can take minutes or longer to adjust to the sound signature, and what sounds bad initially can sound better with time. So back to back comparison can sometimes be a bit misleading as far as how the longer-time listening experience will go.
 
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DavidA

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Can anyone recommend a nice portable DAC that could give me a sweet bass as well as good clarity for my brand new Meze 99 Classics? I'm looking for a portable DAC or DAP under $150 or £150 since my Samsung S8 has a proper bad DAC.
While I don't have a Meze 99 I have a Galaxy S8 and its quite good with my EL-8, SRH-1840 and HE400i (all easy to drive), about the same as with my Fiio X3 and X3ii, and not far behind my desktop system of Bimby/UD-301 > Lyr2 / Ember / Asgard2 / BH Crack
 
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I cannot accept the changed sound with the brainwavz pads.

Reverted to stock pads.

The familiar sound is back!
Weird enough .. I had the same feeling, I love how they sound with brainwavz but when i tried the original ones, "the sound" came back. I think i will just play with them time by time to enjoy a different sound which is not so bad
 
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Dobrescu George

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I wouldn't agree, but that's me. Elears have a huge dip in the upper midrange that makes the intial cymbal crash sound dull, also the bass is a bit all over the place. I actually find the 99 Classics to be much more coherent and a better allrounder (they could use a touch less mid-bass but apart from that they are excellent).
And also a bit more treble*

I keep thinking that this is where 99C / 99N could use most help, more treble.

If you say that Elear has even less upper midrange / lower treble, then......... :)

There's probably some variation in the way we all hear, and that's probably partly due to variations in acoustic effects due to how the geometry of headgear interacts with the anatomical geometry of our outer ears (which varies quite a bit).

With my loaner Elear, I don't really notice any dip in the mids, nor excessive brightness. The tonal balance actually sounds just about right to me. By comparison, I had a loaner Utopia for several days, and did sound on the bright side to me, rendering some tracks unpleasant.

With the 99 Classics, I find that the sound is fairly sensitive to the amount of pressure of the cups against the head, since that affects the bass quite a bit.

Generally, I find the bass of the 99 Classics less controlled than the Elear, and for me that's most significant weak point for the 99 Classics, but it's certainly not a deal breaker.
I find the bass of 99C to be on the normal to slow side if not powered properly, or if the treble isn't EQ'ed a bit, after you add some treble, and if you give them enough power (like, at least an iDSD Black Label), you'll hear a much quicker, snappier and more coherent bass from 99C


---
If there is something that 99C has great, that is the driver, it really allows for all those wonders without distortion. Usually most planar drivers have this kind of low distortion results, so congrats to Meze :)
 
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Lurk650

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I think the Sheepskin brings out the treble just a bit.
 
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tskeng

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I think the Sheepskin brings out the treble just a bit.
I think this is it.

That's why I prefer the stocks to the brainwavz.
 
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kdoof

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I heartily recommend my pad mod. If I can do it anyone can and I absolutely love the sound, it's just about perfect
 
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someyoungguy

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Well after much contemplation I finally ordered a pair of these. I had been eyeing up the Campfire Cascades, and they're still on my wishlist for future headphones. But the price difference between the 99 Classics and Cascade is too much for the moment - plus, I really want a good pair of closed backs that can do balanced ASAP. I've got a Plenue R, and a ZX300 on the way and really want to be able to use balanced options to evaluate what these DAPs can offer and decide which I'll keep.

Currently my go-to everyday headphones are B&W P7s, which I love. They replaced my Momentum 2s which were my previous go-to headphone.

I also ordered the Meze silver balanced cable, ibasso CA2 adapter (2.5mm to 4.4mm balanced) and have some Brainwavz sheepskin oval pads on the way too; there's obviously mixed impressions on here but I'll throw them on and give them a whirl.
 

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