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Is there a particular brand of sheepskin pads I should get with them over the stock pads?
I think the response you included is pretty spot on. I personally don't EQ as I don't think the mid-bass is as dominating as others have said. Yes, they definitely have an emphasis in the mid-bass, around the 250-500 HZ as explained, but it's really as matter of preference and taste. They're warm but the treble is perfect, a bit rolled off you could say, but they extend well, non sibilant and are detailed enough where you're not losing any info. I'm also treble sensitive so I'm a bit biased. The mids are pretty silky smooth. Overall, these are pretty neutral with an emphasis on the mid-bass if that even makes sense.
They are very easy to drive straight from your phone with nothing else. I do use a DFR which tightens up the bass a bit but you don't need it to enjoy these. There's plenty of headroom straight from your phone. I use for portable use and at my desktop. Desktop sounds just awesome as I also had them modded to use a 4pn XLR and am now fiully balanced. They compete with everything else I own and I have some much more expensive headphones. Again that doesn't mean anything but if you're looking for price for performance, this could play a part in your decision making.
I wear these at the doctors office and I've even asked the person sitting right next to me if I'm bothering them and they ALWAYS state they can't hear a thing. I also listen between 80-85dB too. For me, these HP's just kill it and checks off most to all my boxes in what I want out of a HP. Sure, there's more expensive HP's out there but who cares, these sound really good to me.
Tough choice man as know one can tell you what to get but I will....get them!
Noir's look sweet!
Amazingly beautiful. I would prefer those than my neo. Not sure if I can afford a third 99 pair but this 99 is so beautiful. Well done Meze.
I would like though to make two suggestions to Meze for future reference but only based on my personal preference, obviously other might not agree with rhem.
1) experimenting and offering genuine Meze velour pads. This special Mediterranean London summer did not enjoy them much because of the hot weather. I spend most of my listening with he4xx and 6xx solely for that reason.
2) a headband that is inspired a bit from lcd2c i.e. with some wholes for ventilation purposes. Again in summer and not only I personally prefer my head to breathe more. This is exactly the reason I chose 4xx and I will state faithful to them as planars since I do not like the biggest surface area of the headbands of other planars such as m1060 or 400i/s. Again this is my personal preference so it just one (my) vote but sometimes sound quality alone is not the decisive factor for choosing a using a phone at a particular time as I discovered this strange London summer .
Exciting to see these now offered as a Massdrop version and drop. They look good though I still prefer the "classic" look of the original but of course that is a matter of taste.
I'm somewhat disappointed that Massdrop didn't experiment more with the pads. Just looking at this thread it's clear the pads is the most debated item about these headphones and they could have explored this more systematically and perhaps offered a different if not better optimized version to complement the 99 Classics.
Even so, I'm definitely tempted to get the Massdrop 99 Noir as a "backup."
I guess everyone's tastes differ, cause Noir look like a cheap laminated furniture to me. I prefer my Neo.
I agree. The newest Classics and Neo are too boomy. Not that it's so bad, but they are not marketted as bassy, instead Meze uses early reviews (with smaller pads), which is misleading in my oppinion.
Massdrop should have tried different pads. At least their price is reasonable.
I'm really considering trying out the 99 Classics, but everything I read about the new pads are a huge red flag to me. Is it even worth getting them with the latest gen of pads?
Yes, they are great even with the newer pads. I never heard the original ones so I can't compare but I really like the Meze 99's even with the new pads.
Have you tried B&W P7 Wireless? I'm vacillating between getting them or the 99 Classics. V-shaped sound is neutral to me so.
As long as you don’t expect flat frequency response and you can get them on a second hand market, they are quite nice.
The FR is not flat, like it is advertised by Meze on the web or the packaging, but more like a downward slope. It is a very high quality slope, but it is still a slope.
I have never personally heard any Beats headphones, but I do own a V-moda CFW (original) and they sound more balanced to me than 99’s.
I think for the original price of $309 US, they are too expensive, considering you can buy new Neo on Amazon for $199 US. Yes, the materials are VERY nice, but so are the Neo’s (and Neo’s plastic cups do feel like premium material). Personally to me, wooden cups plus an extra cable hardly justifies additional $100.
I've heard the neo sounds like poo compared to the Classics.
Where did you hear that?
They have similar tuning and similar sound. Most comparison reviews between Neo and Classics were based on old Classics with smaller pads. Any people recommending Classics over Neo’s based their decision on first generation on Classics. The newest Classics have similar boomy bass.
Here is Metal571’s review on Classics with current pads:
All YouTube reviews from 2 years ago on 99 Classics are NOT applicable to the current version of Classics.
So you're basically saying that the classics have gone to crap now? I like V-shaped sounds apparently because I don't care any for some of the highest rated headphones.
I saw on InnerFidelity and a few other places that the Neo is not on par with the Classics. W/e. I barely trust any of the "audiophile" reviews anymore.
Is the only difference on the new pads the bass?
I own both the 99 classics and the B&W P7 wireless. For me it’s a no brainer, the meze’s are by far the more enjoyable listen. The P7 are a great sounding set of headphones but are very clampy, very bassy. The meze’s are wonderfully musical, imho great bass and sub bass, mids are wonderful as is the treble. I love them. They do take sometime to burn in though.