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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. koover
    Lol. :o2smile:
    Just an example of popularity and what’s “in” instead of what’s coming “out”
  2. trevinthefionaapplefan
    Yeah, the M50x are very visually appealing imo.
  3. dissembled
    I own the gray and black M50xs and they look pretty dang good, I agree.
  4. bcaulf17
    I listened to these guys for a long time yesterday (safe to say I’m really enjoying them :) )

    This morning I decided to do some more comparative testing; think I found a good song for bass testing, the classic “Come Together” by the Beatles. I also threw the HD6XX into the mix and ran all headphones through my Magni 3.

    Tried the Meze first, and wow the bass is HUGE on this track. It was almost a little overbearing at first but once I played the first minute of the track over a few times I adjusted to it. But I still find the bass maybe a little too strong, but it sounded pretty good. Despite having a bass emphasis it doesn’t sound like it was artificially phoned in. When I went to the H6, the bass sounded more balanced and tight. It sounded more correct to me although after a while I found myself missing that addictive fun bass of the Meze! But one thing I noticed on the H6 was a slightly greater sense of air, stereo width and detail. I was able to hear the guitar line that comes from the left channel in the first verse much more clearly because the bass isn’t as distracting. Moving over to the HD6XX was kind of in between the two. The bass sounded about the same as the H6 in both quantity and quality, but had the slight layer of warmth the Meze has. The H6 was the best with microdetail. One thing I noticed in the song was this faint sound of feedback in the left channel before the first chorus. I heard this the best through the H6, though the HD6XX revealed it fine as well. With the Meze, I really had to focus in to hear it and even when I did it sounded more subdued than the other two headphones. The mids sounded good on all headphones, though this isn’t one of the better tracks to test vocals as they sound artificial on purpose.

    Some songs I did play over the weekend I distinctly remember the mids sounding much better and more natural on the Meze than the H6 where the H6 sounded a bit off sometimes. The mids are excellent, maybe even better than the HD6XX because they have the same natural tonality without sounding too forward.

    All I can say is I’m happy to own three fantastic sounding headphones all at excellent prices. I will continue bringing my H6 to work this week, just so I can continue testing the Meze to make sure I absolutely like it more than the H6. Good stuff!
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
    trellus likes this.
  5. bcaulf17
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  6. Mhog55
    Unless I'm listening to something other than face melting guitar riffs, heart pounding kick drums, and just having a head banging good time, I usually reach for something other than the 99s. It's not often I'm listening to something other than rock, and the 99s rock better than anything else I have. It's almost like they were made for that. I also have the H6, 58X and Nightowl, so that's really saying something because they all sound good with rock. I wouldn't keep them if they didn't.
    trellus likes this.
  7. Vips
    I'd have to agree. It surprised me how good the mids can be given all that warm bass!
  8. bcaulf17
    All great :) what I like about the three I own is that even though they excel with some genres better than others, they’re great all rounders that sound good with everything! I like jazz with the 99 too, the little extra warmth makes it sound like the musicians are playing right there with you. Weather Report, one of my favorite jazz fusion groups, Zawinul’s electric piano has a sweet warmth that was missing on the H6, and Jaco’s bass lines have incredible punch and weight. The bass still details very well despite being a little on the slow side. When a headphone has a boost in the bass that is artificial, it can make it hard to distinguish acoustic bass from electric bass, happy to say this isn’t so on the 99C. It also makes the timbre of horns sound excellent.

    Anyway I’m just pouring out some of the early impressions I’ve had.
  9. PopZeus
    Been listening to the 99 Noir through the R2R-11. Surprisingly great pairing. One could reasonably expect warmth on top of warmth to be a problem, but it's not. It's bassy but it's mostly controlled, only getting bloomy on tracks with a lot of mid-bass. What is striking is how great the mids sound. Rich and wonderfully impactful. Vocals from the R2R-11 to the 99 Noir don't sound recessed at all, which I think can happen on some sources. It's not the fastest combo, but still completely involving but relaxing listen without needing too much micro detail to accomplish that.
    trellus and bcaulf17 like this.
  10. bcaulf17
    You know you must love a headphone if you miss them after being away from them for a few hours lol :)

    Anyway, it seems the Meze balanced cable is pretty well regarded? What differences does it make to the sound and how big is the difference? (I’m talking about the standard one which is currently $50 (half off) but also out of stock). I might buy it at some point though I’m a bit surprised at myself for wanting to spend $50 on a cable lol.
  11. PopZeus
    Since power isn't an issue for the Meze 99 series, the balanced cables are only really worth it if your balanced out from your source is better than the single-ended out. Some amps or DAPs favor one over the other due to implementation. For instance, I bought the 99 specifically to pair with my Shanling M5s, whose 2.5mm balanced out is superior to the 3.5mm SE, so I will be getting the balanced cable fer sure.

    Now, as far as the differences between SPC and OFC wires... there's a lot more debate over the relative quality of each. I think the 99's stock cable is pretty nice, so any tuning changes might be minimal. My personal experience across different headphones and cables is inconclusive, but if a SPC wire were to hypothetically refine the treble and tame the bass of the Meze 99 Noir, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for the sound profile. Though I wonder what that change would also do to the mids...
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  12. bcaulf17
    Interesting. I’d have to look into it but I remember reading my Fiio Q1 MK 2 has a very good balanced feature.
    PopZeus likes this.
  13. Mhog55
    I also think it has more to do with the circuit than the wire. Not that the cable doesn't make a difference. I find the balance from my Opus #1s offers greater separation, better treble extension, and an overall more airy presentation. The treble extension may have more to do with the cable than the other differences. I'm not using the Meze balanced cable though. I'm using a 16 core cable from Luna Shops.
  14. bcaulf17
    Interesting, thanks!
  15. Mhog55
    You have a balanced option and haven't used it? What do you drive your Senns with? If using your dap, I'd make a balanced cable for those a priority before the Noir.
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