Meze 99 Classics Discussion + Impressions Thread
Jul 22, 2021 at 4:14 AM Post #7,234 of 7,297

YanaMJ

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Jul 31, 2021 at 4:07 AM Post #7,235 of 7,297

Sajid Amit

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Hello Everyone!

First time on this thread.

Posting my 99 Classics review and comparison with the HD 650:


Would love to get feedback!
 
Jul 31, 2021 at 10:48 AM Post #7,236 of 7,297

rex4539

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I have been listening to the Meze Audio 99 Classics for many months.

I have listened to them straight up my iPhone 7, my MacBook Pro, via AudioQuest Dragonfly Cobalt DAC, via SMSL M400 DAC and via Feliks Audio Echo Mark II OTL tube amp.

They sound fantastic. This may be a strange statement, but for me, this "may be" an end game headphone. I have no need for a "better" one, at least not for the foreseeable future. And it's not a financial decision. It's a sonic decision.

I've read and heard so many reviews about the 99 Classics having "too much bass". I personally find it one of the very few headphones that has correct bass. This is what bass sounds like in real life. I've heard so many headphones (and speakers) that lack bass and for me, personally, this is a dealbreaker. Bass is not an enhancement but a sonic fact. A headphone can either reproduce it or it cannot. Lack of bass is often described as "tight bass" but once you have heard proper bass, you just cannot go back.

No equipment I have listened to so far is perfect. I have been fortunate to have listened to an ultra hi-end system with Accuphase pre amp, Cary Audio monoblocks and Klipschhorn speakers, which sounded phenomenal and it's my 2-channel dream. But, of course, it's not perfect. Nothing is. But it gets darn close.

The only genre I have found not to sound that good in 99 Classics is, surprisingly(!), classic music. In some recordings it sounds a bit muddy and tiring. So if you're a classical music lover, I would advise you to look elsewhere. For pretty much anything else (jazz, pop, heavy metal, rock, acoustic, electronic), welcome to heaven. I'm not a classical music fan so I don't really mind this flaw.

My synergistic match has been with SMSL M400 DAC and Feliks Audio Echo Mark II OTL tube amp. SMSL DAC is instrument-grade and analytical, providing all the detail in music, while the Feilks Audio Echo amp provides the musicality and warmth that the SMSL DAC is lacking.

I highly recommend anyone to try out this headphone. It's a steal, budget-wise, and sounds spectacular.
 
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Jul 31, 2021 at 11:48 AM Post #7,237 of 7,297

TrollDragon

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The 99 Classics are a lot of fun and I usually grab them for grocery shopping etc. I still reach for my T50RP more often though.
 
Jul 31, 2021 at 11:53 AM Post #7,238 of 7,297

Johnfg465vd

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About 2 Months back I was ready to sell my Meze 99 Classic. I was using it less and less and wanted to try out something else. Before adding it on sale I gave them one final listen. I switched to stock Cable and stock (larger pads), was using silver plated balanced cable before and stock smaller pads. I spent 3 hours just listening to music and enjoying my collection that day. The silver cable and small pads improved perceived clarity and soundstage but that warmth and enjoyable sound that Meze produces was gone.

Among the many headphones I've owned, the 99 classic are among the few that hold a special place for me now. I primarily use them with the iFi micro iDSD Signature and love that pairing. If I ever feel like doing some critical listening the Sundara and Clear are more than sufficient.
 
Jul 31, 2021 at 1:19 PM Post #7,239 of 7,297

qboogie

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Price to performance ratio for the 99 classics is insane. Cable and pad swapping can help you tune the sound to preference but ends up making the entire set up cost $500. Luckily they sound better than $500 cans I have owned.

In sneaker culture, there are some pairs referred to as "neckbreakers," as in, you could break your neck while doing a double-take and staring at them as the wearer is walking past you. These headphones get the same exact look from people when I wear them outside.

I run them primarily with DX160 balanced 4.4mm. I prefer that to the AQ cobalt. However the real stunner is when I use the Hugo 2. Just mind-blowing
 
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Jul 31, 2021 at 3:10 PM Post #7,240 of 7,297

qboogie

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Thanks to @OspreyAndy for sharing his modding endeavors. It motivates me to figure out a way to mod my classics not to flatten my tall hair (check the profile pic) -- maybe using a strap like on an outdoor headlamp ? I own 3 of these cans and can sacrifice one of them
 
Aug 1, 2021 at 10:52 PM Post #7,241 of 7,297

Shane D

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The 99 Classics are a lot of fun and I usually grab them for grocery shopping etc. I still reach for my T50RP more often though.
They are the best for "on the go use". I loved them with my LG V30 and my Sony ZX300 DAP.
 
Aug 2, 2021 at 2:31 AM Post #7,242 of 7,297

magicalmouse

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About 2 Months back I was ready to sell my Meze 99 Classic. I was using it less and less and wanted to try out something else. Before adding it on sale I gave them one final listen. I switched to stock Cable and stock (larger pads), was using silver plated balanced cable before and stock smaller pads. I spent 3 hours just listening to music and enjoying my collection that day. The silver cable and small pads improved perceived clarity and soundstage but that warmth and enjoyable sound that Meze produces was gone.
Interesting, i did this mod some time ago as i found the bass originally far far too much at times.

I think the perception of warmth does depend largely on the equipment being used, for example, i use a mojo, n3pro (triode mode) and a hybrid desktop headphone amplifier (modded musical fidelity x-cans3) and all these exhibit a warmth with the meze99 with silver cable and small pads while also managing the bass satisfactorily.

I also reduce the 250mhz by 3 db on the n3pro and use peace equalizer on the computer with the meze99 profile.
 
Aug 3, 2021 at 3:07 PM Post #7,243 of 7,297

AlexCross

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About 2 Months back I was ready to sell my Meze 99 Classic. I was using it less and less and wanted to try out something else. Before adding it on sale I gave them one final listen. I switched to stock Cable and stock (larger pads), was using silver plated balanced cable before and stock smaller pads. I spent 3 hours just listening to music and enjoying my collection that day. The silver cable and small pads improved perceived clarity and soundstage but that warmth and enjoyable sound that Meze produces was gone.

Among the many headphones I've owned, the 99 classic are among the few that hold a special place for me now. I primarily use them with the iFi micro iDSD Signature and love that pairing. If I ever feel like doing some critical listening the Sundara and Clear are more than sufficient.
Interesting observation. After doing A LOT pad swapping in the last weeks I now came back to the original larger pads and use them with the silver balanced cable. This is perfect for me. The smaller pads with the silver cable were too „compressed“ in soundstage for the (though the bass was slightly more enjoyable).

The only thing I am not finally happy with is the use of an EQ on my iPhone 12. EQ off sound pretty hollow, others tend to alter the sound pretty much especially when listening to different genres. What EQ setting are you using? I also have FiiO Q3 (which is also a very nice pair with the 99C imo).
 
Aug 4, 2021 at 2:32 AM Post #7,244 of 7,297

Johnfg465vd

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Interesting observation. After doing A LOT pad swapping in the last weeks I now came back to the original larger pads and use them with the silver balanced cable. This is perfect for me. The smaller pads with the silver cable were too „compressed“ in soundstage for the (though the bass was slightly more enjoyable).

The only thing I am not finally happy with is the use of an EQ on my iPhone 12. EQ off sound pretty hollow, others tend to alter the sound pretty much especially when listening to different genres. What EQ setting are you using? I also have FiiO Q3 (which is also a very nice pair with the 99C imo).
I'm not using any EQ, happy with the way they sound with the iDSD Signature, stock larger pads and stock cable. With the stock small pads the soundstage was a bit lacking in size, vocals sounded more linear/flat and treble had a bit more presence with a cleaner bass, less boomy but with the same amount of impact or slam. difference between stock cable and silver cable is much smaller in comparision, most noticeable to me was vocals had some warmth with the stock cable (my preference) and maybe a bit cleaner bass.

I think I know what you mean by "hollow" sound, I get similar effect with my LG G8x and 99C pairing. ultimately the synergy between all the pieces in a chain is what matters. For my tastes, iFi Zen DAC (probably Hip-DAC too), iDSD Signature and Mojo sound great with the Meze 99 Classic without EQ.
 
Aug 4, 2021 at 12:26 PM Post #7,245 of 7,297

AlexCross

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I'm not using any EQ, happy with the way they sound with the iDSD Signature, stock larger pads and stock cable. With the stock small pads the soundstage was a bit lacking in size, vocals sounded more linear/flat and treble had a bit more presence with a cleaner bass, less boomy but with the same amount of impact or slam. difference between stock cable and silver cable is much smaller in comparision, most noticeable to me was vocals had some warmth with the stock cable (my preference) and maybe a bit cleaner bass.

I think I know what you mean by "hollow" sound, I get similar effect with my LG G8x and 99C pairing. ultimately the synergy between all the pieces in a chain is what matters. For my tastes, iFi Zen DAC (probably Hip-DAC too), iDSD Signature and Mojo sound great with the Meze 99 Classic without EQ.
Thanks! Yes, I tested the Hip-DAC but it was waaay too loud for me, not enjoyable at all, so I went with the Q3. Would love to try a Mojo one day, but this and the iDSD are pretty expensive. Yes, they might deliver another phenomenal sound level but I thought the 99C‘s are already so good out of the box that a budget but great DAC would be sufficient. Hence the FiiO. 500-700€ just to use the Mezes without EQ? I don‘t know… and is the sound so much better than with a Q3?
 

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