Meze 99 Neo Pre-Launch Worldwide Review Tour - Registrations Closed

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  1. Dobrescu George
    Glad to hear you're having so much fun with them! Surely an interesting headphone! For tighter and better bass, iFi iDSD BL makes the whole sound better!
    Mshenay likes this.
  2. Mshenay Contributor
    Well my Pico Power and HM 901 combo has a nice taut bass, the issue lies with the Meze 99 it self, the 30 hrz square waves aren't particularly clean, I found with a bass light tube/amp things did tighten up, but still fault lies with the headphone, not the gear


    for reference check out the Meze 99 Square measurements, compared to an HD 25-1 ii and the Classics, what you'll see is a really nasty spike, and to my ears the bass isn't taut, and has a tiny bit of audible distortion. For me it was most noticeable while listening to Evolution,

    Through out the entire track I can hear the reverb on the release of each note, the only thing that really improved the bass, was a bass light sylvania tube,

    and in most cases it's not really noticeable, in fact I really enjoy the bass for Jazz,

    I always look at measurements after I listen to something, simply to confirm what I'm hearing! I NEVER look at measurements first, as that set's up an expectation, an while I expected and hoped for a really good bass response, it was kinda obvious to my ears that the low end on the Meze 99 Neo is pretty diffuse

    For reference

    moving past all that, I am enjoying these, and they aren't as fast as some of the other options out there, an with that said I'm really enjoying how relaxed and enjoyable they are with my Ember II! I'm curious about the iFi Products, sadly I've yet to hear one

    btw who is next in the South East?
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
    Dobrescu George likes this.
  4. Mightygrey
    Been messing around with a little "pad-rolling", I have to say the Neos look pretty cool with the white leather pads on them from the Maple/Silvers...
    Mshenay likes this.
  5. Mshenay Contributor
    Very cool man! I like your post of them on r/headphoneporn as well man! Love that trademark helm

    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  6. Mightygrey
    Cheers mate, nice to see a bit of cross-over between online headphone communities!
    Mshenay likes this.
  7. Dobrescu George
    I'm really happy to see those headphones get the attention they deserve since honestly I think that they are some of the best 250$ ever made!

    Let's hope people will give them a chance even when they consider buying expensive headphones, in my opinion their price point makes them accessible to everyone, but their sound places them very high !
    Mshenay likes this.
  8. Mshenay Contributor
    Mhm, I just got started in r/Headphones, and yea some crossover always refreshing! I love that blue table of yours too,

    I can agree with that! I know I can be a bit harsh at times, but honestly compared to my HD 25-1 ii these are really something! They isolate very well, look good and don't have any obnoxious peaks or dip [looking at you HD 25-1 ii] I should have my full review up shortly, just finished editing my pictures. These are really gorgeous! I think I like that black/metal look, a little more than wood and gold on the classics.
    Dobrescu George likes this.
    Does anybody know why meze is not pming me back? i know there was some pm issues. are they not able to on headfi?
  10. Mshenay Contributor
    I agree, my week ended a few days ago but I have no idea where to send them. I Contacted the next person in line according to the list but... apparently that's not been updated :/ still I'm awaiting a reply from him, and if I don't hear from @MezeTeam today, I'll just ship it to the next person according to the post list

    also some more pics of these gorgeous headphones, along with my final impression of them. I'll have the review and comparisons up tomorrow!


    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  11. HondoMUC
    I had a very brief listening session at Munich High End Show. I am pleased so far. But I would like to deep dive into it at home to get a better impression (a noisy crowdy place does not make a good listening experience). So I was wondering where the European Tour unit is right now?
    I'm on holiday in June (one week) and I do not want to miss the shipment :)
  12. HondoMUC
    One thing to add: On Meze booth the phon3es were attached only to Ipads directly. I would not consider this too much of a letdown. Still I would like to try with my decent DACs.
    So no biggie especially when considering that I have experienced annoying flaws with other exhibitors (not working or just mono-working portable Amps; no names).
  13. Mshenay Contributor
    Awesome @MezeTeam is back in the house! Grats on your success at Munich
    I've got them shipped, I'll be updating you guys and @HK_sends with tracking by days end

    Pretty pictures here, with comments on the build quality ect...

    Other Wise

    I found the overall sound of the Meze 99 Neo to be a warm neutral. With wet mids , a pleasant bloom in the bass and well extended sparkly highs.
    Speaking of bass, I found it to be quite warm. Good extension and no humps, though there's a touch of audible distortion depending on what your listening with. For me, out of my Project Ember II, I didn't hear much of that distortion. Switching to my Pico Power it was a little more obvious. Still, my nitpicking will not be as obvious to those of you who will be living with these, enjoying your music! An music, is what the Meze 99 Neo Compliments. The bloom in the bass response adds a pleasant fullness with Jazz, Rock & Roll and Hip Hop. It didn't do as well with big percussion like Timpani drums, or Electric Bass solos. The bigger drums tended to sound a little bloated, and with a electric guitar solo there was a touch too much audible distortion and reverb. Again, I doubt most of you are going to be listening to a 3 minute Neo Classical Electric Bass Solo.
    The transition from bass to mids is smooth, there is some bleeding but again it's not intrusive. Having a slight forward focus on the low mids, I found both male and female vocals to flesh out nicely. Guitars, both accoustic and electric, had a good edge and bloom to them. With a touch of wetness and a relaxed decay.

    I enjoyed the top end the most on the 99 Neo, plenty of detail sparkle and air! With neither harshness or sibilance the 99 Neo has excellent top end extension. It pulled a lot of familiar details from all of my favorite tracks, such as the distinct and very quiet gong at the opening of So What to each and every breath taken in Igor Levit's Goldberg Variations, Track #1 BWV 988 - Aria with 30 Variations.


    However the Meze 99 Neo's strong point isn't micro detail or an amazing sound stage, but rather it's relaxed and versatile sound. It pairs easily with many different sources and with both local lossless playback or lossy streaming! It's not at all picky about what you hook it up to, but it scales nicely with better gear. Noticeable improvements are within the sound stage as you scale up, with both my at home and portable set ups it resolved left and right channel imbalances without to much difficulty and presented a modest sound stage overall with good air in-between the instruments. While nothing about the sound stage and micro detail were breathtaking, nothing was obviously flawed or claustrophobic. Good sound was consistent, regardless of source.

    What the Meze team have done, is bring a versatile, comfortable and durable headphone to a crowded market. One with a modern contemporary styling and a sound signature that really lets you relax into your music. An that's what I like about it, very much a simple to own, simple to use enjoyable headphone!
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
  14. Mshenay Contributor
    Here are my hard notes and my pretty spread sheet if your curious

    I listened out of two rigs, the first was my Behringer UCA 202 fed into my Headamp Pico Power, I choose mp3's to give me a realistic idea how these two will sound when sourced with more modest gear and mp3 streaming. While the final 3 songs were out of my HM 901 LineOut Into Headamp Pico Power, obviously this will better mirror how they'll perform out of a dedicated local play back rig.

    Track List

    TALES OF SYMPHONIA Original Soundtrack - [Motoi Sakuraba, Shinji Tamura, Takeshi Arai] Disc 3 #20 Deepest woods {MP3 v0} - to test mid range purity
    Jazz In the New Harmonic - [David Chesky] #08 Transcendental Tripping {mp3 v0} - to test overall balance, and transients
    Migration - [Daiqing Tana & Haya Band] Gayatri {FLAC} - to test overall balance and micro detail throughout the frequency response
    Beginning Of The New Legend - [Ark Storm] #06 Evolution {FLAC} to test Clarity,Speed, nuance in the bass /mid range
    ... Kill them All - [Metallica] Shortest Straw {FLAC} to test Balance throughout the spectrum, details and sweetness in the central/upper midrange

    An after spending a few days with both headphones, level matched at 84 dBs here's what I found

    After comparing 6 different aspects of each headphone with each headphones scoring either a win or loss in each category, the Meze 99 Neo finished with 17 wins to the HD 25-1 ii's 13

    • HD 25-1 ii has a tighter More Aggressive Bass with faster decay overall and better detail. In some mixs the more forward bass presence does over crowd the track, where as the Meze 99 Neo is looser with some audible distortion, especially noticeable while listening to Evolution, though overall it was more balanced and not as intrusive.
    • I felt the overall bass of the HD 25-1 ii was better than than the Meze 99 Neo in 4 out of 5 tracks.
    • The HD 25-1 ii has better detail, but is often too hard, and unpleasant. It more or less shoves the details down your throat. An will often sound harsh or thin. The Meze 99 Neo, had a thicker mid range with more natural details, it did not overemphasis breathing like the DH 25-1 ii does, and while it has more decay and slower transients, it was by far much more enjoyable to listen to.
    • I felt the mid range of the Meze 99 Neo was better than the HD 25-1 ii in 4 out of 5 tracks, Jazz being the only genre where I preferred the thinner sound of the HD 25-1, and even then some bass lines in some Jazz Mixes were just un-listenable with all the HD 25-1 ii's extra bass
    • Meze 99 Neo has the same detail as the HD 25-1 ii, but is more balanced overall with a sweeter tone. Plus the HD 25-1 ii has a nasty 8kHrz Peak
    • I felt the Highs on the Meze 99 Neo were better than the HD 25-1 ii in 4 out of 5 tracks
    Micro Detail
    • HD 25 resolves upper mid and Bass detail well, but nothing else, Meze 99 Neo is more consistent in pulling out micro detail throughout the entire spectrum
    • I choose the Meze 99 Neo in 3 out of 5 tracks
    Sound Stage
    • The overly forward bass audibly narrows the sound stage on the HD 25-1 ii, with the Meze 99 Neo being wider. Both how ever, lacked depth.
    • The Meze 99 Neo took wins in 4 out of 5 tracks
    • HD 25 faster due to better bass control and thinner mids with less decay overall, but that doesn't always work to it's advantage. The Meze 99 Neo slower but MUCH more pleasant to actually listen to!
    • I gave it victory in 4 out of 5 tracks, with the Meze 99 Neo

    In Conclusion, while I love my HD 25-1 II it isn't the most balanced headphone, and it likes some special treatment. When pair'd with my Hifiman HM 601 it's really gorgeous! But not every one is going to have such an organic sounding Digital Audio Player, still for this comparison the Meze 99 Neo proved better overall!
  15. ryanjsoo
    Thought I would comment on the serviceability of the 99 Neo's, my pair had an issue with one of the 3.5mm jacks that would rattle within the housing. Meze suggested a super simple fix (I contacted them before opening them up, some headphones are a mess inside), the jack is soldered to a board inside the headphones, it just requires removing the earpads (very simple) and 4 T6 screws. Inside, the board was held down by two screws, they had some lock tight already applied so I simply tightened them up and viola! Problem solved. The headphones are just as easy to service as Meze claims, it's remarkable how modular each component is while maintaining such a sleek and coherent design. Just another little thing that makes me appreciate these headphones even more!
    Dobrescu George and Mshenay like this.
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