Meze 99 Classics review ... Meze 99 Classic delivered in a large box, made of thick and dense cardboard and a side magnetic lock for easy and quick opening, this gives the box an additional feeling of high qualities. Distortion in that frequency band is more audible. At the end of the story, you get: – A hard carrying pouch – The Meze 99 Classics headphones – Two cables: 1 x 3m cable without microphone and 1 x 1.2m cable with microphone and remote control – A 6.3mm gold-plated jack adapter The hump in the middle indicates an midbass boost. Below the distortion plots of the Meze 99 classics: (only right channel shown) This player is capable of wonders, but what really surprised me is that Meze was able to achieve a fantastic audio quality even with worse sources: the 99 Classics don’t need dedicated amplification or crazy expensive DACs to offer an amazing sound quality. Meze have outlived the first stage of the headphone world where I would consider the “new boys” to be, they have shown they are here to stay and their latest headphone, the 99 Classics that we have here are certainly a reinforcement of that! The bass is definitely less boomy (but still BIG), the mids are slightly more forward and it feels like the treble might be just a little softer/smoother, though I'd have to swap pads back and forth to be sure about that. This isn’t a bad thing though as many people prefer a headphone with a ‘warm’ and bassy character over ‘neutral’ sound. The driver is mechanically fully damped and thus does not need electrical damping. In view of the quality of manufacturing, as well as the quality of the sound, Meze 99 Classic deserves our highest praise. Don’t expect the finest nuances to come through. By lack of oscilloscope shots (not enough time to measure that) below a step response plot of the Meze 99 classics. Therefore, these headphones could be operated using even the most energy-starved devices, but also by using a high-quality music player. Headphone connector: 3.5mm TS in each cup Inside each earcup, the 99 Classics use a 40mm Neodymium/Mylar transducer. The wood cups look really nice. No audiophile has ever said 'NO' to these cans. The 99 neo has slightly more lows and is even slightly warmer sounding. However, I measured the 99 Classics' impedance and electrical phase with the headphones mounted on my head (fig.1. Meze is an interesting newcomer to the headphone and IEM market, a company set up in London in 2009 that wants to change the opinion that you have to spend a fortune to get a good sound. It can be driven directly from portable sources such as phones, tablets and DAPs. Below the frequency response of the Meze 99 classics (Left, Right). There are cheaper alternatives that sound equally well or even better but do not have this build quality and feel. NO SMOOTHING is applied to the shown plots. The manual contains only the necessary information: description of headset, control and frequency response graph. This ringing was at a lower frequency than the wrinkles in the impedance traces, and was more audible than the similar headband ringing of the AudioQuest NightHawks. The UE6000’s somewhat elevated bass response came at the cost of its ability to reproduce fine, mid focused acoustic details, something that the 99 Classics don’t struggle with. In that sense, the Meze and AudioQuest headphones aren't as neutral as the Sennheiser HD 650sbut there is a general preference among headphone users for more bass than is strictly appropriate.John Atkinson. Meze 99 Classics. Inner pad dimensions: depth: 18mm. When using on portable devices and listening to popular music the described sound is not necesarily a bad thing. It is lacking somewhat in clarity/presence which is caused by the dip around 4kHz. My usual sources will soon be joined by another item, the aforementioned FiiO M11 Pro. Then come in the 99 Neo. Elevated bass (the part below 200Hz) and warm mids (downwards slope from 200Hz to 4kHz). 0.5% in the bass area is quite good. Some lingering/coloration at around 1kHz (probably the sealed enclosure) and some small resonances around 4kHz, 8kHz and 16kHz. Deviations in different severities at different frequency bands have an effect on the sound character. The walnut wood earcups, soft earpads, and the spring steel headband make the 99 Classics an heirloom, rather than just a pair of headphones. That’s right, 99 Classics are not linear, there isn’t a straight line over the frequency response, bass has some blossom, midrange some sweetness, treble is more or less untouched by the muddiness. On the box, there is a rather smooth frequency response graph. Impressions of the headphone are based on a week of use. To me this is at a level that would annoy me. The latest in the Classics series, the Meze 99 Classics promises to deliver perfect natural sound even to the pickiest of audio lovers. Great to be able to hear everything clear through low, mid to high frequency's. Not everyone wants to hear all warts of the recordings. Meze 99 Classics Technical Specifications. The slightly cheaper plastic version (still feels high quality) has a similar sound profile. Below an aid to help determining the sound character of headphones with relation to the frequency response. They sound fantastic on all four. Smooth would be a good description. Below the Right channel. (the one pictured/tested here has silver colored metal parts) The electrical phase angle was close to 0° up to 6kHz, suggesting that the drive-unit behaves as a pure resistor up to that frequency; the slightly positive angle that increases above 6kHz is due to the driver's residual inductance. Touching the metal parts of the headband is quite audible. Cable: Kevlar 3m with 3.5mm TRS plug and a 1.2m cable with inline mic/remote Though most people seem to love the sound of the near-identical Meze 99 Classics, a few people find it to be really off-putting. The announced frequency response is 15 Hz – 25 kHz. This suggests that this is the tuning frequency of the diaphragm. Speaking of frequency response, Sennheiser HD 600 works in a range of 12 Hz - 40 kHz which is incredibly wide compared to the range of MEZE 99 Classics — 15 Hz - … Frequency response: 15Hz - 25KHz; Sensitivity: 103dB at 1KHz, 1mW; Impedance: 26 Ohm; Rated input power: 30mW; Maximum input power: 50mW; Detachable Kevlar OFC cable; Plug: 3.5mm gold plated; Weight: 260 gr (9.2 ounces) without cables; Ear-cups: ABS Plastic This is described HERE in more detail. For those that prefer a ‘neutral’ and natural sound it is not the perfect headphone. (0.2 Ω and 120 Ω of the right channel are superimposed). I do not use smoothing because some info about sound quality is lost when plots are smoothed. Frequency response: 15Hz - 25KHz; Sensitivity: 103dB at 1KHz, 1mW; Impedance: 32 Ohm; Rated input power: 30mW; Maximum input power: 50mW; Detachable Kevlar OFC cable; Plug: 3.5mm gold plated; Weight: 260 gr (9.2 ounces) without cables; Ear-cups: walnut wood Transducer size: 40mm; Frequency response: 15Hz – 25KHz; Sensitivity: 103dB at 1KHz, 1mW back to measurements home. Frequency response: 15 – 25,000 Hz: Impedance: 32 Ω: Sensitivity: 103 dB . Let's check out how the two brothers turn out when compared. The Meze 99 classics is a closed dynamic headphone. The tonal balance (boosted lows) is actually preferable when commuting. (website links), Foobar 2000 for Dummies (Part 1) – General Setup, Foobar 2000 for Dummies (Part 2) – Playing DSD – New SACD plugin (0.9.x and 1.x.x Series), power, efficiency, levels, balanced, impedance. The distinction between the levels of sensitivity is less noticeable as the first appliance has 97 dB and the second one has 103 dB. For those circumstances the 99 classics is a good option. No annoying sharp sounds. The distortion products are shown in dB. The 99 Classics have a relatively low impedance; they'll need to be driven by an output stage capable of delivering enough current into this load. The Meze 99 Classics are an overwhelmingly pleasant surprise. For € 250.- you can buy the Meze 99 neo but the nice wood is black plastic instead. The Meze 99 Classics are overall balanced in tonality, though they tend to the warm side with a boost of mid bass that gives sound a stronger punch. For an affordable headphones, MEZE 99 Classics and HIFIMAN Ananda are two comparable choices. ALL measurements are made with a good SEAL on a flatbed measurement rig. Sensitivity ... Had these Meze Audio 99 Classics around three weeks now, had them through a Hi Rez player, a Samsung tablet, a Brennan B1 and a Denon PMA-60. Let’s start with the obvious. Below the CSD of the Meze 99 classics (Left and Right channel are superimposed), The 8kHz peak is a resonance, just like the peak around 16kHz. Foldable: No These headphones boast an impressive 103 dB sensitivity, an impedance of 32 Ohms. What an incredible feeling it must have been for Meze Audio in 2015, after years of development, the 99 Classics were finally on the market. Most measurement sites have some smoothing applied which ‘irons flat’ sharp peaks and ‘wiggles’. However, a kink in the impedance-magnitude trace at 1.5kHz and a couple of discontinuities in the mid-treble imply the presence of some resonances. The Meze 99 Classics are shipped in an elegant carton package which contains the headphones in a hard carry case. Meze headphones are very durable, and even when something breaks, it can be fixed or replaced, which is an option that is so rare in the modern consumerist world. Aside from a small correction of the microphone itself also some correction in the lowest frequencies is applied to the plots to compensate for the perceived loss of bass when using headphones. (Left channel) Enjoy music through headphones on a low budget, Subjectivist, Objectivist or Inbetweenivist ? The difference could even be down to driver variations. The differences are quite small so in practice it will be hard to tell these apart. The user manual can be found here: Meze 99 Classics User Manual height: 60mm, width 40mm oval shaped. Meze did not skimp on accessories in the slightest. However, the double basses and cellos on this album sounded much richer than I'd expected, as did the bass guitar in "Heart Like a Drum," from Beck's Morning Phase (24/96 ALAC file, Capitol/HDtracks). Max. Even the packaging and carrying case look amazing. Accessories: 6.3mm adapter, airline adapter, carrying case For those looking for a warm and bassy (not basshead) type of sound with subdued and pleasant/soft treble this may be a viable option. Before any serious listening the 99 Classics were given more than the Meze recommended 60 hours of burn in time. Distortion levels and spectrum plot performance may thus be better in reality than shown on the plots. Based on our rating, 99 Classics has a total rating of 7 out of 10 vs 8 out of 10 for Ananda. A horizontal line shows audible neutral response in the plots on this website. Demo units courtesy of: Frequency Response measurements and graphs for In-Ear Monitors (IEMs) and earphones. The price puts it in the € 300.- range which isn’t cheap but also not very expensive when looking at the headphone market today. The distortion is quite low for a medium sized dynamic driver. Frequency response (tonal balance) is the most sound-determining aspect of headphones. The 99 Classics look great, and not just as a whole. On a higher output resistance amplifier the output level will be considerably lower. Ken Micallef reported that "even at loud volumes the 99s kept their cool, never sounding shouty, edgy, boxy, or otherwise criminal in the treble." A little extra bass and good isolation is important in these circumstances. There I said it now excuse me while I sit in a dark cupboard for a while. The Meze 99 Classics has a sensitivity of 103 dB at 1 kHz for 1 mW, 32 Ohms impedance and a frequency response ranging from 15 Hz to 25 kHz. Meze rates the frequency response at 15Hz-25kHz and, at least in … And this is what it sounds like as well. Note that this headphone was measured at where unavoidable background noises were present in the demo room. Meze rates the frequency response at 15Hz-25kHz and, at least in the lowest frequencies, you truly hear the depth. back to Meze Audio But listening to DSD64 files of our July 2003 Recording of the Monthviolinist Rachel Podger and Arte Dei Suonatori performing Vivaldi's 12 violin concertos Op.4, aka La Stravaganza (Channel Classics CCS 19598)I heard no untoward brightness in the treble. Only around 5kHz the distortion becomes higher and reaches audible levels (almost 1%). As can be seen the difference is negligible and the tonal balance of this headphone doesn’t change when the source has a higher output resistance. When driven from a 120 Ω output resistance amplifier nothing changes. Instead, they adjust automati… I could hear a slight mid-treble emphasis with the pink-noise track from Editor's Choice (16/44.1 ALAC file, Stereophile STPH016-2) and with Robert Silverman's album of 23 Beethoven piano sonatas (nondecoded MQA-encoded 24/88.2 FLAC files, Silver Lining/Audio High). There is no ‘sharpness’ to the sound which many people may find pleasing. Everything is screwed and can easily be (dis)assembled. This way the plots are overlay-ed and it is easy to see how the tonal balance changes. It has a ‘hollow’ sound to it and upper) mids are recesssed. So, I've just replaced the 'standard' pads on my new 99 Classics with the Meze 'small' pads and it's significantly changed the presentation. The 5kHz peak is really there though and not caused by ambient sounds. Pop recordings actually do not sound poor on this headphone and can see why many people are liking the sound. The measurements of the Meze 99 classics indicate it is anything but a ‘reference’ sound quality headphone. I hate getting carried away with hype but I will admit I do enjoy the 99 Classics more than my conservative values should really allow me. The shape of your head, bone structure, pad size, pad ‘softness, (compliance), hair or no hair and or wearing glasses may (drastically) change the frequency response of some headphones, so… your personal experience may differ substantially from these plots. A lot of attention has obviously also been given to the finer details — for example, the cables are made from kevlar, not plastic, and as such are much stronger than your typical headphone cable. Below the 99 classics and 99 neo overlayed.
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