Meze 99 Classics Headphones: Great Looks, Great Sound

Meze 99 Classics Headphones: Great Looks, Great Sound

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Score: eight/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Scorching Rubbish
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Rubbish
  • three - Strongly Flawed Design
  • four - Some Execs, Tons Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Sufficient to Purchase On Sale
  • 7 - Nice, However Not Greatest-In-Class
  • eight - Incredible, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Cash
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Worth: $309
Meze Audio

Not everybody needs or wants wi-fi Bluetooth headphones. In the event you’re nonetheless into the thought of wired headphones, these over-the-ear telephones from Meze look terrific—and sound simply nearly as good as they appear.

This is What We Like

  • Terrific appears
  • Nice balanced sound
  • Surrounds the ears, doesn't sit on them
  • Snug to put on for lengthy durations

And What We Do not

  • Wires restrict mobility
  • Each earcups have separate cables
  • No Lively Noise Cancellation (ANC)

Right here There Be Wires

In terms of over-the-ear headphones, there are a number of methods you possibly can go. One extremely popular selection is a set of wi-fi Bluetooth headphones, which give wonderful mobility since you'll be able to transfer 30 ft or extra from the audio supply. Plus, usually, it's also possible to change between listening to audio and answering a name in case your headphones are paired together with your smartphone.

Nevertheless, many audio purists nonetheless swear by wired headsets, regardless that they tether you to the sound supply. For those who rely your self on this group, you owe it to your self to check a pair of Meze Audio’s 99 Classics.

There are benefits and drawbacks to each approaches. The obvious disadvantage with a set of wired headphones is that they've a cable that have to be plugged into the audio supply. This limits mobility to the size of the cable. With the 99 Classics, that is mitigated by the inclusion of two cables—one brief (at about three ft/1 meter) and one lengthy (at about 10 ft/93 meters). Each cables are kevlar-wrapped for elevated sturdiness.

In contrast to many wired headsets, which have a single cable that plugs in on just one earcup, the 99 Basic’s cable splits and must be plugged into jacks on each earcups. The telephones themselves aren't marked left and proper—it doesn’t actually matter the way you put on them. It’s a special story with the cable. The left channel of the headphones has a small lip on the three.5mm plug, and an equally small push change on the twine that allows you to reply the telephone when you’re sporting the headset, assuming you’re plugged right into a telephone and never another audio supply. This change is situated far up the cable fairly near the earcup, and, no less than for me, was considerably awkward to succeed in.

Photo of wood earcups
Every wooden earcup is CNC-machined out of strong Walnut Meze Audio

The last word exams of any set of earphones are how they match and the way they sound. On each counts, the Meze 99 Classics do very properly. So far as appears go, it’s exhausting to beat the strong Walnut ear cups. The non-removable cups aren’t plastic coloured to seem like wooden however are literally CNC machined out of strong Walnut, smoothed and polished. Together with the silver-colored Zinc hardware, will probably be difficult to discover a set of headphones that look nearly as good because the 99 Classics.

On the $300 worth degree, you'll be able to anticipate to get one thing greater than only a nice set of headphones within the field. Meze doesn’t disappoint you on this space. There’s a semi-rigid carry case, and inside are the telephones and a smaller zippered case that holds the remainder of the equipment (together with the cables talked about above). There’s a two-prong airplane adapter (although these aren’t used a lot any extra within the US), and an adapter to make use of the headphones with a regular 1/four inch audio jack discovered on many bigger audio units, like receivers.

Image of headphones, carry case, cables and adapters
The headphones include a variety of equipment Meze Audio

Pay attention Up!

However nearly as good because the 99 Classics look, the actual check is how they sound and whether or not they're snug to put on for an prolonged interval. Provided that my style in music is perhaps totally different than yours, and my listening to vary additionally considerably totally different, I’d should say from my testing and expertise with the 99 Classics that they sound nice. I spent hours listening to a variety of music from my Spotify playlist, which incorporates requirements comparable to Cole Porter and songs from the 40s and 50s, nation, storage band rock, straightforward listening, plenty of blues, and even some people.

In my listening, the response was pretty even, although the center frequencies look like barely muted compared to the bass, which is emphatic however not booming, and the high-end, which is crisp with out being shrill.

One factor that basically units many higher-end headsets just like the 99 Classics aside from inexpensive fashions is presence. That is the power of the telephones to breed the audio with sufficient constancy which you could shut your eyes, select separate devices and vocals, and the place every of those is positioned on a digital stage that you're dealing with.

One monitor that I exploit for testing this functionality is “Make that call,” performed by Jane Ellen Bryant. With the 99 Classics, you possibly can hear every instrument clearly, the backup singers individually, and Bryant’s clear melodic voice as if you have been sitting within the viewers. It sounds prefer it was recorded reside (which it was) and with minimal processing. In fact, for those who’re listening to music that was recorded in a studio 20 or 30 years in the past, it’s going to sound considerably processed, and sometimes with little or no apparent presence,  no matter how good the earphones are that you're listening to the music with.

One limitation of the 99 Classics that you ought to be conscious of is that they don’t have lively noise cancellation (ANC). Outdoors noise is pretty muffled, however I like having the choice of setting the extent of out of doors noises I’m capable of hear when sporting headphones.

Listening for the Lengthy Haul

One other factor going for the 99 Classics is how snug they're. The ear cups are giant sufficient that they match over my ears and didn't relaxation on them, which eliminates the head-squeezing strain that I’ve skilled with another over-the-ear headphones. And the cups themselves are produced from actual leather-based and reminiscence foam.

close-up of headphone's headband
The 99 Basic’s headband has a considerably uncommon configuration. Ted Needleman

One other bit of excellent design is the scarf. There’s a separate metallic headband that connects the earcups. This band supplies the help wanted for the headset to suit comfortably. The precise a part of the headphones that touches the highest of your head is manufactured from leather-based and reminiscence foam. I wore the telephones on quite a few events for 4 to 6 hours at a time with out feeling the least discomfort. They are going to be nice on my subsequent lengthy aircraft journey, although a bit bulkier than the telephones I often journey with.

There Are All the time Compromises

Even on the $300 price-point, I haven’t but discovered an ideal set of headphones, although the 99 Classics come shut. The response and constancy of those telephones are wonderful, with the seems to be and luxury equally so.

When you spend a number of time listening to music and worth nice constancy, attempt a pair of Meze 99 Classics. I feel you’ll be as impressed as I used to be.

Score: eight/10
Worth: $309

Right here’s What We Like

  • Terrific appears
  • Nice balanced sound
  • Surrounds the ears, doesn't sit on them
  • Snug to put on for lengthy durations

And What We Do not

  • Wires restrict mobility
  • Each earcups have separate cables
  • No Lively Noise Cancellation (ANC)

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