“Good looks and good music”
Meze is a Romanian company specializing in audio products, and may not be among the first names that come to mind when an audiophile thinks of luxury, high-end earphones. But, from the first glance itself, you get the impression that these cans are something special – they are just gorgeous to behold. However, looking good is no guarantee that they will actually sound good. Plenty of gorgeous headphones come out every year and a lot of them just don’t sound good enough.
Priced is between $290 and $310. Consider their look, I would say it’s worth the money. But, does their sound good enough to valuable for the money? After all, it is competing with models like the Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro, the Sony MDR-1A and the Sennheiser HD598.
Design and Comfort
The Meze 99 Classics are larger than most over-the-ears because of a metallic frame that hangs above the headband to hold everything in its proper position. The ear cups, made of sustainable wood, come in two variants – maple with a silver accent and beige pads and walnut with a gold accent and black pads.
The memory foam ear-cups and the faux-leather band look great and are extremely comfortable. While the ear cups feel plush, they do tend to warm up a bit with extended use. The headband has some cleverly positioned elastic elements which help it automatically adjust to your head.
Meze 99 Classics - Quality Wood Headphones (Official)
Meze 99 Classics - Quality Wood Headphones
Build Quality and Cable
It is obvious that Meze used high-quality materials to build the 99 Classics. All the materials used – the wood, the metal, the leather, etc. – manage to look and feel both elegant and tough. Overall, it looks built for the long haul which is no surprise considering that each headphone takes the company 45 days to make.
The headphones ship with two beautifully braided cables – a shorter one (47.3 inches) with mic and a longer one (118 inches) without. Both of them have a Kevlar casing and have premium feel. Unfortunately, the buttons in the shorter cable can’t be used to control volume. It’s just for call management, playback and track navigation.
The 99 Classics manage to deliver a perfect blend of bass and treble for most tracks. Even in songs with powerful sub-bass content, the lows are powerful, and even though there is a bit of bass boosting, it doesn’t overpower the rest of the track.
Midrange performance is one of the strong points of this pair. Voices are clear and well-defined and other sounds which could sound too powerful, like the drums in some songs, don’t cross the line and sound ridiculous. The treble is very well-detailed as well. However, these headphones aren’t very bright, and if the input quality is bad, it won’t do anything to smooth it out.
Even the soundstage is open and vivid, which is a surprise considering that they are closed headphones. The spacious soundstage is as wide and spacious as some open-backed models available in the market. This, combined with the fact that instrument separation is top notch, makes the 99 Classics great for orchestral and classical tracks. While the higher register instruments and vocals stand out, the lower register gets enough boost to help it stand out without overpowering the track.
Like most other headphones with detachable cables, the Meze 99 Classics ship with two beautiful looking cables. Other accessories include a ¼ inch jack, an airplane adapter, a zip-up pouch for the accessories and cables, and a tough protective shell case for the pouch and the headphones. The case is well laid-out and designed for a snug, safe fit.
- Excellent audio performance
- Punchy bass
- Great build quality
- Premium looks and packaging
- A bit large
- Sub-bass has distortions from time to time
The Meze 99 Classics are one of the best sounding and best looking closed headphones you can buy. They are energetic and fun, and look great to boot. While they are by no means perfect, these headphones can provide a great aural experience, if you can afford them.