Sound quality is far and away from the stand-out feature of the Meze 99 Classics.
This seriously good-sounding headphone leaves you wanting to keep listening to the next track. I rarely sit with my DAP, thinking of songs to play because I want to see how the 99 presents them.
It’s a highly engaging sound that becomes immersive and addictive over time. It leaves you wanting more and delivers in abundance in most situations. If I were to use a couple of descriptors, then easily I choose analog & fun. When listening to them, there is a sensation reminiscent of the feeling you get when choosing an LP over an MP3. I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s a more natural sound.
The highs have a good extension and plenty of detail but never stray into the harsh territory. Jazz and classical music are handled easily, and the 99 classics seem to smooth out rough tones and blend them with the midrange.
The midrange is highly impressive and certainly the star of the show. The vocals sound incredible in these headphones and oh so natural.
Male leads have grain and weight to their performances, and stringed instruments like cell and acoustics resonate beautifully in this frequency.
The detail throughout the mids sounds excellent, and the instrument or voice feels spaced and uncluttered.
The low end is not what I would call technically perfect, but in the overall tuning context, it works very well to round off the 99 Classics sound. You get bass that extends fairly deep but not into the bass-heavy territory.
It is encapsulated in grandeur but doesn’t boom. These are the kind of headphones where you don’t want a visceral, sharp bass but a smoother one that compliments the midrange’s slightly warm tones.
The imaging is excellent. Artists sound slightly in front of you, displaying medium width and depth of equal scale, which is excellent for closed-back headphones…especially at this price point.
I like these for almost everything regarding Genre pairing, except EDM, where I prefer having a planar headphone with more aggressive speed and impact. For everything else, though, it would be hard not to reach for the Meze 99 Classic if they were at hand.
Acoustic tracks such as that from Sungha Jung and Rodrigo y Gabriela sound wonderfully fun and lifelike. Classical tracks like Tchaikovsky and Brahms are displayed with all the grandeur and excitement you want. Jazz and rock are flat-out brilliant.
Sound-wise, considering the price, it’s pretty much impossible to criticize the 99 Classic. They offer great value and punch well above their weight.
Pairing Notes – The Meze 99 Classics paired perfectly with any source I threw at them. They are incredibly efficient and easy to drive. Yes, they sound better out of a higher-end DAP, but even from my Google Pixel 2 or LG V30, these headphones sounded seriously good.
Most of this review was performed on a Questyle CMA800 and via my Astell & Kern AK70 and Shanling M6 Pro, but they feel like they will work fine with any high-resolution audio player. At no point did I feel like I was left wanting, and I couldn’t have asked for more in terms of performance for the price.
Honestly, I can’t stress how much I thought I would never review another Meze product. I didn’t want to jump back in, but I am incredibly pleased to give them another chance.
The Meze 99 Classics, for the price and beyond, are wonderful headphones that do perform up to there with much more expensive headphones.
A combination of lightweight, comfortable design. Stunning good looks and excellent sound mean that if you shop for a set of closed-back headphones for home or office use, they should be seriously considered.
Top marks to Meze for making such an outstanding comeback, switching to in-house development, and really creating something quite special. The Meze 99 Classics get the thumbs up from us!
Links: Meze Website
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