With simple availability of high-resolution audio in India via Apple Music, many customers at the moment are selecting to return to wired headphones or earphones, and a few are even investing in high-end choices. It is attainable to place collectively an honest audiophile equipment on a price range, however the extra you spend, the higher the general expertise. After all, the center of any audiophile setup is a pair of headphones, and the Meze 99 Classics that I am reviewing right here is very regarded in its value phase.
Priced at Rs. 24,999, the Meze 99 Classics is a pair of wired over-ear headphones centered on design and sound high quality. Every thing within the bundle is undeniably premium, from the wooden casings and gold accents to the plush padding and high-quality wiring. Does the Meze 99 Classics reside as much as expectations with regards to sound? Discover out on this assessment.
The Meze 99 Classics is strikingly engaging
Well-known amongst individuals who comply with the high-end audio house keenly, Meze Audio was based in Romania in 2011, and has shortly grown to turn into one of the vital revered names within the phase. The Meze 99 Classics was the corporate’s first mainstream product, and remains to be amongst its top-selling headsets. A whole lot of that has to do with its design and specs.
The over-ear Meze 99 Classics is spectacular to have a look at. It feels strong and well-built, and is not too heavy even with wood driver casings. The body is steel with gold accents on some parts, whereas the headscarf is lined with synthetic leather-based and is versatile sufficient to regulate to the top of the wearer. There’s thick padding across the ears, and all of this makes this pair of headphones each look and really feel nice.
Curiously, the 2 sides of this pair of headphones aren’t related to one another in any approach, and function independently with their very own 2.5mm enter sockets. Certainly, it does not even matter the way you put on these headphones; both aspect can function because the left or proper channel with out affecting match or consolation.
The gross sales bundle features a onerous carry case, a 1.2m cable with an in-line microphone, a 3m cable with no microphone, a 6.3mm adapter, an airline adapter, and a small pouch for the additional cables that matches throughout the carry case. Aftermarket cables are additionally obtainable, similar to the two.5mm balanced improve cable that I used for a lot of my assessment.
The Meze 99 Classics has 40mm dynamic drivers, and a frequency response vary of 15-25,000Hz. The impedance is 32 Ohms, and so it could possibly be pushed simply sufficient by even a smartphone or laptop computer with out the necessity for an amplifier. As talked about, you need to use the Meze 99 Classics for voice calls in case you use the 1.2m cable that comes with it, however that is primarily an audiophile-grade headset that’s meant for music, above all else.
Simple strategy to sound on the Meze 99 Classics
With the mainstream phase for audio having virtually totally moved to Bluetooth connectivity, merchandise such because the Meze 99 Classics are rather a lot much less frequent than they had been just some years in the past. Nevertheless, you may discover that wired headphones ship a much better sonic expertise than wi-fi ones, and the Meze 99 Classics is a type of that prioritises sound high quality over all else.
I used the Meze 99 Classics with my MacBook Air and a Shanling UA2 digital-analogue converter to bridge the connection. For music, I relied totally on my Apple Music playlist, listening to varied tracks in resolutions starting from 16-bit/ 44.1kHz to 24-bit/ 96kHz. Throughout genres and resolutions, the Meze headphones delivered a constantly clear and detailed listening expertise each time.
Beginning with Subways by The Avalanches, I needed to flip the quantity down a good bit on my setup due to how loud the headphones can get. Even at across the 40 p.c quantity mark, I discovered the listening expertise to be participating and cohesive. The sonic signature was pure, but removed from the flat sound that many audiophiles search in headphones; as a substitute, the Meze 99 Classics made for a enjoyable sound that appeared to intuitively adapt to the observe and style.
There was a mild thump to this sample-based observe, and the headphones additionally drew out loads of element and shortly adjusted to its quickly altering nature. Though detailed, the Meze 99 Classics weren’t as revealing as I might have preferred; the separation and movement gave the impression to be lacking a little bit of oomph. A few of this gave the impression to be misplaced within the heat of the sonic signature, so these headphones positively appear to be sacrificing some nuance in favour of a extra pleasing and pleasurable sonic signature.
With Kamasi Washington’s Reality, a 13-minute jazz ‘saga’ of kinds, the Meze 99 Classics had been far more of their aspect, serving up element and cohesiveness in good measure when not held again by the tempo of the observe. The light, soothing nature of the observe gelled effectively with the 99 Classics, giving me loads of alternative to hearken to the finer elements within the devices and vocals.
This implies that the Meze 99 Classics’ largest weak point is tempo, and it tends to surrender element in favour of sustaining the texture and heat that type the core of its expertise, when confronted with fast-paced tracks. Nevertheless, that really feel and heat at all times retained a mild and composed character; the Meze 99 Classics by no means felt too aggressive or exuberant, as a substitute conserving the tone of the sound calm and coherent.
Whereas I did check out the microphone cable for just a few calls utilizing my laptop computer and WhatsApp, and the expertise wasn’t horrible, I might advocate avoiding this. The Meze 99 Classics is a music-focused headset that performs effectively when it comes to its core listening expertise, and I typically most well-liked utilizing a wi-fi headset when taking cellphone calls.
Though the premium wired headphones phase sees far fewer launches on this new age of widespread wi-fi connectivity, choices such because the Meze 99 Classics hold its spirit alive and effectively. That is a completely stunning and well-made pair of headphones, and it sounds fairly good too, even when it does not fairly match the audiophile invoice. The sound is enjoyable, detailed, and fairly vigorous, working effectively with high-resolution audio and a very good private audio setup.
With the whole lot you could get began within the field itself, the Meze 99 Classics is an easy-going, enjoyable pair of premium headphones with a heat and pleasurable sound. Though choosy listeners would possibly discover the tempo a bit too laid-back, and its lack of ability to seize the finer components in tracks is a bit disappointing, that is nonetheless among the many most entertaining headphones I’ve used of late. It is luxurious in each approach, and I like it.