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Meze 109 Pro

Peterinvan

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I was in my favourite store in Vancouver, BC, to pick up a new FiiO KA3 dongle for my iPhone. Here’s a plug:

Headphonebar.com

However, this is a candy store for audiophiles, and you can listen to a good selection of TOTL headphones. I had been reading the reports on the new Meze 109 Pro, so I had to try them.

I was seduced by the look and feel of the new Meze 109. The best piece of industrial design I have seen in a long time. The self adjusting headband and velvet ear pads are really comfortable. Function + form.

And the music! I bought them after comparing to my Grado SR325, and the in store demo models of the Focal Clear Mg, and the Grado RSX1.

When I got home and opened my new pair, they sounded a bit hot in the higher frequencies, and the bass below 100Hz was a bit veiled or “muddy”.

So I put a long Tidal playlist on repeat, with bass heavy tracks.

After 50 hours, I am pleased to report that the top end is tamed and the bass is more realistic. BTW, I listen to music with more acoustic instruments, and look for that “woody” sound of a close miked double bass.

The only down side to report is that these headphones are not suited for multitasking (working, reading, doom scrolling, swiping, etc.) because the music is so engaging that I stop whatever else I am doing and listen to the music. The soundstage and pinpoint isolation of the instruments is a pleasure. The old cliche about hearing things for the first time applies.

The sub-bass reminds me of the day I added my SVS1000 sub to my KEF LS50W speakers! I do not get this sub-bass feeling from my other headphones (e.g. LCD-XC).

Read the other reviews on line. I mostly concur with other’s observations, but it would be nice to see them reviewed on this Forum with measurements.
 
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Peterinvan

Peterinvan

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I find the 109s to be quite different with different DACs

FiiO M11 Pro is much warmer than my Cayin RU6 for example. On Easy Money (Ricky Lee Jones), the RU6 presents the bass with a nice woody tone, with slightly hot vocals and treble. The M11 Pro is warmer all around. The bass is a bit under a blanket.

My Centrance M8 (AKM4493?) is even warmer. No bass distrortion. No sibilance.

The hot treble on the 109s diminished noticeably after about 50 hours.

I use Tidal for most of my listening, so no EQ available.
 
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Ilkless

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Some measurements from Brent Butterworth:

Measurements from @Resolve :

Broad agreement, though Brent measured a 6kHz dip like Resolve's from only one channel but not the other. I had been looking out for these because I adore Meze's industrial design but the Empyrean is difficult to justify even used.

Unfortunately I have never been a fan of headphones with lesser/no ear gain from 1-2kHz. This is something quite common in high-end headphones like Hifiman, some ZMF and some others and encouraged by many tweako gear fetishist types on other forums. IME I strongly prefer FR tracking Harman from 1-2kHz, then peaking at 3kHz, but 1.5dB or so below Harman, gradually closing the gap until the curve intersects again around the last octave. And a bass shelf that is about 2dB below Harman, which gives good thump without excess masking of the lower mids, and also helps to compensate for leakage somewhat. The 9kHz dip is mostly innocuous and a common measurement artefact, so it doesn't concern me. My preferred and perceptually accurate curve is drawn (with MS paint) in green for reference. Some headphones that come decently close are the Empyrean, ZMF Auteur Classic, Audeze MM-500/LCD-5 with EQ.

1665911300083.png
 

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audiobasha

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My 109 pro just failed after only a month of very light use. I realize it’s a new model in early production but yikes.
 

audiobasha

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My left side quit the day I got them after listening for about 5 hours. Pity as I really liked them.
Interesting. The left side was also what failed on my first pair. It started to buzz badly. I got them replaced. I hope the new pair lasts. Never heard of any quality issues on other meze models - hope they sort this out.
 

BigKev2023

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Interesting. The left side was also what failed on my first pair. It started to buzz badly. I got them replaced. I hope the new pair lasts. Never heard of any quality issues on other meze models - hope they sort this out.
When I first put them on I kind of noticed a slight imbalance in the left side which eventually went away but later the left side just quit altogether. They are sending me a new pair. I'll be putting them through their paces hoping for a better result this time as I actually thought these could be my endgame headphones.
 

audiobasha

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When I first put them on I kind of noticed a slight imbalance in the left side which eventually went away but later the left side just quit altogether. They are sending me a new pair. I'll be putting them through their paces hoping for a better result this time as I actually thought these could be my endgame headphones.
They sent me a new pair as well. So far so good. Hope these new pairs last :)
 

NDRQ

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I find the 109s to be quite different with different DACs

FiiO M11 Pro is much warmer than my Cayin RU6 for example. On Easy Money (Ricky Lee Jones), the RU6 presents the bass with a nice woody tone, with slightly hot vocals and treble. The M11 Pro is warmer all around. The bass is a bit under a blanket.

My Centrance M8 (AKM4493?) is even warmer. No bass distrortion. No sibilance.

The hot treble on the 109s diminished noticeably after about 50 hours.

I use Tidal for most of my listening, so no EQ available.

Can you just stop this audiophool nonsense?
 

_Piotr

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I've just gotten mine today. I like the lows and the sound stage, but the highs can be painful. Will spend some time with them to see if I can get over it

I'm running them with SMSL SH-9/SU-9
 
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Peterinvan

Peterinvan

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I've just gotten mine today. I like the lows and the sound stage, but the highs can be painful. Will spend some time with them to see if I can get over it

I'm running them with SMSL SH-9/SU-9
I would give them 100 hours of break-in for the drivers to reach optimum flexibility.
 

FrantzM

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I would give them 100 hours of break-in for the drivers to reach optimum flexibility.
Here we go again?
:D
After the break in, the sound will be soft, with organic highs and natural mid and the reproduction will be more fleshed out and ...

Come on Man! You should know where you are.. You've been here for a while... ;)

Peace.
 
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Peterinvan

Peterinvan

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Here we go again?
:D
After the break in, the sound will be soft, with organic highs and natural mid and the reproduction will be more fleshed out and ...

Come on Man! You should know where you are.. You've been here for a while... ;)

Peace.
The drivers are mechanical devices with flexible material.
 

_theLaughingman

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The drivers are mechanical devices with flexible material.
"It is therefore concluded that breaking-in headphones for consumers is not necessary, and won't result in any noticeable change in their sound. The user reports regarding the existence of the break-in phenomena can be explained as a psychoacoustic effect caused by the fact that human hearing is very good at adapting to new sounds.” - Rtings.com 2018
 

_Piotr

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I'm returning mine. After 7 days of trying to get used to them, I still can't get over t the's highs, which are too painful for me. Unfortunately, I just couldn't find a good EQ settings to fix it.
 
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