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Meze 99 Headphones

Joined
Feb 2, 2018
Messages
43
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14
Location
buyers remorse land
#1
Meze should pay me for this but they don’t unfortunately. I know this looks like an infomercial and still not sure if I should post this but I just couldn’t keep it to myself.

The deal isn’t even huge, but I got excited nonetheless when I woke up today to a deal I’ve been waiting for on amazon Europe and I wanted to share it with my favorite audio forum. Meze 99 classics is down to €252 from €296. They never had a discount before if amazon price tracker isn’t lying. 99 Neo is €162 from €249. To be fair 99 Neo has always sold for $200 in amazon US but when you have to shop from EU it wasn’t a good value.

I should warn you that I have not tried them before so I cannot guarantee they will satisfy you. However after months of research I concluded they have the best design especially maintainability-wise. It’s assembled with bolts and nuts, no glue used so it can be repaired easily. The replacement parts are said to be sold or sent to you if you mail them, I haven’t seen them on their website so needs to be double checked. They might last for a lifetime passed to my kids if that is true. Headband and earpads are sold for $20, pretty cheap compared to B&O H6 proprietary pads selling for €181 in my country or $150 for Sony MDR1A. And no other headphone has spare headbands sold to my knowledge.
here’s the video that impressed me by the designer, modeling of the Classics in Solidworks:


Looks is subjective but to me they look beautiful. Sound character should always be EQ’d to your preference so that’s not what I look for in a headphone. They are told to have excellent drivers. There is a controversy about the earpads you should know. At the first debut of Classics the earpads were smaller, shallower. That version was the one Tyll from Innerfidelity reviewed and praised so much that he put them on his Wall of Fame.
I have to say, I don’t trust his personal opinions anymore after regretting all 3 purchases I made according to his Wall of Fame, which were V-moda m80(too uncomfortable), Philips Fidelio X2(tonal inaccuracy can’t even be fixed using EQ, harsh upper mids and an unnatural sound, reviewers call it grainy I guess that was what’s wrong) and B&W P7 Wireless(I told my cousin to buy this instead of Bose Qc35 and he regrets it).
Customers complained a lot about the pads being shallow and uncomfortable so Meze released new deeper pads. As long as you don’t buy them used they should come with new pads. With the new pads the bass became too much emphasized and the sound started to depend too much on a good fit. measurements with both pads: https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/Meze99SeriesAndPads.pdf
I have emailed Meze asking if they are planning to release new pads due to the latest reviews being negative about the sound and they confirmed that they were working on it. I like bass so I might like them as is, if not I’m plannig to EQ them.

And that concludes my research on Meze 99. Mine will arrive on February 21. I might do a comprehensive review then. Moderators might want to make this into a Headphone/Speaker hot deals thread if that’s not something that doesn’t fit the theme of this forum too much. In my opinion it doesn’t fit actually so...
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Messages
51
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6
#3
I tried the Meze 99 at an audio show last year. Never heard of the brand so didn't know what to expect. It sounded terrific to my ears. Looked classy too. Was surprised how affordable they were when I looked up the price.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2018
Messages
43
Likes
14
Location
buyers remorse land
#4
it turns out the deal was actually unintentional so the price went up when they realised. or i might have misinterpreted the emails from Meze customer service.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2018
Messages
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14
Location
buyers remorse land
#5
I have just read that Meze used some shady guerilla marketing tactics in 2012 or 2013 by leaving good comments about their products on Head-fi with multiple different accounts from the same IP address as Antonio Meze’s own account and he was banned due to this.
I had learned not to trust anything on Head-fi because of my past experiences and the recently emerged Schiit censoring and promoting but I don’t think they would do a smear campaign against a manufacturer, they are used to doing the opposite it seems.
According to Head-fi posts Meze used to sell rebranded OEM Chinese products for 5x(?) the price and Meze denied doing that. Later it turned out the OEM thing was actually the truth. Those are some shady shady stuff for a company, to be caught lying and planting self-promotion disguised as genuine reviews from real people. However all the other places on the internet that discussed these incidents only point to Head-fi as the source, which I don’t trust. Not sure what to think of it...

This thread actually looks like I’m one of those accounts to me now and I don’t like it. I have just praised them with a wall of text with visuals and everything. I was just charmed by their great marketing and never heard of those incidents before. So take what you will from all this information.

Personally my cognitive dissonance sways me to think that, a noob company can make those “mistakes” to get recognition and if they stopped doing that it’s fine. Head-fi is not reliable anyway. However I can not establish trust after it’s been compromised once. All the good reviews might be shills, I can not tell anymore. Meze claiming they will release new pads might not be true even. Maybe they won’t actually sell individual parts like they claimed in their marketing, I don’t see anything other than pads, headbands and cables being sold.
They also sell overpriced balanced cables for people that are into those stuff and I can’t approve that morally. The cables look good though.

Impressions:
Since I received the headphones the things I can personally attest to is as follows:
their looks and build is 10/10.
Comfort is okay, my relatively small ears touch the drivers but doesn’t hurt before hours of listening. The headphones are really light. I don’t hear microphonics from the cable. Comes with a sturdy case.
With iPad Air 2 they get loud enough at half volume.

Completely subjective sound impressions:
The sound is really good for half of the songs I listen to, the other half not so good. It sounds muddy in those, too much bass without the impact, like smeared bass. The kind audiophiles call slow and bloated.

I am sensitive to peaks after upper mids and there is none, that is crucial to me and I’m satisfied.
It sounds accurate but not that detailed. I never said “that instrument is not supposed to sound like that” with these. But I don’t hear lots of details either even when I lower the bass with EQ.

I have been mailing with their customer service back and forth for 3 weeks now so the communication was great. I ordered some Brainwavz oval hybrid pads just to try them out, after the customer service recommended me. I will post pad impressions when they arrive with the drawings I did for size measurements :)


EDIT(some additional thoughts): Classical music sounds great, congested metal songs not so clear.
I was amazed when I first opened the box and held them in my hands. I wasn’t amazed when I listened to them. Nothing blew my mind and maybe that’s okay. I expect too much of headphones and they don’t deliver.
 
Last edited:

Soniclife

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2017
Messages
399
Likes
81
Location
UK
#6
I have just read that Meze used some shady guerilla marketing tactics in 2012 or 2013 by leaving good comments about their products on Head-fi with multiple different accounts from the same IP address as Antonio Meze’s own account and he was banned due to this.
I know nothing about this, but this sort of silent censorship is no good for anyone, if people are getting banned or posts removed there should be some sort of record or comment from the mods when done. When forums don't do this there is no check to conspiracy theories.
 
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