In the world of audio, the pursuit of perfection is an unending journey. Audiophiles and music enthusiasts constantly seek the next level of sonic nirvana. The Meze 99, a set of headphones that promise to redefine your listening experience, have been creating quite a buzz in the audio community. In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve deep into the specifications of the Meze 99, share our impressions of how it sounds, and present you with some compelling alternatives.
Who are Meze?
Meze Audio is a renowned audio equipment manufacturer known for producing high-quality headphones and earphones. The company, based in Baia Mare, Romania, has gained a strong reputation in the audiophile community for its commitment to craftsmanship, attention to detail, and dedication to delivering exceptional sound quality.
Founded by Antonio Meze in 2009, Meze Audio has a passion for creating audio products that not only sound outstanding but also exude elegance and style. The company’s philosophy revolves around the idea that audio equipment should be a blend of artistry and engineering, offering both superior performance and aesthetic appeal.
Meze Audio is particularly famous for its headphones, including models like the Meze 99 featured in this review. These headphones often incorporate premium materials such as real wood ear-cups, which not only enhance sound quality but also give the products a unique and luxurious appearance.
Over the years, Meze Audio has received numerous awards and accolades from audio enthusiasts and industry experts alike, solidifying its position as a respected player in the world of high-end audio equipment. Their dedication to innovation and their commitment to delivering an unparalleled listening experience make Meze Audio a brand that continues to capture the hearts of music lovers and audiophiles worldwide.
Specifications That Matter
Before we dive into the auditory bliss that the Meze 99 offers, let’s get acquainted with the technical specs that form the foundation of this remarkable piece of audio engineering:
Transducer Size: 40mm
The transducer size of 40mm is the heart of the Meze 99. It’s the component responsible for converting electrical signals into the sweet melodies that will grace your ears.
Frequency Response: 15Hz – 25KHz
The Meze 99 boasts an impressive frequency response range, ensuring that you catch every low rumble and high note with absolute clarity.
Sensitivity: 103dB at 1KHz, 1mW
With a sensitivity of 103dB, these headphones are efficient at converting power into sound, resulting in robust and immersive audio quality.
Impedance: 32 Ω
A moderate impedance level of 32 Ω makes the Meze 99 compatible with a wide range of audio sources, from portable devices to high-end amplifiers.
Rated Input Power: 30mW
The rated input power of 30mW ensures that the headphones can handle a decent amount of audio power without distortion.
Maximum Input Power: 50mW
For those moments when you want to crank up the volume, the Meze 99 can handle up to 50mW of input power without breaking a sweat.
Detachable Kevlar OFC Cable
The inclusion of a detachable Kevlar OFC (Oxygen-Free Copper) cable not only provides durability but also the flexibility to customize your audio setup.
Plug: 3.5mm Gold Plated
Weight: 260 gr (9.2 ounces) without Cables
Meze has managed to keep the weight of the 99 headphones remarkably low, ensuring long listening sessions remain comfortable.
Ear-Cups: Walnut Wood
The ear-cups, crafted from exquisite walnut wood, not only add to the aesthetics but also contribute to the headphones’ acoustic properties, delivering a warm and natural sound.
Before we dive into the auditory aspects, it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the Meze 99’s design. These headphones are a testament to the marriage of form and function. The walnut wood ear-cups exude a sense of craftsmanship and sophistication that’s hard to find elsewhere. They’re not just headphones; they’re a fashion statement for audiophiles.
But it’s not just about looks. The design of the Meze 99 also serves a functional purpose. The closed-back ear-cup design helps isolate you from external noise, creating a personal sonic sanctuary where you can lose yourself in your music.
Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter – how do the Meze 99 headphones sound? In a word: mesmerizing.
Crystal Clear Highs
The high frequencies on the Meze 99 are nothing short of spectacular. They’re crisp, detailed, and never harsh. Whether you’re listening to the delicate plucking of guitar strings or the ethereal notes of a soprano’s voice, these headphones faithfully reproduce every nuance.
When it comes to bass, the Meze 99 doesn’t hold back. The low frequencies are delivered with a satisfying punch that adds depth and excitement to your music. You’ll feel the rumble of a bass drum and the thump of a bass guitar in your chest.
The midrange on the Meze 99 strikes a perfect balance. Vocals are clear and expressive, and instruments find their place in the mix with precision. Whether you’re into rock, jazz, or classical, the Meze 99 ensures that every instrument shines.
One of the standout features of the Meze 99 is its expansive soundstage. You’ll feel like you’re in the front row of a live concert, with instruments and vocals placed precisely around you. This wide soundstage adds a level of immersion that’s hard to beat.
Comfort for Hours
Long listening sessions are a breeze with the Meze 99. The lightweight design and plush ear cushions ensure that you can enjoy your favorite music for hours on end without discomfort.
The closed-back design of the Meze 99 not only keeps your music in but also keeps external noise out. Whether you’re on a noisy commute or in a bustling cafe, these headphones provide a serene listening environment.
Alternatives to Consider
While the Meze 99 is undoubtedly a stellar choice, it’s always good to explore alternatives before making a final decision. Here are a few options to consider:
1. Sony WH-1000XM4
The Sony WH-1000XM4 is a top-tier noise-canceling headphone that offers exceptional sound quality and industry-leading noise cancellation. If you prioritize noise isolation and versatility, these headphones are a strong contender.
2. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro
For audiophiles seeking an open-back design and a spacious soundstage, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro is a fantastic choice. These headphones are renowned for their transparent and detailed sound.
3. Sennheiser HD 660 S
Sennheiser is synonymous with high-quality audio, and the HD 660 S continues that tradition. With a focus on accuracy and clarity, these headphones are perfect for critical listening and studio work.
In the realm of headphones, the Meze 99 stands as a testament to both artistry and engineering. With its exceptional sound quality, stunning design, and comfortable fit, it’s a top contender for anyone seeking an audiophile experience. However, as with any audio equipment, personal preferences and priorities play a significant role in your decision.
Whether you opt for the Meze 99 or one of its worthy alternatives, the key is to find the headphones that resonate with your unique taste in music and listening habits. So, embark on your own sonic journey and immerse yourself in the world of audio excellence.