Thanks, @Resolve and DMS. Early days, I know, but what headphone in the mid-level price bracket ($500-$1,200) do you think the 109 Pro most resembles sonically?
I ask because I own three over-ear headphones – the Edition XS, HD 6XX and LCD-2C. The 6XX probably is welded to its stand. Doubt I’ll ever sell them. They’re not perfect, but their sound is just so dependable, reliable and predictable with so many genres. I can always count on them.
But I am considering selling either the XS or LCD-2C and buying either the LCD-X or the 109 Pro. I use light three-band analog EQ (JDS Labs Subjective 3) on the XS and LCD-2C, but both still have a few quirks that grate. Namely, the slightly thin mids and leaner bass of the XS and the forward mids and blunted treble of the LCD-2C.
Basically, I’m looking for the bass depth of the LCD-2C with the clarity and detail of the XS. Which of my two choices comes closest, the LCD-X or the 109 Pro? Or is there another option in the price range I should consider for an open-back?
Maybe edition XS? It’s got a similar tonal balance, with a few differences. To be clear, the LCD-X 2021 is definitely more technical than the 109 pro. So if it’s between those two I’d personally go LCD-X 2021. But the 109 Pro is also a lot more comfortable.
I had a chance to listen to one at Capital Audiofest. Even though it was at a show the room was secluded and quiet. It was running off a Oor/Hypsos and I can’t remember the DAC. I found it to be a rather bright headphone and my ears were fatigued after listening to Vicarious by Tool (this is my go to test track). I’m also a wimp when it comes to treble.I think if I could EQ down whatever errant peak was causing my issues then I’d be a lot happier.
Meze carries on with the great work!
What brand do you (all) feel is the best match-up for Meze? What competitor holds the same popularity, quality, and performance standards, even if across price points?
Focal doesn’t offer anywhere near the low price points of Meze at retail price. Yes, the Elegia is available for $300 through the Adorama deal. Otherwise, Focal’s cheapest off-the-shelf can is the Elex, which is $750 normal retail at Drop. It’s cheapest non-collab audiophile can is the Bathys ANC at $800 or the Celestee wired at $1,000.
Meze offers the 99 Neo at $200 and the 99 Classics at $310 off the shelf.
Focal has more mid-range cans available, as before the 109 Pro ($800), Meze’s lineup jumped from the 99 Classics ($310) to the Empreyan ($3,000) if you’re not counting IEMs.
I’d say a better comp is Dan Clark Audio. A variety of beautiful, well-designed and well-built open- and closed-backs at prices ranging from $400 to $5,000. Only difference is I think all or nearly all of DCA’s offerings are planar-magnetic.
LOL. Hey, your comp was good! Focal does offer a nice, complete line, like Meze. But it’s lacking in entry-level models at normal retail prices that don’t scare the shit out of typical consumers.
We don’t flinch that much at spending a grand on a pair of cans. Tell that fact to a non-audiophile, and their eyebrows peel back halfway up their scalp.
That’s why I think Meze’s lineup is a smidge more complete due to hitting more price points. Focal aims high end only. Meze aims entry level and high end, with the 109 Pro being its first mid-fi offering.
I consider anything under $400 to be entry level, anything $400-1,000 to be mid-level and anything $1,000 and above to be high end. Your mileage may vary …
I love my LCD-X 2021, and if I were to purchase another open-back it would probably be a dynamic, such as the Focal Clear, Meze 109 Pro, ZMF Aeolus or Aurorus Borealis. I kind of regret selling my Elex and 6XX, as it would have been a nice change of pace from the LCD-X.
Edit: I honestly think I’d go 109 Pro or Borealis; this is based only on what I’ve read and seen, as I’ve not heard either.