trying to discover audiophile friendly headphones …i would like to hear about meze 99 classic.some reviews are very honest and say that is a very pleasant headphone with massive bass.is this true?how is the sound comparing to the sennheiser hd600 for example?
They are warm, bassy, and “fun,” but are closed headphones. In general, closed headphones are more boomy and fatiguing than open headphones. This applies to the 99 Classics. I own HD600s and they are neutral, absolutely not boomy, and open. If you are seeking accuracy you want HD600s. If you like Beats you’ll probably like the 99 Classics.
The 99 Classics are good, but while they have a very forward mid-bass, the sub-bass rolls off a bit high for my liking and leaves the bottom end feeling a little dissatisfying compared to things like the Cascade or the HD580s. Don’t get me wrong, I use my 99s at work where I need a closed can a good bit and they are quite enjoyable, but since you wanted an “audiophile” review, I’d list the 99 Classics as somewhat warm and bass forward with rolled off sub-bass and only moderate high end extension. Next steps above them are the Mr. Speakers Aeon Closed or Campfire Cascade both of which outperform the 99 by a considerable margin but at a much higher price point to go with it.
I have a pair of 99 Classics, and while it might just be the case that I’m spoiled as far as bassy headphones go (they’re not the best but the Klipsch HP-3 does bass quite well), they don’t sound “fun” to me as much as they do “bloated”. The treble is more polite than on the Klipsch, which is nice, but given the relative downgrade in spatial cues, resolution, and the fact that the bass is boomier than I’m used to, I have trouble calling them audiophile quality. Get a Sennheiser HD650 if you want a good warm/dark audiophile headphone, or the HD600 if you want something a bit more exciting/aggressive sounding. The HD600, speaking from memory, is leaner but has better resolution and sounds more natural than the Mezes; vocals don’t sound nearly as stuffy/muffled.
I’m informed that pad swapping helps alleviate the bloat issue, but I’ve not gotten around to that yet. School in the way and general laziness
The Campfire Cascades failed to impress me, considering the price. They certainly sound like a more resolving 99 Classic, but speaking from a technicalities perspective sounded more like Fostex TH-X00 tier. I also noticed a bit of a treble spike on the Cascades that sizzled on my test tracks, but that may not bother you.
I hesitate to recommend these because I myself have been warned away from getting them due to reputable people informing me of gimbal failures and generally low durability, but I really loved how the Focal Spirit Professionals sounded. They were kinda like the HD600, but with the same limitations you’d expect of a closed-back pair of headphones. Much better bass than the Senns though!
i never heard focal headphones…i usually prefer sennys and audio technica 50s.but i would like to test some new ones.most preferable price near 250-300 eyr.so meze classics are not exactly audiophile ones?
Not disputing that they have a “fun” tuning, but yeah, I’d say they aren’t exactly audiophile. It’s not that they’re outright bad, mind, just that the bass lets the headphone down in my opinion. I’ve actually been trying to track down an earlier version of the 99 Classics with smaller pads because I hear they’re more “reference” sounding than these, which would be nice to have. I don’t know what you’re looking for in a headphone exactly so you may like the Mezes if you’re leaning towards a bassy sound.
Since I believe you’re in Europe, I believe it’d be fairly easy to track down the Focal Spirit Pros used, if you don’t mind buying pre-owned and can find someone trustworthy. I don’t doubt you’ll be able to find them for well under EUR250 in that case. I guess I might as well recommend the TH-X00 mahogany off Massdrop ($400 before shipping, lots of listings used here: https://www.hifishark.com/search?q=x00, you can filter by region and maybe find a nearby vendor). Do note that the treble on the X00 is a bit rougher than on the Sennheisers, say, but it may not bother you unless you listen at louder volumes.
I’ve always preferred open headphones however I now prefer the Sure 1540 Closed phones. They sound like an open phone, are extremely linear with a solid realistic low bass. No boom. Mids and highs are smooth and enjoyable. I listen to Classical predominantly and these phones offer a nice wide open soundstage with depth to the image. Close to a speaker like perspective with great instrument placement. Plus they are light and comfortable. They do not feel like a closed phone. I’ve had the Beyer T90 and I also have the 880 and the Senn HD 650. To my ears the Sure crushes them all.
mezeaudio informed me that is going to sell soon an M padding for classics.thats about making sound signature more neutral in future
The board seemed to take exception to my typing in all caps, so here’s a more measured response understating how much that news excites me: FUCK YES.
They do seem to fall behind a bit in terms of overall resolution, but if the new pads lean the sound out I might actually begin loving these. Reserving final thoughts on the 99 Classics until I can get my ears on those new pads.
Care to share your source? Not that I’m mistrustful, but this is one of the better bits of news in relatively affordable audio lately as far as I’m concerned.
Quick update, got in touch with someone at Meze and they confirmed that their team was working on a new line of pads. Reading back on it they didn’t elaborate on whether or not they were aiming for a more balanced sound, so for all we know they could be trying to add more bass!
Kidding, it’s likely going to sound more neutral, haha. I’m not a fan of the 99s just now (to put it very politely), so this is great news overall.
indeed meze classics have a bass response that elevates fun in terms of audiophile quality sound.i would love them but I am sceptical about what will happen with the new pads and if soon will be part of production line.as a dj i am fun of dynamic sound signature with powerful bass and highs.but as my listening goes on i have to admit neutral sound is more reliable and realistic.hope to have news about meze classics as soon as possible.
It’s worth considering that if you use the 99 Classics while DJing there’s a fair chance your mixes might turn out too lean as your mixes will come across as much bassier than what you’ll get on other systems.