Meze 99 Neo Headphones Review – Beautiful, fully serviceable over-head headphones

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Meze 99 Neo Headphones Review Rating

Summary

The Meze 99 Neo are a superb, fun and warm sounding headphone with plenty of bass response without being boomy. The sound profile will likely have a wide appeal for casual listeners but may not be suited to someone wanting something a bit more analytical. They are a gorgeous pair of headphones, and the serviceable design allows them to stand out from the crowd.

Overall
85%
85%
  • Overall - 85%
    85%

Meze Audio was founded 10 years ago, but it is an audio brand that I have not been familiar with until now.

They have a small range of headphones and earphones, currently consisting of just four sets of headphones and three pairs of earphones.

The Meze 99 Neo is the most affordable headphone they offer, which is currently priced at £179 on Amazon.

One of the stands out features of these headphones is that they are fully serviceable. Only screws are used in the build of the headphones. Meze then sells the earpads, headband and replacement/upgradable cables, ensuring your headphones will stay in use for years to come.

Specifications

Meze 99-Neo Over-Ear Headphones
  • Detachable 1.2 m with Mic. Kevlar cable
  • Frequency range: 15 Hz - 25 KHz, Impedance: 26...
  • Fully serviceable, only screws used in the build...
  • Hard EVA carrying pouch
  • Transducer size: 40mm
  • Frequency response: 15Hz – 25KHz
  • Sensitivity: 103dB at 1KHz, 1mW
  • Impedance: 26 Ω
  • Rated input power: 30mW
  • Maximum input power: 50mW
  • Detachable Kevlar OFC cable
  • Plug: 3.5mm gold plated
  • Weight: 260 gr (9.2 ounces) without cables
  • Ear-cups: ABS Plastic

Design & Fit

The Meze 99 Neo are some of the nicest looking headphones I have used, and I am sure the Classics look even better in real life. They are relatively small and light compared to some premium options, but the overall aesthetic is sleek and has a retro vibe to them. The metal headband means they are not foldable, but you get a hard case included.

Of course, it is the fully serviceable design that makes these stand out compared to most other brands. Knowing these should last for many years to come helps justify the cost (which is reasonable in the first place). The overall build quality is flawless too, I can’t find any faults and everything is finished to a high standard.

As for fit, these are also some of the extremely comfortable to wear, they have a very light level of pressure from the headband, with the headband adjusting automatically based on the shape of your head. Then because they are quite light, you don’t feel that your head is weighed down. The earpads also encircle my entire ear without sitting uncomfortably on the outer edges.

The cables are removable and upgradable, Meze sell them, but you should be able to find third party cables relatively easily as it uses a dual 3.5mm mono jack for the headphone. A standard cable is around £25 from Meze, but the silver-plated upgrade cables will set you back at around £110.

It is worth noting that the cable has a built-in mic and volume control, allowing these to work well with smartphones. I used the THX Onyx with these, which has microphone compatibility, and everything worked perfectly.

Sound Quality

Meze indicate the same frequency response graph for both the Neo and Classics, however, the Classics have a higher impedance of 32 Ohm. I don’t have the hardware to test this, but the Neo seems to have a slight bass emphasis which provides a pleasantly warm sound with plenty of low ends without it being overbearing. It is a sound profile that will appeal to the vast majority of normal people.

Mids carry on the warmth from the bass, which is emphasised in the vocals. They are perhaps a little pushed back compared to the lows and treble, but they still offer a fantastic amount of detail.

Highs are enjoyable, offering a good level of detail without getting too sharp. This is a frequency I often struggle with as I am a bit sensitive to them. In particular, I didn’t experience sibilance or unpleasant harshness, which is what helped make these less fatiguing than many headphones.  

User reviews seem to indicate that the Classics offer a more audiophile pleasing neutral sound if that is your preference.

With these being a closed-back headphones the soundstage is somewhat lacking with a little less instrument separation, but no worse than most other headphones with this design.

There is some sound bleed from the headphones, I suspect due to the lighter fit of the headphones. So, if you wore these in the office or on the commute, it may be advisable not to dial up the volume too high.

Price and Alternative Options

The Meze 99 Neo are available from Amazon.co.uk for £179, or you can buy them directly from Meze.

The Meze 99 Classics are £90 more at £269, these seem to get more favourable reviews from audiophiles and critics, but if you prefer a slightly bassier sound or want something that can be easily driven from your smartphone, the Neo is likely a better option.

Overall

The Meze 99 Neo are superb. They have excellent sound quality with a sound profile that fits my tastes personally, which is also in line with what most mainstream consumers prefer, a warm, rich sound with slight bass emphasis without being overly analytical.

Both the design and comfort are also superb, making these a joy to wear for long periods of time.

They are not unreasonably priced either, and the serviceable design means that cost per wear should be superior to many other headphones that are priced similarly.

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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