This is my review of these Meze 99 Neo headphones. They are exceptionally good for this price, given they are similar to the Classics but a little more affordable. The question for me is, are they going to supersede the more ‘street’ Oppo PM-3s as traveling headphones of choice.
These Meze 99 Neo are nicely light closed back headphones. I wouldn’t describe them as ‘street’ given the headband architecture involved but these are very good ‘traveling’ headphones. They come with a hard, substantial and stylish carry case that is rucksack friendly.
The headphones have the pressure-adjusting headband similar to the Empyreans and they are exceptionally comfortable as they are so light. They have medium density memory foam ear-pads, that has a faux leather feel.
Included in the box is a 1.5m Kevlar OFC cable with mic and remote control. The cables go in each ear, also included in the box is a 6.3mm (1/4″) gold-plated jack adapter, the obligatory airplane adapter, and a cable pouch
These headphones are nicely put together, they feel pretty robust to me. There are many beautifully machined screws on the steel sprung headband, keeping things rigid yet comfortable. I note on the site Meze offers a service and repair option should the worst happen to your ‘phones.
The cable is as good as you would want, it is made of kevlar apparently, soft, not sticky and noiseless. Only when the cable splits to each ear does it go to rubber with a remote control button on the left channel feed. ou would be hard pressed to distinguish Left and Right, the most discreet of markings are on the terminals at each ear.
The 1/4″ jack adapter is finished in a gold plate as is the 3.5mm jack terminal.
Transducer size: 40mm
Frequency response: 15Hz – 25KHz
Sensitivity: 103dB at 1KHz, 1mW
Impedance: 26 Ohm
Rated input power: 30mW
Max input power: 50mW
Cable: Detachable Kevlar OFC
Plug: 3.5mm gold plated
Ear-cups: ABS Plastic
warm and wide with plenty of bass control
A superior sound from the Portable Audio Player compared to my everyday Pixel 2 with a crappy dongle, the 99 Neos sparkle. This really is a remarkable sound at this price. I bought the Radiohead ‘hacked minidiscs’ from bandcamp.com and the rendition of Subterranean Homesick Alien on MD125 after about 24 minutes is wonderful if you love that track (and I’m transfixed by it, every time). Overall, I feel the sound is quite bright, which I like but they are always warm and wide open, like their big brother. They are not bass heavy at all, there is plenty of control in this department.
With a Benchmark HPA4 and the Auralic Veg G1 DAC
Then it was time to switch over to some critical listening with a new arrival, the Benchmark HPA4 headphone amplifier. Slightly over the top connected to the ‘Outstanding’ Auralic Vega G1 streaming DAC but this is where you can hear the full potential of these products with a clean source and a controlled amplifier. Switching to ‘2049’ (from Blade Runner 2049) to listen to the bass detail, there are bags of control here in the headphones and no hint of stress or distortion in the ears.
Next, I’m listening for detail and resolution and so Nils Frahm’s ‘Ode’ is the perfect piece. All the detail is here from the hammers on the piano strings to the soft echoes in the room, remarkable at this price.
After this, I wake up with ‘ Sledgehammer’ to hear these superfast headphones deliver a controlled beat. At the beginning of the track, to emphasize the detail in these headphones, after the flutes, I hear in the background the first bar from where the brass kicks in, before the first bar, a slight production error, maybe? I’ve never noticed this before but this is what headphones can do, reveal more.
These headphones are warm and wide with plenty of bass control, in addition, they are very light and offer a comfortable fit. I believe these Meze 99 Neo headphones are exceptional at this price and, without hesitation, I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a pair of headphones to travel with.
Warm and wide
Easy to drive
What more do you want?