Sunday, Sunday here again, tidy attire. You read the colour supplement, the TV guide.
Music on, hi-fi world off. With six and a half days of the week devoted to hi-fi reviewing – couriers, packing/unpacking, setups/configurations, listening, note-taking, write-ups, photo/video shoots and associated editing – Sunday morning calls timeout on the day job: a chance to lazily read a few chapters of a book, to sip on a (very long) black coffee – until it goes cold – and to sink into music behind headphones. No A/B testing to triangulate performance compared to rival gear. No musing on bass extension or fretting over transducer efficiency. Carefree plug and play is the order of the day.
The Meze 99 Classics (US$309), seen here in a silver trim, are headphones that’d have many reaching for the tired and toothless “musicality“. Heard next to the MRI-scanning Sennheiser HD800S, the Meze’s audible colour is readily apparent.
So too is their amplifier agreeability: 32 Ohms, 103dB. We need not call on a dedicated headphone amplifier for listening lift-off. Pretty much any integrated amplifier’s headphone socket, laptop or smartphone will do. These are one of the few over-ear headphones that I’m happy using directly connected to an iPhone 6S Plus or Microsoft Surface Book 2. No DACket required (with apologies to Phil Collins).
Regular readers will know that the 99ers were previously reviewed for Darko.Audio by Phil Wright. Further, a most cursory of Google searches will return an unusually large number of reviews by the hi-fi and tech press. Raves are easy to find. Negativity remains thin on the ground. That makes the 99 Classics one of the go-to choices below $500, especially for the more discerning listener looking for a more outwardly stylish headphone.
This is not a review of the Meze. What follows contains next to no comparisons to other headphones. Instead, this video is a pro-shot slice of my Sunday morning routine where I use the 99 Classics as an easy-going tool – audibly and physically – to dig into British indie rock, punk, post-punk and new wave; an opportunity too for cameraman Olaf von Voss, video editor Jana Dagdagan (ex-Stereophile) and I to stretch our legs:
Further information: Meze