Massdrop x Meze 99 Noir Closed-Back Headphones
Massdrop x Meze 99 Noir Closed-Back Headphones
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Product Description
A regular fixture on InnerFidelity’s Wall of Fame, PC Magazine’s Editors’ Choice section, and award lists around the world, the 99 Classics get a dark new look in the 99 Noir. Made in collaboration with Meze Audio, these headphones update the original medium-brown finish with a deep matte espresso and swap the gold hardware for more understated black ... Read More
4.4
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114 Reviews
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thebigdirt
8
Jul 9, 2019
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Pretty darn good.
I had a mediocre review up here. But it turns out my pair had a defect. I emailed and they sent me out a new pair. The first pair clearly had something wrong now that I listen to these new ones. Props to the Drop Service Team for acting fast. Great all around headphones. I did get some zmf pads that make them more comfortable.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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Jul 9, 2019
almostspilled
9
Jun 28, 2019
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Not comfortable
Build is good, looks great, but the sound quality is just so subpar. Recessed vocals, way too much mid bass, and overall not comfortable to wear with either of the pad options. Not even EQ can save the sound.
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Would not recommend to a friend.
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Jun 28, 2019
LeeV
1
Jul 18, 2019
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Had to sell my 99’s off, just too much bass, the bass definitely bled into the midrange and sounded like a bass boosted pair of beats headphones.
Jul 18, 2019
psmitty77
42
Jun 14, 2019
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WARM MUSIC ALL AROUND ME! Comfort too.
Everyone for Tyll at Innerfidelity to Zeos has given these a favorable review. The most compelling review was from John Darko though, and that got me to buy them. The overall opinion being that these are just well-made, fun cans that always sound good no matter the pairing(s). I agree. The "fun" part of these headphones is that the music is just all around me and extremely easy to listen to. I love the way the Noirs present sound: the soundstage is respectably wide with proper imaging, which covers every spot in front of your face--no dead zones. On the right track, one sound or effect can travel along the front of your head without ever dying out, and that gives these things a surprisingly holographic feel. The extra heft to the low end does not bother me. In fact, it feels substantial in a natural way to me--not tubby and bloated like I feared. I should take the time to say that I am using the LARGER EAR HOLE PADS that come with this set, so that is the sound signature I am referring to. I believe the SMALLER EAR HOLE PADS increase bass and treble, but some review or another advised against it, so I have not tried that combo yet. The above traits are a huge bonus for headphones I just bought to kick around the house. I also think the Noirs may scale up better than people have said. I have noticed the difference in swapping sources, and I even got the balanced version of the cable on amazon (the MEZE brand one) to enhance sound a bit. I think the cable that comes with it has a TRRS connection for MICs. I wanted a TRRS that foregoes the MIC for balancing the L & R channels. Finally, the comfort...DAMN. This suspension headband is wonderful. You can put it on your head and gracefully go up and down with the earcups. There is no jerkiness, wobbly nature, etc. Just a smooth fitting that easily adjust higher or lower to fit you perfectly. I wish I had better words to describe this experience, but it is greatly satisfying. Lightweight is another word that comes to mind--easy to relax with. I highly recommend these for people that want to comfortably enjoy well-represented music, but I think some audiophiles will be surprised by how much they enjoy these as well.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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Jun 14, 2019
TraderJim
3
Jun 13, 2019
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Impressive clarity and imaging
Terrific fit with an airy feel. Doesn’t hurt the cartilage in my ears like the Sennhwiser Momentum 2.0’s that I have. After listening to it I had to check the price to see how much I paid for them. Was expecting to have paid $400 but was shocked to only pay $200 so I’m buying another pair.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Jun 13, 2019
RogerThat_67
9
Jun 12, 2019
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Wonderful sound, light on the head, great fit, very good soundstage for closed back
First the only minus: there is a toxic chemical smell from the (I believe) the wood stain. It has diminished considerably after a week or so of sitting on my desk, but I can still smell it if I stick my nose close to the cups. I think that will continue to diminish. Positives:
  • Fantastic sound that surpasses ATH 50 (a decent budget headphone that does not need an amp) and equals Fostex mk3 (great mid-range headphone that requires an amp) without a need for an amp
  • Solid fit due to a very unique spring arrangement that is very comfortable. I wear glasses and am bald, 2 items that can cause me to feel headphones are uncomfortable, but these feel comfortable after a whole day of enjoying music.
  • light-weight, but feels solid
Neutral:
  • Case that is included is decent and would have been a big positive except for the oversight of not thinking about the way the cord attaches to the cups -- this headphone uses small plugs that stick out an inch, the case does not allow for this and would put stress on the connection that over time could cause premature wear. Yes, you can unplug your cord, but I think daily resetting of the cord will also cause premature wear. The case itself is strong enough and other than what I mentioned, is a perfect fit for the headset.
I added a balanced cable and love the sound.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Jun 12, 2019
caseygo
3
Jun 10, 2019
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I have bought several of the Massdrop headphones at this price point. These are my least favorite. I think at $100, I like them a lot.
Jun 10, 2019
Toshu
20
Jun 25, 2019
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what is the difference between this headphone and the Sennheiser 6XX??
Jun 25, 2019
Jfmcox
2
Jun 29, 2019
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The Sennheisers are open-back vs, the Meze closed-back. Generally, I find the Meze to have be a little more ‘bassy’. I love the 6xx out of my amp, very balanced and clean, but the Meze is better straight out of my phone.
Jun 29, 2019
Domho7
2
Jun 7, 2019
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I had the meze noir for about a week now. Its better now after some hours of running in. Waiting for 2.5mm cable.
Jun 7, 2019
TM80
10
Jun 3, 2019
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I don't usually go for closed headphones. And actually still don't know why I ordered these... But I'm lucky I did! From the first seconds I clicked play and turned the volume up I understood what people meant when they said these were FUN to listen to (in addition to looking damn good). Paired them with Grace SDAC and O2 amp (haven't tried with my Little Dot mk II yet). The sound is definitely on the warmer side and has a lot of punch and energy behind. Not my first option for rock or metal (what I mainly listen to) but for EDM and rap these are just so damn good. Don't get me wrong, they are not "bad" for metal but when you come from Grado and AKG type of cans this just doesn't have the same effect. The soundstage is definitely narrower than with open headphones (shocking news right?) but has a good feeling and takes you right in the song. Will definitely not use or recommend these for gaming. Tried these also with the Brainwavz velour pads which took a bit of the warmth and lower end emphasis away and made them sound a bit more even. The swap brought them more in line with my other headphones but that's not why I bought these so I swapped the original pads back on to get the fun Meze signature sound back. Would have liked the normal cable better. Highly recommended!


Other headphones I own: Grado SR325e, HifiMan HE-400, AKG Q701 and Sennheiser HD 6XX.


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Jun 3, 2019
HoboLobo
31
Jun 23, 2019
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I'm using the Schiit Modi and Magni for my HD6XX, and it sounded amazing for the price point.
Jun 23, 2019
TM80
10
Jun 25, 2019
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Seems like a good pair. Specially if you are located in the US.
Jun 25, 2019
SaskAudioGuy
274
May 28, 2019
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Incredibly repairable! Optional pads are best.
Disclaimer: Due to issues I ended up with no pairs. The first pair ended up with a driver lead getting crushed under a mounting point. So I had audio artifacts, it made for a quiet then suddenly loud depending on volume setting. The second set I received for RMA were moldy. After some back and forth, Drop customer service refunded me and I threw out the moldy cans. I have used some jumper leads to do my best to repair the first set. They work and they gave me some insight into the insides of these things. The repaired mini review -------:> I didn't want to include this because I've modified them beyond something simple by replacing the stock wires on the cup. I decided to give them a fair shakedown. The source is Tidal MQA, the device Samsung Note 9, a MavisModz cable, and a lightly concave EQ, all other audio processing disabled. I listened to a wide range of stuff... These have the pads swapped. Chopin, Queen, Daftpunk, Nirvana, Shaggy, The Raconteurs, Migos, etc... I will say that one thing came to my mind while listening to these, they are fun. The bass is surprisingly clean, but they can boom pretty good. The details are very present, they reproduce things very well, nothing ever feels washed out. Listening to some of the electronic stuff that swings from high to gutter low, they never stumble. On the classical music, they do well on the high notes, not missing a beat to get that thump. These don't disappoint to my ears on Chopin. I will say they definitely flavour the music but it's not bad, in fact they make me want to listen more. At and slightly above my preferred listening volume there's no sibilance, but they have no issues driving those high frequency sounds. I'm incredibly treble sensitive, so I'd be complaining. End of my repaired mini review. They are completely fastened together with threaded fasteners. So you can pull everything off and replace individual parts. From what I can gather most of the parts for mounting the cup are the same as the Meze 99 Classics. Meze says they sell the parts for those so they should be repairable for quite some time. Now for my condensed review, which is based off my out of the box listening experience. The headphones have a great sort of retro look, and very comfortable in terms of pressure. The 'vegan leather' is soft and feels nice for less than 30 minutes then I get hot. The foam backed ear pads are definitely superior sounding to the mesh backed ones. The bass is clean, strong, without being boomy/blithery. It also softens the sound a touch they are kind of harsh sounding otherwise to me. It definitely takes off some of the brightness the highs had. The bad... - Hmmm... - Vinyl makes my ears hot. - The metal headband needs damping. - Will sound cold and clinical on low quality files - 1st pair had internal wires crushed shorting a driver - 2nd pair was moldy Listened to Country to Metal to Pop to Rap to Classic to Electronic to Rock and they all sounded good to me on them. Before the issues: 4 out of 5 After the mold/fungal stench edition: 2/5 Customer service experience: 3.5/5 Average: 3/5
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Would recommend to a friend.
(Edited)
May 28, 2019
CEE_TEE
3109
Collaborations
Jun 2, 2019
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Whoa- I have never seen that...have you gotten another replacement (I hope)?
Jun 2, 2019
SaskAudioGuy
274
Jun 2, 2019
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No replacement for the replacement yet. Heh I'm trying to get things sorted but they want me to send both pairs back and I repacked the headphones and the stench of rotting meat mixed with decomposing wood... just from opening the case long enough to throw the accessories back in. I'm worried about shipping them because just one breathe and my throat hurt. So I have to declare them to UPS since they have to cross a border but they are in the bio hazard category now. The slow responses from support really aren't doing much and the low levels of stock mean I'm likely going to end up with a refund(less shipping costs?), bad memories and no headphones again... lol Interesting tidbit.. First pair serial: 671 Second pair serial: 1617
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Jun 2, 2019
Shorstkin
0
May 28, 2019
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May 28, 2019
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