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CEE_TEE
3355
Oct 5, 2018
Stickied
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Some gear crosses boundaries. Audiophiles might buy “professional” studio monitors, for example.   Pros get impressed by “audiophile” headphones today. “Consumers” can discover and love “enthusiast” products with a little research. The Meze 99 Classics headphone are enjoyed by the greatest range of people we have yet seen for an “enthusiast audiophile” product. The Meze 99 Classics were created with an emphasis on beautiful design, materials, and craftsmanship. It’s a great-looking headphone that also sounds wonderful. What pushes this headphone into “unicorn status” is that it also happens to be very comfortable and quick-to-fit (auto-adjusts to your size and distributes evenly). This intersection of design, sound, comfort, materials/build quality, and price point has arguably not been seen since the Denon AHD2000 was discontinued in 2012.  And that had plastic ear cups. This is a “go-to” closed back headphone that we can recommend to everyone.   In the office, for looks/comfort…I’ve been getting requests from co-workers for a pair of these since I passed them around during the product launch meeting. In forums and online reviews- people from every background seem to connect with this headphone and to the music… More Classic(-er) Takes a lot of confidence to call your headphone the “99 Classics” right out of the gate. But we have to agree...Meze Audio created an instant classic. Community feedback demanded we keep the “Classics” sound. Meze worked with us. We tested different drivers, reductions of -3dB bass, -5dB bass... But Community Feedback & over a year of sentiment analysis boiled down to: “Don’t take away what makes the sound of this headphone special, don’t make it into something it is not.” So, this is a warm, bassy headphone with a lush enjoyable sound. This headphone aims at making music sound good, rather than to highlight flaws. The reviews you read share impressions of the sound that you will receive. No tuning changes have been made with the 99 Noir. What did we do to refine a classic? -Combined the short and long cables into one 6 foot microphone cable with controls. -Switched carry case outer material from pleather to woven nylon. -Removed the airplane two-prong adapter. -Removed the cable zipper pouch. -Requested all of the hardware in black, worked through various woods and finishes to find a deep, dark, smoky finish that shows the walnut grain and is a bit antiqued. Still looks great on your coffee table or desk, but more understated for greater use out and about.
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We have been extremely selective in bringing you the very best closed back headphone at $199.99 shipped to your door in the US.
(Edited)
Oct 5, 2018
erickong
3637
Audiophile Moderator
Oct 5, 2018
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Amazing work as usual
Oct 5, 2018
Sivla
28
Oct 5, 2018
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You're killing it CT. I did not expect this. Now for that Aeon Flow Open...
Oct 5, 2018
cheaplad
66
Oct 6, 2018
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Great one @CEE_TEE! Man, I’m in!
Oct 6, 2018
Volly
282
Oct 6, 2018
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Very cool, actually though, I think the Gold accents would have worked well on the Noir?!? The silver might have as well?!
Oct 6, 2018
Athtel
295
Oct 7, 2018
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Where are these made?
Oct 7, 2018
dan-theman
54
Oct 8, 2018
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Fairly certain it’s China.
Oct 8, 2018
Dragos.T
5
Oct 8, 2018
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Romania :)
Oct 8, 2018
ludwigtheholyblade
192
Oct 8, 2018
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Hello @CEE_TEE, may we request info on the earpad sizes that was brought up over here: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-meze-99-noir-closed-back-headphones/talk/2223341 Earpad size was an issue that affected sound quality in the later builds of the Meze.
Also, may we request info on where these cans will be built? China or Romania?
Cheers.
Oct 8, 2018
Tom.M.2
16
Oct 8, 2018
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thanks for asking this. I had expected to purchase this morning...but if I’m not going to get what was praised in reviews and put on wall of fames...but instead a version that is being removed from said wall...that’s a deal breaker. Bait and switch. I hate this gambling crap.
Oct 8, 2018
TheHawk
22
Oct 8, 2018
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I’m gonna guess these headphones have what many perceive as the “problem“ ear pads
And I think that because of the description:
”We tested different drivers, reductions of -3dB bass, -5dB bass... But Community Feedback & over a year of sentiment analysis boiled down to: “Don’t take away what makes the sound of this headphone special, don’t make it into something it is not.” So, this is a warm, bassy headphone with a lush enjoyable sound.”
Only time I ever heard the Meze 99 described as bassy was after they changed the ear pad dimensions last year and the fact they tested reducing the bass by -3 to -5db alludes to that as a common complaint was the bass became bloated by an amount in that range when the ear pads changed.
Its worth noting too that all of the reviews linked with the exception of Darko were done in 2016 before the pad change. Only Darko’s is fairly recent and he touched on the bass issue in his review
Edit: Now that CeeTee has confirmed these have the larger ear pads these will be a no go for me as this is when the bass issue reared it’s head with these cans because MEZE didn’t bother to retune them.
From my research the only people that thought these got better with the larger pads are the basshead crowd. Now I like to have cans in the arsenal that have strong bottom end but not at the expense of the mids (which is why I love my TH-X00 Ebony) Metal571 discussed the issue when he reviewed them after the pad change. He described them as Bass Monsters with too much bass bleed into the mids. You can watch his review here:
https://youtu.be/RnjD04NIFlc
Too bad because they look terrific in this color scheme
Oct 8, 2018
ludwigtheholyblade
192
Oct 8, 2018
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Same here. The Massdrop collaborations are a great idea, but in the end, we're still deciding over a completely new product, no matter how much they say they're making use of what made the original popular.
Oct 8, 2018
McSchnauze
3
Oct 8, 2018
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Looking forward to these! :-D But the side-by-side photo of the 99 Classics and the 99 Noir gives the appearance that the darker wooden cups of the Noir is wider and shorter, compared to the 99 Classics (slimmer/longer cups). It could just be the angle / placement of the units during the shoot that gives this perception, but if there is a real difference in earcup width and/or height, it could affect the overall sound of the 99 Noir (versus the 99 Classics).
Oct 8, 2018
CEE_TEE
3355
Oct 8, 2018
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Hi ludwigtheholyblade, Just got back last night from RMAF. Meze confirmed that there were some intermediate larger hole pads that were sent out to original buyers of the first units with small hole pads. These have the larger pads that have been shipping with the 99Classics since the first production run. Larger holes, more comfortable, and sound better from some reports than the intermediate pads that went out to some original buyers. As soon as the Head-fi.org team gets back from RMAF and recovers, they already have a pair and we’ll get some measurements up soon!
The 99 Classics and 99 Noir are designed in Romania and made in China.
Hope that helps and thanks for the interest!
Oct 8, 2018
CEE_TEE
3355
Oct 8, 2018
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Same sized and CNC’d cups, McSchnauze. Darn- darker is supposed to be slimming... ;)
Oct 8, 2018
xformulax
265
Oct 8, 2018
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thanks, think i'm cancelling.
Oct 8, 2018
Tomomo
84
Oct 9, 2018
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No, its actually going to be made in China...
Oct 9, 2018
McSchnauze
3
Oct 9, 2018
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Haha! Yup, a dark ensemble is supposed to make one look more svelte. Thanks for the clarification! :-)
Oct 9, 2018
Tom.M.2
16
Oct 10, 2018
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Hmm... how much bass? I did find myself adding some to my MSR7s... but if these sound like Beats or somethin, yuck. I really don’t like the idea of the mid range sounding worse here. Really does make it a gamble. Hopefully some graphs will be posted before the drop ends.
Oct 10, 2018
mattris
833
Oct 11, 2018
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The Meze 99 does have slightly boosted bass but the mids are very present. Their overall sound is very forward and clear. Unfortunately, their 'around-ear' pads are claustrophobic, putting light pressure on the outside of your ears. For short listening sessions, I don't expect this will be a deal-breaker for most people. But the longer they are worn... the more discomfort you will endure.
And just FYI... Pad-swapping will likely be to detrimental to the sound (Brainwavz pleather pads). Perhaps non-angled real leather pads would be acceptable... but probably reduce the treble.
Oct 11, 2018
syukaery
7
Oct 18, 2018
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I own Meze 99 Classic and it's very well balanced with good sub bass presence, sparkling but smooth treble. Overall a fantastic all-round headphones.
Oct 18, 2018
dream3
62
Oct 23, 2018
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why would pad swapping be detrimental at all?
Oct 23, 2018
mattris
833
Oct 23, 2018
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The many components of a headphone determine its sound. With just the pads in mind, the following variables affect the sound heard: shape of the pad, inner-foam (specific material & density), perforations (quantity & size), material of the pad which touches your head & around your ear, volume of interior space around your ear, and driver distance from your ear canal.
Be sure to read TheHawk's post above. He brings attention to the fact that the Meze 99 Noir uses the newest pad iteration. Compared to the Meze 99 Classic with their original pads, the new pads have more interior (ear) space... but increase the bass and decrease the lower-mids. Please see this article and pdf for more details:
https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/meze-99-neo-around-ear-sealed-headphones https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/Meze99SeriesAndPads.pdf
Prospective owners of the Meze 99 Noir: As you know, the Meze 99 Noir is based on the Meze 99 Classic. Many reviews of the Classic were done the headphones' original pad design, which resulted in a more-balanced sound. But the Noir does not come with those 'original' pads. The 'new' pads make the Meze 99 a bass-focused headphone with reduced vocal presence.
Oct 23, 2018
Keth
695
Oct 26, 2018
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Is it possible to get the older pads?
Oct 26, 2018
mattris
833
Oct 26, 2018
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I think your best bet is to ask Massdrop to request Meze to include them with the headphones. If only the 'new' stock pads are included, I foresee many owners complaining about 'too much bass'. And the search will begin for suitable replacement earpads. On that note, Brainwavz offers a pleather pad model designed for the Sony MDR-7506 headphones which I expect would work well with the Meze 99... and a perforated model that should decrease the bass (just a tad) and increase the sound-stage and perception of air. I found that the trick with the pads being used with the Meze 99 is having the driver closer to the ear canal than the 'new' stock pads. These earpads do just that. In addition, some padding/foam between your ear and the driver might be necessary to achieve the desired sound. I suppose one could select foam based on the foam in the stock pads... or simply destroy the stock pads and steal their foam.
Oct 26, 2018
Keth
695
Oct 26, 2018
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Thanks for the heads up. I don't currently own and closed backs, and these are on my short list for headphones that hit above their cost point. Maybe I'd be better off going for a T50RP mod though, like the Mayflower or Argon.
Oct 26, 2018
mattris
833
Oct 26, 2018
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Those are great. Let me also recommend the BOSSHIFI B8 with Brainwavz Sheepskin Leather Pads installed for a spacious, detailed, flat bass. (The B8 with XL Hybrid Pads is super impressive with instrumental music... but only use these large pads at home.) The similar-looking - but with more bass and treble - Sivga SV006 with Brainwavz MicroSuede Pads is another excellent option... as is the smooth- and spacious-sounding Sivga SV003 with Brainwavz XL Hybrid Pads. In my experience, these 'combos' make for the best-value wired close-back headphones ~$100... and probably can't be beat for under $200. All the best in your headphone journey, Keth!
(Edited)
Oct 26, 2018
Keth
695
Oct 26, 2018
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Oh, I'm ready to make the jump from my Fidelio X2's and HD58X's, both serve their purposes really well, for casual gaming and movies (X2), and casual music and serious gaming (58X). Also have some Crossfade LP's...but we don't talk about those, at the least the V-moda cable is good! Just picked up a Liquid Spark to match with the Grace SDAC, the preamp is a bit noisy on the Spark (into LSR 305's), so I may get some RCA splitters and go back to my Big Knob passive.
Oct 26, 2018
mattris
833
Oct 27, 2018
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Good idea... at least until you can acquire a better DAC with XLR-outs and volume control. I love the build of the X2. And the sound/performance ratio of the HD58X's is unmatched - at least for an (un-modded) open-back.
Oct 27, 2018
Keth
695
Oct 27, 2018
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Eh, I prefer to keep my DAC and amp separate so I can upgrade each as my needs change. I don't have balanced headphones or IEMs, and for a desk system the runs are too short for balanced to matter on my monitors...besides I can get TS or TRS connectors in right angle which makes cable management easier.
Oct 27, 2018
Joe405
145
Oct 28, 2018
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Yeah I guess the 300+ who've joined the drop are bassheads (nothing wrong with that), are unaware of the change in pads or are willing to gamble on MD changing their minds about them. As for me I've seen too many group buys go bad to consider joining a "first-run" drop.
Oct 28, 2018
mattris
833
Oct 28, 2018
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Fully agreed. The Meze 99 is impressive, and I'd consider joining just to experiment with pad-swapping... but the 6-month wait is unacceptable. It's safe to predict that Massdrop will over-order and offer an 'in-stock drop' in late April.
Oct 28, 2018
Helpbot
182
Apr 8, 2019
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That's/this is what I was waiting for. Can you tell fortunes too?
Apr 8, 2019
Nosaj1969
104
Apr 8, 2019
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You truly have the ability to foresee the future! Bought mine today....
Apr 8, 2019
mattris
833
Apr 9, 2019
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Sorry, I only offer audio equipment-related predictions and recommendations. For improved comfort (and quite possibly sound) with the Meze 99, I recommend exchanging their stock pads with Brainwavz Oval Micro Suede Pads... or these pads from the brand misodiko that appear to be identical. Enjoy!
Apr 9, 2019
William_Shiu
111
Apr 15, 2019
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I looked up the upgraded cables from Meze website. However, the retail price as well as shipping of the 7N cables are quite steep. Do you think MD can offer a drop on those cables? Cheers.
Apr 15, 2019
Mavismodz
6
Apr 16, 2019
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Hi pal, just seen your post about the meze upgrade cable, I just wanted to let you know that I custom build cables for meze 99 and retail them on eBay UK (seller mavismodz6) if I remember correctly the cable from the meze site is a silver plated balanced 8 core braid? I can braid you the same thing in better quality sp-occ n7 mill spec (30x0.8mm) wire, or better if required ( upto 16 core litz style braid) if your interested feel free to message me on eBay,
Apr 16, 2019
Speids01
1
Apr 24, 2019
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Hey, do you build/sell custom cables for other types of headphones?
Apr 24, 2019
Mavismodz
6
Apr 30, 2019
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Hi, yeah I've got around 70 listings on eBay UK for cables and adaptors etc, if you search for seller 'mavismodz6' you should find all my listings, if you don't see exactly what you want I can probably custom build something to your exact specs, drop me a message on eBay for fastest response times. I apologise for the 6 day wait, I'm not very often on here........I tend to spend a fortune every time I am!!
Apr 30, 2019
kawmic
48
Aug 8, 2019
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This is ABSOLUTELY NOT audiophile!
Aug 8, 2019
Helpbot
182
Aug 8, 2019
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They are quite resolving though.
Aug 8, 2019
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