Recently I had the pleasure of being included in a worldwide tour posted on Head-fi of the Meze Audio 99 Neo headphones. Below you’ll find my impressions. Before that, a little bit about me and this site…
I am by no means an audio professional nor will I ever claim to be without the correct accreditation. Everything offered will be my experience/opinion. Its all subjective and may sound one way to me but different to the next person. In this respect I’ll always accept discussion but never bashing.
The Smoking Greek was first established as a cigar blog. I did have the intention of converting it to cigars and audio, as they’re both passions I extremely enjoy. The Meze 99 Neo marks the first audio type review on this site, however here you won’t find measurements, graphs, etc. The only thing I can and will offer is my personal experience and opinion with audio equipment pertaining to how they sound, build quality, price, packaging, fit, and comfort.
As far as music goes I have a big emphasis on classic rock, rock/pop, some jazz, some classical, and of course Greek music. There will always be a list of sources and songs used. More so than not the playlist might be pretty similar. Now let’s get down to it…
I used my Fiio X5iii mainly for this review. Once or twice I also employed the Fiio A5 amp which really wasn’t necessary but we’ll get to that later.
Apple IPod Classic. Apple IPhone 7S Plus.
My biggest regret was not having the time to hook this up to my Schiit Asgard 2. Again it wasn’t necessary for power purposes but I’m sure the experience would’ve been that much funner, something I soon hope to rectify. (yes that can be considered a spoiler alert.)
David Bowie- Ashes to Ashes, Space Oddity, Starman, Blackstar, Ziggy Stardust, Life on Mars.
Prince- Purple Rain, When Doves Cry, Let’s Go Crazy.
AC/DC- Thunderstruck, Shook Me All Night Long, Big Gun.
Guns N Roses- November Rain, Estranged, You Could Be Mine, Yesterdays, Nighttrain.
Chris Cornell- Sunshower, Hunger Strike, Nothing Compares (Sirius Session Cover)
Aerosmith- Dream On, Sweet Emotion, Rag Doll.
Santana- Yambu, Oye Como Va, Black Magic Woman.
Jefferson Airplane- White Rabbit, Somebody to Love.
Packaging & Accessories;
The Meze 99 Neo came in a nice sized box, tightly packed and organized. The one thing I really loved is the carrying case included. Makes these even more of a bargain.
Fit & Comfort;
I loved the fit that Meze employed here. It feels like memory foam, for lack of a better phrase. The headphones rest on your head like normal, but instead of having to adjust each side they sort of “contour” to the fit of your head. I may sound funny but really enjoyed it. Comfort was also never an issue. Ears never got sweaty, the pads were nice and snug, and I felt no big addition of weight even of an hour or two of use each night.
The Neo felt nice and sturdy, not that I felt I could slam them up against a wall or anything but I wasn’t overly nervous testing them out. Aesthetically I found them a pleasure to look at as well. Something that really wows me are that these are extremely serviceable. It may say one thing to others but for me it shows a focus on pleasing consumers and keeping them close. My compliments to Meze Audio.
Now here’s another beauty. The Meze 99 Neo are currently listed at $249 USD. This is an absolute steal in my book. More on why as you’ll understand in my review. (yet another spoiler alert.)
Specs from Meze’s Site;
- Transducer size: 40mm
- Frequency response: 15Hz – 25KHz
- Sensitivity: 103dB at 1KHz, 1mW
- Impedance: 26 Ohm
- 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
Bass- Ok, I’m by no means a bass head, but lately in listening to many cans, bass always feels a bit subdued to me. Not the case here. I may have overly enjoyed the bass response with the 99 Neo. The percussion in music was such a pleasant sound to my ears, never muddy, or overtaking. It blended exceptionally well with the kids and highs.
Mids- The mids were smooth, perhaps a tad lacking but nothing that really bothered me. I didn’t feel I was missing anything in familiar music and at the same time not gaining too much. Everything was there and I truly didn’t expect much more especially for a closed back set.
Highs- Never too sharp or harsh. I didn’t ever get that eye squinting high slap you can sense here and there on cans that have a high focus.
Instrument separation was definitely there, although maybe not as detailed as either open back phones or “higher end” closed backs. Again this didn’t really affect my experience. The separation as I said was there and pleasant.
Another great aspect would be that you don’t need to break the bank in driving the Neo. I had no issues with my Fiio X5ii, IPod Classic, or IPhone 7s Plus. I did use my Fiio A5 amp just for fun and it only added to the fun, it was never necessary. Again i do regret not having time to hook these up to my Schiit Asgard 2 but it wasn’t needed to drive them.
If you can’t tell already I thoroughly enjoyed the Meze Audio 99 Neo. I feel that these will be a pair of headphones I can put on for hours whilst either working at my desk at home or just relaxing and getting lost in good tunes. The presentation, sound, build, accessories, price, and serviceability make these an all around no brainer. If there ends up being such a list on this site, The Meze Audio 99 Neo will make my best of 2017 for sure. That’s it for this round with The Greek. Happy listening and may the music always balance it all out.
Greek Scales of Justice