Nothing beats listening to your favorite audio using a good quality headphone. Headphones can help boost or break your audio listening experience, but simply purchasing one might be a daunting task for most individuals. That said, it is important to know that picking a headphone without learning about their features and functionalities is like picking blindly from a pool of hundreds, if not thousands, of headphones in the market. In this light, if you are looking for a headphone that delivers and comes with a friendly price, then maybe Meze Audio can help you out.
Meze Audio is a respectable and trusted brand when it comes to headphones particularly over-ear headphones. Over the years, Meze Audio has made their own research and development so they can release fully functional yet highly stylish headphones. With their effort, they have come up with their 99 Series Over-Ear Headphones, particularly their Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones.
Meze Headphone’s 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones is definitely an innovative take on their current 99 series line up. This over-ear headphone definitely suits its name, Neo, as it is positively new and quite suitable for the modern audiophile. The Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones sports the signature sound quality of Meze Audio as well as its uptown design style.
Design and Size
The Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones sports a modern and stylistic design. These over-ear headphones come in mainly coal black color with silver accents. The Meze brand name and logo is also imprinted on the silver alloy connectors of the headphone. On the headband, Meze also imprinted the 99 Neo model name giving the overall look of the headphone a bit more pizzazz. The ear cups also come with textured leather-like grooves making it excellent if you hate fingerprints on your headphones. Additionally, the hardware presents a silver sheen giving the entire piece a subtle and decent yet hip look. The Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones weighs 9.2 ounces or 260 grams without the cables. This makes the 99 Neo lightweight and easily portable.
The entire set of Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones also includes airplane adapter, 6.3-mm adapter (gold-plated jack), and 1.5-meter OFC Kevlar cable plus microphone/remote. It also comes with a couple of cases – hard EVA and soft transport cases.
Materials and Comfort
Meze is famous for producing sturdy headphones and the Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones is not an exemption. The Meze 99 Neo is assembled and made using a combination of sturdy yet lightweight materials. This ensures the comfort of the user without sacrificing the durability of the headphones. The ear cups are made using ABS plastic and stuffed with mid-density memory foam, which means the ear cups are light and can provide sufficient comfort even when worn for prolonged periods. The PU leather is also used to cover the headband while a softer type of PU leather covers the ear cups. As for the metal hardware, Meze made use of die-cast zinc alloy to give the headphones the sturdy support that it needs. This same die-cast zinc alloy also prevents the Meze Audio 99 Neo’s alloy frame from rusting. However, it is not advisable to expose the headphones to humidity or rain because it is not rust proof, just rust-resistant. The headband on the other hand is made from chromium-manganese alloy for added strength.
The overall comfort of the Meze 99 Neo is the same level as the comfort that the Mezze 99 Classics provide. Aside from the snug foam padding on the ear cups, the Meze 99 Neo also makes use of the 99 Classics’ cup system that features dual axis characteristics. It also features the same ear cup size, which is large enough to perfectly cover the ears. The Meze 99 Neo also inherited the self-adjusting headband that the Meze 99 Classics have making the headphone fit securely no matter the roundness or size of the user’s head.
Some users often complain about the head crushing feeling or neck fatigue that their headphones do when worn for too long. This is actually due to the clamping force of the headphone. Meze Audio made sure that this would not be an issue with theirs. They have developed the Meze 99 Neo Over-Ear Headphones to be secure and tight fit without giving that head-crushing or headache-inducing feeling. The large memory foam padded ear cups and self-adjusting headband also contribute to the elimination of excessive clamping force.
As for sound performance, Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones shows a significant improvement compared to the earlier 99 series Meze Audio. To start it off, these over-ear headphones feature a frequency range of 15 Hz up to 25 Hz. Its impedance is noted at 26 Ohm and the sensitivity is recorded at 103 dB 1 KHz/1 mW.
Going into details, the Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones features a powerful bass, smooth higher mids, and balanced highs. Its bass and sub bass have a deep tuning style. Its bass response has the capability to cover all, if not most, music genre without losing mid- or sub bass. The mids and vocals come out as audios that exude cozy and warm sounds. However, a slight degree of bleeding extends to the lower mids. This is still ignorable and can be well tolerated. The 99 Neo headphones’ higher mids are crisp, clear, and smooth. On the other hand, the highs and trebles deliver a pleasant balance that does not give out aggressive audio.
Sound leaks are present, although barely noticeable. It is has been noted to be considerably low compared to average over-ear headphones. Users can easily crank up their headphones’ volume without worrying that other people might hear their audio crystal clear. That said, the Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones is not perfectly silent, but it can easily blend with natural sounds or audio from regular day-to-day situations.
The Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones is a product of different materials such as ABS plastic, die-cast zinc alloy, PU leather, and memory foam all contribute to the headphones’ durability. The die-cast zinc alloy support frame alone would guarantee strength and durability. Furthermore, the headband is made from a different allow, the chromium-manganese alloy, which allows ductility and additional strength to the headphones. As for its ABS plastic ear cups, these would make the 99 Neo extra lightweight as opposed to the 99 Classics that has a wooden composition. With impact such as falls and bumps, the 99 Neo would not be prone to cracking and scratches due to its material composition.
Nonetheless, even with is durable materials and quality build, Meze still offers warranty for their products and this warranty extends to the Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones as well. The Meze Audio guarantee warrants the 99 Neo Over-Ear Headphones against possible defects in workmanship or materials for a one- (1-) year duration from purchase date from authorized dealers. Additionally, Meze Audio is willing to replace or repair parts or product free of charge. However, after the warranty duration elapses, owner or buyer will be responsible for any replacement or repair. Other related costs are no longer covered by the Meze Audio warranty.
Connectivity and Compatibility
The 99 Neo headphones from Meze Audio do not come with integrated Bluetooth technology that can be used to connect to Bluetooth enabled devices and gadgets. However, it is still compatible with smartphones that are Android or iOS powered. The Kevlar OFC cable can smoothly connect the headphones to the said compatible devices. The Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones comes with plain adapter as well as a 6.3 mm gold-plated jack.
The Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones offers a decent noise cancellation or sound isolation feature. While it does not isolate noise as effectively as other noise cancellation headphones do, the Meze 99 Neo is still quite efficient. It can block out noise from surroundings at volumes set above moderate.
Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones comes with its own hard case and soft pouch. Meze Audio sure did not go cut corners even for the 99 Neo Headphone accessories. Its hard case is made of high quality EVA to ensure that the headphone will not lose form even if you stick it right on a stuff bag. The hard case even takes the shape of the headphone for added protection and less movement when the headphone is inside the case. Even the cables and adapter come with their own pouch and this pouch sits perfectly well in the middle of the hard case.
The Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones comes with a Kevlar cable that helps to easily drive the headphone into any smartphone device. This durable Kevlar OFC cable also comes with a microphone / remote so that you can take calls if they are connected to your smartphone or smart mobile device. Additionally, you will also be able to manage or control your playlist if you decide to play your audio on your smartphone.
What is more, Meze Audio also made sure that maintaining the 99 Neo headphones would be very easy. The ear pads, while secure when locked to the headphone, can still be easily replaced if needed. It is not made with any Meze proprietary molding unlike other headphones do.
Whom are these headphones for?
These headphones may be a hit or miss for the highly meticulous audiophile. However, it is actually fairly useful and functional that most audio enthusiasts will come to appreciate it. The Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones is perfect for audiophiles who like their headphones looking youthful and modern. It is also perfect for those who want quality sound for a lesser tag price.
- Punchy bass
- Efficient sound isolation
- Self-adjusting headband
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Durable make
- Detachable cable
The final verdict? The Meze Audio 99 Neo is an excellent over-ear headphone for its affordable cost. It has a modern design and highly youthful style with its coal black with silver accent color. It is easily perfect for audiophiles looking to match their urban lifestyle. With this model, Meze Audio not only passed down the good qualities of the 99 Classics Headphones such as the large cups and adjustable headband, but it also improved the 99 Neo even more. It replaced the ear cup covers with ABS plastic to make the Meze 99 Neo Headphones ultra lightweight and portable. It also made the cables detachable for easy storage and use.
As for the sounds, while the Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones is not the ultimate headphone for the highly meticulous audiophile, it definitely is more than decent. It has adequately layered sounds, powerful bass, as well as excellent warmer mids and highs. It also ensures decent sound isolation and a very slight sound leak. The Meze Audio 99 Neo Black Silver Over-Ear Headphones delivers clear and crisps audio as well as non-fatiguing female and male vocals. The Meze Audio 99 Neo is an over-ear headphone, which successfully married aesthetics and functionality.
About the Company
It was that one fine day when a certain Antonio Meze decided to search for a pair of headphones, which he can can fall in love with and relate to. He was looking for that same connection that he had with his Fender Stratocaster guitar. To top that off, the headphones Antonio Meze was looking for must also represent his passion and love for music as well as integrate high technology. However, his search was to no avail. It was at this moment when he made a huge decision – he founded Meze Audio.
Meze Audio, founded in 2011 by Antonio Meze in Baia Mare, Romania, started with a small staff dedicated to researching and developing the best headphones for the audiophiles. The company’s breakthrough came in 2015 – the launch of the Meze 99 Classics headphones. Since then, Meze Audio has been receiving nominations and awards, left and right. This has also placed the 99 right on top of its headphone category not only for its looks but also for its excellent functionalities. Fast forward to today, Meze Audio has been keeping their dedication and passion afire so they can develop near flawless audio accessories like earphones and headphones. And, they have never ceased to developing their audio accessories in-house and from scratch, as they want to keep up with their goal of creating original and non-compromised products.