Meze 99 Neo vs. 99 Classics: Which Headphone is Better?

As a freelance writer, listening to music while researching and creating content can be very fulfilling. I’m always on the look out for a comfortable and lightweight headphone.

I came across the Meze range of headphones in 2021, so let’s dive into my honest Meze 99 Neo vs. 99 Classics comparison guide.

Both the Meze 99 Neo and 99 Classics headphones excel due to their premium build quality, exceptional sound reproduction, and comfortable design.

The Meze 99 Classics, fills a gap left by its 99 Neo counterpart, with its use of premium walnut wood ear cups, delivering a warmer sound signature and luxurious feel.

This sets it apart, providing users with a more sophisticated audio experience that caters to audiophiles and music enthusiasts. Here’s the different between these headphones:

The main difference is that the Meze 99 Neo headphones feature ABS plastic construction with wood accents and a tighter bass response, while the Meze 99 Classics have premium walnut wood ear cups, a warmer sound signature, and metal components for a more luxurious feel.

Key Features of Meze 99 Neo and 99 Classics at a Glance:

FeaturesMeze 99 NeoMeze 99 Classics
Sound QualityBalanced sound with emphasized bassWarm, natural sound signature
Build QualityLightweight, durable materialsPremium wood and metal construction
ComfortSoft ear pads, adjustable headbandLuxurious ear cushions, ergonomic design
PortabilityFoldable design, compact carrying caseLarger size, less portable

What is Meze 99 Neo and How Does it Work?

The Meze 99 Neo headphones offer a contemporary take on audio quality, featuring a sleek design with emphasis on bass and clarity. They utilize advanced drivers and acoustic technologies for an immersive listening experience.

Pros of Meze 99 Neo:

  • Balanced sound profile
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Portable design

Cons:

  • Bass may overpower mids and highs
  • Plastic construction feels less premium

What is Meze 99 Classics and How Does it Work?

The Meze 99 Classics headphones are renowned for their timeless design and audiophile-grade sound reproduction. Crafted from premium materials such as walnut wood and metal, they deliver a rich, natural sound signature.

Pros of Meze 99 Classics:

  • Luxurious build quality
  • Warm and detailed sound
  • Exceptional comfort for long listening sessions

Cons:

  • Bulkier design may not be as portable
  • Higher price point compared to Neo model

Meze 99 Neo vs. 99 Classics: Comprehensive Feature Comparison Guide

Here’s a detailed comparison of the 7 key features of the Meze 99 Neo and Meze 99 Classics:

1. Sound Quality:

  • Meze 99 Neo: The Neo offers a balanced sound profile with emphasized bass, providing a modern twist on classic sound. The bass response is punchy and impactful, making it suitable for bass-heavy music genres. However, some users may find the bass overpowering at times, impacting the clarity of mids and highs.

  • Meze 99 Classics: The Classics deliver a warm, natural sound signature with a focus on clarity and detail. The sound is well-balanced across the frequency spectrum, providing an immersive listening experience. The bass is present but not overpowering, allowing the mids and highs to shine.
Verdict: While both models excel in sound quality, the preference depends on personal taste. The Neo is ideal for bass enthusiasts, while the Classics offer a more balanced and nuanced sound.

2. Build Quality:

  • Meze 99 Neo: The Neo features lightweight yet durable materials, including plastic and aluminum components. The build quality is solid, and the headphones feel sturdy enough to withstand daily use. However, some users may perceive the plastic construction as less premium compared to the Classics.

  • Meze 99 Classics: The Classics stand out for their premium build quality, featuring luxurious materials such as walnut wood ear cups and metal accents. The craftsmanship is exceptional, giving the headphones a timeless and sophisticated aesthetic.
Verdict: The Classics take the lead in build quality with their premium materials and superior craftsmanship.

3. Comfort:

  • Meze 99 Neo: These headphones prioritize comfort with soft ear pads and an adjustable headband. The lightweight design ensures extended listening sessions without causing discomfort. Users can enjoy immersive audio without feeling fatigued.

  • Meze 99 Classics: The Classics offer exceptional comfort thanks to their luxurious ear cushions and ergonomic design. The ear pads provide a plush feel, while the headband distributes pressure evenly for a comfortable fit.
Verdict: Both models offer excellent comfort, but the Classics edge ahead slightly with their luxurious ear cushions.

4. Portability:

  • Meze 99 Neo: The Neo features a foldable design and comes with a compact carrying case, making it easy to transport. The headphones are lightweight and portable, allowing users to enjoy their music on the go.

  • Meze 99 Classics: While the Classics are not as compact as the Neo, they still offer decent portability for over-ear headphones. However, the lack of a foldable design and smaller carrying case may make them slightly less convenient for travel.
Verdict: The Neo wins in portability due to its foldable design and compact carrying case.

5. Soundstage:

  • Meze 99 Neo: The Neo provides a decent soundstage with good instrument separation, allowing users to discern different elements of the music. However, the soundstage may feel somewhat constrained compared to open-back headphones.

  • Meze 99 Classics: The Classics offer a wider soundstage, providing a more immersive listening experience. The open-back design contributes to a more expansive soundstage, creating a sense of depth and dimensionality.
Verdict: The Classics excel in soundstage, providing a more immersive and spacious listening experience.

6. Isolation:

  • Meze 99 Neo: These headphones offer effective passive noise isolation, blocking out a significant amount of ambient noise. The closed-back design helps minimize sound leakage, allowing users to enjoy their music without disturbing others.

  • Meze 99 Classics: While the Classics provide decent isolation, they may not offer as much noise isolation as the Neo due to their semi-open design. However, the ear cushions provide a good seal, reducing external noise to a certain extent.
Verdict: The Neo wins in isolation, offering better noise isolation due to its closed-back design.

7. Price:

  • Meze 99 Neo: The Neo is priced at $249, making it a more budget-friendly option compared to the Classics. Despite its affordable price point, the Neo delivers impressive sound quality and build quality.

  • Meze 99 Classics: The Classics come with a higher price tag of $309, reflecting their premium materials and craftsmanship. While they may be more expensive, the Classics offer exceptional sound quality and luxurious design.
Verdict: The Neo wins in price, offering excellent value for money without compromising on performance.

In summary, both the Meze 99 Neo and Meze 99 Classics have their strengths and weaknesses. The choice ultimately depends on individual preferences and priorities, whether it’s sound signature, build quality, comfort, or price.

Use Cases for Meze 99 Neo:

  1. Personal Listening Experience: Emily, a music enthusiast, uses the Meze 99 Neo headphones to enjoy her favorite albums and podcasts during her daily commute. The lightweight design and comfortable ear pads allow her to immerse herself in the music without experiencing any discomfort.
  2. Studio Monitoring: Alex, a professional audio engineer, relies on the Meze 99 Neo headphones for studio monitoring during music production sessions. The balanced sound profile and accurate frequency response of the headphones help him make critical mixing and mastering decisions with confidence.

Use Cases for Meze 99 Classics:

  1. Audiophile Listening Sessions: John, an audiophile, treasures his collection of high-fidelity audio recordings and pairs them with the Meze 99 Classics headphones for an unparalleled listening experience. The premium materials and refined sound signature of the headphones elevate his enjoyment of music to new heights.
  2. DJ Performances: Sarah, a DJ, trusts the Meze 99 Classics headphones for her live performances and DJ sets. The durable construction and comfortable fit of the headphones allow her to focus on her mixing and seamlessly transition between tracks during gigs, ensuring a memorable experience for her audience.

Meze 99 Neo vs. 99 Classics: Specs and Accessories

Here’s a comparison table detailing the specs and accessories for both Meze 99 Neo and Meze 99 Classics headphones:

Specs/AccessoriesMeze 99 NeoMeze 99 Classics
Driver Size40mm40mm
Frequency Response15Hz – 25kHz15Hz – 25kHz
Impedance26 ohms32 ohms
Sensitivity103dB/mW103dB/mW
Weight260g260g
MaterialABS plastic, PU leather, woodWalnut wood, steel, PU leather
Detachable CableYesYes
Cable Length1.2m1.2m
Carrying CaseYesYes
Adapter3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter
Airplane AdapterNoNo
Foldable DesignYesNo
Additional EarpadsYesYes

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Headphone

Here’s an expansion on each of the five factors to consider when choosing between the Meze 99 Neo and Meze 99 Classics headphones:

Sound Quality: Both headphones offer exceptional sound quality with clear highs, rich mids, and deep bass. The Neo may have slightly tighter bass due to its lower impedance, while the Classics offer a warmer sound signature favored by audiophiles.

Comfort: Both models feature plush earpads and a lightweight design for extended listening sessions. However, the Classics’ larger ear cups may provide a slightly more comfortable fit for users with larger ears.

Build Quality: The Neo features ABS plastic construction with wood accents, while the Classics boast premium walnut wood ear cups and metal components. The Classics may offer slightly better durability and a more luxurious feel.

Portability: Both headphones come with a carrying case, but the Neo’s foldable design makes it more compact and travel-friendly. The Classics’ non-foldable design may take up more space in a bag or backpack.

Price: The Neo typically offers a more budget-friendly option compared to the Classics, making it a great choice for users looking for high-quality sound without breaking the bank.

FAQs

  • What’s the difference between Meze 99 Neo and Meze 99 Classics? Both models offer exceptional sound quality and comfort, but the Classics feature premium walnut wood ear cups and a warmer sound signature, while the Neo has ABS plastic construction with wood accents and a slightly tighter bass response.
  • Are the Meze 99 Neo and Classics comfortable for long listening sessions? Yes, both models feature plush earpads and a lightweight design, making them comfortable for extended use. However, users with larger ears may find the Classics’ larger ear cups more accommodating.
  • Do the Meze 99 Neo and Classics offer good build quality? Yes, both headphones are well-built, but the Classics feature higher-quality materials like walnut wood and metal components, offering a more luxurious feel and potentially better durability.
  • Are the Meze 99 Neo or Classics portable? Both headphones come with a carrying case, but the Neo’s foldable design makes it more compact and travel-friendly compared to the Classics.
  • Which model is more affordable, the Meze 99 Neo or Classics? Generally, the Meze 99 Neo is the more budget-friendly option compared to the Classics, making it a great choice for users seeking high-quality sound at a lower price point.

Is Meze 99 Classics Better than Meze 99 Neo?

While the Classics boast premium materials and exceptional sound quality, the Neo provides a more budget-friendly option without compromising on performance.

Choose based on your priorities for sound signature, build materials, and budget.

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