Meze Audio’s 99 Classics Are Premium Headphones Made of Carved Wood, but How Do They Sound?

At $300, the Meze 99 Classics are not the cheapest headphones on the market, but I won’t record my podcast without wearing these for every single episode. Let me explain why.

Meze’s 99 Classics are studio quality, delivering a natural sound that immediately after putting over your ears you can spot the difference between good audio and great audio, Meze being the latter. Included in the box are:

• Case: Hard EVA carrying pouch

• Cable: 1.2m thread Kevlar OFC with Mic and remote

• Cable: 3m thread Kevlar OFC

• Adapter: 6.3mm gold-plated jack

• Airplane jack adapter

• Cable pouch

The Meze 99 Classics come with a walnut wood finish that is surrounded by black leather and stainless steel; these headphones truly make a statement piece when wearing them in public.

Per Meze Audio:

The choice of wood is an inherently difficult one. The rich colors of walnut require the use of air drying, a long and expensive procedure. The process of shaping just a single pair of earcups takes up to 8 hours. The whole process of sanding, lacquering, and finishing lasts 45 days. The wooden components are carefully inspected and no flaws are permitted to reach the final assembly. 

The headphones have carved wood ear cups, cast in zinc alloy hardware, with an electroplated coating that protects from drops and scratches. The headband itself is pretty sturdy to boot, with a spring steel headband memory foam, and a soft leather headband that makes wearing for extended periods of time, that much better. I’ve worn the 99 Classics for up to three hours at a time between recording to editing to post, and not once have I thought they weren’t comfortable. With that said, these are NOT a pair of headphones that I would casually commute to work wearing, because of the premium quality you’d look a bit ridiculous wearing them in public.

Meze Audio prides itself on using absolutely no glue at all in creating their headphones, which extends to the audio that comes out of them. All of the content that you hear is exactly how you should hear it, and it’s not created through different algorithms and features to boost the sound, and as a self-proclaimed audiophile, I appreciate the little nuances of headphones some might look over, like the sturdy ear pads being a significant improvement over other monitoring/headphones I’ve used before. As a bass-heavy listener, while I do appreciate the amount of bass included, I could see someone not enjoying these because it seems to be a HIGHLIGHT for Meze to include it. Ironically my wife when she put them on to test she said “Theses do not sound like closed-back headphones at all”, and I completely agree. While I don’t feel “cornered” listening to Roddy Rich’s new album, I will say they do block out noise in the surrounding area, which is great for recording, but not for a daily commute to work.

Further from that, you’re going to get your bang for your buck. But you’re also getting a quality pair of headphones that will last you a long time. And you will not see anyone else wearing better headphones, that I promise.

For more information on how to pick up the Mezes 99 classics, head over to their website.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit

What I Like: Outstanding soundstage with a premium, unique look

What Needs Improvement: Included kevlar cables do tangle up


About the Author

Greg Alston
Diehard Apple fanboy, and lover of all things tech. Born and raised in Washington, DC, Greg enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, family and friends, live sporting events, good bourbon, Tetris, and pizza. In that order.