The Meze 99 Classics, Very Fun, Very Tasty Measurements

Click on graphs image to download .pdf for closer inspection.

Raw measurements show some significant variation in seal as I moved position on the head, possibly evidencing pull from the headband wanting to torque the bottom of the earpiece away from the head.

Though dropping off in the bottom octave, bass from 40Hz to around 200 Hz has a 5dB boost over the base mid-range reference point (roughly -30dB @ 250Hz on raw response). Thereafter it starts a slow climb to 1Khz, at which point it starts climbing faster to its eventual peak at 3kHz. The profile between 40Hz and 3kHz is as close a match to the Harman Target Response as I've seen. (Shown in black below.)

Raw response plots show a somewhat hurky-jerky fall above 3kHz, but the level at 10kHz lines up nicely with the mid-range reference, and a dip around 5-7kHz is sometimes seen as advantageous in removing piercing sibilance. I'd call this a very good response.

30Hz square waves are quite hump backed, and the trailing corner is below zero at the start of the next transition. These features typically evidence phase shift in the low frequencies, typically heard as "loose" bass. I did hear this and thought it evident but not excessive. In fact, it may add some warmth and charm to the listening experience in this case—I don't say that with a lot of comfort, but that's how I heard it.

Similarly, we can glance over at the THD+noise plot and see rising distortion in the bass, which also colored the presentation mildly...and again, not overly detracting to my listening experience. Weird.

300Hz square wave has terrific shape; the leading edge rise is to be expected with the bump in frequency response at 3kHz from the concha focussing effect. Subsequent spuria are very low, as can also be seen in the surprisingly clean impulse response. Very, very, nice.

This very clean transient response may be responsible for the excellent imaging of these cans, and the lack of stridence and glare in the treble.

Distortion above 150Hz is very low and remains so throughout. I've rarely seen a dynamic drive headphone with such low distortion in the mid-range and treble. The 100dB plot remains below the 90dB plot above 200Hz indicating good power handling.

Impedance plot shows a fairly well behaved headphone, but for a little roughness between 3-6kHz. This usually points towards the acoustics of the small spaces around the driver. The roughness may be showing where the engineers were tweaking this area to behave well in its frequency response. Roughness can also mean poor design, but, man, with a headphone that sounds this good I've got to think bumps just show where they were tweaking.

Isolation is -17dB broadband, and the isolation plot looks slightly less than average for a headphone of this type.

Efficiency is a 90dBspl at the ear for a miniscule 21mVrms, which will allow this headphone to play quite loud from a phone. Couple this with the good power handling and all the other measurements and you've got a great headphone for mobile use.

Meze Headphones