Meze 99 Classics / Neo Review: Best Audiophile Headphones for Bass

Odi Productions Aug 31, 2023
76 People Read
Meze 99 Classics Neo

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. 

In this article, I'm going to give my honest review of the Meze 99 Classics / Neo. This is a wired headphone known for its sound quality, and more specifically its powerful bass response. I'll help you decide whether these are right for you!

NOTE: The specific pair I used for testing is the Neo, but based on my research, the Classics have nearly identical sound, just with Walnut wood material on the earcups as opposed to the faux leather on the Neo.

If Meze would like to send a pair of the Classics then I can review that separately as well 😉

Products featured in this review along with current prices from Amazon:

These are affiliate links which we earn commission if you make a purchase.

Who is the Meze 99 Classics / Neo Headphones for?

If there was one sentence for these it would be: "The best (wired) audiophile headphones for bass lovers with all-day comfort, and perfect for gaming and movies".

If you really want to FEEL the music, and listen to modern genres such as EDM, Pop, Rap, Hip-Hop, Heavy Metal, then these headphones will allow you to appreciate all the glorious low-end and sub-bass.

Also, these are strictly a WIRED headphone only, so if you need Bluetooth wireless and Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), look elsewhere.

Meze 99 Classics / Neo Pros and Cons


  • AMAZING Bass quantity and sub-bass extension

  • Very FUN, energetic, warm sound signature perfect for jamming out to modern genres like EDM, Pop, Rap, Metal, etc. Find myself nodding my head / head-banging to the music with these. Full, powerful, immersive sound.

  • Decent Mids and non-fatiguing Highs

  • All-day comfort and lightweight

  • No headphone amp needed. LOUD volume levels are easily powered by smartphones

  • Soundstage is very good (for closed-back headphones)

  • Fantastic for gaming and movie-watching due to the wide soundstage to pinpoint sounds, all-day comfort, and emphasized bass for a truly immersive experience

  • The Neos are available for $199 brand new on Amazon as of this writing = solid value for the right listener


  • WIRED only, no Bluetooth or Active Noise Cancellation

  • Bass can be overpowering for some listeners, and may be perceived as "boomy" or "dark", slightly bleeding into the lower-mids. I would like a little more detail and punch, instead of just pure quantity.

  • Highs, albeit non-fatiguing, lack sparkle and the detail/transparency of the more "analytical" headphones. Doesn't sound as sweet or musical as AirPods Max for example, so will not perform as well for non bass-heavy genres that spotlight vocals and higher frequencies. At loud enough volumes, the highs can have slight harshness.

  • Classics are currently $309 on Amazon at the time of this writing, much less value than the Neo for essentially the same product but with Walnut earcups.

Sound Quality: 8.8 / 10

The Meze 99 Classics / Neo is the best headphones for bass that I've tested, period.

Beautiful bass in your face, with mids and highs that are non-fatiguing or completely drowned out. A warmer tone that is extremely fun to listen to for hours without fatigue.

These are NOT your typical neutral or analytical response, they are a FUN sound signature to jam out to like at a live concert as opposed to a clinical studio.

Let's start with the Meze's strong suit, the low-end. If sound quality was based on bass alone, this would easily be a 10 out of 10!

The bass is powerful, in your face, and with good sub-bass extension. If there is one critique, the bass could be punchier and not bleed as much into the lower mids.

Some may consider the sound "boomy" or "dark", but I think there is still enough mids and highs to still appease most audiophiles.

If there was one frequency range that is lacking, it would be the highs.

They lack sparkle and can be a little veiled compared to your "analytical/neutral" headphones.

That said, the benefit of these tame highs is that the sound is completely NON-fatiguing.

There are headphones that are extremely analytical to the point that the high-end is very harsh and fatiguing to listen to for an hour.

That is fortunately NOT the case with these, in fact the opposite. You can listen to these for hours upon hours and not risk the highs being offensive. If anything, it may be the bass that can get tiresome (although not for me!)

This is a closed-back headphone that still has a very good soundstage all things considered, although not like open-back cans, because physics.

Thanks to the wide soundstage, these are AMAZING for gaming. I tested them playing a couple ranked Valorant games and Match MVP'd. I could pinpoint enemies better than my V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless that I typically use for gaming (in wired mode).

If I had to nitpick, I'd like a little more separation but most likely closed-back limitations as with the above.

Comfort: 5 / 5

Meze 99 Classics Neo weighs 266 grams

Let's not beat around the bush here, these are simply one of the most comfortable headphones available.

As I have used and reviewed headphones over the years, I consider Comfort to be the most underrated quality of ANY pair of headphones. At the end of the day, it's the headphones that you can bear to use on a daily basis for hours on end that will be more valuable - regardless of absolute sound quality (take the Airpods for example).

The Meze 99 Neo is very lightweight at just 266 grams on my scale, or 9.38 oz. This translates to just over half a pound (0.59 lb to be exact).

With a wide headband that reminds me of AKG studio headphones, there is virtually zero pressure on the top of my head, very much unlike the heavy and fatiguing Airpods Pro Max that I own as well.

Clamping force is just the necessary amount, nothing excessive or pressure-inducing.

Also, the earcups don't seem to get hot even with extended hours of usage. Perhaps they get only slightly warm around the 1-2 hour mark, but not as hot as other over-ears.

Meze 99 Classics Neo Earpads

The earcups feel a bit large and my ears are barely pressing against the inner mesh. They do have "small" earcups available that users report to have a more favorable sound signature and possibly a better seal than the stock ear pads.

Features / Practicality: 2.5 / 5

Meze 99 Classics Neo in hardshell case

Being a wired headphone, the Meze 99 Classics / Neo is at a disadvantage here, but still gets points for being closed-back for decent passive noise isolation, and having a low impedance that is extremely easy to drive from your smartphone, computer, or any device, really.

It does come with a nice hardshell case for carrying around and traveling while preventing damage. This is a nice touch considering some headphones in this price range cheap out with just a soft-shell case.

Meze 99 Classics Neo case outside

Interestingly, the Meze 99 outputs significantly more volume than my V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless headphones in wired mode, which is known to be a very consumer-oriented headphone.

I have to pretty much max out the volume to 90% for the V-Modas on my Mac Mini (M1), but for these Meze 99, it gets almost uncomfortably loud at 70%, and I like it LOUD. I consider that a huge plus compared to high impedance headphones requiring a whole headphone amp setup.

No Bluetooth wireless or Active Noise Cancellation is what hurts the Meze 99 in 2023, so I wouldn't recommend these for people who travel or commute often.

Value: 8 / 10

I was able to pickup the Neo version for just $199 on Amazon, which I consider to be a fantastic value for really the best audiophile headphones for bass on the market that I have tested.

On the other hand, the Walnut-clad Classics are currently $309, a much lesser value considering the internals are the same as the Neo.

Of course, the lack of modern features like Bluetooth and ANC is what will prevent the Meze from being a perfect score for value, but that sound signature alone is worth the dough for bassheads.

Meze 99 Classics / Neo Overall Score: 8.1 / 10

Overall, the Meze 99 Classics / Neo scores a very impressive 8.1 out of 10 from me, which is amazing considering the points it loses out by not being Bluetooth and Active Noise Canceling.

If this score was based on "the best headphones for bass", then it would easily score a 10 out of 10 from me, and that's not even including the all-day comfort.

So there you have it, if you're okay with being tethered to your desktop / laptop / smartphone with a cable and don't need noise-canceling, the Meze 99 Classics / Neo is a very enjoyable set of headphones to use for music listening, watching YouTube, movies, listening to podcasts, and gaming.

Check current prices and/or purchase the Meze 99 Classics / Neo below!

These are affiliate links which we earn commission if you make a purchase.

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Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only.