Review: Meze 99 Series 2.5mm Balanced Upgrade Cable
Firstly I would like to thank Meze for sending this sample for review, I would like to apologise also for the time it took me to get this review up.
*disclaimer: This sample was provided for the purpose of writing a review, no incentive was given to write a favourable review. All opinions expressed are my own subjective findings.
Gear Used: iBasso DX200 > Meze 99 Classics
OnePlus 2 > ifi xCan > Meze 99 Classics
1.3m OFC Silver Plated
2.5mm TRRS balanced connection
Soft transparent TPU coating
Packaging and Build Quality:
The cable comes in slim card box that has the key features on the front, the box is very simple and minimalist which I appreciate. I really cannot comment much on the packaging, as it is simple, attractive and small so good for the environment..
The build quality is excellent, the housings for the jacks are aluminium, the cable is soft yet feels very well made and the y-splitter is simply and not too large. There is good strain relied all round, and the L and R markings are clearly engraved on the barrels of the jacks.
I know there are many cable skeptics out there, but I am a believer that there are small differences between cables. With this cable you also have to consider the fact that your DAP of choice may have a slightly different sound signature out of the balanced output.
Moving on I do believe this cable is a well priced, and great accessory for the 99 Classics if you use a DAP with balanced output. I always found the mid-bass bloom on the 99 Classics to be a little overwhelming at times, this cable does not get rid of it completely but is sure is an improvement.
What it brings to the table is increased control to the lower frequencies, making that bloom slightly less noticeable, and everything is a bit more precise.
Moving on to the midrange you gain a little better air and separation around instruments, it lifts a slight veil off the sound. Vocals now sound a bit more realistic due to the more controlled low end, and the sound is a bit more open.
The treble region does not become bright of harsh, there is a subtle lift in presence and extension which just brings the sound up to a slightly higher level than stock.
Conclusion: This cable will not drastically alter the sound of your headphones, but to me it made the 99 Classic sound better. The sound becomes more controlled with slightly better detail and separation. A great accessory for 99 Classic or Neo owners, at a modest price.
Sound Perfection Rating: 9/10 (Great value, noticeable upgrade)