HomeGadgetsHeadphones/EarphonesDrop X Meze 99 Noir Headphones

    Drop X Meze 99 Noir Headphones

    Headphone maker Massdrop changed its name to just Drop now, and that might lead to some brand identity confusion. That said, the $200 (Mass)Drop X Meze 99 Noir are crystal clear, and the new model is pretty close to the existing $309 Meze 99 Classics headphones.

    The 99 Noir’s sound is richly balanced but not overly so, vocals are natural, and the treble is clear. It’s a closed-back design, and it does a decent job in minimizing external noise.

    The headphones feature proprietary 40mm drivers, and impedance is rated at an easy-to-drive 32 ohms. Weight is just 9.2 ounces, and that’s pretty light for a full-size, over-the-ear headphone.

    The smartly styled metal-and-leather headband perfectly complements the curvy, real walnut ear cups. Their tall oval shape and amply padded cushions do a good job fitting over and around my ears. The user-replaceable 6-foot-long cable with microphone and remote terminates with a 3.5mm plug, and you get a 6.3mm adapter.

    The 99 Noir headphones are light and very comfortable, but since they don’t fold flat for compact storage, they’re not as portable as some. The included woven nylon carry case protects the 99 Noir from the elements.

    The 99 Noir’s sound signature is deep and rich. Not soft, just easy on the ears. Treble is bright, midrange is nicely balanced, and the bass is very full but reasonably nimble. The 99 Noir is a closed-back headphone, and it sounds like one. That is, the sound isn’t as open and spacious as you get with open-back headphones. It’s a smoother-sounding headphone.

    The Massdrop X Meze 99 Noir is beautiful inside and out. The sound has broad appeal, and build quality is as good as it gets in $200 headphones.

    David Novak
    David Novak
    For the last 20 years, David Novak has appeared in newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV around the world, reviewing the latest in consumer technology. His byline has appeared in Popular Science, PC Magazine, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Electronic House Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, Forbes Technology, Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Glamour Magazine, T3 Technology Magazine, Stuff Magazine, Maxim Magazine, Wired Magazine, Laptop Magazine, Indianapolis Monthly, Indiana Business Journal, Better Homes and Garden, CNET, Engadget, InfoWorld, Information Week, Yahoo Technology and Mobile Magazine. He has also made radio appearances on the The Mark Levin Radio Show, The Laura Ingraham Talk Show, Bob & Tom Show, and the Paul Harvey RadioShow. He’s also made TV appearances on The Today Show and The CBS Morning Show. His nationally syndicated newspaper column called the GadgetGUY, appears in over 100 newspapers around the world each week, where Novak enjoys over 3 million in readership. David is also a contributing writer fro Men’s Journal, GQ, Popular Mechanics, T3 Magazine and Electronic House here in the U.S.

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