Blog posts Meze 109 Pro Review: Sonic Elegance Leave a comment

If you ask us reviewers, Meze has never made a mediocre headphone. And while the 109 Pro has been around for a while now, it continues to be one of the most desired headphones in its class, even for seasoned audiophiles. What qualities separate the 109 Pro from the crowd? And does its overall performance warrant the price tag?

What’s In the Box?

  • Meze 109 Pro headphones
  • Hard Carrying Case
  • Leather Cable Pouch
  • Two 3.5mm cable (1.5m and 3m)
  • 1/4 inch Adapter.

Look and Feel

I rarely care about how a headphone looks, but the 109 Pro is so elegant in its appearance and solid in its construction that even before listening, it’s hard to not to touch. Meze seems to have almost cloned the general design of its entry-level model, the Meze 99, probably because it just works. Lightweight, with comfy velour ear pads and a gentle fit around the ears, these cans never felt fatiguing or uncomfortable. So, if you’re particularly sensitive to firm fits, the 109 Pro is probably one of the more forgiving choices.

Design

The 109 Pro features a 50mm driver with a dual membrane diaphragm, incorporating a combination of materials including beryllium-coated polymer, cellulose carbon fiber composite, and copper-zinc alloy. The TPE cables are enclosed in black aluminum and equipped with 3.5mm connectors on both ends. So, should you choose to upgrade your sound, you could easily swap out the original cable with a higher grade cable from Meze. 

With a 40 Ohm impedance, the 109 Pro also stands out as a one of the most efficient open-back headphones in its echelon. In fact, for this review, I paired the 109 Pro with the very modest FiiO Q3 DAC/amp, and still found that I had plenty of headroom to spare. So, even a direct connection to your phone, for example, should give you enough volume.

Meze 109 Pro Review: Easy to drive, don't need an amp

Sound Impressions

Soundstage

The soundstage on the 109 Pro feels somewhat centered. That is, instruments feel less scattered far in the distance, and more directed to the focus of the head. At the same time, there’s still tons of dimension with respect to the imaging. So, although instrument placement feels super precise , there is a still a contained quality to the soundstage that reflects the high level of control the 109 Pro delivers overall. And this deliciously restrained flavor manifests throughout the 109 Pro’s personality, and in my opinion, it’s part of what makes this sound signature so classy.

Low-End

The low-end feels tastefully reserved. Listening to pop tracks, for example, though the bass was present, it didn’t have a generous amount of punch or power. (The high-bass frequencies probably feel the most prominent.) And hip-hop tracks revealed very little sub-bass presence; certainly sub frequencies didn’t reach visceral levels. But what the bass lacks in smack, it makes up for with its incredibly tidy and detailed delivery of acoustic elements. Instruments sound remarkably natural and minimally colored throughout the low-end. And combined with the notably multidimensional soundstage, folk, jazz and classical performances felt particularly life-like and immersive in this range.

Mids

Any richness or warmth missing in the low-end is compensated for in the low-mids, which provides just the right amount of body and lushness to the mix. At the same time, the high-mids avoid protruding through the track, never bringing vocals too far forward or introducing any harshness to the balance. It seems that rather than going for a highly dynamic sound profile, Meze has instead delivered a tightly controlled sound that creates a smooth and steady momentum. So, don’t expect to be knocked off your chair. This headphone is more of an easy rider, never offending the ears, but always driving the song forward with a smooth and measured energy. And overall, the midrange profile sounds very natural, while still maintaining a richness in tone. In short, its aways realistic, but never clinical.

Highs

I certainly didn’t experience any FOMO in this range. The highs are beautifully extended, delivering shine and crispness to percussion instruments. And when balanced with the comparatively mellow lower frequencies, this range just adds a touch of brilliance to the mix. At the same time, the 109 Pro still remains a forgiving listening experience even at the highest treble peaks. And it goes without saying that transparency continues to be top notch in this range, revealing every crackle and breath of vocal performances, while still retaining the subtly polished quality that makes the 109 Pro such an elegant sounding headphone.

Summary

Every Meze headphone I’ve experienced has left me enamored, and the 109 Pro is no different. While it may not deliver thunderous bass or ultra-vibrant upper mids, what it does offer is a meticulously controlled energy and a slightly refined character that is all at once warm, radiant and easy on the ears. In short, it is the epitome of sonic elegance. And although 800 bucks may not be considered cheap for a headphone, there’s no denying that the 109 Pro is one of the most talented and sophisticated options available under $1000. 

You can buy the Meze 109 Pro at Audio 46.

Meze 109 Pro Review: 3.5mm upgraded cable

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