Meze 11Neo initial impressions:
I will openly admit I am a fan of Meze, but not the fanatic some are. While I enjoyed both the 99 Classic, and 99 Neo on tour, they seemed a bit lacking in the bass department for my tastes, and especially for a closed-back headphone. Please don’t take this as criticism, it isn’t. Two things factor in here: 1. I like more bass from my closed-back headphones, and 2. The aforementioned pair are tuned for overall sound quality, not for a specific type. And in that regard, they are spot on excellent. There is a reason they do have a fanatic following…that detail rich overall sound quality. Upon contacting Meze, they suggested two options. The 12 Classic’s or the 11 Neo’s. After a conversation with Doina, we both agreed the 11 Neo would be beneficial to both parties involved. With CRAZY-fast shipping, I had the pair IN-HAND within two shorts, and I do mean SHORT days. Wonderful. After my initial listen to insure all was good (and I will openly admit I listened to this particular pair longer than many of my recent offerings), I played the 11 Neo’s continuously on my Shanling M0 for 50+hours.
Again, as my queue cleared, I was able to listen. Keeping the M0/11Neo pair together, I listened to Los Lonely Boys Senorita, and simply sat back. My brain was going through a re-evaluation phase with what I heard. Rich deep reaching bass, “talented” treble up top, and a wide sound stage highlighted that initial longer session. Playing Us And Them from Pink Floyd currently through my QP2R, I am wrought with good detail-rich sound. This was a good choice by Doina and me. I am happy. Sufficiently wide sound stage brought back together by a bit of rumble down low, the mids add to the very decent signature presented in songs such as Robert Cray’s Never Mattered Much. He has such a melodic voice, with a huge presence, it may overpower some, but the 11 Neo was up to the task. Guitar taking a slight back seat to his voice but holding down the mid-section as it should. And when he lets loose with a lick, the emanating sound does not scream at you but rather envelope your senses. This is turning into quite an adventure.
Fit and finish is exemplary, as one would expect with the Meze standards, which came before. I am very impressed. There are microphonics involved with the cable, and this can get in the way of that wonderful sound. Presented in a treble-cleft laden box, even the IEM’s accentuate that look, once you open the package. So, from the beginning you know that the 11 Neo means business. Something I would expect from Meze. More later, chaps.