99 Series silver review featured

Meze 99 Series Silver Plated Cable Review

TESTED AT $119

There probably aren’t a lot of serious headphone enthusiasts who aren’t familiar with the Meze 99 Classics and 99 Neo headphones. With a combination of style, build quality and excellent sound at an attainable price, these really put Meze Audio on the map. They became a massive hit and are still hugely popular today. In this review, I’m checking out the latest version of the Meze 99 Series silver-plated upgrade cable.

Meze Audio website: https://mezeaudio.com/

This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.

Meze 99 Series Silver Plated Cable Review

Pros
  • Good handling and ergonomics
  • Very minimal microphonics
  • Robust with excellent strain reliefs
  • Clean and resolving

Cons
  • N/A

Package and Accessories

The cable comes in a small rectangular box. Inside the box is a soft, black protein leather pouch embossed with the brand logo. Tucked away inside the pouch is, of course, the cable, which also comes with a Velcro cable tie. It’s nice to see a pouch included as it can be used to store the cable when not in use.

Build Quality and Design

Unlike the Meze 99 Series 2.5mm balanced cable (review here), this new cable looks and feels less utilitarian. On the contrary, it has a much more pleasing aesthetic. This time around, it’s a twisted 4-core wire with transparent insulation that showcases the glittering silver beneath.

In terms of handling, the SPC cable is delightfully supple despite its ample girth. It drapes really well and doesn’t have any kinks or memory. There is virtually no microphonics at all; in fact, this is one of the quietest headphone cables I’ve ever used.

99 Series silver cable and branded plug

The 3.5mm mono plugs are the same size and shape as the ones on the original cables. Incidentally, they are also compatible with many other headphones as well. Each plug has an L or R denotation for identification plus the left side has a raised ridge at the base which can be identified by touch. In addition, each plug has a sturdy, transparent strain relief, as do the Y-split and termination plug.

The rhodium-plated termination is available in single-ended 3.5mm and balanced 2.5mm variants, while the balanced 4.4mm plug is gold-plated. It’s flared towards the base for easier grip when unplugging and is the same matching colour as the Y-split and mono plugs.

99 series silver cable components

Sound

Gear used for testing includes the FiiO K3, Shanling M5s and Soundaware M2Pro as the sources and the Meze 99 Classics as the platform.

The 99 Series SPC cable brings the best of both elements to the table. It’s neither pale and bright nor warm and mushy but then again, the 99 Classics never were either. Compared to the stock OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) cable, the SPC cable immediately sounds tighter and more nimble. It reduces some of the 99 Classics’ inherent warmth, bringing more precision and a cleaner sound throughout.

Where I hear this cable making the most difference is in the mid-bass. It takes away some of the bloom and warm air, replacing it with more definition and slam. The bass is further textured and speedier, while still maintaining that 99 Classics natural impact and drive. I really love this slightly cleaner presentation because it not only adds some bite to the bass but it enhances the layering thanks to the leaner note size.

99 Series silver cable with 99 Classics headphones
Resolve

As expected, the midrange benefits from the tighter bass too. With less mid-bass bleed, the mids become more transparent and cleaner throughout. This enhances separation and layering, as well as making the stage feel more organized. The increased transparency also means macro and micro details are easier to pick up.

I’m finding a new joy in electronic music with the 99 Classics where normally, I sometimes find them a bit warm for all that thumpy goodness. But now, I’m getting more detail and separation throughout without compromising the liquidity and natural tonality of the 99 Classics midrange.

99 Classics with 99 series silver cable and Soundaware M2Pro
Shine

In the high frequencies, the 99 Series SPC cable again shows increased resolution and tidiness. I’ve always loved the treble response of these headphones and now it sounds even sweeter. Slightly denser notes with controlled decay and greater extension make the treble more even and natural at the same time.

Some extra shimmer and air are generally never a bad thing for a warm headphone and so it is here. The improved extension adds air and sparkle which has a positive effect on the overall presentation and not just the treble. Subsequently, the 99 Classics sound more balanced while maintaining their organic richness.

For a closed-back headphone, the 99 Classics already have a quality soundstage. With the SPC cable, the stage is expanded just slightly. It’s the structure and tidiness of the stage where the difference is more obvious. The added resolution and separation give the imaging a nice lift, resulting in a cleaner overall sound.

99 Classics series rhodium-plated plug

Conclusion

I’m always happy for any excuse to don the 99 Classics (or the 99 Neo for that matter) but in this case, the 99 Series silver-plated cable made it even more rewarding. At $119, it offers a moderate sound upgrade and a considerable upgrade in terms of ergonomics.

In addition, this is a supremely quiet cable that practically eliminates all microphonics. It’s classy enough to match the striking visuals of the 99 Series headphones and at the same time sufficiently rugged to be practical for portable and desktop use.

Founder of Prime Audio
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Pascal
Pascal
2 months ago

I now own the silver plated balanced cable in the 4.4 mm gold variant

And I must say that it’s true.
The sound stage is more open.
The bass is more tight and even more punchier than before.

Vocals are way better resolved and the treble is just fine.

The upgrade to this cable almost doubled the value of the 99 Classics in terms of sound quality and even aesthetics.

With the 3.5 mm stock unbalanced cable there were a lot of microphonics when touching the cable with your body.

With the silver plated cable it’s completely gone and man it sounds so awesome.

I can really recommend every owner of a 99 classics: get this cable.
If you have a balanced amp, definetely get the balanced version.

David
David
9 months ago

Oh come on seriously? A cable is just a piece of wire it’s can’t change sound quality as described. It just ain’t possible. So I guess if I change the power cord on my desktop computer to a more expensive one with gold contacts then it’s going to be faster and have better sound. Awesome.

Kristóf
Kristóf
9 months ago
Reply to  David

“A cable is just a piece of wire it’s can’t change sound quality as described. It just ain’t possible.”

It is possible, believe me.
I ordered one of this 3 weeks ago. My setup is the Meze 99, this cable and a Chord Mojo.
Sound changed. The brummy bear bass head has gone, and the mountain crystal has arrived. These guys exactly know their product’s “weaknesses” and where and how to solve them.

Pascal
Pascal
2 months ago
Reply to  David

I can absolutely agree with Kristóf, this cable did a decent change to the 99 classics in terms of resolution, clarity and bass.

With these cables the 99 classics sound like they should have always sounded.

Treble and mids are better resolved and more emphasized.

The bass is tighter and better resolved.
There is less bass leakage in the mids.

I can’t recommend enough to get this cable if you own the 99 classics.

I can’t really speak for the 3.5mm unbalanced version tho, because I have not heard that one.

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