In this article, we are going to discover the Meze 12 Classics. Priced at 79 Euro, these in-ear monitors are very tiny and look beautiful, thanks to their wooden enclosure.
The Meze 12 Classics have the same nozzle size as Sony and Sennheiser IEM’s, which is slightly larger than the likes of Shure, Westone, Etymotic. The Meze 12 are also designed to be worn upside-down, without looping the cable behind the ear.
Because of these two traits, they don’t have too deep insertion, which can improve comfort (depending on the person), and reduce isolation to some degree. They are still superior, in isolation, to any closed headphones, especially if using Comply T500 foam tips.
The cable is non-twistable, making it quicker to take the earphone out of the pocket and start listening. The cable is slightly thicker, and a very thin, spiraled metal wire can be seen under the cable enclosure, which must be responsible for its physical properties. Other than being less twistable than average cables, it also seems more resistant and durable, which is good since it’s not detacheable.
The cable is still quite flexible and not particularly microphonical, and, while there is a shirt clip, I don’t feel the need to use it while walking around.
The 12 Classics look very stylish thanks to the wood esthetics.
The Meze 12 Classics have a neutral frequency response: where the Meze 11 Neo are the bassier, more “fun” IEMs, the Meze 12 have been designed to be accurate: they are clean, detailed, improves in midrange transparency, upper treble precision and soundstage. Instrument separation and placement are very good, cymbals are rendered realistically. Hints of sibilance are only occasional (especially with sharp vocalists like Freddy Mercury).
The Meze 12 have tight midbass which never fattens the lower midrange. Bass is never muffled, but quick and snappy and there is no midrange bloat. They have an analytical studio type balance, but their biggest advantages are the enjoyable detail retrieval and tonal transparency.
The Meze 12 are especially good at jazz and classical music: they are open, detailed and have bigger soundstage than the 11 Neo.
The 12 Classics are a bit less sensitive than the 11 Neo, and need the smartphone to be set at a higher volume to be on the same level as the Neo, for example.
The Meze 12 are a very good product for the price range, because of the combination of style, comfort, sound signature. Their tonal balance, while leaning on the dry side, doesn’t have any outstanding problem and they are neutral and overall good for any kind of music. They have very clear vocals, energic treble (without spoiling the balance), very good detail retrieval especially for a IEM under 100 Euro. The 12 Classics, while being particularly good at instrumental music, successfully manage to be a good all-arounder thanks good the balance and good sounding vocals.