Back in March, we walked into CanJam NYC 2022 slightly unsure of what we would find after two years of lockdowns and the COVID pandemic. Much to our amazement, our friends from Meze Audio were in attendance and considering what was going on only one hour away from their offices in Baia Mare — it was pretty great to see them for the first time in years.
Russia’s ruthless invasion of Ukraine was impacting the entire country but Meze Audio’s key partners in Lviv were at war. Literally. I was there to listen to the LIRIC and Empyrean models but my eye caught an unfinished prototype on the table looking rather lonely and so began my experience with the Meze Audio 109 Pro Open Back Headphones.
The Meze Audio 99 Classics have been my daily driver for almost 4 years and wherever I go — they go.
My headphone collection is an assortment of models from HiFiMAN, Grado Labs, Audeze, Shure, PSB, and Meze Audio. The IEM drawer features models from Jabra, 1More, Grell Audio, and Sennheiser.
Nothing gets used as much as the Meze 99 Classics. Not even close.
The only issue after 4 years of listening, is that I would love an open-back version of the 99 Classics with slightly less bass impact and a much larger sounding soundstage.
Antonio Meze must have read my mind.
One significant difference between the 99 Classics and Meze Audio 109 Pro is that the 109 Pro are not as easy to drive; my since retired iPhone 6s could drive the 99 Classics and when I started using Dongle DACs — power was never an issue.
A brand new iPhone 12 with over a dozen Dongle DACs is most eager to see how the final version of the 109 Pro turned out.
Meze Audio, have announced their first dynamic open-back headphone – the 109 PRO. Made from carefully curated and responsibly sourced materials, including walnut wood, zinc, manganese steel and vegan leather, the 109 PRO is a comfortable, lightweight, yet highly durable headphone capable of producing a natural, emotionally engaging listening experience.
“Our obsession with art, exceptional sound and timeless design drives us. We only create what we love, and the 109 PRO is no exception to that,” said Antonio Meze, lead designer and founder, Meze Audio. “We poured our soul into every aspect of its design – from the premium materials used to its intricate engineering. And because we don’t follow trends, nor do we let them influence us, the 109 PRO is built to sound, look and feel great for years to come.”
At the heart of the headphone is the 109 series Dual-Composites diaphragm featuring a Beryllium-coated semicrystalline polymer torus, a cellulose-carbon fiber composite dome and a copper-zinc alloy ring stabilizer.
The superlight but stiff cellulose composite reinforced with carbon fiber makes it possible for the W-shaped dome to reproduce high frequencies (5Hz-30KHz) with incredible detail, clarity and definition. This composite is superior to conventional alternatives used in dynamic drivers, and its low mass and stiffness helps avoid resonances that may lead to harmonic distortion.
The ultra-thin torus (22 microns) surrounding the dome is constructed out of a Beryllium-coated semicrystalline polymer, which contributes to greater clarity and a faster transient response. The high dampening qualities of Beryllium also suppress unwanted resonances, leaving listeners with a more neutral, vivid and transparent experience.
Around the circumference of the membrane, the ring-shaped stabilizer made of copper-zinc alloy improves the absorption of vibrations to reduce distortion even further.
The diaphragm is encased in a high-precision machined aluminum frame that has superior rigidity to typical plastics frames and retains perfect surface flatness, which is essential for the precision assembly with the diaphragm.
The spider-shaped structure and acoustically transparent grill inside the earcup exposes the driver from both sides, creating Meze Audio’s most open pattern to date.
The driver, placed at a precise angle and distance from the ear, achieves the ideal anatomical fit for the most natural listening experience possible.
Soft, breathable velour and memory foam earpads comfortably envelop the ears, providing the optimal seal to create an immersive experience.
The self-adjusting, spring steel headband distributes weight evenly to relieve pressure, for a more comfortable experience that allows the listener to be fully present.
As our choices of today can have a great impact in the world of tomorrow, Meze Audio designs products that last. Conceived with timelessness in mind, the 109 PRO is meant to surpass short-lived trends and fast-changing industry fashions, rewarding the user with long-term, emotional value.
The black walnut wood used for creating the earcups is strictly harvested from certified sources, specifically trees designated as mature and having reached the end of their life cycle.
The 109 PRO is fully and endlessly serviceable, which can extend the life of the product beyond limit.