Compendium updated: January 9th, 2023.
There comes a time in the life of every Sennheriser fan when they want to upgrade from their beloved HD600 or 6XX to the next step, but what that next step is has never been clear. Consensus has never fully formed around the HD800s like it did the 6XX, and many just remain faithful to their 6XX rather than venture to more expensive headphone territory.
Well, we and nearly 20 reviewers think that's all changed. Meze's new $799 109 Pro open back dynamic may be the next choice for lovers of balanced/warm vocalist-centered headphones.
We’ve compiled reviews from across the web for your reference. What you’ll find here are the TLDR versions of the full reviews (which you can access with the provided links). We’ll continue updating this compendium as reviews come in.
From Zeos' review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on December 11th, 2022:
"They’re just startlingly good headphones, and they’re startlingly pretty headphones. And, despite being $800, I think for what you’re getting is more than what you pay for. They’re an exceptionally comfortable pair of headphone that can make me blather on like an idiot for 24 minutes.
"Just get these, relax on your couch, put your socks on, listen to the Meze 109 Pro. You’re done. If you just want to quit audiophilia, this is your ticket out."
From Joshua Valour's review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on December 20th, 2022:
“The headphone of the year.”
From Soundnews' review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on January 8th, 2022:
“Awesome-looking, great-sounding headphone. The performance is tripled over the 99 Classics.”
From cheapaudioman's review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on October 9th, 2022:
“I don’t have another headphone that I feel sounds similar to these that’s cheaper. So while these are $800, they’re standalone. They’re absolutely stunning. Addicting sound.”
From John Darko's podcast review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on November 8th, 2022:
“It’s a big step up from the 99 Classics. They’re not sonically related at all.”
From Moon Audio’s review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on September 13th, 2022:
“The 109 Pro is a superb high-end headphone, hands down. Again, Meze Audio can’t make bad headphones. I kinda consider the 109 the Advar of the full-size headphone lineup – it’s a solid balance of amazing sound quality at the under-1000 dollar price range. The 109’s retail for $799, so if you’re looking for an open-back headphone, we seriously recommend them. They easily go toe-to-two with headphones twice their price and combined with the warmer signature, tight bass, plenty of clarity on the top end, great styling, comfort, and you have a hi-fiheadphone that checks off all the boxes.”
From Headfonics’ review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on November 5th, 2022:
“With the Meze 109 PRO, I hope that the company continues on this path and tosses another warm, fun, and bassy sound for us who enjoy musicality over neutrality. This is a great option for those who enjoy anything vocalist centered.”
From Headfonia’s review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on September 9th, 2022:
“The Meze Audio 109 Pro is one of the best headphones under the $1000 USD mark, and maybe even above that price point. I’ve heard that Meze share an opinion among the team, about this being the best headphone they’ve ever made. I don’t specifically agree, but they might be right when you consider the price bracket.
“Everything about the new Meze headphone screams quality. From the design, materials and sound quality, it’s very hard to find a weakness in the overall performance of this open-back dynamic. I only can bring up the very slight aggressiveness in the lower treble, but that’s it.
“Meze Audio gets a recommended badge from us in the Best Headphones category with this release. I think it has a very good value and it’s in my opinion one of the best headphones you can get at this time. If you ever look out for a life-like, vibrant, musical, resolving and dynamic headphone under $1000, I strongly recommend it.”
From Major HiFi’s review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on September 14th, 2022:
“I feel like I could listen to the 109 Pro for countless hours and never get tired of its lush sound signature. Its level of comfort also helps too, as the 109 sports an excellent build that matches the sonic fidelity on display. Having listened to the 109 Pro, and every other headphone that Meze has put out, I think it is safe to say this company does not know how to make a bad headphone. The 109 Pro is elegant and provided me with an enticing open-back experience on the level of some of the best out there. For some, $799 might be pushing it, but I think Meze is bringing the best it has with the 109 Pro. At its current price, the 109 Pro is a value that is easily worth considering as your new audiophile investment.”
From Forbes' review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on October 12th, 2022:
“The new Meze 109 Pro open-back headphones are a triumph, in every respect. Not only do they showcase the excellent design capabilities of Antonio Meze and his team with the use of walnut, zinc and manganese steel, but the design makes the 109 Pro one of the most comfortable pairs of headphones you’ll ever put on your head. The sound quality is pitch-perfect. The openness of the soundstage and the sheer level of detail is astonishing. Listening to music with these unique headphones will have you falling in love with your favorite albums all over again. If you can audition them, then please do. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Highly Recommended.”
From The HEADPHONE Show's of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on November 9th, 2022:
“A worthwhile upgrade in sound quality for lovers of the 6XX.”
From HI-FI Trends’ review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on November 7th, 2022:
“To sum things up, the Meze Audio 109 PRO Headphones, with their novel driver, provide a remarkably neutral, organic, and transparent performance. They have a “live music” quality that stops you in your tracks. I have headphones on hand that cost several times what the Meze’s do, and I found myself drawn back to their musicality over and over.
“Along with that, these headphones are amazingly comfortable during long-wearing sessions, and you don’t need to spend a fortune on a source to drive them (but you will be rewarded if you do).
“If you’re looking for luxury near-reference headphones for less than 1k, these are the ones to buy! I believe these headphones will become that elusive endgame purchase for a decent percentage of audiophiles. Highly Recommended!”
From Super Reviews' review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on October 26th, 2022:
“Like a lot of Meze headphones, I want to love them more than I end up loving them. I give it three stars out of five.”
From Bloom Audio's review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on September 15th, 2022:
“109 Pro is a clear stepping stone between the 99 Classics and Empyrean. It improves on the detail and technical performance of the 99 Classics, while maintaining Meze’s core identity in the design, craftsmanship and sound. If you’ve been asking for a follow-up to the 99 Classics that improves on it in every way, Meze listened, and 109 Pro is exactly that headphone.”
From Headphone Dungeon's review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on September 14th, 2022:
“Though I expect the best from Meze, I’m nonetheless blown away with what they accomplished with the 109 PRO. Many headphones that shall remain unnamed put too much weight on hedonistic levels of face melting bass. Meze continues to set their own quality standards by instead focusing on overall balance and tasteful brightness, which I find harder to pull off and all-the-more impressive. Though a $799 price tag may rightfully seem intimidating for a lot of curious readers and listeners, I somewhat begrudgingly admit that it is an actual bargain as they come packed with all the premium Meze fixings that could only-up-until-now be found in headphones three times the price.”
From the honest audiophile's review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on November 15th, 2022:
“If I had to pick up either the HD600, the HD800s, or the 109 Pro to just listen to and enjoy, I’d choose the 109 Pro.”
From Major HiFi's Review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on December 21st, 2022:
“Fluid imaging, fun low end, balanced mids with a touch of warmth, snappy treble.”
From MMORPG’s review of the Meze 109 Pro, first published on December 5th, 2022:
“The Meze 109 Pro is an outstanding headphone. It doesn’t come cheap, but it’s genuinely been one of the biggest surprises of the year. Before this, I had really been on a planar magnetic kick, but this is the kind of headphone that shows what a great dynamic driver can do.
“The sound is incredibly well-tuned. It doesn’t fall into the audiophile trap of delivering detail at the expense of a fun, rich sound. Instead, it delivers plenty of detail with a great sense of space, a cohesiveness only a single dynamic driver can provide, and is very fun. I’ve found it hard not to get a bit lost in my listening, whether that’s being immerse in games or bobbing my head along with songs, even if it’s the first time I’ve heard them.”
Editor’s note: Emphases ours.