Budget-friendly 12 Classics V2, is my first earphone from the famous Romanian company Meze Audio. Their Rai Penta model won my “most handsome earphone” award when I saw it online a couple of months ago. What a nice design and craftmanship! Hope we will meet someday.
12 Classics V2 shares the same design style as the 12 Classics first edition which was released in 2016. Same box, same carrying case. Ear tips colour differ this time, black silicone S, M, L size and a pair of double flange ear tips instead of white tips that came with the first edition. No Comply foam tips and no cable clip either.
As for the IEM shells, again the same style, but this time different colours both on the walnut wood, which is black on V2 and aluminium parts, which are bronze including 3.5mm plug. I liked this colour combo more than the first edition, to be honest. And the joint parts of the wood shell and aluminium are more seamless this time, as it should be in 2021.
The specs are exactly the same too, except the cable is braided textile this time, has no microphone and is 6N, which was 7N on version 1.
Oh, this time we have only 1 “Meze Audio” sticker then 2 comparing to 2016. Version 1 cost 79$ back then, 12 Classics V2 costs 69$ today.
Gears I used for testing
PC > Hiby R3 as DAC > Tidal (H-Fi, Masters)
Smartphone > Hilidac Atom Pro Type-C DAC > UAAP
When I first got the 12 Classics V2 from the mail and tried them, I’ve got mixed feelings. I wanted them to sound better because of the first contact with Meze Audio I guess. The ear tips that came with are no go for me. Tried my trusted Final E tips, my Sony Hybrid tips, still no go. Then I decided to use wide bore tips matching the nozzle size, voilà!
Miles Davis, Marcus Miller -Siesta – Kitt’s Kiss – Lost in Madrid, Pt. II, our first test track, being a former radio DJ, I like to choose different songs in every review, like making a new program every week. A classical Jazz symphony including trumpet of Miles Davis and bass guitar from Marcus miller, the soundtrack of the 1987 film Siesta. Acoustic guitar, drums, classical guitar and synthesizer. After the right ear tip, I really liked the bass on Meze 12 Classics V2, full-bodied, the rumble that you wish from a dynamic driver is there, including mid-bass tones. Brass instruments and guitars are welcome with the right amount of timbre. Separation of the instruments, layering from this 69$ IEM is more than expected.
Dire Straits – Private Investigations, Mark Knopfler, one of the best guitarist of our century, after minute 3.45 of the song, this is one of the tracks that not many IEMS can handle, the high octave guitar and piano notes together. 12 Classics V2 does very well not sounding harsh, neutral and very pleasing on that notes even when you pump up the volume. Passes my sibilance test.
Kaz Hawkins – Because You Love Me, one of my favourite female vocals of all. And her Band O’Men, acoustic and electro guitar in harmony, strings sounding right on spot with her voice. No bleeds from low-tones to mid-tones, separation is really good. Vocal is forward, really enjoyed listening to this track.
Luciano Pavarotti, James Brown – It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World, King of soul together with king of High C’s, rest in piece both… One the best songs of all time, 2 of the best male vocals of all time. An amazing symphony orchestra behind them and when Pavarotti starts to sing, you start to wonder how that sound is coming out from this small ear phones, I mean it, so nicely tuned. One thing though, the Meze 12 Classics V2 don’t have the biggest soundstage, but I think you will be happy with it’s natural sound and the tuning. This devil can handle every male vocal with ease.
Warm bass, but not overbearing, both sub and mid-bass with a natural rumble and a good kick, Meze 12 Classics V2 have it. I like natural-sounding midrange, and the Meze’s have it. I like treble with enough clarity and air, but not fatiguing, guess what? You guessed right 🙂
Meze 12 Classics V2 surpassed a couple of my 1 DD earphones which cost more.
I would like to thank Meze Audio for providing me with the review unit, it’s been a joyful and honest journey.