Meze 12 Classics V2 Review Wired Earphones with Wood Metal Construction

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Despite the push for wireless, wired earphones are currently enjoying a revival and, it's not surprising. Wired earphones are the literal definition of plug and play. No charging required, no connectivity issues and no chance of losing or misplacing earbuds! 
The 12 Classics V2 are a beautiful example of wired earphones. They are second generation, the first one being the original 12 Classics that were launched in 2016. Meze Audio no longer makes these; hence you cannot buy the original 12 Classics from Meze Audio's website, unless you buy them from amazon. Another earphone Meze Audio no longer makes is the 11 Neo earphones, which were essentially an aluminium metal body version of the 12 Classics.
Construction-wise, the new 12 Classics V2 earbuds retain the same metal/wood hybrid design. Each earphone is made of three separate pieces. The nozzle neck (front) and concave back plate are made of copper-anodized aluminium, while the centre piece is made of a darker brown walnut wood (possibly black walnut wood) that has been likely coated with a penetrating oil for a longer-lasting, waterproof finish. Theoriginal 12 Classics earbuds were made of aluminium and light colored walnut wood.
Being copper anodized aluminum, the metal sections are technically made of two metals (copper and aluminium). The actual copper anodizing process of aluminum is actually quite interesting because the aluminium has been coated with copper rather than blended together that gives the 12 Classics V2 a vibrant copper look that is more durable than 100% copper and will not patina either; hence it will not develop the peculiar oxidizing greenish color that usually develops on copper objects, the most famous being the statue of liberty.

Specs-wise, the 12 Classics V2 drivers retain the same hardware specification, including 16 ohm impedance, 101dB volume sensitivity, copper-clad aluminium (CCA) voice coil and frequency response range. The internal cable wiring is also made of oxygen free copper (OFC) but instead of using 7N purity (99.99999%), like in the original 12 Classics, the 12 Classics V2 uses 6N, which is slightly lower purity copper (99.9999% pure). The length of the cable remains 1.2 meters long, which is a decent length, not too long, not too short.

The round zippered hardshell case that is included is covered with leatherette fabric material and integrates a standard coil plastic zip with a single metal slider. The hardshell case is lined internally with soft microfiber like material and integrates a mesh open pocket for storing the eartips. The hardshell case has Meze's logo carved into the top of it. The 12 Classics V2 uses the same titanium coated 8mm mylar driver, which has been positioned within the walnut wood section of the earphone. Because of the wood and metal construction, the 12 Classics V2 have a noticeably higher level of passive noise isolation (up to 26dB) than you get with plastic shell earbuds.
Having a bullet shell casing style, the 12 Classics V2 nozzles are straight but they are lightweight so, they should stay in the ears without issues. Ear canals tend to be naturally angled, although some ear canals are less angled than others, which allows earbuds to stay in and not fall out. The angle of ear canals can also point downward or upward; hence why the same earbud will not fit everyone the same.
The ear tips are also another factor in the equation of fit so, it's always a good idea to experiment with different types of ear tips. Speaking of fit, a lot of weight have been trimmed off of the 12 Classics V2, which weigh now 15 grams (10 grams less than the original 12 Classics). The weight reduction has been achieved by removing the rubber sheath covering the fabric cable underneath, which also makes the cable less prone to noise when rubbing against it. The 12 Classics V2 are a fine piece of craftsmanship that has been put together very well. Thick strain reliefs have been added to reinforce the cable joints and make earbuds durable to withstand day-to-day use.
There is no inline remote/microphone on the cable, like on the original 12 Classics, other than a long and rounded y-splitter located 41cm away from the earphones. The y-splitter and gold-plated 3.5mm connector plug are made of the same copper anodized aluminum. Being a straight plug, the audio plug looks more aesthetically pleasing than a right angled plug, although a right angle plug is advantageous when using a smartphone as it usually puts less stress on the cable when keeping the phone in the pocket.
The sound signature is similar to the original 12 Classics and have a hint of the sound of the 99 Classics headphones. There is a noticeable emphasis on higher tones - midrange and treble - which are clear and detailed. The bass is not as prominent as in the 11 Neo earphones, although it is deep and punchy. If you prefer a more balanced sound, it's a good idea using foam tips to calm the higher tones.
The original 12 Classics came with Comply foam tips, while the new 12 Classics V2 don't. Included you only get silicon ear tips - bowl shaped (large medium and small) and one set of double flange (bi flange). The eartips included have a smaller opening than the actual nozzle tips due to the narrow bore, which makes the sound tighter and more concentrated. If you want a more spacious sound distribution, its worth using ear tips with wider bore. You can buy the 12 Classics V2 from Meze. Check out the new Rai Solo earphones.

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