Closed back headphone alternative

So I have a set of Sennheiser HD 660s cans. Love the sound but, being open backed, they bleed like hell and I need something closed backed for when I am not alone in the room.

I have a set of HD 280 Pro as well so that and option but I was wondering if there is something out there closed back that could equal the sound of the 660s for the same or less in price.

Everything I find online seems to cost a lot more and this will be my backup set.

Meze 99 Classics - lots of people on forum, including me, have them and love them

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How did you find them with the Star? Were they a good match sonically?

I have been thinking about getting the 660s for my Uniti Atom but not sure if they suit, would be alone in the room so no worries about leakage.

Hmm they look stunning. How is the sound bleed from them?

I love them. For me they live up to everything the raving reviews promised.

They are not very base heavy so take that into account. I find they give a very honest speaker like representation of the music. Also they are hellova comfortable.

One never knows if someone else will like something but I cannot recommend them enough.

I play them at high volumes at times and my wife can’t hear them so that counts as success!

And you didn’t feel that you needed a headphone amp to drive them?

If I was buying something around 300 euro I would try the Meze 99 having read so many good reports about them here, and yes they do look fab. I currently have B&W P5 wired headphones which are great and I don’t believe there is much leakage but I am not sure if they are as good as the 660s which is why I was thinking of moving up.

Good luck in your search.

Audeze LCD-XC sounded pretty reasonable when I tried recently, though only on on iPad, and didn’t compare with anything else.

Another I’ve heard of but not heard is Aeon Flow 2 (Mr Speaker?)


They both look really good but they are double the HD 660s in terms of price. Considering the closed back is meant to be the backup for when someone is in the room it’s a little much.

Hmmm haha that’s exactly the use case I have!

My Star powers them just perfectly. Think there is a pretty good headphone amp in it. I would assume the Atom would have similar.

@crispyduck I see there is a version without wood. Which one do you have? The classic with wooden cups?

Indeed. They are beautifully made and very comfortable

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Read one more review that actually compared their sound with the HD660s haha. Your recommendation is spot on.

They are coming on Monday…

Really glad to hear it - I dont think you will be disappointed.

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From everything I read I cannot imagine I will be. Not for that price.

Will report back here when they are in my grubby paws.

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Another vote for the Audeze XC - but, they are pretty expensive (got mine used, for about £700) and if you are only thinking of sporadic use…

I love my XC. But the Meze seems an incredibly popular choice (I’ve not heard them, sadly).

Looks like you’re good to go :+1:

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Depends on what earpads you use with them. The originals are pretty good, though as a comparison, not as good as with my Sony WHMX1000Mk3, but these are noise cancelling. My current Brainwavz lambskin leather pads not only sound better and leak about the same, but are way more comfortable. I did try some hybrid velour/leather combination from Brainwavz as well but they leaked like crazy because the inner walls of the pads had little holes to make them breathable. This is great in the summer when the ears get a bit sweaty but they didn’t sound right so I changed them for the lambskin version.
For the money the Meze 99C’s are hard to beat and they are stunning. You could also try the Neo’s which are about £100 cheaper for much the same sound, I believe, although in black and plastic.

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Thanks for the info! Gonna check out how the standard ear pads fare. Good to know there are alternatives.

It’s already bought so can no longer look at alternatives, but you know what, I am pretty excited about the wooden cans hehe.

They are fab. The earpads are a weak point in my view, so when the time comes and the pleather starts to degrade definitely check out the Brainwavz lambskin ones, they are lush. I made the mistake of buying a second pair of the originals from Meze and they degraded after 6 months. You’ll find, if your ears are like mine, that the pleather starts to “rot” and the foam compresses to the point where it affects the sound quality in a negative way. The only downside is the Brainwavz are a little awkward to fit.

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