Gadget Review: Meze 11 Deco Beechwood Earphones
    • MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

    • Posted by: Matt Howard

    Every so often we receive little treats in the mail that aren't shipped in CD-sized envelopes. Last week, a petite package containing such a sweet gift appeared on my desk within which was a fresh set of earbuds, and I was naturally stoked. You see, for many of us, these little wired doodads are much more than fashion accessories; they're a tool for focus while we work, a method of distraction while we commute, and for those of us who work in the music business, they're the precious commodity that keeps our cubicle community at peace. As I would with any interesting album that crosses my mailbox, I decided to review these Meze 11 Deco buds.

    The first thing you'll notice about any set of Meze phones is that they're uniquely constructed with a handcrafted wood body. The package comes equipped with a circular carrying pouch and three sizes of rubber plungers, which those who, like me, have oversized ear canals will greatly appreciate. But as I mentioned earlier, I'm not in this for the aesthetic highlights.

    While testing the MEZE 11 Deco earbuds, I listened to an array of musical styles during multiple everyday situations to get a feel for their overall sound quality. Here's what sounded best...

    Alt-J - An Awesome Wave - Commuting

    It was on the L-train on my way home from an art exhibit that I decided my new buds were worth discussing. Alt-J's "Matilda" popped on shuffle, and the album took me all the way to my doorstep. The headphones provided a warm, full-bodied sound that allowed me to escape the burdensome commute entirely. Not being distracted by the weekend night chaos that surrounded me on the subway, I noticed new intricacies on the album that I hadn't previously encountered during countless prior listens.

    P.O.S. - We Don't Even Live Here - Walking

    This album is my go-to when I'm walking alone through sketchy neighborhoods. Lazerbeak's pulse-pumping beats and P.O.S.'s riot-inducing verse always get me on edge and ready for any necessary elbow-drops. Hearing songs like "Bumper" and "Get Down" on my Meze buds totally swept me into full-alert, however, looking back, my karate kick strut may have been a bit excessive.

    London Grammar - If You Wait - Working

    Back in my college years I would listen to classical while studying to avoid any diversions. These days, while working, when I'm not listening to a subject that's being written about, I saturate myself in something moody. London Grammar's debut LP If You Wait would normally be a perfect suitor for the role, however, hearing the eerie uncertainty emanated by Hannah Reid's infectious howl on my Meze headphones was an entirely different experience. I didn't accomplish much that afternoon...

    The Rolling Stones - Exile on Mainstreet - Cooking

    I usually cook dinner while my girlfriend watches something mind-numbing on MTV within earshot of the kitchen, so instead of stuffing my ears with cotton balls, I listen to podcasts. Last week, to spice up some random ramen concoction, however, I instead tested my Meze buds' full-blast fuel with The Rolling Stones' cult classic Exile on Main Street. The imaginative in-studio session I experienced was totally worth the few minor knife-work injuries and over-squeezed Sriracha broth, although my girlfriend may disagree on the latter.

    Overall, the Meze earbuds are a worthy investment for an avid music listener who's looking for a noise cancelling experience without the oppressive feel of a full headphone set. They're lightweight and safely sit within your ear, and as my solo dancing proved, they can survive some serious disturbances.

    You can get your own pair of Meze 11 Deco earbuds here.

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