First Look: Unique Melody MEST

Unique Melody MEST

Today we check out the $1,399 Unique Melody MEST IEM for the first time before the full review.

 

 

Disclaimer: This post is part of our new First Look Sunday series, you can find all of the previous ones here. The UM MEST was sent to us in exchange for our honest opinion.

Unique Melody

According to Unique Melody, they are one of the first and longest-established manufacturer of custom in-ear monitors in China. Since 2007, with over 10 years of research and experience in the industry, they’ve developed a wide range of products from multi-BA, hybrid dynamic and BA, to more recent units containing Bluetooth, planar magnetic, piezoelectric, and bone conducting technologies that also contain various patents.

Fast forward to 2020 and Unique Melody is everywhere, they are more structured, have a clear product line up, better communication, semi up-to-date website and Facebook Page and especially: good representation. MusicTeck in the US really have made it easy for everyone to get familiar with the brand and I want to praise them for the work they’ve done.

It’s not always easy finding the right Unique Melody website via Google so here it is: https://www.uniquemelody.co/. If you use Facebook’s search module you’ll also find several FB Pages about Unique Melody, but the correct and official page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/UniqueMelodyIEM/.

Unique Melody MEST

It’s also not the first time we’ve reviewed Unique Melody monitors and we have full articles about the Maverick, Martian, Maestro, ME.1, Mason V3 and Mason V3+. This time we’re looking at the newest UM creation, the MEST.

MEST

MEST has a dedicated web page but it’s in Chinese, so we recommend to check out MusicTeck’s page here: https://www.uniquemelody.co/productinfo/1358077.html

The MEST is an 8-driver hybrid IEM with a 5-way crossover(!) and a very special one at that. It doesn’t only combine Balanced Armature drivers with a Dynamic Driver, but also with EST and Bone Conduction drivers. How awesome is that! The full driver configuration is as follows: 1 dynamic driver for the lows, 2 Balanced Armatures for the high mids, 2 BA for the highs, 2 Electrostat drivers for the ultra highs and the bone conduction driver.

Frequency response range: 20Hz-55KHz
Sensitivity: @1KHz 118dB
Impedance: 14Ω
Driver Count: 8
Crossover: 5-way crossover system
Driver Configuration: 1Dynamic low+2BA Mid high+2BA High+2EST Ultra high+1Bone Conduction

Unique Melody MEST

Unique Melody MEST

We’ve seen many IEMs in the meantime that features EST drivers like the Pola39 and the Elysium just to name two, but the super interesting thing for me here is the use of bone conduction. “But how does that work?” I hear you ask. Let’s quickly explain.

The face plates of the headphones are specially designed according to the structure of the bone conduction drivers. Bone conduction driver delivers signals by vibrating the face plate. Then the signals are passed to the carbon fiber shell and finally delivered to your inner ear.

The bone conduction drivers are made by metal vibration pieces that are covered by piezoelectric ceramics. The ceramic layers will bend the metal vibration pieces to make micro-vibrations according to the changes of input alternating voltage.

Diagram 3: The bone conduction drivers are made by metal vibration pieces that are covered by piezoelectric ceramics. The ceramic layers will bend the metal vibration pieces to make micro-vibrations according to the changes of input alternating voltage.

The universal MES is available for $ 1,189 USD (reduced price at the moment) and the custom version will set you back a few hundred USD more but I don’t know the exact price of the custom version. And they only come in 2 colors: Carbon Blue and Carbon Red.

First impressions start on the next page, just click here or use the jumps below.

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Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

12 Comments

  • Reply June 7, 2020

    Alexander Norstedt

    Looks great. How is the isolation compared to other custom iems?

    • Reply June 7, 2020

      Lieven

      The fit is perfect, so it’s just as good as any other custom. About -26dB

      • Reply June 8, 2020

        rantng

        Any chance to compare custom vs universal? I’m assuming the CIEM would optimize the properties of the bone conduction technology due to the nature of the custom shell providing more surface area/making more contact with the ear.

        • Reply June 9, 2020

          Lieven

          Sorry but we only get either the custom or the universal. So it’s not possible to compare them.

  • Reply June 7, 2020

    Alexander Norstedt

    Okey thanks

  • Reply June 8, 2020

    MhtLion

    Awesome review. Made me wanting to try UM for the first time.

    • Reply June 8, 2020

      Lieven

      Thank you. You won’t regret it 🙂

  • Reply June 8, 2020

    Vincent

    Does the MEST require a high end DAP to drive? Can be pair with either Shanling M6 Pro or Fiio M11 Pro or ? Thanks for your feedback.

    • Reply June 9, 2020

      Lieven

      The better the source, the better the MEST will sound. I have used it with the SP1000, SP2000, PAW 6000 and desktop (DAC/)Amps. Make sure you use it balanced

    • Reply June 23, 2020

      Steven Zore

      I reviewed them on Head-fi using only a BTR5 BT as source ($109), and they sounded magical… I thought it was very dependent on tips and cable tho,…They sounded best for me with my PWAudio Limited cable, and Type E tips…

  • Reply June 23, 2020

    Steven Zore

    I reviewed these on Head-fi and loved them, I just ordered a pair!

  • Reply June 24, 2020

    Ron

    Any comparisons against current um models like mason/mentor v3?

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