First Look: Unique Melody MEST

Unique Melody MEST

Initial experience

 

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The version of the MEST we have is a custom one as you can see in the pictures, so the fit and comfort of these in my case is great. I also have to say I’m a big fan of how Unique Melody tunes their IEMs and the Mason models are among the very best in my collection. The only one in my possession I do not like is the UM 3DD-Ti, but I don’t think that one is still being built.

From the first day I have absolutely loved these new monitors, even though I the first few hours really had to get used to the feeling of the bone conduction driver. The experience of bone conduction is very difficult to describe and it really is something you have to experience yourself. You can really feel that there’s something vibrating and you feel it on your eardrum, but not in the same way you feel it when you’re standing in front of a big speaker pumping out bass at a way too high volume. It’s a more intense and deep feeling, it’s not overpowering but it has just enough force to tingle your senses. It really gives an extra dimension to listening to music and it really offer something extra to the sound overall.

Unique Melody MEST

Unique Melody MEST

The sound stage width and depth are seriously impressive and the drivers combination works magically. The spaciousness, airyness and especially the depth with excellent layering are to die for and one of the very best I’ve ever heard. The general tuning is neutrally musical with a smooth delivery and a bit of warmth but never overly so.

The bass is delivered by the dynamic driver and is very impressive: full, deep, detailed, tight great layering and with impressive sub-rumble. Bass is tight, fast, punchy, this is bass at its best. It’s not the kind of bass that overpowers everything but it’s just of such high quality technically. When needed it will come in with big body and punch, but it can also be very subtle yet deep with great sub bass and rumble. I absolutely love it.

The (lower) mids section connects really well to the bass and you get a full sound at all times. The vocals stand out a bit and if you’re into vocals, you’ll really appreciate this (Listening tip: Nick Cave’s Ghosteen). The mid timbre, vibration, extension and the depth/layering is impressive. There is so much emotion in these mids, it’s just really special. And you get the perfect blend of technicalities ad musicality, with a smooth and romantic delivery.

Unique Melody MEST

Unique Melody MEST

The treble section is lively, detailed, extended and highly energetic thanks to the double EST drivers. The balance with the mids and especially the bass is remarkable. If you like good treble, the MEST will be an IEM for you.

In short, the Unique Melody MEST is a top-level all-round IEM that could be the end game for many audiophiles. The UM MEST is not the cheapest but once you see, well hear, what it does and how it does that, you’ll be sold in no-time. The only down side for some could be the very clear and strict separation. Most IEMS prefer a more fluent presentation but it’s something you also get used to after a while. When you listen to many different monitors however, it’s something you will notice when switching to these. I don’t see it as something bad though, it’s just a different kind of thing.

Conclusion

I’m seriously in love with this hybrid. Or maybe I’ve just been in lockdown for too long. But I am serious when I say the MEST is a contender for best IEM of the year. Definately.

4.7/5 - (100 votes)

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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? Iā€™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 šŸ™‚

  • 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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