8. Comparisons (sound only)
I have a few too many CIEMs to compare the Maestro with all of them, but if you want me to compare it to a specific one that isn’t in this list, do ask me in the comments section.
Earwerkz Legend R (now Empire Ears). The eight driver Legend R is slower and has more body in bass and mids. Extension and depth compared to the Maestro is limited and you get a more concentrated sound. The treble is more forward and is sharper tuned than in the Maestro. Bass, mids and treble are more separated and flow less over into each other. The LR still is a good monitor but its sound signature is different, the Maestro easily beats in on technicalities though.
The CustomArt Harmony 8Pro has really good layering and depth but compared to the Maestro the clarity and cleanliness is missing and the mids sound more veiled. The H8P has excellent balance with great sub bass. The Maestro does have the biggest sound stage with the best separation and most spacious sound. The H8P’s treble does have more detail and layering than the Maestro’s. I’ll be sending in my H8P for an upgrade to the new 8.2 that CA announced a few weeks ago.
The Jomo 6R is tuned similarly as the Maestro in a more neutral way: good layering, spacious sound, great detail and good extension. The mids section in the Jomo 6R is thinner sounding than the Maestro’s making it sound more analytically neutral then musical. Both are great monitors but the Maestro is more engaging and the better all-rounder.
The Lime Ears Aether with the sub bass switch activated has a lot more low body than the Maestro. Both monitors have really good layering but the Maestro sounds wider, more spacious, cleaner, more neutral and precise. Compared to the Maestro the Aether also has more forward placed vocals and the mids sound a little more veiled. From bass to highs the Aether doesn’t flow/connect as smoothly as the Maestro. The sub bass on these is better though.
Cosmic Ears’ CE6B is still a very impressive monitor and it’s the only one that comes close to what the Maestro is doing, and that for half the money. Great layering, good depth but it isn’t as wide as the Maestro. The UM is a little more spacious and bass might reach down a little lower. The CE6 is the only one who makes the flow from bass to treble as well as the Maestro. It sounds dynamic and balanced with great positioning.
The Unique Melody Maestro impressed me right from the start. Build quality and presentation are top notch and it sounds extremely good. The Maestro easily is one of my all-time favorite monitors and it’s a great all-rounder with a good source. Make sure though you have a good source, amplifier or cable because the Maestro doesn’t easily forgive. Feed it top quality however and you’ll be in heaven.
The Maestro doesn’t come cheap (starting at $1599) but what you get in return is a whole lot. To me the price tag is fully justified; heck I even think it’s worth more seeing a lot of other CIEM companies six driver monitors cost a lot more.
If you’re in the market for an end-game custom IEM I fully recommend waiting and saving up for the Maestro. If you like more bass then the Lime Ears Aether is the CIEM to think about and if you want an all-rounder that’s cheaper but sounds extremely good like a mini Maestro, I recommend Cosmic Ears’ CE6 as they it has the best price/quality ratio.