Disclaimer: The Unique Melody Mason V3 custom inear monitor was sent to us free of charge in exchange for this review. UM is not related to Headfonia in any way.
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 2018 and Unique Melody is everywhere, they are well structured, have a clear product line up, clear communication, up-to-date website and Facebook Page and especially: good representation. MusicTeck in the US together with Lawrance Lee 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: http://en.uniquemelody.org/ If you’re interested on finding out more about UM’s history, then you can do so here: http://en.uniquemelody.org/about_346.html. 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/.
It’s also not the first time we’ve reviewed Unique Melody monitors and we have full articles about the Maverick, Martian, Maestro and the 2017 HFN award winning planar magnetic UM ME.1 universal IEM. In this article we’re looking at a custom version of their latest Mason V3 Monitor.
The Mason V3
In 2016, Unique Melody introduced the Mason V2 which we unfortunately missed for review. We did review the original Maestro (now called Mason) and it actually up to today still is one of my favourite custom IEMS. The Mason V3 was launched late 2017 and it’s not just a normal update (driver count) to the 2nd revision. With the new generation, the Mason V3 is equipped with a wide range of features such as the “dB-Go” bass enhancement module, titanium sound tubes (universal edition), a newly designed shell for optimal comfort and “Dual-Tone” cable technology.
The 16-driver Mason V3 is a 4-way, 5-bore design with 4 sound tubes and 1 bore designed for tuning module. The Module provides acoustic dampening, pressure attenuation, and real-time low frequency adjustment. Each bore is reinforced with a rigid metal tube to ensure structural stability and faithful sound reproduction. The Mason V3’s driver configuration is as follows: 4 low + 4 lower mid + 4 upper range + 4 high.
For the Mason V3 shells you can now opt to get a Dreamweaver design. Basically it is a layer by layer design which makes the acrylic shells even stronger and more comfortable than before. Typical of the Dreamweaver “technology” is how you can see the typical threads inside the shell, like fiber strengthening the enclosure.
Another nice new UM Mason V3 feature is the DB-GO bass enhancement module. Basically this is a little knob on the face plate which you can turn clock-wise and counter clock-wise. The module provides acoustic dampening, pressure attenuation and real-time low frequency adjustment. Opening/closing the module results in a 4dB gain bass enhancement between 20 and 100Hz. The difference in bass and sound is nicely audible though it does depend on the type and quality of music you’re listening to. With bass light music the effect is limited but with bass heavier music, the difference is clearly there. Personally I have the DG-GO module always activated as you get a more engaging sound. More on sound later in this article though.
Last but not least is the Dual-Tone cable technology with which UM is combining two different conductor type cables in one single enclosure (cable). You get both a copper and a silver cable in one and by switching the cable from the left to the right monitor, you change the cable and the sound
|Frequency Response||20Hz – 25KHz|
|Driver Configuration||4 Low + 4 Lower Midrange + 4 Upper Midrange + 4 High|
|State of the Art Frequency Tuning Module|
|Socket Style||4 Pin Metal Socket with Securing Bolt|
|Cable||8 Core 6N High-Purity Single Crystal Copper and Silver “Dual-Tone” Cable|
In contrary to a normal review I will use the same breakdown as I always do for my Custom Inear reviews:
- Build quality & Comfort
- Price & Accessories
- Customer Service
- Driveability & Sources
1. Build quality & Comfort
I shipped my new impressions to China and then it was about 2 or 3 weeks before my units were finished. A nice touch is that UM documents your monitors getting made in the lab (see pictures).
The UM Mason V3 monitor has a short canal with 5 tubes. As UM can’t make the canal any bigger than your ear and impressions are, it does mean those 5 bores and metal finished tubes are very tiny. There is no filter and the end of the bores either and so you have to pay attention with wax build-up. I really do advise to very regularly clean the bores as they easily seem to clog up.
Build quality-wise these are very nice and the Dreamweaver technology surely seems very qualitative. The shells look beautiful, the face plate closing is perfect, and the inside of the monitor is very neat, even with the 16 drivers per side in place. The customization I chose for is also perfectly done and the whole monitor just breaths high end quality.
Because of the special double cable the monitor looks a bit weird compared to what you’re used to, but it grows on you quickly. The big advantage is that the cable socket is always perfectly finished and invisible as it is a screw-on design. Comfort-wise these aren’t the smallest monitors of course, but they are very comfy and fit perfectly. The only thing I had to get used to a little was the metal finishing at the end of the bore/canal, as they feel a bit sharper compared to the typical, classic design.
The review continues on Page 2, after the click HERE or the jump below