Just like with the JH13, it’s hard to find any fault with the Mage. It is a wonderfully balanced sounding IEM, and I don’t find it lacking in any one areas. That may be a short description, but it’s something very hard to pull off. The Mage is not tipped to any particular frequency range. The bass, the midrange, and the treble are present just as equally, and with good balance between the three. Aggressive highs, forward mids, or midbass humps are nowhere to be seen. If I have to be critical, I can say that the midrange is a little recessed, and the lower treble is a little forward from a total flat presentation. But they’re nowhere near what I would call a sucked-out mids, or an over agressive treble. The Bass is full bodied, has good extension, and it punches hard. Overall, it is a very musical IEM. It’s not tuned for the bass, not for the midrange, and not for the treble. It’s tuned for music.
So, what else is good about the UM Mage? Well, when I listened to the JH13, I find that the JH13 handled a lot of different genres well. What you find with full size headphones is that, they very rarely can play a lot of different genres well. Most headphones, even the high end models, sound great for a certain type of music, but not so with the other. This is another area where the UM Mage shines. It plays a lot of different genres very well: Rock, Classical, Alternative, Jazz, RnB, Electronica, just about any music you throw at it.
This is getting long, but I cannot stop here. What else is impressive about the Mage? Oh, the fact that it plays beautiful music out of a low-end source. You can stick the HD800 to a kickass amplifier, but you would still need to use a high end source to go with the system. Not so with the Mage. The Ipod Classic is far far from a high end source, and I don’t really use the best, all-silver, $200 LOD too, but I find the Ipod Classic > TTVJ Slim > UM Mage combo to be very good and very musical. The Mage is also fairly forgiving of bad recordings, definitely more forgiving than a lot of high end headphones. Finally, the Mage has a low low level of sibilance. If a recording has massive amount of sibilance, it’ll still come out a little on the Mage, but otherwise, you won’t have to worry about sibilance at all.