Today we review the Unique Melody MEST MKII which is selling for $1.799 USD.
Disclaimer: The Unique Melody MEST MKII custom monitor was sent to us free of charge in exchange for this review, directly by Unique Melody. UM is not related to Headfonia in any way.
If you’ve read any of my Unique Melody reviews, you will know it’s one of those brands that just “do it” for me. The Maestro and Mason series, as well as the MEST series, have gotten really good scores from me. So I was really looking forward to reviewing the MKII as the MEST MKI already is a world class monitor. Could it possibly be even better? Let’s find out in this article.
The reason why we’re a bit late with the review of the MEST MKII is double. First of all we had to wait a bit longer for the custom version as the universal version (which many used for review) was given priority. As this unit is all about bone conduction, I find it important to use it as a CIEM for optimal efficiency. So it was worth the wait. Then second, it got mingled up in our review planning and holidays, so I have to apologize to Unique Melody and the readers about that.
UM – 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 2021 and Unique Melody is everywhere, they are more structured, have a clear product line up, better communication and an up-to-date website. They also have excellent representation and MusicTeck in the US really have made it easy for everyone to get familiar with the brand.
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 you’ll also find several FB Pages for Unique Melody, but the correct and official page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/UniqueMelodyIEM/.
It’s clearly 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 MKII.
Before going into detail on the MEST MKII, it’s important to know that there still is the original MEST as well as a universal mini MEST. The MEST MKI was the original IEM using the bone conduction technology, and it of course has been “adapted” by other brands in the meantime.
Before reading the MEST MKII review, we strongly advise to read up on the MEST MKI first, as the bone conducting technology and the driver is fully explained in that article. You can do so here:
The Mini MEST also won our Recommended Buy Award and it’s featured on our recommended buy list. For only $599 you get one heck of a universal hybrid monitor: it performs incredibly well for the price it is selling for and it easily beats many monitors in its price class with its engaging tuning and bone conduction experience.
The MEST MKI won our best CIEM of 2020 award, so the MEST MKII has big shoes to fill. Let’s get started.
The MEST MKII is a 4-way quadbrid inear monitor and it features a combo of Dynamic drivers, Balanced Armatures, Electrostat (EST) and dBC-S (Dual Side Bone Conduction) drivers. In total we have 7+1 drivers in the following combination: 1 Dynamic Bass Driver + 2 BA Mid Drivers+ 2 BA treble Drivers + 2 EST Ultra-High Drivers + 1 Full Range B2 Bone Conduction Driver. These hybrids are getting sophisticated!
The MEST MKII cable is called the UM M2 and it basically is an 24AWG Upper-Grade OCC Custom Cable. Terminations available are 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm. Ours has the 4.4mm balanced plug.
Vs MKI :
For the MEST MKII, UM decided to implement upgraded metal vents for the dynamic driver and the MKII now has an improved sensitivity and response range. “How did UM do that?” you ask?
The UM MEST MKII uses a double sided piezoelectric bone conduction driver. This driver is placed in between 2 supporting plates. At the center of the driver you have the vibration board which is covered by a ceramic coating on both the front and the back. The bone conduction driver now has a larger contacting area with the shells (double sided contact) and as such you feel more of the bine conduction effect.
UM hasn’t touched the rest of the driver configuration compared to the original MEST. There’s a slight change in efficiency and sensitivity, but nothing spectacular.
Driver Types: Dynamic + Balanced Armature + Electrostatics (EST) + dBC-S Dual Sides Bone Conduction System, 4-way quadbrid.
Driver Count: 7+1
Driver Configuration: 1 Dynamic Bass Driver + 2 BA Mid Drivers+ 2 BA treble Drivers + 2 EST Ultra-High Drivers + 1 Full Range B2 Bone Conduction Driver
Sensitivity: @1KHz 112dB
Frequency Response: 20Hz-70kHz Cable
Sockets: 2-pin Flat Shells: One Piece Carbon Fiber + Gold Foil
Crossover: 5-way Crossover
Resistance: 12.3 ohm
Cable: UM M2 24AWG Upper-Grade OCC Custom Cable
The review of the UM MEST MKII continues on the next page. Click here or use the jumps below.
Page 3: Sound
Page 4: Comparisons & Conclusion