Where I with the original MEST MKI still had to get used to the bone conduction experience, it now has become something familiar. The bone conduction feeling still is complicated to describe and it really is something you have to experience yourself. You can really notice 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 offers something extra to the sound overall. As said earlier other brands have started adapting the same kind of technology. It’s not something UM is happy with, but it’s hard to stop this evolution.
Comparing the effect of the bone conduction of the universal version to the custom version is not something I can do for this specific model. But if I look at how the universal Mini MEST performs, I can only conclude that even though effect in a universal shell is alright, it is much more spectacular with the custom version. It’s only normal as the custom version is fully inside your ear and it’s perfectly touching your skin, where this isn’t the case for a universal IEM with silicon tips.
Overall the MEST MKII is a very full sounding IEM in which bass presence plays an important role. The beauty here is that it’s not just quantity but also quality. And that add the bone conduction on top of that and you get something really impressive. The MKII is also energetic from bottom to top (even if less than the original – see later), but the EST drivers never sound harsh or sibilant in any way.
Another thing I really love in the MEST MKII is how well it does depth and it comes with excellent layering. The timbre also is exemplary from bass to treble. Sound stage wise the MEST MKII in the width scores good but it’s especially impressive on the bottom end. The top end is good but not spectacular.
In regards to detail retrieval and precision, the MKII scores very well, though it isn’t a detail monster or an analytic kind of IEM. The dynamics on the other hand are impressive and they go hand in hand with a high musicality level.
The presentation is on the full and warmer side imo, and the MKII has a smooth delivery. Looking at the separation, airiness and spaciousness, the MKII feels natural and correct, but the higher end models score better in these regards.
All-in-all the thicker MKII is very musical and extremely easy to listen with its smoother delivery. If you like bass quality – and we’re talking about both quantity as well as quantity – then the MKII will be jaw-dropping good. To me it’s a very addictive IEM, but it at the same time has a more special/unique tuning than the MKI. The latter being the IEM to please a bigger crowd, purely looking at its tuning. But more on the MK1 vs MKII later in this article.
Bass-wise as said the MKII impresses. You get a higher quantity of bass, but the driver is always perfectly in control. Bass is tight but relaxed, and the delivery has a softer punch. In regards to depth, sub-bass and layering, the UM MEST MKII scores very well and together with the timbre of the mids, it’s probably is the most impressive MKII characteristic.
Bass has a warmer and natural tonality, with a smoother presentation. It’s probably not the fastest or energetic bass, but it’s musically, fun and very addictive.
The mids also have that natural and warmer presentation, with a smooth timbre. The mids are realistic but soft and the vocals here blend in perfectly. The mid layering and depth is excellent while I feel the separation and especially the spaciousness is at a lower level. It’s not the widest midrange, but I at the same time never found it lacking either.
The treble section, looking at the competition and the use of EST drivers, is rather soft on the ear. It extends nicely and it is energetic and spicy, but it is softer and less present than in most EST designs. That does make it easy to like and listen to, and it for sure will please the larger crowd. If you’re into highly energetic and precise treble however, this isn’t he treble tuning for you. In this design however with the bass and mid tuning as described above, it completely makes sense however.
The UM MEST MKII is easy to like and easy to listen to hybrid IEM. Its biggest selling points are the bass section (quantity, layering depth) and the mid range timbre. Ithe MKII is a softer, smoother and warmer sounding IEM with a full bodied presence. The treble section is easy on the ears but brings enough energy to the table.
All-in-all the MEST MKII is a pretty safe bet for the brand, but that also takes away some of the things why the MEST MKI was so spectacular. We’ll discuss this in the next chapter right now.
Comparisons to the UM family and other EST driver IEMs can be found on the next page. Click HERE.
Page 3: Sound
Page 4: Comparisons & Conclusion