Unique Melody MEST Review

Unique Melody MEST

8. Driveability & Sources




I as good as always have used the MEST straight from a DAP. I have never felt the need to amp this monitor even further and the 118dB sensitivity and 14 Ω impedance numbers also prove that. For this chapter I have used the SP2000, the WM1Z, the PAW6000, the Chord Mojo and my OnePlus 6 smartphone.

With the Sony WM1Z (2.5mm to 4.4mm adapter) in balanced mode the MEST sounds smooth and very musical. It doesn’t sound as wide and spacious as with the SP2000 but you get those gorgeous warmer mids everyone loves the Sony for. Voices, both male and female sound very realistic and just nice. I do feel the WM1Z limits the liveliness and energy the MEST has, and you don’t get he same clarity as you do with the SP2000, especially the in the higher mids and treble section. To me the WM1Z softens out the MEST a bit too much, but many for sure will exactly like that.

Something I also miss here is the depth and layering from top to bottom. It to me is one of the strongest points of the MEST, but the Sony seems to hold that back. In exchange you get the typical mid warmth and musicality, mixed with excellent balance and stereo imaging. It’s a nice combo but the MEST to me can sound much better, especially when technicalities are your thing.

This kind of got me worried on how the MEST would sound with the full bodied and warmer Lotoo PAW 6000, but their actually was no need to worry. The synergy between both units is actually quite good and you here get much more clarity, a better extension and way more energy.

The PAW 6000 & MEST combination also has more clarity and better speed and that’s really more what the MEST is about. The voices here are like with the SP2000: more energetic and slightly forward. Bass goes deep but it doesn’t have the fine detail and sub presence it has with the SP2000 however. The treble section here is much more clear and expressed as with the Sony, which made the MEST sound overly dark and even a bit dull to me. The amount of mid warmth here never really bothered me. I would still like to have more precision and extension with this combo, but the PAW 6000 of course isn’t playing at the same level as the SP2000.

Unique Melody MEST

I was very positively surprised when hearing the MEST straight from my OnePlus phone (using a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter). I didn’t expect it to sound this precise and energetic. The voices are more forward but very clear and they have just the right amount of smoothness. Of course my hone can’t extract the detail, depth and layering as well as a dedicated DAP can, and as such this will be less present in this combo. That being said, I still like it: it’s precise and clean and comes delivered with good speed and clarity. I in fact prefer this source over the WM1Z, so that means a lot.

Chord Electronic’s Mojo is known for it’s clear, detailed and more digital sound and I had a feeling these would match well. Again, there’s no real need to use any special amplification but as many will be using this DAC/AMP, let’s see how it performs.  The combination turns out to be excellent, with good precision, great clarity, detail retrieval and an energetic delivery. Vocals sound how they should, bass goes deep and treble is lively. Compared the SP2000 the precision, micro detail, layering and depth aren’t as pronounced but you get good bass, smooth mids and clear, exciting treble.

So all-in-all it’s safe to say the Unique Melody MEST doesn’t really need amplification. My advise is to use a higher end source with top level precision and clarity as they will really get the best out of the MEST. At the same time the MEST really surprised me in a good way straight from my phone. I however wouldn’t use an overly warm, smooth and slow source in combination with this IEM.

Unique Melody MEST

Unique Melody MEST


What a great monitor Unique Melody has built with the MEST. If you like a musical sound with good speed, clarity, precision and detail, you will love the Unique Melody MEST.

MEST delivers great bass, lovely mid timbre and energetic treble and it mixes that up with a wide and deep sound stage. The bone conduction driver gives the MEST something extra which we haven’t experienced before and I am sure many other brands will follow UM’s example.

For me the MEST, in custom form, is an almost perfect all-round monitor which punches way above its price point. We don’t give scores here on HFN but if I would this monitor would get an easy 9 out of 10. That means that the MEST wins our recommended buy award, and it will now be featured on our Best CIEM List, where it is in very good company.


4.4/5 - (127 votes)

Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.


  • Reply July 7, 2020


    Thanks for the great full length review! This will be my first UM monitor.

    • Reply July 7, 2020


      I hope you’ll love it as much as you. Let us know how it turns out?

  • Reply July 7, 2020


    I first heard then had to have the mest after CsmJam back in February (seem like a hundred years ago now). I absolutely love them!

    • Reply July 8, 2020


      They are something else indeed

  • Reply July 8, 2020


    Would we be seeing a review of the mini version soon?

    • Reply July 8, 2020


      That’s up to UM, I checked their interest

  • Reply July 10, 2020

    Steven Zore

    “The (lower) mids section – delivered by a double BA-driver –”

    Not to nitpick, but the BA drivers are mid high, and high…you say the BA is delivering the “lower mids”….But is not the dynamic driver covering that?

    In any event, I have the MEST and they are sublime…I paired it with the Leonidas II cable and my A&K SR-25 DAP…

    Classical symphonic works shine with this: The MEST is technical and analytical, yet musical at the same time. Lovely!

    • Reply July 15, 2020


      Hi Steve, Thanks for sharing your feedback. Do you think A&K SR 25 pair well with the MEST for pop and Jazz? I love a musical IEM with nice solid bass. I wouldn’t consider myself a bass head

  • Reply July 17, 2020

    Steven Zore

    Yes, the sr-25 is a great player, I use it for all genres, especially pop, jazz, classical, all genres shine. As good as it is tho, I think the Leonidas II and the MEST are not showing there full potential with the sr-25…I am thinking of upgrading, to what tho, I am not sure. But my kit as it stands now sounds sublime!

    • Reply July 22, 2020


      Hi Steve, do you also use CFA Solaris? It would be great if you can describe the difference between Solaris vs MEST? I have a AK70 MK11 and think about getting the SR25. Thank you!

  • Reply August 24, 2020

    Majid Soureh

    Did you review the international verision or JPN verision?? – your images and nozzel are JPN versions. They are tuned very differently. – please clarify.

    • Reply August 25, 2020


      It’s a 3-bore custom IEM, how can you spot it? The label on the box only says MEST, so I would assume it’s the international version, as we’re an international website

      • Reply September 7, 2020


        On the universals, you can see the difference on the nozzles (smooth vs metal lip) CIEMS don’t require tips as the nozzle is molded (or printed) to fit perfectly in Your ear canal without a tip….

  • Reply December 11, 2020

    Hendra Li

    I wonder which Spinfit will fit onto the Mest?

  • Reply January 19, 2021

    deniz eylül parlak

    hey lieven, can u compare it with beyerdynamic xelento

  • Reply February 25, 2021


    If say Fir M4 and this is the same price.. which will you choose??

    • Reply February 25, 2021


      MEST, it’s in in my all-time top 3

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