In this article we look at the $599 USD universal Mini MEST IEM.
Disclaimer: The Unique Melody Mini MEST was sent to us directly by UM in exchange for our honest opinion in this review. The Mini MEST doesn’t need to be returned to the factory after this review.
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 2020 and Unique Melody is everywhere, they are more structured, have a clear product line up, better communication, up-to-date website and Facebook Page and especially: good representation. 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 also not the first time we’ve reviewed Unique Melody monitors and we have full articles about the Maverick, Martian, Maestro, ME.1, Mason V3, Mason V3+ and the MEST. This time we’re looking at the newest UM creation, the Mini MEST.
Before going into detail on the Mini MEST, it’s important to know that there is a regular MEST IEM as well. This MEST was the original IEM using the awesome bone conduction technology, and it is available in both a universal as well as a custom version.
Before reading the Mini MEST review, we advise to read up on the MEST first, as the technology is fully explained there. You can do so here:
The UM MEST is incredibly good and certainly one of the highlights of the year so far. It also is a strong contender to win our 2020 best IEM of the year award, and so we’re expecting a lot from the Mini MEST as well. Let’s get started
The Mini MEST, just like its big brother, is a hybrid IEM and it also features a bone conduction (BC) driver. According to UM the intention in this design is to embellish the mid and vocal performance.
Unlike the traditional tuning approach, bone conduction technology is able to transfer certain sound frequencies directly to your inner ears through the bones of the skull, via the inner shell vibration. The sonic path is as follows: Sonic signal—Bone conduction vibrator— skull bones—cochlea– auditory nerve. More on this tech can be found in our main MEST article.
Next to the BC driver, the Mini MEST has 3 open (technology) balanced armatures from Knowles in the following configuration: low frequency + intermediate frequency + high frequency. Using open tech instead of the usual BA inner tunnel should in theory deliver a more open sound and a dynamic (driver) timbre.
You can find the dedicated Mini MEST page from MusicTeck here: https://shop.musicteck.com/collections/um-unique-melody/products/um-universal-mini-mest?variant=32140775850046
If your Chinese is good, you can also check out the official UM website and the Mini MEST page here: https://www.uniquemelody.co/productinfo/256046.html
The Mini MEST is available in a 2.5mm or 3.5mm cable termination and Mini MEST’s price is set at $599 USD. For reference, the universal version of the MEST sets you back $1,399 USD, so there’s quite a gap between both IEMs. The original MEST has an 8-driver configuration however and it comes with electrostat drivers as well. (1 Dynamic low + 2BA Mid high + 2BA High +2 EST Ultra high + 1Bone Conduction). The Mini MEST obviously was designed to make the bone conduction tech more easily available to everyone.
From the specs we can see that the Mini MEST is extremely easy to drive and your phone or laptop will have no issues powering the Mini MEST, even in single ended mode.
Driver Counts: 4
Frequency Response: 20Hz~20KHz
Driver Combination: Open-air BA Drivers + Bone Conduction Driver
Driver Configuration: 1 Bass + 1 Mid + 1 Treble + 1 Bone Conduction
The article continues on page two, after the click HERE.