Unique Melody MEST MKIII Review

Today we review the Unique Melody MEST MKIII which is officially selling for between $1,919 and $2,359 USD.

 

Disclaimer: The Unique Melody MEST MKIII 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.

Intro

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. UM’s TOTL Multiverse Mentor IEM also is one of my personal favorite CIEMS. I was really looking forward to reviewing the MKIII as the MEST MKI and MKII already are world class monitors. Can the MKIII 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 MKIII 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. Then second, it got mingled up in our review planning and holidays, so I again 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 the latest decade 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 websites via Google so here they are: https://www.uniquemelody.co/ and https://www.uniquemelody.org/. 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.

It’s clearly not the first time we’ve reviewed Unique Melody monitors and we have full articles about many of their IEMs, you can find these here.

Unique Melody MEST MKIII

MEST Family

Before going into detail on the MEST MKIII, it’s important to know that the MEST MKII is still available and selling for $999 USD. As the MKI and MKII IEMS were already using UM’s bone conduction technology, we strongly advise to read up on the MEST MKI and MKII first, as the bone conducting and driver technology are fully explained in these articles. You can do so here:

MEST MKIII

The new UM MEST MKIII normally sells for $1,919 USD and you can find all about it on MusicTeck’s page here. If you’re fluent in Chinese you can also check out Unique Melody’s site here or you can use the English website here.

Unique Melody MEST MKIII

The MEST MKII is a 4-way quadbrid inear monitor and it features a combo of Dynamic drivers, Balanced Armatures, Electrostat (EST) and UM’s Silver-Palladium Alloy Piezoelectric (Dual) Bone Conduction drivers. In total we have 10 drivers in the following combination: 1 Dynamic Bass Driver for lows + 4 BA Drivers for mids and highs + 4 EST Drivers  for ultra-highs + 1 Bone Conduction Driver. These hybrids are getting sophisticated!

Unique Melody MEST MKIII

The MEST MKIII CF employs bone conduction technology, harnessing the lateral vibrations of the cavity to directly transmit sound to the inner ear through contact with the skull, bypassing the traditional nozzle pathway. With an exceptional frequency response range spanning from 20Hz to 70kHz, the MEST MKIII CF exhibits remarkable versatility. The dynamic and BA drivers handle the 20Hz to 20kHz range, while the electrostatic drivers excel in the 10kHz to 70kHz range. The silver palladium alloy bone conduction system provides full frequency compensation between 500Hz to 16kHz. Through the harmonious interplay of air transmission and vibration transmission, the MEST MKIII CF delivers an entirely new dimension of sound quality. With its innovative and competitive features, the MEST MKIII CF stands out as a true audio marvel.

More Bone conduction and Piezoelectric Bone conduction driver details can be found right here. The UM MEST MKIII is available in 2 color schemes, blue and red. The IEM is available in both a universal as well as a CIEM version. The version we received from Unique Melody is the Custom one.

Unique Melody MEST MKIII

The MEST MKIII cable are crafted with a pure 4-core OCC copper construction, featuring a nylon sleeve and an environmentally friendly soft PVC coating. With a 26AWG gauge, this new cable offers ultra-low resistance and minimal distortion, resulting in the utmost clarity and a remarkably clean audio backdrop. At least according to Unique Melody. Terminations available are 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm. Ours has the 4.4mm balanced plug. I never felt the need to use a different aftermarket cable, so all the impressions in this article are with this new stock cable.

Price, Box & Accessories

The Unique Melody MEST MKIII’s price officially ranges between $1,919 and $2,359 USD, depending on the universal and CIEM model. That said they can be found for quite a lot less online, such as  $1,535 USD.

The UM MEST MKIII comes in a very nice little box as you can see in the pictures and the carrying case, even if on the larger side, oozes luxury. For this price you get the following:

– One pair of MEST MKIII CF

– Cable: Cobalt Blue Custom Cable or Melon Red Custom Cable, with cable tie

– Case:  UM Geometrix Blue Box

– Carrying Case:  Emerald Leather Case

– Warranty Card: Warranty Card

– Others:   Premium Gray Cleaning Pad

– Ear tips (universal version): Open Tips + Petal Tips  (S/M/L)

– Protective Bag: Double Pocket Sandwich Net Bag

All-in-all a very complete package as we’re used to seeing from Unique Melody. That said, for the price this monitor is going for, we wouldn’t expect anything less.

Unique Melody MEST MKIII

Design, Build quality & Comfort

The version we received for this review is the blue version, and I seem to prefer it over the red one, so lucky me. At the same time I have to say I am not really a fan of the MEST MKIII’s design. The gold halo, blue faceplate and wooden accents don’t really work for me, but I bet many of you love this unique design. According to Unique Melody, the metal frame (halo) showcases the carbon fibre shells and fruitwood faceplates. The blue variant as we have according to UM emanates tranquility and elegance while the red version exudes passion and liveliness. The custom fit option provides the freedom to choose colours from the UM colour plate and you can personalize the face plates with a custom logo if wanted.

Build-quality wise we again have a perfectly finished IEM, as we’re used to from UM. The Carbon Fibre shells look and feel nice, and if you look closely you can see the CF weaving in the shell. The monitor’s finishing is also excellent and the halo (with MEST MKIII inscription), 2-pin connector and canals are all perfect.

Looking at the MKIII’s comfort I really can’t say anything bad about the earpieces. All of my UM custom monitors perfectly fit and I love the snugness and shortness of the (4-way) canals. The isolation is as good as it gets and fully on par with the regular CIEM -26dB isolation. The only part I don’t find fully comfortable is the cable. As this is a solid core cable it isn’t as flexible and it bends awkwardly. It’s quite a big cable for this IEM and even though it sonically is just fine, it isn’t the most joyful to have hanging in front of you.

Unique Melody MEST MKIII

Technical specifications

– Product Name: MEST MKIII CF

– Headphone Type: Dynamic + BA + Electrostatic + Bone Conduction Quadbrid IEM

– Driver Counts:   10 Drivers

– Socket:   2-Pin Socket

– Impedance:  14Ω

– Frequency Response Range:  20Hz-70kHz

– Crossover:  5-way Crossover

– Configuration:  1 Dynamic Bass Driver + 2 BA Mid Drivers+ 2 BA treble Drivers + 4 EST Ultra-High Drivers+1 UM patent Silver-Palladium Alloy Piezoelectric Bone Conduction Driver

– Cable: Cobalt Blue Custom Cable or Melon Red Custom Cable

 

The review continues on the second page. Click here or use the jumps below to head to the next chapter

Page 1: Intro, UM, MEST, MEST MKIII, PriceBox/Accessories, Design/Build quality/Comfort, Specifications 

Page 2: Sound intro, General, Sources

Page 3: Sound Comparisons, Conclusions, Summary

 

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