General Information

Product: MEST MKII

Driver Types: Dynamic + Balanced Armature + Electrostatics (EST) + dBC-S Dual Sides Bone Conduction System, 4-way quadbrid.

Driver Counts: 7+1

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

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

Cable: UM M2 24AWG Upper-Grade OCC Custom Cable

Ear Tips: AZLA SednaEarfit Xelastec SS|MS|M; Blue Heart UM Custom Eartips S|M|L; 3 Pairs of Comply Foam Tips

UIEM MSRP: $1499
CIEM MSRP: $1799

(Only available at Musicteck at this moment)
DSC_5256.jpgDSC_5601.jpgDSC_5608.jpgDSC_5613 .jpgDSC_5620 .jpgDSC_5636.jpgDSC_56131.jpg

Latest reviews

bluestorm1992

Headphoneus Supremus
UM Mest MKii - A Steady Step Up
Pros: Improved fit. Improved set of accessories. Incredible Sound Stage. Neutral and revealing tonality. Excellent value.
Cons: The harshness in sound is sill there but to a lesser degree; pairing with certain sources fixes this.


Here comes my impressions of the Mest MKii and a comparison with the Mest OG. In the above pic, OG is the one with blue chips in the shell and silver-colored cable. MKii is the one with gold chips and black-colored cable. Like my other review, let me get my conclusion out first.

The Mest MKii is a steady step up from the OG. Put it simply, it addresses a couple of the biggest complaints I have for the OG, which are:
  • The number one complaint I had with OG was the fit. It was too big for my ear. Most of the time I need to push it in to get an OK fit, but after hours' long of listening it can still get a bit shaky and I need to readjust the position of it. I tried 5 different kinds of tips and none of them fully solve this issue. MKii is noticeably smaller in size and with a modified form of the shell which achieves a much better fit to my ears. Now, MKii fits my ears like a CIEM. I will share some side-by-side pics below.
  • The recessed mids and the edges/harshness in sound I can hear from time to time. That was another big complaint from me as I listen to vocals a lot. I strongly suspect that this is due to my poor fit with OG. With MKii, the recessed mids thing gets significantly improved. The harshness in sound is somewhat improved, but I find that the degree of improvement depends on the source you pair with it.
Mest MKii also comes with a better set of accessories. The cable is now made by PW Audio and is a very nice copper cable. I find it to be more premium and comfortable to have on compared to the cable in OG. MKii also comes with a set of AZLA ear tips which are incredible. In fact, on OG I ended up using the AZLA tips as it gives me the best fit, so I am pleasantly surprised that MKii comes with this as standard in the package.

And, what are the things that MKii keeps from OG? Basically, MKii preserves the strength of OG very well.
  • The excellent sound stage. Just incredible.
  • A neutral tuning with decent clarity and imaging. The layering and separation between bass, mids, and treble are also quite well-achieved, although some people may think that there is a slight lack of coherence among them. I find the lack of coherence to be less in MKii than in OG. Again, this could be due to the improved fit I get.
My quick suggestion for people who had the OG and are curious about MKii:
  • If you are an OG owner and have fit issues, then of course I will recommend moving to the MKii, especially if you are into vocals. The improvement is just so obvious to me.
  • If you get a good fit already or if you have a customed version, I don't think you will need to upgrade. For OG, I have seen from several reviewers that the sound is supposed to be smooth if you find the right tips and have the right fit. Hence, if you do not have any real complaints about it, especially about the recessed mids and edges in sound, and you find the OG to be comfortable in long listening sessions, then I think the benefit of upgrading is small. The benefit could be there, but I doubt it will justify the cost of roughly $600 (the difference between buying a new MKii and what you get from selling the OG).
  • If you are debating between OG and MKii - MKii is a safe choice to go as it is able to preserve most of the good stuff in OG and comes with an improved fit.

Now, let me dive into and give more details about the FIT and sound signature of Mest MKii. Most of the listening is done with LP's new dongle W2. The test is done with 3.5mm termination for both OG and MKii. A DDHifi 2.5 to 3.5 adapter is used with MKii.

The Fit Comparison between OG and MKii

I think it is most direct for me to use side-by-side pics to demonstrate the size comparisons between OG and MKii. Overall, MKii is smaller. Its shell has more curvatures that should work with your ears better. I also find it to be slightly lighter when wearing it for a long time, but this could be due to the improved fit. The left is MKii and the right is OG.



The Sound Signature of MEST MKii

This section is mostly for the people who are new to Mest. Welcome and I think you are in for a treat.

Mest's biggest strength is its sound stage, which is (at least partially) enabled by its innovative bone-conductor driver. I would describe the sound stage of Mest as wide, deep, and real. From time to time I do not feel that I am listening to an IEM - everything feels so real around me. This is really an experience different from any other IEMs I have tried, except for the Traillii. The benefit of this incredible sound stage is that the music feels real to the listener. You can feel that you are really there, on the performing stage or in the recording room, listening to the artist performing.

Because of the depth Mest is able to achieve in the sound stage, it creates the "room" for Mest to achieve good separation and clarity in the sound. Things are rarely "compressed" together and I rarely feel the sound to be muddled. The imaging you get is also quite good.

Sound Comparison between Mest OG and Mest MKii

Overall, I would say both Mest OG and MKii have a neutral sound signature.

For OG, it has good bass and good treble extensions, but I have found its mids to be quite recessed. This has created difficulties for me to appreciate the emotion the singer tries to deliver, and I don't feel enough of the "impact" from the music. Most of my listening is on female vocals, so this troubles me a lot. In some sense, this is similar to the problem I had with the Sony IER-Z1R, which has excellent soundstage and clarity of music, but the recessed mids made me move away from it.

For MKii, I have found the mids to be significantly better to my ears. It is more forward but not too intimate. Kind of at the perfect balanced position to me. Because of this, the imaging of the mids improved quite a lot for me. Overall, with MKii, I can say that the bass, mids, and treble achieves a good balance.

Regarding the coherence between bass, mids, and treble. In OG I have found them to be pretty "separated". Some people like this and some people don't. In MKii, I have found the coherence among them improves quite a lot, and this is achieved without suppressing them together.

It is also worth noting that I have found both OG and MKii to be quite revealing of the signature of the source, and MKii is the more revealing one of the two.

The Potential of Mest MKii

As I have hinted above, the coherence of Mest MKii can be improved by pairing it with the right source. Because this is a quick impression, I have only been able to do my assessment mostly based on LP's new dongle W2. I managed to spend some time to test its pairing with SP2000 and my "ultimate" IEM machine Cayin N6ii + C9. What I can say is Mest scales up BIG when you find a good source to pair it with. When using Cayin N6ii + C9, I get an incredible experience of the imaging and presence of the music. Everything is vivid and soooo real! I have no more complaints about the harshness of the sound. The sound stage is even better and more extended. WOW. This is possibly the best IEM experience I have had and competes with my experience with Traillii - too bad that I longer have the little bird for a side-by-side comparison. (A side note: Cayin and UM are from the same city and their employees have a very good relationship, so I suspect UM has done quite some tuning test with Cayin's products).

OK let me calm down a bit and stop raving about this pairing. In the coming days, I will spend more time trying out Mest MKii with different sources, including Lotoo S1, Cayin N6ii (E02), SP2000, and of course the N6ii +C9 stack. My initial impression across these pairings is that Mest is quite revealing for the signature of the source. As a result, its performance scales with the source, and it opens up the possibility for you to use an appropriate source to achieve an "optimal" sound to your ears.

Verdict and The Value of Mest

I think Mest is easily my most recommended IEM at the price range of $1000-2000. It can certainly be the BEST choice for a lot of people. I have owned or tried many IEMs that are more expensive than $2000 (check out my signature lol). Now they are all gone and Mest is the one I am keeping as I find it to be of incredible value and also because I have enjoyed its incredible sound stage so much. Although I have had some complaints about the fit of OG, this still does not stop me from keeping it as my daily driver. So, when MKii is announced, I am incredibly excited to get one and I am happy to report that UM listens and is able to deliver an improved version of the Mest that will be a better fit for a group of users. Incredible value from the Mest again and nice job UM!

Attachments

  • C5EEA87B-2A7C-4238-93E2-66273252DF5D.jpeg
    C5EEA87B-2A7C-4238-93E2-66273252DF5D.jpeg
    5.4 MB · Views: 0
Last edited:

Comments

SilverLodestar

100+ Head-Fier
What changes have been made to the frequency response? With more contact points for the bone-conducting drivers, is there a noticeable increase in upper-midrange presence?
 

UniqueMelody

Sponsor: Unique Melody
What changes have been made to the frequency response? With more contact points for the bone-conducting drivers, is there a noticeable increase in upper-midrange presence?
The newer dual sides bone conduction system offers a full range frequency response refinement. So it is not a driver which only carries mid and treble like the original MEST.

Concerning, as the 3DT gives a problematic fit in my right ear...not unbearable, but problematic.
Semi-custom still, not full custom. Considering there is a total of 8 drivers (including DD and BCD which are big) in the MEST MKII or 3 large DD drivers in the 3DT. It is not possible to make a small shell for them... Ultimately we have to follow the law of physics lol.
 

Ace Bee

Previously known as Sagnik
Semi-custom still, not full custom. Considering there is a total of 8 drivers (including DD and BCD which are big) in the MEST MKII or 3 large DD drivers in the 3DT. It is not possible to make a small shell for them... Ultimately we have to follow the law of physics lol.
Not holding you responsible, because, in the end, the tuning is so good it's difficult to pull them off mye ear. Talking about the 3DT. You have scratched the itch of bass while retaining the brilliance in the rest of the spectrum so hard that it's very often cloud nine for me.
 

SilverLodestar

100+ Head-Fier
The newer dual sides bone conduction system offers a full range frequency response refinement. So it is not a driver which only carries mid and treble like the original MEST.
Now I’m very curious to check them out. Musicteck says they’re up for pre-order. When will the MEST Mkii be shipping out?
 

UniqueMelody

Sponsor: Unique Melody
Now I’m very curious to check them out. Musicteck says they’re up for pre-order. When will the MEST Mkii be shipping out?
There will be limited amount of mkii shipped to Andrew next Monday. Mkii is harder to make than MEST, and we are having a more strict quality check standard which makes the processing time even longer... We are trying hard...
 

Ace Bee

Previously known as Sagnik
There will be limited amount of mkii shipped to Andrew next Monday. Mkii is harder to make than MEST, and we are having a more strict quality check standard which makes the processing time even longer... We are trying hard...
I think it's better to wait for quality at this price range. Speed will inevitably compromise quality, which does not end well for both the buyer and the company.
 
Top