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


1000+ Head-Fier
Brings the BASS
Pros: Top-tier bass
Top-tier sub-bass
Great sounding mids
Wide soundstage
Excellent vocals
Forward sounding mids and bass - good balance
Cons: Some sibilant "S" sounds
Harder to drive than some
Mest Side.jpg

Original Logo Small.png

Up for review today is the much lauded UM Melody MEST Mk2. I got these from Musicteck: Here. My first set of these was defective, which I didn't realize because I wasn't expecting a brand new set of IEMs to arrive defective. That pair got a 3/5 from me, which is the same rating as I gave the Moondrop Chu. That's pretty awful. Luckily, after sending those back and confirming they were defective, Musicteck sent me a new pair which work VERY well and you won't be seeing a rating that low this time. The MEST Mk2 is an eight driver quadbrid IEM with 1x Dynamic, 4x Balanced Armature, 2x Electrostatic, and 1x Bone Conduction drivers. Oddly, the bone conduction drivers have no impact on the bass and don't kick in until 500 Hz. So, the insane bass you hear with these is from the Dynamic driver. If you don't feel like reading my UPDATED rambling below, just know that these actually deserve the attention they get.

Mest Box.jpg

Build Quality/Comfort:

The build quality is fantastic, the 2-pin connectors are the tightest I've ever encountered, and the case, materials, carbon fiber shells, and cable are all very well made. This is a very high-quality product (as it should be at this price.) The carbon fiber kind of looks like scratches at first, but then as you look deeper, the different layers come through and it's a really unique melody look. The gold flakes are a nice touch also - classy. I also appreciate the vents that they added to prevent pressure build-up.

The cable is decent quality, on par with the Thieaudio Monarch Mk2 (MMk2) and the FAudio Mezzo LE (Mezzo.) That said, it is a little stiff and likes to hold a bent shape more than I would like - similar to the MMk2. Also, it's not modular, which is really convenient, but the 4.4mm jack works great and overall it's a premium feel for the cable. The cable is all copper, and the Mezzo's silver cable comes across as more premium, but the Mezzo also runs $500 more.

The comfort is good, and these are medium-large size IEMs - I am using my Spinfit W1s (here if you want a set: on these because I find they fit me really well and work on basically every high-end IEM I test so I get a consistent measure. Also, I love the blue case, they should have offered an option where the shell is that color. The box and case are really nice and the accessories are par for the course at this price level with quite a few different ear tips to choose from if you don't want to go aftermarket.

Mest Open Box.jpg


Looking at the frequency response graph, the MMK2 and the MEST have near identical frequency responses through the entire bass freq and lower mids. That is shocking because the MEST bass feels like it hit a lot harder. From the mids up, they differ greatly with the MEST maintaining a more neutral tuning and the MMk2 following more of the Harman Adjusted or Super22 curve. I am powering these off my Shanling M3 Ultra (M3U) through Tidal Hi-Fi. I am using the stock 4.4mm cable for this test and running around 30/100 - the MMk2 is around 35/100 with the same connection.

Monarch MEST.png

As usual, I don’t like to break down headphones solely by frequency range since every song has bass, mids, and highs (and I can’t tell the difference between vocals at 1900 Hz and 2100 Hz.) So, I will start with bass-heavy songs, then move to mids-focused and lastly highs-focused songs, then break down each song by how all the pieces are presented. You can find my Tidal test tracks playlist in my signature if you want to compare them to your headphones. The first song I'm using is one of my favorite bass-test songs: David Guetta's "I'm Good (Blue)." The intro bass has tons of impact and the hi-hats are easy to hear in the background. The mid-synths come in clearly and the sub-bass at 0:32 has some fantastic rumble without drowning out the synths. The vocals come in clearly with a large soundstage, but the vocals don't feel pushed to the back like they can on the Sony MDR-Z1R with this song. The High-mids and low-Highs here come across well without any sharpness or sibilance. Overall, a much better presentation than last time I listened to these.

The Next song I am Going to test with is Gym Class Heroes' "Stereo Hearts." The vocals come in cleanly again and the bass drums kick hard. I'm really surprized by the vocal representation on these as I didn't get that feeling with the defective pair. Adam Levine's chorus sounds excellent and doesn't get overwhelmed by the still excellent bass. The MEST has more bass and sub-bass quantity than the MMk2 (despite appearing to have the same amount on the freq chart), so if that's your thing, get these over the Monarch.

Demon Hunter's "I Am A Stone" Opens with beautiful string representation and clear vocals. The bass strings in the background can be heard clearly, which is impressive since some headphones fail to display those properly, or at all - other headphones force them to drown out the rest of the song. Overall, this is a great representation of the mids and the lows - the higher strings come in clearly as well without any of the sharpness the defective pair had.

Mest Open Case.jpg

The next mids song I'm testing with is Weaving The Fate's "The Fall" - The bass drums can be heard in the background, as can the bass guitar (impressive since this can be covered pretty easily. The guitars and vocals take the front stage on this song with clean and distorted guitars sounding detailed with a good level of clarity and reverb from the distorted guitars. The vocals sound forward, but the soundstage is still wide without sounding echoey or TOO big. I prefer the forward presence of the mids of the MMk2, but these two are very close now that my MEST Mk2 works.

Panic! At The Disco's "High Hopes" has been my go-to song for testing Sibilant "S" sounds for a while now and this is where the MEST falls the flattest. The "S" sounds come in sharply on this song and anyone who is annoyed by sibilance will feel it. The horns in the intro come in nicely with good vocals representation throughout the song. That large soundstage is back and it feels like you're watching them live at a small indoor venue. The bass drums come in cleanly without overwhelming the rest of the instruments. The MMk2 avoids the sibilance presented here.

On the defective MEST, Michelle McLaughlin's "Across the Burren" was so painfully bad that I couldn't even get through the whole song. The new MEST Mk2 doesn't have that sharp sibilant harshness throughout the entire song. This song is an excellent display of upper-mids and low-highs, easily reaching up into the 3k+ Hz range. There is still some sharpness at some points, but it is nowhere near as bad as it was on the defective unit. This is something to keep in mind though if sharp treble bothers you - you get those highs that aren't muted and hidden in the back, but you may end up with some sibilance or sharpness. The MMk2 doesn't have this issue on this song at all for some reason (it kind of looks like it should.)

Mest Ferrari.jpg


The MEST Mk2 is a good alternative to the MMk2 if you're looking for something different. If you like a bassier IEM with more laid back mids and peakier treble, the MEST Mk2 might be the one for you, especially at this price. It has near-end-game bass-head IEM performance at a mid-fi price. I'm glad that I got the chance to listen to these again - there is a reason these are highly valued and near the top of many IEM lists. If yours sound weird, check to make sure it's not defective.

Headphone Scoring - Each category can be split into quarter points:
Build Quality
Ear Pads / Tips
Last edited:
I reviewed them and I wasn’t a huge fan either. Honestly, not my preference and I don’t mind treble at all.
Yeah, I'm not anti-treble, but DANG.
Try EQing up 250-500Hz and 2-4kHz by 2dB. That should balance it out a bit and make the treble stand out less.
For the record, I agree the fit and tip issues with the UM MEST MK2 are inexcusable at the price, but when you hit that balance, it's just... woah.


Previously known as vampire5003
UM Mest MKII - Kilobuck King on Black Friday
Pros: Fantastic Soundstage & Imaging
Superb instrument separation
Best bass in this price range
Scale well with amps/DACs
Excellent extension
Non-fatiguing yet detailed treble
Good comfort with stock tips
Excellent price on holiday season (during $999 on Black Friday)
Wonderful stock cable (looking at you Hidition Viento with your awful cable)
Great stock tips
Excellent clarity
Very fun to listen to
Carbon fiber shell
Bone conduction system is not a gimmick
Did we mention excellent resolution/resolving capabilities?
Cons: Mids are slightly recessed
Can be uncomfortable with aftermarket tips IMO
-Minor nitpicks: CIEM version is significantly more expensive, non-sale prices are high ($1799)
Special thanks to MusicTeck for wonderful holiday pricing.


One of the few quad birds that are well tuned and not gimmicky. You can clearly hear the various drivers lending their strengths to produce a fantastic SQ.

Bass is the most stand out feature, it's fantastic but doesn't overshadow the resolution/resolving capabilities of the IEM.

The bone conduction system sounds gimmicky, but it is truly unique and wonderful. The dynamic driver in conjunction with the bone conduction driver produces bass that cannot be matched, but doesn't overshadow the music.

Even the Monarch MKII doesn't have bass this addicting IMO.

This is in large part due to the dBC-s handling 500Hz-20KHz.


The bass is textured and quite detailed, but is not lacking in quantity. In one of my favorite test songs as of late, Man Human by Denki Groove has a certain texture to it that isn't just bloat as it sounded on my Xenns Up, instead it's more detailed and far more impactful.

The midrange is slightly recessed, it isn't as harsh as full on v-curve, but it's somewhat noticeable if you are coming from a midrange focused IEM, such as Hidition Viento-C or Viento-D (C has a 4dB increase on mids, D has a 4dB increase on mids & bass). Additionally it's not as impactful or smooth as perhaps other kilobuck offerings, in fact the Moondrop S8 IMO has a more pleasing midrange. However, Mest MKII is far from bad, and is still quite a good midrange even if slightly recessed.

Wonderful, not shouty or fatiguing in the slightest. Instead we have a luscious and tasty upper-midrange to treble. Metal sounds great, pop and rock as well, in fact nothing sounds bright or harsh at all. You'll love the treble. It's one of the most satisfying aspects of the Mest MKII. If I had to point to my favorite IEMs for their treble reproduction, Mest MKII is up there with my Hidition Viento-B. Truly wonderful and is one of the reasons the IEM is worth the price.

Simply fantastic. Detailed sound, excellent clarity, instrument separation is superb. Not much else to say, if I compare to Hidition Viento-B, I think this IEM is ever so slightly more detailed in certain songs. Otherwise it's quite neck and neck. Monarch MKII is also another IMO that may be the only IEM that I can say for certain bests the Mest MKII and costs less.

As long as the correct tip is used you shouldn't have an issue, but CIEM would be worth looking into if you have any discomfort with the universal fit Mest MKII.

Design Standouts:
Carbon Fiber shell is premium and looks fantastic.

All in all, wonderful resolution/resolving capabilities, excellent instrument separation, and terrific bass. Slightly recessed mids, but as long as you grab these on sale at $999 from MusicTeck or head over to the classifieds then it's easy to overlook the cons. The only IEM that is potentially a better value at that point is ThieAudio Monarch MKII. However, the Monarch MKII is noticeably less comfortable and cannot be purchased in a CIEM version. I'd take Mest MKII over it for those reasons.
What songs did you use to test the mids?
@MonochromeFashionLawyer I listened to a wide variety, from rock and metal, to pop/city-pop, Kpop and JPop, then also dance/electronic, and Vocaloid music. Here's a link to a playlist that covers most of the test songs, although it doesn't account for the songs I used from Tidal or FLAC/Foobar.
Awesome! Thanks this gave me some good ideas!


100+ Head-Fier
Gimmicky All Rounder with Solid Skills
Pros: Soundstage
Vocal Clarity
Natural Timbre
CIEM like Fit
Nice Subbass
Cons: Mediocre mid bass punch
Shell Size and Weight
Treble is a bit spicy
Tip Dependent
I have had high hopes for the Mest Mkii for a long time for a few reasons. I love CIEMs. The fit is better, the isolation is better and usually I find the sound to be more consistent over listening sessions. For a CIEM, the price of the Mest Mkii (from here referred to as mkii) is honestly a pretty good deal. Sadly, I don't have the CIEM so I will be reviewing this unit as the universal I currently own. This was my audition to buy the CIEM and I will detail below why it will not be my next choice. (Please enjoy whoopie's face in the background as I was watching rat race when I photographed lol)

IMG_0179 Small.jpeg

There is a lot of good to say about this IEM. It has a very natural timbre, with nice treble extension and bass quantity. Part of the reason I was so interested in this IEM was for the bone conduction driver. I will get this out of the way early. I have demoed a lot of IEMs and I have barely ever been able to pick out the driver style blind listening. The best bass I have heard in an IEM is an all BA set. Driver count or type does not mean much if not implemented correctly.

With this said, I have no idea what the bone conduction driver is supposed to be doing here. According to Unique Melody's website

"Finally, the freshly upgraded dBC-S Dual Sides Bone Conduction System carries out a full-range refinement. The frequency range of MEST MKII can reach as high as 70kHz."

They say the quality of bone conduction depends on the contact with skin, which makes sense, but overall it is hard to tell what it's doing or if it's actually doing anything. Whether or not the BC driver is doing anything, the Mest sounds good. It's an amazing all rounder with great control for all genres and is worthwhile for any collection.

It's a beautiful package with a very nice looking IEM inside. This IEMs looks and feels as premium as the price tag. The accessories feel well built and the case is a bit ostentatious, but feels nice.

IMG_0177 Small.jpeg
IMG_0178 Small.jpeg


Inside the box you have the IEMs, the case, foam tips, xelastic tips and stock silicone tips. The tips for me had a very noticeable effect on the IEM and my experience with it. Personally, the Xelastics got the closest to a CIEM fit, but made the MKii unbearably sibilant. The foam tips damped the treble a bit and made them much more enjoyable. With the foam tips I couldn't get good contact with my skin so possibly the bone conduction driver was doing something to make them sibilant with the xelastics? The stock silicone tips were too stiff and I couldn't wear them for too long. I ultimately came down to use the CP100s that I have lying around. I can get good skin contact and very good all day comfort. The rest of the reviews and impressions will be done using CP100 as my tip of choice!

I graphed the Mest using all of the tips at my disposal. My Squig Link. For comparison, I will be using the Symphonium Meteor as it is my current daily driver and top dawg.


I think I am going to start first with the good!

Soundstage: I think this was the most noticeable first impression I had when I put this in. The stage is much wider than the Meteor, closer to how I felt with the A12t/ U12t and the Campfire Andromeda 2019. Soundstage is not something that I look for in an IEM. It is a bonus if achievable, but I am looking for a portable music experience with detail retrieval and isolation. Soundstage in an IEM is a very hard thing to achieve and 90% fail. The Mkii does an amazing job creating a wide open stage. On The Grateful Dead's Friend of the Devil, Jerry's voice is front and center while the mandolin is heard clearly on the left side of the stage and the guitar on the right. The percussion is layered behind on the left and the bass bounced along the whole stage. All of the instruments are clear, precise and natural. If soundstage is your top priority in your search for IEMs, this is an option to keep on the radar. 8/10

Treble: I never considered myself a treble head, but hearing the Helios and the Meteor changed my opinion pretty quickly. Extending well into the treble adds air and clarity and I think the Mkii is very sufficient in the treble. Banjos bounce along clearly on Billy Strings "Dust in a Baggie" or Bela Fleck's "Vertigo." I have noticed throughout my listening that Dave Matthews Band albums are typically super sibilant. Carter is really hitting the cymbals and high percussion. I find this mostly unbearable on IEMs that are too V shaped or follow the harman curve too closely. I would say the Boosted top end of the Mkii isn't as pronounced as the graph shows, but it is hitting spicy. I would give the treble a 6.5/10.

Mid timbre: The mids are where the music lives. The band lies somewhere between 300-2000hz and is what I would consider the most important frequencies in music. I would say the mids is a strength of the IEM, but it also loses me for a few reasons. To my ears, the Mkii feels disjointed. The vocal clarity is stunning as are string instruments in rhythm, but I can't help but feel like it's a bit disjointed. The rise from the mids to the bass starts too late making it feel like it's just mids and sub bass, but the mid bass lacks punch. Stefan Lessard's bass lines on Too Much or What Would You Say feel lost in the sub bass kick drums and high treble of Carter's drums. If you are a sub bass purist who doesn't care about mid bass, then this will be a good IEM for you. If you look at the Meteor graph you can see the much more aggressive midrange rise which creates a balanced, albeit bassy, mid range timbre. This feels much more enjoyable to me. The vocal clarity of the Mkii is better than most, but I think the Meteor and the A12t have the Mest beat while the Mest crushes Helios. We are splitting hairs in a TOTL IEM, but if I had to choose an IEM for mids and mid bass, the Meteor is the IEM for me. It feels more natural and presents the music the way I like. 6/10

Fit: The fit here is great, or terrible. I think this will be a polarizing one for many. The shell is massive and the nozzles are long. For me this creates a pretty good situation. I have a fairly large concha so the IEM sit's almost as snug as my CIEMs. I have pretty small canals so I can get a pretty deep fit with the CP100 small and I can wear them for hours on end. If large shells are uncomfortable for you, avoid them. If deep fit is problematic, also avoid. Overall, I like the fit a lot and would give it a strong rating for comfort. I enjoy a Deep fit and smoothed edges so 8/10. This is one of the most comfortable UIEMs I have tried.

Now I think I need to get to the negative.

Mid Bass: I have mentioned it before and I will mention it again. I am a bass player. This means I want bass to be both present and punchy between 20-250ishhz. I would honestly take more. The bass punch on this IEM is almost non-existent. I tried EQing, but that messed with the timbre of the whole unit. On songs like "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam or "Sabrosa" by the Beastie Boys, I just didn't get the mid bass punch I wanted. The vocals were so clear and so crisp at the cost of my mid bass and I think this is a deal breaker for me. When I switched to bass driven jazz. Like "Detroit" by Marcus Miller I found more of what I wanted, but once the mids came in the mid bass fell too far behind in the mix and I was left wanting more. 5/10

Aesthetic: While many may like the stylings of the Mkii, I think it's super tacky. The gold leaf looks a bit too gaudy for me and if the shells stick out (which the probably will) it looks like glitter in the sun. I really don't like the way it looks. 4/10

Cable and Tips: I'm not a cable guy. I think cables do nothing audible to change the sound of the music. I want a cable to be both comfortable and lightweight. This is not light weight. I have the 4.4mm termination and it's just a big mess. It's bulky and heavy. I switched it for my cable that came with Meteor and enjoyed it much more. The stock tips were just not great. Xelastics were sibilant and unbearable and the silicone was stuff and uncomoftable. The foams were ok, but I had to tip roll a lot to get the tip that fit right for me. I think this is something that should not be overlooked, but isn't a deal breaker. Most people buying the Mkii probably have a full box of tips somewhere.

Conclusion: The Mkii is a great IEM for many people. It performs well for genres with a lot of subbass or tons of vocals. The clarity and separation are way above what is typical in an IEM. In a busy song with 6-8 instruments you can hear all of them being conveyed clearly on a stage in space. The treble extension is very good as is the timbre and texture. The high spectrum instruments sound clear and natural without grain or sibilance (unless using Xelastics for me). The pass bunch was really lacking oomph. I was sad about this, but it is a deal breaker for me. I need my IEM to be punchy and dynamic so I can hear what the rhythm players are doing.

Overall, this is an amazing IEM, but at $1799 I find it hard to recommend when the Moondrop Variations, Symphonium Meteor or the Symphonium Helios exist. Each of those IEMs are cheaper and can do things the Mkii can do for cheaper. The Helios soundstage and treble extension match blow for blow and the subbass focus with controlled rise in the treble leads to astounding vocal clarity. The Meteor gives a much more natural timbre for 1/3 the price and for even less than the Meteor, the Variations come around as what I think is the best value in the IEM market next to the Meteor. Unless you get a great price used or on discount, I think there are better options for the money.
I also went through some tip rolling to figure out the best fit. I ended up with the CP100s and the Radius Deep Mount Tips. I use the Radius on most of my IEMs and Spinfits on the rest.
@Daveshast CP100 were my go to also. I don't love the deepmounts as much as others do. I find them weirdly squishy.
DJ Core
DJ Core
Always had a feeling Symphonium Meteor was an improved Helios and love it so much. Goin to get MEST MKII since i miss my MKI presentation



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?
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

Headphoneus Supremus
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.


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?
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

Headphoneus Supremus
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.