Unique Melody MEXT--A Unique Taste of Bone Conduction

SherryLion

New Head-Fier
The Review Of The Unique Melody MEXT
Pros: 1. Out of this world bass
2. Clean frequency response
3. Great technical performance
4. Good tonality
5. Rich Vocals
Cons: 1. 6k peak
2. Sibilant and Hot Treble
3. Upper mids sometimes becomes shouty

The Review OF The Unique Melody MEXT


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Introduction


Unique Melody already known for releasing for the infamous MEST and MEST MKII, have also released another IEM which is not so budget friendly but cheaper than the both MEST, and that is the Unique Melody MEXT. They have also released more IEMs which are much expensive than the MEST line up and cheaper than the MEXT but today I will be reviewing the Unique Melody MEXT and boy what a fun and godly bass IEM this is.


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Disclaimer


* This is a review unit, courtesy of Concept Kart. Thank you for providing me with this unit to review. But still each and every thoughts below mentioned are my personal own thoughts and they are not fiddled with any outside influences. The link to the Unique Melody MEXT is mentioned below :-

https://conceptkart.com/products/unique-melody-mext-wired-iem#

*I will be referring these IEMs to as 'MEXT' for the rest of the review.
*And at last I will only be reviewing the on the basis of their performance, I do not care what these are made of or packaged with when newly purchased unless it affects the sound in any sense what so ever.

Specification


The MEXT has a Tribrid driver configuration, which includes 1 newly developed coil original bone conduction driver, 1 Bass dynamic driver, 2 mid range balance armature drivers and 2 treble balance armature drivers, this IEM has a 4-way crossover. The impedance is about 16 ohms, sensitivity of air conduction is about 108 at 1kHz and sensitivity of vibration conduction is at 1kHz 5m*N and peak at 400Hz 79m*N. The frequency response of air and vibration conduction is 20Hz-23kHz and 200Hz-7kHz.

Sound


I really have no idea where to start because this is a godly IEM with sub par bass performance. An experience out of this world. They sound neutral with sub bass boost but for me they are more of a fun sounding with such technical details. Wow, I love how these sound except for the treble which I will come on later in this review. But damn that bass, I am more than satisfied with it. The mid range is great with vocals sounding more in the centre of the mix. So beautifully tuned. Let’s get it over with.

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Treble


Okay so the weakest point of this IEM and it is obviously the only point I believe is its treble, especially in the lower treble and upper mid range though lower treble have much more issues than the upper mid range due to the rise of 10dB at 6k between 4.5kHz and 8kHz. To be honest the upper treble and air is really well extended and sounds detailed and very much spacious but that peak with so much sibilance that even cymbal crashes, snare hits higher octaves dissolves their detail and they would become one sibilant hot mess with more ‘ss’ than tt’. The lower mid range after the peak gains its control very nicely though, thanks to the technical accolades. The over all presentation is detailed with sibilance and hotness.

Mid Range


The mid range is marvellous, I enjoyed the mid range especially the vocals. The vocals were being very much lively in the mix yet still sounded mellow and non offensive, except for some parts where the vocals were stretched to higher octaves. Though overall listen to the vocals were magnificent. The female vocals were open and clean though sounded a bit lean than the male vocals where as male vocals had that note weight and density. The best thing about the vocals was that it was in the centre of the stage and even after being in the centre and lively they were relaxed. Yes the miid range is rich in details but they sound clean not warm. I’d like to exaggerate a bit on the vocals in the upper mid range, even after they clarity yet I still found them shouty and seems to shrill sometimes and sometimes the vocals sounds a little clouded. But overall yes the lower mids are revealing and at the same time relaxed.

Bass


Oh boy oh boy ! the bass is so so so good on these. Okay the bass here has more of a physical presentation. They, at first sound weird but later after adapting to the way they sound, oh man the bass is where they hit you with( by they I meant unique melody). The bass emphasis is more on the sub bass than the mid bass, though still mid bass has enough tonal weight yet doesn’t bleed into the mid range. The bass is punchy and resolves very quickly and never sounds mudded and yet it is still there. The bass extension is also very deep and immersive. The bass quality, the texture is precise and clean, basically the best you can get. The sensation of that bass is large and impactful due to the OBC driver which is tuned very well. Being so tactile and fast in overall presentation, still the bass rumbles for long.

Technical Performances


Alright so these IEMs excels in their technical performance from soundstage to resolution, the details these delivers are one of the best. The stage presented is very well placed, the imaging is sharp and clear, the layering and separation is distinctly rich with details and spacious. The resolution is the best with detail retrieval to the finest minute details and speed as mentioned before, paces fast and resolves very quickly.


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Soundstage Sound. Imaging & Separation


The 3D holographic nature of sound representation is very precise, clean and wide in all direction. The stage is placed very well and every sound element has its own space to sound clean and crisp with impact and doesn’t contemplate with others. The layering and imaging is far better than any other IEM I have heard, the imaging is sharp, detailed and clean while the layering and separation is distanced well between everything and sounds very much distinct.

Speed & Resolution


The resolution is absolutely marvellous being tight and revealing, while the attack and decay of notes are precise and clean which resolves very quickly, the best I have ever seen. Clearly the detail retrieval is greatly delivered by this IEM.

Conclusion


To conclude, for the price they are being offered they are worth it. Especially for those who are bass head and fed up with the same bass hits over and over again, who wants to witness out of this world bass and with that cleaner mids but hot treble yet listenable. I would definitely recommend to any bass head whether an audiophile or not. For critical listeners, yes they can try as the technical aspects are really great of this IEM and it still has a clean frequency response not fiddled with bass.


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Sources And tracks Used


Sources


Apple iPhone XS Max
LG G8X
iPad (4th generation)
Apple Dongle Dac
Shanling UA1 Pro
iFi HIPDAC
Venture Electronics Megatron
Apple Lossless
UAPP
Localy stored Flac and Wav Files

Tracks


Curtis Mayfield - Pusherman
Earth, Wind & Fire - September
Earth, Wind & Fire - Let's Groove
Boston - More Than A Feeling
Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere(Remastered)
Toto - Africa
The Police - Every Breath You Take
George Benson - Affirmation
Daft Punk - Doin' It Right
Daft Punk - Derezzed
Daft Punk - Tron Legacy (End Titles)
GOJIRA - Amazonia
The Mars Volta - Inertiatic ESP
Fergie - Glamorous
50 Cent - In Da Club
Jay Z - Holy Grail
Erbes - Lies
Nitti Gritti - The Loud
Juelz - Inferno

NymPHONOmaniac

Headphoneus Supremus
Enter the 4th dimension
Pros: -Smooth crisp and immersive musicality
-Exceptional resolution
-Organically Cohesive tribrid tuning
-Richly detailed mid-range with focused presence
-Fast snappy treble with tremendous micro-details amount
-Nice transparency
-3D spatiality with fully present center stage
-Great imaging-layering
-Realist timbre
-Excellent all-arounder (even including gaming and movie watching)
-authoritative bass with tactile weight
-their nothing that sound like the Mext
-more musical than Mest MK2 (subjective)
-good cable, nice case and very welcome Azla eartips
Cons: -bass is a bit warm in definition and resolution compared to mids-treble
-lows are mid bass focus, lacking deep linear extension
-timbre is a hint compressed in density
-lack of air in overall spatiality
-capricious fitting to achieve supreme sound experience
-overly tight 2pin connector with rounded edge
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TONALITY: 8.8/10
TECHNICALITIES:9.5/10
CONSTRUCTION: 8.2/10
MUSICALITY-VERSATILITY: 8.5/10
SOUND BENEFIT: Very Noticeable


(to note: I don’t give score for sound value when it come to products above 1000$)


UNIQUE MELODY doesn’t need presentation since they are well know but let share a little about their story.
UM is a chinese based audio company that started in 2008 as an hearing aid company, 4 years later they become an official IEM company aimed for audiophile. The experience they earn in hearing aid CIEM molding as well as balanced armature implementation have sure been of great use for their start as well as futur recognition.
UM have a wide range of IEM in their catalog, mostly hybrid and tribrid. Their IEM price range go from 300$ to 6000$, and aim high end audiophile with rather good amlount of money to invest in their passion. I did test their ”budget” iem in the past, the triple dynamic driver UM 3DT and enjoy it quite alot due to it’s energic and full bodied musicality that sound like any other IEM I heard before, thanks for well implemented and high quality DD’s used.

Logical step from here would have been to test second most affordable IEM, the Mini Mest, but it seem i will go for a more exotic tribrid call the UM MEXT.

Priced 1100$, the Mext is a 6 drivers tribrid UIEM using 1 dynamic driver for bass, 2 balanced armature for mids, 2 BA for treble and a OBC (original bone conduction) driver for upper low to mid treble (200-7000hz).

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As said: exotic.

Let see in this detailed review if the Mext hold it’s ground with such an audacious drivers implementation and more importantly, if the tonality is well balanced, cohesive and deliver an accessible musicality.

CONSTRUCTION​

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Firstly, UM offer 2 version of the Mext, a custom one at 1400$ and universal fit for 1100$, i do think it worth paying extra 300$ for this very kind of earphone since bone conduction driver love tight fit that permit the shell to be in contact of your inner ears. My version is Universal fit and the right fit can be a bit capricious, i will explain why here.

The Mext have a big chunky housing, made of smooth medical grade plastic resin, it have an ergonomic shape with short but big nozzle. For the number of driver it use, the shell doesn’t seem oversized, for example, my Muse Hifi planar IEM is bigger and if i remember correctly, the Mest Mk2 too is bigger. Overall quality seem good, but it’s not what I would call a looker, nor the most impressive built in this price range. On top of body it have a 2pin connector and this is where my nit picking will hit: like the UM 3DT, these 2pin connector are ultra tight and prompt to break pin connector of your cable due to how it’s placed on the curvy plastic housing, it make it very hard to connect some cable due to (blind) perfect alignment need. In fact, i barely broke stock cable very first time i try to connect it and pins get bended, with other cables, their some im unable to fully push the pins inside the housing which is worrysome.

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(3 ear tips I love with the Mext: Azla, KB07 and FLC wide bore)
Now, when it come to fit, the included Azla ear tips sure help but i suggest you to try all wide bore ear tips you have in your collection like I do, since both fit and seal will greatly inflict on how open and balanced will sound the Mext. The IEM are light and comfy for me, but with some ear tips it might be too big for some smaller ears canals. Simply put, don’t use too stiff or hard ear tips with the Mext for long time listening.
But insert it as deep as you can too! Which isn’t very deep since nozzle is short, so it’s not gonna be uncomfortable, but the part of ear shell that have the OBC driver will be in better contact with your body, which greatly inflict on sound resolution and richness, as well as vocal presence fowardness etc.

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When it come to PACKAGING & ACCESSORIES, it’s generous enough even if it come in an understated small box. I’m not very sensible to fancy presentation so I can’t honestly complaint here. It’s nothing to write about, yet doesn’t feel underwhelming.
Accessories are quite generous and included a very beautifull carrying case of excellent craftmanship, it’s rare that i focus on carrying case but this one seem to be a looker since my ex girl friend ask me to give it to her. t’s big enough to put other things than the Mext too.

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For me most important accessories is the CABLE, and I was rather underwhelmed with the one included with UM 3DT so this is a very positive surprise to have a good quality 4.4mm balanced cable this time!

MEXT is paired with UM Copper M1 custom cable manufactured by PW Audio, it use OFHC copper that promise smooth pairing. It’s a 4 cores braided cable, quite light and smooth with a very impressive plug quality, perhaps the best ive seen in fact, heavy and thick with mate black finish and UM logo, very nice. When it come in sound pairing, this smooth dynamic and make tonal balance more organic, a pure silver cable like Tri Grace S will improve clarity for example.

Rest of accessories are quite interesting too, star of the show being the ear tips included which are the famous Azla eartips, a sticky wide bore silicone eartips that will solve secure fit for some. You have UM silicone eartips too. A cable holder, a cleaning clothe as well as extra screwing mesh are included too. Pretty good.

SOUND IMPRESSIONS​

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(Gear used: SMSL SU-9 DAC+SH-9 AMP, TRI TK2, Questyle M15, Xduoo Link 2 Bal, Ibasso DX90, Tempotec E44, Xduoo Poke2)
The UM Mext is so unique in sound rendering that it’s perhaps the hardest critical listening review of an earphones I ever made, so be ready for a very wordy one that will try to cover all acoustic aspect including bias of psychoacoustic that more than ever come to play in final sound impression.

Why? Because the Mext litterally transmit sound in your mind and ”out of your head”, due to the bone conduction driver that can’t even be measure using a normal mic. It mix both physical sound vibration from soundwave to your eardrum and bone vibration directly to your cochlea, this mean the OBC driver act like your eardrum by transmiting soundwave info that got directly decoded by the cochlea, which will do final job of transmiting vibration to your auditory nerve. This explain why the Mext is vibrating when you hold it in your hand. The advantage of this type of sound conduction is that it bypass the eardrum that have limitation, not just due to imperment but to aging too. But what is unique here, and mind buzzling, is the fact the Mext doesn’t ue OBC to extend treble hearing up to 20khz or above but to magnify clean detailed presence of 2khz to 7khz frequencies range.

I was worry that this exotic tribrid drivers implementation will deliver an artificial sound experience, or suffer from timbral or tonal imbalance but in fact everything is organically hold togheter with the OBC driver acting like a center stage added sound layers as well as magnificator of timbre nuance and well define instruments singular presence. It’s so well done that at first you don’t even think their bone conduction driver nor multiple balanced armature since it sound like a ”magical dynamic driver” with smooth and crisp W shape tonality and a beautifull bass boost. But more you listen to the Mext, more you get immerse in it’s unique musicality and discover how richly detailed and dynamic it sound. As well, in my case, I discover that ear tips play a very big role to achieve proper openess of soundstage as well as boosted mid and lower treble presence which is inherent to the fit which need to be deep enough to be in contact with inner ears helix that is near to jaw bone. Do the test, you’ll see that female vocal can be either a bit recessed or upfront depending of how perfect is the fit, this can be seen as nit pick drawback since I do find the Mext capricious about both fit and ear tips choice. For ear tips, the included Azla are good, especially for secure deep fit since it stick into your ear canal, but i do prefer shorter wide bore ear tips which tend to make spatiality wider and taller, improving spacing in instrument separation too.

Before sharing detailed sound impressions, let me tell you that the Mext are very transparent to source and will scale up with better DAC quality as well as clean amping. While not very hard to drive, i would suggest a minimum of 300mw@32ohm power for them, but even dongle like Questyle M15 and Tempotec E44 (170mw@32) is plenty enough. So, i do believe the sheer sound quality of your source is most important aspect to take full advantage of Mext high resolution capacity. If your audio source can deliver tremendous amount of micro details and treble dynamic, the Mext will offer a very rewarding listen immensily generous in sounds layers and infinite level of details. For this review, the Mext show it’s full potential with the SMSL SU-9 ES9038PRO DAC paired with SMSL SH-9 THX amplifier, which offer ultra transparent, clean, open and detailed sound with crazy attack timing and ultra snappy treble, as well, texture is more detailed and bass less warm. I do use Questyle M15, Xduoo Link2 Bal and Tempotec E44 for hours and hours with the Mext too, all delivering a very potent sound experience. I do think that at 16ohm of impedance and average sensitivity of 108db, the Mext is easy to drive but benefit from a clean source with a low impedance (under 1ohm).

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NOW for the sound.

I would call the tonality of the Mext as crisp yet smoothly balanced W shape, some would call these neutral but their a slight bass boost here, far from basshead level but still, it have extra warm slam to it with elevated sub-bass rumble. Tonal balance is cohesive, organic and densely in transparent sound layer, their an understated analytical side to Mext tonality, since it deliver high level of micro details and texture nuance effortlessly.

We can say that bass part is what add the most physicality to Mext sound, while mids and treble is quite technical sounding, the low end is warmer and less textured. It’s a chunky well rounded bass that doesn’t distract you, yet make you shake the head with it’s thick slam. You have the oomph that add heavyness to the music experience as well as the slam, not so much of a tight thumpy bass with well define kick drum presence nor the fastest clean attack. Here the resonance embrace lower mids and thicken the timbre without swallowing the instrument or vocal presence which are extracted and fowarded by the OBC driver. So did it mean the bass quality is bad? Not at all, but it’s not a technical nor a bass canon performance, it’s a warm and vibrant low end with thick rumble, not very linear in extension. Contrabass, like the one of Lars Danielsson in ”Tarantella” album, have good texture grip yet when it come to natural resonance presence its more bloomy, opaque and warm in resolution, it add physicality to most low end instrument yet can transform into a rumble something that should have lean resonance. When it come to pure rumbly sub-line like in the basshead song ”Moonlight” from IAMDDB, the sub line are warm and chunky, quite dense and opaque yet not very flexible and well articulated so it affect subtle tone change as well as loudness variation which should be more curvy and less slow in transient.
The bass of the Mext have softed edge ot it’s definition, but stay in the back of other instrument with well rounded body and great sens of physicality, depending of audio source, bass line and kick drum can have good texture too in presence, which is amplify by bone conductive driver, so this make the bass uniquely in it’s presentation and add a sens of immediacy to a full bodied attack.

I tell you this review would be wordy, and now their go the hardest part of sound description: the mind blowing (and boggling) mid range. Crisp, clean and tremendously detailed, sitting between lush and bright with a near surnatural transparency to it, the mids are smooth in dynamic yet vivid in details and free of any sibilance, it’s clean and translucid like shiny water where you can see every tiny wavelet without sun reflection affect transparent so you can plunge into infinity of colors and details nuance.
The vocal have an intense sens of proximity to the listener, which work excellent for female vocal that don’t need as much body presence as male vocal which have clean and immediate presence but feel a bit less full in body than female due to lower mids not being very boosted and quite lean. The magic here is coming from OBC driver that stamp extra presence and details to every instrument, boosting resolution without any agressivity or tonal imbalance. That kind of mid range is impossible to create without the OBC trickery, since extra definition edge doesn’t interfer with other frequency in they air but are transmit to your brain directly. That feel like writing about a scientist experience but be reassure it doesnt sound clinical or artificial at all, it’s more like adding perfectionist colors details to a blank sculpture. Or boosting sens of transparency, since the Mext exceel in that regard, and it make whole mid range extremely informative about sounds nuance, singular layer presence, instrument texture richness and attack clarity.
What the OBC don’t add, is extra note weight or timbre thickness, mid range dynamic is vivid yet light in attack, timbre is dense but in a compressed higly resolved way. It’s realist because the edge isn’t distort with sustain-release.

The treble is like an effortless X-Ray device that extract every little details without creating ear fatigue or harshness, it’s again very alluring and intensely immersive. You have great sens of immediacy, excellent snap and gentle brilliance to it. It’s very very speedy too, yet the upper treble sparkle decay isn’t very present and sens of air seem a bit ”digitilized”. Since upper treble is deal with balanced armature, sustain cut short and their not ultra treble boost to add air or if it have, OBC perhaps modify my psychoacoustic perception about it. The Mext is the type of IEM that will extract micro details you never heard, and that even if I tell myself this with other IEM. Again, bone conduction driver come to add extra sound info in an inoffensive way, these little details are ultra clean and crisp and enrich whole sound experience, it doesnt affect timbral balance when it come to instrument texture. Violin sound very clean and detailed, highly articulated whatever the speed and with excellent transparency that will benefit violin quartet for instrument separation accuracy. The presentation isn’t lush, warmed or colored, more of vivid neutral with softed lower treble so you avoid unplesant brightness of violin when it play agressively. When it come to acoustic guitar, higher harmonic are a bit more focus, so you have a crisp presentation with fast attack lead, just enough decay and very high resolution. For electric guitar, it’s a bit less appealing since attack is smoothed in dynamic, making the euphonic distortion sound softed too and a bit muted, yet it’s well layered and keep it’s transparency even if a bit over saturated in texture. Percussions are very well balanced and not overly boosted, yet clean in details and presence and very speedy and snappy, their no splashyness nor treblyness with this singular treble performance.

The soundstage isn’t the most open and airy, nor the tallest or deepest, it’s quite wide and holographic but you feel in middle of the music here, not at some distance of it….your like in the middle of triangle room fullfill with speakers on 3 walls. It does lack some air to breath as well as some deepness due to dense and very numerous sound layers.

Strangely, this doesn’t affect the imaging negatively since both static positionning and moving sound layers are clearly rendered. Level of accuracy is high here due to center stage presence that permit to surpass a stereo rendering, so you can pin point better instrument and vocal in middle while left and right positioning extend the perception. Only the bass part can feel a bit blurry in definition making it harder to separate from mid and highs range instruments.

COMPARISONS​

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VS FINAL A8000 (1xPure Beryllium DD-2000$)

This is my personal end game IEM, and it isn’t a normal dynamic driver IEM, the DD in this is just insane in technical performance and having heard other flagship IEM like the Andromeda, UM Mest MK2 and 64audio U12T, i can assure you they have nothing to envy from them both in tonality and technicalities….so how the 2 times cheaper Mext will compare with it’s 6 drivers?

Well, firstly, the A8000 is more bright and agressive as well as more treble centric energic W shape. The Mext have more boosted sub bass, yet bass quality of the A8000 is notably better, both in attack speed and control, timbral balance and texture and clean fully extended lower extension, definition is better sculpted and have more mid bass punch and kick drum presence. A8000 offer best bass response I ever heard, and it’s not a shame to not be able to win in this department, so it’s time for the Mext revange with it’s special midrange that is way more foward in presence, making the A8000 feel very recessed suddenly even if a bit more meaty for male vocal, everything else is more upfront and not as boosted in upper mids, which can create rare instance of sibilance with female vocal with A8000. Mid range resolution is higher but timbre is a hint thinner, as well, vocal have more breathyness and are a hint more natural due to less magnify texture micro details. Note weight go to A8000, piano sounding fuller and heavier in mid section, yet not as crisply resolve and clean in definition.
The treble is an intense combat here since both excell in this department, the Mext have a more delicate and snappy treble, not as sparkly and full sounding as the A8000, which have more chunky crunch too. Again, the Mext deliver higher level of micro details, timbre texture is less abrasive and bright and overall presentation is more articulated in precise definition of each sound. Acoustic guitar have longer resonance with the A8000, as well as fuller harmonic, yet sens of immediacy is greater with the Mext.
When it come to soundstage, A8000 is wider but less tall and deep, the imaging is crisper and more accurate and precise but a bit more condensed in sound info since it add more layers to spatial occupation.
All in all, mid and treble technical performance are superior with the Mext, but bass quality is better with A8000 as well as timbre more natural and dense, offering a less exotic yet more realistically cohesive musicality.

VS FIIO FH7 (1DD+4BAs-500$)

Again, FH7 is more W shape and agressive, brighter in timbre and more wonky in tonal balance, it feel shoutier and harsher than Mext which is very smooth near warm compared to FH7.
Bass of FH7 is more focus on mid low, with faster tighter punch, it feel more detached from the mids and treble, less warm and euphonic. Sub bass is more rolled off and timbre is dryer with FH7 too.
Mids are unbearable compared to the Mext, way brighter and more sibilant, more compressed and centered, so less wide and well define in presence, vocal are more upfront with the Mext yet smoother, more textured, more transparent and less shouty.
Treble is notably more spiky and agressive with FH7….man, after this comparison i’m not sure to be able to love my FH7 again and it’s very sad, but this can be explain by my hearing evolution too which is now more sensible to spike and harshness….but let say details are scream at you, with fuzzy grainy sustain which can get messy with busy track while the Mext offer higher number of micro details, all well separated and free of loudness imbalance and fatigue.
Soundstage is notably wider, taller and deeper with the Mext, offering a more clean, accurate and precise imaging too, since transparency is not saturated like the FH7, only the bass instrument can be darker and harder to pin point, mostly bass hit like toms, kick drum.
All in all, it wasn’t a fair fight due to the Mext being 2 times pricier, but one thing sure the sound benefit are on the high side with the Mext and justify an urgent upgrade for a similar W shape tonality but way more cohesive, smooth and musical tonality as well as from another league in term of technical performance.

VS KINERA URD (2DD+2EST+1BA-600$)

First difference that hit me is in soudstage presentation, which is drastically different in spatial cue as well as notably wider and taller, but with scooped middle presence that add sens of openess yet make it more stereo sounding and less immersive and holographic than Mext. Imaging is less precise and fully restitue with the Urd, mid range instruments are difficult to spot which is one of highlight of the Mext.
This surely can be explain by 2 factor, the use of OBC driver to extrack presence of mid range as well as a different tonal balance that is more W shape and lean with the Mext while more U shape and warm with the Urd.
Strangely, the bass is a bit similar here, warm sub bass focused slam, round and heavy in hit but not very fast or precise, here the Mext have a hint better define presence due to slightly more textured bass while URD is bassier and a bit more dynamic in impact, perhaps faster too since fast chuncky kick is better articulate.
Mids are notably more recessed with the Urd, warmer and darker, a bit denser in timbre but more liquid too and lacking in definition edge make it more blurry and muddy, resolution of Mext being miles ahead here and offering both male and female vocal with more fowarded presence as well as crisper more accurate imaging as stated above.
The treble is brighter with the Mext, yet deliver higher amount of detail in a more balanced way while the URD focus on upper treble snap and air, boosting micro details a bit and offering a more delicate and coloured treble, with darker lower treble, so it feel half cook compared to more analytical Mext.

Here, tonality is so different it’s hard to choose a winner, URD is more laid back and bassier so it might be less distracting or fatiguing for long listening, technicaly it’s inferior in all department and feel less full sounding due to lot of darkened part in treble and mids section. Guilty pleasure for the Urd here, while confident pleasure for the Mext.

BONUS comparison (from memory) VS UM MEST MK2

Ok, I did have a good 2h listen of the MK2 but its make near 2 years….so, it’s to take with a BIG grain of salt, i just feel i need to at least share these memories.
Firstly, they are a bit similar but, but Mext is more energic and immersive sounding with a bass that have more weighty impact, while Mest have better extension and cleaner presense.
Mest is leaner in dynamic and colder in tonality, its airier and more open and deep in spatiality from what I remember. The treble while a bit thinner and less crunchy than Mext is more brilliant and sparkly.
Mid range seem slightly more recessed, dryer too, .
To some extend, Mest seem more cold U shaped while Mext more smooth W shaped.
As said, these impressions are not really legit, but i remember having issue with timbre of the Mest which i don’t encounter with the Mext.

CONCLUSION​

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I think it’s evident I have an overwhelming love affair with the otherwordly UM Mext, which is a big surprise to me due to complexity of making coherent this type of multi-layered sound experience with such audacious drivers implementation. Fact I can’t find difference between BA and OBC driver when playing music tell alot about how organicaly balanced is the tuning.

The UM Mext is a true End Game IEM with a versatile yet highly technical and musical sound, this is the type of IEM that make bass, mids and treble sound rich, dynamic and highly detailed, yet all focus in presence and well behave in attack control.

This can surely please everybody, bass boost lover, mid accuracy and boosted presence lover and most demanding treble performance seeker. The Mext nail musicality that Mest Mk2 was lacking, and offer an immersive sound experience like no other.
As a sceptikal about bone conduction driver potential, i’m now fascinated about incredible potential of this technology that can litterally change your hearing perception and enrich psychoacoustic sound experience to a next level.

Enter the 4th acoustic dimension, where both your mind and ears are fullfill with sound info, making every listen highly exciting and enriching, since you can dig in sound infinity with the Mext.

Highly highly recommended!

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PS: I wanna thanks Unique Melody for sending me this review unit. While i feel humble, i’m not affiliated with this IEM company, nor have any incentitive to write a positive review. UM will read this review once published like everybody else.

You can buy the UM Mext at lowest price (1000$) here:https://hifigo.com/products/umunique-melody-mext

For more info about Unique Melody IEMs, give a look here:https://www.uniquemelody.org/

For more diversify audio products reviews, give a read to my No Borders Audiophile website HERE.
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machinegod

New Head-Fier
Pros: Build Quality
Raw bass impact and extension.
Cons: Not the most refined sound.
Tuning not up to the mark.
Disclaimer: The UM MEXT was provided by ConceptKart as a part of a review tour but all thoughts and opinions are my own. You can purchase the MEXT here.

Build and Fit
At around 85000 INR at the time of writing, mext comes with a resin shell which is not unheard of at this price point. But a little part of me yearned for a more premium material, possibly metal. But I guess that not using metal was a conscious decision to keep the weight down.
The cable is made beautifully but it only comes with a 4.4mm balanced connector and no adaptor for 3.5mm SE and 2.5mm BAL which is a bummer at this price point, given it is now very common for earphones even at 1/4th price of the MEXT. But it is what it is. Coming to the fit, people with small ears do indeed need to be careful as the shell is substantially bulky. It is not uncomfortable for me, but the bulk is always at the corner of my mind.

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Amp Needs
At 16 ohm, 108dB/mW the MEXT is quite sensitive and driven well even off portable sources. No external amplifier is needed.

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Sound Quality
On paper the MEXT seems quite well endowed, with its bone conduction driver, dynamic and balanced armature drivers. But the final test is in the hearing. The tuning is on the unrefined side overall, and it falls short of the asking price. While bone conduction seems to be the new cool thing, it literally shakes the chassis to add the "physicality". But this results in audible distortion and roughness in the bass. While the extension and impact is commendable, the end result is a bass that is audibly distorted and unrefined. The midrange is slightly pushed back and is on the thinner side. It could use a bit of natural warmth in vocals and some juiciness in the midrange in general. The treble has a sizzle to it, indicating some kind of uneven-ness in the tuning. Compressed recordings, or sharp transients in this region come off sizzling and thin, rendering the overall sound a "V shaped" tuning. This south of optimal tuning also negatively impacts overall resolution where I found micro details pushed back and overall texture in the midrange smeared.

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Conclusion
The MEXT's bone conduction program seems to be a mixed bag for me. You trade speed and cleanliness for extension and impact. The tuning could have been better and it is not for those who value timbre and tone. Maybe you can rock your socks off to it.
szore
szore
Hi, did you burn this in? It needs at least 100 hours of high volume bassy music to open it up.

shreyanzh

New Head-Fier
Mext is Best (Kind of)
Pros: Bass performance specially Sub-bass
Relaxing and easy to listen to
Technically competent
Build quality
Cons: Recessed Mids
Laid back treble
Being Too big is sometimes a bad thing😐
UNIQUE MELODY MEXT

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This unit was sent for review by conceptkart via Pulkit dreamz sir.
Yours truly was not provided or promised any compensation for a positive and favourable review so below are my honest thoughts on the product.
Sorry I couldn't take more photos.
Was sick🥲

https://conceptkart.com/products/unique-melody-mext-wired-iem

#Packaging and Accessories.

This is my second outing with an Unique Melody iem, the first being the highly revered Mest mk2 . I think UM's iem packaging establishes the best blend of luxury and practicality.
You get your iem's in the storage case accompanied by a beautiful PW audio cable with your choice of connector and an included cable clamp.
You will also get an assortment of eartips included in the package.

#Build and Design.

The shell here is huge , the all acrylic shell is very well constructed but the size will be an issue for people with smaller ears.(Like me)
The iem's have some weight to them but it's just enough to make you feel good when you hold them in your hands while also being easy to wear while in your ears.
The iem's themselves are very beautiful with an understated look that in my opinion is very classy and timeless.

#Configuration

1DD + 4BA + 1OBC


Air Conduction Frequency Bandwidth: 20Hz-23kHz

Vibration Conduction Frequency Bandwidth: 200Hz-7kHz

Sensitivity of Air Conduction: 108dB @1kHz

Sensitivity of Vibration Conduction: @1kHz 5m·N | Peak @400Hz 79m·N

Crossover: 4-way Crossover

Driver Counts:
6 Drivers

Impedance: 16Ω






#Sound.

A L-shaped warm sound is what you get here with Boosted bass , recessed Mids and Relaxed treble.
This iem is not for people who are gonna sit in a corner with a bottle of wine and take notes while listening......Nope not your iem....look at mest mk2 for that , this here is a fun and engaging listen,if you want to immerse yourself in music and tap your feet to the rhythm while not feeling that you're missing out on details ,then keep reading.


#Bass

The first thing that came to my mind when I heard the MEXT was just how big it sounded.
This is not in reference to the soundstage but more because of the Bass.
It goes low, rumbles and hits hard when you need it to.
The quantity is almost bordering on basshead levels.
The quality however takes a hit due to that.
It's not the most textured and fast bass you will hear in an iem.


#Mids.

The Mids are definitely recessed but you don't feel like you are losing any details or quality in this area.
The vocals remain properly separated from the instruments and each and every instrument in itself can be singled out in the song.
Female vocals have a life like quality to them that I have not heard from any other iem before , is it the OBC driver working it's magic .......i can't say.

#Treble.

The treble in this iem for me is it's achilles heel.
This is where the iem falls flat.....I mean literally.
I am not a Treblehead but I do love some zing to the treble which adds a little extra sparkle to the cymbals and other instruments at the top end.
This is what I loved about the mest mk2 ,the EST implementation was brilliant there and it gave a shine to the treble without making it fatiguing during long listening sessions.
Maybe UM tried the same with BA drivers here but could not create the same effect......lord knows. I will however point out that you're not missing out on details in the top end and during long listening sessions this "not being SHINee" quality may be a boon for many.


#Technicalities.

Another hit out of the park for UM.
This is an extremely capable iem when it comes to pure technical performance.
The soundstage is not quite wide but it is deep. More than lateral width the focus here is on creating a 3D sense of space around your head.
It is Deep enough to make you feel some of that holographic magic people talk about.(Kind of).
Imaging is top notch, almost as good as the mest mk2.
But the mest mk2 I feel does something weird with imaging in the way that it spreads the sounds at different spots around the soundscape rather than just keeping it left and right. I don't know, it's weird but it sounds amazing.
Resolution is another area where I think the mext is on par with it's older brother and the only reason i feel the mest mk2 sounds more resolving is due to it's tuning which is more on the leaner and analytical side compared to the hot summer style (Warm and Relaxed) tuning of the Mext.
In the case of MEXT the bass sometimes does get in the way of that absolute clarity when compared with mest mk2.
Overall i think this is a benchmark iem in the 1000usd price category for it's technical chops and can compete very well with sub 2000usd iem's.

#Comparison with Mest Mk2.

Take this comparison with a grai- no a bucket of salt because it's been some time since i heard the mest mk2, however I will say this, that iem had such an impact on me that I still quite remember the things it did to my favourite songs in term of the sheer detail it was able to pry out of them which I have not really heard again since then.


MEXT Mk2

Tonality 8/10 8.5/10
Bass 9/10 8/10

Mids 8/10 8/10
Treble 7/10 9.5/10
Detail Retrieval 8/10 9.5/10
Imaging 8/10 9/10
Soundstage 8/10 8.5/10


Below are the songs i enjoyed on MeXt








And here are some i enjoyed on MeSt Mk2









#Conclusion.

In many cultures like Japanese, Korean , Indian etc , the way we refer to our family and elders is different from the way we address our friends and colleagues. Formal and polite in one while keeping it casual and fun for the other.
This is what this iem is ,a fun and casual take by UM on the formal and polite (kind of) iem that was the mest mk2.
Different flavours for different people.
You decide what you like 😁

P.S. Please keep in mind that most of my library is J-pop , K-pop and R&B based.
The iem's have been evaluated on the aforementioned genres of songs.
I don't listen to much jazz , rock , metal or classical music.
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RoXor

New Head-Fier
UM MEXT - Music through your bones!
Pros: 1. Top quality bass reproduction
2. Engaging and musical sound signature
3. Great build quality
4. Detailed sound with good soundstage, layering and depth
Cons: 1. Could have better extension in the highs
2. Shells might be bigger for some people with smaller ears.
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Disclaimer:
The unit has been sent to me by Conceptkart as a part of a review circle. I am not working or affiliated to Conceptkart or Unique Melody and I am not being paid or influenced otherwise to say anything positive or negative about this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. If you are interested you can buy it from here.

Note: Please note that my opinions and ratings are based on price, category, market competition and personal expectations and are subjective in nature.

Introduction
Unique Melody (UM) has been a popular name among audiophiles for their great offerings in the premium or mid fi segment- 3DT, MEST and MEST MKII to name a few. They are known offer premium sound with premium build adopting innovative technologies. MEXT is their latest IEM priced at USD 1099, offering their popular bone conduction driver along with a dynamic driver and 4 balanced armatures (1DD + 4BA + 1OBC).

Build Quality and comfort
The shells of the MEST are black in colour with UM etched in gold on L side and a unique logo on the R side. On the lower end towards the periphery is the OBC and a metal hat for tuning vent at the lower part of the faceplate. I think the shells are beautifully designed and are moderately heavy. They have a snug fit which is important for the bone conduction to work effectively.
MEXT is bundled with UM M1 Copper 2pin cable, available in options of 3.5mm, 2.5mm and 4.4mm termination. The cable feels sturdy, decently soft and comfortable and no microphonics observed. It’s a well made cable that looks and sounds premium. MEXT also comes with premium Azla Sedna Xelastic tips along with generic UM tips and a premium storage.
Score: 9.5/10
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Sources
Cayin N6ii with R01
Cayin N6ii with A01
Cayin N6ii with A01 LO to Pico Power
Phi DecaDac with Sapphire

Tip selection: For the review, I tried Azla Sedna's Xelastic and Earfit light short and Tenmak Whirlwind Tips. Xelastic felt a little sharper and more V shaped whereas Earfit light short had well balanced sound signature but soundstage felt narrow. I felt Whirlwinds to be most comfortable and overall have a good balance in the sound signature and having better soundstage than both Xelastic and Earfit light short.

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Lows
Lows are where we are starting and lows are where MEXT does a brilliant job. MEXT treats you with rumbling, deep bass. The bass is something I haven’t heard anywhere, its not just the sound, it’s the feel, thanks to bone conduction. It doesn’t matter if its real or not, but it’s like when you listen to speakers, you can feel the bass vibrations in your body, MEXT does that in your ears. The bass is full bodied and has heft, its detailed and sufficient in quantity but the extension could have been slightly better, that’s just me nit-picking.
Score: 9.5/10

Mids

Mids on the MEXT are good as well. It is well detailed, natural and smooth. Vocals are appropriately forward and not being on our face, even probably a tad recessed. I didn’t observe any peaks. Strings and piano tones sound clean and natural. The tonal weight is good, and full bodied. The bass doesn’t bleed into mids. The mids are tuned with more emphasis towards the lower mids, that makes it pretty soothing and relaxing to listen and providing a good tonal weight to the entire sound signature.
Score: 9/10

Highs

Treble in MEXT aren’t aggressive but has a nice presence. It has this relaxed yet detailed nature and has decent extension. The layering and airiness is good. Energy actually depends on the source pairing, but I feel the treble is not tuned to be bright. Infact, the overall sound signature is warm. Nevertheless someone expecting a good quality and relaxed treble will be happy with it.
Score: 9/10

Soundstage, Imaging, Separation

MEXT soundstage has good width and height. However the soundstage is more towards intimate and focused. The imaging is good too and layering is great. I didn’t experience any congestion. The soundstage has this nice extensive feel with each instruments, vocals projecting from each of their distinct position in the space. Soundstage is not too wide or provides an out of the head experience but that’s a trait rather than a defect.
9/10

Conclusion:

I think MEXT is a great IEM for the bass heads or even for someone who loves natural and detailed tuning. It doesn’t disappoint on any of the aspects and does well for any and all genres of music. For the price of USD1099 I can happily recommend it. Having tried and owned IEMs like CA Andromeda, Kinera URD and headphones like Ananda, I feel MEXT is worthy of its price and presence.

Overall rating: 9/10
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holsen
holsen
Couldn't have written it better. You express exactly what I hear. I'm loving the MEXT. Having had several sets with electrostatz and greater treble extension, I don't find anything missing hear. It's a natural treble but not rolled off to my ear. Thanks for the review.

Ichos

Reviewer at hxosplus
The Bone Conductor
Pros: + Balanced, musical and organic
+ Sub-bass extension and great bass tuning
+ Bone Conduction adds a great physical impact to the bass
+ Excellent timbre
+ Crystal clear and highly resolving
+ Holographic soundstage
+ Non fatiguing treble
+ Lightweight with comfortable and stress free fit
+ Good passive noise attenuation
+ Excellent quality cable
+ Very beautiful, real leather, carrying case
+ XELASTEC eartips
Cons: - Bulky and not discrete
- Fit maybe an issue for smaller ears
- Not forgiving (but not punishing either)
- Requires top quality partners
- Sensitive to noise
- Comes with only one cable (no adapter, no modular cable)
The review sample was kindly provided by MusicTeck in exchange for my honest and subjective evaluation, I only covered import fees and tax.
MusicTeck is the official USA distributor of Unique Melody, the MEXT is priced at $1099 and you can buy it using this, non affiliate link.

Introduction

Unique Melody is one of the most renowned IEM and CIEM manufacturers in the world with very popular models like the famous MEST MK2.
Most of their models (including the MEXT) are available in universal and custom editions.
This is my first experience with a product from Unique Melody.

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UM MEXT

MEXT, a new high-performance product, is being launched by UM after years of technical research and development. The MEXT provides a revolutionary breathtaking experience with the new bone conduction technology. With the combination of dynamic, balanced armature, and OBC coil bone conduction drivers, MEXT can deliver sound through both air transmission and bone conduction, generating an all-round sense of space and vibration. Whether it’s single or dual side bone conduction or the current OBC patented technology, UM is always leading in the hi-fi industry. Such techniques may be imitated, but the ultimate sound by UM cannot be surpassed.

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Technical highlights

The MEXT features a hybrid, six driver configuration.
One coil Original Bone Conduction, one bass Dynamic Driver, 2 Mids BA Drivers and 2 Treble BA Drivers with a 4-way crossover.
Boasting a smooth transition and rich sound, the OBC driver can reach up to 200Hz-7000Hz in sound frequency with its sensitivity peak to @400Hz 79m·N.
With assistance from the OBC driver, the MEXT’s sound packs a powerful punch and is more impactful at low frequencies.
Along with the perfect performance of the combination of dynamic and balanced armature drivers, the MEXT can lend itself to be exacting and precise or smooth and gentle when the music calls for it.

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Original Bone Conduction (OBC)

While bone conduction technology was not unknown to me, this is my first real experience with an IEM featuring an OBC driver.
OBC, namely Original Bone Conduction, is known as coil bone conduction driver.
From the first generation of the MEST, UM is the first audio company who applies the technology of bone conduction to high-end in-ear headphones by combining air conduction with bone conduction to achieve a unique sound experience and quality.
Consisting of a high magnetic N52 neodymium magnet and high toughness vibrating steel sheet and high purity copper coil, the OBC driver is made using the technology of low-temperature welding.
High quality neodymium magnet is produced by continuous debugging and sifting.
The coil bone conduction driver is lightweight, wear-resistant and offers excellent conduction, indicated by its incredibly high yield rate, stability, and accuracy.
You don't take an OBC driver and just throw it into the earphone, scientific positioning is very important for the best audible results.
Deeper is the OBC driver placed inside the headphone, close to the ear bone, giving MEXT the advantage to instantaneously sense the vibration of sound waves. Moderate in physical vibration, it’s comfortable even for long wearing.

CN_PC_MEXT_05_1080x~2.jpg


Build quality, appearance and fit

The MEXT are made from synthetic, medical grade, resin which is friendly to the skin and is completely odorless.
The shells, although being quite bulky, are lightweight and feature an anatomically shaped, ergonomic, semi-custom design.
Also the long sound tube helps a lot with the fit which is deep, stable and comfortable so it doesn't cause any ear fatigue or stress even after a couple hours of continuous use.
The included AZLA Sedna XELASTEC eartips offer a tight fit and excellent passive noise attenuation making the MEXT suitable for use in noisy environments.
Still, the shells are quite bulky so don't expect discretion while users with smaller ear cavities may find some trouble achieving the perfect fit.
Build quality is top notch and the minimalist design of the MEXT, with the total black color and the golden logos, is very elegant and beautiful looking.
Of course Unique Melody has a wide range of both shell and plate options in order to customize your MEXT.

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Cable

The included, 2-pin, detachable cable is worth mentioning because of its high end quality.
It is a UM Copper M1 custom cable manufactured by PW Audio, using OFHC copper wires to create a natural and smooth sound.
The braided cable is reinforced with external sheathing and has a soft handling, it doesn't get tangled and is absent of microphonic noise.
The plugs at both sides are of top quality and the buyer can choose between three types of termination plugs (2.5mm, 4.4mm and 3.5mm).
The cable is really of the highest quality and there is nothing to complain about but it must be noted that most of the competition, at this price tag, now comes usually with two cables with different plugs or a modular plug cable or at least an adapter from balanced to unbalanced.
Maybe UM will include a second cable or an adapter with the next production batch so the MEXT would be more competitive and versatile when it comes to source pairing.

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Accessories

The MEXT comes packed in a sturdy cardboard box with a separate drawer where you can store the extra eartips and the cable.

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The very beautiful looking and roomy carrying case is made from real leather.
There is also a black leather clamp, a premium cleaning pad and two extra metal filters.
The eartips include three sizes of silicone eartips (S/M/L), three sizes of AZLA Sedna XELASTEC eartips (SS/MS/M) and the default pair that comes attached to the earphone.

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Associated gear

As per usual practice, prior to listening tests the MEXT was left playing music for about 150 hours.
The MEXT are rated at 16Ω with a high sensitivity of 108dB so they are very easy to drive but also susceptible to noise.
But make no mistakes, the MEXT is a top tier earphone and a high quality source is mandatory in order to fully exploit its sound performance.
The FiiO M17, FiiO M11 ESS, Cayin N8II and iBasso DX240 were proven as worthy partners.
The different ear tips offer small variations in sound signature with the XELASTEC slightly enhancing the bass performance.
The XELASTEC also offered a much better fit and isolation but in the end most of the listening was done with the plain silicone eartips that sounded more balanced to my ears.

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Sound impressions

I must admit that I was a total noob to bone conduction and as such various silly questions were bothering my mind;
Is it safe?Does it hurt?Am I going to sense an unpleasant feeling?Does it tickle?Am I going to lose my hearing?
Fortunately nothing of this happened, well except some tickling and a mild vibration when I raised the volume to deafening levels…
What happened was that for the first time in my life I was hearing such an impactful and physically present bass from an in-ear monitor.
The bone conduction technology compensates for the lack of natural air movement and makes the MEXT to sound like a full sized headphone with a large dynamic driver pushing air masses to your ears.
And more, as the listener can sense the bass rattling his jaws, extending into his skull, making for a visceral, physically impactful and shuttering bass experience.
At this point, you shouldn't confuse the fleshy bass presence with the actual tuning of the MEXT, the OBC is more responsible for the raw feeling than the frequency response.
The tuning is mostly determined by the dynamic driver implementation and here is expressed with a deeply extended sub - bass followed by a slightly accentuated bass response that mildly fades away while leading into the upper - bass.
The bass is full blooded and very impactful as described above but the MEXT shouldn't be confused as a bass - head earphone.
The sub - bass quantity is definitely adequate to cover all kinds of acoustic instruments and faithfully reproduce the lowest synthesized notes but it never gets annoyingly intrusive as to cloud the mid - bass or the mids.
While the presentation is just slightly warmish and dark, the low end is still very clear, tight and controlled with excellent layering and separation between the various instruments of the bass line.
Warmish and dark doesn't necessarily mean slow, the MEXT is very fast when it comes to driver recovery so it sounds pacey, rhythmic and with excellent macro dynamics.
Back to the textural qualities, you can easily hear every single note, from the bassoons to the double-basses while at the same time you can distinguish bowing techniques and pizzicato.
The MEXT is neither too visceral nor too lean, the sound is a nice balance between being full bodied and highly descriptive at the same time.
Just listen carefully to the following song where the MEXT can finely reproduce the double-bass bowing and left hand fingering while it makes sure that the wonderful female voice gets clearly articulated, radiating its magic into your ears.

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And this takes us to the mid - range which is presented with the most natural timbre, slightly warmish and organic with great presence and transparency.
Instruments and voices are reproduced with plenty of harmonic saturation, they sound articulated with deep emotional expression and sculptured with a three dimensional relief.
Note after note, diverse tone colors blend together, arousing the senses of the listener.
The MEXT midrange is closer to a pair of high quality speakers rather than the usual skinny, flimsy and sometimes screaming presentation of an IEM.
Choruses with blazing horns, alarming trumpets and solo woodwinds are some of the finest examples to enjoy the remarkable performance by highlighting the integrity of the mid-range and the perfect transition to the treble.
You are going to find plenty of them in this excellent opera seria by G.F Handel.

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One thing that should be specially noted is the excellent integration between the various drivers and the crossover.
The MEXT is absolutely coherent sounding throughout the whole frequency range while there is a smooth and not audible transition at the crossover frequency points.
All drivers work together in perfect harmony to draw a realistic and highly convincing multicolored tonal palette.

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The treble is smooth sounding without artificial brightness, a more or less easy going nature that doesn't cause listener fatigue.
There is some higher frequency boosting, as needed to add the necessary presence and sparkle in order to counterbalance for the extra bass but it is done without causing any audible acidity or metallic harshness.
The MEXT is brilliant and full of energy, not very forgiving and it should be considered as transparent and exposing but not that much as to make poorly recorded material unlistenable.
Thus said, it should be better to feed it with high quality material and use top tier supporting electronics in order to achieve the best audible results.
Metallic percussion instruments like high - huts and various kinds of bells and chimes or glockenspiels are heard naturally fading while at the same time the region retains all the flesh around the bones, never sounding leaner than the rest of the frequencies and this is a hell of an achievement for a multi-driver hybrid IEM.

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I know that a lot of people associate higher-end earphones with ultimate detail retrieval and the deepest analysis, a point of view that gets highly respected.
But let me respectfully disagree, I believe that all modern high-end earphones have the inherent ability to educe every last drop of information but they greatly differ in the presentation way.
The MEXT belongs to the breed of earphones that are highly resolving without being analytical.
The details are presented in a free flowing manner, nicely integrated with the musical event rather than being detached from it and purposely thrown into the foreground in order to impress with excessive analysis.
The MEXT is about enjoying, listening to your favorite music while relaxing, rather than analyzing the material into scattered pieces of sounds and then recomposing the puzzle.

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Playing some large symphonic works is an eye opener experience regarding the soundstaging abilities of the MEXT, which is literally sounding like some of the best open back headphones.
Expanded and proportionally layered, the soundscape is presented in a holographic and grandiose manner with exemplary pinpoint imaging and great communication of the overall ambience.

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In the end

The MEXT is a unique earphone with a well balanced, organic and musical sound signature combined with great technicalities and a physically impactful low end, rarely heard from an IEM.
Then, like a chameleon, is gets easily adaptable to the musical environment, making for an excellent all - rounder IEM, able to pass from classical music to EDM at a blink of an eye, equally suitable for the snobbish - reference guy to the party animal alike.
This is a high end IEM per se, rightfully positioned amongst the best without any serious sonic flaws.
We are at the critical point where sound performance is mostly about personal taste rather than trying to spot any negative points that objectively does not exist.
Aggressively priced it should be definitely considered as a great step into the high end territory without breaking the bank.

Test playlist

Copyright - Petros Laskis 2022.
Last edited:
szore
szore
In retrospect, could the bone conduction tuning be a tad aggressive?
Ichos
Ichos
@szore What do you mean by aggressive? It is something that is integrated and part of the tuning, you barely notice, it is cohesive and you don't feel it as a detached effect that can be annoying.

@Cris73 I am so sorry but I haven't any experience with the Fusion so cannot answer your question.
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Cris73
Cris73
Vielen Dank, und sorry dass Ich dir diese Frage gestellt habe 🙃
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JQuB3

New Head-Fier
UM MEXT - Addictive Bass thanks to Bone Conduction
Pros: Excellent bass response with unique rumble due to bone conduction
Premium cable and pouch
Good Technical performance
Cons: Upper Mids and Lower Treble tend to be shouty (especially with stock tips)
Large shell and nozzle size could be an issue for smaller ears
Disclaimer:

The Unique Melody MEXT was sent to me by ConceptKart as part of a review tour in my country in exchange for my honest opinion about the same. I’m in no way affiliated with Unique Melody or ConceptKart and have no incentive whatsoever to write anything positive or negative about the IEM. The views expressed in this write-up are based on my usage of the IEM for a few days. The UM MEXT can be purchased from ConceptKart using the following link:

https://conceptkart.com/products/unique-melody-mext-wired-iem


Specifications:

Headphone Type: Coil Bone Conduction + Dynamic +Balance Armature

Air Conduction Frequency Bandwidth: 20Hz-23kHz

Vibration Conduction Frequency Bandwidth: 200Hz-7kHz

Sensitivity of Air Conduction: 108dB @1kHz

Sensitivity of Vibration Conduction: @1kHz 5m·N | Peak @400Hz 79m·N

Crossover: 4-way Crossover

Driver Counts: 6 Drivers

Impedance: 16Ω

Configuration:1 Coil OBC Driver + 1 Bass Dynamic Driver + 2 Mids BA Drivers + 2 Treble BA Drivers


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Introduction:

The unit I received was unboxed and came with a rather large carry case with the UM logo prominently displayed up front. The case looks and feels premium and can comfortably house the IEM and cable. The unit I received came with a 4.4mm balanced termination. Given that the stock cable is from PWaudio, it is soft to touch, well built, and free of microphonics.

The review unit came with a pair of Sednafit Xelastec tips. However, for the purpose of this review, I used the Turbo Whirlwind tips from Tennmak as they were more comfortable (IMO) and seemed to make the IEM sound better (YMMV).

Source:

  • FiiO M11 Plus LTD with HUM MA1B (Balanced Line Out)
  • FiiO M11 Plus LTD with FiiO Q3 (used Q3 as an amp only via 3.5mm Line Out)
  • ASUS ROG Phone 5s with FiiO Q3 (as USB DACAMP)
Amping needs:

The IEM is quite sensitive at 16 ohms / 108dB hence can be driven easily off portable sources. It doesn’t really require amping.

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Sound:

The UM MEXT has a V-shaped signature with an excellent presence in the lower end of the aural frequency spectrum. Bass is deep with exceptional clarity and detail. The MEXT is a delight when it comes to bass response. The bone conduction driver adds some physical rumble of sorts that is somewhat unexpected in an IEM. I found myself lost in “Adagio for Strings - Tiesto”. The UM MEXT handled this track exceptionally well without muddling the layers, especially after 04:20 where the distorted lead synth dominates the other layers.

Adagio for Strings – Tiesto:

Moonshine (Exor Mix, Pt. 1):

Although the mids are recessed, they don’t sound lean or dull. Notes felt just about right in terms of weight and fullness. Layering and Separation are good. Even in a busy track like “Moonshine (Exor Mix, Pt. 1) - Project Medusa”, I could clearly distinguish between different layers. Although, the IEM did feel a tad bit shouty, especially with the high-pitched female vocals in this track. Tip rolling helped tame this shoutiness.

The highs on the UM MEXT are not the most detailed and may seem inadequate when compared to other IEMs in this price range. However, given the overall tonal balance and fun sound signature, I think the treble is acceptable.

In terms of soundstage, the UM MEXT is quite wide but is somewhat limited in terms of soundstage depth. As mentioned earlier, the layering and separation are good and the IEM is quite accurate in terms of positioning.

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Conclusion:

The MEXT is a fun-sounding pair with addictive bass response thanks to those wonderful bone conduction drivers. It has the kind of rumble that is usually not found in IEMs. It has a wide soundstage and provides for a rather immersive listening experience without any fatigue. Although it lacks in terms of treble, the overall tonal balance is very good. I’d definitely recommend this IEM for those who’re looking for something fun-sounding.
szore
szore
I think that lack of extension tho is nice...more 'relaxed' but not boring. The MEST had great extended highs but after a while it gets fatiguing.
  • Like
Reactions: JQuB3
J
JQuB3
Yep, Given the tonality, I think the treble is fine. Had to tiproll though, cuz the stock tips didn't work out for me. 🙂
szore
szore
I agree...back to the good ol' yellow Spinfits!

Dobrescu George

Reviewer: AudiophileHeaven
Unique Melody MEXT - Price Cut, Musicality Increase
Pros: + Details
+ Resolution
+ Build Quality
+ Superb default cable
+ Soundstage
+ Instrument separation
+ Tip selection and quality
+ Bone Conduction works really well
+ Not overly hard to drive
+ Not very sensitive to source quality
+ Superb impact and dynamics
+ Price is even better than MEST MK2
+ Package and carry case quality
+ Colorful presentation
Cons: - Can be a bit large and heavy
- Really sounds right only used with the special Xelastec tips that are more sticky than the rest
- Can be somewhat bright and aggressive with metal and aggressive music
Unique Melody MEXT - Price Cut, Musicality Increase

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Unique Melody MEXT is the latest high-end IEM from UM, priced at 1099 USD right now, usually priced at 1200 USD, sporting Bone Conduction drivers, Dynamic Drivers, and Balanced Armatures. Supported by Unique Melody's high-end 4.4mm balanced cable, MEXT will be compared to other flagship IEMs that left an impression on me over the years, including Unique Melody MEST MK2 (1500 USD), Final Audio A8000 (2500 USD), Rhapsodio Zombie (2000 USD), Campfire Ara (1300 USD), Lime Ears Aether R (1400 USD) and Audeze Euclid Planar IEMs (1300 USD). I will also be pairing MEXT with the Astell & Kern SP2000T (2500 USD), iBasso DX300 (1200 USD), and Lotoo PAW 6000 (1200 USD). An option for custom fitting is available, and it is priced at 1399 USD.






Introduction

Unique Melody is one of the most interesting and popular IEM and CIEM companies in the world, serving hundreds of passionate music lovers with IEMs that have proven the test of time, always refining their technologies and improving their designs, and offering what can be considered the best performance for high-end products seen out there. Today's IEM, the MEXT is a more affordable variant of their MEST MK2 IEM, and although it may feel like it is still pricey, at 1200 USD, it is about 30% cheaper than MESt MK2, without ever feeling cheap. In fact, we are here to see if we can find MEXT to be even easier to recommend than MEST MK2, and whether Unique Melody outdid themselves with this one, creating an affordable, yet still flagship sounding option for music lovers.

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There are many music lovers who have experienced Unique Melody IEMs, but if you're not yet sure, they are sold and heavily seeked even locally, here, in Romania, where I have friends who ordered Unique Melody IEMs and still rock some from years ago. I reviewed my first UM IEM around when I first began writing reviews, and it was the Unique Melody Martian, a truly special model with a really clean and detailed sound. Unique Melody supports their products to death and back, and you should have no problems with any of their products, and even if you do, they are a CIEM designer, designing new tech and improving their IEMs always, and will happily help you.

It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with Unique Melody , I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. I'd like to thank Unique Melody for providing the sample for this review. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it. The purpose of this review is to help those interested in Unique Melody MEXT find their next music companion.



Packaging

First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:

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We have the same beautiful package we've seen before on MEST MK2, and MEXT comes with the same set of accessories, and the same outstanding carrying case. We also have special tips that make the most out of the bone conduction drivers, this time a pair being installed by default on the MEXT, along with a metallic ID card for MEXT, showing the authenticity of the IEMs. The carrying case is one of the most beautiful, highest quality cases ever to be included with an IEM, and Unique Melody totally knows how to make a nice package for their IEMs. The IEMs are presented separately from their accessories, the upper chamber being reserved for the living quarters of the IEMs, while there's a mini drawer for the accessories below. The full package includes:

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  • Unique Melody MEXT IEMs
  • UM M1 Copper Cable
  • UM "ESP" Double Drawer Packaging
  • Dignis UM Leather Case
  • Warranty Card
  • Premium Grey Cleaning Cltoh
  • AZLA Sedna EARfit XELASTEC SS / MS / M Tips
  • Silicone S / M / L Tips
  • Clamping Storage Clip


Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

It is always exciting to review IEMs with unique technology inside, and Unique Melody is one of those companies that doesn't rely on more is better, but refines their drivers, the technology of their IEMs and takes everything to the bleeding edge of the available technology, both for the building process, but also for the design step, allowing each product to become its own entity and allowing us music lovers to experience new sonic presentations. MEXT has a similar design to the original MEST MK2, but if you aren't well acquainted with that one, or if you don't want to spend time reading my review on it before continuing this one, I'll explore what MEXT includes and how.

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The first thing we notice is that MEXT relies on the bone conduction tech and drivers for its sound. UM paired the Bone Conduction drivers with Dynamic Drivers, and with Balanced Armatures, the Bone Conduction drivers being OBC Coil based, the purpose of MEXT being of achieving the best sonic presentation possible by using both bone and air conduction for sound. There's one of those OBC Bone Conduction Drivers, One Dynamic Driver, and 4 Balanced Armatures.

Unique Melody has actually been the first company in the whole world to implement Bone Conduction drivers in high-end IEMs, with their first generation of MEST IEMs. The tech works well, and by the time I got to review MEST MK2, I noticed a really nice overall presentation, but you really had to play around with the tips to get the best overall sonic performance possible. This is still true, and MEXT takes a bit of experimentation to get the best comfort and sonic presentation, especially as the sonics change drastically with different IEMs. I got the best overall presentation with the default Sedna XELASTEC tips included in the package, they have the best sub-bass reach, and are the super sticky type that will never betray your seal or fall out of your ears.

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I haven't even had the chance to talk of the cable yet, but Unique Melody includes a high-end 4.4mm Balanced cable with the MEXT, named Unique Melody UM1 Custom Cable. This is a high-end option that could set you back half the cost of MEXT if purchased separately, and is made by PW Audio, having an OFHC copper wire, or oxygen-free high thermal conductivity copper. The cable is flexible, conducts no microphonic noise, and is surprisingly supple for a default cable, giving me absolutely no reason to replace it. For an experiment, I tried replacing it with the Copper+ Cable from Plussound, and there have been some changes, but at the end of the day I got the best overall ergonomics with the default cable.

With the default tips, which fit my ears perfectly, Unique Melody MEXT offers between 20 and 25 dB of passive noise isolation, depending on the frequency. The sound of my typing this review is slightly audible, with no music playing, but even quiet music will be enough to not hear anything from around the room. Oddly, MEXT has absolutely no leakage, and listening at extremely high volumes results in no leakage, and I can blast both rap and metal right next to my girlfriend and she can't hear a thing.

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MEXT has a good drive factor, and given their 16 OHMs of impedance, and 108 dB of sensitivity, you'd expect them to be rather easy to drive. I am going up to about 92 / 150 on Astell & Kern SE180 for a satisfying experience in both volume and overall listening very loud, which is great, as most portable music players will be able to drive UM MEXT just fine, including DAC/AMPs like Shanling UA2. There is no trace of driver flex with MEXT, and the comfort I am getting is superb. The IEM shells are slightly heavy, but the over-the-ear fit of the cable holds most of the weight, and the IEM shells simply disappear in my ears. The shape and inner design is also super ergonomic, with no hard edges or corners. I noticed zero driver flex on my unit, and I can recommend UM MEXT even to those very sensitive to flex, as long as you insert them slowly and carefully, they do have both a dynamic driver and a Bone Conduction driver that can flex if you insert them too quickly.

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As far as recommending sources for UM MEXT, anything goes, as long as it doesn't have a ridiculously high background noise and hissing. Sources with high output impedance should be avoided too, as the 16 OHMs of impedance indicate that UM MEXT can hiss with certain sources, like FiiO M11. I've been using a multiple of music players and DACs with MEXT, including Astell & Kern SP2000T, ifi Hip-Dac2, iBasso DX240, iBasso DX300, Astell & Kern SE180, Lotto PAW6000, PALAB M1 Mini, Shanling M3X, and HIFIMAN R2R2000.



Sound Quality

Unique Melody is an IEM that's fairly universal, with a sweet, U-Shaped sound, and tons of details. I have been using them to listen to both rock, metal and rap, but also classical, EDM, dubstep, and even some rare punk - gypsy cabaret. MEXT seems to master all of those styles perfectly, and there wasn't a time where I thought of grabbing a different IEM, so it will be perfect for all those who don't want to switch their IEMs for each song they listen to.

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The signature of MEXT is extremely revealing, with a U-Shaped tuning, a strong sub-bass, and a strong upper treble, but with a natural midrange and bass-to-treble ratio, excellent imaging, and a wide, holographic soundstage. There's a good sense of musicality, and MEXT is fairly euphonic, complimenting both male and female voices, giving all music both shimmer, glimmer, and impact, along with superb resolution. You can literally hear all the details most flagships offer, but packaged in a natural and musical way, with no harsh edges. MEXT can come through as fairly aggressive for aggressive music, for example metal sounds aggressive and forward, while Jazz and Cabaret has a really detailed and smooth presentation. I tend to prefer listening to more relaxing music styles with MEXT, where Metal is best in those days when I really feel angry and want to pick a fight with someone.

The bass of MEXT can be described as a large sub, natural mid and pleasing upper bass. Music has a solid foundation in the sub bass, which can safely reach the magical 20 Hz, and lower, and thanks to the bone conduction driver presents this bass with a beautiful versatility, fast when it has been recorded fast, but long and slow when the song had it recorded this way. The driver has a furious sub bass impact, and for rap songs, especially if listened loud, you will feel that bass line, songs like Eminem - Fack having a really full and rumbly sub end presentation, but songs like The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army also showing those beautiful, thick, and full bass lines that were originally recorded for the song. This is a bassline I learned how to play as a beginner, and MEXT presents it satisfyingly. The mid bass and the upper bass are natural in both presentation and amount, so all instruments have the natural amount of body and thickness, with a bold and controlled presentation. There's enough upper bass to give male voices the weight they require, but no boominess to be heard withMEXT.

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As a little tip, with all Bone Conduction Driver IEMs, you should really try the Sedna Earfit XELASTEC Tips, as those provide the best contact between the IEM shell and your ear, also try a good amount of tip rolling for the best experience. I'm mentioning this because poor fitting can be the number one reason you're not getting a good bass on MEXT, their bass being the kind that you feel in your jaw once the tips offer your proper seal and fit.

The midrange of the MEXT is remarkably sharp, clean and slightly recessed behind the bass and the treble. MEXT has exquisite instrument separation, being able to bring forward guitars and other instruments, as it was intended in the original mix, but creating a holographic presentation for the whole song. A good example is a simple song, like Hollywood Undead - Everywhere I Go, which has the voices pushed forward, and pleasing in tonality, along with the guitars, but with a rich background made up of synths and effects. The stereo separation and lateral extension is superb on MEXT. On songs like Haggard - Eppur Si Muove, we can notice a really rich and vivid presentation of both violins and soprano voices, MEXT being able to capture the full emotion in both the verse I of the song, as well as the Piano that makes the transition between verse I and the Chorus. As any analytical IEM will, MEXT presents the mistakes that are present in the record, trying to reveal rather than euphemize the song. The sweetness of MEXT I keep talking about comes from the richness and slightly wet character of the midrange, and the fluidity of the voice / instrument transition MEXT makes. In songs like Haggard - Chapter III - La Terra Santa, where they improved the recording process significantly, there are no mistakes to talk about, and MEXT paints this well, giving even the metal parts of the song a beautiful vibrance and richness. The bold lower midrange helps with all the classical instruments, while the peppy treble gives shimmer and sparkle to all the percussion instruments present in the song. To give you some idea of MEXT's ability to paint emotion, I had to pause the writing process for a while to sing along. If you're coming from a thicker and fuller sounding IEM, MEXT can be on the thinner side, but they never sound brittle or sucked out.

We also get a full treble from MEXT, with a really sparkly, rich and airy presentation. I'm delighted to report that MEXT has no roll off in the treble, and it offers a full sized extension, with all the air you could dream of, and more. The treble texture is natural, painting brighter songs bright, and smoother songs, smooth. You can go from Dethklok to Infant Annihilator and notice the differences in recording / mixing / mastering really easily, Infant Annihilator having that really bright and edgy presentation it is supposed to have. Going to the other side, in songs like Jill Tracy - The Other Side Of Pain, MEXT has a really well blended and musical presentation, no hard edges, but all the refinement and richness to each piano key. The bolder bass creates good contrast for Jill Tracy's high-octave voice, and helps paint a really natural stage for the entire piece. MEXT is a brighter tuned IEM, especially if you're coming from something like Fir Audio VxV or Beyerdynamic Xelento, but will be smoother and more natural compared to Sennheiser IE900, or Unique Melody MEST MK2.

MEXT also has superb dynamics, and this is present at all volume levels, but given their U Shaped signature, you won't need to increase the volume too much at all times, so you should be able to enjoy MEXT at any listening volume including quiet and very quiet volumes, where it retains and paints the dynamics vividly. It is also surprising to report that MEXT has superb coherency, despite having multiple driver types and a complex 4-way crossover. It is quite evident that the company knows how to create a proper crossover and design the IEMs to sound as natural and clean as possible, with no odd dips or peaks.



Comparisons

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Unique Melody MEXT vs Lime Ears Aether R (1099 USD vs 1400 USD) - Starting with strong opposition, Aether R is a good IEM that many still love today. MEXT comes with a better default cable, and with a slightly more ergonomic shape. The Lime Ears package has me convinced with their sweet delicacies (literally, they ship some candy with their package). The overall sonic presentation is more detailed on MEXT, with better instrument separation, better resolution, and more sub-bass acuity, a snappier and quicker sound, and more overall resolution. Aether R tends to have more mid bass presence, but a more colored midrange, which makes MEXT more natural, and MEXT handles higher dynamic ranges, and higher volumes better. The overall tuning is excellent on both, if you want a more V-Shaped signature, Aether R should be it, while MEXT is more U-Shaped.

Unique Melody MEXT vs Campfire Ara (1099 USD vs 1300 USD) - Ara's one of the IEMs I could most closely relate to the MEXT, as they have a pretty similar tuning, both being U-Shaped, with good sub-bass, good treble extension, and tons of details. The biggest difference between them is in the build and ergonomics, as Ara is smaller, and has a very different body design. The overall tuning is fairly similar, and so is the technical edge, along with instrument separation, but MEXT has slightly more emphasis on how nuanced the bass is, whereas Ara has a slightly better instrument separation. Ara comes through as slightly smoother in the treble, achieving less fatigue, whereas MEXT goes for more energy in the lows and stays slightly more honest to the recording it is playing. Ara is less tip sensitive to get the best sonic performance, while MEXT can have a fuller, stronger sub bass with better impact, but it takes more fiddling with tips, and using XELASTEC tips in particular

Unique Melody MEXT vs Rhapsodio Zombie (1099 USD vs 2000 USD) - There's beauty in horror and Zombies too, with Zombie being one of those IEMs with a really strong treble, but also a strong bass. The comfort is better on MEXT, which is smaller in size, designed more ergonomically, and has a slightly more supple design, Zombie being rather LARGE. The default cable is also better on MEXT. The tuning is strongly V-Shaped on Zombie, which has not just the sub bass, but also the bass and even the upper bass uplifted, along with the treble and, having a recessed midrange. MEXT has a stronger sub bass, but a lower quantity to its mid bass and upper bass, and a stronger upper treble, but less main treble and upper midrange uplift. This makes Zombie much chunkier, and even its sub bass is over 10 dB above that of the MEXT relative to the midrange, which makes the zombie much chinkier and thicker, much warmer. The treble is more aggressive on the Zombie, starting with the upper midrange, which can make it a bit aggressive and fatiguing, where MEXT tends to keep most of the treble uplift to the main treble and the upper treble, playing violins, pianos and female voices more naturally. The midrange dip is not very evident on MEXT, whereas on Zombie, it is a clear dip, giving them a more colored presentation. Both IEMs have good detailing, but MEXT allows for a bit more information to shine through, where Zombie tends to choke a bit, due to their strong bass that can cover some of the other instruments.

Unique Melody MEXT vs Unique Melody MEST MK2 (1099 USD vs 1500 USD) - It will be confusing to say this, but MEST MK2 is actually a brighter, more aggressive, and more detailed IEM than MEXT. Of course, you were probably expecting this, but honestly, if you don't have them side by side, and just talking from memory, you may even be unable to say how they differ, especially if using the same tips. Both are very tip dependent, and XELASTEC should provide the best comfort for both. Knowing that MEST MK2 still holds the edge in detail and resolution, I can say that MEXT is smoother, more analogue-like, and more natural, but the difference is not extremely large, both being U-Shaped with a stronger sub bass, provided by the bone conduction driver, and a stronger upper treble. There's a certain better shimmer and glimmer in MEST MK2. Dynamics are similar between them, and the overall soundstage tends to be larger on MEST MK2, but instrument separation is more or less the same. I would recommend trying MEXT if you thought that MEST MK2 is a bit too bright and too sparkly for you, or if you ever felt that they are too open and want something slightly smoother and more natural.

Unique Melody MEXT vs Audeze Euclid (1099 USD vs 1300 USD) - Euclid has a similar tuning to MEST MK2 and A8000, being brighter, and having less bass emphasis. In fact, this is surprising, given how Planar Headphones from Audeze usually tend to be chunkier and warmer in sound, but Euclid is a different story. The two IEMs have a similar body, both have really good construction quality, but Euclid is harder to drive and master, posing a problem for ultra portable sources like dongles. The overall sound tends to have an edge in detailing for Euclid, but it has more sub bass presence and impact on MEXT, which tends to balance the open and sparkly treble quite well. In fact, MEXT tends to have more nuance and presence in the bass, which can sound more natural overall. The stage is a bit wider and more holographic on MEXT, but Euclid has a bit more instrument separation. The differences between those two are rather small in technical ability and edge, and much larger in the tuning and presentation. MEXT comes with a better default cable, is slightly more ergonomic, while Euclid can take more EQ and distort less, which is important if you're a tinkerer.

Unique Melody MEXT vs Final Audio A8000 (1099 USD vs 2500 USD) - There are some similarities between A8000 and MEXT, both in how well made and polished both are, but also in the fact that both have a brighter, lighter, snapper tuning, with a ton of details. MEXT tends to have a better bass and impact, with more low end meat and a richer lower midrange, where A8000 extracts even more detail from sound, but is considerably brighter, which can easily turn to more fatigue if you're not a big treble head. They have a similar soundstage width, and similar instrument separation, but the extra chunk in the sub bass of the MEXT helps it gain more nuance in the lows, along with more upper bass presence, emphasizing male voices a bit more, where A8000's brighter tuning tends to thin out female voices more, adding more emotional edge to pianos and violins. Both are excellent IEMs, and both are really well designed, but if you're looking for a more U-Shaped signature, MEXT should be the obvious choice, while if you're looking for a more bright signature, A8000 would be the natural choice there.



Pairings

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Unique Melody MEXT + iBasso DX300 (1099 USD vs 1200 USD) - DX300 has always been a big favorite of mine, with superb shape and ergonomics, excellent design, and tons of power for basically any IEM and headphone. iBasso is also one of those companies who cares about having a low noise floor, and who invests big money into making their DAPs last, so you can expect many years of service from DX300, and even when the battery will die, you will be able to replace it hassle free. The sonic is the most forward, most alive, most punchy of this pairing, with the most aggressive detailing. DX300 also has a natural lower midrange, which helps with MEXT's brighter and more sparkly presentation.

Unique Melody MEXT + Lotto PAW 6000 (1099 USD vs 1200 USD) - We have a more gentle presentation and pairing with PAW6000, with a more refined and gentle handling of both the impact and the treble, and with the excellent EQ Lotoo implemented in their PAW6000, if you feel that MEXT is too bright, you will be able to tone down the highs really easily. Although PAW6000 is not the best DAP for streaming, it can act as both a Bluetooth DAC, and a USB DAC, being one of the three DAPs I have the most around my desk, and which I can recommend for pairing MEXT.

Unique Melody MEXT + Astell & Kern SP2000T (1099 USD vs 2500 USD) - The pairing with SP2000T is superb, especially if you're using the 4.4mm output of the Tube Based DAP. The overall richness and impact of the sound is superb, and where most sources can make MEXT a bit thinner, SP2000T has a richer midrange, which helps MEXT gain more body and overall substance for all instruments. SP2000T also has none of the problems usually seen with FiiO DAPs, for example, today I tested an M15, and it has the weirdest bug, where if you disconnected the IEMs you are currently using, it would need a restart to start playing music when you connect a different IEM. That is not something to be expected, and not a problem you'll have with SP2000T. Astell & Kern DAPs are instead smooth, clean and work the way they should, gaining extra points from happy customers who can listen to music uninterrupted with them.



Value and Conclusion

Unique Melody otdid themselves once again, and provided us with a high-end IEM, at an even more affordable price than the original MEST MK2 and MEST IEMs, but with a similar level of performance, and even better overall default cable. It is unusual for an IEM to have value this good, and to stand its ground against IEMS 2.5X its price, MEXT deserves all the love it can get.

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In fact, the overall performance, ergonomics, comfort, and build quality is so great, that MEXT deserves a place in Audiophile-Heaven's Hall Of Fame. It isn't even going to replace the original MEST MK2, and they each will appeal to a slightly different music lover, giving all of us reasons to be happy and enjoy music.

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At the end of today's review, if you're looking for high-end IEMs with an excellent build quality, superb instrument separation, dynamics and a totally new technology, developed by one of the best companies out there, namely Unique Melody, then MEXT should be at the top of your purchase list, as it comes with all the best tech they have to offer, and has probably the best price / performance ratio they have to date.



Specifications
  • Name: of Unique Melody UM MEXT
  • Headphone Type: Coil Bone Conduction + Dynamic + Balanced Armature
  • Air Conduction Frequency Bandwidth: 20Hz-23kHz
  • Vibration Conduction Frequency Bandwidth: 200Hz-7kH
  • Sensitivity of Air Conduction: 108dB @1kHz
  • Sensitivity of Vibration Conduction: @1kHz 5m·N | Peak @400Hz 79m·N
  • Crossover: 4-way Crossover
  • Driver Counts: 6 Drivers
  • Impedance: 16Ω
  • Configuration:1 Coil OBC Driver + 1 Bass Dynamic Driver + 2 Mids BA Drivers + 2 Treble BA Driver
R
royiko
Thanks for the comparison of MEXT vs A8k. Kundos
Dobrescu George
Dobrescu George
@royiko - Always really happy to help! :)

Layman1

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: musical, warm, technical performance, choice of cable termination
Cons: size
The One And Only - A review of the Unique Melody MEXT IEM



Introduction
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Unique Melody will by now need little introduction from me, since they’re not only a very well-known and established company from China, but also one whose products I have now reviewed on several occasions, usually to great rapture and applause (mine, concerning the product in question, as opposed to readers’, concerning the quality of my reviewing).
Pasted below are the IEM details from authorised dealer MusicTeck’s website:
https://shop.musicteck.com/collecti...ucts/um-universal-mext?variant=39664533078078
This link also has photos and explanations of the considerable amount of tech that features in these IEMs.
At the time of writing, the MEXT retails at USD $1’099.
Another hybrid IEM from UM, but here we have a ‘Tri-brid’ combination (per side) of 1 Bone Conduction Driver (BCD), 1 Dynamic Driver (DD) and 4 Balanced Armature drivers (BA).

Quoting from UM’s own material on the MEXT, “with assistance from the [BCD] driver, the MEXT's sound packs a powerful punch and is more impactful at low frequencies”.
This seems to be an evolution from the original implementation of the BCD in the original MEST, where it seemed to be more focused on bringing cohesiveness to the whole signature.

If these words have stimulated your desire to see more for yourself, then without any further ado, please proceed to the next section that – in the spirit of sustainable minimalism – is simply entitled ‘Photos’

Photos:
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Build Quality and accessories:

I am pleased to report that the MEXT sports classy gold logos on each faceplate (one side reminiscent of the recent Fusang logo) along with very attractive black shells that have a hint of transparency.

That transparency reaches its peak over the part of the shell in which the Bone Conduction Drivers are located, displaying them in a way that is, ahem, empirically different to anything UM have previously used in their designs.

The MEXT are solidly built with no visible blemishes or flaws of any kind.
The only small criticism I could level at them is that if they were going to go with the conventional 2-pin design, then I would have preferred the sockets to be recessed within the body of the IEMs, so that they don’t have the less attractive part of the connectors sticking out (or used a different 2-pin plug on their cable), or that – if there wasn’t enough room available inside the IEM body to do that – then they’d gone again with the same design used on the original MEST.

They come with a 0.78mm 2-pin cable, which can be terminated with your choice of plugs.
And considering how many manufacturers of even ‘Exotic God Tier’ IEMs only offer one type of termination (and often an undesirable one at that), it’s really great to see all the major cable terminations being offered by UM here.

The MEXT comes with an array of complimentary accessories
As can be seen in the photos, in addition to an artisan Dignis leather case, the MEXT comes bundled with 3 various-sized pairs of Sedna Xelastec ear tips, which would normally set you back $30 or so by themselves, not to mention a very nice cable offering (which I just mentioned). It doesn’t have the Comply foam tips that come bundled with the MEST Mk II; I’m not sure if this is for budgetary or tuning purposes, but given UM’s general generosity with accessories, I’m happy to give them the benefit of the doubt here.

The copper M1 cable itself is – for my preferences – a huge step up from the one that came with the original MEST. That was good enough, but I find the new one to be slimmer and lighter, very soft and supple whilst still feeling robust. Aside from that, this PW Audio designed and built cable is frankly gorgeous. It has some seriously great design touches, with the fairly glossy looking black cables offset by matte black plug, connectors and Y-split, and the UM logo prominently displayed on all of them.

One thing to mention is that these IEMs are very big! Whilst I could get a good fit and seal internally, it was impossible for me to get any kind of fit where the shells did not stick out from my ears considerably. However, we must remember that ear anatomy is a personal thing, so as always, your mileage may vary as they say :)


Sound:

I have a few tracks which I’ve only found available on MP3; the rest are FLAC or WAV in 16/44 or 24/192, with a few DSD56 tracks sneaking their way in too.
For the purposes of this review, the sources I chiefly used were the Sony WM1Z (using MrWalkman’s ‘Midnight Plus’ free custom firmware) and the iBasso DX220MAX.

You’ll notice that I often get impressions that are quite contrasting with these two DAP’s, so if you’re skim-reading, I would urge you to at least check out both sets of impressions in each section before making your snap decision :)

I'll start by analysing, in order, the lows, mids and highs, followed by the technical performance.

Then I will do a couple of comparisons (iBasso IT07 and Campfire Audio Dorado 2020) before wrapping things up with a conclusion.

Analysis:

Lows:

WM1Z:

With this combo, the MEXT sounds to me quite warm and analogue in the low end. It’s more like the MEST Mk II than the Mk I in this regard, being less sub-bass focused and more mid-bass focused.
It has an above average amount of rumble, slam and impact, and on many tracks, this quantity elevates even more, and sounds hugely enjoyable.

However, let’s look at the track ‘K.’ by Cigarettes After Sex, which is an admittedly challenging track for critical listening on most gear I try, as it features an extremely thick and dense bassline, along with a very intimate and warm mastering overall. Here, it’s by no means unpleasant, but that bass is really getting into muddy/congested territory here with the tuning of the MEXT. Something less warm and with more sub-bass than mid-bass focus, like the original MEST, tends to do much better with this track.
So it’s not a criticism as such, more a piece of guidance to consider about what type of music you tend to listen to most.

Overall, there’s a very pleasing presence and heft to the low end in general, bringing a very engaging solidity and musicality to most things I listened to.


DX220MAX:

Lows hitting with a lot more impact. Real thud and authority on kick drums, and noticeably more note weight generally (which is a general trait of the DX220MAX that I’d mentioned in my review of it). Both mid and sub-bass seem tightened up, faster, more accurate.

Less of an impact on the lower mids as a result, a slight shift away from mid-bass emphasis towards the sub-bass. Really enjoyed this. Issues with ‘K.’ by Cigarettes After Sex are non-existent with this setup.



Mids:

I hear the MEXT to be quite full-bodied, again with a quite organic, warm and natural tonality. I don’t notice a particular lift or recession in any area of the midrange, finding a fair balance between lower and upper mids.
To illustrate how the tuning of the MEXT can have (or lack) synergy with certain tracks, consider two tracks by Geordie heroes ‘Dire Straits’ (both DSD 64 files).

It’s a regular ‘tale of two ditties’ (ho ho); on ‘Romeo & Juliet’, I feel the male vocals sound very slightly recessed and detail levels are good, but not stunning. Conversely, on ‘The Man’s Too Strong’, the MEXT sounds exceptional, with a tonne of shimmer and detail, expertly picking out each instrument. The acoustic guitar strums have a stunning note weight and impact. The vocals are slightly forwards in the mix, and have great texture and timbre here.

Maybe it’s just that the tracks themselves were mastered in different ways (since they are from different albums). However, I did find this pattern happening more than once, and it tended to be that the tracks that were mastered quite warm and intimately themselves would sound less good on the MEXT for my tastes, vs those that were not mastered in this way.


DX220MAX:

With this combo, I’m hearing more forward upper-mids, and again, quite a different sound signature from that found with the WM1Z. Again, significantly more note weight is noticeable across the mids. Vocals (male and female) have similar texture to that found with the WM1Z, but are brought bit further forwards in the mix.

I would say however, that the WM1Z with its more warm and organic signature has the edge in smoothness. With DX220MAX, MEXT is on the edge of sounding almost peaky at times, and if you are someone who has a known sensitivity to being triggered by certain frequencies in the upper mids or treble, then this a combo you’d probably want to avoid if you were feeling stressed or unwell, since such conditions can exacerbate one’s sensitivity.
Or you could go hardcore and attach a tube (or NuTube) amp of your choice for all the benefits without the drawbacks :D

Of course, if you’re a more typical person who doesn’t suffer from any sensitivity to such frequencies, then you’ll have no issues except for sinking into a state of audio bliss and coming to 2 hours later, wondering where the time went and why your toast got burnt :D


Highs:

Whilst I would not go to the extent of describing the highs as being ‘rolled-off’, again, the rather warm and organic signature does sometimes leave me with the impression of the treble being like that. However, listening to a track like ‘Love Dies’ by Club 8, with its expansive soundstage and ethereal vocals that can be piercing on some IEMs, I hear it to be very smooth and non-fatiguing, but still with excellent expansion in all directions.

DX220MAX:

Here the treble seems to open up and extend further, and the whole sound signature seems lifted by an overall increase in brightness. Again though, as mentioned above, if you prize smoothness or are prone to sensitivity then consider the advice given in the mids section above.


Technical Performance:

As with the MEST Mk II (in comparison to the Mk I), the increased note thickness and body in the mids and lows of the MEXT have the effect of using up comparatively more of the space available within the soundstage, leading to the perception of less spaciousness and air. The even more warm and organic tuning rather doubles down on this effect, such that, whilst the soundstage is undeniably extensive, the listener’s perception of it may be rather more intimate.
I also found that the tuning seemed to sometimes reduce the dynamics of a song somewhat.

With regards to detail retrieval, I can’t help the feeling that something of a trade-off was made between smoothness and detail. Bear in mind that the MEXT comes from a family tree (Fusang, MEST, mini-MEST) with superlative detail retrieval and holographic soundstages.

DX220MAX:

With this combo, I’m hearing more clarity, separation and improved imaging and detail retrieval. Improved dynamics too, but again a corresponding decrease in smoothness overall. If the DX220MAX is the iron fist, then the WM1Z is it’s silk glove :)


Comparisons:

iBasso IT07:

Bearing some similarities to the MEXT (hence why I chose it for comparison!), this IEM sports a W-shaped sound signature, fairly vibrant and energetic and bought new, cost $899, making it slightly more ‘mid-range’ budget, but still in the same ballpark as the MEXT.

I hear more of that signature note weight with the IT07 (particularly when listening on the DX220MAX, where we’re doubling down on that quantity). It also seems more rich and sports more density in the lower mids. I hear upper mids as being more neutral compared with those on the MEXT, with the IT07 having a bit more of a lift in the treble.

With the MEXT, I think that bone conduction driver (BCD) really earns the extra $200 in the price difference here; with the BCD (and the general tuning of the MEXT of course too) there’s an increased sense of space and separation that allows the technicalities of the MEXT more room to shine and make themselves apparent.

It’s not that the IT07 is at all lacking in the technical department either; at its price point I think it is excellent. I just hear the stage of the MEXT as being more open and spacious and this allows me to perceive more details and mentally zoom in and out more, to focus on different aspects of the song as I listen.

I hear the IT07 as being a bit more musical and full-bodied overall, although again, this is quite a strength of the MEXT too, and I also feel the IT07 is a bit more smooth, with less peakiness in the treble and upper-mids. It’s not an issue as such with the MEXT as I’ve mentioned, but I must admit that (based purely on my memory) I expected the IT07 to be the more energetic IEM, so this came as some surprise.


Dorado 2020:


Given that I felt the MEXT to be fairly thick, warm and organic in its sound signature, the Dorado 2020 also seemed to me to be a very suitable IEM with which to compare the MEXT.
The fact that they both cost exactly the same price at the time of their respective releases ($1’099) also means I get the chance to very much compare ‘apples to apples’ rather than the comparisons I’ve seen to MEST Mk II (almost 50% more expensive) and EE Evo (around three times the cost!).

I thought the MEXT mid-bass was thick and pronounced, that is, until I switched over to the Dorado 2020 :D
The Dorado 2020 gave the immediate impression of sounding thick to the point of being almost muddy, although it’s important to note that this is an artefact of ‘brain burn-in’ and accordingly this sensation faded as my ears adjusted to the sound.

Conversely, after a good listening session with the Dorado 2020, switching back to the MEXT gave the immediate impression of the MEXT sounding much more balanced, open, spacious and with a more neutral tuning in the mids. Again, this is the initial ‘brain burn-in’ response.

They both have a really nice note weight (again, listening to those acoustic guitar strums at 19 and 20 seconds into ‘The Man’s Too Strong’ by Dire Straits, and I’d say the Dorado 2020 perhaps edges slightly ahead in this regard, due to the greater power in the low end.

Vocals on the Dorado 2020 have superb timbre and sound a little more full-bodied; those on MEXT have equally good timbre and I feel capture a bit more detail, as well as giving the vocals a bit more space in which to display themselves.

Generally, the MEXT displays a lighter touch with the mids, and the low end, as well as a generally more expansive and spacious tuning, whereas the Dorado 2020 comes across as a bit more intimate, dark and rich.

Both have a fairly organic and warm tonality, but overall the MEXT is comparatively more neutral reference in its tuning.


Conclusion:

With the MEST Mk II, Unique Melody adopted a more ‘Western’ style tuning, moving the focus from sub-bass to mid-bass, and adding some thickness and body to the mids.

With the MEXT, I feel they’ve continued further along this path, resulting in a musical and warm IEM that is nevertheless vibrant and energetic. Those bone conduction drivers and that MEST D.N.A. ensure that technical performance, aided and abetted by a wide and open stage, remains a hallmark feature with the latest member of the family.

This is an IEM that is quite responsive to different sources. If you pair it with a warm DAP, you will probably find it to double down on the warmth and richness, and that stage to get filled in more with thicker notes. This comes with increased smoothness and a more relaxed listen. I found pairing it with a DAP that was more powerful and/or bright reduced the smoothness somewhat, but brought an exciting energy and also really allowed the technical proficiency of the MEXT the space to shine.

It will be up to you to decide whether this is a good fit for you price-wise; even within UM’s own line-up, the mini-MEST (which I reviewed and loved) offers a reasonably similar performance and had a price tag of $599; the MEST Mk II adds a $500 price increment to the MEXT in the other direction, and I would say brings with it a slightly more reference tuning (comparatively speaking, of course) with even better technical performance.

As always, listening is advised if at all possible, but I think the MEXT distinguishes itself as being a very good potential option in an increasingly crowded section of the market that’s constantly raising its game.
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Zelda

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Build quality
Included accessories
Innovating tech
Great low-end presentation. Full bass with strong yet controlled mid-bass and deep sub-bass
Full, forward midrange
Cons: Large shells / Potential comfort issues
Driver flex (?)
Treble won't suit every genre. Lacks extension.
Unique Melody MEXT

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Specifications
  • Headphone Type: Coil Bone Conduction + Dynamic + Balanced Armature
  • Air Conduction Frequency Bandwidth: 20Hz-23kHz
  • Vibration Conduction Frequency Bandwidth: 200Hz-7kHz
  • Sensitivity of Air Conduction: 108dB @1kHz
  • Sensitivity of Vibration Conduction: @1kHz 5m·N | Peak @400Hz 79m·N
  • Crossover: 4-way Crossover
  • Driver Counts: 6 Drivers
  • Impedance: 16Ω
  • Configuration: 1 Coil OBC Driver + 1 Bass Dynamic Driver + 2 Mids BA Drivers + 2 Treble BA Drivers



The box presentation is identical to that of the (previously reviewed) MEST MKII and the contents are almost the same. An all-black cardboard box of simple design yet well arranged. The magnetic cover reveals the larger upper compartment that holds the case and the bottom small drawer contains the whole accessory pack. It includes a nice variety of accessories and all of them are of very good quality. The storage case is an original high quality Dignis leather case; roomy enough to store the earphones and that can be arranged differently thanks to the soft velcro band. The cable is also an original PW Audio cable, now named “Copper M1”. The ear tips array consists of three pairs of standard silicone ear tips, a pack of AZLA Xelastec tips in three sizes, a soft cleaning cloth and extra pair metal filters for the new nozzle design.

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Design

The MEXT follows a very similar design to that of the MEST MKII. There are a couple of ‘updates’ that were already introduced on the more recent (and more expensive) UM models, such as the removable nozzle screens and the new OBC driver units, and there is a little change in the included cable.

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Shells are made of the same polymer (plastic) material at the main shell and faceplate sections. Quality yet feels pretty solid, as it is identical to the MEST so on par with the best built ones made of plastic components (qdc Anole VX, Hyla Sarda, etc.). I doubt you could use entire metal shells here as the bone-conduction drivers wouldn’t work that way. The earpieces remain lightweight enough. Unlike the more sparkly shells on the MEST, with the universal MEXT option the color theme goes to a more reserved, solid plain black color and just added ‘UM’ logo on the left side and a unique artwork on the right. The only part that really stands out is the bottom side of the shells where the new ‘Original Bone Conduction’ drivers are located. Apparently, this new driver is placed differently than on other UM models.

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The same metal vent is found on the faceplates area. However, it doesn’t seem to work as good as on the MEST MKII I tried, as on the MEXT there is a strong audible
driver-flex effect. The use of different tips may help to alleviate this issue, but still it is not something you may want to experience at such prices. As for fit and comfort, the earpieces are noticeably larger than the MEST and other IEMs. The shape is same as the MEST and so it is very smooth with a good ergonomic approach for a universal fit, but still the larger dimensions may compromise those with small to medium sized ears. The MEXT just fits much tighter on the outer ear area and does apply more pressure. This does boost the isolation higher but it can be in exchange for less comfort for extended listening periods. The metal nozzles look tougher and are also replaceable – an extra pair is included in the box. However, they are also slightly wider in diameter but enough to imply a more limited and/or shallower fit as well.

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The included cable is again made by PW Audio exclusively for the MEXT, now named “UM Copper M1”. It looks virtually the same as the M2 cable on the MEST (MKII) with same braided design of 4-strands, same oxygen-free copper wire, same weight and same metal audio plug, 2-pin connectors and y-split. The only visual difference is the outer jacket that looks more shiny and feels more plastic to the touch (versus the more matte, smoother M2). A great cable, indeed, and available in the 3 plug choices, standard 3.5mm and balanced 2.5mm and 4.4mm.

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As usual, the drivers’ configuration is interesting as on every Unique Melody release. The MEST had the most complex setup as a 4-type hybrid (or ‘quad-brid’, if you prefer). The MEXT drops the EST drivers and remains all-BA for the high frequencies, while it applies a new Bone-Conduction coil unit, different to the dual-side BC ones applied on the MEST. It is always intriguing to test new developed driver types and combinations, yet ultimately it is the final tuning what really matters and make the product a winner (or fail…).

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Sound

Main gear used – UM MEST MKII, Campfire 2020 Solaris/Dorado, qdc Anole VX, final A8000, FAudio Dark Sky, Fir VxV. Shanling M8 & UP5, iBasso DX300, PAW6000.

The MEXT takes a different tuning from the well-received MEST MKII – wide, u-shaped, lively sound – into a fuller and more ‘colored’ tuning. The overall ‘balance’ is maintained as no frequency is too overdone or bloated to the point of shadowing any part of the music, but the MEXT has an extra boost on the lower regions – mid-bass to lower-mids – that results in a warm and rich sound, smoother and more relaxed. It may or may not appeal to everyone, and many listeners should find the MEXT to be more ‘fun’ or engaging and also more forgiving / less critical. Sure, the change (or update) of drivers may have its effects, but it is ultimately the final sound tuning what matters the most.

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The first thing to notice on the MEXT is the bass. It is not boosted to meet the true bass fans, but it does take a higher priority than treble or upper-midrange. The whole bass is very solid and hits with authority and power, yet not overemphasized to run wildly if not called for. The bass texture is very good, thick and well bodied. However, the extra weight means it is more dense, less tight and not as layered as some other IEMs (Dark Sky, MEST or even Luna), and also feels slower. On the other hand, the bass on the MEXT goes deeper and has lower paced decay that gives a richer, fuller low-end presence. There is an easy contrast between sub and mid-bass. Mid-bass is more elevated and has a strong, immediate, impact – nothing unexpected on this kind of warmer tuned earphones, but the MEXT has also great control. Sub-bass sounds and feels different than probably any other IEM I got to try. Quality alone still goes to the MEST and Dark Sky as they reach a further extension, but the MEXT has more quantity and its sub-bass has more resonance and tactile rumble. This could be probably addressed to the new implemented OBC driver as I didn’t get that with the MEXT (MKII), but can also be due the larger shells that fit tighter and have more contact points to the ear and body.

While the strong bass presence doesn’t bleed much into the midrange, the warmth and fullness does blend into it. Combined with the BA drivers’ usual nature, the result is a fairly forward, thick yet articulated, rich and smooth presentation. if concerned with the kind of ‘BA timbre’, then yes, it is noticeable on the MEXT – more than the Solaris and much more than MEST – and lacks some ‘dynamics’ and separation when it gets to tracks displaying multiple instruments. On the other hand, vocals are very nice, forward and sweet. Lower mids have more weight, but in general the whole midrange is quite linear and kept very smooth; there are no unwanted peaks or sibilance, even with ear tips like the Sedna (Earfit silicone) that tend to bring out extra brightness to the upper frequency regions. That said, if you prefer a more energetic upper midrange tuning then the MEXT may not suit you.

And that applies to the treble as well. Quantity-wise, I think there is enough and it is well balanced in low to upper treble. It is not recessed and doesn’t sound dull, dark or too relaxed, but rather it is smooth and forgiving/less revealing. Personally I’d opt for a more sparkly, energetic treble performance, even if it has a sharper tonality. On the MEXT the highs are missing some extension at the upper treble registers, and that is reflected in some lack of air and separation and finest micro details. Interestingly – though not surprising – the treble here has clearly that kind of BA timbre, easily noticed when compared to the EST drivers on the MEST and Fir M5 which give a sharper, more ‘electric’ feeling. Anyhow, the MEXT’s ‘safer’ treble tuning is very fatigue-free and complements fairly well to the rest of the frequency response.

The MEXT intends to give a grand stage effect. Width is particularly wider than average. Front to back distance is good, but still somehow limited and lacking the sense of space that creates a more surrounding, natural imaging effect. Partially, it is due the forward midrange and thick lows and midrange take of the tuning, rather than a limitation in drivers’ potential. In other technicalities, the general performance of the MEXT is good, though average when compared to similar competitors at the price range. Dynamics are a bit lacking and speed is kind of slow. Transition from low to mid and upper frequencies is smooth, yes, but the mix of drivers shows a certain lack of harmony, which is not unusual on multiple hybrid setups where the drivers’ match is not most cohesive. Moreover, there is a clear differentiation in the whole bass reproduction between the dynamic driver and the BC driver. All that said, I still find the MEXT to be quite enjoyable, well suited for a fun listening over for more critical sessions.



Comparisons

MEST MKII


Obviously, the most important comparison would be against the previous UM model, the MEST MKII. One of the very few quad-brid IEMs (and the only one I tried with four different types of drivers). As described above, the design follows the same pattern as the MEST just having larger shells and new removable nozzle filters. I will say it right from the start: I prefer the MEST. At least most of the time. It starts from the more compact design that is noticeable more comfortable and also for not having any driver flex issues. And primarily for the sound tuning and quality, I would opt for MEST. It has a wider u-shaped signature that is very well balanced so can suit any kind of music genre equally. Technical abilities are higher, too. Better speed, resolution and detail. It has a lower bass shelf, especially on the mid-bass area, while the sub-bass is more pronounced over its mid-bass and also cleaner. Midrange is less forward and leaner but has more clarity and very precise imaging. Upper-mids are more balanced with the low-mids, and separation is greater, better suited for instrumental, orchestral tracks. On the treble, it is sharper due the implemented EST drivers and they have that kind of electrostatic timbre on them; it is also more revealing and better extended but at the same time much less forgiving and can show some sibilance. On the other hand, the MEXT stands out more with the denser and deeper bass power and more impactful mid-bass kick. The effect of BC drivers is easier to perceive (though that might be due to the tighter fit giving the larger shells more contact to the ear). Midrange is where the MEXT can be preferred (or not) over the MEST. It is more forward, smoother and richer. It may be less airy and detailed, but it gives better presence and texture to vocals. Soundstage width is about equal, though the MEST has better front-to-back distance. Imaging is still very special and ‘unique’ on the MEST.

The price on the MEST is usually ~$400 more than the MEXT, but occasionally there are some deals that drop it closer to the current MEXT price, and when getting to the $1K+ range of prices, it could be worth the investment if you seek a better balance and technical performance. The MEXT is more engaging and immersive. This is not a case of “more for less” but it is not a total downgrade from the MEST, either. I’d rate it as good side-grade – it has its own flavor in tuning and offers some things that the MEST cannot present.



FAudio Dark Sky

The Dark Sky, current highest model from FAudio, sells for the same price of the MEXT (universal). They are very different in terms of design, build and fit, and also differ in sound. Dark Sky has a smaller, more compact size, and also a more straight shape. It is made much tougher with all metal materials that mix stainless steel and thick aluminum. Fit on the Dark Sky is more tricky, more shallow and for me it required ear-tips rolling to achieve a proper fit and seal; it is also much more ear tip sensitive in sound, whereas the MEXT can be good with practically any kind of tips.

Sound-wise, it is easy to appreciate the single dynamic driver on the Dark Sky being more cohesive and harmonic through the whole freq. response. Extension is more natural on both ends, especially on the treble side which is not limited as on the MEXT. Timbre is more correct, too, and imaging more precise. Bass is strong on both IEMs, though the MEXT prioritizes mid-bass and pushes low-mids more forward, while the Dark Sky sounds more ‘agile’ – and also faster when well driven. The MEXT is thicker sounding overall, while the Dark Sky finer layered. Lowest sub-bass is easy to hear on the Dark Sky, though not ‘felt’ as much as on the MEXT. Midrange is leaner and clearer on the Dark Sky, has nicer balance between instruments and vocals, more air and better separation. Neither one goes to the bright side of treble, but the Dark Sky manages better treble dynamics. Soundstage is on par, yet the Dark Sky gives a more 3D surrounding feeling while the MEXT has a closer midrange presentation.



Campfire Audio Solaris (2020)

While having a more traditional hybrid setup than the complex and innovative MEXT, these two earphones share some sonic traits. Both have a kind of ‘bold’ (or even ‘wild’) approach to the way they present the sound. They set away from a neutral tuning to a more colored and (subjectively) fun signature, less focused into impeccable accuracy and yet manage to keep a fair balance through the whole frequency response. Solaris and MEXT both bring a large and powerful sound with an above average soundstage effect. They do differ in tuning and certain abilities for some should prefer one over the other. Solaris has a more lively signature, in a rather wide u-shaped form. Very solid bass presence, which also pushes mid-bass a bit more forward but all well controlled. The MEXT is more abrasive in the whole low-end but also has greater expansion to the lower sub-bass. Midrange on the Solaris is dry and thinner at low-mids while goes forward and bright at the upper-mids. The MEXT is the opposite: stronger, fuller low-midrange and smoother on the upper end. Male vocals sound better on the MEXT, female better on the Solaris. Solaris is more prone to sibilance, too. Treble response is very good on the Solaris; it has more detail and extension. Not the most natural, but better than on the MEXT. On the other hand, the MEXT is much smoother, less fatiguing.


Unique Melody is offering a new interesting product with the MEXT. It is a different take of a triple-driver hybrid setup – very characteristic of the company. The innovating bone-conduction tech and inner architecture is certainly quite intriguing, but more importantly, the sound has some special seasoning. Maybe not the very tuning itself but rather for how it is presented. There are a lot of in-ear options that can offer a similar amount of low-end and reach a very close total frequency response; however, the MEXT presents it in a more tactile way that feels more realistic. The forward midrange may suit those who like a forward, fuller presentation and prefer vocals over multiple instruments. As for the treble, while smooth and non-fatiguing, I personally find it to be lacking in complete balance, and the total technical performance is not what stands out on the MEXT next to similar or pricier competitors, but nonetheless, it has that ‘unique’ sound to it that can be worth a try.
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rev92

Reviewer at Ear Fidelity
Unique Melody MEXT
Pros: Unique Flavor
Astonishing bass response
As always, Unique Melody is revolutionary
Fun
Well priced
Vocals
Good packaging
Great cable
Soundstage
Cons: Treble not as refined as the rest of the frequency response
MEST is better in raw technical performance
Rather large
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Introduction​

Unique Melody needs no introduction for anybody who is into the IEM market. It is one of the most influential companies in the game. In 2020 they came up with their hugely successful MEST, our “Best IEM of 2021”, and my personal favorite IEM to date. With its revolutionary bone conduction technology, a quadbrid construction, and a TOTL performance for a very competitive price it is no surprise it has been my nr.1 recommendation ever since I got it.
Unique Melody doesn’t just cut off coupons, they’ve introduced the MEST MK II some time ago, and now they’re back with their newest release – MEXT.
MEXT is said to be a more “easy-going” tuned IEM for people who seek ultimate enjoyment, and it is not meant to be a direct competitor to MEST. It has a more traditional driver setup and the price is slightly lower than its bigger, older brother. Let’s see how it stacks up.

Packaging and cable​

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The Unique Melody MEXT comes packed in a pretty standard box. Inside you’ll find the IEMs themselves, a brilliant Dignis blue case (the same as the one you’ll be getting with MEST), a pack of SednaEarfit Xelastec eartips which are absolutely brilliant, a pack of stock silicone eartips, a leather cable clip, and a cleaning cloth.
What’s worth mentioning is the cable. Since the original MEST, Unique Melody has stepped up its cable game significantly. The MEXT comes with a PW-Audio cable that feels and sounds great. The finish of the matte-black metal elements is perfect, this is one of the best-built stock cables I’ve seen in IEMs, so you won’t have to change it immediately, or ever if you’re not into spending hundreds or thousands of USD on IEM cables.

Design, Build and Comfort​

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All of the physical aspects have been changed in comparison to the MEST. The MEXT is a rather large and bulky IEM, but thanks to its ergonomic design it’s actually quite comfortable. I can see them being somewhat problematic with people with small ears/earholes though. This is a big IEM, so definitely have it in mind if you’ll decide to pull the trigger.
I’m not the biggest fan of the design though. The MEXT looks rather minimalistic with its black-ish shells and gold branding on the faceplates, but they somewhat lack character. I believe that in 2022 if you want to go into minimalism in the IEM world, metal shells are the way to go. Basic black acrylic shells look just plain and basic, but I can totally see many people admiring this kind of design. I’m just not one of them, but it’s probably due to the fact, that as a reviewer I get to put my hands on a lot of IEMs, so I’m looking for originality and unique design over the actual basic design.
Apart from the design itself, the build quality is actually very good. The MEXT feels substantial and well-built in the hand. A great feature is that the filters on the nozzles are interchangeable, and you’re getting a spare pair in the box. They just simply unscrew and changing them takes a minute max.
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Tech​

The selling point of the MEXT is its new Bone Conduction technology, called OBC. Here’s what Unique Melody has to tell about it.
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Other than the new Bone Conduction driver, the MEXT uses a single dynamic driver and four BA drivers, two for mids and two for treble. This is probably the biggest “downgrade” in comparison to the MEST, which uses EST drivers for ultra-high frequencies. How does it translate to the audio quality? I’ll cover that part in the comparison between the MEXT and the MEST in the “Comparisons” section.
The new Bone Conduction technology is a game-changer though, and let me describe it further in the next paragraph.

Sound​

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So, how does the MEXT sound? The Unique Melody MEST is my favorite IEM and I’ll point it out immediately – these two IEMs are very different from each other. While the MEST is a technical marvel with absolutely spectacular tuning, the MEXT is all about that bass and midrange warmth, with the treble response being the weakest part of the sound, unlike the MEST.
Even though the MEXT is not as technically marvelous as the MEST, it has a different flavor to the sound that will definitely be a fantastic option for a lot of people. This is one of the most, if not THE most fun-sounding IEM that I’ve tried, being my go-to for modern genres from the first day of owning them. Also, my better half felt very emotional while listening to the MEXT, it gave her that sensation that she’s listening to “something else”, and she’s listening to most of the audio devices that arrive here at Ear Fidelity HQ. Let’s dive into it and see what’s the fuzz about.

The bass is undoubtedly the most important aspect of the MEXT. This is the most physical, epic bass response I’ve ever heard in an IEM, nothing really comes close apart from the brand new Fir Audio XE6 CIEM that I just got.
So, the impact and physicality of the bass are just out of this world. This new OBC driver really gets this thing to vibrate in your ear like a high-end subwoofer.
However, I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a deep insertion with this IEM. If you won’t put them all the way into your canals, the vibrating part on the shells won’t have enough surface contact with your ears to produce this monstrous bass response. I’ve given the MEXT to try to a few of my friends, and every single one who wasn’t impressed had them sticking out of their ears significantly, so remember that this is crucial.
However, if you insert them properly, you’re going to get a bass that you haven’t heard yet out of an IEM. I’m not stating that this is the most bass-heavy IEM in the game because it’s not. But the sensation of actually “feeling” the bass with your body is so weird and exciting at the same time, that it’s really hard not to be incredibly impressed by it.
I remember when I first got the MEST that I was expecting them to vibrate in my hands while playing music, and it wasn’t the case, as the bone conduction was rather delicate on the MEST. The MEXT, however, is a different story, if you’ll play a bass-heavy song and hold the IEMs with your fingers you’re gonna feel that they are vibrating quite a lot, it almost feels like a haptic engine, this is super cool.
Now let’s get to how does it affect the actual sound. RY X has launched a new single called “Let You Go”, which has some intense bass lines to it. This song sounds so unique with the MEXT that I immediately replayed it over and over again laying in my bed at 2 AM. The bass is absolutely humongous in this track with the MEXT, it gives so much depth and that fun aspect to the sound that it’s actually hard not to listen to it. Yes, the MEST has better detail and especially better separation in this song, but I still prefer to listen to it on the MEXT, it’s that good and flavorful.
The new Bone Conduction driver handles natural bass phenomenally as well. A song called “Long After You’re Gone” by Chris Jones is my benchmark when it comes to the body and bass reverb of the acoustic guitar, and the MEXT reproduces both with exceptional finesse. What’s very, very impressive about it is that even though the bass is huge and very impactful, it sounds very natural when it’s supposed to, with next to no coloration. The main problem with extremely bass-heavy headphones is that they tend to be not really universal when it comes to the music choice. With electronic music, they tend to sound exceptionally fun and big, but the moment you’ll put something with bass guitar or closely mastered acoustic guitar they tend to sound artificially big and unnatural. Luckily, this is not the case with the MEXT at all. This is a type of bass that doesn’t cheat and average every bass line into that huge, bold, and saturated monstrosity. It’s huge when it’s supposed to be, and when the bass is meant to compliment the rest of the audio spectrum, it does just that. This is THE bass response to beat in 2022, especially when it comes to its physicality and impact. Absolutely marvelous.
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The midrange is also a strong point of the MEXT. Its tonality is on the warmer side, but it still has a lot of resolution and separation to it. While it is not on the same level as the MEST, Final A8000, or Fir Audio M5, it is still crisp and quite technical. However, vocal presentation on the MEXT is thick, warm, and smooth sounding, without getting too technical or analytical. For absolute clarity and resolution of the sound, you should definitely look elsewhere, but if you like your music sounding pleasant and warm, then the MEXT could be a great proposition for you.
The lower midrange is definitely the thickest and most natural sounding of the entire midrange response here. That huge bass and OBC driver gives the lower-mids that sense of presence and an additional body to them that is especially welcomed when male vocals come into the equation. Male vocalists just sound natural, big, real on the MEXT, but they are definitely on a thicker side when compared to most IEMs on the market. I’m definitely into that, as I really like that way of reproducing my favorite vocalists.
Let’s get the most used and the most frequently mentioned song on Ear Fidelity, “A Thousand Shards Of Heaven” by Lunatic Soul. I will never get over how important and magical Mariusz’s vocal is to me, and I’m happy to report that the MEXT handles it brilliantly. While it lacks definition and resolution just a tiny bit in comparison to some flagships, the amount of body and the natural warmth of the vocal in this song is just made to give you a sense of listening to it live right into your ear. It is intimate and natural, the way it should be.
The treble response is where the MEXT is positioning itself as a worse IEM than the MEST. While the latter has that phenomenal treble extension and a crazy amount of resolution, the MEXT sounds a bit subdued and not as airy in comparison. The same story goes to the transition between upper-mids and lower-treble, where it somewhat lacks a little bit of excitement.
This is not a problem for me at all, as I don’t really like pronounced upper mids, but as a reviewer, I can’t let my personal take overshadow the truth, so here it is. I can see that for some fans of Asian music the MEXT could sound a bit too “safe” and simply too warm to grab their wallets. For most western music though, this is just a very smart decision to tune the MEXT that way by Unique Melody.
See, the MEXT is made to give you a highly musical and pleasant type of experience, no matter what genre you are listening to. Because of that, tuning it that way gives you more freedom with music, as you don’t have to listen only to well-mastered albums.
As an example, the MEXT handles power metal great, even though most of it is just amazingly bad when it comes to mastering. Because of that, you don’t really have to think “if that song is mastered good enough for me to listen to it with this pair of IEM”. It is, don’t worry.
It’s 2022, more and more companies are trying to tune their IEM to flat response, and because of that, flavorful IEMs are starting to be somewhat rare. Having that in mind, it is great to see that Unique Melody decided to go with a more “musical” aspect with the MEXT. They’ve proven they are out there with the best on the market when it comes to pure audio quality with the MEST. They didn’t have to push the MEXT to the absolute top when it comes to neutral and accurate sound reproduction, and they just didn’t. That’s a good thing in my book.
To summarise this somewhat chaotic part of this review. The treble response of the MEXT is good, but not fantastic. The Final A8000, UM MEST, and Fir Audio M5 all offer better detail, more air, and more accurate sound, but the MEXT is not meant to compete with them. This is a fun provider, and providing fun it surely is…really like nothing else on the market.
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The MEST crowned Unique Melody as my personal “king” of soundstage, so I was definitely curious how the MEXT will look in this regard. Well…it’s spectacular. It creates that big, spacious soundstage that is unlike most of the IEMs, just like the MEST does. It has that feeling that you’re listening to full-size open-back headphones, not IEMs…and I love it.
While the MEST has more air and separation than the MEXT, the latter is still a magnificent IEM when it comes to its staging. The imaging is superbly accurate, the sense of space around you and the depth are both class-leading, just like the MEST is in the higher price bracket. Let’s talk music. As you’re probably aware by now, I call Pink Floyd the best band ever, and they’ve once created a masterpiece called “Sorrow”. This song is so epic, huge, and spectacular, that it is a good test for the MEXT, and you guessed it…they deliver. The depth, width, imaging…everything creates that epic spectacle just for you that is hard not to get impressed with.
If you like your soundstage to be vast, big, and very accurate, the MEXT should definitely be on your list of IEMs to try.

Comparisons​


Unique Melody MEST
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I’ve said it already, but I’ll repeat it if you’ve jumped right into the comparison paragraph. The MEST is definitely the more technically impressive IEM, with TOTL level of clarity, detail, and resolution.
On the other side, the MEXT is more fun with its marvelous bass response, warmth to the midrange, and overall more forgiving character. The MEXT isn’t meant to be competing with the MEST, and it just doesn’t. This is a different flavor with some pros and cons when comparing the two. The MEXT is more impactful, warmer, and smoother of the two, while the MEST is more neutral, technical, and just objectively a better IEM.
You simply can’t go wrong with either, or you can actually get both. The MEST for that ultimate level of technical performance, and the MEXT for when you just want to have fun and enjoy the music.
Final A8000

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Once again, the A8000 is a more technically impressive and definitely a faster, cleaner-sounding IEM. It has that ultra-fast decay and crispiness to the sound that is hard to beat for any IEM out there. The MEXT is warmer, more physical, and impactful. Also, the tuning around the upper-mid and lower-treble really differentiate the two. The A8000 is highly present and forward sounding in this region, while the MEXT is smoother and more subdued. Whatever suits you.
The bass response is where it’s just hard not to praise the MEXT though. With its unique physicality and texture, it is just more natural and epic sounding than the A8000, which sounds dry and thin in comparison.

Effect Audio Axiom
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This is interesting, as both the Axiom and MEXT are bass-heavy IEMs. However, due to the unique technology of the latter, it comes out as being even more impactful and full-sounding in the bass, even though the Axiom is not a thin-sounding IEM by any means. The MEXT has a better texture to the sound and is more detailed of the two, but not by much. The soundstage is rather intimate in the Axiom, while the MEXT creates a huge scene around you, sounding much more “epic” in comparison.
The Axiom is a modular IEM though, so future releases of different modules will probably change the outcome of this comparison, for the sake of the Axiom or not. At this moment, the MEXT is more fun-sounding while providing a slightly better technical performance, but it’s not as neutral and “reference” sounding as the Axiom when it comes to the tuning.
Cayin Fantasy
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These two are as different as it gets. While the MEXT has that marvelous bass response, the bass of the Fantasy is its weak spot. Having that in mind, the MEXT comes out as much more impactful, physical and natural sounding, completely outclassing the Cayin’s flagship. However, the detail retrieval of the Fantasy is slightly better, giving that crisp and highly textured sound. When it comes to the tuning, we’re comparing a warm, bassy MEXT to a bright, bass-light Fantasy, so this is not a comparison, to be honest. It’s Definitely up to your personal taste, but I would definitely call the MEXT a better deal and overall a better-sounding IEM.

Pairing​

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The Unique Melody MEXT is an easy IEM to pair with. It sounds great with everything that I’ve tried, no matter if it was a tube mode on Cayin N3 Pro, or the ESS version of the FiiO M11 Plus.
One observation worth noting, is that they do like power, just like the MEST. When you pair them with a high-power, balanced output you’re really feeding that Bone Conduction driver and it starts to do wonders.
I’ve been listening a lot to the MEXT with the newest Cayin N8ii for the last couple of weeks, and this pairing is simply exceptional. This is an emotional roller-coaster that is just ridiculous at fun providing. However, having the cost of the N8ii in mind, I imagine it won’t be your go-to source for the MEXT. Also, the N8ii + Mest + Erua TAWA pairing is even better…well, actually the best portable setup I’ve ever listened to, as stated in the N8ii review.

Summary​

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The Unique Melody MEXT is a unique sounding IEM with exceptional bass response. While not as technically impressive as its older brother, MEST, it is still a highly detailed IEM that is unmatched at providing an impactful, physical sound that is really fun to listen to. Having the $1099 price in mind, it is my absolute pleasure to highly recommend the Unique Melody MEXT for everybody looking for an exceptionally fun and unique sounding IEM.
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Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
  • Headphones – Unique Melody MEST, Final A8000, Fir Audio M5 custom, Fir Audio XE6 custom, Effect Audio Axiom, Cayin Fantasy, Campfire Audio Solaris 2020
  • Sources– Cayin N8ii, Cayin N3 Pro, FiiO M11 Plus ESS, EarMen Colibri, Earmen Tradutto, Ferrum OOR, SMSL SH-9
Big thanks to Unique Melody for providing the MEXT for this review. I wasn’t paid or asked to say anything good or bad about this product, all of the above is just my personal, unbiased opinion. Unique Melody hasn’t seen this review before publishing it.
rev92
rev92
josesol07
josesol07
fantastic review!!! chapeau to you!!
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hitchhiker

New Head-Fier
UM Mext - An Evolution
Pros: Deep bass with bone conduction that works
Fun sounding
Well priced
Good technicals
Cons: Slightly large shells and nozzle
Slightly low treble emphasis
Slightly recessed mids
Thanks to Concept Kart and Pulkit Dreamzz for organizing the review tour of the Mext. The Mext is available at Concept Kart (https://conceptkart.com/products/unique-melody-mext-wired-iem)

The unit is part of the review tour, and no compensation for the review has been received or entertained in exchange for the review. All opinions are mine.
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SPECIFICATIONS​

Headphone Type: Coil Bone Conduction + Dynamic +Balance Armature
Air Conduction Frequency Bandwidth: 20Hz-23kHz
Vibration Conduction Frequency Bandwidth: 200Hz-7kHz
Sensitivity of Air Conduction: 108dB @1kHz
Sensitivity of Vibration Conduction: @1kHz 5m·N | Peak @400Hz 79m·N
Crossover: 4-way Crossover
Driver Counts: 6 Drivers
Impedance: 16Ω
Configuration:1 Coil OBC Driver + 1 Bass Dynamic Driver + 2 Mids BA Drivers + 2 Treble BA Drivers
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PACKAGE, BUILD AND ACCESORIES​

The review tour unit came in the UM carry case, which is a pseudo leather case that is adequately wide to house the iems and cables comfortably. It also has an interesting velcro based restraining strip to hold the iems in place without moving around. Nice touch.
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The review unit came with the Sednafit Xelastec tips in the M size. I used the Spinfits CP100 instead for the review, as I am more comfortable with it.

The stock cable comes with a 2pin connector and is very pliable with no microphonics. It does not seem to tangle much either. Well built and pretty good looking. The cable terminates in a 4.4mmm balanced connection.

I have used an aftermarket TRN cable (with 2.5 termination along with the stock 4.4 terminated cables for the audtition.

Source : Youtube Premium & Tidal with iBasso DC04, Hipdac v1, Chord mojo (v1). I specifically included the list so that it is easily accessible to users, specifically avoiding exotics.
Source matching - The iems are warm sounding, and will pair well with slightly brighter sources. I had good synergy with the dc04 and the AK pee51 dac dongles. The hipdac and mojo being a little warm, made the iems more warmer. I like balance, and hence personaly prefer the other synergies more.


FIT​

The iems are fairly large/thick and do stick out of the ear (for me). The nozzles are also on the bigger side, similar to the thieaudio and bgvp iems. With the spinfits, the fit was pretty good, with the Bone conduction driver kicking in and making an impact, as opposed to my experience with the Mest 2.

They fit similar to Mest 2 in terms of size and fit.

DRIVABILITY​

These are quite sensitive and can be driven very easily. No need for fancy amping.
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TRACK SELECTION AND LISTENING COMMENTS​

Track 1 - Forest of Gold (Mazde) -
This is an ambient/synth track that I recently discovered. The Mext is made for the trance/edm/synth genres. It does an excellent job at immersing the listener with the soundscapes offered. The bass hits home nicely with a midbass rumble and a bit of subbass too. The treble is not overly bright and almost on a slightly laidback level. This will make an excellent work iem!

Track 1a - Carbon based lifeforms - Derelicts album ()
Another immersive track with chill trance, again excellent pairing with the Mext. The subbass slowly thumps away while you float away in the rest of the synth music.

Track 2 - OMNIA - Fee Ra Huri ()
Fee Ra Huri is a fusion track of folk flute, and other folksy instruments combining with acoustic guitars and drums. The listener is placed right in front of the stage with very good positioning. There is good cohesion across the various instruments , inspite of a smallish stage. The vocals are slightly recessed here.

Track 3 - Huun Huur Tu - Chiraa Khoor

One of my favorite mongolian throat singing bands! The Mongolian throat Look up Mongolian Throat singing for more info.
This song takes away the advantage of the BC driver, with no drums, drops, leaving it to the incredible vocals and accompanying strings and crowie shells in a wooden container. The bass from the singer's deep notes, combined with the high pitch whistle simultaneously, is very well represented. The listener can feel themselves in the grassy meadows with the horses and the singers. Beautiful balance across the board, lets music and singing do the talking. As it should be.

Track - 4 Have a Cigar - Main Squeeze ()
Outside of PF/Gilmour, the best rendition of Have a Cigar, along with original (mindblowing) guitar solo, this is a fantastic band. The track is a studio recorded live track with enough instrument cues, layering and imaging.
One of the standout instruments in this track is the cymbals and snare drums. The mext is able to reproduce the shimmer of the cymbals right off the bat. The presentation is right in the middle of the room with the musicians. The lead singer's slightly nasal singing can be heard clearly. The main guitar is just left off centre, while the drums are in the right. The positioning cues are quite adequate, with a little bit of layering being felt. The piano is in the background and is lightly heard. There is a little bit of fuzzyness on the faster sections in the solo. The drum sticks on the drum sides is very standout on the right side.On certain sections at the end of the solo, the cymbals have a slight harshness.

Very enjoyable and inoffensive listen. Nothing is in the face and have a slight laidback presence.

Quick Comparisons​

Vs. Mest 2
UM tried its bone conduction drivers starting from the Mest and followed it with the Mest 2. Due to its fit, I could not feel the bone condution do much for me. In comparison, the Mext has come through in spades. The bone conduction coil throws in a very perceivable rumble in the mid and subbass areas. The treble was a little bit more extended with the Mest 2, with slightly more brighter presentation. The Mext is a little more fun tuned, taking away some of the edge from the treble. I think the Mext has pushed itself in front of the competition with the Mest 2.

Vs. Monarch mk1
The Monarch (mk1) has been my benchmark for how hard the bass can hit, at this pricepoint. Its bass shook the entire being, while still holding up well in the treble areas. The mids were a slight bit recessed as a result. The Mext, attempts to go after the Monarch's class leading bass, and scores decently well. But Monarch still prevails. Easily.

Vs Monarch Mk2
The Mk2 tuned down the bass of the Monarch 1 and sounds fairly similar to the Mext. The treble section was a little more detailed/brighter than the Mext. The mids were slightly forward compared to the Mext. Both sound quite similar, and will be equal picks, with specific nuances; more laidback and fun sound with the Mext, slightly more mid forward with the Monarch mk2.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS​

The Mext is a fun sounding iem with bass emphasis via the bone conduction drivers. It is not very bright, and hence makes listening to fairly poor recordings, movies etc, very fun. It is very forgiving, and can be used for long listening sessions if the fit is fine. If you want to spend sessions with the band and music around you in an intimate manner, Mext is a fantastic option. It reminds me of the Vision Ears VE8 in a lot of ways!

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H
hawgrider
Good read, good review 👍🏽

Scuba Devils

Headphoneus Supremus
Let's Talk About MEXT, Baby...
Pros: + Bass - excellent mid and sub, possibly the best/most I've heard in any IEM
+ Stunning mids; lush, clear and engaging
+ Crisp and pleasant treble - somewhat subdued and never harsh
+ Big stage with excellent dimensions
+ Leans warm but with plenty of detail - a coherent, and musically engaging listen
Cons: - Shells are a touch large, I had some trouble initially getting a good fit
- Treble not a key selling point, if you are seeking a prominent sparkle up top
Unique Melody 'MEXT'

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Caveats: I purchased the UM MEXT at a reduced price which was offered by MusicTeck in late January. I am not a professional reviewer, this is my hobby and I enjoy extending that to trying out various IEMs, and attempting to share my thoughts with the community.

I would like to thank Andrew for the opportunity and the fantastic service as always, a pleasure to deal with. MEXT is available from MusicTeck HERE @ $1,099 (at time of publication...)

Unboxing and Packaging

MEXT arrives in the exact same packaging as MEST MKII. Compact and well presented, with a jewellery-box style finish. I like the simplicity of it, it looks and feels premium - when you open the lid, you are greeted with the UM branded Dignis case with the MEXT inside. A separate tray slides out underneath, revealing a nice selection of essential accessories.

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Inside the box:
  1. MEXT with PW Audio Cable
  2. SednaEarfit Xelastec Tips: S / M / L
  3. Stock silicone tips: S / M / L
  4. Cable leather storage clip
  5. Dignis Leather Case
  6. Cleaning Cloth
  7. Warranty Card

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Specifications:

  • Headphone Type: Coil Bone Conduction + Dynamic +Balance Armature
  • Air Conduction Frequency Bandwidth: 20Hz-23kHz
  • Vibration Conduction Frequency Bandwidth: 200Hz-7kHz
  • Sensitivity of Air Conduction: 108dB @1kHz
  • Sensitivity of Vibration Conduction: @1kHz 5m·N | Peak @400Hz 79m·N
  • Crossover: 4-way Crossover
  • Driver Counts: 6 Drivers
  • Impedance: 16Ω
  • Configuration:1 Coil OBC Driver + 1 Bass Dynamic Driver + 2 Mids BA Drivers + 2 Treble BA Drivers

Sources Used

Most listening has been with my Cayin N6ii-Ti, using the R01 module. Also the L&P W2, and Sony NW-WM1A. My experience has been that they all more than adequately drive MEXT, but I’d choose R01 for the best synergy in pushing the throttle furthest to the floor, unlocking most detail, stage and delivering that wonderful bass. I tried also with the Sony ZX507 and it wasn’t a good match in my experience, the ZX507 just too warm and MEXT lacked detail and stage.

I tried numerous tips with MEXT, and at first was having difficulty with fit. This was causing discomfort, and some pain after longer sessions - to the point where I had actually decided to sell MEXT once finished with this review. I decided to test some more tips, and remembered a similar issue I had with Traillii last year - the solution being dropping down a size. The first few smaller tips didn't work either with MEXT, and when all my hope was almost gone, I reached for a medium Spiral Dot++ in a very last attempt to solve... the dots were my saviour - still very slight discomfort after long sessions, but they have resolved sufficiently for me to thankfully hold on and enjoy these wonderful IEMs, that have filled yet another gap in my collection, I previously didn't really know existed.

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Lets talk about MEXT, baby...

I want to start by rewinding back to March 2021. It was early in my IEM journey, and I was reading a lot of praise for a product called ‘MEST’ by Unique Melody. Having just bought a few other IEMs, I was trying to exercise restraint and hold off on another purchase… but then came along, MEST MKII. I had read some comments about issues with fit on MEST, that helped with holding me back - but MKII, this issue was apparently resolved. I jumped in, dropped $1,499 with MusicTeck, and eagerly awaited my shipment - which as always, flew across the Atlantic at breakneck speed, arriving to my house in Dublin in about three days. I was impressed: the speed at which it arrived, the packaging, these interesting tips from Xelastec which were new and novel to me at the time - and of course, when I plugged them into my ears, incredibly impressed by the sheer size of the stage and vast amount of detail.

Fast forward to May, and I had the opportunity to get my hands (and ears…) on a set of the Sennheiser IE900, about two weeks in advance of the official launch. The IE900 became a turning point in my journey: I really understood what it meant to have a coherent IEM… an all-rounder, an IEM that while plenty detailed, also incredibly engaging - and excellent, bass - of which I had never heard before in any IEM. IE900 grabbed me in a way that no other IEM had previously, and at the same time, made me finally realise, MEST MKII wasn’t for me - no matter how many times I rolled tips, or tried various genres - I ended up in a love/hate relationship, which unfortunately often leaned more towards the latter, or at least somewhere in between. Now to be clear, I fully respected the technical prowess that MEST MKII offers, a stunning IEM in that regard, no question about it - but as I discovered more about my own preferences, I better understood that I prefer my IEMs to lean more musical than technical, or maybe sit somewhere in the middle if they can pull it off. MEST MKII just sat too far on the technical scale - while listening, my brain would focus on the various individual parts, but not the coherent whole - reducing the listening pleasure, the overall musicality and emotional connection to the music. I enjoy the technicalities, but I need to have the emotional connection to the music. In addition, IE900 taught me I need more bass - or rather, I need more bass definition: MEST MKII lacked the kick I need in the mid bass, especially for electronic music that has a clear reliance on the solid ‘oomph’ of a kick drum. December 2021: I finally said goodbye to MEST MKII, somewhat reluctantly admittedly, but it was the right thing to do - love/hate needs to lean more the former than the latter, and I’d say the split was at best 30/70… or hate is strong, lets say dislike.

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UM MEXT then appears on my radar in January 2022: cheaper than MEXT MKII, I more or less ignored it - why would I consider an inferior version of something I had already parted with, my immediate sense was that it was a more affordable, scaled down iteration of MEST MKII. But I was curious - often intrigued by what brands might do next to garner interest in their products. I parked it in my mind somewhere, and figured I’d keep an eye. An email lands in my inbox a few weeks later from MusicTeck - a discount on MEXT - hmm, time to take the plunge?! I had also read some impressions around the same time - folks suggesting that MEXT had excellent bass, mids, and overall more emotive than MEST MKII - maybe this is meant to be, maybe it could resolve the experience first time round… further comments on Head-Fi from two ex-MEST MKII owners, who shared the same misgivings as I did, but appeared to be enjoying MEXT quite a lot. I guess its clear where this is leading to… I pulled the trigger - MEXT ordered, countdown begins, excitement brews, dopamine on full throttle - the usual experience any IEM addict will relate to - does everyone refresh the courier tracking, multiple times per day, sometimes multiple times per hour?!

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Listening Impressions

While I listen to numerous genres, with huge diversity, I tend to listen to electronic music for the most part with IEMs. I prefer to listen to rock for example, be it indie or classic through my home music system. This in many ways grew out of the fact that my wife and kids just didn’t want to hear my ‘funeral music’ (ambient) as they call it, or ‘thump, thump, thump’ (techno, trance etc) coming through the speakers in the kitchen. I think from a timbre perspective, it matters a bit less with electronic music - certainly in my experience - while of course I want synths and drum machines to sound authentic, my experience is that they are easier to deliver on IEMs compared to non-electronic instruments. In addition, I might not have a sufficiently fine-tuned ear to listen for these timbre-specific nuances. So take that as a bit of a caveat. I have however listened to a wide range of music on MEXT, nothing has sounded offensive, and everything has sounded at least very good to excellent.

Like any IEM, they shine with better quality / higher resolution files. I only occasionally stream - the vast majority of my listening is from my library of FLAC albums, mostly purchased from Bandcamp (shock horror - recently acquired by Epic Games!), but some are my own rips from CD's. From listening to albums from various streaming platforms, I think this is an important distinction when sharing impressions on sound quality. In addition, as a lot of my albums are more recent electronic albums, the production quality is very high, and often the FLAC files are 24bit - I suspect the former, in terms of the production quality being the larger contributor to the quality.

Tracks auctioned include:

Bicep - Glue
London Grammar - Lord it's a Feeling
Dr. Dre - The Day the Niggaz Took Over
Matthew Halsall - Harmony with Nature
Polygon Window - Quoth
Cosmic Baby - Space Track
Carl Craig - Landcruising
Bomb the Bass - Bug Powder Dust (Dub)
Phospherescent - New Birth in New England
Echaskech - Adrift
Julia Jacklin - Body
Gas - Rausch 3
John Tejada - Farther and Fainter

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Bass/Low


The low-end on MEXT is a standout attribute, those of you looking for an IEM that packs a powerful bass punch, with huge woofer-like presence, should certainly be satisfied with MEXT. There is an excellent distinction between mid-bass and sub-bass, allowing kick drums for example to strike with great impact, definition and authority, with sub-bass sitting comfortably in parallel, with a deep, huge rumble. That said, bass is by no means overpowering, but the extent to which it is balanced towards the mids and high, certainly injects an overall warmer tuning. I would say MEXT is definitely in part defined by it's wonderful big, deep bass.

Mids

The mids are clear and articulate with plenty of space to breath and again, an overall smooth and alluring presentation. Instruments and vocals are vibrant, lush, and wonderfully captivating. There is a rich texture, with notes having good weight and depth, the mix of which results in an addictive and engaging experience. Vocals are up-front and centre, incredibly lifelike with an intimate sense of proximity - my understanding is that's the bone conduction at play. While mids don't feel recessed, the lower-end certainly has a sense of prominence, so maybe there is an incredibly slight backseat in the mids.

Treble/High

My experience with IEMs has certainly shown me that a real challenge in tuning is to find a good balance between allowing enough room up top for detail retrieval, and sense of space and stage, without causing an offensive harshness or sibilance. I anticipate it takes a mix of tuning experience/expertise, along with the necessary higher-costing components to pull it off - this of course then has a bearing on the end cost to the consumer. My assessment with MEXT is this regard is that UM strike an excellent balance; there is sufficient treble to allow higher-register instruments and vocals to shine, while never resulting in any harshness or sibilance. Cymbals, high-frequency synths, strings, female vocals etc are well represented with great authenticity, while never jarring. That said, if treble is a specific attribute you are seeking in an IEM, there may be a bit of sparkle missing up top - in contrast to MEXT having bass as a key attribute, treble is good but not what I would describe as a top-selling feature. The comparitively reduced high-end, certainly allows for fatigue-free listening over extended sessions.

Technicalities

MEXT has a big, wide stage, with excellent height and good depth - there is a holographic presentation with good layering and imaging - I would stop short in calling it 'excellent', but I'm not sure that's what MEXT is aiming for per se: it's a big, bold, lush tuning that in my experience lends itself well to genres such as reggae, melodic techno/trance, dub, hip-hop, and other genres in general that benefit from this type of signature. Timbre is good, but I would say it's not a selling point either - not to say it's bad, but I don't stop to ponder timbral accuracy, MEXT for me is more about the overall immersive experience, this in contrast to MEST MKII for example, where in my experience, it was more of the individual parts, rather than the sum of all. The combination of BAs, DD, and bone conduction to my ears, create a wonderfully cohesive package - I don't find myself questioning the position of an instrument, or feeling like there is something 'wrong' with the overall presentation - I feel the bone conduction might be a factor in this, a glue of sorts that binds everything together.


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Comparisons

FAudio Dark Sky

An interesting shoot-out with the high-end single dynamic driver in the shape of Dark Sky, an IEM that sits at the same $1,099 price tag. This is really about where MEXT excels with fun, warmth, smoothness, and excitement; versus the timbre, imaging, layering speciality of Dark Sky. I did a number of AB tests, mostly with vocal/instrumental tracks from both male and female - Dark Sky is the clear winner for these genres, with a bit of caveat that I'll come to shortly. Where it excels is absolutely from a timbre perspective - a brighter IEM, with more air on stage which gives instruments more room and a greater sense of imaging accuracy, bass guitars sound incredibly lifelike, I can often hear the plucking of strings, and almost feel the associated reverb. The stage width is very natural, and more wide than tall. Going back to imaging, I often find my mind zooming in on instruments as they appear on stage - at times even feeling like a sound in the music is actually in the room. Dark Sky leans more technical to my ears than MEXT - it is brighter, and that brings me back to my caveat: the brightness can occassionaly be somewhat harsh, less suited to more lively electronic music for example, and higher register on electric guitars, especially when competing with percussion, can be somewhat jarring at times. MEXT is a better all-rounder, Dark Sky is more specialist in my collection - the one I would reach for when listening to acoustic, vocals, spiritual jazz, world music, and more laidback indie or rock. MEXT the better choice for my electronic library, or genres that in my opinion, have less need for pinpoint timbre accuracy.

FiiO FH9

FH9 shells are smaller but a bit heavier. Personally, I find them more comfortable - the smaller shell and titanium finish sit very well in my ears. FH9 is a brighter IEM, there is more air and I would say a bigger stage as a result, both width and height. Both excellent bass, but FH9 digs slightly deeper in sub - in ‘Bug Powder Dust (Dub)’ by Bomb the Bass for example, there is an obvious deeper rumble - I'm not sure though if the brighter tuning allows the sub bass more room. Listening to ‘Lord its a Feeling’ by London Grammar, I lean towards FH9 for the sense of space and air, but I would choose MEXT for vocals - much more full bodied and overall more emotive/engaging. Where FH9 might excel occasionally, MEXT is absolutely superior IEM overall - the smooth and engaging tuning, with good technicalities across a large stage takes the ‘all-rounder’ prize.

MEST MKII - from memory, so no AB comparisons with tracks…

Similar stage, MEXT maybe a bit bigger. More analytical to my ears, and the mids definitely lacking compared to MEXT. As noted in my intro, I always felt MEST MKII didn’t pack enough punch in the mid bass, it was just lacking when my music called for more impact in kick drums for example. MEST MKII is technically superior, but lacks the engagement factor I tend to seek - YMMV...

Penon Serial

Possibly an unusual one to compare, the reason I’ve picked it though is I find it has a similar engaging and warm tuning and offers incredible value for the comparatively low price of $300. I find them both very well balanced IEMs and share similarities in as far as their strong all-rounder capabilities. The differences are obvious though when I A/B - taking the track 'Adrift' by Echaskech, the mid bass is significantly more powerful versus Serial - overall more lively, and higher resolution. In isolation, I love Serial and find them an incredibly addictive IEM - switching between the two however, reveals the significant cost difference - while they punch above their $300 price tag, that doesn't extend to MEXT level.

Conclusion

MEXT is a stunning IEM, and absolutely ticks the important 'emotive' box for me. I have been impressed by its technical capabilities, while being a warmer/smoother tuning, but still managing to pull off an excellent balanced delivery. It's not the 'end-game' in timbre, but it does a perfectly good job with a very wide range of genres. I'm not sure to what extent 'bass head' levels are, but this is the 'most' bass I've heard in any IEM - the quantity is huge, very well defined and rumbles deep. Engaging, emotive but lively, the sort of IEM I would reach for in a heartbeat when I want to enjoy some techno, trance, D&B, reggae or hip hop. Never harsh or jarring, an IEM that definitely strikes an interesting balance of being non-fatiguing, but a top-performer for lively genres.

Those of you who are looking for an IEM with a big stage, incredible bass, emotive/lush mids, and nicely balanced treble, across a large stage, MEXT is absolutely worth your consideration, and comes with my highest and very enthusiastic recommendation.

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alexandros a
alexandros a
I tend to listen to electronic music for the most part with IEMs me too @Scuba Devils so....i took the (low)risk(i hope) to grab MEXT just a while ago.....my latest purchases were Serial and ISN H50 (with H50 been closer to my likes as tunning matters) and H50 has an unbelievably alive and kicking sub bass woofer effect to most of my library assosciated tracks.Serial was OK as well and i really appreciated it's note density and depth in terms of stage, but a bit dark for my listening taste just a bith thicker sounding for my prefference.is here on the MEXT the bone conduction driver noticeable comparing to other bass heavy iems according to your opinion ?
Scuba Devils
Scuba Devils
@alexandros a - MEXT has the deepest, and largest bass I've heard - the bone conduction works absolute magic, even into the mids.
alexandros a
alexandros a
@Scuba Devils I ve bought the MEXT eventually and have find the OBC driver working it's best in the lower midrange, also I found out that using spinfits instead of the included azla tips adding some more definition and longer decay in the lower range, it is indeed a fantastic all rounder...nevertheless H50 seems on par in terms of stage/spaciousness

Damz87

Headphoneus Supremus
MEXT: A New Kilobuck Benchmark
Pros: Top level bass and tonal balance
Best-in-class technicalities
Fatigue free tuning
Premium accessories and build quality
Cons: Upper frequencies lack some energy and excitement
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Introduction


Unique Melody (UM) are a premium In Ear Monitor manufacturer from Guangdong, China who in recent years have created some of the most popular IEMs on the market across multiple price categories, such as MEST, Mason, Mentor, and 3DT. MEXT is UM’s latest tribrid driver design IEM and features their now-famous bone conduction driver technology, this time utilizing their coil bone conduction driver from the original MEST and omitting the EST drivers for high frequencies in favour of BA drivers.

MEXT's MSRP is USD $1,099 and can be purchased from Musicteck here. Many thanks to Andrew at @MusicTeck for the incredible service as usual!

Specifications

Driver configuration: 1 Coil OBC Driver + 1 Bass Dynamic Driver + 2 Mids BA Drivers + 2 Treble BA Drivers
Impedance: 16Ω
Crossover: 4-way Crossover
Air Conduction Frequency Bandwith: 20Hz-23Khz
Vibration Conduction Frequency Bandwith: 200Hz-7kHz
Sensitivity of Air Conduction: 108dB @ 1kHz
Sensitivity of Vibration Conduction @ 1kHz 5m - N | Peak @ 400Hz 79m - N


Packaging and Unboxing

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The packaging (that UM have conveniently named the “ESP Double Drawer Black Gift Box”) and unboxing experience of MEXT felt very familiar being my third UM IEM. That is to say, it’s basically the same as MEST MkII & Indigo. That’s not a bad thing at all. The packaging design is well thought out and I really like the minimalist look.

What’s included
  • MEXT IEMs
  • UM Copper M1 Cable
  • Dignis UM Leather Case
  • AZLA SednaEarfit Xelastec tips
  • UM Silicone tips
  • Black leather cable clip
  • Premium Grey Cleaning Cloth
  • Warranty Card

Much the same accessories as the MEST series, which is an excellent thing especially for the lower price of MEXT. I’m not really a fan of Xelastec tips as they seem to cut out a lot of low frequencies with my ears. But I know they’re popular so they’re a great inclusion, nonetheless. The stock silicone tips work reasonably well with my ear canals, but I prefer SpinFit CP145’s on MEXT.

I find the included cable comfortable, microphonic-free and I absolutely love the PW hardware. It feels premium and looks great. There are far more expensive IEM’s out there with worse stock cables, let alone having the option to choose which termination, so zero complaints from me on the cable front. I also love the Dignis case and its well-designed compartments for keeping the IEM shells separated to avoid any nasty scratch-inducing clangs.

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Sound Impressions

I based my impressions using my Shanling M9 DAP and SpinFit CP145 eartips. I did some DAP rolling and the sound was pretty consistent across the various sources I own. I chose CP145 tips as they fit best with my ear canal. As usual, ymmv.

MEXT has what I would consider a mild L-shaped sound signature. Bass sounds elevated above the midrange and treble frequencies; however, I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s at a basshead level of quantity, and I don’t find the elevated bass distracting or bloating the overall sound signature.

Bass avoids bleeding into the lower mids but there is some warmth colouration that comes through to the midrange that fits in well with the more relaxed upper mid and treble tuning. One thing that bugged me with MEST Mk2 was the quality of bass note density. Notes had a pillowy, almost hollow weight to them that stood out when I compared them to top bass IEMs like Odin and IER-Z1R. However, MEXT fixes this, and bass hits feel markedly more solid, thicker and more weighted than its big brother MEST Mk2.

Lower midrange instruments and vocals have a particularly solid presence with a natural tonality and superb clarity. I suspect this is where the Bone Conduction Driver is working its magic because the lower mids sound more pronounced and detailed than other IEM’s I’ve heard with similar tunings. Upper mids are on the relaxed side of the spectrum but there’s enough emphasis in that region of the FR to reveal female vocals and harmonics with sufficient clarity and definition.

Treble is smooth and free of any discernible peaks or recessions to my ears; however, I must note that it’s not the most airy or detailed upper frequency response I’ve heard, and I think this is where some would prefer the MEST’s over MEXT. That said, I think UM have tuned MEXT extremely well, and I enjoy this tuning for my music library when I specifically want a more relaxed listening experience. With the treble taking a backseat to the mids and bass, I can easily listen to MEXT for hours without fatigue. However, if I wanted a more exciting and focused listening session I would pick a MEST over MEXT for the extra treble forwardness.

Technical performance on MEXT is strong, especially compared to IEMs I’ve heard within the $1000 price bracket. There’s no obvious technical flaw to my ears. Detail retrieval, soundstage space and layering are what I would classify as ‘excellent for the price’, easily competing with sets in its price bracket like Sony IER-M9 and Campfire Andromeda 2020, and even with some that are more expensive. But I think MEST still has the technical edge over MEXT, especially when it comes to detail retrieval. Imaging isn’t quite as pinpoint accurate, and the soundstage isn’t as immersive or holographic as MEST.

Comparisons

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MEXT vs Andromeda 2020

I’m a self-confessed lover of DD bass and the most obvious advantage MEXT has over the latest Andromeda is the far superior bass response. Its not even a close contest. Andromeda competes with MEXT in the upper frequencies, however when I A/B tested them, I don’t think MEXT is that far off for airiness and treble sparkle. Andromeda has great technicalities, but MEXT sounds like its on a different level by comparison. I think this is an easy win for MEXT and I can’t think of any situation where I would recommend Andromeda in front of it.


MEXT vs IER-M9

This one is a little closer, but once again I think MEXT is the superior IEM, at least for my preferences. IER-M9 is a little more balanced across the FR, but MEXT has the advantage of DD lows, so bass slam has better texture, tactility, and note decay sounds more realistic by comparison. MEXT also has a better technical performance to my ears, with a much larger soundstage and better detail retrieval.

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MEXT vs. MEST Indigo

Unfortunately, I no longer have a MEST Mk2 to compare directly with, so I’ll have to compare with MEST Indigo which is a little unfair considering the price difference. But surprisingly, MEXT holds its own against Indigo and does have some advantages depending on what you’re looking for. To keep it simple, if you want better technicalities across the board, and a more revealing treble response, go for MEST. But if you want more bass, are a bit sensitive to treble, and happy to take a cut to technicalities, go with MEXT for a more relaxed listen.

Conclusion

For a little over $1,000 you get a tribrid driver IEM with bone conduction technology, top level bass, a well-balanced tuning and technicalities that compete with IEMs above its price point; making MEXT my new benchmark and recommended IEM in the kilobuck price category. Whilst it doesn’t necessarily do anything revolutionary, the tonal balance and technical performance is superior to anything I’ve heard for this price. If you enjoy MEST but want more bass or find the treble fatiguing, then MEXT is certainly one to consider.
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gadgetgod
gadgetgod
Great writeup man!!
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jaydoc1
jaydoc1
Such a professional review, well done !
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R
randombrokeguy
Sorry to bother but can you please give a bit more details on mext vs ier m9? I’m currently trying to decide between the two. Thank you

Infoseeker

Headphoneus Supremus
Pleasant Warm Touch with benchmark level lower Mids to compare others against.
Pros: Encompassing staging,
Nice strike to bassy string instruments (acoustic)
Good decay for an iem,
Cons: Boxiness from the warmth (but this is not cursed but an expected compromise)
Treble not the best at upper register piano notes. (not a practical problem for most people; so don't worry about this.)
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Also posted on:
https://www.audiodiscourse.com/2022/02/unique-melody-mext-review.html

Disclaimer:
I purchased the MEXT over the HeadFi special deal by MusicTeck at a discount for reviewers. I have no other conflict-of-interests.



Initial Impressions:
Bass-head iems no doubt, with an encompassing warmth to follow it. Does have last octave treble extension.



PACKAGING:
Nice presentation for something with such a small footprint. This is really well designed for simply packaging. Also has a pull-out drawer for accessories.
AZLA Xelastec tips are extremely isolating & did best against other third party tips.
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The iems in the carrying case: There is a removable velcro-divider to keep the L & R units seperate.
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Cable:
Sheathing is a little glossy and has a chemical smell that you will need to air out.
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Y-splitter is really solid and premium feeling:
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Chin strip detached:
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Sound:

Gear Tested On:

Ibasso Dx300 dap with amp11mki amp module.
Ibasso Dx300MAX Stainless Steel edition iem.

Staging & Tech :
This iem does everything in its staging balance. Its is not specialized in depth nor is it specialized in wide stereo panning. It is both passable in Depth & Width that doesn't give an uncanny valley feeling from any extreme in either direction.

That said, the microdetails does a good job not neglecting details in music. Details are surrounding you, though they are reasonable and not wow you about it.

There is one speciality it has is in bass string instruments can kind of pop out even if its meant to be quite in a track. Interesting how subtly it can pop out these string plucks from a gradient of very quiet to loud without it getting masked; these are lower tones.

The upper-register instruments don't present with such a control at lower volume dynamics like the bass string instrumentals. They are the usual, binary on/off either their in the track or not; I mean it is normal in this sense. It is the bass strings you can hear be unique in that they can gradually present in very quiet to very loud.

I do not think these techs are representative of the bone condunction driver. I feel it is associated to the bass drive; a bass driver so tuned with intent that it kind of gives you driver-flex as you put the iem on (thedriver flex is not a problem in this case, but how its tuned).

Bass:

There is driver flex, and if you don't adjust for fit it will block the sound. So make sure to find a good tip size for your size. The AZLA Xelastecs especially make this issue more obvious by how well they seal. But these Xelastec tpis isolate so well it is a shame not to use them. Especially since this iem has significant bass ports that will not isolate outside people's voices from you (when the music is paused).


Again, no doubt a basshead iem. With a decadent warmth that will outshine other parts of the presentation. I did not find it masking things, but the bass does give a minimal boxy feeling to the playback (but that is reasonable & intentional for this iem's sound signature).

Bass can feel wet in the presentation whilst focusing on the subbass. Slam is quite satisfying, except when it comes to tom drums, where it is polite in the snap. Subbass slam is quite satisfying.




Mids:
Bass transitions into the mids with lots of warmth.

Voices depict a forwardness and are not lost to a track. No worries about sibilance. Not only is it not sibilant, but it feels like the presence region/later-mids are not as raised for people who love their shout. Female vocals and overtones to male-voices are defintly polite.

Piano notes in the lower register are quite satisfying, but when it comes to notes in the higher register, they are not as clear.



Treble:
Mids-to-Treble trasition happens with a lack of presence region between them and the lower treble region.

Voices are not sibilant or shouty, but neither are their overtones being given much "sweet" clarity.

Upper-register instruments don't have much "bite" to them. Violin main notes will encompass you in strength & the overtones will not get neglected, but neither will the violin notes feel positively-piercing to you.

Upper-piano notes have a twang; there is too much air/overtones noise that almost feels like the presentation of old-gen Balanced Armature's last octave treble seen in older IEMs. That twang feels off in timbre.

Lack of metallic timbre to the

This treble timbre problem doesn't present in other things in the playback. So not a problem for rock music, and not a problem from modern music (EDM, etc.). Or for older more synth tracks (ie., techno, old rap like Ludicris, etc.).




COMPARISONS A/B:
After noticing that this iem has warmth but with less upper-mids, I decided to compare to similar tuned iems I had around. IEMs also famous for being successful with their derivatives of such a sound signature: Sony ier-z1r, Sennheiser ie900, and my old Ultimate Ears TripleFis.

w/ Sony Ier-Z1r:
Being challenged in size. But the MEXT is the more comfortable to wear over. Both got similar passive isolating.

Ier-Z1r feels thinner and with a more treble tilt. Better worded, that MEXT has more forward low-end quantity, while both maintain a similar ratio for the bass as they hit similarly. Ier-Z1r may seem thin, but that is when put relatively to the MEXT it seems so.

Vocals have more shout on the Ier-Z1r. Also more borderline sibilance & metallic hit to things on teh ier-z1r.
Staging is similar on both iems, but there is more treble standing out on the ier-z1r. But the ier-z1r sibilance & metallic feeling are both pleasant as they play it close to fatiguing tolerance levels. No issue with upper piano notes like in the MEXT.

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w/ Sennheiser ie900

About the same in isolation to MEXT.

Similar to the ier-z1r iem feels thinner & more treble tilted when in comparison to the MEXT. Sennheisser ie900 defintely has the bigger slam bass hit between the two of them. Bass on the ie900 also has a similar ratio of wetness to the Bass.

But when it comes to the mids, the ie900 details are getting masked more, despite being less thick and forward to the bass overall. MEXT has the advantage here.

Treble is definetly greater in quanitity on the ie900. Right away you feel the sibilance in vocals. Instruments overtones and air are more piercing and w/ sizzle. Despite ie900 having more treble quanitity than MEXT, I dont find the ie900 has the same problem I noticed with the piano-notes.

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w/ UltimateEars Triple-FI TF10
These MEXT made me remember these old hit iems. I had to pull out from a back drawer of memories.

Okay this is really similar, but boy is the Triple-Fi showing off its age. This absolutely doesn't hold up.

Lots of bass but less in quantity & slam to the subbass in the TF10. More importantly, the bass overall has less control in presentation. Bass sounds drier and is waay to quick in how it resolves.

Mids are alot more masked in the TF10, with a less ideal transtion to the bass. Triple-Fi is just much worse in the mids.

Vocals are unforgivingly honky on the Triple-Fis. No sibilance on either iem or shout, both polite.

The treble indeed reminds me of the MEXT, these BAs depict the same timbre I get from the MEXT; I wonder if the BAs being used share some pedigree. Piano notes on both of these IEMs really got that twang like that are clipping in the high notes. They are being pushed too hard to implement for the iems. The do have some strengths though, they image well; though that cuold be just how it contrasts with the less upper-mids.
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Closing Notes:

Only downside is the treble extension; it feels like it's clipping in certain treble notes, like they can't handle being even at the little loudness they are currently at. Still this is not a problem unless you listen to solo piano tracks; this is something I only took notice of to put into the review, but will not hold as practical signifigance to you. So please don't let this be a decision breaker before giving the MEXT a chance. I truly feel like these have a pleasant tonality and good staging that will match many people's preferences as their favorite.

This IEM has a specialty where you can feel it has extra control in the microdetails of the lower mids. Where it can present things in this range with so much control , that the imaging pops with details presenting from quiet to loud if the track calls for it.

Unique Melody MEXT is a pleasantly warm iem. That are a great value for their price; especially being cheaper than the similar tonality iems I compared it to earlier. Its got a satisfying bass, mids are not masked despite the warmth, and the treble has great extension. Good chance it will be the favorite for many people out there.



Supplementary:
How they looks worn. The Fit is very nice, though they are big. But they don't have any difficult bulging to their shape that will be problematic.
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BEWARE OF MAGNETS! /s
Apparently this part is magnetic, as I learned pulling these out of my drawer overnight.
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corgifall

500+ Head-Fier
MEXT Level Kilobuck Magic
Pros: Wonderful tuning. Neat use of Bone conductor. Big soundstage for IEMs. Wonderful presentation and cable.
Cons: Only slightly above average detail revival for price. Bigger shells and nozzles.
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I feel really fortunate that I’ve been able to review more IEMs in the $1k range as of late. My go to IEM is the THIEAUDIO Clairvoyance($700) and I’m always looking for something that impresses me enough to move to a post $1k IEM. The Symphonium Helios has been the closest to get me there but I don’t find them very attractive nor super comfortable for long term listening. The UM brand is new to me in terms of experience but I have eyeballed their IEMS that range from $319 all the way to $8400 dollars which is mind boggling to me. I always wanted to try the original MEST but never had time to audition them when a local friend had them for a bit. So this will be my first UM product review. The MEXT is using a single dynamic driver for the lows, an in house bone conductor(OBC) for mids/treble and finally 4 BA drivers mixed in. The UM MEXT comes in at $1200.

Quick shoutout to both Unique Melody for offering a MEXT to review and Andrew from Musicteck for sacrificing a unit from his inventory for me to test and review. While I always appreciate the chance to test and review products sent in from manufacturers, it never affects the rating of my reviews.


While UM does sell the MEXT via their website, Andrew was nice enough to conjure one up from his inventory for me. I will be providing a link to his website should you wish to pick one up.

https://shop.musicteck.com/collecti...ucts/um-universal-mext?variant=39664533078078

Onto the review of the UM MEXT! My personal preference is a hybrid/tribrid IEM where I get good hitting bass and have a detailed treble with decent mids. When it comes to an over ear headphone I prefer a spacious sound with a deep low end, the mids to be more forward and the highs to be a little bright with some sparkle. I listen to a lot of genres but I hover in the classic rock, blues and edm music with some rap here and there.


Gear Used​

IPhone 12 pro with headphone adapter, Aune BU2, iFi Go blu, Hiby R6 2020 and SMSL SU-9 feeding the SP400 amp.

Looks and fit​

The shell is a little bigger with a thicker nozzle but I didn’t have any issues with comfort and when paired with the stock AZLA tips that come on the MEXT, I had really good long term comfort. I can easily get lost in multi hour listening sessions and these were fantastic for those moments comfort wise. The faceplate is a little boring with the gold UM logo and whatever flower plant logo thing they’re using but it's simple and comfy so it gets a pass from me. It also has a nice design at the bottom of each shell to tell you where the bone conductor driver is.
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Isolation and sound leakage​

The passive isolation is ok but since this is a hybrid, it has two venting ports to help the single DD perform well. This meant that I didn’t need to really take out my IEMs if someone was talking since I could mostly make out what they said but it wasn’t as good as a set of sealed BA only IEMs. It doesn’t leak much sound which I was surprised about being a hybrid with two vents on each shell. I still wouldn’t listen to these at full volume on say a plane or in a super quiet room but at lower volumes, no one will hear what you’re listening to.

Packaging and accessories​

I really like the presentation when it comes to the packaging. It's a simple and smaller box with a flip cover. Inside is a nice teal UM branded leather storage case which has the MEXT and cable inside. It also has a divider should you wish to separate each IEM shell. The box also has a pull out drawer which includes all the other accessories. We get the silicone tips in a nice little container, the warranty card with serial number, a set of extra small to medium AZLA Xelastec tips, a cleaning cloth and replacement nozzle filters. I think this is a good set of accessories.
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Sound(overall)​

These final impressions were done off a mix of the iFi GO blu, Hiby R6 2020 and the SMSL SU-9 connected to the SMSL SP400. These are what the MEXT sounded like to my ears. This was also using the stock Xelastec eartips from AZLA. Things like ear tip selection and DAC/amp selection will produce different results and impressions vs what my ears hear on my specific gear.

When it comes to hybrids, I almost always expect really good DD bass and the MEXT does bass really well. I was expecting these to be bass cannons due to the bone conductor but instead it's a slightly boosted bass with well detailed lows. The MEXT is able to reach down low and it’s able to produce great impact and slam when called for. This won’t be a bass head’s dream IEM but I think it does really good bass and that plays into the bone conductor and mid bass. Speaking of the mid bass, I think that's where the star of the show starts. Something about the mid bass is really good. I don’t like boosted midbass and lacking sub bass. The MEXT does good sub bass and really good mid bass. It blends really well and makes for some really airy bass that is never too strong nor lean. The mids are done really well here overall, I found instruments come in clear and vocals come in fairly detailed but with a slight twist. The mids and lower treble have a slight echo which has a neat effect. There is a little extra “echo” or a longer decay that gives everything just the smallest additional flavor. This gave vocals a slightly livelier sound. It’s not overpowering and just slightly noticeable but it was probably the very first thing I noticed on first listen. The treble is done pretty well here. It’s not nearly as good detail wise as something like the Symphonium Helios I reviewed recently but I find it to bring in better details than my trusty Clairvoyance. It still sounds a little tame to my ears but in a “I’m not going to be murdered by brightness” kinda way. There isn’t quite the extra sharpness or zing at the end of higher pitched instruments but as someone who gets iffy about details in drums, I found things like various cymbal notes to come in really well just missing a little bite at the end of the notes. I really like the tuning overall on the MEXT and this is probably the first IEM in a bit since the Clairvoyance that has me completely hooked in terms of an overall fit, comfort and tuning.

Bone conductor testing​

So the bone conductor claims to work between 200-7000 kHz. I used a simple online tone generator to see when I could feel the shell start to vibrate with my finger while it was in my ear. I started getting feedback via touch between 210 Hz to about 5200 kHz where I can’t really feel anything. Between 315 Hz to 430 Hz was the most intense the feedback gets. While I wouldn’t say it did anything life changing, I did on occasion notice certain instruments that would “ping” or give my ear light touch. It doesn’t happen often at all but I can reproduce it on some songs. It’s neat for the once in a blue moon experience but I don’t think the OBC from UM makes a big difference other than the echo/decay I mentioned above in my sound preferences.

Soundstage/Imaging​

Staging is above average width wise but the depth and height are really good. Whether it’s the OBC driver adding the longer decay or just good tuning, the stage feels really big for an IEM. This isn’t close to any open back full size headphone but I really like whatever is going on with the staging. Imaging is fairly good but with the extra decay, I feel like things can get a little cluttered when too much is going on all at once. When things are more dialed in, the imaging is fantastic and I was able to really pick out exactly where sounds were coming from in the bigger soundstage.

Sensitivity/Drivability​

The MEXT isn’t super hard to drive but it does like a little power from what I can tell. The entry level gear such as the Shanling M3X DAP, iFi GO Blu and AUNE BU2 produced good sound but once I moved up to the Hiby R6 2020 and my SMSL desktop stack, the MEXT really came alive. The MEXT isn’t very sensitive but I was still able to pick up a light hiss off the iFi GO Blu via balanced.

Stock cable​

I usually cable roll if I think the stock cable is bad or isn’t balanced. I really like the feel and design of the included stock cable. It’s a collab with PW Audio and it has a nice thickness and lightness to it. It had that slightly shiny black rubber finish much like the Audeze cables. The split, jack and connector housings all have a nice matte black paint with a really high quality feel. It doesn’t come with swappable plugs like a lot of IEM cables these days but I didn’t mind as they give a option to choose between 3.5mm, 2.5mm and 4.4mm Pentaconn when you purchase the MEXT. I wish other manufacturers would give these options for their higher end IEMs as most just come with a 3.5mm cable and no options to upgrade or change plugs. The connectors are super tight and it was somewhat difficult to remove the cables from the shells. This is nice(assuming nothing breaks) cause I have a few IEMs that easily detach their 2 pin cable easily if any force is applied.
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Tip rolling​

I did some tip rolling but quickly settled on the stock AZLA Xelastec tips. I usually don’t like dealing with the Xelastec tips since they have a big positive in negative with their design. The positive is that they’re super grippy and eventually form to the inside of your ear from use and become a semi custom eartip. The drawback is that you can’t really use the same tips on something else and either have to reform the tips or use another set of tips and a two pack goes for a whopping $30 dollars which still blows my mind. I did try my two favorite spinfit tips which were the CP100 Plus and the CP145. Both those tips ended up making the upper mids a little too spicy for my tastes and I just didn’t like the way the tuning sounded overall. I did play with the included silicone tips and once again, I just didn’t quite get the sound I got with the Xelastec tips. I always recommend tip rolling as it usually makes a difference it tuning but I think if you can get the Xelastec tips to fit, stick with those.
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Nozzle filters​

There is an extra set of metal filter grills that can be swapped. I appreciate that they include it but the thing I really like is that the filter can be unscrewed and cleaned. While I don’t have heavy wax buildup and I clean my ears every few days, I get some of my IEMs back from friends that are in rough shape and a nightmare to clean their gross ear wax out of. Recently I had to clean the DUNU Falcon Pro of gross ear wax buildup from a friend at work who borrowed it and it was simple to clean since the nozzle was able to be unscrewed. I hope to see more companies do removable metal filters to make cleaning easier.

IEM comparisons​


Symphonium Helios​

I don’t have a Helios on hand anymore so this is coming from memory but the Helios is still fresh on the mind so keep that in mind when it comes to this comparison. The helios had a better treble with more detail and just a little extra energy up top vs the MEXT. The MEXT wins in lows and mids however and it has a better soundstage when going off memory. I really liked the Helios and I really like the MEXT. I think both are wonderful options for around the same price. I would grab the Helios for that extreme detail retrieval and neat backwards imaging. The MEXT will be better for those looking for a better soundstage and better lows/mids.

THIEAUDIO Clairvoyance​

The Clairs are my favorite and I’m conflicted between those and the MEXT. I think the treble is done a little better and the Clairs present a more clear but dynamic sound compared to the MEXT. The MEXT wins hands down with soundstage and imaging, plus it has more personality when it comes to the tuning and especially vocals. I still love the Clairvoyance but the MEXT is my preferred tuning at the moment. The comfort is way better for me on the MEXT over the Clairs as well. The Helios is a direct upgrade from the Clairs to me so I wouldn’t say buy the MEXT to replace the Clairvoyance for those wondering about upgrading. Get the MEXT to experience something with a little more character to the sound. Grab the Clairs if you want a super clean “all rounder”.
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Moondrop Variations​

The Variations come in more than half the price of the MEXT but it’s actually the closest thing in tuning I have on hand. The Variations have a way more powerful/focus on the bass with ok mids and a slightly spicier treble. The MEXT feels like an upgraded Variations with the really good lows, really good mids and controlled and detailed yet less sharp highs in comparison. Both IEMs have a well done and wide soundstage with a better sense of space. I kinda want to call the Variations a baby MEXT but more raw and less defined. Both are good and my daily rotation of IEMs for work includes the Variations so I still like them even when I have the MEXT on hand.
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Amping Combinations​


iFi GO Blu​

The GO Blue was able to give the MEXT enough juice to sound fine but it didn’t quite give enough energy to really open the sound. I usually like the GO Blu for all my IEMs but this was a rare time I really noticed an IEM being picking when paired to the GO Blu. The xBASS didn’t add much subass. The xSPACE didn’t really add much top end energy either. The hiss was light with xSpace off while being run balanced but with the xSPACE turned on, it was a rough hiss and I opted to run the pairing stock with no iFi hardware EQ. This was a good combo but I would try and opt for something a little more powerful if possible.
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HIBY R6 2020​

When comparing the R6 2020 to a desktop amp for IEMs, I think it's worth the price that the R6 comes in at. I like the warmer sound of the DAP and it does well at powering the MEXT properly. I mentioned above that the MEXT does well off more powerful sources and it really showed on the R6 2020. I had a lot of the extra staging and better tuning quality I got from the larger desktop stack I use. I would absolutely recommend the pairing.
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SMSL SU-9/SP400​

This is the main desktop setup I use to review all my gear since I got the “stack” a while back. The biggest differences besides the wider soundstage would have to be the control and speed. The bass was more detailed and controlled, things sounded quick and the longer decay is controlled and less of a mess when things get congested. The vocals had a little extra life to them and the treble was well detailed though the SU-9 DAC in this stack doesn’t do much sharpness up top so it didn’t ever sound too bright or piercing. I think a good quality DAC and amp will help the MEXT perform its best.
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Overall thoughts​

I was really impressed with the MEXT and in all honesty I wasn’t sure what to expect at first. I had figured I would be getting a bass cannon with the bone conductor being a thing but I didn’t start looking into the use of the OBC until after I had my first listen. While I like most new audio gear on first listen it can definitely fade after some time. This was one of the few IEMs like the Helios I recently reviewed that I stayed hooked on well after the honeymoon phase passed. I absolutely recommend the MEXT if you want something with a little extra personality but still acts as a good “all rounder”. I had a great time with the MEXT and look forward to checking out more UM offerings down the road. Great job to the team with the release of the MEXT! Thanks for reading!
ThePineResin
ThePineResin
Nice review! I've been trying to decide between the MEXT and the MEST so this review definitely helps.
corgifall
corgifall
Thanks. Looking to get my hands on a MEST to compare at some point.
szore
szore
Heard it at Canjam and liked it a lot.

hawgrider

New Head-Fier
MEXT, warm and wonderful
Pros: - well implemented bass
- very good mids detail
- highs are clear with good detail retrieval
- excellent driver coherence
- good build.
- decent cable
Cons: - rolled off treble limits air and micro detail retrieval.
- soundstage depth could be better.
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Unique Melody MEXT $1100.00 usd
1 Quantity Original Bone Conduction
1 Quantity Dynamic Driver - Bass
2 Quantity Balanced Armature - Mids
2 Quantity Balanced Armature - Highs
4 Way Crossover
Frequency Response:
Air Drivers - 20Hz/23kHz
Vibration Driver - 200Hz/7kHz
Impedance 16 ohm
Sensitivity:
Air Drivers - 108 dB/mW
Vibration Driver: @ 1 kHz 5 m.N Peak @ 400Hz 79 m.N (milliNewtons)
** milliNewton is a measurement of force equal to 1/1000 of a Newton. It is well beyond me to describe/explain how it is relative to the sensitivity of a Bone Conductor driver, but that’s the info provided by Unique Melody.

Disclaimer:
I purchased these at a discount offered to NON-PROFESSIONAL/CAREER reviewers by Andrew @ MusicTeck. I still have a significant chunk of coin invested.

** note: I try to be objective, but obviously I am biased somewhat by my personal preference for sound signature. I lean toward a more balanced sound, good bass, good mids, good treble.

My Thoughts.

I used a variety of reference tracks from the 2xHD “HiRes system setup” and “speaker setup” collections recorded at 2.8 DSD to evaluate the technical abilities of these IEM.
To evaluate for everyday listening, i listened to random selections from my library on the SD card that includes Flac 48-192 and DSD 2.8-11.2 tracks.
Genre includes Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country, Classical. And I streamed some tracks from Apple Lossless for Genres like Electronic/EDM, Pop/Hip Hop/Rap, etc.

Packaging: Very Briefly. Comes packaged the same as the Mest MkII.
UM Blue carry case, MEXT IEM, PW Audio/UM M1 OFHC Copper cable (I purchased 4.4 termination), 3 pair Xelastec ear tips, 3 pair silicone ear tips, cleaning cloth, serial number card, and a spare pair of spin off/spin on nozzle filters. (See pics)
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Fit: is very good for me. They are comfortable in ear. Nozzle depth is moderate/mid point and angle works well for my ears. I don’t have to fiddle much to get them in place with a good seal, and they stay anchored well.
I find the isolation to be good to very good using Sedna Earfit Crystal tips.

- UM MEXT approx. 100 hrs aged.
- Kann Alpha, low gain.
- Stock M1 Copper Cable with 4.4 balanced termination.
- Sedna Earfit Crystal tips.

- Bass: Sub Bass extends low, good quantity and quality, retains some texture, it can be a bit boomy when called upon.
I find the mid bass to be very adaptable. It’s overall smooth, well managed and has good texture and definition, but it can also step up with decent impact and rumble.
Carries into lower mids.
- Mids: Lower mids are slightly recessed and warm, upper mids recover and pull the mids forward. They are detailed with good clarity, and have an overall smoothness to the timbre.
- Vocals: Present forward and both male and female vocals have a natural and accurate presence.
- Highs: Are crisp and clear with very good detail retrieval, they roll off at the upper end which limits micro detail retrieval and upper air to some degree, which fits well with the over all smooth sound of the MEXT.
Highs are not lacking they rise effortlessly above the bass and mids and present very well.
- Soundstage: width is between the ears, maybe just slightly outside the head. Height is good, sub bass goes low, rolled of treble reduces upper air a bit. Depth is good, vocals and mids are forward, depth to the rear could be a bit better. Imaging and layering are good left to right, high and low, and front to rear, I can accurately place individual instruments on the stage. Spaciousness is good, although on some tracks my perception is it can sound, not congested, but a bit “busy”.
- Other Sources: I only have three sources I use for IEM’s; the Kann Alpha used for this evaluation, FiiO M15, and Cayin N6ii currently running the R01 R2R DAC module.
Unfortunately I can’t comment on how the MEXT might perform on phones, laptops, or dongles.
The MEXT faithfully follows the sound signature of the source.
Kann Alpha: already covered above.
FiiO M15: an overall loss of definition, not significant, but noticeable. Bass is boomier, mids a bit muddy sounding.
Cayin N6ii R01: adds an analog/organic timbre. As an old school vinyl guy, I enjoy the MEXT on the R2R, but on the already warmish and smooth sounding MEXT, some may find it too much.

Summary: There is no “perfect” IEM but the MEXT fit my listening preference very well.
I had some difficulty putting these thoughts together. I would be sitting back trying to concentrate and critically listen to evaluate a certain part of a song, and next thing I knew the song was over and I had missed my opportunity. The MEXT had engaged and drawn me into listening for simple enjoyment. Not a bad problem to have.
This is not to say everyone will find them engaging and enjoyable, but more a testament to how well they fit my preference.
Overall these are a smooth and slightly warm IEM. The bass is very well done, the mids clear and detailed, and although the treble rolls off a bit early, it really is not lacking and holds its own. Treble fans would likely disagree.
I find these to be a pretty balanced sound signature with excellent coherence between the drivers, the sound flows nicely.
This is my fourth experience with Bone Conduction drivers (UM Mest mkII, EE EVO, and a Shokz head band) and, on the IEMs I still can’t focus on the sound and say “yup, that right there… THAT’s the BC driver I’m hearing”. If it sounds good, I can only accept that the BC is blended in and making a positive contribution.

I’m not going to leave any comparisons here. But since I mentioned the Mest MKII I know I will get asked…..
I only had the Mest II in my possession for a few weeks, so I can’t AB compare the two.
Going back and reviewing the thoughts I posted on the Mest II, I can say there are similarities between the two, and some differences. (Please Note: these comments are based on reviewing my previous post, and on memory.. and by 4 o’clock I can’t remember what I had for lunch, so don’t place too much faith on the comments below)
Bass is similar, but MEXT maybe has some added sub bass extension.
Mids and vocals present more forward on the MEXT.
Highs also present more forward on the MEXT, perhaps not as bright and airy without the EST driver support of the Mest II, just more prominent.
One thing I do recall for certain is, that as good as the Mest MKII was, it really didn’t wow me personally.
The MEXT really draws me into the music.
Which means for ME, the MEXT is a good fit.

PS. One thing I forgot to note. The MEXT features spin off spin on nozzle filters/screens.
Kind of a nice touch, has to be easier than trying to change them with a pair of tweezers.

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Bitsir
Bitsir
1/5 what the...
H
hawgrider
Sorry first review here.
I missed the stars rating. Will correct.
Thanks for bringing that to my attention.
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Juns

New Head-Fier
Unique Melody Mext - My new favorite
Pros: Warm and pleasant overall sound
Wide sound stage
High impact bass
Reasonable Price
Cons: Size can be issue for some
2 Pin connector (subjective)
Highs not as clear
This is my review of the UM MEXT and is very subjective.
I will not mention tech specs or things that can be found on UM's website.
I purchased this UM MEXT from Musicteck.com if you are interested.

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UM MEXT is a defiantly the most unique IEM I have ever owned. I do not consider myself as an audiophile but I am an enthusiast. I own several high-end IEMs of my taste and all of them have their uniqueness. However, UM MEXT is a kind of it's own. I've had experiences with bone conduction headphones and they were very disappointing when it comes to sound quality but I think Unique Melody found a way to put a good use of bone conduction technology.

First of all, I would like to talk about the build quality. Black resin body of the MEXT is very clean and sleek as expected for a $1100 IEM. Metal plate you see on the bottom part of the IEM is the new OBC driver and when I first saw the picture, I thought it would be exposed to outside and cold to the touch but actually it is covered in resin. It would have been cooler if it was exposed but I guess they did this for a reason. Unit itself is bigger side of IEMs. Compare it with any other IEMs that I've own, it is definitely the biggest of all.
Despite the fact that it is on the larger side of IEMs, it was very comfortable to wear it for long session of listening. I usually listen my music for hours on the weekends and it did not bother me at all. One thing that disappoints me was that it uses 2 pin connector rather than MMCX. 2 pin connectors are more fragile in my experience and I wish it had MMCX but I guess it is better than having something like Accoustune's preparatory connectors.

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Now for the sound quality.
Starting with the treble, UM MEXT produces very pleasant high notes with warm and welcoming sound. It is not as clear as my Sony IER Z1R or UM Mason FuSang which is the only other UM's IEM I had experienced but it is less overwhelming and sibilant is very minimal. When I listen to 'Someone's Someone' by MonstaX, I usually hear lots of sibilant with most IEMs but with MEXT, it was not the case. I wish it had used EST rather than BA for it's highs but I can't complain with the price.

Mids are very interesting. It starts to have a very hard definition towards the mids and impacts are very significant. Songs like 'Stair way to Heaven' by Led Zeppelin and 'November Rain' from Guns and Roses, I can feel the strength in the vocals and kicks are very punchy and clear. I could really feel the new OBC driver at work.

Bass and mid bass are the most impressive part of the UM MEXT. It is very hard to explain the feeling of the sound in words. It almost feel like when I was at the Eminem concert years back when I was in college. It is almost like I can 'feel' the bass rather than 'listening' to the bass. My Ikko OH7 was favorite IEM for my party/hip hop music but now, I think I am going to stick with the UM MEXT because it simply just don't compare.

Overall sound stage is very wide on MEXT. I used to think my Sony IER-Z1R had wide sound stage (Paired with SPL Marc One) UM MEXT is equal or maybe a bit wider. It is almost like 3D sound field forming inside my head and every instrument, vocal positions are being visualized. In my opinion, this kind of sound stage is impossible to recreate in any speaker system unless it is 5.1 surround sound.

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One thing I regret is that I got a universal version instead of custom and it would have been much more exciting music listening experience if I had the custom version that fits on my ear perfectly.
With the new OBC driver, I look forward to a higher tier with the EST that will bring more clearer and wider sound with punchy impactful feeling of the bass.
H
hawgrider
Good review I enjoyed reading it.
We share a similar experience with MEXT.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts 👍🏽
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E
Edon
Hello. I see on picture you have also Fir VxV. Could you write a little comparison between them?

jaker782

500+ Head-Fier
What's MEXT?... Hybrid IEM w/ BC Driver delivers Rich Sound with Textural Realism.
Pros: Rich, organic tonality.
Fantastic bass performance with slam, punch, and amazing textural realism.
Euphoric, full vocal rendition.
Smooth, yet detailed treble without fatigue
Holographic, 3D soundstage.
Premium cable, eartips, and case included.
Cons: Some may find shells to be on the thicker side.
Stock cable is for recessed 2-pin sockets and shells have flush sockets.
Not for those seeking hyper-detailed, analytical, neutral, or uncolored tuning.
Intro:

Rather than regurgitate the driver technology and description here, I’ll provide the following link containing all this good info:

https://www.uniquemelody.org/products/um-mext

I’ve been wanting to try a Unique Melody Iem with bone conduction drivers and almost purchased a Mest MKII, but decided to take a chance and pre-order a MEXT from MusicTeck instead. Check here for US stock:

https://shop.musicteck.com/collecti...ucts/um-universal-mext?variant=39664533078078


Specs & Packaging Contents:

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Build, Ergonomics & Accessories:

The build quality of the Mext is of extremely high quality. The black resin shells look fantastic and the gold colored UM logo and emblem are classy and unique, without being blingy or drawing too much attention. I wear my iems at work and really don’t want them to stick out of my ears like a sore thumb or be super bland either… these strike a pretty good balance. The shells are relatively small with curved edges that loosely follow the shape of the concha and feel very smooth without any sharp or weird edges that can lead to unwanted discomfort.

While the shells are smallish, they are a bit thicker than I would prefer as they do stick out a bit beyond my pinna, but are not too bad. Luckily, I always seem to get a great seal with this style of rounded, resin shelled iems and the MEXT is no exception. I will say that the inclusion of the Azla Sedna Xelastic tips is really a nice touch as they are quite pricey and do an excellent job of maintaining a good seal. The size mediums that came preinstalled fit like a glove! However I am not a huge fan of the tackiness of these tips, so I went with regular Azla Sedna Short tips from my personal stash, which are my go-to eartips for most iems.

The included PW Audio copper cable is of very high quality and impressive to be included as the stock cable. When ordering, you get to select a 2.5mm, 3.5mm, or 4.4mm termination, which IMO should be offered as stock with all IEMs. The cable is soft, supple, and the black braid really marries well with the aesthetics of the MEXT shells. My only complaint here is the 2-pin connectors are long and made for iems with recessed sockets. The MEXT shells have flush sockets, not recessed sockets! This is sort of a pet peeve of mine since a lot of iems contain flush sockets and yet, they ship with a cable made for recessed 2-pin sockets. I do not understand this, but I’d really like to see this issue addressed on future releases by either providing shells with recessed sockets or a cable with shorter connectors made for flush sockets.


Sound:

Overall, the MEXT is an extremely organic, rich sounding iem anchored by an accentuated, visceral, extremely well textured low end with an uncanny, realistic vocal presentation that is both euphoric and emotional, with a smooth yet detailed treble response.


Bass:
It seems fitting to start with the star of the show. Frankly, I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure of hearing an iem with this quality of bass performance. The MEXT exhibits amazing slam, solid impact, with a punchy, natural decay and extended subbass that really rumbles when called upon. Sub-bass is deep, visceral, and uber-realistic to the extent that if you close your eyes, it is like you are at a live show and can actually feel it. The mid-bass region is quite prominent and is what gives the low end and lower mids its full, meaty, and rich presentation. Note that the Coil Bone Conduction Driver contains a vibration sensitivity peak @400Hz, which places it in the mid-bass/lower mids region, which I feel really provides an added sense of textural realism here that IMO is missing from a lot of sets.

Midrange:
The MEXT mids are extremely natural in tone, surprisingly well-balanced and not at all overshadowed by the powerful low end. The mids exhibit a warm and musical tonality that really shines with vocals and guitars. As alluded to above, the addition of the bone conduction tech helps give the lower-midrange a surreal, realistic quality that is quite full and meaty with amazing vocal texture. Male vocals sound lush and euphoric with a jaw-dropping emotional presentation that is quite mesmerizing. The lower-mids transition into the upper-mids with a gentle rise that is very linear and tastefully executed with no strange peaks or dips leading to unnatural, midrange wonkiness. The transition is smooth and seamless here, and although the upper-midrange is more forward, it follows the natural pina gain and sounds right to me with no peakiness or artificial emphasis that leads to unnatural timber and detail retrieval that often leads to listener fatigue for me. With the MEXT, you get none of that upper-mid peaky, aggressiveness that draws attention to itself. As such, female vocals are equally emotional, natural, and euphoric with zero harshness or fatigue. From top to bottom, the entire midrange is smooth and natural sounding.

Treble:
Overall, the highs are detailed, yet smooth, with no audible peaks or harshness. While the treble does play third wheel to the fantastic bass and midrange response, it still maintains enough detail and presence to avoid being overshadowed too much and being pigeon-holed into the super dark iem category. Lower Treble actually contains a mild peak between 6-8K that I think provides just enough sparkle and emphasis to provide good balance with the rest of the frequency response. I don’t think these are super well extended in the upper treble, but there is enough air and sparkle here to not come away thinking the treble is missing or lacking in any way. Yes, the treble is definitely not the star of the show, but as long as you are not looking for sharpness, uber detail, and shimmer in your highs, I think there is enough here to satisfy most.


Soundstage and Imaging:

MEXT exhibits a grandiose, larger than life stage with excellent extension in all directions. The soundstage has a holographic quality that is quite three-dimensional sounding. I can’t say this has the largest stage I’ve experienced in an iem, but it definitely enters the realm of many full-sized headphones, which is really great for an iem.

Imaging overall is very accurate and instrument placement is above average. However, the fullness of the low end and midrange does give the impression of lack of space and separation between instruments, especially when compared to hyper detailed, analytically tuned iems with more air. Still, the MEXT does not really sound congested at all, as the details, instrument separation, and sense of space is there, it's just not the focus.


Summary:

Unique Melody has created something special here with the MEXT. They have created a richly tuned iem with an organic, emotionally driven midrange anchored by an impactful, visceral low end thanks to the novel bone conduction technology that injects a textural realism into the sound that I have not heard in an iem. MEXT places an emphasis on the organic, emotional side of music rather than throwing out all sorts of artificial details for you to analyze. The details are there, but the MEXT does not force you to focus on them as the tuning is just so engaging and musical. MEXT is the type of addicting iem that makes you smile, tap you toes, and enjoy the music rather than force you to focus on details, which is really what makes it special.
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jaker782
jaker782
Sticking with BC drivers, a used Mest MKII comes to mind or as a single DD, I really like Dunu Zen Pro at under $1K new.
Gustavo1976
Gustavo1976
I own Mest mk2. But I dont know if Mext could be an updated Mk2 or really its a different iem.
Brynjar Odinson
Brynjar Odinson
Nice Review. Very interested in those IEM's. Hope i can test them ssoner or later
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