At the time of the review, the Unique Melody Miracle V2 was was on sale at Musicteck’s online store. Here is a link to their listing of the product:
About a month ago, I covered the Unique Melody Maestro. Here is a link to this review:
Long story short, the Maestro was one of the greatest and most entertaining in-ear monitors I’ve ever heard. In that review I stated it was like a beefier version of the Miracle V2. While to some they will think that means the Miracle V2 is an inferior product, the fact is they should read between the lines. Yes, The Maestro is incredible, but so is the Miracle V2 in it’s own awesome way. Today we will go over this with a comprehensive review.
I was given an opportunity to review the Miracle V2 in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with Unique Melody. I would like to take this time to personally thank my friend Andrew for the opportunity.
I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, Amplifiers and Earphones that intrigues me, especially if they can be had for low prices. I will buy the $5 to $500 earphone that looks promising, in hopes that I will discover that one new gem that can compete with the big names in this industry. If you look at my Head-Fi profile you will see that I have purchased MANY different headphones and earphones, ranging from from dirt cheap to higher end products. For me, this hobby is more about getting great price to performance ratio from a product, and having a variety of different gears with varying builds and sound to mix and match. With personal audio gear, we tend to pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that just because a headphone has a higher price tag, it doesn’t mean that it has superior build and sound quality.
I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me the “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they have good ergonomics, and the sound is pleasing to my ears. It is my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based on gear I have owned and used.
NOTE: Because the packaging, accessories and earphones/cables are identical (with the only exception being drivers/driver counts and tuning), the entire first part of this review (with the exception of specifications and a few minor edits) will be identical to my Maestro review. Please skip ahead to the Source Selection section after reading specifications if you wish to not reread information that is nearly identical to my Maestro review.
The Miracle V2 Universal comes in an all black box the size of a large jewelry cube. The Unique Melody logo is printed in discreet shiny black print on the top. “HAND CRAFTED WITH LOVE” is printed on the bottom of the box with the same glossy black lettering. Another interior box slides out from the package which contains the earphones. A third box pulls out from the second one, containing the Miracle V2 Universal accessories. After removing this box, I was greeted with a heavy duty black metal canister that unscrews to reveal a velvet bag which was holding the earphones.
Specifications and Accessories
Driver Tech: Six Balanced Armatures; Crossover: 3 Way Passive
Range : 18Hz - 19kHz
Driver Configuration: 2x Low, 2x Mid, 2x High
Impedance: 15.9 ohm; Sensitivity: 114dB SPL
Recommended Use: Audio Professional, Audiophile, Sound Engineer
4x Pair memory foam tips (S,S/M,M/L,L)
4x Pair black silicone wide bore tips (S,S/M,M/L,L)
1x Airline adapter
1x ¼ inch adapter
1x Earwax cleaning kit
1x Two year warranty card
1x Metal cannister
1x Velvet drawstring pouch
The Miracle V2 Universal housings are made of a black acrylic material that seems very sturdy. It’s bulky and has a quasi-custom-ish shape. A two pin connector is located on the upper portion of the housing. The fitting is slightly recessed into the housing, making the cable connection more secure than earphones without this feature.
The Miracle name is printed on the inner part of shell. The right side is printed in red, and left side is printed in blue (to mark each channel). The Miracle V2 Universal nozzles are wider than average. Looking at the end of the nozzle, they have two separate ports for sound. Tip rolling is a bit tougher than normal but for the most part I was able to fit just about every tip I had on the nozzle with a little extra effort.
The faceplate of the earphone is a holographic carbon fiber printing with the Unique Melody name printed in a shiny finish. Overall, the housing seems tough enough to withstand daily abuse. Because these are a loaner I refrained from using them as nunchucks to see how well they would hold up. Just know that they look built to last. I didn’t see any screws or misaligned seams. It’s honestly pretty flawless looking. If you have any concerns, the Miracle V2 Universal comes with a two year warranty.
NOTE: The Miracle V2 Universal comes in both a universal and custom model. Please take a look at Musicteck’s website to find out more about pricing and design options for the custom models.
Cable, Y-Split, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
Miracle V2 Universal comes with a braided black cable that follows along the lines of many other high end in-ear monitors. A quad braided cable leads up to the Y-split which is held together by clear heat shrink tubing and separates into two twisted cables that leads to each channel’s two pin connector. There is also a piece of clear tubing that operates as a chin/neck slider to snug things into place. The Miracle V2 Universal stock cable has two inches of memory wire that help secure the earphone in place and works well. The cable jack is a ninety degree variety that has a gold plated 3.5 mm jack and plastic and rubber jacketing. Strain relief at the jack is adequate, and the memory wire offers some strain relief where the cable connects to the housing.
The stock cable is plug and play. However, the fact that it is removeable opens up options for microphone and remote cables as well as upgrade cables.
Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics, Isolation
The Miracle V2 Universal is a bulky housing, but also a pretty nice fit. The tips that come with the Miracle V2 Universal are formidable for getting a good seal. I found the memory foam tips that come with Miracle V2 Universal to be high quality.
Unique Melody gives you everything you need to get a secure and consistent fit. Find the right fitting tip, pop them in your ears, secure them in place with the memory wire, then adjust the chin/neck slider to secure the cable over your ear. The Miracle V2 Universal is designed to go over the ear. Because of this microphonics are minimal and virtually non existent. With the right tip isolation is just a hair below custom in-ear monitor level.
I did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-G3 with the latest firmware for portable and smartphone use, and either my Shanling H3 or iBasso DX80 DAP for high fidelity portable use. For desktop use I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a ifi micro iDSD playing at 32/192kHz. I tested them with several other sources as well. I used Google Music in its highest download quality (320 KBPS) and I also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I also used purchased and downloaded tracks in MP3, FLAC, WAV and DSD. I make sure that any gear I test has sufficient playtime before writing a review.
I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
“Limit to your love” by James Blake (bass speed, punch, response)
“Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk (sub bass)
“Get lucky” by Daft Punk (bass to midrange transition resolution, male vocals)
“Madness” by Muse (soundstage, separation)
“Some nights” by Fun (soundstage and male vocals)
“The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela (texture and imaging)
“Bassically” by Tei Shi (bass to midrange resolution, female vocals)
“Skinny Love” performed by Birdie (female vocals, acoustic playback)
“One” by Ed Sheeran (male vocals, acoustic playback)
“Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack (symphonic presentation, imaging)
“Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits (detail, separation, balance)
“And Justic for All” by Metallica (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
“Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to assess and break down the gear’s response.
Just like most multiple driver armature in-ear monitors, the Miracle V2 Universal is a very sensitive and easy to drive IEM. With most more powerful sources (even portable sources) you will hear a faint hiss when music isn’t playing. High gain settings and powerful sources are not needed and will only hinder the capabilities of the Miracle V2 Universal.
Just like the Maestro, and one of the most obvious things to me since reviewing both earphones is that for multi-armature designs they sound very good with just about every portable and low powered source I used them with. The V2 Universal is very true to the source being used. What I mean by that is that they synergize well with whatever source you use. Warm sources will make them sound warm, and neutral sources will make them sound more on the linear side of things. Neither type of source pushed them to the point that they sound like a mismatch.
Because the Miracle V2 Universal has a very balanced signature with great detail, it will be somewhat revealing of poorly recorded music. Even still, the Miracle V2 Universal has enough musicality to prevent low bitrate recordings from being butchered.
The Miracle V2 scales up incredibly well. The Miracle V2 sounded great through every source, but especially good in Hifi mode on my LG V10. In Eco mode with my micro iDSD (250 mW @16 Ohms) and playing DSD tracks, the Miracle V2 Universal sounds… MIRACULOUS
You will get away with streaming music through your smart phone and having it sound great. To maximize every last detail, feed the Miracle V2 some high bitrate music in low gain out of your favorite DAP. Use neutral sources for a very balanced signature, or use a warmer DAP for a more musical sound.
The miracle has become my reference in-ear monitor since getting them. The first words that come to mind when listening to them are balanced and transparent, which I feel are their best qualities, and what makes them so excellent.
I had a chance to go to Axpona all three days in Chicago in April 2016. Etymotic was displaying and demoing the ER4 along with two new models, the ER4SR and the ER4XR. The XR model (stands for extended response) sounded like the ER4 with a touch more extension on both ends of the frequency response. What it also sounded like to my ears was the Miracle V2. So much so I had to take them to Axpona the second day, just to see if my memory was deceiving me. After comparing the two I have to say that the midrange and treble aren’t far off in terms of tuning with there being just a bit more midbass emphasis on the V2 (midrange and treble are similar and very natural sounding). The Miracle V2 was also an all around slightly more refined and detailed sound as well. To put the tuning into perspective, in many ways the Miracle V2 tuning has been refined to sound more natural than the first tuning, smoothing things out a touch at upper frequencies (primarily sibilant frequencies) and compares more to natural sounding earphones with just a touch of added dynamics.
Bass on the Miracle V2 is well done and will be beefy enough for those who prefer this frequency slightly north of neutral, and at the same time not be offensive to those looking for a linear sound. As far as sub bass is concerned, the Miracle V2 has it, but not in massive quantities. The sub bass has a respectable amount of extension, but doesn’t have the visceral rumble of some of the bassier dynamic in-ear monitors I’ve heard. To my ears the midbass seems to have just a bit more emphasis than the lower frequencies. It’s a little extra oomph to keep things from being perceived as boring. It is still very natural and not anywhere near what I would consider to be overdone. Resolution is top notch. Tones have nice resolution and decent layering.
Having other people listen to them, impressions varied from some people saying the bass seemed forward and impressive, while others stated that the bass could have been a little more forward and with more sub bass rumble. To me it sits somewhere between the two. Not too much, and not too little. There’s enough presence to bring “DA BASS” when the beat drops, and not so much that it ruins acoustic music.
The Miracle V2 midrange is incredibly natural, balanced and displays clarity, detail and transparency at a level that is world class. It’s an ever so slightly warmer lower midrange that doesn’t make any vocals (male or female) sound colored or unnatural. Timbre is good, and lower midrange is very controlled. Upper midrange has a slightly smoother feel. I’d even go as far as saying the midrange might be considered by some as bland if not for the incredible clarity and transparency. Because of this I find the V2 midrange to be elite.
I find the tuning of the Miracle treble to be spot on. It’s not overly harsh and has nice extension. Nothing about the Miracle V2 treble seemed to exaggerated or harsh, but at the same time they seemed to be crisp enough to sound incredibly natural. Details are there in spades. Cymbals and pronunciations of the letters S and T can be heard without seeming harsh or distant. They are a tuning that is very complimentary to the excellent midrange.
Soundstage and Imaging
The tuning is fantastic, as each frequency seems to be dialed in to a sweet spot so that just about anyone can appreciate their sound. However, this doesn’t translate into the Miracle V2 having a large soundstage. There is some depth and natural qualities, but listening to the Miracle the space didn’t seem big. It’s much better than the average in-ear monitor, but to my ears the Miracle V2 soundstage isn’t the best I’ve heard.
Because of a very well done midrange, the transparency and clarity yields some natural transients and a nice sense of instrument placement. The Miracle V2 offers a sense of imaging that will provide an added level of dimension to your music collection.
Noble 6 ($1000 USD on Noble’s website)
The Noble 6 is one of the bass champions of Noble’s lineup. They are a six armature driver setup that provides listeners with a warmer and more relaxed sound signature. The Noble six is in limited quantities, as they have been replaced by the Django, which to my ears seems to be the Noble 6 in an aluminum shell.
Comparing the two, the Noble 6 is definitely a darker and more colored sound. The Noble 6 has more bass slam, primarily in mid bass regions.
The Noble midrange is warmer and doesn’t carry the same clarity and transparency as the Miracle V2. It is a more weighted and musical sound that can put some added weight on male vocals. Those who like added warmth and musicality to their sound will prefer the Noble 6. Those looking for a more natural and airy presentation will prefer the midrange of the Miracle V2.
The most distinct difference I could hear when comparing them is their variances in upper frequency tuning. The Noble 6 creates a nice sense of treble extension, but also seems to have a certain degree of roll off starting at upper midrange frequencies. The Miracle V2 manages to maintain a level of balance and extension that sounds more natural to me (and without ever seeming harsh or fatiguing). There seems to be a big dip at sibilant ranges on the Noble 6, making pronunciations of the letters S and T seem almost unnaturally laid back, but at the same time creates a relaxed top end that is great for long listening sessions. The Miracle V2 has more presence in this range and that seems natural, and it will reveal sibilance in recordings, albeit not in an incredibly harsh or unbearable way.
Build quality goes to the Miracle V2. Their acrylic shell is well put together, seamless, and has some cool carbon fiber printing on the faceplate of each housing. Design-wise, the Noble 6 offers a better fit. I give an accessories advantage to the Noble 6. I prefer the Noble clamshell case over the metal canister of the Miracle V2. Accessories pretty much a tie, with Noble getting a slight advantage in terms of tip selection.
Vibro Aria Custom ($599 on Vibro Lab’s website)
The Aria is a four armature handmade flagship earphone that was released earlier this year. It offers a very balanced sound with what seems like limitless extension on both sides of the frequency response. The Aria is offered in two variations, either custom or universal shells. Like other earphones like this, the fit causes minor variations in sound. The custom is a warmer and slightly beefier sound, and the universal is a leaner and cleaner sound. For this comparison I will be using the custom model. My universal Aria is borrowed out to a friend at the moment.
Comparing the two, the first thing I’ll say is that these two earphones have more sound similarities than differences. They offer some tremendous levels of detail and extension. Both have incredibly balanced sound with a touch of midbass lift. Bass on the Aria Custom has a bit more fullness, with the Miracle V2 being a little bit tighter. Midrange on the Miracle V2 has more transparency and detail, while the Aria Custom has an ever so slight touch of color to its sound. The Vibro Aria Custom seems to be just a touch more relaxed at upper midrange and lower treble tones. Extension and detail on both are very similar. Treble on the Miracle is bit more detailed and accurate. The Aria trumps the Miracle V2 in terms of soundstage. Imaging goes to the Miracle V2.
If I had to guess, The Aria universal will probably resemble the Miracle V2 sound pretty closely. When the Aria Universal is returned I will edit this comparison.
Accessories goes to the Aria because I like the Pelican case (Miracle V2 offers more tips however). Build quality is a draw.
The Miracle V2 universal pushes the thousand dollar mark. For that kind of money it needs to do a lot of things right. The Miracle V2 checks a lot of boxes for me and for that reason it is one of the top earphones I’ve experienced. They are balanced enough to be a reference monitor for many people, but also has a signature that can make listening to music and movies a joy.
There seems to be a shift from custom shells back to universal varieties. I think this has to do with the fact that our ears continue to grow as we age (changing the shape of our ears and altering the fit of custom shells), and also the fact that universals have a better resale value. For those two reasons I would probably go with the universal version of the Miracle V2. Still, if the bulkiness of the universal housing would bother you, or you are a musician looking for the most secure and isolating in-ear monitor you can get, the Miracle V2 can be purchased in a custom shell.
The original Miracle to this day scores stellar reviews. Unique Melody has taken the small amount of constructive criticism the original received, and did some slight tweaking to their sound. The result is an epic sounding earphone that will be end game stuff for many who want something along the lines of a refined ER4 with better bass.
The Miracle V2 is something more seasoned Head-Fiers need to hear. I’m going to make sure to bring the Miracle V2 to meets in my area so people can experience them. When we spend several hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on in-ear monitors, we want the earphone that offers the best level of performance that also is tuned to our preference. The Miracle V2 is balanced with an added splash of awesome sauce. I haven’t had anyone listen to them and not say they sound great.
Thanks for reading and happy listening!