14 May 2016-5 14 May 2016-8

Crystal Clear

The 12 microscopic drivers inside the Maestro are split across 4 frequency ranges via crossovers. You have 4 drivers on the low end, 4 dedicated for the midrange and then 2 doing treble while the final 2 do what is called, super highs! To describe the Maestro I would say think of a neutral earphone and then give it a decent  and marginally enhanced bass, that has extension and punch. That is what we are dealing with here and it is very satisfying. The bass helps plumpen the overall sounds to end with one that is full and engaging. The other factor that is so impressive is for an IEM with so many driver just how coherent it manages to be always sounding so fluid!

Of all the flagship custom and universal in ear monitors I have tried this is potentially the most easy to get into. I am not going to say it’s the best, likely because there is not one, but for versatility this goes to the top along with my Heir Audio 10.A! Other than subtlety boosted, but still fast bass, nothing sticks out from this earphone, it is not forward or in your face, but not hugely distant and then it has the speed and technical capability for absolutely any music genre!

14 May 2016-7 14 May 2016-11

The bass is typically balanced armature sounding in a lot of respects due to its speed, punch and lack of absolute rumble, it is boosted just enough to handle some bassier genres and also meet demands of a lot of folk. It is also just soft enough to make it pleasant on the ears without going over board like the InEar SD-4 which is very much categorised by a soft and spongey bass. Compared to more neutral products such as Hidition’s Viento-R  it has a bit more bloom but is still way too polite to even draw a comparisons to Jh Audio’s Roxanne on the lowest bass setting! I would say therefore it is nearer to the Hidition in quantity, but still noticeably warmer. While it does not pull off the rumble of a dynamic driver (or Campfire armatures) it does have a great equality through all aspects of the bass, not rolling off too soon or being overly thick in the mid bass.

The transitions into the midrange is a seamless one. The lower midrange is distinct and its own thing altogether but still very well integrated into the whole presentation. Never once have I suspected that any specific element of the midrange has anything extra or less to give. Instead of upper midrange bite of extremely forward vocals, its star quality seems to be in its incredible ability to resolve details and its high level of refinement. Texture is layered with depth and sounds are incredibly well imaged and positioned around each other. I only get the vibe that positioning of the midrange is just right, thats not to say we don’t all love a super forward and energetic frequency range on occasion but this has gone for the more subtle and natural approach. The midrange is smooth in the sense it flows, there is no grain or edge but it is not buttery and without details. That being said, while it was very easy to listen to, I did not find the midrange to be absolutely accurate or truly engaging to listen to, like a model I currently have in my hands on but can’t name!

The theme of the midrange continues in full force as we move towards the top end. It is an incredibly transparent and extended treble but presented in such a manner that it is not even slightly harsh or hot, like say the Dunu DN-2000J could be accused of. Its seems to be the perfect finish to the earphone, again not subdued like the SD-4 but carrying the same weight as the rest of the earphone for everything to line up and feel as one and still the levels of detail and elegant sparkles to impress those wanting something better and more than they previously had. It does lack any 10kHz peak and in total quantity won’t be comparing to the analytical masters such as Hidition Viento-R, stooping this being a reference sound, not that it claims it anywhere.

Everything about the sound of this earphone oozes top tier. It holds focus extremely well, has overall good end to end extension, it is not the most dynamic but never have I found it boring in that regard. It easily hangs out with the best of the best. Soundstage also has incredible depth and while not as holographic as the SD-4/64 A12 or wide as JHs Roxanne, the incredible spatial ability to position instruments back and forth still makes it a force to be reckoned with.

14 May 2016-9

Worth the Wait

I have finally heard a Unique Melody product and I am very impressed. Its balanced signature is easily lovable and its technical ability serves up with the greatest. As with anything at this end of the game its all about finding something that suits your taste and of course that means this may not be perfect for you, but hopefully the way I described the sound can help you there. While on a sonic level, the steep price tag is justified but moving on from that I would like to see some work put into refining their universal model, maybe looking at different materials and at the very least giving each model a unique look. Campfire, Noble and JH have all managed with their universals, they also all use metal, which is much more durable! Obviously this is available in a custom fit variation as well!

On a last note while it seems like UM are the most together they have ever been in terms of distribution, I would like to see them continue to tighten things up and simplify things.

 

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Sonny Trigg