Unique Melody Multiverse Mentor Impressions (Sort-of...)

Unique Melody has come up with some unusual names over the years but I think this one takes the cake. This review will go over my impressions of the Multiverse Mentor, a $4500 USD in-ear monitor that is the follow-up successor to the original Mentor, which I never had a chance to hear.

This Multiverse Mentor was loaned out to me by way of the Watercoolers Tour Group on Head-Fi.

The MM is a 13 driver product with 12 balance armatures and a single piezoelectric bone conducting driver, made famous from their original MEST line which started this trend. Unlike the MEST series however, there is no dynamic driver taking up the low end sound, but UM has packed driver count with 5 additional drivers over the MEST series.

The MM comes with a PW Audio braided cable that is quite thick, but also easy to handle and attractive. It is a little on the heavy side, but I didn't feel too much discomfort in sitting down and using it. The cable comes in a navy blue color that blends well with the "Banksia Seed" faceplates which have a orange and dark blue design that looks pretty good.

The unit I demoed here has 4.4mm balanced connection and 2-pin cables going into each shell.

Sound Impressions

Author's Note: The Multiverse Mentor that was on loaner tour had a dark sound to it that I thought could just be the tuning. After listening to it a few days, it did sound a little unexpected dark and sometime strange. I ended up measuring it a few days later, and discovered channel imbalance. It is quite possible one of the mid-range drivers is dead on one channel, as shown in the graph.

Much of this review was written prior to measuring and fully acknowledging the discrepancy, so please take this review with a grain of salt!

The MM can be characterized quickly as smooth. It is very smooth-sounding and has a warm, relaxed and dark tilt to it, that works quite well with certain music, and may leave you asking for more in others. 

Channel Imbalance!

The vocal stage is recessed from the front a bit in many tracks I listened to, including "Versions of Us", an album by Lanterns on the Lake that I find myself putting on repeat often these days. The female-led vocals do not seem as forward on the MM as they do on other IEMs I normally wear like the Subtonic Storm or the Hidition Viento. Instead, they do seem a little further back, perhaps at the center -back of the stage, and the instruments, particularly low end ones, stand more proud. 

This creates a unique holographic soundstage again, which I find is something that UM does quite well in all their bone-conductor featured products. The MM is darker than the MEST series, with more emphasis on mid-bass than sub-bass, and also darker than the standard MEST line, but not nearly as dark and flat as the MEXT, which is one I felt was too much for me.

In terms of resolution, I find the Multiverse to just about average, and perhaps a little disappointing given its price point. I didn't find it anymore resolving than say the MEST series at half or less than half the price, and at the end of the day, I feel like you're paying for a little bit better coherency and a different tonal signature. Even then, the MEST MK3 is quite coherent and smooth, and to me, presents a much more proper tonality that still retains a darker and lush sound, but not quite overwhelmingly dark.

Final Thoughts

Well, after writing down my thoughts on listening to it over a few days, noting that this IEM sounded a bit dark and musky, I did eventually determine that there was some channel imbalance at play that seems to have changed the sound signature to darker midrange and lower-treble, which could have drastically changed my opinions of this IEM.

I'll leave my post up as-is, but keep in mind that this is probably to be taken with a large grain of salt.

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