Home / TVs & Audio / Headphones / Unique Melody Aero

Unique Melody Aero review

Gordon Kelly

By

Reviewed:

1 of 6

wer
  • wer
  • trrtetr
  • tyr
  • rweter
  • ertt
  • tytyj

Summary

Our Score:

7

Pros

  • Well made
  • Completely bespoke designs
  • Excellent audio clarity and detail

Cons

  • Hard shell lacks comfort of soft shell alternatives
  • Sound signature suffers on bass heavy tracks
  • Requires amplification to see best results

Key Features

  • Custom-moulded in hard plastic
  • Can choose your own design
  • Triple driver design
  • Detachable cables
  • Manufacturer: Unique Melody
  • Review Price: £475.00

Unique Melody is a company with ambition. After years as an audiophile's secret, the high-end Chinese custom IEM maker is coming to the UK in conjunction with specialist distributor AmpCity. It is arriving with a bang. In March it announced four premium models: the £405 dual driver Marvel, the £475 triple driver Aero, £575 quadruple driver Mage and mind numbing six driver £775 Miracle (and they've just added a five driver model as well, the Merlin). We'll have a review of the Mage for you shortly, but today it is the turn of the Aero.

It may be the entry level model, but with a current asking price of £455 (plus £20 to get some moulds of your ears taken) it is fair to set expectations high. Initial impressions suggest these will be met. Like any custom moulded in-ear monitor (IEM) the snag is you cannot try before you buy, but put your money where your mouth is and Unique Melody will let you choose any colour and any artwork you like inclusive in the price.

tytyj

For our review sample we chose the colour British Racing Green and the astronomical symbol for Mercury (spot the speed theme). Once decisions are made you visit a local audiologist (map guide here) to have your impressions taken, then there is a waiting time of three to four weeks while the monitors are made.

Build quality is good. Like most customs, Unique Melody uses a hard-shell which results in an extremely accurate reproduction of your mould's impression and the Mercury symbol we requested was precisely engraved with a clean finish. Being hard the shell itself has no give (more of which later), but it is translucent letting you see the mechanics inside – a nice touch its intended audiophile target market will no doubt enjoy.

wer

Unique Melody also uses detachable cables which means should anything happen to their cable it can be easily replaced. The cable is surprisingly thin so it does tangle easily, but the braded texture means it should prove hardwearing and results in minimal microphony. Accessories include a leather carrying pouch, a cleaning tool for removing any ear wax that gets stuck in the monitors (grim, but useful) and a presentation hard case made of stiff cardboard with a magnet seal which is finished in pink (though admittedly more red than it appears in the photo).

If the pink case will divide option, however, that is nothing compared to the audio performance...

Mark Booth

June 24, 2011, 4:30 pm

I have to say I completely agree for a music listening experience. The MP3 generation is used to having soft foam or silicon tips, so the thought of going to hard plastic with less noise isolation would feel like a step back to me, let alone the comfort issue.

I have always had comfort/fit issues with off the shelf UE/Shures, so decided on the ACS T1 and all I can say is wow! Fit is incredible and they warm to body temperature in seconds, leaving you with a very natural feel. And the bonus is you can listen at any volume (bleedingly loud if that floats your boat), even in a library, and no one has the faintest idea. Complete sound isolation :)

Gordon394

June 24, 2011, 8:04 pm

100% agree. Silicon moulds have huge advantage over hard shells. Once you've tried silicon it is virtually impossible to go back to hard shells.

Yan

June 27, 2011, 8:14 am

Hmm, I'm a little unsure about this article. For one, there's no comparison against the Shure SE535's, which aren't custom moulded but are in the same target price range (and also triple driver), and there's also grammatical errors and broken links in it as well. C'mon guys, you can do better than this...

Gordon394

June 28, 2011, 7:59 am

Dear Yan, that's a poor tone. Had you read the links to the ACS T2 review (http://www.trustedreviews.com/ACS-T2-Dual-Driver-Monitor_Headphones_review) you would have seen the T2 is directly compared to the SE535 and wins by a country mile. It is no longer the gold standard and therefore not the principle point for comparison, especially for a custom mould.

While no longer responsible for subbing I see no errors over 1,500 words and having written over 5,000 articles for TrustedReviews in more than 6 years I feel when commenting you can do better than this.

Gordon394

June 28, 2011, 8:01 am

As irony would have it, please ignore the closing bracket - picked up as part of the hyper link.

Yan

July 1, 2011, 7:38 am

Sorry for the tone, but that's just what I felt when reading this - poor.

Yes, I have read the ACS T2 review, though I had to hunt for it myself as the link in the article was broken at the time. It's been fixed now, but still, we shouldn't have to read every article published by TR so we can keep a track of A is better than B which is better than C which is better than D, just to compare A and D.

Besides, this misses the point - even if the 535's are not the gold standard in IEMs, they (alonside the GR10s) are still the best non-custom IEMs TR has reviewed. It seems negligent not to compare in any way a new pair of custom IEMs with what remains the best non-custom IEMs in the same target price range. Certainly many readers (including myself) would love to know how they compare, especially given the RRP on the 535's have dropped over £100 now.

Finally, there's still grammatical errors in the article, slight as they might be (you're, your) but added to the broken link and lack of detail, I just felt the article didn't tell me anything I wanted to know. Given the target audience of people most likely to consider buying a £500 pair of custom IEMs are also the same group most likely to consider (or already own) top of the line non-custom IEMs, some tips on how or why to choose one over the other would have been appreciated by many.

The only sentence that even mentions the benefits of customs say the UM's have a claimed noise isolation of 25dB, but then not mentioned is the fact that the 535's have a claimed noise isolation of 37dB (!) so where's the benefit? It all just seems confused and one-sided at best.

Yan

July 1, 2011, 7:45 am

The other thing that wasn't mentioned was even if the 535's no longer compare in terms of sound quality, how do they compare in terms of value? The 535's can be had for £290 now in a bricks-and-mortar store, nearly £200 less than the Aeros - and you can get silicon sleeves for them. Should they still even be considered?

www.xcentricmold.com

August 27, 2013, 8:15 pm

With a hard shell there is no give so the seal is easily broken. It also means they are more tiring to wear over long periods.

comments powered by Disqus