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.
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.
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...