PROS: updated carbon fiber shell design, titanium-gold sound tubes, 8-wire dual-tone premium cable which can be switched between silver and copper sides, DB-GO bass adjustment module, quality accessories.
CONS: proprietary cable connector due to dual-tone design, price.
The product was provided to me on loan for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion.
Manufacturer link: UM. Available for sale from Musicteck.
I’m sure many are familiar with a saying, don’t judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately, that is exactly what I did when I heard the announcement about v3+ updated versions of UM Mentor and Mason flagships. I reviewed original v3 models in the past, assumed it will be a minor “+” update, didn’t look closer to find out why the price went up, and even overlooked the announcement of the EA upgrade cable. Instead, my focus was on the same driver count without even giving it a chance, until I actually heard both v3+ at CanJam NYC show earlier this year.
But what really got my attention was reading impressions from people urging to try different eartips and to switch to Effect Audio Phanes upgrade cable. Thus, I decided to give v3+ a closer listening by borrowing both pairs and upgrade cable from MusicTeck store where they are currently on Sale. I wasn’t obligated to write a review, but put one together anyway because I was pleasantly surprised with the results after a month of testing. So, here it is.
Unboxing and Accessories.
Similar to the original v3, the new v3+ models arrived in a giftbox quality all black textured cardboard box with a glossy “UM unique melody” dark print on top. But unlike original, there was a fancy paper wrapping around the new boxes with wax seal stamp in different colors (Mentor – gold, Mason – silver). It’s an interesting detail, giving the packaging a unique touch. Other than that, the unboxing experience was very straight forward and identical to v3 where under the cover you will find a dense foam insert with cutout pockets for storage case (with IEMs inside) and the rest of the accessories.
The included accessories are carefully selected and all very useful. Those include 2 sets of eartips: S/M/L genuine brand name Comply and generic S/M/L/XL silicone. Furthermore, you will find a piece of cleaning cloth, comes in handy to remove any fingerprints off the shells. The plastic warranty card (the size of a credit card) has a printed S/N, website address, and a service email. But if you look closer you will find a hidden folded flat usb stick that flips open. In there, you can find separate pdf files with pictures of the IEM, product feature overview, warranty info, etc. There were also two cable adapters included, 2.5mm to 3.5mm and 2.5mm to 4.4mm, but I assume these will vary depending on your selected cable termination which in my case was 2.5mm balanced.
Another carry over accessory from v3 is a unique Magnetic Earphone Clip (MEC) which you can use both for cable storage and as a shirt clip. Made from a soft leather material, there is a strong magnet to hold it together, and you can use it magnetically “clipped” to a shirt (sideways) or secured at the neckline of a t-shirt (pointing down). A little metal loop attached to MEC is where you put the cable through to secure it to a shirt or a t-shirt. Or, you can use it to hold the wrapped cable together.
Last, but not least, is the storage case – a hefty titanium matte puck (Mentor) or shiny chrome puck (Mason) with a threaded secure cover and a soft felt lining to protect IEMs inside. This case feels more “luxurious” in comparison to other similar puck cases I have seen in the past from other manufacturers, and it can make a great paper weight on any desk. Though OK for storage and roomy to fit IEMs even with Dual-Tone cable, it’s not very practical as a travel case, so you will have to get another one, more pocket friendly.
Page 2 – Dual-Tone cable design, and EA Phanes upgrade cable.
Page 3 – Design.
Page 4 – Sound Analysis, and Conclusion.