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Unique Melody Martians – Otherworldly Experience


Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit


UM Martian mean business from the first moment one opens their package, being a very sturdy looking IEM, one of the best Acrylic IEMs out there. They rely on a 2-Pin connector to connect their cables, but with a slightly different approach than most IEMs, the pins being on cable rather than on the IEM body, like other IEMs (for example Kinera H3). Although this means that one has to acquire special aftermarket cables for them, it seems that this is slowly becoming a new standard, offering a pretty high level of confidence with the connection.
The cables come with a built-in hard ear hook guide that helps keep the IEM bodies in places, taking away a very large part of their weight. The cables are glossy black in color, and they are quite supple, but once again, they inspire high levels of confidence. The 3.5mm connector feels and looks pretty well-made, being gold plated.


When it comes to their aesthetics, UM Martian looks like a professional CIEM that’s been made into a universal fit, but that is too little said, to fully describe their appearance. Their black and glossy bodies remind of magical ethereal objects coming from the outer space, and they have the words “Unique Melody” engraved on the outer part of their bodies, in a highly reflective and shiny, silver color. There are no acute angles, and there are no angles at all in Martian’s body, the IEM shell featuring mainly smooth surfaces and curves, for improved ergonomics. They look like they are fit for almost any background, starting with the professional studio of a music band, to the ears of a free  and wild metal music lover, to the ears of a busy business man who is looking for a moment of freedom to enjoy his favorite music.


Sound Quality
UM Martian comes with a very specific signature of its own, being quite the enthusiastic performer, with a slightly V-shaped signature, a pretty tight, yet fairly well extended bottom end that has good impact when it needs to, a slightly recessed yet crystal clear and revealing midrange that has an exceptionally natural tone, vibrant textures and a lot of instrument separation, and an uplifting, bright and happy treble that extends up to the highest octaves. The signature is remarkable in how open and vibrant it sounds, along with how much detail the Martian can extrapolate from a song, being an In-Ear Monitor that will surely give others a run for their money in the detail department.


The bottom end is fairly tight and very well-controlled, being here to be precise rather than to explode. As Unique Melody states, the two dynamic drivers are here to create an exceptionally precise bottom end rather than to rattle the listener, and to this end, UM Martian delivers fairly well, having a very quick, precise and well-textured bass that reminds of the studio quality bass that very high-end studio monitors have. The bass is usually placed less forward than the midrange and the treble, but it doesn’t disappear from the sound, being there when it is called for. In this sense, UM Martian will most probably be best for those who want a high-quality but tight and conservative bass rather than for bassheads.


Brokencyde – Diz Iz a Ranger Dude – The song starts with a quick and quiet intro leading to the full song, which is presented lively, airy and uplifting. The bass is extremely deep yet quick, the midrange is detailed and vivid, while the treble is slightly less forward than the midrange. The cymbals last for the perfect amount of time, and the two dynamic drivers show real impact with this song. Bass feels well textured and tactile, while the screamed parts of the voice have the perfect amount of crispiness to sound real. The message about holding parties, having fun and doing all kind of silly yet fun activities is illustrated well and with good uplifting emotion that reminds one of a teenage party.


Dimmu Borgir – Gateways – The song starts strong with a forceful intro, after the atmospheric one. The bass can be felt quick and deep, but not overly forward, with the midrange and the top end being presented forward. Voices are extremely clear, and there is a very good sensation of space throughout the whole song. Orchestral instruments are well defined and stay the background, while voices have rich textures, being presented forward. Brass instruments sound natural and bear the right amount of impact. Cymbals crashes have a good duration and are bright enough to make the song feel energetic. The dark message of the song, about the awakening of the self conscious being, but with a dark twist, is transmitted as it should be, dark yet musical.


Brokencyde – 2Drunk2Drive – The song starts with a strong and thick bass, and a forward midrange. The song feels playful and uplifting, with every electronic instrument and effect being presented with good clarity and vividness. Voices feel natural in their tone, providing excellent detailing. The song itself doesn’t have much information in the higher registers, and UM Martian exposes this pretty well, presenting the song as a smooth and playful composition. Background voices are easily distinguishable from the forward ones, and there is a good sense of air throughout the whole song. The message about the protagonist who is drunk and doesn’t want to drive, but rather asks his girl to do it for him, all ending in a romantic ending, is illustrated with good emotional attachment and excellent vividness.


Unique Melody Martian provides one of the cleanest and most clear midranges there are, supported by a high-quality BA driver, which is able to render fine textures and micr-details exceptionally well. Given that they are a closed-back IEM, they sound exceptionally open, and even when compared to fully open IEMs, they still provide a very open sound, sometimes even comparable full-blown open-back headphones. The tonality is pretty much spot-on, guitar solos reaching just the right octaves to sound sweet and to hit the right spot emotion-wise, and voices sounding always very natural.


The detailing is out-of-this world, as is instrument separation, and this is easily noticeable with complex songs, like metal music, where you can easily distinguish multiple guitar notes played at the same time, or in electronic music, where multiple synth notes and effects are intervowen, but still can be distinguished from each other.


Escape The Fate – Gorgeous Nightmare – The song starts with a selection of vivid guitar notes and snappy drums playing together. The cymbals that follow shortly are a welcome and lively addition to the mix. Voices feel vivid and realistic, while the guitars feel vibrant and well-textured. Some electronic instruments feel a bit hot, as they were painted in the mastering process, UM Martian being excellent at revealing all the intricate details about the mastering. The solo feels lively and vivid, well-detailed, and although it isn’t the longest solo out there, it serves its purpose very well. The message about the protagonist’s love is painted with an excellent amount of details and vividness.


Deadmau5 – Professional Griefers – The song starts with a strong, vibrant and vivid presentation. Voices feel well-textured and fun to listen to, as they were painted in the mastering process. The sound has a very large soundstage, and an excellent instrument separation, being easy to distinguish unique effects and instruments in the busy and complex composition. The message is painted in bright and vivid colors, with both enough bottom and top end. The message of the song is painted like an uplifting party featuring a lot of random but fun elements.


Age Of Days – I Did It For Love – The song starts with a playful guitar woven with a snappy and explosive drum set. The cymbals and the voices are forward elements, with the guitars playing right behind them. Bass notes feel pretty forward this time, with a good amount of impact. The guitars can reach well in the higher registers, feeling unleashed. The whole song feels musical and uplifting, a truly energizing experience to witness. The song about the protagonist who loves his other half, despite her shortcomings, is presented in a lively and lovely fashion with the right amount of emotional emphasis as well as the right amount of energy, for it to feel energetic rather than smooth.


The treble of UM Martian is, like their Midrange, a very strong point of theirs, extended up to the last octaves most listeners will hear, and they are tweaked to have their highest energy point higher than most IEMs out there, resulting in a very clean and airy sound, with just the right amount of brightness for music to sound clean, well-extended, detailed and enjoyable.


Cymbal crashes last for the right amount they have to, and the sound is never fatiguing or too bright, but UM Martian has a high amount of life and energy in the higher registers, providing quite an uplifting sound, so they make everything sound lively, from metal music, all the way to Cabaret.


Children of Bodom – We’re Not Gonna Fall – The song starts with a long yet quick and energetic intro of guitars woven skillfully with snappy and quickly played drums. The song has a fair amount of detail and the guitars have very nice textures, sounding open and musical, while the voices have the right textures and tone to sound natural. The solo feels very vivid and tonally spot-on, with multiple layers of guitars presented skillfully to the listener. The soundstage extends very wide for this song. The message about the protagonist who will always win and outlive the hardships of life is painted in a happy and energetic manner.


Katy Perry – Who Am I Living For – The song starts slowly, but with excellent depth. The voice feels close and it has a very natural presentation. The bass has a fairly good depth and impact, while the background instruments are well detailed and presented with good presence. The song has a good depth and width in its presentation, with a lot of air between instruments and between instrument layers. The message about the girl who is in love with the alien form, an impossible love she yearns for, is presented in a musical and vivid way, with good emotional emphasis.


The Offspring – The Meaning Of Life – The song starts quickly, with a speedy and breath-taking intro. The voices feel fairly close to the listener, presented with good emotion to them. The cymbals have a bright and open presentation, without sounding harsh or sibilant. The guitars are presented vividly, sounding very musical and rich. The whole song is energetic and uplifting, with the message about the meaning of life, and how one should always hold tightly on his personal meaning, being painted in a vivid light.


The Soundstage of UM Martian is very wide and open-sounding, with a lot of air and space between instrument, an excellent instrument separation, and a fairly good depth that separates the more forward sounding instruments from the background ones. UM Martian is quite good at giving every single instrument an edge of itself, increasing the enjoyment one gets when analysing complex composition to notice more cues and details the original song had.


The soundstage can be said to extend well in all spatial axis, without any inherent weakness in its spatial presentation, UM Martian presenting the user with an open experience, similar to open-back headphones, even though they are closed IEMs.


The ADSR and PRaT (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release, and Pace, Rhythm and Timing) characteristics of UM MArtian are quick rather than neutral, leading to a tight and precise experience, UM having a very revealing signature that will rather expose the intricacies of a song instead of glossing over the micro-details. This means that UM Martian has excellent revealing properties for both details in the music, and for mistakes that are present in the original track, making difference between an album that is recorded and mastered well and one that isn’t.


Portable Usage


UM Martian is extremely portable, being not only extremely easy to drive, having a small impedance and a high SPL, but also being one of the best isolating IEMs I heard to date, featuring levels of isolation comparable to the mighty Etymotic isolation. The fit is usually pretty tight, UM Martian being the Universal version of a custom IEM, so its body is made to work ergonomically with most ears, leading to excellent levels of comfort and isolation. There is a little void to speak about while using UM Martian, as they are pretty much closed in their design, as opposed to vented or open designs, but there is no driver flex for me. The included foam tips make portable usage especially sweet, without affecting the sonic signature in a negative way.


Listening to UM Martian while wandering through the noisy streets of Bucharest isn’t only possible, but quite enjoyable, UM Martian being able to nullify even most of the annoying noise in a busy shop during the holidays, this even without any music playing. This makes UM Martian an excellent tool to use while performing music as well, especially if one isn’t interested in having a CIEM, but prefers a universal fit. If there is any downside to mention, with those levels of isolation, you don’t really hear anything from the outside, so better caution is advised while wearing UM Martians on-the-go.
(Comparisons, Pairings, Value & Conclusion On The Final Page)

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