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Unique Melody 3DT (3D Terminator) – Sound Stage Exploded

Unique Melody 3DT (3D Terminator) – Sound Stage Exploded

 

 

There’s something about Unique Melody that makes them one of the best IEM companies out there every single time we make a rank. They always made interesting IEMs, and 3DT is unique because it features three independent Dynamic Drivers. Just think about this! They cost about 400 USD at the moment of writing this review, and thus they will get compared to Dunu DK-3001 PRO, Jomo Audio P3 Percusion, and FiiO FA9. For the pairings part of this review, I will be going with iBasso DX300, Lotoo Paw 6000, and HIFIMAN R2R2000

 


 

 

 

Introduction

 

Unique Melody has a really long history and they’re known as an IEM company. They always stand behind their products, they always provide excellent service, they always have perfect build quality, and they almost always have driver flex for their IEMs. I’m not even kidding, it ain’t like I’m trying to roast, because every single one of their IEMs has been perfect, and even my old and tried IEM from An Outer Planet, the Martian is still alive and kicking. It has been years, but they still work, and beautifully so. This means that Unique Melody is one of the most recommended companies in terms of how good their build is. 

 

 

It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with Unique Melody, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. I’d like to thank Unique Melody for providing the sample for this review. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it. The purpose of this review is to help those interested in Unique Melody 3DT Terminator find their next music companion. 

 

 

 

Product Link

 

You can always grab a pair of Unique Melody 3D Terminator from www.amazon.com here: https://amzn.to/3na8aWZ

 

You can also grab them from Music Teck if you’re from the USA, here: https://shop.musicteck.com/products/unique-melody-3d-terminator-3dt?variant=32656510156862

 

 

 

Packaging

 

First things first, let’s get the packaging out of the way:

 

 

 

Unique Melody is actually one of those companies I’m looking forward to unboxing. I did not experience this with the Euclid from audeze, which has a really odd package for the money, but Unique Melody always feels, looks, and is premium. 

 

 

The package includes a beautiful carrying case, the tips, and the cable for the 3D Terminator. The package is beautiful by itself, and is in line with what iBasso does with their IT07, but a bit downside, in respect to the less than half price of the 3D Terminator. 

 

 

 

 

 

Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

 

We’re looking at something that the company wants to be affordable but not cheap, so I am going to judge them following their own ideal. They are totally affordable at 400 USD, being at the middle-high range of the midrange price range. For this price, they are beautifully designed, in two vibrant colors, and with a detachable cable based on the 2-Pin connector. I need to emphasize this, but there are IEMs also priced 400 USD that do not have detachable cables, like the Periodic Audio Carbon, so I appreciate the work Unique Melody does with including high-quality detachable cables for their 3D Terminator. 

 

 

There are three dynamic drivers inside the 3D Terminator. This is pretty much what the name stands for 3D – 3 Dynamic Drivers. It is also named the Terminator, but I thought that 3D stands for the type of soundstage they have. For the most part it does, but more about that in the sonic performance part of today’s review. 

 

In terms of driving, they are relatively easy to drive, and also slightly sensitive to hiss from sources that feature a high output impedance. 3DT also has no microphonic noise and is perfect for you if you need something to fit medium and large ears. Having three dynamic drivers inside one IEM means also having the space ato create an acoustic room for them, and 3DT did not skip on it. They are really ergonomic, and that’s normal given that they are rounded all around. 

 

 

Passive noise isolation is great, around 20 to 25 dB, depending a bit on the fit, insertion and overall fit. They do have one ventilation hole on the other shell, so driver flex issues are much less present than they were with the Martian. The driver flex is less present than with other closed IEMs with dynamic drivers, like the RSD Rhapsodio Zombie

 

 

 

Sound Quality

 

The sonic signature of the 3DT can be described as aggressively V-Shaped with a really sparkly, vibrant and vivid treble, but also a deep, rounded, tumpy and thick bass that has most of the energy in the sub-bass. The detail level is insane, and the most surprising two aspects are the soundstage, and the dynamics of 3DT. 

 

 

The bass of the 3DT is really clean and goes really nicely down to the lowest depths of heck, but it has less body and less quantity than natural in the upper bass. This means that the overall tuning is slightly bright and open, rather than thick and heavy. This is actually complimented by the excellent sub-bass presentation which keeps the sound impactful and gives an excellent rumble to the sound. 3DT has a good slam too, but if you want a more thumpy type of sound, there are other options. 

 

The midrange is really clean, crisp, clear, yet smoothly textured. This means that while there is a ton of detail everywhere, you can clearly define and name every instrument, and there is no trace of the sound being harsh or fatiguing. The overall detail level is insane, to the point where this is about the most detailed ~300 USD IEM I know right now, but it also has a vivid presentation and a sweet presentation for female voices. Mori Calliope’s voice sounds especially sweet and direct, slightly forward. Background instruments sare pushed back, and they are clearly defined, without any part being lost, reminding me a bit of the presentation that Harmonic Dyne zeus has, but slightly less warm and less thick. 

 

By the time I reached the treble part of the Sound Quality I realised that I ought to try some EQ on the 3DT and I noticed something amazing. You can actually pump the bass by almost 10 dB with zero distortions, leading to a thick, heavy and impactful sound. This means that there’s a ton of headroom with 3dT, and while their default sound is impressive, you can pump it up anyway you like without risking distortions. I always had the feeling that Unique Melody uses high-end and high-quality drivers in their IEMs but now I can actually confirm this. This is also why the dynamics are so excellent with 3DT, there’s so much headroom that the sound has where to go, where to expand, and where to be both loud and quiet. 

 

 

The treble of the 3DT is surely their highlight, and while most IEMs and headphones don’t focus that much on the headroom, 3DT wanted to go all-in and deliver the most clean, accurate and sparkly treble they could without being harsh or sibilant. They somehow managed to do that, and the treble delivery is impressive, not because it is bright, but because it has good air, resolution and refinement without being overbearing. In fact, they can be a touch bright, depending on the DAP driving them and on the music source, but 3DT is extremely safe with the texture of their treble. They manage to paint a natural bodied treble, with no distortions and no odd reflections, no unnatural or early cutoffs, and what I would call a treble I can listen to all day long.

 

The stage of 3DT is their best part, it is extremely wide, deep, holographic, with a top notch imaging and instrument placement. To get this kind of staging, you usually had to pay around 1000 USD, but Unique Melody decided to give us music lovers a nice ride for much less. 

 

 

 

Comparisons 

 

The main comparisons for 3D Terminator are Dunu DK-3001 PRO, Jomo Audio P3 Percusion, and FiiO FA9. There are countless great and even awesome IEMs in the ~400 USD price range, but those are the most iconic ones released lately, and the one 3DT should be able to beat, to stand a chance in the midrange market segment. 

 

 

 

 

Unique Melody 3DT vs Dunu DK-3001 PRO (400 USD vs 470 USD) – Comparing the 3DT to the DK-3001 PRO is a bit like comparing two titans now. I loved the DK-3001 PRO to bits, until the company fell from grace and started reaching less and less out to their customers and leveraging their entire customer relations to stores and third party shops. The comfort is indeed a bit better on the DK-3001 PRO, and so is the overall cable quality, but the package of 3DT is more colorful. The sound of the DK-3001 PRO is more traditional V-Shaped, with less coloring in the midrange, and sounds more natural. 3DT gives off the sensation that you’re listening to speakers in a well treated room, but is thinner and brighter, with more emphasis on the highs, less emphasis on the lows, and with more space between instruments and more resolution. 

 

Unique Melody 3DT vs FiiO FA9 (400 USD vs 500 USD) – Fa9 has a slightly better overall comfort than 3DT, but the package of the 3DT is more colorful and feels better. The cable of FA9 is actually a bit better than the cable of the 3DT. The sound is thicker, more focused on the bass, and more bassy on Fa9. 3DT has a much larger soundstage, which is actually comparable to FH7, and 3DT also has a more analytic sound that’s focused on detail, clarity, it is thinner, and has a better edge for the ultimate resolution. I prefer 3DT for orchestral, EDM and wide-sounding music, while for music that’s supposed to be intimate and close to the listener, FA9 is the weapon of choice. 

 

Unique Melody 3DT vsJomo Audio P3 Percusion (400 USD vs 425 USD) – The package is excellent for both. Comfort is comparable for both IEMs, and the default accessory set / cable is comparable and similar. The differences in sound are quite massive, with P3 being considerably more musical, smoother, more natural, and more thumpy, especially in the bass and the sub-bass. 3DT sounds more dynamic, more engaging, more colorful and vivid in the midrange, with more treble extension, and 3DT has a far larger soundstage, with more space between instruments and more instrument separation too. If you’re a fan of natural tunings, you’ll enjoy P3 more, while if you want a brilliant, stellar IEM with a wide soundstage, you’ll fall in love with 3DT. 

 

 

 

Pairing 

 

While 3DT can be driven from virtually anything, it is sensitive to hiss, and it does show better sound with warmer, thicker and more natural sounding sources.

 

 

It sounds worse with really bright or sparkly sources like FiiO M11 or M11 PRO, and it will get better with a more dynamic sounding source as the three dynamic drivers are really unbound when it comes to dynamics. For this reason, I went with HIFIMAN R2R2K, Lotto Paw6000, and iBasso DX300 as the main pairings for 3DT.

 

Unique Melody 3DT + HIFIMAN R2R2000 (400 USD + 2500 USD) – Natural won’t be the way I’ll be describing this pairing, but rather uplifting and ultimately dynamic. Having three dynamic drivers means that the 3DT can do anything it wants, at any moment it wants. I never imagined this to be so true, but with R2R2K, the most dynamic DAP I know of, this stands especially true. If you liked their original signature, R2R2K only builds upon it and gives 3DT a beautiful wide soundstage, stellar even, and also a brilliant sound, tons of treble sparkle, and a beautiful detail too. 

 

Unique Melody 3DT + iBasso DX300 (400 USD + 1200 USD) – DX300 sounds warmer, more natural, cleaner, and more emotional than most DAPs, and is a great driver source for 3DT. It counters the brighter, more energetic nature of the 3DT nicely, and adds a bit of life, slightly more meat on the bones, more thump, and while 3DT sounds excellent as it was, DX300 tends to bring in a more musical side to them, making the whole sound of the 3DT more balanced and natural. 

 

Unique Melody 3DT + Lotoo Paw 6000 (400 USD + 1200 USD) – Paw 6000 or PAW6K is the kind of DAP that’s a bit softer, yet with a beautiful musicality and detail. This pairs really well with 3DT as it takes off a bit of the edge, but still renders their beautiful detail, combined with the awesome overall resolution and the wide soundstage. The best part about the pairing is that Paw6K just received an update through which it can now receive Bluetooth signals in LDAC, so it is both an excellent DAP to drive 3DT, but can also be your next top end bluetooth receiver. There’s far more power in 6K than 3DT could ever need, so never worry about that in particular, and also, don’t worry, Paw6K sounds excellent via Single Ended, so you won’t need extra upgrade cables right away. 

 

 

 

Value and Conclusion

 

There’s no questioning the awesome value and price/performance ratio of the Unique Melody 3DT. They went from being a premium company to making one of the best valued IEMs in the entire world in an instant, with the release of their 3DT. The best part is that they made something affordable but not cheap, which is exactly what everyone has been looking for. It’s been a long time since I called cheap those ~100 USD Chifi IEMs, and many of them, especially stuff from TRN or KZ are really cheap, even the most expensive ones. 3DT never felt cheap to me, but the price point makes it really affordable. 

 

 

After all the package comes with what I could call one of the best packages / carrying cases I’ve seen in my entire life. They also packaged their 3DT with an awesome cable, and although I do not really like the hard ear guides as much as all the other aspects, they will be perfect for someone with larger ears or even medium ears. 

 

 

The IEMs needed a ton of space to house the three dynamic drivers inside, and to create the soundstage it has, so it ends up being a bit on the large side. Especially if you were looking for a small one, the 3DT won’t be it. 

 

 

But it will be a really surprising experience if you wanted a truly holographic sound. A really detailed, bright, brilliant and vibrant sound. A sound that’s as clear as it is detailed, as clean as it is sharp, and as dynamic as it is punchy. A live sound. 

 

Before the end of today’s review, I will add Unique Melody 3DT or 3D Terminator to Audiophile-Heaven’s Hall Of Fame, for having one of the most detailed, most crisp, and brilliant sounds I’ve ever heard, and for having one of the largest soundstage(es) you can get at this price range. 

 

 

 

 

At the end of today’s review, if you’re looking for a wide, holographic soundstage, if you’re looking for a ton of detail, and if you’re looking for one of the clearest sounds you can get, Unique Melody 3D Terminator is the answer to that question, and will terminate your search. It will simply deliver to you, and maybe even more. 

 

 

 

Product Link

 

You can always grab a pair of Unique Melody 3D Terminator from www.amazon.com here: https://amzn.to/3na8aWZ

 

You can also grab them from Music Teck if you’re from the USA, here: https://shop.musicteck.com/products/unique-melody-3d-terminator-3dt?variant=32656510156862

 

 

 



 

 

 

— Please remember to stay safe, and always have fun while listening to music!—

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full Playlist used for this review

 

We listened to more songs than those named in this playlist, but those are excellent for identifying a sonic signature.  PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality are all revealed by those songs. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you’re searching for new music!

 

If you have a dime to spare (donate), it would make my day much brighter, as it would help me improve things around the website and increase the frequency of my posts.

 

Youtube Playlist

 

 

Tidal Playlist

 

https://listen.tidal.com/playlist/64555551-ec3c-4279-ae44-248fdfcf6c4b

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Excellent review. I just ordered a pair of the 3DT after reading it, and I’m really eager to receive them!

  2. Unknown Music Lover

    Just ordered one from Music Teck! Thanks for the detailed article

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