Today, we review the Unique Melody Multiverse Mentor which is a 12 BA driver hybrid custom in-ear monitor with bone conduction technology. It is priced at $4999.
Disclaimer: This sample was sent to us in exchange for our honest opinion. Headfonics is an independent website with no affiliate links or status. We thank Unique Melody and MusicTeck for this opportunity.
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Note, this feature follows our latest scoring guidelines which you can read here.
Unique Melody Multiverse Mentor
If ever there is a BA custom monitor that will give die-hard high-end dynamic driver fans pause for thought then the Unique Melody Multiverse Mentor is likely the one that will come the closest to doing that.
Comfort & Isolation
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Unique bone conduction influence on the bass
Complex and highly engaging soundstage
One of the best customs fits in the business
Disparity between advertised and actual face plate design
Since we last reviewed the Mentor V3+ and Mason V3+ in 2020, the Mason line has grown exponentially with ever-grandiose creations including the FuSang, Fabled Sound, and the top-of-the-line FS Le Jardin, models we have yet to hear nevermind review.
The Mentor, on the other hand, got left behind a bit with the V3+ the last big launch. That has all changed with the recent release of the Multiverse Mentor, both in universal and custom formats.
The Multiverse Mentor is a flagship in-ear monitor, no doubt about that at $4999 for the custom version and $4499 for the universal version, though by no means is it Unique Melody’s most expensive creation.
And, while it sports some superficial similarities to the Mentor V3+ it is nothing less than a complete reimagination of its predecessor incorporating a lot of UM’s latest technologies and, at least from memory, a very different style of tuning.
The Unique Melody Multiverse Mentor is a hybrid 12+1 driver in-ear monitor. You can buy it in universal or custom format with this particular sample, (and review), focusing on the custom version.
The 12 driver side of the equation is an all-BA driver configuration and the +1 one is a bone conduction driver which is fairly consistent with what UM has been trying to do with a lot of their recent launches such as the MEXT and MEST MKII.
The precise grouping is 4 BA drivers for the lows, 2 for the mids, 2 more for the mid-highs, and 4 for the highs and ultra-highs with a 5-way crossover. The bone conduction driver has no specific targeted frequency range so the scope seems to be 20Hz to 20Khz, therefore, adding an additional layer of coloration on the 12 BA drivers.
The bone conduction driver has also changed from the double-sided piezoelectric bone conduction driver inside the cheaper MEST MKII to a new Frequency Shift piezoelectric bone conduction driver.
Now, as I understand it the double-sided ceramic layer remains but now the precise design uses copper substrate and conductive palladium means it is more stable with a more even flow of vibration throughout the typical audible hearing range between 20Hz and 20Khz.
It also increases the general level of efficiency or sensitivity of the monitor over the previous versions so ideally, the audible sound from the Multiverse Mentor is more natural and clearer than previous BCD creations.
Although this particular sample is a custom design, Unique Melody sent our Multiverse Mentor sample with the same design as you get with the universal format.
There is only a minor but significant difference and that is the gray fender or face plate frame switching from the universal ceramic format to a much tougher and slightly more expensive titanium material.
The frame is not fixed in color either for the custom version. You can also get it in Ceramic Black or a Rose Gold variation depending on your preference and I believe there is no additional charge for those options.
The Multiverse Mentor custom design is very eye-catching with a nice mesh of blue transparent aviation-grade carbon fiber shells, the grey titanium frame divider, and a resin-coated plate insert inspired by Banksia Seeds and their various openings along the stem.
I do believe though it looks very different from the graphical artwork on the UM website. It seems someone got a little overactive on Photoshop and blew out the highlights and filters creating more of a lava-type nebula effect.
The reality is subtler but no less interesting and unusual and sort of reminds me of the heavily engineered designs from JH Audio’s custom work. The Multiverse Mentor finished shells do feel quite substantial and denser than the normal resin or acrylic custom shell design.
You can also get some lettering customized on the titanium frame for a personal touch which we didn’t go for on this review model.
Comfort & Isolation
Because the Multiverse Mentor we have here is a custom design it should mean that it will be an exact fit for your ear offering above-average levels of comfort and isolation.
And indeed, that is the case here with an outstanding level of passive isolation which is no surprise really as I have never received a loose-fitting custom shell from UM.
A few points to note though, the first is that since it is a BA driver monitor there is no need for any venting in the shell, unlike dynamic driver hybrid alternatives. Venting can decrease isolation and allow more background noise to leak in.
The second point is the Multiverse Mentor nozzle finish which seems a little on the fatter side compared to some of UM’s previous custom designs. That’s a tweak I am in favor of because it puts a little bit of pressure on your ear canal and further tightens up the isolation levels. Some might find the additional pressure a bit more fatiguing.
It also means you will be very much aware of the Multiverse Mentor in your ears but it doesn’t protrude outwards quite as much as something like a JH Audio custom design. This should work well for audiophiles and stage artists who need something to fit securely.
The stock cable is aesthetically beautiful with a blue color scheme that perfectly matches the ambiance of the Multiverse Mentor carbon fiber shells. It is also a bit of a ‘thick boi’ with its braided blue nylon coats jacket and beefy plugs.
Technically, UM has given the cable a name and it’s an unusual one entitled “Deep of Universe” and is a custom design from respected Hong Kong cable specialist PW Audio whom they have had a working relationship for a few years now.
The Deep of Universe is a 4-core 26AWG independently shielded ultra-pure copper and silver-plated copper wire though there is no mention if the metals are independently wired, mixed, or an alloy. The shielding and jacket consist of Polyvinyl chloride, (PVC), softened fluorinated ethylene propylene copolymer (soft FEP), and cotton.
Because it is a cloth-jacketed wire you might find some microphonics will be picked up a bit more compared to softer PVC but on the flip side the handling is great for a big cable. There is no memory retention when working with it and that was both in the office and traveling on 3-hour flights.
The Multiverse Mentor cable doesn’t have any natural springiness so UM has added some clear coating memory wire near the connectors that spoils the looks a bit but I must say I love the chunky barrels they finished the cable with.
The blue-colored matching 4.4mm balanced jack barrel, chin cinch, and splitter look super tough with screw-fitted locks rather than glue. No glue means no issues drying out and the barrel cover twisting or slipping off.
Packaging & Accessories
For a $5k custom, I felt the Multiverse Mentor packaging was professional but a little understated. One only has to refer to the VE Elysium custom unboxing experience for an exhibition of what a premium unboxing experience can look like.
You get a relatively compact “ESP” double drawer retail box that folds out much like a jewelry case with the monitors and cable inside a spruced-up and very deep blue Dignis leather zipper case. Underneath is a slide-out tray with accompanying accessories and warranty information.
Custom monitors rarely come with as many accessories as their universal cousins. Do not expect to find any tips because you will never need them but do expect to find a very nice oval blue vegan leather UM-branded IEM organizer strap that folder and clips around the Deep of Universe cable beautifully.
The Multiverse Mentor Dignis leather case is quite big and nicely padded on the inside which only makes it more useful in my eyes simply because you can stuff a hell of a lot in there beyond the cable and drivers.
For example, I took this case with me to CanJam Singapore 2023 and was able to stuff in about 4 cables and 8 drivers without any concerns about space. That makes it a very useful stuff-in-your-bag type of case indeed.