My YouTube Review
I mostly listened to the MELE set on my Sony Xperia 1 II (both 3,5mm SE and balanced with iBasso DC01), JDS Labs ATOM stacked with Topping D50s on my desktop. I can undoubtedly say that Tripowin's 10mm graphene driver has been polished to a real musical brilliant by HawaiiBadBoy (from BadGuyGoodAudioReviews). The collaboration set delivers performance and joy outmatching anything in its own and nearest price brackets.
Build & Presentation
Mele's shell leaves the impression of a chunky heavy peace, while it is actually extremely light and comfortable. The most comfortable uiem set I own! Period. I've been listening to it almost constantly over the past 3 days. I even managed to doze off on my right side for an hour. This has never happened before. Even with my ciems, due to discomfort. I use the largest stock tips. The stock 3.5mm cable is nice for a free cable. It is light and somewhat soft and pliable. No microphonics. There's a carrying softshell case, which is big enough for carrying an extra cable and an adapter. There a two vents - one underneat the 2-pin connector and another one on the inner side, right above the stem of microfiber covered nozzle. The nozzle is about 4,5mm with a lip at the end, which prevents the tips from falling off. The musical euphoria is generated by a single10mm graphene dynamic driver.
The biggest disappointment here - it's not Z1R's. The joke aside, the bass is extremely potent and detailed. Depending on the macrodynamics of the song, I could swear the set is mid-bass heavy, a pure basshead or neutral, close to absent. That's how well it's tuned! The only thing that would make the Z1R's bass superior is something I cannot really put my finger on precisely, but let's say the Sony has a greater slam. Not it terms of power, but rather in terms of potential. Imagine driving a Japanese rotor-engine sports car and an American muscle car. With matching horsepower, rpm and speed, you'd still feel a difference. That's how similar and yet different the bass on those two wonderful sets is. It realistically portrays the amount of bass coming from any drums, beat machines, bass guitars, pianos and deep male vocals. Jennifer Warnes' Way Down Deep has some of the deepest, complex and powerful bass drops I've heard and the MELE had no problems layering DA DRUM with a bass guitar and a duet of male and female vocals. Honestly, I did not expect such a coherency. Especially for the price of 50 bucks. And yes, although I love Kill Jill's 3-leveled bass drop, this chick's duet song became my go-to for testing bass.
(Jennifer Warnes - Way Down Deep, Kenji Kawai - Making of Cyborg, 2Pac - I Ain't Mad At Cha, Big Boi - Kill Jill, Doobie Brothers - Long Train Runnin')
Abandon all sibilance and euphoria. The most pleasing mids. While debating between the Mest and MELE as my most favorite mids set, I'd take Mele over Oracle for the more relaxed female vocals. I have to mention here that some people might not like their favorite singresses (is that even a word?!) being pushed a foot away from their ears. Having said that, the MELE plays guitars and male vocals like a TOTL. Once you feel the vibrations in Bill Withers' vocal cords, you'll give all the graphene driver all credits due. (Hugh Laurie ft. Gabby Moreno - Kiss of Fire, Bill Withers - Lean on Me, Grateful Dead - Ripple, Eagles - Hotel California (MTV Unplugged), Foreigner - Cold As Ice, Fleetwood Mac - Never Going Back Again)
The highs are tuned perfectly even for extremely long listening sessions. Present and detailed, whilst not being pushed in your face for dissection. Quite happy with the details and presents. Less present than the Oracle, L9 and the YBF. I'd say it's forgivig to a certain extent, so the MELE is a good choice for sources with lower quality (Queen - love of my life (Live at Rock in Rio Festival), Sting - It's Probably Me, Daft Punk - Giorgio by Moroder, Doobie Brothers - Long Train Runnin', Mariya Takeuchi - Plastic Love (Extended Club Mix))
Extremely coherent - nice separation, layering and positioning. Awesome performance in FPS games (Queen - Love Of My Life (Live at Rock in Rio Festival), Eagles - Hotel California (MTV Unplugged), Mariya Takeuchi - Plastic Love (Extended Club Mix)). Sound sources are easily identified. The firectruck sirens in Plastic Love lose some scale compared to the Oracle, due to slightly relaxed tuning in the highs band. Similarly to the Oracle and Mest, the audiences in the MTV hall and the stadium in Rio sound very coherent and I can easily tell which one is bigger.
Movies/Gaming/Other Audio Experience
With its coherency, details and Hi-Res capabilities (excuse my French here) provided an extremely satisfying experience with any movies or anime I played. To test MELE's gaming capabilities I played a few matches in Overwatch only to confirm my speculations - having a lot of fun from the explosions rumbling my eardrums, while still having a precise audio information for where the rest of my team or the enemies were.
Greatest bargain in audio gear since the blons. I'd add that it outscales them greatly. Come to think of it, it is really hard to find any flaws in either the technical performance of the driver or the tuning. Worth mentioning here is that I'd have to do a series of A:B test to find where the MELE steps behind the more expensive TOTL sets. I'd be fine with the MELE until I get either the Oracle, the Mest or the IER-Z1R and then I'll use them as daily drivers. The MELE is also a wonderful gift for the music lovers among your dear ones. As I liked its mids better, I'd take 6 Mele's over the Oxygen and end up with a better sounding set and 5 great gifts for my friends and family.
For the past 50 hours I went through the favorites of my entire library enjoying the MELE. HBB did a great job tuning Tripowin's superbly performing graphene driver. I cannot recall another set to come on par with the MELE given its price to performance ratio. Not the YBF with its QC issues, nor the BL-03 with its inferior driver, nor the TC-01, which lacks some weight and details in the mids. Even my beloved L3 sounds honky and superficial now and I have to EQ it. Even this review I'm writing for almost 3 hours now, because I ofter make pauses enjoying the track plaing in the randomized all-music-files-playlist.
From hip-hop and hardstyle, through hard rock and power metal to classics and movie soundtracks, the MELE delivered nothing but joy. It made me listen, feel and dream. And headbang. And tap the tips of my fingers on whatever surface I had at hand. That's a true music lovers' delight. As such, I cannot help, but wholeheartedly recommend the MELE to the music lovers among you.