Recently had the honor of listening to the Mest MKII thanks to a friend! Since I spent some time with it (focusing solely on it for 2 weeks) and tried to really focus on it, I felt it could be useful to write a small comparison with the two considering they are fairly similar in pricing and two of the most famous IEMs around that price range. The main sources for this comparison ended up being the Hiby RS6 and the Questyle M12 dongle DAC and the main tips I preferred were the Final E audio tips for the Andromeda and the Beyer Xelento tips for the Mest MKII, using an Effect Audio Maestro aftermarket cable for both IEMs.
So this section can be a big deal breaker to most people because there is a pretty big difference in fit between the two IEMs. The Andromeda have a shallow fit where the rod (for lack of better words?) is shorter and less wide making it very easy to find a tip that seals and also inserts into your ear easily. The Mest on the other hand has a much thicker and longer rod (again phrasing) that is manageable in terms of it going into your ear but having both a deep fit and a good seal is surprisingly hard. I wasn’t a big fan of the Mest when using Final Audio tips, some Sony tips, foam tips that I found as they all sacrificed sonic aspects of the IEM such as natural tonality, harsh treble, lighter bass response including lower mids. With the Beyer Xelento tips that was all fixed for me. Andromedas basically any tip worked to be honest and also I had less problems in having them on all day while the Mest fatigued my ears after time. (fit but also sound a bit which I’ll go more into in a bit). The Andromedas feel slightly more premium due to the extra physical heft that they have while the Mest look beautiful but do feel slightly cheaper due to how light they are, and while typically lighter is better for comfort that is not necessarily the case in this situation in my opinion as I find the Andromeda to be more comfortable.
General sound characteristics
Okay so let’s really get down to the details on the sound now, bass and midbass were a bit more fun on the Andromedas because there was more quantity bass and also general more punch. The Mest MKII also had a very full sounding bass with great detail in particular, great speed and again it may be thinner than Andromeda bass but that’s only in comparison because it was still very rich sounding and went fairly deep. Mids, once again the Mest had thinner sounding lower mids in comparison to the Andromeda and a less wide sense of space but a much deeper and much more intricately layered sense of space in my experience. There were a few eye opening moments when listening to the Mest in how it layered music, to be quite frank it just felt like next level which really surprised me since on most things the Andromeda and the Mest weren’t quite that far off. A song that stood out was Big Bang – Fantastic Baby as it really just blew my socks off, the bass the layering and you everything having it’s own space. Almost, man idk, feels like using the word 3D or holographic is almost a disservice to this because those terms have been used to describe tons of things that don’t compare to the Mest staging. It’s just something that I haven’t heard, the LSA HP-2 had a similar sound and similar staging for sure and at first they sounded quite similar but I think the Mest has more interesting layering. It is hard to explain but I will attempt to do so since after all that’s what this comparison is supposed to be for. It gives you all the information in the song, you hear the smallest details in weird corners of the room, you hear the gain switch, you hear everything and it’s not just put in your face or compressed, no, it’s instead super layered in a intricate stage. It’s pretty dang phenomenal and honestly so above the Andromeda where the Andromeda in comparison sounds muted/drowned. Mids were pretty even in both, both are very detailed and decently organic but the lower mids on the Andromeda are surprisingly thicker and richer sounding and also connect to the bass in a more natural way. Upper mids on the Mest can get a bit more fatiguing if you have a longer music session which is something to keep in mind, I would say that the Andromedas are much more forgiving where worrying about sibilance or fatigue is just not realistic. Treble energy on the Mest is another one of the biggest differences between the Andros to where the Andros have a fun sparkly treble but it’s still polite in comparison to the mest treble which is really just super energetic, super fast and super prominent. Andromeda however does just have a much less fatiguing treble, you can wear Andromedas any day and for as many hours as you like and the treble won’t be an issue. Mest MKII however does have elevated treble to my ears and not just elevated but it’s a very energetic and piercing treble when the song requires it (never sibilant btw, just alot of treble energy). Anromedas present in a much more traditional way, it’s a very traditional sounding headphone where left to right is exactly what and where one would expect with no surprises in sound either, it reminds me of my Focal Studio monitors where everything is very standard and nothing surprises you nor stands out besides it’s very balanced sound.
Some other sound qualities
Up until now I have mostly talked about the differences in staging and frequency because those two things stood out the most however there are some other things to keep in mind. Andromedas focus more on macro detail and the Mest has more of a focus on micro detail but that’s all preference so It’s something to keep in mind. Andromedas have a slower attack which also makes it a bit more relaxed sounding while the Mest has great speed/attack but the upper mids and treble have alot of bite that can make it a bit more fatiguing in the long run. When it comes to things like organicness, tonal balance, forwardness and generally most other things that come to mind both do them very well.
Final thoughts for guidance?
The way I see it there’s a few key points to what you should choose.
Pros for Andromeda
- more universal fit
- cheaper price
- wider sound stage
- non fatiguing sound signature
- deeper bass, more bass quantity
Pros for Mest MKII
- deeper soundstage
- intricate/unique staging
- better speed
- new perspective on all your music
All in all both feel worth their respective price tags and you can’t really go go wrong with any of them, Andromedas are slightly cheaper and more forgiving to recordings while Mest MKII is more resolving, slightly more technical and just as balanced sounding! Whatever you choose hope you enjoy!
Generally chill person, found purpose in life through Martial Arts as a child and as a young man trying not to let that young boy down. Lover of Photography, Running, Audio Gear and living life freely. Just like my experience in life please keep in mind that my experience in audio is fairly limited.