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See Audio x Crinacle Yume Midnight

A Great IEM Gets Better

Christopher Coke Updated: Posted:
Category:
Hardware Reviews 0

The See Audio Yume were an outstanding set of earphones for your daily life, but they’re back and better than ever thanks to popular IEM reviewer, Crinacle. This collaboration improves bass response, detail, and, well, just about everything we hoped for in our original review. It’s also being sold exclusively through HiFiGo and we would like to thank them for sending along the sample to test. 

Let’s find out just what’s different in our review!

Specifications

  • Current Price: $199.99 (HiFiGO
  • Impedance: 32Ω.
  • Sensitivity: 106dB±1dB.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz.
  • THD+N: ≤2%.
  • Isolation: 26dB.
  • Connector Type: 2-pin 0.78mm.
  • Features: 
    • Tuning Adjustments by Crinacle.
    • Redesigned Carbon Fiber faceplates.
    • Powerful triple driver hybrid configuration.
    • Dynamic Driver with Liquid Silicone Diaphragm.
    • Two Custom-Tuned BA drivers.
    • Low-Frequency Filter Conversion(L.F.C) technology.
    • High-quality 5N OCC Silver-Plated Copper Cable.

See Audio x Crinacle Yume Midnight - What’s New?

The Yume Midnight is the latest collaboration between IEM phenom, Crinacle. If you’re not already deep into the hobby, you may not be familiar with Crinacle, so brief introductions are in order. Crinacle has become one of the leading voices in the in-ear audio hobby, creating the world’s largest database of IEM measurements. This is incredibly important to the hobby as it provides a way to see how IEMs will perform “at-a-glance” before having to spend money on something you may not even like. Because of his reputation, he’s partnered several leading audio companies (Fiio, Moondrop, KZ) to create custom-tuned IEMs that usually improve on an already popular base model.

The Midnight is exactly such a project, taking the foundation of the See Audio Yume and offering an improved version that addresses its main points of criticism. Namely, the bass response and detail have both been improved, both of which were points in my own review published nearly one year ago. Despite those points, I adored the almost liquid quality it applied to electric guitars and enjoyable Harman sound signature. For my style of music and entertainment, they were just a lot of fun. 

The basics, same as the OG Yume: hybrid design: two balanced armatures, one dynamic driver. This design allows the frequency band to be split so no one driver is handling all of the frequencies and potentially over-taxing itself. The dynamic driver uses the same Liquid Silicone Diaphragm driver as last time, which promises less distortion and bass bleed into the mids and highs. It also uses the same Low Frequency Filter Conversion tech that positions a small cavity and sound guide in front of the dynamic driver, allowing See Audio and Crinacle better control over the tuning of the set.

So what’s different?  Apart from the look (which is now black with slick carbon fiber-like faceplates), both the low and high-end extension have been improved, leading to a more impactful, detailed sound. In a swoop, it addresses the original critiques of the original, but it doesn’t sound like it was an easy change to make:

With sheer dedication and countless experimentation, See Audio has successfully done it by virtually overhauling the Yume from the ground up; improving the cavity design of the Yume, changing the ear nozzle and electronic crossover filters, and adjusting the arrangement of the drivers and acoustic tubes inside the cavity. All to achieve the desired results without increasing the driver count.

- HiFiGo Announcement Post

The accessories have also been improved. There are now five pairs of silicone ear tips instead of three, allowing you to dial in a better fit (though there are no memory foam tips this time around). The cable has also been improved with silver plating and upgraded 2-pin connectors, though I still prefer the original in look and feel. All of this can be held inside of the included aluminum case. It’s too big to carry in a pocket, but can easily be thrown in a bag, along with a couple of other accessories like the iFi Go Blu

See Audio x Crinacle Yume Midnight - Fit and Comfort

The shape of the Midnight has been updated slightly from the original Yume, but the fit remains largely the same. That’s a good thing, as the original was very comfortable to wear for extended periods. 

The IEMs feature a standard UIEM (universal IEM) design that’s made of resin and intended to be supported by the concha and secured with the tip in the ear canal. The big change this time is that the nozzles don’t extend quite as far. For my ears, that meant they could sit a bit more flush and not stick out as much. Neither IEM is really bad in this way, but the Midnight is definitely an improvement and doesn’t lose anything in security or comfort.

See Audio x Crinacle Yume Midnight - Listening Impressions 

Remember the design intentions here: improved bass, improved details, create “a technical Yume.” Bearing that in mind, let’s see how Crinacle and the See Audio team did!

The listening tests conducted in this review used Spotify on Very High quality, WAV audio, and standalone tracks. It was driven by a combination of the Xduoo XD-05 Plus, the iFi Go Blu, and the THX Onyx.

Bass: Bass extension has definitely been improved compared to the original Yume. There is more reach into the low, low sub-bass region that creates the enjoyable rumble and “feeling” of bass. The mid-bass texture is also improved, so bass guitars, kick drums, and thrumming synths all feel alive and punchy. Despite the improvements here, I was also surprised to find these IEMs quite resilient to EQ. My XD-05 Plus has a bass switch to punch it up further and, while too much for my taste, turning it on didn’t cause these earphones to crack up.

Are they bass-head IEMs? Definitely not. In fact, the reason I flicked the switch was because hip-hop seemed to be a touch thin to me. If you listen to rock, metal, or electronica where bass provides body and impact, these will be a good fit, but don’t be afraid to EQ if you’re looking for more.

Mids: Like the original Yume, the mids are excellent. Vocals and instruments come right forward with realistic, detailed presentation. I love guitar on this set just as much as the original Yume. It really does something magic with electric guitar solos and cutting riffs like those in Angel Vivaldi’s Dopamine. There isn’t a massive improvement here as last year’s Yume also nailed the mids. They’re as great as ever, and that includes full, enjoyable vocals from male and female singers. 

Treble: Another area of improvement for the Midnight. The treble on that set was rolled off and, though clean, lacked air and atmosphere. This set addresses that with enhanced extension. Cymbals, for example, sound livelier and have better decay. The high-end still doesn’t tend into harshness, so Crinacle and See Audio didn’t over-reach here. It feels very well balanced overall.

Soundstage/Imaging: The soundstage on the Midnight are an improvement from the original Yume, but aren’t exceptionally wide. That said, they’re not narrow either, falling somewhere in the middle. This doesn’t bother me because the tonality and presentation of the earphones is so enjoyable, but for pure spaciousness, there are better options out there. 

Imaging, on the other hand, or where sound sources appear to be coming from, is good. It’s easy to discern directionality and the ability to clearly hear individual layers of sound is on point. Together, this makes these earphones feel slightly above average. If you plan to use them for gaming, I encourage you to pair them with a spatial audio solution like Dolby Atmos. 

Final Thoughts

The See Audio Yume was an excellent set of earphones and the Midnight makes it even better. If you were considering the Yume but held off because of the reports of thin bass, this evolution adds the oomph those lacked while adding extra detail and air on top.  At $199, they’re a solid choice and well worth a closer look over at HiFiGo.

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.

8.0Great
Pros
  • Improved sub-bass and added mid-bass detail
  • Same great mids - excellent for metal and instrumental music
  • Improved soundstage and imaging (better fit for impromptu gaming)
  • Upgraded cable
  • Sleek new design
Cons
  • Soundstage is still middling
  • Cable is less interesting than the original
  • No memory foam eartips


GameByNight

Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight