See Audio released on of our favorite earphones of the year with the See Audio Yume. It's been nearly ten months since that release, but the company is returning to the Yume again, this time with the help of community all-star, Crinacle of In-Ear Fidelity. The IEM has been re-tuned and upgraded to be "more resolving, better extended, wider-sounding, [and] more dynamic." In other words, the Midnight makes the Yume better than ever and will be sold exclusively through HiFiGo.
When we reviewed the Yume, we were impressed by its sound quality at its $169 price. Its tuning followed the Harman Target, a sound profile based around mainstream listeners, so perhaps it's no surprise that listeners agreed and made the Yume a popular, and quite hyped, choice surrounding its release. The criticisms it received were largely based around its bass and technical performance.
That's where Crinacle comes in. Crinacle is as close to a celebrity as the earphone community has, operating the largest database of earphone and headphone measurements in existance today. Crinacle has a history of pulling no punches, which has made him one of the most trusted sources on the internet for earphone impressions. As a result of this, he has become one of the most trusted audio reviews in the business today and his website a key resource for listeners and brands alike. His community support is also evident through his return to YouTube in August of this year where he quickly skyrocketed from several thousand subscribers to 109K as of this writing.
With the Yume: Midnight, Crinacle set out to make a "technical Yume," a version of the earphone that addressed the community feedback head-on. The team at HiFiGo, the exclusive retailer of the See Audio Yume: Midnight, shared the following in their blog post.
"The Yume: Midnight comes with tremendous improvements in the lower end and the high-frequency regions [...]
The biggest challenge in implementing Crinacle’s new tuning was in improving the extension of the UHF (Ultra-High Frequencies) while maintaining the configuration of the original Yume, all without deviating too far from the original Harman Target tuning. To do that with a blank cheque was easy, but to do all that within the limitations of the Yume’s 2+1 driver configuration would require a miracle of engineering.
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."
The post goes on to explain:
"Apart from the tuning, the Midnight also aims to address the original Yume’s most glaring flaw: its lack of “technical performance”. The Midnight started development with goal of a “Technical Yume”, and on that front it has met and even surpassed expectations. The Midnight is effectively a more resolving, better extended, wider-sounding, more dynamic Yume. An upgrade in the truest sense of the word."
See Audio has also upgraded the accessories with the Yume: Midnight
"Instead of three regular pairs of ear tips, the Midnight will be packed with five different sizes of silicone ear tips, ensuring a comfy music experience for ear canals of all sizes. The stock cable and 2-pin socket has also been upgraded, with the Midnight now sporting a 5N OCC silver-plated copper cable which has undergone strict tensile testing and has good flexibility."
For fans of frequency response graphs, here is how the Yume: Midnight measures compared to the original Yume:
In our final verdict, we gave the original Yume an 8.5 out of 10, a score we consider Great. These improvements are aimed directly at the critiques we and others in the community offered, so it will be interesting to see how successful the team at See Audio and Crinacle were in addressing them. We hope to do so in a future review as units become available.
The Yume: Midnight will retail for $199 and is available for pre-order now. Pre-orders are planned to begin shipping on January 15th.