SeeAudio X Crinacle Yume Midnight – A Balanced Performance
- This unit was provided by HiFiGo for review purposes
- My Yume Midnight has undergone over 300 hours of playtime
- I don't do measurements, I just describe what I hear, from my own POV
- I don't use EQ
- The entirety of my impressions was done with slow rebound foam tips
- Ultimately, my reviews are purely subjective and biased to my personal preference in sound
- Ovidius B1
- NotByVE Abigail
- NotByVE Avani
- Earmen Sparrow
- LG V50 ThinQ
- Sony Xperia X Compact (USB 2.0 host)
- HiBy Music Player (USB Exclusive Mode)
- FLAC Lossless Files
- iFi ZEN DAC V2 + ZEN Can
It is elegant as it is rugged looking, with lacquered carbon fiber outer shell faces. Simple decals on both sides. It is minimal, smooth and ergonomically comfortable to the touch. Housed inside, a hybrid setup of two custom Balanced Armatures and Liquid Silicone dynamic driver each side, rated at 32 Ohm, 106db of sensitivity. Meant to be highly efficient and easy to drive. The assembly complemented by a 2-pin 0.78mm setup. Accompanying the IEM itself, equally simple yet elegant 5N OCC Silver-Plated Copper Cable, finished in basic twist braid and terminated in Single Ended 3.5mm stereo jack. I have found the cable to be quite durable, my only complain perhaps the chin slider is a bit loose and will require constant adjustment. Chin slider is important, it provide a solid deterrent to microphonics due to cable movement.
As for the rest, Yume Midnight came with Waifu themed box, complete with two sets of silicone tips and a box. And some trivial goodies that seems to be a normal standard nowadays. I am a bit disappointed that Yume Midnight does not come with foam tips, I recall my SeeAudio Bravery had them included. My ears just will not work with silicone tips and for a manufacturer to ignore the needs of foam tips user, I think they can do better. Especially at this price point. But no biggie for me. I have a few stashes of foam tips in stock which was easily adapted to my Yume Midnight.
Dynamics, Tone & Timbre
SeeAudio Yume Midnight Crinacle appeared to my senses as a very mild Harman curve tuning meets neutral/natural sound curve. Not a surprise at all since Crinacle has been well known to favor this sort of sound signature. I said very mild Harman-ish because what I am hearing is something that edges closer to neutral territory. Less V, Less U curves. A bit more pronounced Mids and great deep lower frequencies elevation and extension. With matching high frequencies to complete the fusion of Harman-ish sound to neutral/natural experience. It is done so well; it amazes me for the great balance that would even impress a Diffused Field Neutral junkie that I am. So, I can imagine a V tune junkie would probably be similarly impressed with this sort of tuning.
Dynamic range is expansive as it is with proper density and note weight. Yume Midnight exhibited timbral balance that I would regard as organic and close to analogue bias. Most importantly, it never felt dry or overly colored. It depends on the sources as well. With natively bright tuned ESS Sabre DAC/Amps, I have observed that Yume Midnight will pick up some euphonic and pronounced attack within the upper Mids segment. With, more natural and neutral sources (normally AKM/Burrbrown DACs), the edginess is less pronounced. But all these, they are not something I would regard as Cons. It simply demonstrated how versatile Yume Midnight is.
There’s great coherence in dynamic transients. It is very clean as it is smooth. Great balance between smoothness and crispness. Too many I have observed, in the pursue of crispness, smoothness being sacrificed – but not Yume Midnight.
One of the first things that really clicked to my taste, from the first listen is how well presented Mids are on Yume Midnight. It has ample forwardness to the staging thus avoiding the recessed sensation as would normally observed with Harman based IEMs. No, it does not slap Mids right in the face, but the placement and intimacy level feel just about right. Tonal wise, Mids appeared neutral with good hint of organic touch to it. Never edgy nor dull. Even with “warm” sources, Mids will remain faithfully uncolored. There’s great texture and definition to make instruments sounding lively yet well controlled. Percussions, strings and even electronics sounded believable, conveying musical sensations with proper vibe.
Vocals wise, again Yume Midnight exhibited great neutral presentation. It does not matter male of female. The output exhibited the sort of sound faithful to the intended nuances of the recordings. Even with the normally super peaky Soprano of Alison Krauss, the edgy shrill crescendos of her vocals sounded realistic – no hint of being nasal. Similarly, with Sinne Eeg and Diana Krall, chesty and commanding – richly textured yet natural.
Ultimately, I am very impressed with Yume Midnight Mids. It has great balance and maturity to it. Proper smoothness and crispness highly evident here.
The general theme of Yume Midnight Treble, lots of focus on smoothness and subtle sparkle. It is not exactly bright or edgy, but Yume Midnight have tantalizing shimmer that teases the listener with near euphonic attack and decays. Which in turn making it difficult for Yume Midnight to be Treble sibilant – unless, subjected to usage on poorly mastered sources. Yume Midnight has good amount of transparency that it will reveal granular edges of these less than stellar recordings. There’s good amount of Treble details and texture to the overall upper frequencies’ presentation. Yet it appeared not as pronounced as some other IEMs that are tuned a bit more aggressively. Again, I will say Yume Midnight exhibited balance to keep it in harmony with the rest of the frequencies.
Perhaps the highlight of Yume Midnight, sumptuous and articulate Bass presentation – especially Sub-Bass. What I am hearing is a superbly orchestrated balance between Sub-Bass and Mid-Bass that complement each other in fluid harmony. I was mesmerized by the deep, engaging and smooth Bass transitions especially for stringed Bass performances. Most of the times, I have found that many IEMs exhibited tendency to be more dominant on Mid-Bass and slightly reserved on Sub-Bass. But Yume Midnight has that amazing resolution and texture to extend deep thus allowing Sub-Bass to appear and disperse with smooth attack and decays. Mid-Bass on the other hand, remained highly disciplined to not overwhelm lower Mids (which was why the Mids remained neutral). There’s speed, resolution, details and textures that I regard as very satisfying.
I must say that soundstage for Yume Midnight is average in width and expanse. It does have proper depth and height, with great spatial holographic imaging. I must admit, I wish there could be a bit more of space between layers, and thus would impart better sense of spaciousness. But perhaps this is also dependent on the nature of the driving sources.
Otherwise, separation lines are crispy clean and smooth. Easy to track individual passages of sound. Details well pronounced – Macro and Micro. The resolving prowess of Yume Midnight being equally great, as noted earlier how transparent it can be, revealing even the flaws of poorly recorded/mastered sources. The hallmark of a great IEM, Yume Midnight is as technically competent as it is musically adept.
Lastly, Yume Midnight also exhibited great speed and resolving power. No matter how complex of busy the tracks I thrown at it, Yume Midnight has shown deft and agile responses to avoid sounding compressed or congested. I guess the cohesion between the three drivers playing their part here in unified synergy to each other.
Being super-efficient. Yume Midnight already performed amazing with 1 Vrms Dongles of Avani and Abigail. The overall presentation being rich, musical and technically satisfying. Subjecting Yume Midnight to higher powered devices does help to improve on headroom and staging. What’s more important, Yume Midnight does not buckle when subjected to these high-powered sources. For example, SeeAudio Bravery (another IEM that I love so much), will exhibit tendency to sound slightly edgy and perhaps even shouty when subjected to higher loudness. Yume Midnight fared better. And yes, Yume Midnight also sounds amazing with the phone out direct of LG V50 ThinQ.
By now it is evident that I am impressed with Yume Midnight for the overall performances delivered. It has great tonal balance to keep things proper. While not being a true neutral device, Yume Midnight was designed to please the senses with fun yet subtle mature performances. Teasing the listener with coy musical smoothness and technical crispness – not an easy thing to achieve. I can totally relate how Yume Midnight will appeal to both fans of neutral sound as it is with Harman faithfuls. Two things that I would regard as the X factor for Yume Midnight, #1 Yume Midnight has hit the sweet spot of balancing vibrant dynamics without sounding outright euphonic. #2 Yume Midnight has some of the best Bass performances I heard within this price segment. Those two alone sealed the deal for me, SeeAudio Yume Midnight is one hell of refined performer.