SEEAUDIO YUME Review: Smooth maturity

PROS:
Natural Timbre, Smoothly balanced tonality, fast yet inoffensive treble attack, beautiful vocal, fatigue-free, good imaging layering, clean bass with boosted extension, nicely nuanced texture, nice packaging and accessories.

CONS:
Not the biggest or most airy soundstage, lack a bit of weight and body, kick drum lack energy and presence, might sound too laid back for some, instrument separation lack space


TONALITY: 8.5/10
TECHNICALITIES: 8.5/10
CONSTRUCTION&DESIGN:8.5/10
SOUND VALUE: 8.5/10

SEEAUDIO
are newcomers in the International ChiFi market but have made their hands before by collaborating with QDC audio company that have lot of experience with multi-BA IEM tuning. The Yume is their entry-level IEM, and it gets inspired by Harman target response for tuning which is rare but not exceptional because company like Moondrop and Tanchjim follow a similar tuning vision.

Priced 170$, the Yume is a Hybrid UIEM that use a unique ”Liquid silicone diaphragm” dynamic driver in tandem with 2 Knowles BA (29689-33518). As a big fan of the Knowles 29689 balanced armature used in my beloved Hisenior T2U for mid-lower treble, I really want to give the Yume a try to hear what an extra DD can achieve with such promising drivers choices.


Now that the hype calms down a little, it’s time to judge if the Seeaudio Yume have stand test of time or if it was just an ephemeral best-seller we should forget.



PACKAGING is very nice and playful. It even includes funny Manga stickers for those waifu fanbois. The box is big and i do enjoy the meditative manga character that cover the box. The carrying case is of good quality, padded in the inside so your IEM prompt to scratch (not Yume) will be fully protected. The 5N OCC (high purity copper) cable, for once, is very nice both in construction and tonality, making it perfect to pair with the Yume

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CONSTRUCTION is very good. It use a transparent resin plastic body and beautiful faceplate. The body is rather small for such a hybrid which makes the fit very smooth and comfy. This iem are very light and will fit any type of ears size and shape. My only gripe is about the 2pin connector which isnt embedded in the curvy housing and can make it hard to connect rightly certain 2pin cable. I get very frustrated when the pins doesnt want to enter the holes cause of curvy 2pin emplacement. This is even harder with a cable that doesn’t have ear hook…anyway, with included cable its rather easy if you dont have shaky hands.
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SOUND
(using SMSL SU9+SH9 and Ibasso DX90)

TONALITY is a very relaxed W shape where most of the emphasis and attention is in mids and lower treble plus some extra micro-details push, again, in a delicate inoffensive way. This is a lean rich listen that avoids complete boredom with a slight sub-bass boost, offering pleasant slam and lower extension that benefit acoustic bass find in jazz for example. In fact, it’s the hybrid BA version of Harman target balance, which, IMO, is less warm and colored than when does with a single DD.

BASS lines are rather clear, with more authority and presence than high low that lacks energy and punches for instruments like kick drum which lacks proper singularity and affirmation. Don’t get me wrong, the bass isn’t bad in quality, have a pleasant texture and even some snap in the bass line, again, acoustic is the way to go because it isn’t super thick weighty bass, neither a ”complete” presentation of all that hide in this section.
Lack of impact is felt for everything but some percussions, somewhere in treble their welcome extra energy, which boosts liveliness a bit.

Then the MIDS, i know these mids in fact, they are the exact same as found with Hisenior T2U using the same Knowles BA I think. Very realist, open, airy and for a BA I would dare to say lush because their some density and naturalness to vocal, especially female vocal which doesn’t care as much about lower end body than male vocal. Every instrument in mid-range are extremely well resolved, clean, smooth with realistic tone. Every instrument lacks a bit of bite and body as well. Why? Because they are so incredibly Transparent. The sound layers float around you, never hitting you with either too forwards dynamic or bright presence. The Seeaudio Yume are made for the contemplative audiophiles that wanna give an active yet patient listening to its precious but very polished sound. Simply put, the female vocal is star of the show with the highest emotive impact, but the violin sound life-like and accurate if not a bit distant, the same goes for piano, clean, articulate, tonally right but a bit lacking in this special weight it needs to trigger our emotivity.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m not more enamored about TREBLE presentation of the Yume than the vocal themself. Firstly, the transition between mids and highs is so organic you will not even know it’s 2 different BA. Secondly, the more i dig into details and texture and more I’m in awe of how well sculp are the highs, it’s not out of place micro-details that jump at you, it’s full sounding mids with natural well-controled decay, beautiful density and texture, and finally….a sens a weight that we don’t find in other frequency apart lower bass slam. Sure, some more sparkle and brilliance and well, overall extension up to at least 15khz would have been nicer, because while it snap fast, the highs can lack a bit of edge and energy…for a treble head! Which I am if it’s not too peaky. The level of sound info you get with the Yume can be both underwhelming or overwhelming, depending on how curious your ears are. Think about a Final E4000 with 2 more BA, following the same tonal balance, and you got a Yume. Yummy isn’t it??

TIMBRE has good density, nice pitch contour, nuanced texturing that never feel grainy or overly dry, or and both DD and BA timbre match together perfectly.

SOUNDSTAGE-IMAGING is something that the ear tips choice will greatly inflict on, and i decide to use a short wide bore eartip, the very same I use for Dunu DK-2001 and Hiseniour T2U to open the soundstage drastically. This tends to steal some bass tightness but it’s not an issue with the Yume due to recessed mid-upper bass. In fact, bass thickens. While this way the Soundstage do open, its just minimally out of your head, with the center of stage very near but very deep too. Thats the highlight wtv eartips you use the Yume have deep, near tunnel-like, soundstage. The IMAGING lacks a bit of space in separation horizontally, especially in mid-range. So even with my ”special” ear tips, imaging isn’t the most accurate in positioning though it’s very articulate and holographic.

TECHNICALITIES are as good or even better than Tonality here, and that’s how i love an IEM balance…cause yes, technical balance do exist too IMO, especially in hybrid! The attack is very fast, accurate and near impossible to overwhelmed with busy tracks. Cheaper BA will go shouty and saturated with harmonic distortion but not the Knowles used for the Yume. Yes, the DD is a bit slower, less clean and accurate, but match the BA in timbre and overall cohesion.

Side notes: While I don’t think Yume benefits from intense amping, I do think a phone or not very powerful dongle or DAP would not trigger its full dynamic potential. At 106db sensitivity and 32ohm of impedance, this isn’t an Hybrid that will be capricious about impedance or power output, so why not feed it with a clean powerful enough source? My Ibasso DX90 is perfect and delivers 300mw@32ohm. Even using high gain with my SMSL SU9-SH9 stack didn’t create distortion or negative aspect….though I use it at low gain just for more precise volume control. Yume being very transparent and serious about sound rendering, cable pairing do inflict a bit on tonality….which perhaps explains the very cable choice of Seeaudio….a litz copper, why? Well, it warmth and thicken timbre a bit. Using a good SPC cable can give extra air, details and accuracy to the sound. But here, it’s really subjective so please explore by yourself even if my conclusion is: stock cable is a good enough pairing. Oh and for the ear tips….none of the ones included open enough the sound to my taste, strangely DD and BA tend to compress their soundwaves when the ear tips have a too long or thin nozzle, resulting in distant or closed sound presentation. BA doesn’t like nozzle help, they open in a different way than DD. Please do your own experimentation with an open mind to achieve your own open sound!

COMPARISONS:

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VS FIIO FH3 (1DD-2BA: 140$)


FH3 is colder, more detailed and analytical with leaner mids and sharper treble. Bass is more boosted, have more kick and rumble but more bloom to with hard-hitting sub bassy tracks. Yume has warmer bass that feels better balanced and more cohesive with the rest of the spectrum, though less detailed and present. MIDS are notably less forwards and open with the FH3, vocal sound a bit artificial and too emphasized in higher harmonic. Imaging is a bit cleaner and more precise with FH3, due to higher overall resolution. Highs are more emphasized and extended, but thinner and more ”metallic” sounding than Yume. Timbre is more natural with Yume, denser and a bit less detailed.
Here, the FH3 pushes its technicalities forwards which affect a bit of tonal musicality, Yume chooses the opposite directing, taming a bit it’s technicalities to achieve a more even and natural tonal balance with a more mid centric approach. I can see myself listening to a long time with the Yume, while it isn’t the case with FH3 that lack ”organic musicality”. If you wish the Yume were more bassy and analytical, FH3 could be the answer though.

VS BQEYZ SPRING2 (Dual DD-piezo+1BA: 160$)

BQEYZ has a more energic and bassy W shape signature, bass is more thumpy, thick, weighty but a bit more bleedy too. Mids are more forwards, bit brighter, more textured and thicker in timbre. Male vocal has notably more body, while female vocal can bit just a hint more sibilant, less smooth than Yume. Treble is more forward too, delivering more micro-details, highs are more snappy and bright. You have more sparkle with the Spring2 as well, so treble extends further surely. You have more harshness too. Soundstage is wider-taller, not deeper than Yume. Imaging is less accurate, especially in mid-range, due to the less transparent layering of BQEYZ. All in all, Yume is like a smoother, more laidback sound Spring2, both have an emphasis in bass and mids, but BQEYZ treble is more in your face. Personally, i find the Spring2 more fun, but less refined and well-balanced than Yume.

CONCLUSION

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It’s rare that I appreciate that much an IEM I would tend to consider to be a ”jack of all trades, master of none”, but the Yume is in fact a master of tonal balance as well as laid back musicality that keep us awake with its generous amount of transparent sound layers and open immersive mid-range presence.

With the Yume, you don’t have the disadvantage of balanced armature timbre, and it’s not because they use very competent Knowles BA that this is easy to achieve. The tuning was carefully made using tubings connections and BA filters to permit this cleanly articulate yet smooth and revealing sound.

While I would never consider the Yume as Fun sounding as well as big mass appealing because of its mature unforced sound presentation, I can imagine they will stand the test of time as the Final E4000 does. The Seeaudio Yume is an IEM you appreciate in the long run because its whole charm resides in the naturalness of it’s timbre and relaxed tonality. To achieve such a refined tuning with its first offering is a statement of passion for tonal balance that we rarely found with ”too fun” IEM today. Fun sound can be exhausting, so if you just want to be gently immersed in your music and enjoy rich treble and superb vocal, the Yume should be in your buying list.

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PS: I wanna thanks Seeaudio for this review sample. I have no affiliation with this company and as always i’m 100% independent of any type of influence possible.
You can order the Seeaudio Yume from authorized seller HIFIGO:
https://hifigo.com/products/seeaudio-yume-1dd-2ba-hybrid-in-ear-earphone

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