SeeAudio Yume Review

SeeAudio is a new brand, at least to me, out of China and they recently released three products, ranging from the $169 Yume, the $1099 Neo, and their flagship $1399 Kaguya. This review will take a look at their lowest-priced offering, the Yume. 

This specific unit has gotten a bit of praise from the community so far and one that I have been looking forward to given its attractive styling and its available frequency response graph. The Yume sample was provided to me by Linsoul for review and the item is available on their http:/ website.

The Yume is a triple-driver in-ear monitor featuring a single dynamic driver and two balanced armature drivers and was tuned to come close to the popular Harman Target Curve. The IEM sports a very nice looking glittery blue and green pattern on a black faceplate with their logos in a metallic silver appearance. 

Their logo, font, and design shape is very, very reminiscent of qdc, a very established and popular high-end brand of IEMs out of China. There is a reason for this. It seems like SeeAudio was started from an individual who had left qdc to start their own business and this is one of the first results of that start-up.

Sound Impressions

While there has been talk that this IEM is tuned similarly to the Harman Target, its not quite there. It has less bass and upper-midrange and treble quantity overall; in other words, it is less V-Shaped. It actually comes very in-line with my personal Antdroid IEM Target curve; crazy close to be honest. And with that, I think the Yume is one of the most pleasantly tuned in-ear monitors I've heard, at any price.

If you've read my reviews, you know I put relatively equal weight towards tonal balance and technical performance. In this case, the Yume will get outstanding scores for tonal balance, but it's somewhat average for its technical chops. For some, this may not matter as much, but being a critical reviewer, I do have to point out some of the flaws, before I get back to shilling the Yume's general sound signature.

There's nothing blatantly wrong with its technical ability. It's about average for the price point that it is selling at, and that's a good thing. I find that the overall resolution to be a bit lacking versus higher-tier products. It's slightly behind the Etymotic series (ER2, ER3 and ER4) and comparable to the Moondrop KXXS and Kanas Pro. This isn't bad company, as I am a big fan of all of these IEMs. I just don't think this specific IEM is the flagship killer some may have hoped it would be.

In this case, I find some of the transient responses and attack to feel a little soft and blunted. Smoothed out is perhaps a good choice of descriptor. And while smooth can mean a lot of things -- I find the Empire Ears Odin and Vision Ears VE8 to be smoothed out, but still have highly resolving capabilities -- I think it is appropriate here, and by this I find the general resolution and attack capability to just have a roller-pin smashed on it and taking the upper surface of the music out. You still get the general gist of the music, but its missing the edge that makes it precise, if that makes sense.

The result of this, at least to my ears, is the lost of that something special. Again, I love the tonality - its nearly perfect. It is missing a few minor ingredients that make this thing as engaging as I want overall though, whether that be the resolution, the attack, or a sense of excitement. It's missing something, and makes this a rather easy to listen to IEM and one that is non-fatiguing, but non-memorable at the same time.

Now with that aside, the tonal balance thing again. It's really good. Bass has just the right amount of quantity that doesn't make it sound overly sterile, but not overly bloated either. The mid-range is forward, but not sharp, shouty, or harsh, and the treble is elevated, but not overly peaky or bright, and definitely not dark. If anything, it lacks a small amount of extension in the upper-end, which could contribute to overall lack of air and excitement.

Some Quick Comparisons

Etymotic Series

The Etymotic series, specifically the ER2 and ER3 line are priced alongside the Yume, and are very good comparisons to it. I think the Yume and ER2XR square up well with their tuning and capabilities. The ER2/ER3 series do a little more with resolution, and some minor technical things, but I think the Yume's overall tonal balance is better, along with better treble response. I think the ER2XR sounds a little bloated compared to the Yume's more cleaner low-end, while the ER3XR has a much better attack and resolution. The Yume's overall pleasurable listen beats it for tonality for me without the deep insertion. 

Moondrop Series

The Moondrop Kanas Pro and KXXS have always been one of my favorites for their tonal balance and price point as well as their simple, yet stunning looks and fit. The Yume is now my new recommendation for those who want an easy to wear, and attractive looking piece of gear with near perfect tonality, in my eyes. Resolution and soundstage are very similar between the Moondrops and the SeeAudio Yume, and the real deciding factor here is the slightly less emphasized upper mids of the Yume than both the KXXS and Kanas Pro.

Thieaudio Series

The Legacy 3 and 4 are two other under $200 IEMs that feature decent to good tonality as well as easy fit. They actually have similar if not the same shell design, which makes them all in the top of the list for comfort for my personal ear shapes. The Legacy 3 is quite a step below the Yume in both tonal balance and technical performance, but both are still in the "average" to "below-average" category overall in the grand scheme of things.

The Legacy 4 is a more interesting comparison. It's priced a little higher at $190 and I think its justified versus the Yume. While the Yume has a more pleasant sound, the Legacy 4 has an added gain in the lower treble which I find more exciting, though can be fatiguing too. This extra bit of "stuff" does give it a little more character, and overall I do find the Legacy 4 an improvement in clarity, resolution, and attack. 


The Yume is a nice IEM. It fits very well in-line with my tonal preferences and really only lacks some additional character in the way of resolution or transient response to make it stand out. Even so, I think this one is a nice addition to the very crowded under $200 population of in-ears, but could also be the best overall for a pleasing, neutral-ish monitor. 

I didn't go into too much detail of the unboxing experience, but I'll just say it's not really my choice of visuals for a box. I'm not a fan of the anime-inspired packaging, but I understand there is a large target audience around that, and so I'll just leave it at that. The overall package, outside of that, is nice. Good cable, and really nice design and fit.

And that is all.