SeeAudio Yume x Crinacle Midnight Review

The Midnight is a collaboration of See Audio and Crinacle and a revision to their Yume in-ear monitor, which I reviewed with reserved content last year. The Yume was an almost-well-tuned IEM which came quite close to my neutral preference target, but lacked the technical attributes that made it stand completely out. This time around, Crinacle worked with See Audio to improve the tuning to his liking, as well as See Audio swapping out a couple of the drivers to see how much better they could make this IEM, which comes in at a retail price of $199.

The Yume: Midnight was shipped to me by Crinacle and The Hifi Go Store and this Midnight IEM is an exclusive to HifiGo, and can be found here:


The Midnight comes in a special packaging with an animated version of Crinacle and a female on the cover on a rather large box for an IEM. The contents inside include a round tin box for storage, several tips, a cleaning brush, a white/silver colored cable, and of course, the IEMs.

The cable is one of my favorite styles, with a light braid, and pvc-wrap that makes it easy to wind-up and easy to wear. It's also quite light and does not tangle. The connectors terminate in 2-pins, and the included cable is a standard 3.5mm jack.

The Midnight shell is lightly more rounded than the original Yume, and features a carbon-fiber print on the front. It is otherwise black. On the left side, there is a See Audio logo on the front, while the right side has MIDNIGHT strung across the bottom front. My "T" was missing it's stem so it was just a negative sign essentially. Its a cosmetic flaw, and seems like mine is unique looking at photos of other users' online and asking others in the community if they had similar defects.

Sound Impressions

The Midnight is tuned with a slight bass boost, and an otherwise fairly neutral tuning. The mid-range and treble is tuned to be quite balanced with the low mids, but there's just an slight bass bump that creates a larger impact effect to the low end, and adds more meat than the Yume did. There is also better upper treble extension in the Midnight, so it does not have that compressed and muted sound that the original Yume projected in this range. 

The Midnight is a better tuned Yume, and that was one of the main goals with this Crinacle project, and that should be considered a success. The tuning is nearly perfect for my tastes with great balance and a slight more fun bass boost that should cater to a lot of listeners.

The secondary goal of the Midnight project was to give the Yume a better technical performance, and this was emphasized as a selling point. This is where I can't give a proper A-B comparison as I no longer have the Yume with me. That said, I can quickly tell that there is some small improvements based on reviewing my previous notes and just (grain of salt) auditory memory of the Yume. The improved treble extension automatically gives the Midnight some more credible reproduction and resolution for drums and strings.

This does not necessarily mean it's great. I still find this area to sound a little grainy, or perhaps a little unrefined. Its present, but it comes off one-noted. But this is nowhere as frustrating as when I listen to how a bass guitar or electronic bass synths sound on the Midnight's low-end.

Its blobby. While it contains a nice amount of quantity to give the bass the muscle it needs to stand out and slam (slightly), it just lacks proper definition and texture in the songs that really have a sonic vibrant flair to it. Music like Sonic Youth, or My Bloody Valentine, or Lo Moon, or even jazz tracks with a large stand-up bass filling the room. Its just missing a layered depth to music, and only presents the loudest parts.

This is the frustrating part of the Midnight.

I've been thinking to myself, does this Midnight sound technically less proficient or equal to true wireless earbuds? I took a little break and pulled out my Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. I love these little things, and think they can compete against most wired in-ears up to a certain point. Let's put them to the test against the Midnight.

Both are tuned fairly well, but the Midnight is smoother overall, with cleaner treble and slightly more forward and correct mid-range. The Galaxy Buds Pro, however, displayed improved resolution, better bass quality with more impact, slam, and texturing, and while the treble is a tad splashy compared to the Midnight, it sounded more defined. The Galaxy Buds Pro, despite being limited by compressed bluetooth streaming, was more defined and resolving than the Midnight, which best it in tonality.

I ran music across various genres with Roon and sync'd up my Chord Mojo/Poly and my Samsung phone in Roon's group play feature to make sure the same music was playing across both devices. It was pretty clear to me that the Galaxy Buds Pro sounded better.

Disappointing to say the least. 

Final Thoughts

With that said, though, the Midnight is one of the best tuned headphones/IEMs under $200, and I can't overstate that. It is tuned very well. It also fits very well, and comes with a nice bundle of accessories including one of my favorite types of cables. It has a great overall package, except its technical performance is quite limited by whatever hardware is in the IEM itself. I don't know if its driver choices, or just over-dampening, but it just leaves a lot to be desired given its tuning its top notch.

And despite that, I don't really reach to listen to this IEM over others in a similar or less price category. Perhaps I value technical performance over tonality once some threshold has been crossed, and it becomes less of a standout nitpick for me. I don't know. I find myself looking at something more refined, even if the characteristic tonality isn't quite to my perfect standard as the Midnight comes closest to. 

It's hard to say. I like the Midnight, but I don't like it enough. This was a tough one to review. Its got a lot going for it, but perhaps my standards for a Crinacle collaboration are set higher than that?