Yanyin Canon II Review: Dark Canon Lore

I’m so used to reviewing IEMs from the bigger audio brands that a lot of the smaller brands and their hidden gems fly right past me. While I’ve never heard of Yanyin before, they seem to have a few mid range IEMs out in the market. I was offered to check out a demo unit of the Yanyin Canon II for a bit so I jumped on the offer. The Canon II is a 4 BA and 1 DD hybrid IEM coming in at $379.00.

Looks and fit

The shell reminds me of some of the older THIEAUDIO shells but only becuase it uses the same looking vent that is color coded red and blue. The shell is lightweight and fits my ears pretty well. The shell has the switches on the back which are flush with the body so I never had the switches touching my ears while wearing them. The faceplate is a green-ish color on my unit with sparkles in the faceplate. The design will be subjective but I’m not a fan of the faceplate design at all. I would prefer no sparkles and a different color over the green-yellow color I see in my unit. Minus the complaint about the faceplate, it looks and feels good enough that I would still daily this IEM.

Isolation and sound leakage

The passive isolation isn’t bad for being a vented hybrid IEM. It is slightly above average in isolation vs other hybrids. The sound leakage isn’t terrible either. It will still leak a decent amount of sound so lower volumes will be required if you don’t want to annoy anyone in a quiet area.

Packaging and accessories

Inside the box they have the manuals/warranty card, some ear tips and finally, the nice leather like case with the IEMs and cable inside. I would prefer a smaller box to make better use of the room but overall, a basic set of accessories. I do really like the leather-ish case they include. 


These final impressions were done off the Eversolo DAC-Z8 connected to the SMSL SP400. These impressions are what the Canon II sounded like to my ears. This was also using the new soon to be released Spinfit OMNI tips. Things like ear tip selection and DAC/amp selection will produce different results and impressions vs what my ears hear on my specific gear.

The Canon II with my preferred tips sounds like it's a darker tuned IEM. I would call it more of a neutral-warm-ish IEM but it has a darker background signature overall. Meaning it has a deeper bass but doesn’t suffer the normal warm bass sound and instead has a strong bass presence that is fast and doesn’t linger around more than needed. The Sub-bass performance is strong and quick sounding. Decay is short so it has good impact and slam but it sounds tight and strong. The mid bass is about average in weight but again sounds quick and gives off a strong bass presence without the warmth or slight bloat one might hear on warmer sounding IEMs. The mids are pretty accurate and instruments sound more natural than sharp and clinical. The vocals sound more natural but do have a little sense of bassy tone at the end of tones. This definitely adds to the darker tuning overall. The vocals never get sibilant either so it has a good balance here. The upper-mids don’t sound boosted and I would call them more neutral sounding so the upper-mids sound super enjoyable with almost all the tracks I tested with. The treble also sounds fairly neutral and matched to the upper mids so this makes for an enjoyable upper end of the frequency response. The treble is surprisingly detailed and sounds sharp and with a short decay so I was surprised initially. After a few weeks of listening, I would say this pulls in details really well for its price. It however doesn’t sound very bright so those looking for a more splashy and intense treble might want to look elsewhere.

As for the bass switch on the shells. There are a total of three tuning options via the switches. I went from the standard to the next level of bass and it was a little too strong for my tastes. Not bad but I can see this being a basshead IEM with the highest bass setting. I would personally leave it on the stock setting.


The Canon II does staging about average and sounds more intimate. It however has a bigger sense of space within its soundstage. I’m gonna guess this is due to the darker tuning that has a little more bass presence. Imaging was accurate and I could pick out things easily in the Canon II’s stage.


The Canon II is pretty easy to run powerwise. I had no issues powering it off any of the devices I used. It had no sensitivity issues at all with any of my balanced cables either. I didn’t feel it scaled much either on higher end gear so any dongles in the $50-$200 range will be more than enough for this unit.

Stock cable

The stock cable is a silver plated cable with a good looking weave and texture. The cable furniture all has an industrial silver metal with texture for easy grip. It doesn’t tangle much and looks like a good stock cable. Just nothing fancy going on here and that’s fine. I would leave the cable as is unless you get it in 3.5mm and decide later you want a balanced cable.

IEM comparisons

Moondrop Blessing 3

The B3 does come in $60 less than the Canon II but I still wanted to compare the two regardless. The B3 has a decent sub-bass performance but lacks some mid-bass power so it can sound lean compared to the Canon II which has a better balance in the bass . The Canon II does however have a darker overall tuning so it sounds way better in the bass department. Both IEMs do well in mids and vocals with the B3 sounding a little more artificial in the vocals over the Canon II. The upper mids sound more sibilant on the B3 over the Canon II but both are at under the sibilance line compared to other IEMs I’ve used. The treble is stronger on the B3 but both pull in really good details. The bigger difference is that the B3 is lean sounding and bright and the Canon II is dark sounding and neutral. The Canon II sounds more lively and interesting over the B3 on pretty much any track I listen to. The B3 has a slightly wider soundstage but I do prefer the more intimate and darker tuning of the Canon II which gives its staging a sense of more space.


The DUNU SA6 MKII is a neutral-warm IEM and it costs $200 more than the Canon II. I think both have good bass performance but I do like the darker tuning of the Canon II. The mids are neutral on both and the vocals both sound more life-like and realistic on both. The upper mids and treble is where the two start to sound different. The Canon II has a little more energy in the upper mids and treble but it sounds like little spikes of energy and both still sound neutral to my ears. The SA6 MKII sounds like it lacks a little sharpness than the Canon II but it does sound a little more detailed than the Canon II. Both do soundstage pretty well but the darker sounding Canon II does feel like it has more space in its average staging vs the average staging of the SA6 MKII. Both great but neither is a clear winner and I would use both for different situations.

Amping Combinations

Moondrop MoonRiver 2 Ti

The MR2 Ti has been one of my favorite dongles as of late and I’ve been using it more often at work with my Macbook Pro. The neutral-warm sound signature of the MR2 Ti works really well with the Canon II. It was probably my favorite pairing and added a little extra warmth to the Canon II tuning. This in combination with the good detail retrieval of the MR2 Ti makes for a good listening experience with all the tracks I listened to. A wonderful pairing.

Eversolo DAC-Z8/SMSL SP400

This desktop combo is what I use to review all my current audio gear with. I didn’t find the Canon II really scales past something like the Moondrop dongle I mentioned earlier. It did sound the best on my review desktop stack but then again, this stack gives the best results in terms of sounding neutral yet dynamic. It really does seem to bring out the best of any IEMs/Headphones without adding unwanted color to the sound. It won’t hurt to use a nice desktop unit or high end DAP for the Canon II but I find it nice that you can get a good amount of performance out of the Canon II without having to spend the same amount or more on source gear for this IEM.

Overall thoughts

Well! I’m a fan of the darker sounding Canon II. I wasn’t sure what to expect since this was my first time listening to an IEM from this brand. My first impressions are pretty positive and I’m interested in checking out their products going forward. The Yanyin Canon II is a nice diamond in the rough that is the Chi-Fi IEM market. The Canon II gets a full recommendation! I really liked the dark tuning and it doesn’t seem to really fail at anything which is a win in my book. Great job to the team at Yanyin and I look forward to what’s next! Thanks for reading!!!