Antlion Audio Kimura Duo Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware

The Antlion Audio Kimura Duo is a pair of in-ear monitors that comes with a pretty nice appearance. Its full resin body is mostly transparent to let users see inside the module. The outer-facing side has a dark blue translucent cover to add a bit of flair to the physical look. For me, I really like this see-through design, as it gives a nice view into the components inside each ear, including the connection points and drivers. The Antlion Audio logo can be found on each side in a gold finish, which also looks pretty nice. At a weight of 42g including the cable, the Antlion Audio Kimura Duo does have a bit of heft to it. However, it is supported in your ears by the contoured shape of the body and hooks that rest on the outside of your ears. This allows users to not feel the weight of the earphones overall. The Kimura Duo fits in your ear with a twist to sit snugly and direct the drivers into the ear canals.

Moving down, the cables meet back together at a Y-split. Above the split, Antlion has provided a cable management sleeve that slides up and down. At the junction, we have a metal clip integrated into the wires, letting users attach it to their clothing. The rest of the wires extend out for a total of 2m with rubber sleeves around them. This terminates in two 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks. Overall, I find the cables to be of average quality as they are on the thinner side. I might have preferred sleeved cables for a nicer finish, but I also would have wanted them to be slightly thicker for durability.

Taking a closer look at the ears, you can see the large gold eartips where users would place these in their ears. I have taken off the tips that are provided to get a better look here. You might be wondering why this is called the Kimura Duo, especially since it looks quite similar to Antlion Audio's Kimura Solo. However, the difference is within, as each ear contains a dynamic driver and a balanced armature. By doing this, Antlion Audio hopes the Kimura Duo can provide both a good response in both bass and trebles, taking the pros of having both. We will see how this performs in our audio testing later. From the specifications, we know the Kimura Duo has a frequency response of 10Hz to 30kHz, which is wider than the typical human hearing range of 20Hz to 20kHz. Meanwhile, it has a rated sensitivity of 125dB and impedance of 24Ω. This should work with unamplified sources like your motherboard output. Otherwise, this audio driver and armature is aimed directly into your ear for a more direct and transparent sound reproduction. The ear tips assist in aiming at the user's ear canals and offer some form of passive noise cancellation. Otherwise, these earphones can also be detached from the rest of the cable. This reveals the MMCX connector that makes both the cable able to swap out if users so desire.

The primary difference between the Kimura Duo and other typical IEMs is the inclusion of a dedicated microphone on its own boom arm. As Antlion Audio is most famous for their ModMics, it is no surprise we have a microphone here. This exists on the right side of the cables, attached to the ear hooks and ensuring the weight of the microphone is balanced more on the hooks and not on the earphones themselves. The microphone offers an omni-directional pickup pattern with a frequency response of 100Hz to 10kHz. It has a sensitivity of -42dB and a maximum impedance of 2.2kΩ. It also has a signal to noise ratio of 60 dB and a maximum sound pressure level of 115dB. We will also evaluate the performance of this microphone on the next page.

Antlion Audio has also provided a few additional accessories with the Kimura Duo, which is great to see. For one, we have a total of four pairs of ear tips. Three of them are silicone and measure in the typical small, medium, and large. The medium ones come already attached to the IEMs. The last pair is made of memory foam and looks similar in size to the medium ear tips. Next, we have a Y adapter, which combines the two 3.5mm audio jacks into a single four-pole 3.5mm audio jack. This is quite useful for mobile applications, including phones and mobile devices, as well as many modern laptops which only have a single audio jack for both input and output. However, its blocky shape can interfere with surrounding ports, so do keep this in mind. Finally, we have a hard-shell carrying case that is useful for bringing the Kimura Duo around. Inside, the case is lined with felt and has a mesh pocket to hold things like additional ear tips or the Y-adapter. This case is quite handy, but I did notice I had to bend the IEMs and cable uncomfortably in several places. It is not ideal for long term storage, but it also reflects the need for a thicker cable.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Subjective Audio Analysis
4. Conclusion