Antlion Kimura Solo Review in 2023
Introducing Antlion’s latest gaming accessories: the Antlion Kimura Solo and Kimura Duo in-ear monitors. These innovative products mark the company’s venture into the gaming audio realm, boasting powerful bass and a detachable cable equipped with a top-notch boom mic. The only aspect that leaves room for improvement is the ergonomics.
Antlion has gained recognition for its exceptional Modmic microphones, renowned for their ability to transform ordinary headphones into gaming headsets. Now, expanding its repertoire beyond modified headphones, Antlion presents its line of gaming in-ear monitors. These finely crafted gaming IEMs also deliver an enjoyable experience for movies and music.
The standout feature is undoubtedly the included boom mic, delivering crystal-clear voice capture without distortion. However, perfection remains elusive. More details on that will be explored later in this review.
Discover the highlights of the Antlion Kimura Solo package, priced at $100 via Amazon, and the potential drawbacks that may bother you.
I. Product Tech Specifications
- Cable Length: 2 Meters
- Termination: Dual 3.5mm TRS jack
- Ear Nozzle OD: 5.15mm
- IEM Type: MMCX
- Frequency Response: 100Hz – 10kHz
- Sensitivity: -42±3 dB
- Impedance: 2.2(Max) kΩ
- S/N Ratio: 60(Min) dB
- Maximum Input Sound Pressure Level: 115(Max) dB
- Standard Operating Voltage: 2.0 Vdc
- Operating Voltage Range: 1.0~10 Vdc
- Single Dynamic Driver
- Sensitivity: 125dB
- Impedance: 8Ω
- Frequency Response Range: 10Hz-20kHz
- Connector: MMCX
II. Design of Antlion Kimura Solo
The design of the Antlion Kimura Solo is both comfortable and bulky. Despite their size, the IEMs are ergonomically shaped to contour the natural shape of the human ear, resulting in a comfortable fit during long listening sessions. However, users with smaller ears may experience some pressure over extended gameplay periods.
The stiff but pliable ear hooks, similar to the Skullcandy Push Ultra, ensure excellent stability, even during vigorous movements such as shaking the head or jumping. Additionally, the rigid hooks help keep the boom mic securely in place. However, the bulky design and stiff hooks make it challenging to insert the Kimura Solo single-handedly, requiring the use of both hands.
The Antlion Kimura Solo has a sturdy overall construction, except for the MMCX connection. They are handcrafted with a resin exterior, providing durability and drop protection. Repairing them is challenging due to the force required to open them. While not sweat or water-resistant, they are mainly intended for indoor gaming. The microphone arm extension is made of a thick, rubber-coated wire that can be molded in any direction. The omnidirectional module is metallic, ensuring a robust microphone section. The included cable is of decent quality, with good flexibility and minimal tangling.
The detachable cables, a common feature among IEMs, are present in the Kimura Solo, along with a good-quality microphone. The microphone has good ergonomics and provides clear voice pickup, with effective wind reduction and noise handling capabilities. However, a notable omission is the lack of a mute button, a desirable feature in other gaming headsets. The cable includes a shirt clip to prevent it from bouncing around, and there is an included Y adapter that combines the mic and audio into a single 4-pole jack, which is useful for laptops with a single port for audio and mic.
What’s in the box?
III. Performance of Antlion Kimura Solo
The Antlion Kimura Solo provides a satisfying gaming experience, thanks to its boosted bass frequencies and clear yet non-fatiguing sound signature. However, its audio quality for music listening is only passable due to excessive bass bleed. If you primarily seek headphones for gaming purposes and are willing to compromise on music playback, the Kimura Solo is a budget-friendly option worth considering.
Antlion Kimura Solo is an affordable option in the gaming IEMs category. While these headphones are not specifically tuned for music, they deliver a satisfactory sound experience for gaming purposes. With a single dynamic driver, the focus of the Kimura Solo lies in the bass frequencies.
The bass response of the Kimura Solo is noticeably boosted, resulting in a powerful rumble that enhances the gaming experience. This emphasis on sub-bass frequencies creates a more immersive atmosphere, particularly for effects like explosions, gunshots, and thunder. However, when it comes to music, the bass can feel somewhat loose and muddy, with a tendency to overshadow other elements such as double bass pedals.
The boosted bass frequencies extend into the midrange, causing some bleeding and resulting in a warm and muddy sound signature when listening to music. This midrange bleed may be distracting for music enthusiasts but is less noticeable during gameplay. The mid frequencies exhibit some dips and peaks, with a prominent peak at 4.5kHz, making vocals and instruments sound thin. While this imbalance may not be ideal for music listening, it has a less disruptive effect on gaming experiences.
The treble response of the Kimura Solo is smooth with a quick roll-off. The tuning focuses on boosting the 9kHz region while lowering the upper treble. This approach aims to provide clarity and prevent sibilance, but it sacrifices some detail in the process. The overall lack of refinement in the higher frequencies means that finer details are only discernible if one actively focuses on them. However, the treble is not fatiguing, even during intense in-game effects.
The imaging of the Kimura Solo is accurate, although there may be some blurriness in pinpointing sounds coming from the back of the listener’s head. The soundstage, on the other hand, is above average for IEMs, with sounds appearing to come from outside the listener’s head. This characteristic contributes to a more immersive gaming experience.
The microphone quality of the Kimura Solo is commendable. With its omnidirectional pickup pattern and close proximity to the mouth, it captures the user’s voice with clarity. It effectively reduces wind noise and eliminates breathing sounds and popping noises from speaking certain letters. The microphone can handle cable noise, loud speaking, and even yelling without distorting the audio. However, it should be noted that the microphone also picks up keyboard strokes, particularly with loud switches such as Cherry MX Blue, which may result in audible clicking for others. Unfortunately, there is no mute button available to activate the mic only when needed.
The Antlion Kimura Solo excels in noise isolation, providing a high level of passive isolation to help users focus on their gameplay by reducing background noise. The IEMs effectively block out external sounds, making them suitable for gaming even in environments with loud background noise, such as a computer with a powerful cooling system. Sound leakage is minimal, ensuring that what the user is listening to does not get picked up by the microphone. While there is some cable noise, the rigid ear hooks help absorb a portion of the microphonics, although it may still be noticeable when moving the head from side to side, especially while walking.
For gamers who prefer in-ear headphones and have a primary focus on gaming, the Antlion Kimura Solo is a worthwhile option to consider. These headphones offer a sound quality and feature set that caters to the needs of the average gamer, with the standout feature being the Kimura Mic. The Antlion Kimura Solo provides a sound experience that enhances gaming sessions, delivering the necessary audio cues and immersive elements. The sound signature is tailored specifically for gaming, ensuring that crucial details such as explosions, gunshots, and other in-game effects are rendered with depth and impact.