See Audio Anou/Yume Review
Anou | Overall Score: 8.6/10
Pros: Well tuned Harman, good extensions, All-rounder, Fit, Gorgeous aesthetics and Solid Build
Cons: A slight peak in its treble that may cause fatigue, some may find upper-midrange a little forward
Driver Setup: 1 Dynamic Driver, 2 Balanced Armatures
Disclaimer: This review set is a demo set graciously lent to me by Daniel at Oardio and the review is written of my own accord and all thoughts are my own. The See Audio Anou/Yume is available for purchase from Oardio through their website should you find yourself interested in a pair.
This is a review for the See Audio Anou/Yume. See Audio is a relatively new company originating from China that started from constructing CIEMs. The Anou/Yume is their entry-level IEM that sports a hybrid design and they do have premium offerings such as the Kaguya and the Neo that caters to those that are looking out for new TOTL offerings in the market right now. With regards to the naming convention, the IEM has 2 names, "Anou" being used within Japan and "Yume" for rest of the world and this review, I will be using "Anou" as the unit that I reviewed was the Japan release version but they are essentially the same thing. You can know more about See Audio on their Facebook Page.
Build Quality and Fit (Score: 9.5/10)
For this review, only the IEM and case was given to me without the box so I could not comment or review with regards to the accessories and the overall package itself. Moving on the build, the Anou is well made and the material seems to be some acrylic resin which is the norm for most CIEMs. The colourway and design is another stroke of brilliance where there are multiple colours depending on the level of exposure to light and the angle it hits the IEM. The Anou comes with a copper cable that is soft and well built with no obvious weaknesses in its construction and connections. Kudos to See Audio!
As for the fit, I have to say that it is superb! Everything just fits my ear perfectly and there are absolutely no discomfort or quirks when wearing it for longer listening sessions. I would expect that most people should have zero complaints with regards to the fit as it is as one of those designs that feel as if it is a CIEM. Great job See Audio!
Sound (Score: 8.7/10)
As we can see here, a very Harman-neutral type of tuning which we can expect most to find little to no fault to it when listening to the Anou.
Atom DAC and AMP
Music and Albums, I listened to
Billie Eilish – When we all fall asleep, where do we go?
Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture
Cigarettes After Sex
One Republic – Dreaming Out Loud
Keane – Fears and Hopes
Nino Rota – The Godfather OST
Fedde Le Grand – Cinematic
Bass (Score: 8.5/10)
The Anou's bass sounds authoritative in general with sub-bass as its lead. The Anou's sub-bass provides good rumble and body to tracks and it helps the mid-bass thumps and punches by giving the sense of a full-bodied attack that can satisfy most listeners. It has very little to none mid-bass bleed which aids in clarity and separation, also a respectable sub-bass extension which is an awesome combination for enjoyment!
Mids (Score: 8/10)
Vocals do not sound too recessed and they still can take over the centre stage whenever needed. Male vocals are clear and distinct without being overpowered by its basslines, female vocals do sound relatively forward in comparison but by a little to give off that energy to listeners. My take is that it is still within my own threshold but I would expect some people to be bothered by the upper-midrange gain that the Anou has and may find it relatively too forward for their tastes.
Instruments sound natural most of the time but I do find that trumpets in "Halo OST" sounds too forward and may sound too glaring when it comes to tracks that have huge dynamic ranges. Layering capabilities are good but I felt that it can be improved on which I noticed when comparing to other offerings which I will touch on later.
Treble (Score: 8/10)
The Anou has a detailed, spacious and sparkly presentation in its treble region and although the graph shows a huge spike within that sibilance region, it is not that devastating to my ears in reality. I do pick up some sibilance and fatigue over time and depending on your sensitive regions (7kHz to 10kHz), you may or may not be more vulnerable to that spike.
With all of that, I have to say I really enjoyed the high hats and cymbals when listening to Aladdin's "Friend Like Me" which really showcases the energy the Anou is capable of. On "1812 Overture", Flutes do stand out with that smooth shining tone that can soothe anyone listening to them.
With a close resemblance to the Harman Curve, it should please most listeners as it is a tried and tested tuning preference. I would consider the Anou to be a decent all-rounder performer that houses a relatively fun-sounding signature and at the same time having technical abilities such as soundstage, layering, detail retrieval, timbre and tonality.
Moondrop Blessing 2
The Blessing 2 do sound more immersive and possess a higher technical capability ceiling that outperforms the Anou but it loses out with regards to extension, and a more pleasant upper-midrange that many find the blessing 2 to be too aggressive. My take is that I do prefer the blessing 2 as it has a much larger soundstage, midrange layering, and detail/separation and I could fix its flaw with EQ when needed which cannot be applied to the Anou. Nevertheless, Anou holds a better value as it is about half of the Blessing 2's price.
The Legacy 3 (L3) sounds warmer and musical which loses out on detail and separation that the Anou can produce. the Anou on this end gives more attention to layering, separation and articulation which made it sound cleaner in its bass and mids. They are stage somewhat similar but with female vocals standing out more in the Anou and male vocals in the L3. I would say the Anou edges the L3 in terms of treble performance which I find the L3 to be lacking on but it eventually boils down to taste and preference. For example, I will prefer the L3's midrange and vocal qualities depending on tracks you listen to as well as mood. Similarly for the Anou, I prefer the Anou when it comes to clarity, energy and for that good old Harman flavour!
The Anou has already convinced me as being one of the top contenders under the $200 price bracket with its brilliance in design, build, fit and sonic performance. I am happy to say that I will recommend the Anou to anyone that is looking for a great all-rounder pick that does most genres well with a good mix of attributes that resembles higher-priced, premium offerings.