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Antlion Audio Kimura Duo

Perhaps one of the best microphones on the market, and it comes with great in-ears.

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Antlion Audio may not ring many bells, but if you say "Modmic" almost everyone knows that it's a really good external microphone that can be mounted on almost all existing Hi-Fi headsets, thus transforming it into an affordable and fantastic gaming headset.

They've built on that a little further and made Kimura. Basically, it's a wired microphone with an accompanying loop for connection to IEM, in-ear monitors, particularly good in-ears that are especially used by more hardcore enthusiasts. The MMCX standard is used, so with a few exceptions, the cable fits all common Hi-Fi IEMs on the market, and at a price of £165.

However, Antilon is no more stupid than they realised that they were missing out on potential additional sales (I assume), so they came up with the brilliant idea of making their own IEMs. If you choose "solo" you get a standard with regular dynamic units, or you can go all-out and get not only the microphone, but also a pair of really solid IEMs that have both a dynamic driver and a Balanced Armature unit. The housing itself is made of handmade resin, and there is a good selection and good tips with one in silicone and one in foam. This provides highly effective passive noise cancellation. In addition, there are some extra accessories like a clothespin, hard case, Y-splitter and manual. However, I would have liked to see a cable without a microphone included, so that you could use the fine in-ears without having to wear and carry the microphone.

Antlion Audio Kimura Duo

Although with a sensitivity of 125 dB it can be driven by just about anything, I would strongly recommend using a separate headphone amplifier when using something that is wired instead of a standard computer output, as it gives much better results. The small Armature device works in much the same way as an electrostatic device, meaning that it is magnetism and not physical impact that makes them move, while the bass is delivered by a normal device. However, I don't know more specifically what the units are made of as this is not stated anywhere.

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Let's start with the microphone part. It's fantastic. That's as far as it goes. Clear and crisp speech, well resolved, and neutral. I don't understand how they can do that with such a small microphone, or without a pop filter - but they can. But, and it's a big but - it's not very sensitive, and even when turned all the way up, the recording volume is still low.

Antlion Audio Kimura Duo

The IEMs are close to record cheap for someone who has a Balanced Armature. If you haven't had the pleasure of experiencing real IEMs or Balanced Armature-based audio products, you absolutely should. Because the sound is hugely refined, but is right at the ear canal, so it's extremely clean, very open, and impressively detailed, well-resolved and neutral. This has always been something I've associated with Hi-Fi more than gaming, but I understand why Antilon wants to enter the gaming market, as even very expensive headphones get beat if we are to be objective and think about pure sound quality and nothing else. If you're considering combining a microphone with IEM, buy a Kimura.

09 Gamereactor UK
9 / 10
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Antlion Audio Kimura Duo

Antlion Audio Kimura Duo

HARDWARE. Written by Kim Olsen

Perhaps one of the best microphones on the market, and it comes with great in-ears.

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