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Antlion Kimura Solo Review

Last updated: 2 months ago
7 min read
Editor
rating
3.9
Antlion Kimura Solo gaming IEMs

Antlion Kimura Solo are company’s first gaming in-ear monitors, offering deep, rumbly bass and a detachable cable with a quality boom mic. The only thing that could be better is ergonomics.

Antlion is mainly known for its excellent Modmic microphones that can turn any ordinary headphones into gaming headsets.

Apart from modded headphones from other brands, they have now started offering gaming in-ear monitors.

The Antlion Kimura Solo and Kimura Duo are handcrafted IEMs explicitly tuned for gaming, and you can still find some enjoyment when watching movies and listening to music.

However, the included boom mic is definitely the best feature. It offers clear voice pickup without distortion. But is it perfect? More on that later.

In the review below, learn what is great about the Antlion Kimura Solo package for $100 and what might annoy you.

We test and evaluate headphones using a standardized 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

  • Durable and quality build
  • Included boom mic offers great call quality
  • Comfortable fit with ear hooks for better stability
  • Y adapter included for compatibility with laptops
  • Fun, bassy sound that works well for gaming…
  • but makes music too muddy
  • Takes time to put the IEMs in your ears
  • No mute button
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CONTENTS (show more)

    Similar to Antlion Kimura Solo:

    Sound

    Star Rating
    3.0 Good

    Antlion Kimura Solo output a deep bass that bleeds into the mids but doesn’t hurt the gaming experience. Moreover, they offer precise imaging and good soundstage but lack fine details.

    Antlion Kimura Solo Sound Comparison

    Antlion Kimura Solo Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Learn how to understand sound comparisons.

    Kimura Solo are the most affordable gaming IEMs from the Kimura lineup. Much like any gaming headphones, these headsets aren’t tuned for music. They have a single dynamic driver (size unknown) with a clear focus on bass.

    Antlion Kimura Solo Frequency Response

    Antilion Kimura Solo measurement
    IEMs have a long bass extension into the mids, causing some bleeding when listening to music.

    Bass: Noticeably boosted, with some midrange bleed

    To improve the gaming experience, you get a good amount of bass boost. It’s the strongest in the sub-bass, which results in a satisfying rumble.

    In games, the added bass provides more immersive explosions, gunshots, and other effects like thunder and lightning.

    On the other hand, the bass could be tighter when listening to music. Double bass pedals get easily lost in the mix, with bass guitars mudding up the sound.

    The reason is that low frequencies are boosted 15dB over the neutral target and extend right up to 300Hz, which is already in the midrange.

    Consequently, you get some midrange bleed. When listening to music, you notice the sound getting overly warm and muddy.

    In contrast, that isn’t nearly as distracting when playing games.

    Midrange: Thin for music but more than okay for gaming

    Mid frequencies have some dips and peaks, with the highest one at 4.5kHz. Overall, there is no major recession, so the instruments and vocals come through clear enough.

    Antlion Kimura Duo vs Solo comparison
    A comparison between Antlion Kimura Solo and Duo shows that the two IEMs have a completely different treble.

    However, that peak in the upper mids makes vocals and instruments thin. I wonder why Antlion went with this tuning since it only causes sound imbalance.

    Music aside, it sounds far less distracting during gameplay, even though you can still hear specific effects coming through quite thin, like sword clashing.

    Treble: Smooth with quick roll-off

    Higher frequencies are tuned to provide some clarity and avoid sibilance.

    To achieve that, Antlion decided to boost the 9kHz region and lower the upper treble. You can find this tuning on many budget earbuds to give a listener a sense of clarity when high frequencies lack refinement.

    As expected, that results in an overall lack of detail. Sure, you will hear some faith details up there, but you will only notice them if you focus.

    Nonetheless, no matter how intense the in-game effects get, you never feel fatigued due to the piercing treble.

    Antlion Kimura Duo and Solo
    Antlion Kimura Solo (right) and Kimura Duo (left).

    Thankfully, the imaging is pretty accurate, with some blurry spots when listening to sounds coming from the back of your head.

    Furthermore, the soundstage is above average for IEMs, with sounds coming from outside your head, perfect for gaming and immersion.

    Overall, Antlion Kimura Solo offer a good gaming experience, especially due to boosted bass frequencies and clear yet non-fatiguing sound signature.

    On the other hand, their audio quality is only passable for music listening due to excessive bass bleed.

    Comfort & Fit

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    Antlion Kimura Solo are very comfortable IEMs despite their bulky appearance and stiff but pliable ear hooks. However, users with smaller ears might feel some pressure during long gameplay.

    Kimura Solo IEMs sport a similar ergonomic shape as CCA LYRA. They try to contour the natural shape of a human ear instead of keeping it simple, like KZ AS16 Pro.

    Antlion Kimura IEM comparison
    From left to right: KZ AS16 Pro, CCA LYRA, Antlion Kimura Solo.

    While that could be an issue like with the LYRA model, the Solo feel (at least to my ears) more comfortable during long listening sessions.

    However, these IEMs are still bulky, and you will notice their pressure after some time. Especially since you can’t always hit the perfect spot due to stiff ear hooks.

    Speaking of hooks, they’re similar to the Skullcandy Push Ultra. They’re stiff and mouldable, unlike the soft hooks found on RAPTGO HOOK-X.

    The stiffness ensures superb stability. You can shake your head and even jump without dislodging them.

    This design also ensures that the boom mic stays in place at all times, which would be harder with softer hooks.

    Antlion Kimura Solo housing
    Despite the uneven shape, Antlion Kimura Solo should sit comfortably inside most ears.

    However, that also hurts overall ergonomics. It’s impossible to single-handedly put the Kimura Solo in your ears. You must use both hands, and it can be a chore.

    I had second thoughts about taking them off to get a glass of water. Unplugging them and keeping them in my ears while leaving the room seemed like a more practical solution.

    Durability

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    Antlion Kimura Solo have a sturdy construction with no visible weak point except the MMCX connection. And the included cable is quite thin.

    Kimura Solo IEMs are handcrafted with resin exterior. Most of the assembly was done before the resin was applied, so you get a uniform housing with no visible weak points.

    Antlion Kimura Solo red plate
    The decorative red-painted exterior of Kimura Solo.

    That ensures complete drop protection. The only way to open these is by crushing them, which is great for durability but not repairability.

    The in-ear headphones don’t have an IP rating, not even against sweat. That said, Kimura Solo users will probably use them for gaming indoors, away from rain and sweat.

    Regarding the mic, the arm extension is made of a thicker wire coated with rubber. It’s mouldable in all directions and can be straightened back.

    The actual omnidirectional module is metallic, so the entire microphone section should be pretty sturdy. Antlion even advises tightening the ear hooks by pulling against the mic’s arm, which sounds a bit risky.

    Now for the cable, it’s a regular rubberized wire of decent quality. It doesn’t curl too much and avoids being sticky, which helps a lot when you have to untangle the cord.

    Antlion Kimura Duo and Solo on rock
    Both the Solo and Duo are visual identical (except for the blue exterior on the Duo model).

    Overall, you should expect Antlion Kimura Solo to work for many years if you don’t pull on the wires too much.

    Fortunately, the latter is replaceable. Separate Kimura Microphone Cable costs $60, more than half of the Kimura Solo package.

    Features

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    Antlion Kimura Solo have a fair amount of very useful features, with the microphone being the highlight. But it would be nice to have a mute button like with other gaming headsets.

    Usually, in-ear monitors’ only feature is detachable cables. Well, Antlion Kimura Solo can do that and also offer a good quality mic.

    It has good ergonomics and is small enough not to get distracted by it. While it offers quality pickup, it would be nice to have a mute button. More on that later.

    Antlion Y-adapter
    Antlion’s Y adapter ensures that the Kimura microphone also works on laptops with a single 3.5mm jack.

    Furthermore, there’s a shirt clip attached to the cable to prevent it from bouncing around. You can remove it if you want to.

    Another helpful addition is the included Y adapter that combines the mic and audio 3.5mm 3 pole jack into one 3.5mm 4 pole jack. That solves the laptop issue, where you usually find a single port for audio and mic.

    Microphone Quality

    Antlion Kimura Solo come with a detachable Kimura Microphone Cable, offering an omnidirectional pickup pattern.

    Antlion Kimura Microphone Cable Microphone Test

    Since the mic is good quality and closer to your mouth, it has zero problems picking your voice with great clarity.

    Furthermore, it has good wind reduction. Your teammates won’t hear you breathing through your nose. Neither will they hear the popping sound when you speak the letters P or B.

    The microphone can also handle cable noise, loud speaking, and even yelling, preventing the audio from clipping and distorting.

    Antlion Kimura Solo ear hooks
    The ear hooks are fully bendable in all directions.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the mic picks up keyboard strokes. If you have loud switches, like Cherry MX Blue (listen to the audio sample above), others will surely hear you clicking.

    Unfortunately, there is no mute button for you to activate the mic only when needed.

    Noise Isolation

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    Antlion Kimura Solo isolate incredibly well, with equally good sound leakage prevention. They also provide a pair of foam ear tips for even better isolation.

    Measured average noise isolation16,37 dBA

    The Kimura Solo in-ear monitors takes care of the background noise and let you focus on gameplay. Even when using regular silicone tips, you can expect high levels of passive isolation.

    That comes in handy if you have a computer with a loud, beefy cooling sitting on your desk.

    Here’s a table of how effective is Antlion Kimura Solo’s passive noise isolation at blocking specific frequencies:

    FrequencyNoise reduction
    dB SPL
    Noise reduction
    dBA (A-weighted)
    100 Hz3,4 dB-15,7 dBA
    200 Hz8 dB-2,8 dBA
    400 Hz8,1 dB3,3 dBA
    600 Hz7 dB4,8 dBA
    1 kHz7,6 dB7,6 dBA
    2 kHz31,6 dB32,8 dBA
    4 kHz44,9 dB45,9 dBA
    6 kHz24,7 dB24,8 dBA
    10 kHz24,9 dB22,4 dBA
    15 kHz28,1 dB22,1 dBA
    Average16,37 dBA
    A-weighted values from the International standard IEC 61672:2003

    How severe is sound leakage?

    Sound leakage isn’t an issue, either. You don’t have to worry about the microphone picking up whatever you’re listening to.

    Is there any cable noise?

    The amount of cable noise is moderate. Thanks to rigid ear hooks, your earlobes absorb some of the microphonics.

    However, you can still hear them when moving your head left and right, especially when walking.

    Antlion shirt clip
    The included shirt clip that can help reduce some of the cable noise.

    Should You Get Antlion Kimura Solo?

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    If you prefer in-ear headphones over over-ears and you plan to use them solely for gaming, Antlion Kimura Solo are worth checking out.

    Sound and feature-wise, they offer everything an average gamer would want, with the Kimura Mic being the best addition.

    On the other hand, pick Antlion Kimura Duo if you want to listen to music as well.

    Or buy a Kimura Mic Cable for $59 (or €79 in the EU) if you already have good IEMs (you can get the Cable in MMCX or 2-pin versions) for the mic.

    The Antlion Kimura Solo package costs $99 in the US (or €129 in Europe).

    Antlion Kimura Solo Alternatives

    Antlion Kimura Duo

    Antlion Kimura Duo IEMs

    For an extra $50, the Duo offer an additional balanced armature driver, providing a much cleaner sound quality. Everything, from lows to highs, sounds more detailed.

    Design-wise, you’re looking at almost identical IEMs, with the same build quality, comfort, cable, and microphone.

    Antlion Kimura Duo review

    What’s in the Box?

    Antlion Kimura Solo accessories
    • Antlion Kimura Solo wired earbuds
    • 4 pairs of silicone ear tips (S, M, L, foam tips)
    • Y adapter
    • Hard-shell carrying case
    • User manual

    Specifications

    Type: In-ear monitors
    Connection: Wired – Dual 3.5mm TRS and MMCX
    Back design: Closed-back
    Drivers: Single dynamic
    Frequency range: 10-20.000Hz
    Impedance: 8 Ohms
    Weight: 1.5 ounces (43 g) with cable
    Mic & Controls: Mic only
    Water resistance: None
    Battery life: /
    Charging time: /
    Active noise cancelling: No
    Bluetooth codecs: /
    Wireless range: /
    Microphone: Omnirectional

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