ModMics have been one of the most well-known ways to turn any pair of headphones into a gaming headset; we went hands-on with the entire lineup last year. For those who prefer IEMs (or in-ear monitors) to over-headphones, though, the brand-new Kimura may be right up your alley. Adding a microphone on an adjustable boom, Kimura comes in a few different flavors to fit most IEM needs, like the Kimura Duo we were able to get our hands on. Be sure to hit the video below to see all of the details.
What exactly is Kimura?
Kimura is the ModMic answer for IEMs. Rather than attaching a microphone to the small body of an in-ear headphone, the mic is part of the cable that hooks around the ear. Antlion is offering a couple of different versions of Kimura. First, you can get just the cable to use with your own IEMs for $60. It comes in both MMCX and 2-Pin connectors.
If you don’t already have a favorite pair of IEMs you want to modify, Kimura is also available in a $100 Solo or $150 Duo configuration with solid-resin IEMs – the difference being a single dynamic driver in the Solo or an additional balanced armature for increased clarity in higher frequencies in the Duo.
Checking out the Kimura Duo
We got our hands on the Kimura Duo to review. The in-ear headset comes with a hard-shell case, split cables for audio and microphone, and an adapter to turn audio and the microphone into a single connector. Additionally, the Kimura Duo has three sets of silicone ear tips of varying sizes and a single set of foam ear tips.
Visually, the Kimura Duo is striking. The clear resin body lets you see the inner working of the Kimura Duo. The solo has a red tint to the outside of the body while the Duo is blue, and a small Antlion logo sits on the outside as well. While it may not be as striking as the Beyerdynamic Xelento 2nd Gen, Kimura still looks good for the much more affordable price point.
Comfort-wise, I found the Kimura Duo easy to use for multiple hours. Sometimes IEMs can irritate my ears, like the HyperX Mix Buds, but I had no issues with the Kimura Duo.
There are small wings to help keep the Kimura in position.
The cables are malleable where they wrap around the ears, helping to position the microphone boom arm in an optimal location.
Kimura Duo: Video
Kimura Duo: How does it sound?
While I haven’t tried the Solo version, the Duo version sounds great in my opinion. Audio quality is absolutely the highlight when it comes to these IEMs.
Bass frequencies are big and full. Thanks to the dynamic driver, the Kimura Duo hits low but never sounded muddy or overwhelming.
Mids are crisp and clear as well. “Mist” by Protest the Hero is my favorite way to test mids on headphones and that track shined on the Kimura Duo; the intricate guitar lines were easily distinguishable from each other. While not as silky smooth as the much more expensive Xelento, the Kimura Duo sounds great for its price point.
The Kimura Duo features that second balanced armature for enhanced clarity in the highs. In my experience, it works well without making the highs harsh. Once again on the song “Mist,” the cymbals and vocals were crisp, clear, and never harsh. Overall, Kimura Duo is great to listen to.
For gaming, Kimura Duo also shines thanks to its impressive positioning. Being able to pinpoint where a sound is coming from is key to gaming audio and the Kimura delivers – just like picking out guitar lines on cluttered metal tracks, I felt that I was able to pick up on a sound’s direction when playing cluttered matches in Battlefield 2042.
My only complaint with the sound is that there is quite a bit of cable noise. If I move my head and the cables make contact with my shirt, all of that noise is transferred through to my ears.
Antlion does provide a clip on the cable that can help with positioning it where it won’t rub as often, but the issue still persists.
Antlion Kimura Duo: Mic test
One of the main purposes of the Kimura is the microphone. In my testing, the microphone sounds fine, but of course it doesn’t have the same presence as a dedicated condenser microphone like the affordable HyperX SoloCast. For communicating in games it sounds better than most headset microphones, but if you are hoping to stream with this setup, enhancing the sound of the microphone would help. You can use our guide here on how to make some simple tweaks for free.
The Antlion Kimura Duo is the solution for those who want to add a microphone to their favorite pair of IEMs or just love that form factor of an in-ear headset. While it might not be for everyone and I still prefer having over-ear headphones and a broadcast-focused microphone like the SoloCast or MV7 from Shure, the Kimura is a solid choice that sounds great and is comfortable for those who want that form factor. If the sound of your microphone is a high priority, though, you may want to consider a different solution.
FTC: 9to5Toys is reader supported, we may earn income on affiliate links