Kinera is a brand that puts out consistent quality IEMs. Every item you’ll find in their selection is unique in its sound signature and art design. Their products span in a variety of price ranges, and the Celest Gumiho is one of their most economical. Only the BD005 Sport comes in at a lower price, but the Gumiho is going for something different. There has been a spark of budget IEMs from a lot of companies that are known for putting out more high-end audiophile products. Moondrop has the Chu, and Tripowin has the Cencibel. I have written a list on great IEMs that you can get for fifty dollars, is the Celest Gumiho up for consideration?
What You Get
- Celest Gumiho IEMs
- Metal bookmark
- Six sets of ear tips
- 2-pin 3.5mm cable
- Storage bag
- Cleaning brush
- User manual
Look and Feel
Usually, Kinera gives you a fabulous artistic design for its specially crafted shells. The Gumiho has that with its logo variation that puts a beautiful white nine-tailed fox on a black background. It is a great piece of art, but unfortunately I only received the blank version of the Gumiho. Of course, this design isn’t as flashy, appearing a lot more plain than most of Kinera’s selection. The plastic housing is a bit underwhelming, but fine for the price. The fit is what is going to matter most here, and thankfully the Gumiho does a fine job fitting comfortably. No extra pressure or fatigue was found throughout my testing.
The Celest Gumiho sports a 10mm planar driver with a single balanced armature. A lot of this crop of planar IEMs that have been coming out don’t usually support a hybrid system, so it is special to see one here. With only 9 Ohms you can drive the Gumiho from any device. Using a simple lightning DAC adapter gave me more than enough headroom to enjoy the output at a comfortable gain.
Kinera tends to deliver a wide soundstage, and the Gumiho keeps with that notion. Here, the image doesn’t appear as tall, making the sonic environment a bit more linear than I would have liked. However, for the price, I can understand its lean towards linearity. It isn’t like the Gumiho does a poor job of layering the sound elements either. The separation on display here does a great job of bringing the sound elements into focus. Each instrument and vocal performance is easily distinguishable from one another. Their positioning is solid, with everything falling into the right place with the room they need to show accuracy to the mix.
Even though the bass delivers some satisfying punch, the body of the tone is quite lean. However, the detail comes through so cleanly that the timbre of each note makes up for what it lacks in a hard impact. The frequency content is underlined by a smooth and subtle sub-bass, while the mid-bass accentuates the bottom end for texture. Some marginal rumble can be obtained, but mostly this response leans to the neutral side. This doesn’t keep the bass from being fun though. It is its balance between realism and gripping coloration than makes this bass exciting.
In the mids, the Gumiho can appear very dynamic. Certain regions like the low-mids don’t exactly pop as they should, but you’ll still hear some nice clarity. What the mids get across well is its precision. Each b and of frequency never extend too far away from its accurate position in the mix. Instruments have a natural transparency, with enough room between layers to showcase the performance as needed. Vocals have a nice body to them, adding a crisp coating to their timbre in the upper-midrange.
While they never exceed too far in terms of height, the highs still display some significant extension. You get that elevated feel with some slight airiness to fill out a lot of the top end. Its resonance is flavorful but a tad thin in some areas. You won’t hear any harsh tones, but the highs lack some bite. There is a smooth sizzle to the timbre, but its effect is as subtle as the sub-bass.
For fifty dollars, the Gumiho is going to be one of the best budget IEMs around. It is impressive in how much of the planar experience it is able to replicate for its simplistic design. I think adding in the balanced armature helped the sound out quite a bit here, especially in the upper-mids and treble. It isn’t a perfect sound singsture by any means, but at fifty dollars you can expect a level of quality only a brand like Kinera can deliver.
The Kinera Celest Gumiho is available at Linsoul.