The Kylin is Whizzer’s newest hybrid flagship, sporting one dynamic and two balanced armature drivers. The Kylin was kindly provided to me by Linsoul Audio.
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A Slight Tangent
I’m going to forego my usual “The Bad/The Good” style for a good reason: the good points of this IEM is that it is, at best, slightly above average. That’s mostly on the resolution of the midrange which is adequate but also nothing rather special in comparison with its competition.
When I say “mundane”, that’s really the best descriptor I can give the Kylin. I’ve gotten virtually zero desire to listen to it more past my first time because it doesn’t offer anything that makes me want to. I’d call it plain water but that’s giving too much credit. It’s more like this dubious glass of something that tastes vaguely like water but with an odd aftertaste that makes you think it’s not. Now imagine that you have an obligation to finish this glass of… “a thing” so that you can talk about its taste. It’s not horrible, it won’t make you puke nor will it make you sick but you avoid it all the same.
If you’re familiar with me outside the forums, you’d know that I like to call such average IEMs “things”. The Kylin is exactly that: “a thing”. Sound-wise, it doesn’t have a distinction and sounds like a generic hybrid. My worst fear.
Fluff out of the way, let’s start with the bass. It’s the first thing you notice with the Kylin since there is quite a lot of it, though not of particularly good quality. There is a lot of bloat but it’s mostly due to the skewed tonal balance rather than the transients of the bass itself. The decay isn’t too bad and the attack is blunted but I’ve heard worse. Decent sub-bass response but overshadowed by the looming presence of midbass. This issue is also exacerbated by the recessed midrange, which literally muffles instruments every time the bass hits. Not a great start for what’s meant to be the star of the show.
Speaking of midrange, I don’t usually use the word “distant” but it’s the first thing that comes to mind when I listen to the Kylin’s portrayal of vocals, particularly males. Tone wise it’s passable in that it doesn’t make me immediately yank them out of my ears, but there’s just something that I can’t put my finger on. Some sort of uncanny valley where it’s just slightly wrong and it’s not much, but enough to drive me crazy (or in this case, just not want to listen more). And again, the midrange practically disappears whenever you throw a halfway bassy track on the Kylins. EDM fans need not apply.
Treble is mushed up and blunted. It doesn’t seem to carry a lot of energy which is quite a detriment considering that treble would be the one thing to balance out the gobs of midbass. In a way it sounds almost veiled but not quite; it’s not like you’re listening through a pillow but more like someone accidentally turned the tweeter slightly down.
Imaging suffers from the same “it’s not bad not good either” pattern. It’s solidly average though it does sound like the overwhelming midbass/lower mids are congesting the stage. A bit of the in-your-head effect going on but nothing too drastic.
Probably a little too heavy-handed of a statement but I do believe that there really isn’t a point in getting a Kylin when the DMG exists. Both have a midbassy signature and relatively subdued treble, though the biggest distinction is in tonality. While the DMG is surprisingly excellent and doesn’t illicit a lot of complaints on my end, the Kylin has the mids as one of its weakest points, second only to its bass response. Speaking of which, the DMG’s bass (as bad as it is) is still better tuned than the Kylin’s which gives me a bass-induced headache in record times.
An average IEM in an extremely competitive area of the industry. Not a good combination.
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