Celest Gumiho IEM Review: Pretty Solid Sounding Affordable Planar Hybrid
Celest Gumiho is an all-new Planar Hybrid Driver IEM. There are big discussions going around in the community for its planar driver’s authenticity as it is said to feature a newly developed kind of Square-shaped SPD(Square Planar Driver). This new SPD driver here is paired with a custom balanced armature driver. Well, I don’t actually want to dismantle my unit and check the authenticity of the SPD driver, but I surely want to share my impressions and opinions on its sound quality. So why waste any more time, let’s begin with the introduction of Celest first.
Celest is a new name in the market but they are not entirely new. Celest is actually a new sister brand to Kinera. When I first heard the name, I kinda remembered the word “Celestial” from one of my favorite TV Shows. And the brand also named and designed their first ever product related to a celestial being, the Celest Gumiho. Gumiho is a nine-tailed fox from the folklore of East Asia. Here the Gumiho is Celest’s debutant product that brings a new kind of Planar driver onto the table. Both the SPD driver and BA driver in the Gumiho are custom developed by Kinera. The pair is priced at 49$, which makes it one of the cheapest planar IEMs in the market today, Planar Hybrid to be exact!!
A Short Disclaimer:-
I received the Celest Gumiho from HiFiGo as a part of a review tour in my country. I can assure you all the impressions in this blog are completely my own based on my own experience with the pair. Personally, I have tested it for a good 2-week period during which I tested it with a bunch of different sources that I will be mentioning in this review. If you want to know about the technical specs or any more information about the Celest Gumiho, refer to the HiFiGo link below or click here(non-affiliated links).
Unboxing & Contents:-
Gumiho gets a beautiful package. The pair comes in a compact package with a transparent outer cover. You can actually see the pair right through the outer cover. There’s also a nine-tailed fox metallic art piece that catches my attention from the packaging. Celest has printed the nine-tailed story along with some technical information about the Gumiho on the back side of the package. Won’t bore you more with package details, you can check it out yourself from the images below.
>Celest Gumiho IEMs.
>Metallic art piece.
>Carry pouch with magnetic clasp.
>Stock 3.5mm terminated cable.
>Multiple pairs of silicone ear tips.
Design & Build Quality:-
Gumiho has got 3D-printed resin ear shells. They are nicely built and have a beautiful nine-tailed fox painted onto their face covers. The shells here have a different triangular shape with a short nozzle. The shells are made up of solid resin material except for the filter on the nozzle which is metallic. There are three vent holes at the bottom of the shells. Celest has printed its name on the top leg of the ear shells as well. All-in-all, pretty compact, lightweight, kinda triangular-shaped ear shells are what we get with the Gumiho. The pair is actually well-built and gives a good in-hand feel. The shells are compact enough to disappear into my ears(I have medium-sized ears). Overall, pretty neat design, and a pretty good build.
The included cable is a 4-core cable with 3.5mm termination and 2-pin connectors. It has a silver and black soft outer sheathing and looks good with the pair. The cable is soft and lightweight.
A point of concern here though, since the shells have painted face covers, I fear the paint might chip off or starts to fade off in a few months of usage. But it’s just my assumption, my unit is perfect even after 2 weeks of regular usage.
Fit & Noise Isolation:-
As I mentioned above, Gumiho has compact shells that are small in size and have a lightweight design, It’s a pretty easy-fitting pair. You won’t have to worry much or tip-roll much to find a good fit. I find it to fit me perfectly with SpinFit W1, Azla SednaEarfit Light, and Stock Silicone tips. Once you get a good fit, you will notice the pair isolates you from your surroundings nicely. I was able to use it at the gym where the music is being played on loudspeakers lol.
Driving The Celest Gumiho:-
With the word “Planar”, high-power requirement is usually associated(except in a few recent models). But that’s not the case with the Gumiho here. The pair obviously shines with better sources, but it sounds phenomenal straight out of my MacBook as well that too hardly hitting 50% volume. Although source pairing is important for Gumiho as it responds well to the given sources. Here’s my personal experience.
Celest Gumiho with MacBook Pro M1:-
Pretty good sound but is a little bright as well. While the pair is not fatiguing but I can hear it a little peaky in the treble region. There’s also a tad bit of sibilance here and there in this combination. But easily gets powered here.
Celest Gumiho with HiBy RS2:-
Now we are talking about one of the best combinations for the Gumiho. Gumiho spreads love with the organic and sweet tone of the RS2. The pair sounds pretty good here, with good clarity, good staging, and smoothened treble response. Pretty good combination!!
Shanling M7 with Celest Gumiho:-
Gumiho shows excellent clarity and a rich tone throughout the frequency band with the M7. This is kinda overkilling for the Gumiho, but since I have it then why not haha. M7 provides enough juice to the Gumiho to bring the best out of its new SPD driver delivering tight bass and an energetic performance!!
IMO, powering the Gumiho will not be a concern for anyone, but finding the best synergy is important. I would recommend using something like RS2 that tames its treble a bit and presents us with a clean and energetic sound. Shanling M7, & Questyle M15 also sound wonderful with the Gumiho.
Celest Gumiho makes you groove to the beats of your favorite IEMs with its fun and engaging sound presentation. The pair packs a punch in the lower end, delivering a slamming mid-bass response and a powerful rumble in the sub-bass region. Lower mids are a little recessed but they maintain a good presence in the output. Upper mids are forward delivering good upfront vocals. The Treble region is presented with good energy. It gets sibilant at times, but I still find it to have a nice, lively sound output that complements different genres quite well.
Another attraction of Gumiho’s sound profile will be its soundstage. Gumiho creates an amazing immersive experience for us listeners. The stage is decently wide and has good height and depth too. The only thing will be that with forwarded midrange, some people might feel the vocals too into the face. I personally enjoy the clear and crisp vocals that the Gumiho delivers. Tonally, I would say Gumiho mostly sounds neutral in its tone with a little touch of metallic texture for the instruments. Overall, Celest has tuned the Gumiho pretty well. The pair actually sounds impressive and complements my music with a good lower end, forwarded vocals, energetic treble, and a wide sound field.
Gumiho slams nicely. The mid-bass shows a good punch and the sub-bass produces an amazing rumble with the Gumiho. No, it doesn’t sound bass-heavy or bass-focused set, but it surely has a pretty amazing and pretty punchy bass response. The lower end maintains a decent speed and resolution even in busy and fast tracks such as Billie Jean by MJ. When the bass drops in Bad Guy by Billie Eilish, the Gumiho handles it well and presents you with a clean response. It does sound groovy 🙂
The punchy lower end complements a clean midrange. The lower mids are slightly recessed with forwarded upper mids. Vocals are presented upfront with a pretty clean texture and a rich tone. Midrange on the Gumiho actually sounds quite airy. You will find the pair to have good spacing between different instruments and vocalists. Midrange on the Gumiho is musical and fun. Fun because vocals and other instruments are complemented nicely by a groovy lower end hehe.
Although Upper mids might feel too into the face for some listeners. My recommendation for them is to try it with Spin Fit W1 tips or Foamies for a better experience.
As soon as Gumiho transients into high-frequencies, the pair introduces a good amount of energy and life on the output. The pair extends well in the treble region. It showcases excellent clarity and air in this region. Although you will notice a tad bit of sibilance in the high-frequencies as well. Violins, Mouth organs feel a bit peaky, especially at high volumes. With the Gumiho, Treble region is not a smooth ride. You will be treated to a lot of surprises here. Whether it is good or bad depends on the listeners. I personally don’t find it harsh or fatiguing, but it surely packs a good punch in the treble region as well. For people who are sensitive to bright treble might have to use foam tips or Spin Fit W1 tips.
For 50$, Gumiho packs great technical performance. The pair sounds wonderful with a massive soundstage, crisp instruments, and good imaging capabilities. It’s a good pair for gaming as well, I was using it last night for playing some Overwatch 2 and Valiant hehe.
Some Tracks Tested by Me on Celest Gumiho:-
Hotel California by Eagles(Hell Freezes Over):-
The intro sounds pretty good. Different instruments are nicely detailed with a deep bass hit on the bongo. Even during the busiest moments of this track where we have different instruments, and vocals all at the same time, the Gumiho maintains its clarity. Pretty commendable presentation. Vocals are presented beautifully in this track.
Dark Necessities by RHCP:-
One of my favorite rock tracks. This track has got good speed, Gumiho keeps up with the song presenting every single beat precisely. I personally find Gumiho to be a pretty enjoyable set for rock music. The details are good, the presentation has good speed, and the output has good clarity.
Speak Softly Love by Yao SI Ting:-
What a beauty, absolutely beautiful. This track hits the right spot in my heart giving me goosebumps every time I listen to it. Gumiho presents it beautifully, although the vocals feel a bit sibilant at louder volume levels. But overall an enjoyable presentation.
Celest Gumiho Vs IKKO OH2:-
Recently got a chance to audition the IKKO OH2 once again. Even though it’s a single dynamic driver IEM, It falls around the same price point as the Celest Gumiho. Let’s find out how these two compare against each other.
>Gumiho feels faster to me in comparison to OH2.
>OH2 shows a more organic tone.
>Vocals feel more lively and more energetic on the Gumiho.
>Treble performance of Gumiho feels better. OH2 is more relaxed in comparison.
>Bass punch is pretty solid on the Gumiho, more slamming to be precise.
Final Words for Gumiho:-
Gumiho is an outstanding debutant pair from Celest. I agree it’s not flawless, but it surely delivers an amazing experience for its listeners. Gumiho packs amazing clarity, and amazing resolution, and delivers it nicely too. You also don’t need a powerful source and can enjoy the set anywhere you want. If you want a good taste of a Planar IEM but don’t want to break the bank, Celest Gumiho is a good option with good sound and comfortable fit!! Well, that’s about the Celest Gumiho from my side. I hope you guys liked my review, feel free to ask me any questions regarding the Gumiho in the comments section below.