Moondrop In-Ear Monitors and Ear Buds

I finally received the Xelastec tips and tried them out on the Starfield.

It does give them a little extra clarity and the bass is more to my liking. I loved them before and now I love them just a little bit more :wink:

I tried the 11.5kHz boost that @pwjazz mentioned and I found that (for my tastes) it works well on some music but is too much on on others. I find that it irritates me slightly more when it doesn’t work than me missing it when I don’t EQ the tracks that do benefit from it (if that makes any sense).


Is that the CP100 you tried or the ones with bigger inner diameter (CP145, CP155)?

the cp100. if there’s a larger inner diameter one (still learning about tip differences), it’s a good idea to try them instead

I prefer the cp100. The cp155 has a different shape and material. The seal is not as good in my ears.

Moondrop Starfield: Shoot For The Moon; If You Miss, You’ll Still Be Among The Stars


Moondrop. Progenitor of the perplexing dynamic that is waifu and high-fidelity audio; one of the most distinguished Chi-Fi brands in the IEM world thanks to their calculated approach to tuning. I’ve owned the KXXS (the Starfield’s more premium brother) for more than a year at this point. In this time, I’ve been lucky enough to try and review dozens of IEMs, some very expensive ones, and yet, the KXXS remains a staple of my small collection. That alone should probably be a testament to how much I like the KXXS, and I have well over a couple hundred hours on my unit. Of course, this review isn’t about the KXXS; it’s about the Starfield, which promises comparable sonic performance at close to half the price. Let’s take a quick look at how it stacks up.

This unit was loaned by Super*Review. As usual, what follows are my honest thoughts and opinions to the best of my ability. I won’t be covering the build, accessories, etc. here too closely, so I’d recommend looking elsewhere if that’s what you’re interested in!

Sound Analysis

Frequency response measured off of an IEC-711 coupler. There is a resonance peak at 8kHz; as such, measurements after this point should not be considered entirely accurate.

There’s no shortage of listeners who will attest to the Starfield being Harman-tuned, and eh, sure, I can see the resemblance. The main deviation would be in the bass which slopes out further, lending some extra note-weight to male vocals (not at all a bad thing); the Harman target is a good deal more incisive at around 200hZ by comparison.

The bass on the Starfield is about equal parts sub-bass and mid-bass – considerably above neutral – and honestly, it’s not very good. At least not according to the metrics with which I’d normally qualify good bass. Transient attack is fairly soft – there’s no way around it – and dynamic slam is pretty lackluster with an oft-cited “pillowy-ness” to the way hits are articulated. The midrange of the Starfield is Harman-inspired, peaking at around 3kHz with a tad too much emphasis at around 4kHz which some might find bright initially; I know I certainly did on the KXXS. Interestingly, the KXXS actually has slightly more energy around this region, lending to a slightly brighter, “edgier” presentation. Treble is about equal parts milquetoast, rolling off fairly linearly post-5kHz with a tad bump in the mid-treble at around 8kHz and in the bottom air frequencies. Somewhat rolled-treble and extended bass shelf in-hand, the Starfield is, accordingly, a considerably warm IEM with a tendency to delve into congestion on more complex tracks.

For an IEM I like so much, I’ve already cited quite a few issues, right? But surely, you say, there’s a catch. And indeed there is: You can take all those criticisms and flip them on their head. Not unlike the 64 Audio U12t, the Starfield toes the line between being intangibly pleasing and slightly neutering resolution with its soft, blunted transient attack; decay is equally oh-so-natural. Stack on the pillowy-ness in the bass, and a minor peak at around 12kHz that lends treble to a pleasant haziness in the decay, and you have a recipe for terrific timbre and – argh, I hate to use this word – a highly musical presentation.

Of course, let’s not pretend that the Starfield is some technical savant or anything of the sort. It’s not. It’s a respectable technical performer for its price, sure, but it’s light years away from touching a lot of flagship stuff, much less top-tier stuff. Dynamics are generally compressed, imaging is only slightly above average, and layering is pretty “meh” hence the aforementioned congestion issues. Heck, Moondrop’s own SSR gives the Starfield a run for its money in the technical department! Still, you know, I don’t really mind. There’s something highly alluring about the way the Starfield shifts its perceived weaknesses into strengths, the way it straddles that line so neatly for my preferences, and it’s something I can’t get enough of each time I listen to it. Frankly, I’d take the Starfield or KXXS over pretty much anything else under $200 on the basis of preference.

vs. KXXS

Speaking of which, you’ll probably want me to compare it more closely with the KXXS. For most intents and purposes – at least tonally – they’re close to identical sans that upper-midrange bump on the KXXS. For whatever reason, I find myself preferring the slight edginess to female vocals on the KXXS; the Starfield sounds plateaued in this range, a hair more fatiguing like so. Again, don’t ask me why. Some friends have also noted that the macrodynamic performance of the KXXS is better; likewise, I would agree that the Starfield sounds a tad overly loud in the way it scales dynamic swings and not quite as pleasing in its transient attack by comparison. Needless to say I doubt I could pass an A/B test between the two of them, so perhaps it would be more apt to say I find the Starfield lacks some of that je ne sais quoi relative to my KXXS. Maybe it’s just the placebo and nostalgia getting to me (to be fair, you do get slighted with the waifu packaging on the Starfield too).

The Verdict

In conclusion? Personally, I’d still swing those extra bucks for the KXXS as crazy as it sounds. But there’s no question in my mind that the Starfield is a terrific IEM. It’s an excellent value proposition all-round; that is, an IEM that comfortably trades blows with the best in its price bracket. So shoot for the moon because even if you miss, you’ll still be among the stars: the Moondrop Starfield.


Great analysis! Not precisely in tuning, but in terms of how people relate to it, the Starfield strikes me as the IEM equivalent of the Sennheiser HD6X0. Some people are absolutely content with it, other people find it terribly boring, many think that there’s better options in terms of “technicalities” and most agree that the timbre is great. Just as I envy those who can stop their search at the HD6X0 and just enjoy the music, so do I envy those who find similar contentment with the Starfield.


You raise a really good point about enjoying something like the starfield. I have very recently learned to judge all audiophile purchases based on how much I enjoy it. I am still working on it.

An example right now: I just bought and reviewed the iBasso dx160. It’s fine. I could be using it right now but instead, I have the apple dongle on my phone. Why? Because it’s easier and there is no increased joy from the dx160.

I am probably returning the dx160. What it taught me is few if any daps can fit my listening needs on a practical level. Nothing else about it increased enjoyment.

By contrast, the dunu zen basically completely replaced the blessing 2 dusk. They are just more enjoyable for me. I can’t even fully define why. I just have no desire to pickup the dusk when the zen is right there.

Starfield or odin, let that be your guide (within your budget of course!)


Tips keep getting stuck in my ears when I pull the Blessing 2 out. Specifically the medium which fit my ears best. Anyone got advice on keeping them in? Finding other tips that sound as good as stock has been fruitless.

Great review as always Precogvision.


Great reading @Precogvision. Thank you for sharing.


Xelastec tips won’t do that if they work for you.

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If you’re trying to keep them (I assume you mean the tips) in your ears, smearing them with Elmer’s glue and letting them set in your ears for 2 to 4 hours should work.

Oh wait - you probably mean on the IEM. I would try a bit of rubber or contact cement - just a little bit. Not hard to clean off if it doesn’t work.

Elmer’s glue skins are for school children!

Moondrop IEMs are covered with Chinese domestic market “moon drops.” This is known as SuperGlue® to the rest of us. This product makes them so secure that one must remove a layer of skin to get them out.

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I think the problem was that his favorite tips were coming off the Moondrop IEMs. Unless he can order the tips with a narrower bore, that will remain a problem. Hence the idea of rubber cement, which may effectively narrow the bore, will not hurt foam, and can clean up.

As for my smart aleck reply about Elmers, I was going to say super glue, then considered the possible liability issues. In my family “Sue” is usually a verb. (Not really, but it’s a good line).

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could have been worse, you could have referenced gorilla glue


Enjoying the start of my second day with the Blessing 2 Dusk now. These are good!! Very happy with the purchase. :heart_eyes:


I wrote some months ago my impressions about the Moondrop Starfield IEM.
I’d like to add some notes about some points that are relevant to me and that I hope can be useful for the community.
First of all using the Starfield with my A&K SR25 I’ve noticed a very good synergy between the two (obviously to my personal eras, I didn’t find any others for rent).
The output of the A&K gives to the Starfield a good power and smoothens the treble in favour of a more relaxed and to me enjoyable sound.
I know from @antdroid notes that A&K DAPs have a warmer sound compared to Pioneer for example.
Probably this sound tone helps giving the Starfield a smoother and to me much more enjoyable sound.
I find the Starfiel to be very sensible to tips rolling.
Using memory foam tips I’ve heard the basses fuller and more bodied in comparison to standard silicon tips.
It may be took in consideration of you want a richer bass response from these IEM.
After more than 60 days of use the Starfield are like new, no clipping from paint and no signals of possible problems.
For their price and for someone like me that doesn’t use a lot IEM these can really be a good compromise between price and sound quality.
Have a nice weekend and enjoy.


The Blessing 2 arrived this past week and I’m really liking what I’m hearing thus far.

The only thing I’m not too happy with is the stock cable. Any recommendations on a replacement?


Dunu duw-02 is fantastic. And modular.


I have the duw-03 (came with the Zen) and the blanche is coming next week. So far, I like the thinner 02 better.