Moondrop In-Ear Monitors and Ear Buds

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This is the place to talk and discuss about Moondrop audio products and their line of Ear Buds, IEMs, and other products.

Company Info:

The predecessor of MoonDrop is a studio composed of several enthusiasts. It has collaborated in the production of various novel HiFi devices for more than two years. It began to design and develop small earplug headphones in 2014. During this period, it experienced many changes and setbacks. Finally, it established a company in 2015 and began to operate the brand “MoonDrop”.

MoonDrop focused on the design and sales of Earbuds at the beginning. With the first product “VX”, MoonDrop became an entry-level HiFi headphone brand. Then in 2017, It launched the flagship earbuds “Liebesleid” in the industry, and became a famous headphone brand with excellent, unique and high-level research and development, manufacture and sales. In fact, not only earbuds, but also have introduced various types of In-Ear and won good reputation, including the earliest IX with unique shape and good sound quality, and later widely regarded as benchmark works such as Kanas series In-ears with dynamic driver, as well as various kinds of structure such as Blessing, A8, Reference in-ear with BA.

Over the past few years, MoonDrop has grown into a mainland brand with independent R&D and manufacturing system, advanced R&D equipment and theoretical system, complete supply system and operation framework; and the team also insists on Integrating Technology in various fields into the R&D process of new products, and actively explores the application of new technologies, new materials and processes in products. And invest a lot of manpower and capital in order to make unremitting innovation and forge ahead.


Flagship Moondrop A8 IEM

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List of Previous Reviews from this Forum:

Moondrop Kanas Pro

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I got the TFZ No 3 and Moondrop KXXS in this week and here’s a quick measurement between the two, and my quick impressions. Thanks to Linsoul for providing me these demo units. The No 3 is much bassier and brighter than the Moondrops (KXXS and Kanas Pro). The KXXS is a slightly warmer version of the Kanas Pro and I feel has a smaller (though very slightly) soundstage. I prefer the Kanas Pro over both of these as it stands right now. But it’s only based on limited listening and A-B-Cing between the three over an hour of listening last night.

I dont think TFZ No 3 is my thing – too v-shaped, but I can see how people do end up liking it. It’s got some bass impact and some bright energy that inherently makes it sound clear. I think the Kanas Pro is still a really good balance for me between the entire spectrum and works well with many genres. The KXXS is a more musical/intimate version of the KP and makes a smooth IEM even smoother.

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In this quick review, I’ll do a shoot-out between the newly released Moondrop Spaceship and the popular Final Audio Design E1000. First off, I purchased both of these earphones through Amazon and 46 Audio websites, however the Moondrop Spaceship will be transferred over to someone else after this review is complete.

Moondrop is a Chinese brand that has made some really well-liked earphones (both IEM and earbuds) that have been tuned to their preferential tuning, which is quite similar to the Harman Target Curve. Their products have ranged from $10 to $330 ear buds and $20 to $666 in-ear monitors, with the most popular models being the Kanas Pro and the A8. The Spaceship is the newest and cheapest of the Moondrop in-ear lineup.

Final Audio Design is a Japanese company that has a large lineup of in-ear monitors, and a few headphones including the D8000 Planar Magnetic over-ear. Their entry level E-series IEMs are extremely popular as well as the included E-tips which can also be purchased separately. The E1000 is the latest and cheapest model in this series which featured the E2000 and E3000.

What’s Included

Both IEMs feature the IEMs, a series of tips, and a boxed packaging. The Moondrop Spaceship also comes with a fabric pouch and a few cards. The tips that are included with the Final E1000 are extremely popular, as mentioned previously, and are one of nicer tips available on the market, and retail for $15 on their own. So, the $25 price tag for the Final E1000 is quite nice considering this fact.

The Moondrop Spaceship comes in a very nice metal shell that is much smaller in-person that you may be led in photos. It’s simple, yet attractive and reflects everything. The cable is simple and non-detachable, but quite usable. It also features metal splitter and connectors.

In contrast, the Final E1000 has a very cheap plastic shell, thinner and more crude looking cable, but does terminate in a 90 degree 3.5mm connector, which is quite handy for using on the go. Unfortunately, that little win doesn’t take the battle here. The Spaceship’s build, cable quality, and accessory package wins here, handedly.

Sound

Both the Final E1000 and Moondrop Spaceship feature their own musical style though they do have some similarities. Both are on the lighter side in terms of bass and warmth and are more treble focused.

The E1000 sounds rather hollow. It is a little warmer sounding than the Spaceship but that’s really due to the fact that its mid-range is really unacceptable. Its flat, and sounds missing and recessed. There’s also a spike in the treble region that can cause problems with harshness occasionally, but I found this could change vastly with tips and insertion depth. But the problem still lies in the non-coherent mids, where I feel like the region after 1K and before 5K is just missing, and causes that hollow sound.

The Moondrop Spaceship, on the other hand, has much more midrange presence and that makes vocals clean, clear and more natural. It is a tad light on the bass end, but does feature a mid-bass hump that is enough to provide a little punch, when needed. Still, I found it could be a little warmer. So, instead, the Moondrop tries to approach a more Diffuse Field tuning, and for the most part it does it pretty well. Given, it’s $20 price tag, it’s really hard to kick at it for being a little bass-light and maybe a little too boosted that could some people leaving fatigued from brightness, but for me, I find it good to listen to for a period of time.

Both of these in-ears have pretty narrow soundstage and imaging is not the best. I find the Spaceship quite a bit more resolving than the E1000, and generally just easier to listen to and to perform better in all aspects. It’s not much of a contest as I had hoped going into this review, when I purchased the E1000 and then a short time after, the Spaceship.

Overall

At the end of the day, this is a really easy showdown. I like the Spaceship in pretty much every single way. It’s also less expensive. Easy peasy. It’s not a tuning for everyone, let’s just make that really clear. But if you’re looking for a lighter signature that is vocal focused, this one isn’t that bad of a choice for $20.

If you want a more bassy, richer, warmer and more exciting in-ear at budget pricing, take a look at a few others. Let’s talk about those now.

The Focal Spark

The Spark is a budget Focal that has seen some wild sales where they go as low as $20, which is much less than their original $79 price. I picked it up for $20 on Amazon last year and found them to be a very good V-Shape at that price. Extremely good to be honest. Fast transients, warm, rich sound, and a V-shape that isn’t too muddy.

Sony MH755

The Sony freebie is exceptionally good for $6-8. It’s included free with their Bluetooth adapters, and a similar model, the MH750, is included with their cell phones. It’s a warm, bassy yet quite coherent in-ear that is quite a bit bassier and warmer than the Harman Target but has a similar upper-midrange and treble curve. It’s a steal for $6 on eBay.

And now the real conclusion…

I’d take either the Focal or Sony over the Spaceship and E1000 in my battle of the Bullets, though I find the Spaceship quite good at $20, especially if you want a leaner sounding in-ear. Really, that and the Sony can be perfect partners for under $30. Not too bad.

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MOONDROP KXXS REVIEW

The brand Moondrop has quickly become one of my favorite and most consistent brands on the market today for in-ear headphones. Their line of ear buds and IEMs are all built and tuned with a purpose, and for the most part, each one seems to hit their target curve.

The Kanas Pro was released last year and was well received by many including myself. I still rank it as a baseline standard for an earphone under $250. It featured a pleasing sound that worked well for most genres, comfortable fit, and nice build and aesthetics and was priced at $179, which seemed like a good sweet spot for many people.

Moondrop recently released a new model which seems to have fully replaced the Kanas Pro now, as the Kanas Pro has since been discontinued and is becoming much harder to find except on the used marketplace. The KXXS takes the Kanas Pro and makes some subtle changes that I will explore in this review.

Bigger and Better Packaging?!

Immediately, you’ll find that the packaging is much different than the Kanas Pro’s simple compact rectangular box. The KXXS comes in a large white box with a manga-style graphic of an Asian girl. While I don’t really care for this artwork, it’s at least tasteful and I think this does draw attention from some people more into Japanese artwork than I do.

Beyond the box, Moondrop has included a nice blue case to carry the items in, as well as a small selection of tips. The cable isn’t very great though. It’s janky to use and isn’t very usable in my opinion. It’s a far cry from the nicely included cable that that Kanas Pro came with.

The KXXS shell is actually a tiny bit larger than the Kanas and Kanas Pro. This is in both height, width, and thickness, and also has a shallower stem. That said, the comfort is equally on-par with the Kanas and Kanas Pro, which I found as one of my most favorite In-Ears for comfort and pleasure.

The shell is a mirrored metal finish and has a very nice look to it that resembles jewelry in some ways. It is a bit blingy so some may not like it, but I find the IEM attractive and built very well.

Sound Qualities

The KXXS has a warmer sound than the previous Kanas Pro and is slightly warmer than the Harman Preference Target Curve. In this case, I found the bass to be just slightly elevated from the Kanas Pro and adds a little more richness to music, and making male vocals more filled in and, in most cases, improved.

The single dynamic driver produces quick bass notes and doesn’t really have a great deal of decay and slam. It’s punchy to an extent, but I didn’t find them basshead level qualities. That said, I like how my basslines to be defined and fast, and powered by subbass performance. With the KXXS, it mostly delivers here. The additional added bass from the Kanas Pro gives it just a slight boost in the lower bass regions that makes it more powering, but at a slight cost of definition.

The mids benefit the most from this new tuning, and primarily male vocals. The added bass boost reachs into the lower mids and that provides and more warmer tuning. While, I never found the Kanas Pro to be lacking in this region at all, some people may enjoy this warmer tuning.

If Moondrop had stopped the tuning here and left the rest of the signature in-tact, I would probably have rated this a little higher than I have. I found the Kanas Pro to be a really wonderful sound signature that really just lacked detail resolution and maybe a little too restrained, and laid back and smooth through the treble region. Well, maybe I asked for too much.

The KXXS adds just a slight elevation in the upper mids and treble portions, and I ended up finding the KXXS just a tad bright and harsh on some songs – specifically modern pop recordings and dance tracks, which already accentuate this area. This wasn’t the case for every song though, and so some more toned-down music did not find any of these rougher edges.

The KXXS has a slightly more intimate soundstage than the Kanas Pro, but I found both to be wider than average. The KXXS plays well with imaging and width for its price range, but depth and height are just average. Resolution is pretty good for this price range, but it’s still not in the same realm as much higher priced in-ears, where detail retrieval of every little breath is more apparent.

I may come across slightly negative in this review of the KXXS, but that’s really when I am comparing it to the Kanas Pro, which is one of my most favorite In-Ears. It’s such a great IEM for the price – in terms of sound profile, build, comfort, and design that I find it hard to beat.

The KXXS improves upon the lower mids but I feel like they went a tad overboard on the brightness and that detracts more than the additions. This isn’t a dealbreaker though, and I find the KXXS to be a very good in-ear at this price and I’d still recommend it to many users. Just be aware that some songs may sound a little bright.

This IEM was provided for review by Linsoul. If you are intersted in purchasing this, I highly recommend checking out their storefront on Amazon (LSR-Direct) or their own website. Here is a direct link to the product: https://www.linsoul.com/product-page/moondrop-kxxs-iem

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This is the Moondrop Chaconne flaghship ear bud. It’s got surprisingly good flat bass response with an audible roll-off around 50Hz (thats about when I can start to hear some rumbling in a sine-sweep measurement). It’s got a a warm, laidback listening, but its easily the most resolving ear bud I’ve tried, but I can’t say I’ve tried any above $130 prior to this.

I’ll post a more detailed review later, but this is just my listening impressions after a week of owning these. Total impulsive blind buy, but I like what I have so far (keeping in mind that these are still ear buds and have their own limitations)

Oh forgot to mention, the ear bud shell is made of Titanium and Brass. It feels solid and the build and cable is absolutely stunning.

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Moondrop just announced their new Blessing line up:

Would love to have one of these and see how they are.

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Moondrop teased the Starfield today. I suspect the design was based on KXXS hence it is once mentioned that it will be a cheaper alternative to KXXS. Price is expected to be 110$ as far as I know so I might do a review on it as a comparison for the newly released Tin Hifi T4

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The Moondrop Starfield is a Harman-neutral IEM utilizing a 10 mm dual-cavity carbon nanotube diaphragm dynamic driver. It offers incredible value for its asking price and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

I do consider it a sidegrade from the KB EAR Diamond in some respects, and the decision to purchase one IEM or the other mostly comes down to tuning preference. If you prefer a more neutral sound, the Starfield is worth the additional $30 over the Diamond, while those in search of a more energetic, V-shaped tuning should stick with KB EAR’s offering.

My full review can be viewed on my blog: Moondrop Starfield Review

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Just thought I’d add my Starfield review here as well:

There’s the video at the end for anyone wanting that instead.

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Here’s my latest review from Moondrop – the Blessing 2.

I really enjoy this one. It hits my personal target curve well, and doesn’t have a lot of flaws, even at it’s price range. The biggest issue for me is getting it to fit since it has an abnormally large bore size of 6.5mm and it’s short, so getting tips to fit it and stay on is a bit challenging.

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The Moondrop S8 is an in-ear monitor (IEM) with a Harmanish tuning utilizing eight balanced armature (BA) drivers per housing. After being impressed by the Moondrop Starfield I decided to take a chance on the S8 as an upgrade to my Tanchjim Oxygen. I purchased the S8 at HiFiGo and have been using the S8 as my daily driver since early April.

The strength of the S8 comes down to the unity of its musical presentation combined with the insight it provides into individual aspects of a musical piece. On a track like Deadmau5’s “Seeya,” where instrument after instrument stack up in the mix as the song progresses, the S8’s maintains both the instrument separation necessary to distinguish each sonic thread and the overall cohesion of the full tapestry. This is no easy task, and the S8 clears this bar effortlessly. Highly recommended.

My full review is available on my blog: https://medium.com/bedrock-reviews/moondrop-s8-review-f9c664e1e3b7

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I am certainly still in the honeymoon period, but what a great honeymoon it is turning out to be.

The Starfield are my favourite IEMs so far (disclaimer: I am in the budget category of IEMs and can’t see me moving out any time soon).

I will give more detailed impressions when I have given them the obligatory test of time but for now they are making me very happy.

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Just thought I’d… drop my Moondrop Blessing 2 review here as well:

Okay jokes aside, this IEM is amazing and everyone needs to hear it. I’m really looking forward to what else these guys have in store in the future because they’re doing amazing stuff lately.

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Hi there. I was wondering if anyone would be able to compare the sound of the recent Moondrop Blessing 2 to the FiiO FH7. I’ve had the FH7 for nearly half a year, but the Blessing 2 has peaked my interest from all the commotion. Also have the FA7 if anyone would mind comparing to that. Thanks!

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I’m curious if anyone can give this comparison as well. I’ve heard really good things about both but they also seem very different in their approach. These are definitely two I would consider for an upgrade to my current IEMs.

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Here is my review of the Moondrop Starfield. This review is also available in Spanish (and English) on my blog if anyone is interested (link in my profile).

Moondrop is a company that offers IEMs in price brackets that seem to range from very cheap all the way up to expensive (over $1k). When they released the Kanas Pro, they had great success and I think that it put them on the radar of a lot of people that are involved in the world of hifi IEMs.

The Kanas Pro was then replaced with the KXXS that also received praise from the community and then recently they released the Starfield, which is supposed to be an IEM that follows the tuning of the KXXS at a lower price point, which is something that certainly interested me.

Build and comfort…

The packaging is a simple cardboard box inside a cardboard sleeve, however, the contents of the box are the first sign of the taking interest in their products.

Inside the box you get the IEMs, a nice blue cable that matches the IEMs, the typical selection of silicone tips, a decent carrying case and a few sets of spare filters and tweezers to replace them. That is something I have never received in an IEM package before.

The IEMs themselves are very pretty, in a purplish blue colour, with blue speckles, that change colour depending on how the light hits them. The are smaller than I expected after seeing images online, and although they are not the lightest IEMs, they are not so heavy that they would be considered uncomfortable, at least by me.

The drivers used are 10mm dual cavity dynamic driver with carbon nanotubes, supposedly used to help tune the IEM and get the most out of dynamic driver.

Of course, comfort is a very personal thing and in my case I find them very comfortable even with the silicone tip, which is something I usually shy away from in favour of foam tips. In this case I have been using foam tips, but I have also been swapping to silicone and back far more that I do with any other IEM.

The cable included also seems to be pretty decent in my opinion, it is not the most tangle free or best feeling cable I have had in my hands, but it does match well with the IEMs and I have no real complaints about it. I did end up using a balanced able though when listening via the Shanling M2X.

Sound…

The bass I find to be very well controlled, with a good extension into the sub bass, and a nice rounded bass sound that seems to be far more common with the presence of dynamic drivers, in this case they seem to have worked to implement the driver well and the bass is very pleasurable.

They do follow the Harman Curve as far as tuning, meaning that bass has a slight elevation over neutral, but again, I do not find it to be overdone and at no point have I found it to invade the mids.

As far as mids, they are again very smooth, with vocals that are present but without being too forward or at all shouty. The Harman Curve obviously pushes the mids slightly back in comparison to the lows and maybe in songs like “Way Down Deep” by Jennifer Bairnes, I missed a little more presence in the vocals, but that is me actually looking for faults in a cong that I have listened to hundreds of times.

In the case of songs that I haven’t hear that many times, or without looking specifically for faults, they don’t give me a sensation of missing mids at all.

Maybe the best part of Starfield is the low mids, which are very well defined, with plenty of body and presence. They have amazing detail in these frequencies and allow you to enjoy all the instruments found in this range without ever feeling congested or overdone. I really enjoyed listening to some performances by Jaco Pastorious, as I could focus on every nuance of Jaco’s playing.

The song “These Bones” by The Fairfield Four sounded great and is definitely the best I have ever heard it on a set of IEMs, with great separation and placing of the voices.

Moving up in to the treble area, this may be the weakest area of the Starfield. But even as it’s weakest point, I still found them to be very well done, without and harshe peaks or sibilance, extending well and maintaining the general sense of good sound that they present throughout the whole spectrum.

They have a touch of air around 12kHz that helps them maintain the sensation of good extension and detail all the way up to the top.

Soundstage and Imaging…

I would say that the soundstage is not excessively wide, something that I find with almost all IEMs I have tried, but is still pretty decent. The imaging and placement of instruments and voices to the left and rights seems to be very well done, although there doesn’t seem to be much happening in front or behind you. It is as though everything is more or less placen on a horizontal line from left to right. For example, they don’t give me the impression of being stood in front of a stage at all.

Timbre…

The more IEMs I try, the more I realize how important timbre is to me, especially with acoustic stringed instruments, I think it has started to become a little bit of an obsession for me.

In the case of the Starfield, the timbre is great, in fact, it is almost perfect for my personal taste.

I recently commented in my BL03 review that the timbre was good, the timbre on the Starfield is way superior. It is also true that the BL03 is only 1/3 of the price, so it’s not really a fair comparison.

The Spanish guitars, acoustic guitars and basses that I love listening to so much, sound heavenly on these IEMs.

Conclusion…

I am very centered in the cheap (even ultra cheap) area of IEMs and the Starfield are probably reaching the limit of what I would pay for an IEM, or at least they were until I tried them, due to the use that I give IEMs.

They are not the most expensive IEMs I have had, although all the IEMs that have been of a superior price to the Starfield have been Shure IEMs that were purchased for technical reasons, solely for their use on stage as monitors. For listening to music, I prefer the Starfield.

For me personally, these IEMs seem to be perfect. I am not saying that the IEMs themselves are perfect as I know there are much better out there but I am not sure at what price bracket I would need to start investigating in order to improve on the enjoyability I am getting from these.

The Starfield have their flaws, things that can be improved without a doubt, but they are an IEM in which I personally have to look for the flaws, rather than the flaws jumping out at me. I can just enjoy the music with the Starfield and not worry about anything specific.

My test list of songs has been played multiple times through the Starfield unless I focusing on finding things wrong, everything sounds as it should to me. For my favourite genres they are great.

The eternal search that is this world of audio is of course not over, but I believe that the Moondrop Starfield has set the bar at a very high point under 100€ and I do not know how long I will have to wait, or how much more I will need to spend, before that bar is moved.

I guess I made it clear that I like the Starfield :wink:

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Gracias, Senyor! :guitar: :headphones:

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I get, that you do enjoy Starfields.
Thank you for your impressions on these @SenyorC

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