Reviews by etlouis


100+ Head-Fier
Blessing 3
Pros: Still the Moondrop signature, except even cleaner
On relative low cost on impedence, delivers solid bass thumps
Smaller nozzle means less pain
Cons: I miss the "wub-wub bass" - the slow decay from that previous bass driver on the Dusk
Uncle Lu, who bought this with his own money, is back with another quickie.

Might revisit this when I got more time, just the initial 20 minutes & thoughts for now.


First impressions:

The iem can now sit in the ears more comfortably.

Resolution is a clear step up (*from dusk), and the drivers are more in control.

Slightly more polite in the bass area. It is tighter and decays faster.

Dusk was more about using the bass shelf to justify the trebles. In B3, it is still very balanced, just that trebles take a step forward.
While mid and bass took a slight step back.

I like the thing and its a worthy refresh to the B2.


- Look forward to seeing the isobaric-drivers again in maybe ... the Variations 2? Would loved to have an EST in there since we're hearing more trebles, because of BA timbre. Those who have tasted EST would notice this. Ofc, such a product would immediate be out of this price bracket and around 4-500. How about finally a flagship custom with enough shell real-estate to combine your inventions?

- I somewhat enjoyed the wub-wub bass from Dusk. Thus I miss the warmth. From a little cable upgrade + warm source, it was a uniquely delicious thing. If you're coming from Dusk, you're trading in the wub wub for more resolution.
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Hi all.

Anyone with a good EQ setting for the Moondrop Blessing 3 and Chord Mojo 2? I find the sound beautiful with standard settings but would like to hear if anyone has experienced with tuning the Mojo 2 EQ setting to the Blessing3.
Crinacle has a comparison tool for iems. You can tune it to your favorite iem reference.


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: + Mature Moondrop signature - bright and balanced
+ Rich note-weight and timbre that is consistent across the frequency
+ Scales positively with DAP power
+ Instrument separation
+ Wealth of accessories
Cons: - Sandwiched between Aria and Dusk
- Heavy shell
- Scratch prone shells

The Kato is a one dynamic driver iem advertised as the new flagship of Moondrop and the successor to KXXS. During the pre-order phase, a K-cable is also included free of charge. Now the Kato promises a lot of improvements over previous models: New driver, nozzles, tips, and cables. Are all of these really an upgrade?

Disclaimer: I purchased this with my own money without affiliations.



"It was me, Dusk!"


It can be said that Kato is excellently tuned with no apparent weaknesses. It is a Dusk after all.

The improvement is that even the 6khz peak was removed, which was my long time complaint about the Moondrop's VDSF curve. Scooped out that 5-7kHz peakiness without introducing new problem. The bright neutral signature reaches full maturity with the Kato: More bass. Less trebles. No 6k spike. I doubt anyone can say that Kato has imbalanced tonality, but there are still reasons to dislike the Kato, Mainly matters of taste:

1. You are offended with the early treble 3khz peaks
2. You want more bass

It will boil down to how one's music collection and how one wishes to listen to it.


Natural timbre is the name of the game for single DDs, and Kato is very capable in that department. The mids in particular is the star of the show. You will find vocals and guitars to take center stage more so than other instruments. I am particular glad that Moondrop finally doesn't discriminate towards male vocals (sideway glance at S8 and Dusk). They sound just as full and natural as female vocals.

The Kato is decently resolving for a single DD. Delivering enough details to keep the inner critic at bay, but the key factor here is the DD timbre and center soundstage. The excellent timbre extends from bass to trebles without discriminating towards particular regions. Recently I've heard a lot of different drivers which are supposed to be "faster", but at the price of awkward timbre. Beryllium (Mangird Up). Planars (7hz timeless). The Kato isn't as "fast" as the aforementioned, and retain sufficient amount of note-weight and expansive soundstage. Almost the best of both worlds.

Soundstage and positioning are quite good. I haven't had single DDs for a while (although I purchased 3 of them recently: Mele, Timeless, Kato). What I am getting out the Kato is that the tuning coupled with the positioning of instruments creates an easy listening experience. There isn't too much brute force resolution like the S8. I find my attention drifting in and out of the music as I try to get some work done.


What I like about Moondrop is that they're always looking for things to improve. It may take time, but they do improve. I remember the days where my S8s were just socketed in a foam cut-out with a ghetto cable. Those days are gone. The Kato box opening experience is phenomenal. You are given not one cable, but two decent ones. With tips, nozzles, and cables to play around with. All at the same price as the KXXS.

Spring tips - Free version of Xelastics? A bit thin and non-isolating for external use however. I fell back to regular silicone tips. I wish they made the plastic flange thicker for bass retention and to block noise.

Nozzles - I prefer steel more than brass. It attenuates the cleanliness of Moondrop's house sound. Notes feel clear-cut and less prone to extended decay.

Cables - Stock seems fine. One of Moondrop's best stock cable yet. The wire sheath is thicker than necessary IMO... but I guess it will more resistant to wear and tear / oxidation.

The 3rd party K-cable is 8-braid and quite unwieldly at that. Quite decent. Sounds slightly warmer and more open than the stock. I prefer stock cable since again note definition is more clear-cut.


Sources: WM1A, ROG5, laptop

Music / What I just jammed to:


Yoasobi - 夜に駆ける
ACG/Jpop. The genre Moondrop was made for.


Hideaki Tokunaga - 夢は夜ひらく
Jazz vocalist. Male vocals sound just as good as females. Unlike Dusk / S8.


Mora Life 通勤天国 - ドラムが背中を押す→START (DSD 2.8Mhz)

Bass benefits from DAP power here. Kickdrums kicking like a mule.


うたわれるもの 偽りの仮面 & 二人の白皇 歌集 - キミガタメ 2016 (DSD 2.8Mhz)
One of my all time OST favorites. Kato begins to lose resolution on the busiest parts of the track, but we are on the limits of a 1 dynamic driver when it's between Kato and an entire orchaestra.


The Kato is an excellent offering at its price range. Refreshing my knowledge about single dynamic drivers and their charisma. Butter smooth and easy to listen to.

It's amazing to see Moondrop being able to defeat their old products over and over again. Not only improving upon the sound quality, but the overall package as well. At the same retail price. It's like watching Goku and the endless super sayan forms that he keeps transforming into. As a long time fan however, I'm interested to see them beat S8 and B2.

That's all folks. See you next.
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Hey, nice review. I see you have heard the timeless, could you please DM me a comparison between timeless & kato. Thanks.
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I'd also love to read this comparison


100+ Head-Fier
Mission Accomplished.
Pros: + Better than Blon03 in terms of fit, isolation, resolution and transients
+ Deep digging bass
+ Satisfying guitar-bite
+ Clean presentation
+ Exemplary build quality in price bracket
Cons: - Treble roll off causes less resolving power, but protects against sibilance and fatigue
- Blon may have better female vocals

The Mele is a 1DD iem collaboration between youtube reviewer BGGAR and Tripowin. It was originally designed to be an upgrade over the blon03.


Quality aluminum shell with a little BGGAR print. Subtle but classy. The faceplate is decent.

Lightweight. Small form factor. Good nozzle length. These attributes lead to a better fit for me than the blons. I have kept these on for hours on end either for work or pleasure. This is a comfortable iem.



I'd call this dark bass-boosted neutral. Or simply dark. It graphs with a hair more sub-bass than OG blon. Very clean bass boost. While overall it's quite a strong bass boost, but still tasteful and non-intrusive. Mids have some wetness, and isn't too dry. Which is nice. The treble is inoffensive, catering to long listening. Since this is basically blon's signature, then the Mele has succeeded its "Tonality for mass appeal". It is a signature that's hard to hate.

Bass - Deep reaching sub-bass and solid, powerful mid-bass slams.
Mids - Guitars/Trumpets > Deep Male vocals
Trebles - Safe from sibilance. Clean, but not the most resolving.


Resolution and timbre:

The Mele is simply clean sounding. Much cleaner than one can expect for 50 dollars. It's forgiving towards most recordings. Making it even better for aged albums like 80s rock (or my death metal collection). In fact it's so clean it may become my defacto iem to listen to Metallica, System of A Down or Rammstein tracks. This doesn't mean it's a one-trick-pony. My library is immense and contains every genre under the moon. I just happen to find that the treble roll off pairs perfectly with certain treble heavy tracks.

Instrument separation is quite good. The Mele sounds composed during congested moments, and therefore is the obvious winner in terms of technical ability. The treble attack is sharp and decays fast. Whereas the Blon03 had slower decay and transients leading to poor detail retrieval and unclean notes. This was more noticeable when you take it on more complicated or faster tracks. Note that I listened to all this with the Tripowin Jelly cable, which to my ears, it lets the Mele sink down that extra inch lower on the bass end, converting it more towards the basshead iem.

Timbre on guitar / male vocals / drums is where Mele excels and truly distinguishes itself from the ocean of sub $100 iems out there. These little things seem to be tuned exactly with those instruments in mind. There is a confidence in the dynamic driver to interpret these particular sounds, and presents them very solidly in terms of timbre. Thick, reverberating and punchy.

Best performing tracks:
Anything with guitar and drums in it.

Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train

That classic guitar rift in the beginning. 1:45 solo is excellent as well.

DJMAX - Black Cat

Same reasoning above. The grainy, meaty and low-growling bass guitars are present throughout the track. Chorus guitar solo at 1:28 is on-point. The darkness is good for accentuating that thick guitar line.

Avenged Sevenfold - A little piece of heaven

At this point it's pretty clear this thing is great for rock or metal. Feed it with tracks made of drums and guitars then enjoy the show. The double bass lines are being confidently done by Mele without being flappy or loose. The spotlight is on that drum the whole time. Can't help cranking up that volume higher to get to head-bobbing levels.

Mark Ronson - Uptown Funk

Letting that sub-bass rip. Solid slaps. There's nothing too complicated going on in the higher frequencies. Awesome slam and bass guitar jams.

- Sources: Wm1a, ROG5, BTR5, laptop
- Cables: Stock, Tripowin Jelly
- Tips: Stock
- Files: 24 bit Flac or dsd64-254


A great set that plays many genres well, with special sauce on drums and guitars. A step above blon03 in terms of build and resolution. At $50 with this build, tuning, timbre and resolution. This is a good recommendation for the budget-minded audiophile.
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yup. it's surprising to me that Mele is way cleaner than the planar+BA set, TRI I3 Pro. although the TRI I3 Pro might be a more competent set to most people, for my huge library and with that price tag, it's just an underperformer.

Mele might not give that 'wow' factor but it's going to please for a long period of time because of its almost natural tonality. therefore I think Mele is punching above its price while trading blows with higher-priced IEMs. if one levels the loudness to Moondrop Blessing 2 Dusk, the resemblance is uncanny. everyone should get a pair of Mele now.
@Eduardiofilo - The treble is tuned safely here meaning that it isn't sibilant. Draw back is less details. However, I find that it simply diverts my attention to the bass and mid-bass region where a lot of male vocals and guitars are happening (especially with the Jelly cable, man I just love a cheap cable that's good). I think it's great for Nightwish, Metallica, Sonata Arctica, Evanescence... etc.
@hevelaoak - It is quite clean by being tuned that way. I have Dusk as well... when Dusk is properly powered and is cable swapped, then it has an advantage over the Mele. Dusk has more details and separation overall, and its vocals favor female slightly. Actually there's no clear winner whatsoever, just synergy. Phone and dongle -> Mele best. Dedicated DAP -> Dusk. Straight out from a phone the Dusk is sleepy and underpowered, even if there is a big helping of bass. It isn't good bass. It's flappy and plastic sounding. It took me a few months to find something that makes it produce solid-footed bass and warmer vocals.


100+ Head-Fier
Timeless planar iem
Pros: - Planar timbre, especially mids
- Instrument separation
- Good bass for a planar
- Easy to drive
- Lightweight cable and build
Cons: - Restrained soundstage
- Bass texture
- 2dB bumped off 3kHz would be perfect


Timeless is a single driver planar iem. There aren't many contenders in this arena. The most prominent being Audeze iSines. Some would remember the Tin Hifi P1.


Tonality (8.5/10)

Planars have been notorious for having poor tonality out of the box. Most require some form of EQ to become acceptable. Although the Timeless is no exception, it strike pretty close to home. I'd say Timeless is about 90% correct out of the box. It is totally listenable. The whole curve is calm as a lake, if not for that dual-peaked hill jutting out of 2-3k that makes female vocals and cymbals shreaky to my ears. It looks like a little fedora hat compared to the V14.


le petit fedora hat

The hat is the only thing I have to take off with EQ. Two dBs off 3kHz thank you.

Point to note is that vocal timbre is the specialty of planars. I have yet to hear this level of creaminess coming from any other type of drivers. It's something different from DDs and BAs... a "larger than life" experience that I think every audiophile should hear at some point. Planars feature a heavier note-weight in the mids that is satisfying to hear.

If I had to nitpick on timbre, the bass isn't as dirty as I want it to be. Fast drivers tend to have this issue. The bass seems to decay just half a second too fast, or there is lack of echo. Having said that, I'm grateful enough for the fact there IS such a good helping of bass and sub-bass on a planar.

Resolution (8/10)

Surprisingly clean presentation. It definitely sets a high bar for subsequent iems coming after the Timeless. I've always thought that if someone manages to tune a good planar it's going to beat all the single dynamic drivers out there. At $200, the Timeless is clear a bracket king in terms of resolution.

Soundstage (6/10)

Those familiar with planars would know that they have less-than-stellar soundstage, even for full-sized headphones like Sundara. The Timeless is no exception here and shares this unfortunate trait that comes with the planar bloodline. Sounds seem to come from one single point. Although the focal imaging for vocals is excellently within the head, I find myself thirsting for more separation during the faster and busier tracks.

The Timeless is good enough for my library such as pop and country, but those with a great selection of music from rock/metal, or classical such as complex orchestral where positional cues and brute-force resolution matters a lot to you... then you may need to look at high driver count iems.



Tin Hifi P1

- Fit and comfort is miles better than P1
- Soundstage is much wider and not as claustrophobic
- Resolution is likely better due to the decluttered soundstage
- Trebles are less stabby stabby, and way easier to fix
- Bass is better both quality and quantity
= Mids are about even

In general I can conclude that Timeless is a total upgrade to the P1. It's fixed the fit and the bass. Now the trebles are still having some issue. (See diagram of Fedora Hat.) But at most it is 2-4dB away from other iems and it isn't a huge difference. It has the P1 mids but also better in everything else.


Rog phone 5
WM1A 4.4mm
Aune B1S
Little Bear B4X + muse opamp
BTR5 wireless

Stock seemed to do fine.



It's quite a convincing product from 7 Hertz. Solid sound performance. Decent build and quality. Easily driveable from smartphones. A real portable planar at an affordable price range. Finally we get to enjoy the taste of planar on the go. It's 2021 people, no one's going to stacked amps around with a fanny pack.



Aoi Teshima - Tokyo

Julie Lundon - Cry me a river


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Ordered Mine! L O V E Planars when done right. I've owned lots of them and still have a few and bar none - they all benefitted from hours of burn-in. All of them (6 sets now) have improved upto and beyond 150 hours. I suspect that as your hours mount that 2-3K peak will settle down. With every planar I've had so far, with use the bass became more controlled, layered and textured, mids became creamy yet articulate, and the treble extended out while "smoothing" out. It'll be interesting to see how these perform. When I get get them, I'll listen exclusively to them for a week, so I'm not having any "brain burn" trickery going on in my head and I'll let them run on my desktop rig 24x7 when I'm not listening to them. Burn-in is a very real phenomenon with planars and I can't imagine these Timeless being any kind of exception. I'm excited to get them and thanks for this review!
Wow, the more I read the more I want to get this, its amazing that there is good bass on B1s. Request you to please check grain and soundstage on Bx4.
I just got them this week and since then they are not leaving my Sony WM1A. What a pleasure. Two thumbs up!


100+ Head-Fier
A review on the Xenns Up
Pros: + Powerful Beryllium DD bass
+ Decent bass and treble extension
+ Good timbral details on bass and trebles
+ Non-fatiguing signature yet engaging
Cons: - High bass volume causing inevitable bass bleed
- Thin clinical mids
- Not as resolving as expected
Mangird Xenns Up ($699)


Mangird Tea is an iem that has its own following. It's a budget priced iem with a whopping 7-driver count and balanced signature. We shall see how Mangird Up does this time. This is a 7 driver hybrid consisting of 1 beryllium coated DD, 4 Sonion BAs and 2 Sonion ESTs.

I purchased this with my own money and I have no affiliations with Mangird.



Forgive my phone camera, but the Up is a nice-looking pair of iems.

- The faceplate is random
- It is hollow inside the iem
- In terms of weight, one of the lightest in my collection
- Fit is excellent



More V-shaped than Tea


Up's low end towers above Dunu EST 112 some 6 dBs higher. Though compared to Variations and EJ07 the differences are minor.

The good:

The bass makes and breaks this IEM. Its curse and blessing. It has been a month or two and my verdict remains the same. Your experience with this IEM will depend on whether you like this amount of bass shelf.

The bass is slapping hard and fast. The slam hits hard and decays fast. The beryllium driver has quick transients capable of dealing with some complicated lines. The extension is exceptional on both bass and treble side. This makes classical music somewhat of an interesting listen. I am hearing more timbral details from violin albums. The EST implementation certainly isn't bad here with sufficient air and details in the trebles. The presentation is also more lively than some of my other sets. In a grand scheme of things this is still a balanced of iem in terms of bass-to-treble balance.

I find that the Xenns Up benefits from a cable downgrade. One of the few in my collection that does. Reason is that the cable is also one of the few that reduces both bass and treble (probably 1-2 dB). The result is that I managed to reduce the bass bleed to acceptable levels, and the good things about Xenns Up begin to resurface. The bass and treble texture / timbre remains excellent, and it delivers remarkable playback with my DSD 256 violin collection.

The bad:

Despite the top quality bass, the volume is an issue. Not as clean as what I've heard on other bass boosted iems. I prefer bass boost that slopes down faster, at around 250hz. To clear the way for mids. On the Up I feel like my attention is being dragged to the bass, regardless of what is happening in the record. There might be tracks that benefit from this elevated bass shelf, but for my library it is over-emphasizing.

Technical performance is also sub-par, a little better than Dusk but below Dunu SA6. Struggling in this key parameter compared to iems half of its price. There are two tasks to detail retrieval. One is that the IEM is capable of picking up minute details. Second is the ability to present those details in a pleasing manner. To my ears it is thundering above the other frequencies and that makes it 'bass bleed' (?). It's hard to put into words, but vocals sound distinctively further away than usual. That leads to another description: 'thin' mids.



Long story short. For $699, expectations are much higher. Unfortunately I don't agree with the tuning and its technical performance is veiled behind a layer of bass.

I've enjoyed Mele more in comparison, since that bass shelf is a lot more in line with general tastes. Xenns Up is still a very fun set that I'd recommend for the self-proclaimed bass-heads. Take your faith to the test with this bass cannon.
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What is your library? What kind of tracks?
A huge variety both in terms of file bitrate and music genre, I try to keep most in either 24bit FLAC or better.

I have a decent collection of instrumental/classical (e.g. Unamas - VIVA! The four seasons, Jazz at the Pawn Shop...etc).

Pop and just about any kind of it. Jpop, Kpop, CantoPop, Mandopop, American pop. Yoasobi, ZARD, Bump of Chicken.

Video game/Anime OST, ESTs. DJMAX ost.

Rock / Metal - the usual suspects: Linkin Park, Metallica, Nightwish, MCR.
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Genre makes all the world of difference. Some reviewers say they're top tier for hip hop.


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Pleasurable tuning on a good balance of excitement and laid back resolution
Details on top of details
Looks great
Cons: Accessories seem to be on a budget
No vents, so prolonged wear could lead to eardrum discomfort

Leaving just a quickie here since there’s not a lot of reviews for the S8.

Sound-wise: Harmon tuning. Or so they say, I wouldn't understand what it means. It’s omnivorous and there are plenty of details. Tuning is laid back and not overwhelmingly exciting, so you could leave these in your ears for a while. I can let the S8 run through 95% of my playlist without changing tracks. The trebles are rolled off when it gets intense. This seems more for audiophiles to enjoy, rather than for-reference. It’s equally great for any music genre, and extra smooth for ACG (Japanese doll vocals) and metal (constant distortion and cymbals) because of how it removes unpleasant hissing. Bass sinks deep and slaps with energy, but still BA flavored.

The accessories are a bit of a minimalist. Pouch. Tips. Wire. I don’t care about those really. Cable rolling is not necessarily an upgrade in this case, since the stock ones compliment the tuning of S8 perfectly. Aftermarket cables sometimes shifted that delicate balance. Nozzle size is also very large and the packaged tips seem to be custom made. It could be difficult to find comply / spinfit tips for these earphones.

So there you have it. The Moondrop S8 is a good iem to chill with. Technical but not clinical. Fairly forgiving towards bad recordings, but loves to dig details out of good ones.
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