MOONDROP Aria Snow Edition

General Information

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Launched in 2021, the Aria IEMs featured a liquid crystal
polymer (LCP) diaphragm and a composite structure that
resulted in exceptional performance. They were widely acclaimed for their timbre and tuning, and became an
instant hit.
Many discriminating users, however, noted that the popular tuning of the Aria had deviated somewhat from
the classic MOONDROP tuning they had come to love.
The Aria Snow Edition is the emphatic response to this
valuable feedback.

Impedance: 32Ω±15%.
>Sensitivity: 119dB.
>Frequency Response Range: 15Hz-50kHz.
>Effective Frequency response range: 20Hz-20kHz.

Latest reviews

ywheng89

Head-Fier
Moondrop Aria Snow Edition Review
Pros: A more dynamic and engaging Aria,but also smooth and not harsh
Easier to drive compared to 2021 Aria
Good packaging as always
Cons: Bass might be perceived as lean to some (Not really a cons but preference)
Bundle carrying case is a bit too small,suitable to use with stock cable but not aftermarket cables
Technicalities might be slightly lacking
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Intro
The original Aria released in the year 2017,which sports completely different design,i have also reviewed the 2021 Aria and they were good,technicalities and everything else,but the tuning was just too “safe” to many other people including me. Fast forward to 2022 June,Aria has been re-released with some changes to it. The driver has been replaced with Diamond Like LCP Diaphragm,cosmetic changes,and also some changes in terms of tuning. Safe to say I personally prefer this tuning over the 2021 Aria.

Packaging/Build/Comfort
The packaging is the usual Moondrop styled packing.”Waifu” printed box cover. Unboxing it will reveal IEM itself,two types of eartips,the grey colored and three sizes of Spring Tips,a small carrying pouch and also the cable. This time around the cable is different from the 2021 Aria’s,I believe it could be the majority of users who feedback that it got tangled very easily hence they’ve decided to swap it out with Moondrop SSP/SSR’s cable. Personally i do find that the cable can be better as it is definitely limiting the performance of Aria Snow Edition.

In terms of build,the size is similar to the 2021 Aria and the changes from what i can see is only the colour and perhaps the design is laser etched instead of painted (I am not 100% sure,do take it with a grain of salt).In terms of comfort,i don’t have any fitting problem with the 2021 Aria,so i don’t have any issue with snow edition as well as they have the same shell size/design.

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Source
Foobar2k -> Questyle M15 -> Moondrop Aria Snow Edition
Foobar2k -> TRI TK2 -> Moondrop Aria Snow Edition
Foobar2k -> Moondrop Dawn -> Moondrop Aria Snow Edition
Foobar2k -> Onkyo DAC HA200 -> Moondrop Aria Snow Edition

Sound (Stock Cable with Audiosense’s S400 eartips)
First and foremost,I do not have the 2021 Aria with me anymore for the A/B test,the comparison is solely based on my memory and time spent with 2021 Aria. The first thing that I noticed when I put on the Aria Snow Edition is that they are distinctively different in terms of tuning. Personally I prefer Snow Edition’s tuning over 2021 Aria. Snow Edition is more dynamic compared to 2021 Aria and it doesn’t sound that “safe”,however in terms of bass,it does take a step back in terms of quantity. Let’s break it down below:

Bass:
  • Bass transition is linear and smooth from sub to mid bass and has good texture to it
  • Mid bass has got good thump to it,slams good enough on Alice Cooper’s Go to Hell
  • Sub bass does sound a little roll off,you can’t really hear it but rather “feel” it when the track calls for it. You can still listen to EDM with it,but of course it is nowhere near basshead level but good enough for adequate “fun”

Mids:
  • Mids are lush and it is very evident in Sinne Eeg’s We’ve Just Begun,plenty of details in the midrange and very pleasant to listen to when paired with Questyle’s M15
  • Vocal positioning is slightly forward but not intimate
  • Both male and female vocal has got good texture and doesn’t sound thin at all
  • The instrument’s timbre sounds natural and correct to my ears

Highs:
  • The treble to my ears has got a bit more energy compared to 2021 Aria
  • Treble is smooth and not fatiguing to listen to despite being slightly more energetic,no sibilance or harshness at all
  • Detail retrieval is good enough at this price point,it is not overly done to the point where it is too analytical
  • Good amount of air hence the music doesn’t sound too “congested” and contributed to a soundstage presentation

Soundstage/Imaging
  • Soundstage is not exceptionally wide,slightly out of head and a little lacking in terms of height
  • Imaging is average,instruments can be pinpointed easily but on some busy track,it does suffer a little

Driveability
  • Very easy to drive,decent volume out of smartphone’s 3.5mm jack
  • Does scale with better source,best to pair with some dynamic dac such as Questyle’s M15 or Tri TK2 to give the top end a little more energy if you prefer
Comparison (Ikko OH2)
  • OH2 is mid centric and warm in general,smooth and laid back
  • Sub bass on the OH2 is slightly rolled off and they sounded more or less the same on both OH2 and Aria Snow Edition
  • Mid bass on both is pretty similar
  • Treble regions are where both of them are different. OH2 is smooth and non fatiguing at all,whereas Aria Snow Edition is slightly more energetic but still possibly to be considered as safe by some
  • In terms of soundstage and imaging,OH2 has a more in your head kind of soundstage whereas Aria Snow Edition is slightly out of your head,in terms of imaging capability,both are more or less on par
  • I would say both OH2 and Aria Snow Edition are tuned differently,catering to different audience,technicality wise,Aria Snow Edition is better

Final Thoughts
Aria Snow Edition might not be marketed as an upgrade to 2021 Aria, but to me they are definitely an upgrade for me because I like how it sounds compared to 2021 Aria. Although many favoured the 2021 Aria,they are too “safe” sounding to me and nothing really stands out no matter what kind of mod you put on it,cable rolling,eartips,filter change etc etc.

The snow edition is more engaging to listen to,I will put it as more musical than the 2021 Aria,not to mention that the snow edition is also using a different driver compared to 2021 Aria.
If you seek musicality and don’t wish to spend a lot of money for it,get the Aria Snow Edition.
This is not a set for critical listening nor it claimed to be one. Get one,and enjoy it!

*Moondrop Aria Snow Edition has been sent over by ShenzhenAudio,as always,I thank them for their opportunity and generosity.However I am in no way influenced nor paid to produce this review,all thoughts are of my own.

If you are interested in grabbing a pair,head over to ShenzhenAudio’s webstore at the link below: *Not affiliated
Moondrop Aria Snow Edition

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Last edited:

Ichos

Reviewer at hxosplus
Let it Snow
Pros: + Balanced tuning with very natural timbre
+ Tonal accuracy
+ Very musical and engaging
+ Good bass technicalities
+ Smooth and forgiving
+ Open sounding soundstage
+ Excellent looks
+ Well made and durable
+ Good quality cable better than that of the Aria 2021
+ Comes with a carrying case and the most beautiful package
Cons: - Not the most refined or resolving
- Not the last word in technicalities
- Not that impactful and visceral
- Treble tuning might be too safe for some people
- Average imaging and scale of presentation
- Cable plugs don't look very durable
The Aria Snow edition (snow from now on) was kindly provided by Shenzhen audio free of charge in exchange for my honest and subjective evaluation.
I only covered import fees and tax, I didn't receive monetary or any other kind of compensation and I don't use affiliate links.
The price is $79.99 and you can order it from Shenzhen audio.

Aria Snow edition

Launched in 2021, the Aria featured a liquid crystal polymer (LCP) diaphragm and a composite structure that resulted in exceptional performance.
They were widely acclaimed for their timbre and tuning, and became an
instant hit.
Many discriminating users, however, noted that the popular tuning of the Aria had deviated somewhat from
the classic Moondrop tuning they had come to love.
The Aria Snow Edition is the emphatic response to this
valuable feedback.
As the name suggests, the sound of the Aria Snow is clear,
transparent, and rich in detail.
The Aria Snow replaces the
original LCP diaphragm of the Aria with the same first-generation diamond-like carbon (DLC) composite
diaphragm used in the Kanas Pro Edition while retaining
the Arias tried-and-tested driver and cavity structure.
This combination of old and new preserves the Arias
delicate treatment of high frequencies, while taking
advantage of the Kanas Pro triple-frequency balance
style, thus delivering high-quality detail and pure, clear
timbre.

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Technical highlights

Utilizing a 10mm diameter dual-cavity dynamic driver, the Aria Snow inherits much of the component configuration
and the acoustic structure of the original Aria.
It also adopts an ultra-fine imported Daikoku CCAW voice coil to form a lightweight suspension system, and a brass inner cavity controls the volume to regulate the natural frequency of
the system.
The most notable difference in the Aria Snow is the adoption of the same first generation DLC composite
diaphragm used in the Kanas Pro. The Kanas Pro was launched in 2018 and received high praise for its excellent sound quality and high cost performance.
The DLC diaphragm is a composite of nano-thickness diamond-like
amorphous carbon deposited on high internal resistance base material.
The high rigidity, high damping, and lightweight of this composite material results in outstanding
electroacoustic performance.
The Aria Snows high-frequency waveguide structure has
been carefully modified to take full advantage of the new DLC composite driver.
The Aria Snow not only leverages
the excellent performance of classic legacy materials, but also integrates new structural improvements, delivering a smoother and more refined treble with rich detail.
In common with all Moondrop dynamic driver products,
the Aria Snow uses a composite cavity, multiple tuning
holes, and multiple acoustic dampers with different parameters for accurate frequency response adjustment.
The resulting tuning meets all technical objectives and
delivers an exceptionally satisfying listening experience.

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The frequency response of the Aria Snow is highly
consistent with the Target Response which combines HRTF
(Head Related Transfer Function) and Room Response
Function.
Without resorting to boosted bass frequencies aimed at coloring timbre, the Aria Snow delivers real timbre
performance and a wider vertical soundstage close to the
original studio sound.

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Build quality and appearance

The ear shells are made from CNC milled aluminium with a brand new surface texture coating that emphasizes its metal texture with a complex and esthetically pleasing snowflake pattern that perfectly
matches the visual theme of the earphones.
They are very beautiful and visually appealing and I like them much better than the Aria 2021.

Ergonomics and isolation

The ear shells are very lightweight and follow an anatomically shaped design that offers a very conformable and stress free fit that isn't too deep.
I wore them for hours without any signs of discomfort.
Passive noise attenuation is good but not the best although it gets the job done so you can certainly use them outdoors.

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Cable

The Aria Snow Edition comes with a replaceable 6N oxygen-free copper silver-plated cable with a high-permeability insulating protective layer
It features a 0.78mm 2-pin connector that gives users the option to easily
replace the stock cable.
The cable is of good quality, it has low microphonic noise and is tangle free but the plastic 3.5mm doesn't inspire too much confidence.
Anyway this specific cable is of better overall quality and handling experience than the one that came with the Aria 2021.

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Accessories

The Aria snow edition comes with the classic Moondrop carrying case, this time in a white color and two sets of eartips in three different sizes each.

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Listening impressions

The Snow is pretty easy to drive so a good quality USB DAC dongle should do the job.
I have mostly used the FiiO KA1, iBasso DC05 and Violectric Chronos.
As per usual practice the earphone was left playing music for about 100 hours before critical listening.

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The overall tuning is absolutely balanced, the snow is natural sounding with spot on tonality where all instruments are heard with their real timbre.
The snow is fairly transparent and clear while it is musical, expressing and organic sounding, making for a very enjoyable listening experience.
It can perfectly reproduce all kinds of music, pop - rock - EDM, you name it but where it really shines is with naturally recorded unamplified instruments.
The bass response is the reference kind without any unnatural coloring and it has a surprisingly good sub-bass extension followed by a naturally downsloping curve up to the mid range.
The snow is not a "bass-head" earphone but it can easily handle bass heavy electronic music with great results although it is not recommended if you love your bass shaking and boosted.
On the other hand, all acoustic bass instruments are reproduced with exemplary fidelity and tonal accuracy without the slightest hint of mid-bass masking or overlapping of the mid range.
Texture is not very visceral but not lean either, balanced is the word to use, while clarity and definition are way above average.
Dynamic behavior is satisfying and realistic, of course not in the same level of physical impact as earphones with larger, beryllium plated, dynamic drivers but still very convincing.
The driver is fast with a quick recovery, the bass sounds very tight and controlled with great layering and instrumental separation, it can do Mahler without even sweating.

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The mid range timbre is again natural and tonally correct, very suitable for listening to acoustic instruments without tonal shifts that could color the sound.
All types of voices sound equally intense and just a step forward, they are present, well defined and clearly articulated.
The harmonic saturation is plentiful, overtones get clearly expressed, the snow is not dry nor boring, it is rather lush with the ideal quantity of warmth.
What I liked very much was how well voices and solo instruments blended together like when listening to the famous Handel aria "Let the Bright Seraphim'' for soprano and natural trumpet that is part of the "Samson" secular oratorio.

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The treble tuning is smooth and controlled but not muted or subdued, it might be lacking in top end extension and vividness but it really shines in tonality, something certainly preferred over ultimate detail retrieval and artificial brightens just for the sake of sounding more technical and analytical.
As long as you can listen to one hour of solo harpsichord music without getting a headache then the tuning is spot on and you shouldn't really care about the lack of overall refinement or the deepest micro detail retrieval.
Soundstage might not be the last word in imaging accuracy, holography or the scale of the presentation but then it is quite extended with a surplus of air so it doesn't sound congested while positioning cues are satisfying.
Anyway, technicalities are certainly up to the task for a $79 single dynamic driver earphone that otherwise excels in tonal accuracy and musicality.

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Vs. Moondrop Aria 2021 ($79.99)

The Aria 2021 is the slightly warmer and more bassy sibling of the snow.
The Aria 2021 has the better sub-bass extension and a more emphasized bass tuning with a more visceral texture but the snow has the most convincing tonality (at least if you care about acoustic instruments) and the edge in bass technicalities including speed, control and layering.
Upper treble might be a touch more sparkling in the Aria 2021 but the snow sounds more refined, less grainy and cleaner.
Choosing over the two is pretty easy, if you like your music bassy and warmer go for the Aria 2021 but if you prefer more natural and correct timbre with improved technicalities then let it snow.

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Vs DUNU Titan S ($79.99)

The Dunu Titan S has a different form factor, the Aria Snow is more discreet, lightweight and comfortable fitting but the Titan S has more modern, industrial looks and it comes with a slightly better quality cable, a special carrying case and one more set of eartips.
The Titan S tuning is neutral with an upper mid range/treble emphasis that makes for a more forward, sparkling and bright sound signature while it is more detailed and analytical.
Otherwise they sound quite alike in the bass and the mids with the snow being more organic and natural sounding while the Titan S is cleaner, slightly more dry and artificial but it has better technicalities, especially in the bass which is more impactful.
If you mostly listen to electronic music or you prefer a more analytical, detailed and luminous sound then the Titan S should suit you better, else just let it snow.

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In the end

Snow weather is cold and icy when you are wandering outside but it gives you a cosy and relaxed feeling when safely watching from your warm home and this is exactly what the Aria Snow edition is going to do with your senses.
Balanced with the most natural timbre and an organic sounding nature it is one of the most musical and engaging earphones you can buy for less than $100.
Get one, choose your favorite music, sit at your armchair and let it snow.

Test playlist

Copyright - Petros Laskis 2022.
Last edited:
pat9486
pat9486
Thanks for the advice..I wondered if you can share your opinion on the following. I intend to use it to play RnB and 80s soul predominantly. I will be using Poweramp with its parametric EQ function tuning it with AutoEQ values. I will tweak the bass frequencies to add my desired amount and probably adjust the treble if needed. I like the build quality of the SE and in all intent and purposes it seems to be more neutral than the Aria 2021. I figured by using AutoEq pmeq settings I could mould it to my desired sound signature. What do you think?
Ichos
Ichos
The SE is technically better than the 2021 edition so it can handle EQ better.
I don't use EQ so I don't have first hand experience but I think that you can tweak the sound to your liking as long as you don't overdo it.
pat9486
pat9486
Ok, thank you.
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