abheybir

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: 1. Neutralish tuning with elevated Bass
2. Good kick in Sub Bass Region
3. Forward Vocals
4. Lavishly accessorized for the price
5. Comfortable for long-duration usage
Cons: 1. Splashy feeling due to lower treble elevation
2. Average soundstage and imaging
Introduction:
Moondrop is a distinguished name in the audiophile community. This brand emerged in 2015 in China, when a group of hobbyist engineers came together to design interesting Hifi products. Soon their efforts took the market by storm and they came up with "Blessing", "A8" etc that set the stage for them.

Their latest entry is the Chu, a single dynamic driver IEM made of 10mm Nano-crystal coating composite titanium-coated diaphragm, N52 neodymium magnetic circuit, and Ultra-thin imported 0.035mm, CCAW Coil.
Coming to the IEM, with a metallic body and glossy black finish, the earpieces are nothing less than a piece of jewelry. The faceplate's design is minimalistic and impactful. The faceplate has a leafy pattern in gold. The heavy weight of the earpieces is re-assuring and somehow reminded of the USSR enterprise and the remarkable lines "To boldly go where no man has gone before"

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The earpieces despite of heavyweight, as of small form factor, are very much comfortable to wear for long durations. This IEM looks much more expensive for its price.

The package contains 3 pairs of Moondrop spring ear tips shelved in a square black box, a beautiful black case, ear hooks, attached cable. The attached cable is unbraided with a soft rubber sheath ending with a 3.5 mm jack.

Disclaimer:
I have received it as part of the review circle sent from Hifigo in exchange for honest reviews. All impressions of sound are subjective to my own listening and my sources and are based on my experience with IEMs of similar hardware configurations and price ranges. One can purchase Moondrop CHU at :
https://hifigo.com/products/moondrop-chu?variant=42673560912111

Sources:
For this review, the unit has been paired to Shanling M6 (AK4495EQ) without any other amplification on a portable setup. And, it has also been paired to a lotto paw S1 dongle with Vivo X50pro and directly to an LG V30+ Phone.


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Sound:
The highs on Chu sound are pretty good. The detailing is above average and it's tuned to sound non-fatiguing. Although there is the elevation at the lower treble that does make it feel splashy at times.

Mids are forward, detailed and clear. The instrument sounds the way, natural, and has quite good timber. The vocals can be lean at times but the timber is quite good.

The Bass section is very well tuned. It has an overall elevated response to make it a fun IEM. The sub-bass rumble is there with a soft punch in the mid-bass region. It's not a typical bass head IEM, on the other hand, it's more like a soothing sweet kind.

Soundstage and imaging are average, which is totally fine as per the price segment. The headroom while watching movies and games is compact but imaging on the other hand is quite good, especially for playing competitive games.

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Final Verdict:
I have tried Moondrop Chu while gaming, watching movies, and listening to music, and overall it's quite a fun IEM with a few analytical characters. It's totally banging for the buck. I really loved the overall tonality and comfort. It comes lavishly accessorized which is hard to find in IEM of this price range. I would personally recommend chu eyes closed in the sub 50$ range for both audiophile and non-audiophile populations.
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SherryLion

New Head-Fier
Review Of Moondrop CHU
Pros: Cheap
Neutral Sound
Great Tonality
Lively and Energetic Performance
Spacious
Clear And Crisp Sounding
Non Fatiguing
Vocals
Cons: Note weight And Density
Sibilant for some
Sound Imaging
Soundstage
Weird Timbre
Resolution and Speed

Review Of The Moondrop Chu


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Introduction


Moondrop is a very well known IEM manufacturer, known for their releases like S8, illumination, Blessing 2, Blessing 2 : dusk, Variations and many more. Moondrop have another budget segment as well which proves to be one of the best ones in the market like Starfield, Aria, SSP, SSR, etc, But this review is all about their one of two cheapest offering and that is Moondrop CHU. The release of this IEM is the successor of the Moondrop Spaceship which was also a great IEM. Although I don’t find any resemblance between these two IEMs other than the price segment they are being offered. You can get this on this site for around 2k :-

https://conceptkart.com/products/moondrop-chu-wired-iem#


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Disclaimer


* This is my own purchased unit, each and every thoughts below mentioned are my personal own thoughts and they are not fiddled with any outside influences.
*I will be referring these IEMs to as 'Chu' for the rest of the review.
*I will be comparing these with my own personal units .
*And at last I will only be reviewing the Chu on the basis of their performance, I do not care what these are made of or packaged with when newly purchased unless it affects the sound in any sense what so ever.


Specification


So this is a single dynamic driver IEM which is made of 10mm Nano-crystal coating composite titanium-coated diaphragm, N52 neodymium magnetic circuit and Ultra-thin imported 0.035mm CCAW Coil and tuned to be in line with Moondrop’s VDSF Target Response. These have an impendence of 28 ohms and sensitivity of 120db/1khz. The frequency response is from 10Hz to 35kHz.

Sound


The Chu has a neutral with bass boost sound signature. The chu is lean towards bright and metallic sound than being warm. To my surprise these are tuned extremely well for the price. To my ears, I felt much better technical performance on Chu than the ones which comes around the same price bracket. Well the treble is fantastic, being metallic and bright yet not sibilant or harsh. The mid range have all the stage it needs to perform their best and the bass is tight and punchy, best in texture quality when it comes to ones comes around chu with respect to price.

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Treble


The treble has good air except for that dip around 10k, still the extension in this region is really nice. The female vocals sparkles, shines really well in the upper treble and the same goes for the male vocals although being so great still have issues with it. The note weight is really light and lean, but keeps the integrity of the note and doesn't fade away or lost or become sibilant or harsh. The instruments literally finds their space and live in their region. The guitars have their identity and defines themselves. The cymbal crashes aren't sharp but at the same time they aren't smooth as well. The lower treble and upper mid range keeps the sense of sound tonally professional . The lower treble continues to keep the sound quality in check and doesn't alter itself which also keeps everything together.

Mid Range


Coming to the mid range, the upper mid range is easily the best part, well for me that is at least. The upper mid range is wonderfully rich with details and heavily focused on letting every sound element to sound with no limitation. Their is literally a sense, even if it is a false one, a sense of wide stage, which I believe the only other IEM that can do the half of it is Tripowin Lea. Now coming back to the upper mid range, the vocals are marvelous, very spacious. The instruments doesn't over shadows the vocals or mess up the mix. The male vocals in the lower mid range have that low note density but not quite enough and the same goes to the female vocals. But the presence of vocals in the mix whether upper or lower mid range doesn't affect the balance of sound, although every note sounds lean and that is due to the bass. The best part is that even after the fact that the vocals aren't warm or rich still sounds right to me. I personally like the presentation in the mid range.

Bass


The bass is very tight and punchy with respect to the frequency response. The bass is focused on the sub bass than the mid bass.
The bass is really well tuned, The bass never really over power mid range, rather helps in keeping it clean all through out the frequency response. The fact that the bass is has more emphasis on the sub bass the warmth is gone out of the window when listening to chu, which is why every note sounds lean, bright, clean and crisp. Due to the sub bass emphasis, their is more punch and rumble than slam or thump. The minute details aren't quite good, but it is still better in the full picture. The bass is purely over your preference, If you want a tight and punchy bass with lean notes.


Technical Performance


Coming to the technical aspects of this IEM, Chu can better perform in this area especially with detail retrievals, sound imaging and soundstage. Speed has definitely taken a hit with loose ends and to be honest the resolution isn't that great.

Soundstage, Sound Imaging & Separation


The 3d nature of holographic representation in this IEM is really not that good as the sound covers from far left to far right only, same as it's more expensive brother Moondrop Aria but Aria have much better technical ability. Coming back to the soundstage, The sound is more left to right than front to back or up or down. Their is a little sense of depth in sound and the stereo sound widens and keep it more on the left and right area than keeping it center. The layering and imaging is bad as everything is roughed up with poorer shaping of notes. And due to the density of notes being lean the sound escapes the purpose. The separation is clearly much better which in turn favors the imaging. Although I can definitely pin point where the sound is coming from. Due to the fact separation is really good and imaging complimenting it, people tend to confuse it with soundstage but this is nothing but far from truth.

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Speed & Resolution


The resolvability of this IEM is just as poor as imaging and soundstage. The details in note doesn’t sounds tacky or precise being blunt in nature which provides a roughed up resolution. And the attack or decay of notes aren't precise and have loose ends while resolving. The sound becomes more cloudy than being analytical.

Conclusion


To conclude this take on Moondrop Chu, for the price they are available, there is no other IEM that can compete with Chu with respect to tonal performance, Not that great with technical abilities, still if tonally preferred, it is one of the best IEM you can buy for the price. I can definitely recommend people to buy this IEM and experience it.

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Sources And Tracks Used


Sources


Apple iPhone XS Max
LG G8X
iPad (4th generation)
Apple Dongle Dac
Shanling UA1 Pro
iFi HIPDAC
Venture Electronics Megatron
Moondrop Dawn
Apple Lossless
UAPP
Localy stored Flac and Wav Files


Tracks


Curtis Mayfield - Pusherman
Earth, Wind & Fire - September
Earth, Wind & Fire - Let's Groove
Boston - More Than A Feeling
Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere(Remastered)
Toto - Africa
The Police - Every Breath You Take
George Benson - Affirmation
Daft Punk - Doin' It Right
Daft Punk - Derezzed
Daft Punk - Tron Legacy (End Titles)
GOJIRA - Amazonia
The Mars Volta - Inertiatic ESP
Fergie - Glamorous
50 Cent - In Da Club
Jay Z - Holy Grail
Erbes - Lies
Nitti Gritti - The Loud
Juelz - Inferno
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o0genesis0o
Totally agree with you on the soundstage. This IEM tricked me into thinking that it has more depth than other moondrop IEMs at first.

Not quite agree about the resolution, though. I found it fixes the slightly hazy fuzzy bass and treble attacks of Aria, so it sounds sharper as a whole, though the midrange might be a bit less resolving than Aria.

asifur

100+ Head-Fier
MOONDROP CHU: A Worthy Upgrade
Pros: + Superior Build & Comfort for the price
+ Good details
+ Good midrange performance
+ Good quality cable
+ Great pairing with most dongles and portable players
+ Good staging & separation
Cons: - Mid-bass lacking slam
- Cable though good quality is not removable
- Requires much power than many other single DD IEMs
MOONDROP CHU: A Worthy Upgrade!

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Summary:

Launched in May'2022, @MOONDROP launched successor to their previous Spaceship IEM, the CHU. It is a single DD based IEM with stellar looks for the price and promises to be a proper upgrade of the Spaceship.

Disclaimer: This review unit came to me from @shenzhenaudio for the purpose of review & comparison, and I will ensure that I cover that below.

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Introduction:


Let's quickly dive into what the MOONDROP CHU has to offer. The 10mm high-performance dynamic driver with nano crystal coated composite diaphragm, promises full dynamic range with rich details.

The MOONDROP CHU is priced at $21.99.

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Design, Build & Specifications:

Let's quickly look at Moondrop CHU build & specifications before we head into the sonic performance.
Below are extracts from the website...

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Specifications:


The MOONDROP CHU comes at $21.99 price tag and the specifications are as below:

https://shenzhenaudio.com/products/...ms-wired-dynamic-driver-hifi-in-ear-earphones

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My review unit comes with Microphone, which makes it ideal for gaming.
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The Box & Accessories:

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The Accessories:

The CHU package now includes…
  • IEM
  • 3.5mm non-removable cable
  • canvas pouch
  • Spring Ear tips
  • Ear Hooks

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NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT THE SOUND....

Items Used for this Review:

DAC/AMP & Dongles:
@Questyle M15 Dongle DAC/AMP, @iFi audio Go Bar
Portable Players / Sources : Cayin N8ii, @Shanling M7, A&K SP1000M
Streaming Source: QOBUZ

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Ear Tips:

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Though it comes with the much hyped SPRING ear tips, I found the @SpinFit Eartip CP100+ to have the best fit and isolation in my case.


Tracks Used:
The tracks I have used can be found from the below playlist that I have used and generally use for most reviews...



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MOONDROP CHU Sound Impressions in Short:

The BASS:


Though the bass is not amongst the stronger traits of this IEM, it has good details of the sub-bass but not enough slam in the mid-bass. In tracks like: "Fools Paradise (LP Version) – Donna Lewis" and "Chocolate Chip Trip - Tool" you can hear the details but the thump & slam is a bit lacking here.

The MIDS:

The midrange of the CHU comes with ample details, texture, muscle and transients. Vocals are very immersive and both male and female vocals come with ample amount of details and feel very real. Instruments felt very natural and real with high accuracy. In tracks like: "Anchor - Trace Bundy", "A dog named Freedom – Kinky Friedman" and "Ruby Tuesday – Franco Battiato" it’s really easy to get lost into the music as it comes with ample detailed transients, texture, excellent vocals and details.

The TREBLE:

The treble is very enjoyable with the Spinfit CP100+ tips and you get all the details and sparkle that makes it enjoyable. the default Spring tips however, makes the treble too smooth and kind of meh.

Treble in tracks like: "Paradise Circus – Massive Attack", "Mambo for Roy – Roy Hargrove” and "Saints and Angels – Sharon Shannon" feel enjoyable with the CP100+ ear tips.


The SOUNDSTAGE:

The Staging capabilities of the CHU is the above average for the price range. It comes with the good width, height, depth a good overall combination. Tracks like: “The Secret Drawer – Bela Fleck and the Flecktones” or “She Don’t know – Melody Gardot” or “Bohemian Rhapsody (live aid) – Queen” sound amazing & enjoyable.

Imaging & Separation:


The Imaging on the is good for the price range. Tracks like: “Rotterdam (Or Anywhere) - The Beautiful South “or “Hello Again - Howard Carpendale & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” just shine through. Separation is quite outstanding for the price.

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Comparisons:

No review is complete without comparisons. So here we are - with the MOONDROP CHU vs it's predecessor Spaceship.

MOONDROP CHU vs SPACESHIP:
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Build & Comfort: Though both come with non-removable cable and microphone, the build quality of the CHU is at par with the Aria and significantly better than the Spaceship.

Bass: The spaceship has more punch & slam in the bass and hence is better.

Mids: The CHU has better details and layering with good vocal performances. The spaceship has a more recessed midrange and hence in this case CHU is more enjoyable.

Treble: The Treble performance seemed better to my ears on the CHU with the CP100+ ear tips.

Soundstage & Separation: While the Spaceship has more width in stage, the CHU seems to have better overall balance of width, height & depth. the CHU also has better separation.

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Conclusion:

The MOONDROP CHU to me seems a worthy upgrade over the spaceship though the bass is not as exciting as the Spaceship. People looking for a more neutral & balanced performance can consider CHU for gaming or music as they are great for the price.
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kmmbd

500+ Head-Fier
Another Budget Benchmark?
Pros: Excellent shell design and feel-in-hand
– Comfortable for long-term wearing
– Comes with fairly expensive Spring tips
– Fairly robust stock cable
– Natural midrange tuning
– Good layering for the price
Cons: Supplied Spring tips are not the best match for CHU as they attenuate treble
- Bass response is mediocre
– Mids can sound shouty at times
– Technicalities expose the cheap price tag
– Shell paint is prone to chipping off
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Moondrop’s last budget offering, the Quarks, left me unimpressed. The only thing those had going for them: price-tag. The neutral-ish tuning was too dry-sounding and the cheap build did not inspire confidence for long-term use.

Enter Moondrop CHU, their latest budget offering. Priced slightly higher than the Quarks, the CHU have far better build and accessories. The tuning, at least on the graph, looks closer to Moondrop’s VDSF target.

All good news so far, but how do they perform in real life? Let’s delve deeper.

Note: the ratings given will be subjective to the price tier. Hifigo was kind enough to send me the CHU for evaluation.
This review originally appeared on Audioreviews.
Sources used: Questyle CMA-400i
Price, while reviewed: $20. Can be bought from HiFiGo.


PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES

The CHU come in a rather fancy packaging with Moondrop’s signature anime-artwork on top. Fortunately the fanciness do not stop there, as these come with Moondrop’s Spring tips bundled. These tips cost more than half the price of the CHU if purchased separately, so the value proposition is high here.

There are a pair of ear-hooks which add extra strain relief to the cable while helping in over-ear fit. You also get a carrying pouch inside but it’s rather horrible. It offers no protection and is made of a paper-like material that I don’t think will last long. Something’s gotta give, I guess.

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BUILD

The metal shell of the CHU is exquisitely machined. The fit and finish here is as good as the more expensive Aria. In fact, the CHU have similarly “baked” paintjob on the shell, and similar golden design accents. The two vents on the inner-side of the IEMs also have similar position, with one being placed near the nozzle and another slightly higher up in the shell.

The biggest point of contention for many would be the fixed cable. The good news here is that the cable has ample strain reliefs near the jack and shell, and the sheathing is not too stiff. As a result, you won’t get many kinks and untangling the cable won’t be too difficult. If used carefully, I expect the CHU to last a while.

My only gripe would be the lack of strain relief near the Y-split. A cost-cutting measure perhaps that could be avoided. Another issue which is sort of Moondrop specific: the paint job. These tend to wear and chip-off over time.

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COMFORT, ISOLATION, AND FIT

The CHU are very comfortable once worn. Isolation is fairly good, though you’ll need foam tips for best isolation. Do note that the supplied Spring tips are smaller than usual sizes, so you’ll have to choose “L” size if you usually use “M” size on other tips, e.g. Spinfits.

SOURCE AND EARTIPS

For this review, I mostly used the Questyle CMA-400i which is extremely overkill for such easy-to-drive (18 ohms, 104 dB/mW) IEMs.

As for eartips, this is where we run into some strangeness. As the supplied tips (and being fairly expensive), the Spring tips should be absolutely perfect for CHU. However, that’s not the case. The Spring tips attenuate the entire treble region noticeably, resulting in a smoother but less dynamic presentation.

As a result, for this review I chose the Spinfit CP-100+ tips. Even with the added cost of third-party tips I think the CHU are good value, so this small addition won’t change my final rating much.

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DRIVER SETUP

Moondrop has used a 10mm Nano-crystal coating composite Titanium-Coated Diaphragm in the CHU. In plain terms, there is a PET driver with perhaps a thin coating of Titanium. Overall, nothing spectacular and expected for the price-tag.

The acoustic chamber design is more interesting as the CHU use a similar system to Aria with two front-facing vents that equalize both the front and back-side air-pressure. As a result, driver control is easier to ascertain.

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TONALITY AND TECHNICALITIES

Moondrop CHU have a “sub-bass-boosted neutral” tuning. Moondrop calls it their VDSF target and higher-tier IEMs like the Blessing2 and Aria have similar target response.

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Having the same graph does not mean that the CHU sounds the same as Blessing2 or the Aria. There are noticeable differences in the technicalities and presentation that set these three IEMs apart.

In terms of bass response, the CHU do reach as low as 30Hz, but the rumble is faint. Bass lacks physicality and doesn’t have the mid-bass punch or sub-bass slam you get from better drivers. Mid-bass notes are not the most textured, but CHU do a better job here than many of their peers. Bass speed is average, but again – not expecting miracles here.

The one thing that I like about the bass is that it doesn’t bleed into the mids. Even then, in tracks with a lot of bass undertones you will miss a lot of the notes. The driver is just not capable enough for that kind of workload.

Speaking of the mids, the lower-mids could do with a bit of body as I think baritone vocals lack some of their signature heft. This is somewhat compounded by the nearly 10dB of rise to the upper-mids. Fortunately, the rise is not too drastic and only in certain songs do you hear hint of shoutiness, e.g. Colbie Caillat’s Magic. Nonetheless, the lower-mids never get the heft and weight I would consider “ideal”, so there’s that. Easily fixed with slight EQ though.

The treble response will probably divide the audiences. Those who prefer a bit more presence-region “bite” will be disappointed as the Spring tips smooth those out. This hampers resonances and upper-harmonic, and most noticeably kills the dynamics. The fix is simple: use other tips like Final E-type or Spinfit CP-100+. The graph shows how the Spring tips reduce the frequencies between 4-8kHz by 3dB or so. Upper-treble is also hurt but those measurements aren’t reliable.

General resolution is middling in the grand scheme of things, but for $20 only very few IEMs can claim better performance, and those who actually resolve more have other tonal oddities. Soundstage has decent height but lacks the width and depth of higher-tier IEMs. Imaging is mostly left and right but I don’t want to nitpick here because, again, price.

Dynamics is another area where CHU can perform better even for the asking price. With the changed tips, I find them to have better macrodynamic punch than stock form but the microdynamics are mostly average. Overall, technically the CHU fail to impress as much as they do with their tuning.

SELECT COMPARISONS

vs Moondrop Quarks​

The Quarks (reviewed here) are inferior in every single aspect. I can’t find a single area where they excel over the CHU, sadly.

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vs Final E1000​

I consider the Final E1000 more of a CHU competitor than anything else under $50. They have a similarly neutral-ish tuning and come bundled with the excellent E-type tips.

The bass on the E1000 roll-off earlier than CHU but has better mid-bass texture. Midrange is where Final knocks it off the park with the E1000 having a neutral-yet-engaging tuning without a hint of dryness. Lower-mids have adequate weight and upper-mids are smooth, articulate, and devoid of shout or shrill.

Treble also has slightly more energy and cymbal hits are easier to identify on the E1000. They also have some stage depth and slightly better imaging. However, the E1000 have availability issues and the price is at times higher than the suggested $25.

Depending on availability and price, I would pick the E1000 over the CHU if they cost less than $30. Other than that, with an increased budget, I’ll probably go for the Final E3000 or BLON BL-05S, provided an adequate source is present. However both of those IEMs cost more than twice the price of CHU so there is that consideration.

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CONCLUDING REMARKS

The TL;DR version of this review would be: “I recommend the CHU if you only have $20 to spend and are willing to shell out for a pair of third-party tips, or like the sound with stock tips”.

The CHU have familiar failings of the budget realm, namely a lack of technical chops especially in perceived stage and imaging, and Moondrop’s VDSF target does not really fit well if the driver is not fast or resolving enough.

However, looking at the competition with their bass or treble-heavy offerings, CHU are pretty much uncontested in the under $20 price-bracket, and deserves the recommendation.
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o0genesis0o
I see E1000 and E3000 mentioned, I click like :beyersmile:.

Anyhow, I should finish my review of the Chu. Have been procrastinating on that for a while. This IEM is boring to write about. Interestingly, our impressions of this IEM seems polar opposite on most points.
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kmmbd
@o0genesis0o well, if you like E1000 and E3000, our preferences are not so polar opposite after all. I love those too. :p
Yeah, the Chu is kinda formulaic. Hit the target, pass it off. It's fine for $20 but not really an IEM that is exciting in the larger scheme of things.
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DanielListening

500+ Head-Fier
Sound great, comfy, new favourite tips
Pros: - great slightly “V” shaped sound
- excellent comfort
- Moondrop Spring Tips are excellent and come free with the Chu
- nice styling with black and golden bamboo leaf
Cons: - non-detachable cable
- 3.5mm cable is only option
- Moondrop Spring Tips fit a size smaller than most other tips
I love the Moondrop Chu.

I will keep is simple and sweet. For $20 USD this is excellent value. The CCA-CRA is another good option around this price point.

You cannot go wrong with the Chu unless you wear a size “L” tip because the included tips likely won’t fit your ears.
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DanielListening
DanielListening
I love the simple carrying case. I think it is perfection.

Headphones and Coffee

Previously known as Wretched Stare
MoonDrop Chu
Pros: Excellent value, good accessories, very small and comfortable, good isolation. Spring tips are fantastic.
Cons: Non detachable cable, case is a little too small.
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Packaging has great artwork and that MoonDrop look complete with waifu on the front so many others have now copied. Inside is spring tips in different sizes this alone is worth the cost of the Chu. You get a case, and some silicon ear hooks as the cable doesn't have performed ones. The Chu itself is all metal but still light and so comfortable you dont notice it there. the cable is fixed but still a rugged rubberized material and doesn't tangle easy.

Sound:

We will start at the Bottom Bass on the Chu is understated but sufficient lower Bass does have some impact but its more of a quality Bass. Still it has good speed and texture. The lack of a lasting sub-bass rumble make this not a Bassheads dream but for others looking for clarity its good.

Mids here are pleasant and sound natural with aa little boost in the upper Mids, vocals sound decent and female are more pronounced, the mids themselves present with good clarity and details but are neutral with little emphasis. Instruments have good tonality to them and sound good.

Treble here sounds neutral though there is brightness in it never gets harsh or shouty, Highs have a good extension but there are some recording that the peaks could be heard overall it performed well.

Soundstage is decently wide with good placement and Instrument separation and layering is excellent for its price point.

Conclusion: The Chu has a unique character I personally find it pleasant and enjoyable for some types of Music Listening to A Walk In The Skies (Joe Hisaishi) I found myself lost in the music and at this price point that's very impressive.

Coralian

New Head-Fier
My thoughts about the Moondrop Chu and spring tips
Pros: smooth warm-neutral signature. premium construction and design. AMAZING value.
Cons: well some people may find the amount of bass to be lacking. lack of chin slider or ear hooks also could be an issue.
Hi fellow Head-fiers I’m here to give you my impressions of the Moondrops latest budget star.

I’ve been using this iem for quite a while now. I knew it would be a hitter but to be honest who doesn’t right? Not everyone get easy recommendation from Crinacle that easily. Plus it gets a pass from a majority of the users. so we got both mass and individual approvals.
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Anyway. About the Chu. Well, it's a Moondrop product; that's it, design and presentation-wise it neither overpromises (except for the metal built) nor underdelivers. It's a value pack that is so good it's almost impossible to hype for it. I genuinely like products like this. even if I would never get to try one I would recommend people to consider it. Competitive and value-packed products like Moondrop Chu are a sign that the brand behind it pays attention to user demands and is willing to go the extra mile to deliver a worthy item for customers' money. It always feels great to listened and I can see why people hype this model so much.

Also along with the hype I’ve also come across some criticisms like the lack of a removable cable or ear hooks. I too had these questions about them. But after using it for a while and thinking about it I came to the conclusion that Moondrop had actually thought about these.

Now I’m not defending anyone or read anything about the design story behind this model but I have a theory that Moondrop actually pays attention to looks and the user experience a little bit more than we think of. Most of the audiophile brands usually pay attention on function and don’t really brainstorm about the form, generally speaking of course. ALL brands follow a similar approach to looks.

I feel like Moondrop is following a similar path that Apple follows on their products.

They pay attention on how their products look and don’t add some elements like a chin slider or heat shrinked ear hooks because of the messy look that they might give. I’m not an expert but I think this is one of the reasons why the chu is so barebones. But if you really want a chin slider, well included cable strap could fill that role, its pretty effective. And rubber ear hooks doesn't do a bad job either. they are just tedious.

Oh I have one more theory: price. They are so determined on monopolizing every price range. In order to do that they design each of their products to he as distinctive as possible from both each other. This helps the people do decide easily. I’m sure they would be able to add a 2 pin connector, chin slider and ear hooks. But no matter how cheap they can be this would eventually affect the price. And guess what model stands on 40 buck range? More resolving SSR and SSP.

Being successful in every price range requires a brand to distinguish their products from each other and compete well against their alternatives and Moondrop does this exceptionally well. But this creates some confusion among the users from time to time.

I feel like I need to apologize because I haven’t said anything about the sound so far but I think I don’t have to. I mean in cases like this hype is usually right. Chu deserves to be hyped because guess what it sounds great. Considering that you are not after heavy bass.

Chu is neutral with normalized amount of subbas. This allows chu to be an exceptionally flexible choice for about 90% of the times. It's enough to enjoy the beat while not sacrificing the other parts like instruments. But hey if you want more of it than this is easier to work on EQ because it's always easier to add more bass manually than removing it.

Level of detail is average and it’s totally ok you can’t ask more in this price range. But if you’re interested in a detailed budget option but not exactly sure about your preferred tuning I’d say you should choose this one rather than a bassy budget iem because in budget range a neutral or balanced IEM always gives you more detail than a bassy one.

Now about the other part of this value package; spring tips.

First, let me give you my thoughts about the ear tips generally. For me a good eartip should be soft enough to be comfortable in my ear canal and shouldn’t cause any itching or sweating.

I’m saying this because I see some manufacturers using cheap stuff even in 50 buck price range. And Moondrop should also felt as insulted as I am because they offer their spring tips in this budget segment option while sticking with normal ones on Aria.

Don’t get me wrong I haven’t tried Aria but as far as I can see it has decent quality accessories.

Moondrop promotes spring tips heavily. As of one size fits all solution.

But I have some other opinions about it. Don’t get me wrong spring tips ARE good. but if you’re like me; prefer a textured surface on eartips so they wouldn’t catch on everything in ear canal while putting them on they might feel more handy than a normal one.

These are bullet shaped wide bore eartips. Which means if you want deeper fit but also want wide bore because you think it affects the sound than these are a great option.

But because they are so soft and have a kind of glossy outer surface they easily catch your ear canal on the early step of insertion.

They catch your ear canal so easily and when you get them out they flip every time. This can be tiring for you to deal with it. I’m used to it as of now but I wish it was easier to use like a spinfit.


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If you have sensitive ears you might catch their effect on the sound. They do improve the treble response a little. But I’m not sure because it has grooves or because it has a softer material.

I would love to see a textured version of these ear tips. Since Moondrop promotes them with tweets and extra razzle dazzle in their marketing materials might as well get some variety.

Although I have some work on my hands every time I use these eartips I have to say that I like them. They don’t cause any discomfort and seal better than other options like ball shaped narrow bore variants. I just think currently they don't live up the hype that surrounds them.
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Ace Bee

Headphoneus Supremus
Moondrop Chu: Little capsules of happiness
Pros: Clean presentation
Controlled Bass
Crisp midrange
Nice female vocals
Sparkling treble
DD timbre
Nice transparency
Above average separation
Comfortable fit
Cons: Somewhat weak subbass
Overall a bit lean sound
Flat soundstage
Not much engaging
Heavy capsules which totally were not needed
Introduction:
Moondrop has kept up a fair reputation with the music lovers of the world for quite a while now, with products ranging from lower double digit to upper triple digit prices. I have previously reviewed Aria 2021, KATO, and Blessing 2 from their offerings. While none of them were particularly bad, I did not exactly feel satisfied with any of them. Their latest offering has been in the budget range, $20, with a somewhat intriguing name, Chu. I was offered a chance to review it and curiosity got the better of me, so I took the offer.

Specifications:
  • Impedance: 18Ω.
  • Sensitivity: 120dB/Vrms@1kHz.
  • THD: ≤1%@1kHz.
  • Frequency Response Range: 10Hz-35kHz.
  • Effective Frequency Range: 20Hz-20kHz(IEC60318-4, -3dB)

Disclaimer: I was provided this unit from Hifigo in exchange of my review on them. The impressions recorded below are totally of my own and in no way biased. It can be purchased from the following link:

https://hifigo.com/products/moondrop-chu

In the Box:
Since this was a review sample, the retail packaging was not available. I received the iem, the eartips, the carrying pouch, the earhooks, and the literature.

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Build and Fit:
Chu is rather solidly built with a fair amount of weight that really seems surprising given the small sizes of them. However, that makes it unnaturally heavy which totally was not required in my opinion as I don't think it has anything to provide to the actual acoustic tuning.
Although, because of the small size, the fit is rather snug and nice.

Source:
Qudelix 5K
L&P W2

Sound:
Chu has a largely neutral sound that is quite clean and has ample amount of brightness. The lower end has some slam, but not enough power with the stock Spring tips. Hence I changed to some narrow bore IMR tips I had lying around, and the sound improved a bit.

Do note that I have tried to record my impressions below while keeping its price point in mind.

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The first impression that comes to mind regarding Chu’s sound is that it is a bit on the thinner side. With the narrow bore tips there is finally a bit of a boost in the lower region to add a bit of slam in the midbass. Subbass has a bit of warmth and the rumble cannot be missed, but it still feels a bit restrained. Textures are nice for the price, does not feel washed out. Bass drums do not feel as attacking as they should, and kickdrums also are a bit restrained.
Mids sound quite clean, but also is pretty much lean, which enhances the clarity and transparency, in exchange of a bit of engagement and musicality. No, Chu most certainly is not an analytical iem, and sounds a bit musical also, but not to the point that I start to groove with it. The transparency is commendable though, and really helps to improve separation. I really could not find any fault on that front, given the price. Male vocals do have that DD timbre to avoid sounding unnatural, but they still do sound thinner than my preference. Same occurences are noticed for guitars, snare drums, etc. - they just do not sound full enough. However, they do sound quite crisp which makes them easier to notice and appreciate. Although, it most certainly is not that much V-shaped that the vocals feel further away than the bass; rather, they sit a bit closer and have a nice presence. Female vocals on the other hand have quite a nice amount of brilliance and energy to sound vivid...which is quite enjoyable. Chu also makes sure not to make the female vocals sibilant - another feather to its hat.
Now comes the treble, which I found the best part of the package. It's energetic and sparkling with respectable extension, and yet never feels particularly harsh or piercing. It has a rather cooler hue, which syncs nicely with the overall neutral tonality. Nice amount of air and transparency are present here. Cymbals and hi-hats sound really crisp and bright without being piercing. The only gripe I have here is that it sits quite forward and almost in line with the bass, which gives rise to the lessened depth of the stage, and subsequently portrays the stage as rather flat.

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Conclusion:
There are numerous weak points here that I can note down. However, once you remember that the price is just $20, most of your arguments will just stop at their tracks. Then, I cannot but marvel at the quite clean presentation it pulls off without sacrificing the bass much. I love an energetic sound and CHu also provides that in spades. Yeah lean mids is a big no no for me, but the DD timbre saves it somewhat this time. Pretty solid recommendation in this price range to be very honest.
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gadgetgod

500+ Head-Fier
Moondrop Chu: Pretty Solid Performance at Pocket-Friendly Price
Pros: Fit, it just fits like a charm.
Vocals sound lovely.
Clean and refined presentation.
Spring tips.
Great performance for the money.
Cons: Non-detachable cable.
Bass could benefit with a little bit more punch.
Some instruments sound a little lean for my taste(I want some weighted presentation).
Moondrop is a famous name in the IEM market. They have been doing a great job with their huge catalog of IEMs that covers every budget starting from the 10$ to the 1000$ price brackets. In the budget segment, Moondrop has got some experience with single dynamic driver IEMs like the Quarks, Spaceship, etc. If we go slightly above in price, we get the Aria, KXXS, Kato, and the list just goes on and on. Quite recently, Moondrop launched a brand new IEM in the budget segment called the Moondrop the Chu. It’s an extremely pocket-friendly set of single dynamic driver IEMs priced at just 20$. Well, I got a chance to audition and review the Moondroop Chu, and being a lover of Moondrop IEMs(Variations, Blessing 2, and Kato are some of my favorites by them). So let’s begin without wasting any more time.
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A short disclaimer before we begin:-

This unit of Moondrop Chu was kindly provided to me by HiFiGo for the purpose of this review only. I would like to thank them for this opportunity, rest assured all the impressions and comments made in this review about the Moondrop Chu are completely my own based on my own experience with the pair over the past few days. If interested, you can purchase the Moondrop Chu from HiFIGo’s website from the link below(non-affiliated).

https://hifigo.com/products/moondrop-chu

or click here.
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Design & Build:-

Since I got the unit without its retail packaging, I will be coming directly towards the design and build quality of the pair. Moondrop Chu here has got compact and small ear shells. At a far glance, the design on the Chu ear shells looks very much identical to the Aria with the same Black base with golden design printed shells. Although instead of stripes and lines pattern like on the Aria, we get a tree-like pattern printed on the faceplate area of the Chu. The cavities here are metallic and have a rich black finish. The cable here is non-detachable and comes in an angled way on the cavities. This is quite disturbing while clicking images as it becomes difficult to settings up the Chu earpieces for photographs. Also, the cable quality is pretty average. But the good thing here is, that Moondrop includes ear hooks in the package for achieving a comfortable fit despite that Angled cable placement on the cavities. Moondrop Chu has got a pretty good build quality, it has an ergonomic and small form factor. In terms of design and build, the Chu has got a pretty decent ergonomic shape and is a solid looker for the asking price. Another good thing for Moondro Chu is the inclusion of premium Spring Tips as stock with the Chu. The pair comes with three pairs of Spring Tips(S, M, L). There’s also a soft carry pouch that users can use to carry the earphone around safely.
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Fit & Noise Isolation:-

Well, the Moondrop Chu is quite a decent set when it comes to fit and isolation. The shells are small, they cover my entire ear canal and serve me with good levels of isolation from the surrounding noise. I am easily able to use the Chu inside my Gym where they are continuously playing loud music. I used Moondrop Spring Tips m-size for a comfy fit. Although I recommend a little bit of tip rolling for best performance. Also, the pair comes with a bunch of hooks that help in achieving a comfortable fit. I find them to be quite useful with the Chu.
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Powering The Moondrop Chu:-

Chu is designed to be used with your smartphone. I have tested the set with my smartphone Redmi Note 10 Pro, my DAP A&K SE100, and the Moonriver 2 USB DAC/AMP. It works pretty well with the smartphone with no issues.
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Sound Performance:-

My first impression when I put the Chu into my ears were, “WOW, these cost just 20$?”. Yeah, the pair sounds wonderful. It sometimes reminds me of Aria too, but I find it to have a better body for vocals(For me Aria was a little bit leaner in vocals). I remember I was listening to the track, “Roke na ruke Naina by Amaal Malik MTV Unplugged Season 7”, the track was presented in a very musical manner. It’s quite a slow yet musical track, Chu just renders it beautifully. Tonally Moondrop Chu has a neutral signature although it tends to go slightly towards a brighter tone in the treble region.

The lower end is probably the weakest point in Moondrop Chu one can say, although if you are someone like me who prefers a smooth, soft bass response most of the time, the Moondrop Chu performs quite beautifully in the bass region. But I could also love some extra bit of punch in the lower end. Speed is good, I would have loved more depths. “This is how it goes down by P!NK” shows a quick bass response, punch in the track is also decent. The good thing here is that most IEMs in this budget segment have a boomy bass and hot treble, well I can assure you peeps that is not the case here with the Moondrop Chu. Moondrop has given a smooth, fast, and controlled lower-end response.

Midrange here has a clean presentation. Vocals stand out beautifully, they can be heard clearly even in busy tracks such as the “This is how it goes down by P!NK” I just mentioned above too. “Payphone by Maroon 5” also sounds pretty good with the Moondrop Chu. If you hear vocal-centric tracks like Elephant by Damien Rice or I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor, Vocals take a step ahead and are showcased in the limelight. I don’t find them getting shouty or loud, they sound quite good. Both the male and female vocals sound neutral in their tone and nature. I don’t find them getting overly warm or bright(my source mainly was A&K SE100). Instruments such as Acoustic Guitars, piano sound clean and well-presented to me.

Treble section, has a slightly neutral to bright tone. The pair has a smooth and inoffensive tonality. It doesn’t sound harsh or fatiguing to me. The Treble section sounds quite refined to me too, although I find the instruments like Electric guitars, Violins to have a slight lean definition to their tone. I would have appreciated a little bit more body to them. But for what the Moondrop Chu is priced at, I find the pair to sound pretty nice.

Soundstage and imaging with the Chu are average. It doesn’t feel boxy or congested to me, but it doesn’t feel super wide either. It just sounds average. I would say Aria had a wider soundstage than this.
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What Attracts me the most in Moondrop Chu:-

>First and foremost, the fit. It fits like a charm.

>Vocals, they just sound lovely.

>Treble region also sounds refined.

>Overall presentation is clean. It isn’t analytical or detailed by any means, it sounds musical and enjoyable to me.

>Last but most important, Spring Tips are some of the best I have tried to date. Even before I got the Chu, I had plenty of pairs of these.

Things I Don’t Enjoy with the Moondrop Chu:-

>Non-detachable cable. To anger me even more, the cable connects with the shells at an angle that it just becomes a hard task to position them for a photo shoot.

>Bass needs more punch. It sounds decent, fast, and clean, but lacks punch.

>Some instruments sound a little lean for my taste this includes Electric guitars, Violins.
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Moondrop Chu vs Moondrop Quarks:-

Why compare Chu to something above its price like the Aria hehe. I auditioned the previous budget single dd offering from Moondrop, the Moondrop Quarks. (Image is from my archives and impressions are from my memory of the Quarks).

Things I like about the Quarks:-

>Quarks had a better punch to the lower end. But the punch was not refined it was kind of muddy.

>It was cheaper.

Things better with the Chu:-

>Better fit.

>Much more refined signature.

>Vocals sound better.

>Treble region has better extension.

Things common on both that I don’t like:-

>Non-detachable cable.
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Final Words For Moondrop Chu:-

Chu delivers crazy value for money with its 20$ price tag. The pair just nails its musical sound presentation, the vocals are lovely, the instruments are refined, and the overall signature just complements different genres of music well. I won’t say this is something that will give a battle to 100-200$ IEM, this is not supposed to do that I believe, For the price, it is being offered for, the Moondrop Chu is an amazing set of earphones. The inclusion of Spring Tips as stock is just icing on the cake!!

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corgifall

500+ Head-Fier
All Aboard the Chu Chu Train
Pros: Wonderful value, Impressive sound, good build quality
Cons: No detachable cable, a little lean sounding overall
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I’ve been on the hunt for a new sub $50 IEM recommendation and the last few IEMs I tried in the price range were mostly let downs. I was expecting it would take a while to find something I personally liked that worked well as an “all rounder”. I still have some sub $50 IEMs to go through but I recently received the Moondrop Chu and I figured I would check it out since I love the Aria and this looked a lot like the Aria but with a few design differences and coming in only at $20. The Chu uses a single dynamic driver as well as a non-detachable cable.

Quick shoutout to @shenzhenaudio for sending the Chu to review. While I always appreciate the chance to test and review products sent in from manufacturers, it never affects the rating of my reviews.

The Moondrop Chu can be picked up from Shenzhenaudio at their website below.
https://shenzhenaudio.com/products/moondrop-chu-headphone-titanium-iems-wired-dynamic-driver-hifi-in-ear-earphones?variant=42641130914035

Onto the review of the Moondrop Chu! My personal preference is a hybrid/tribrid IEM where I get good hitting bass and have a detailed treble with decent mids. When it comes to an over ear headphone I prefer a spacious sound with a deep low end, the mids to be more forward and the highs to be a little bright with some sparkle. I listen to a lot of genres but I hover in the classic rock, blues and edm music with some rap here and there.

Gear Used​

IPhone 12 pro with headphone adapter, Aune BU2, iFi Go blu, Hiby R6 2020 and SMSL SU-9 feeding the SP400 amp.

Looks and fit​

The shell has a nice all metal design that looks a lot like the $80 Moondrop Aria. It doesn’t have the same rough texture as the Aria and has a smooth black finish with some rose gold accents. The cable is built in and has a nice rubber feel that is a mix of sticky and firm but not enough that it catches on my clothes. It terminates to a right angle 3.5mm and the cable seems like it can handle some EDC abuse and not fall apart. The Chu is also small enough that I had zero fit issues with the stock spring tips and I was able to listen for long periods of time with no discomfort.
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Isolation and sound leakage​

Isolation was average and due to the single DD vent, it does allow a little sound in. It is very minimal and this is a good example of a vented IEM that does well with passive isolation. It does leak a lot of sound for how well it blocks outside sounds. I do all my tests by simply covering the open part of the ear tip playing at my preferred volume for sound leak test. This is very noticeable and I wouldn’t recommend using the Chu at higher volumes in quiet places.

Packaging and accessories​

The Chu comes in a nice little box that has the Moondrop mascot on the front. While I don't care for audio manufacturer “waifus”, I do like that Moondrop stays consistent with their mascot. Opening the flap, we get a Chu on display in some foam. Under that is a carrying case/fabric sleeve. This is a basic felt feeling sleeve but it gets the job done if needed. Inside a little box to the side are the spring tips and ear guides. Normal warranty cards and user guide included as well. Moondrop includes a good set of tips and I like that they included a carrying sleeve thing for the low cost of the Chu.
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Sound(overall)​

These final impressions were done off a mix of the Apple lightning dongle, Moondrop Moon River 2 and the SMSL SU-9 connected to the SMSL SP400. These are what the Chu sounded like to my ears. This was also using the stock Moondrop spring tips. Things like ear tip selection and DAC/amp selection will produce different results and impressions vs what my ears hear on my specific gear.

I will start off by saying the spring tips aren’t my first choice for the Chu. I would normally choose tips I like and do these sound impressions with my preferred tips. Since the Chu is only $20 and it comes with $13 Moon drop tips, I feel it isn’t fair to throw an additional set of tips that cost almost as much as the Chu on to do my sound impressions. So this section will be off the stock spring tips.

The Chu has a very familiar Moondrop house sound. At least their current house sound for single DD IEMs. It does go in a different direction than something like the Aria but it has some really good tuning overall. The lows are the most lacking part IMO with a somewhat lean sound. I find it lacking any real punch or quality in terms of reach and immersion. I do love me some thumpy IEMs in general, as long as they do impact/slam well. The Chu isn’t fully lacking, Songs that have nice sub bass hits do still show up on the Chu. Just not quite as hard as I would like. The mids are super clean and while it has a more clinical midrange, it doesn’t sound harsh or cold. Vocals are fairly good here, there is a nice clarity that I find surprising given the price. Treble does come in a little hot depending on ear tip selection but with the spring tips I would say the Chu is good with not being super bright. The treble feels tame and well balanced at times but I can definitely hear some over sharpness here and there. It makes for a slightly uncomfortable experience. Unlike the FiiO JH3 I recently reviewed, I can listen to the Chu in its stock form for a long period of time. Detail wise, it doesn’t quite bring in a whole lot of details but for most beginning audiophiles, this is gonna sound amazing. I think the Chu is competing with most IEMs under $100 but things like Moondrops Aria brings in better details. I really like the tuning they did on the Chu and I find myself constantly impressed while forgetting this is a $20 IEM.

Soundstage/Imaging​

The stage is actually pretty good for how cheap the Chu is. It is just as wide as some $50 plus IEMs I’ve been playing around with. The depth is about average though. I would call the depth a “wall of sound” and that’s fine. Imaging is also pretty good and I can pick out sounds on the stage fine without any extra effort on my part.

Sensitivity/Drivability​

The Chu isn’t very hard to drive and it doesn’t scale as much from high output source gear. The Chu isn’t very sensitive since it’s a single DD IEM so it has no issues with floor noise.

Stock cable​

I think the stock cable is well designed overall and as I said above, it has a good rubber and slightly stiff if not springy cable. It doesn’t have any way to detach the cable outside of modding in a 2 pin or mmcx connector but for the price, I really don’t see the point in anything but the stock design. I will say that the cable is springy enough that wrapping the cable around the ear like normal IEMs can cause a bounce feeling when walking. They include those guides to help but I don’t think many people will use them since the guides are very thick and cumbersome.

Tip rolling​

The Chu comes with Moondrop’s spring tips which are comfy for my ears. I however didn’t like them with the Chu and I did tip roll to see if I could find a sound closer to the Aria. The wider bore AZLA Xelastecs were the brightest sounding tip I put on the Chu and it was actually what I used for the first listen and most of the time I couldn’t listen for too long with those tips. I then went to my trusty “bag of skittles” aka my Spinfit collection. I threw the CP100 plus on the Chu and that gave me the bass boost I felt I was missing from the spring tips. That being said, for the price of the Chu, I think the stock spring tips are totally fine. I would say for those who might have an abundance of extra tips might like tip rolling if they feel the treble is a little much from the spring tips.

IEM comparisons​

FiiO JH3​

I liked the JH3 for the most part but when A/B testing the two together, the Chu comes out on top. The JH3 does the bass hits a little better with more noticeable impact but the Chu has better control at the cost of a little less low end thump. The mids on both sound good but the Chu has a better handle on vocals. It has a better presentation and feels like the vocals have more details than the JH3. The treble on the JH3 is terrible and overdone and I don’t like it for long sessions. The Chu is also strong in the treble but it's not as bright and sounds better in both detail retrieval and tightness. The Chu has a really good tuning and it’s going to be hard for a lot of IEMs under $100 to beat it I believe.
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Moondrop Aria​

The Chu looks like the Aria but does it have the same sound? Is this yet another “if you heard one Moondrop DD you’ve heard them all''? No, at least not to my ears. The two have very different ways they handle their sound tuning. Where the Chu has a bright tuning that still works for everything, the Aria has a better “all rounder” tuning and it does everything better than the Chu. I think the Chu has a wonderful tuning but it’s not the Aria in the slightest. The Aria has more impactful bass, with more fullness and quality, the mids for the most part sound the same between the two(till the upper mids) and the treble is better controlled and never “bright” on the Aria. Detail retrieval is about the same at least treble wise between the two though I really didn’t sit here and really dig deep into the details between the two(it’s $20 and $80 IEMs) but I was impressed by both non the less for their price. If I had to pick, I would say the Aria pulls in details a little better, though not by much. Both do speed well but whenever I switch between the two, the Chu sounds piercing and requires me to wait a track or so for my “brain burn in” to kick in. The switch to the Aria is always a pleasant experience and it just sounds more enjoyable than the Chu. I know there's a lot of hype around the Chu but to my ears, the Aria is still my main $150 and under recommendation. The Chu is very good and will remain my under $50 recommendation.
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Amping Combinations​

Moondrop Moon River 2​

I had to see how the MR2 and Chu paired and I liked the pairing overall. While I found the MR2 a brighter source, it somehow pairs well with the Chu and other single DD IEMs. It gives the Chu a more analytical sound with a better focus overall. Lows come in a little leaner, mids and treble have more sparkle and stand out. Staging was about average and this overall presentation matches my impressions that I had when I paired the Chu with my desktop setup.

Lotoo PAW S1​

The PAW S1 is a different story and the warmer sound signature of the S1 gets the Chu closer to my personal preferences. It doesn’t “transform” the Chu into a super warm IEM but it does affect the tuning enough to be noticeable. The lows have a little extra thump and the mids have an extra warmth to them. Same thing with the treble. It is still bright sounding but with just a little extra warmth that brings the Chu down just enough. Staging feels a little wider but comparable to the MR2. I like a warmer source pairing for the Chu personally.

Overall thoughts​

While I had expected to spend a long time finding a new sub $50 recommendation, I was pleasantly surprised that the Chu was up for the job. I won’t beat around the bush, the “Chu Chu” train hype is real and this is a wonderful set of super cheap IEMs that make a lot of IEMs under $100 sweat in terms of tuning. I think as long as expectations are kept realistic, I would absolutely recommend the Moondrop Chu! I still would say grab the Aria if you’re shopping closer to the $100 price range. For only $20 though, I think the Chu is going to be hard to beat in general. Moondrop is killing it lately and I look forward to future Moondrop goodies. Thanks for reading!!
Scuba Devils
Scuba Devils
Nice review, I really must pick one of these up!
J
jmwant
Awesome. Did you try the TinHiFi T1s yet? It's at the same price range.
corgifall
corgifall
I haven't heard the T1s yet. I have the CRA CCA+ review coming soon though which is just a bit more and more in line with my personal tuning preferences.

SenyorC

100+ Head-Fier
Another serious budget contender...
Pros: Good overall sound, included tips are great...
Cons: A little too much 5k for me personally, cable is non detachable...
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The Moondrop Chu have been sent to me by HifiGo in exchange for my review. The only request has been the usual inclusion of (non-affiliate) links to the product via there store, which you can find by visiting the version published on my blog. Therefore, my review will aim to be as honest and free of bias as possible, although you should always consider the fact that it hasn’t cost me anything.

Intro…

It has been a while since I last posted a review of a sub 50€, a price range that I have always liked to focus on here. The Moondrop Chu is not only less than 50€, it is less than half of that, coming in at around 20€.

I have always been a bit of a Moondrop fan, enjoying most of their IEMs and still using the Aria as my main bluetooth IEMs (connected to an MW200), therefore I am always happy to try out new models from them and if they are models that come in this cheap, even more so.

If any of you follow the budget IEM sector, you may have already seen the Chu get quite a bit of praise, at least from the majority of users, so let’s see if they get more praise (or not) from myself.

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Presentation…

This is a set of 20€ IEMs, therefore anything more than the IEMs, a cheap cable and a couple of silicone tips is probably already a bonus.

In the case of the Chu, the cable is fixed, which is a let down for many but it needn't always be a bad thing (more on that in a second). We also get, as expected, 3 sets of silicone tips. However, the tips included are not normal generic cheap silicone that end up in a big box of tips (in my case at least), they are Moondrop Spring tips which actually cost over 12€ for a set of three sizes like the ones included.

We also get a small felt pouch for storage, which while not exactly a high class case, it still does its job and keeps them free of dust, dirt and scratches while not in use. Finally, apart from the usual documentation, we get a set of rubber ear hooks (which I will discuss with the cable in a moment) and a wooden decoration piece which has the anime girl engraved on it (I have no idea what this is to be used for, but anyways, it is included).

All of this is presented in a simple black box with a transparent cover that shows the same anime girl and the IEMs sitting in their respective cut outs.

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Build and aesthetics…

Starting with the IEMs, they are not the usual shape commonly found on IEMs, nor are they the small button type found on things like the Quarks, they are sort of in between. The shape is actually just a small oval that the (fixed) cable comes out of near the top front, angling slightly downwards. The decoration is black with a gold leaf type symbol (well, it looks like a leaf when the IEMs are held upside down), which is not exactly stunning but doesn’t look too bad. The IEM shells are metal and look as though they are well assembled, although only time will tell in this regard (Moondrop don’t always have the best rep for paint durability).

The cable, as I said, is fixed and I said that this is not always a bad idea. The thing with fixed cables is that it stops worries about which cable to buy, will I notice an upgrade, etc. Here, you get what you are given, for better or for worse. In the case of the Chu, the cable is not actually bad, especially if we consider the price point. It is a simple rubber coated not braided cable, it’s not microphonic, it's not a bad length and, well, it just works. As with most people, I do prefer a detachable cable but at least this cable is decent enough to not hate it.

Finally the tips, I think they are great. I hadn’t actually tried these tips before (I’m not sure how long they have been available) and was genuinely impressed when I used them on the Chu. I also tried them on the S12 (as I mentioned in my S12 review) and found them to be great, enough for them to be my tips of choice for those IEMs.

With the Chu, I find that I use a medium set (they seem to be slightly smaller than other brand tips) as I get a seal quite deep inside my ear (due to the shape and size of the Chu), while on the S12, the large set works better for me. Another win as 1 set of tips has served 2 IEMs. Many times I only end up using one, or none, of the included tips and the others end up lost in a big box of tips somewhere.

Before wrapping up this section, I just want to mention fit and comfort. There are rubber ear hooks included with the Chu, something that I very rarely use as I prefer not to have the preformed hook over my ears. However, in the case of the Chu, I found that the cable had the habit of springing off my ears so I gave the hooks a try and they work very well. The cable does pop out of the hook sometimes when removing them but that is a minor gripe and overall I must say that I find the Moondrop Chu to be very comfortable in my ears. The deepish fit allows me to lay on my side (something that I usually use the Quarks for but will probably replace them with the Chu) and the tips are just very comfortable.

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Sound…

That was quite a lengthy build and aesthetics section for a set of 20€ IEMs, so lets get on with the most important part, the sound.

In the subbass there is quite an impressive extension. It is not the most rumble you are going to find in a set of IEMs but it has enough to do it’s job and present those low notes with enough authority to find them enjoyable. In comparison to the Quarks, I find the subbass to be easier to appreciate, even though measurements show that it is not really that different down in those regions, but it is the midbass that makes it seem more likeable (to me).

The thing that I like about the midbass is the fact that there is no midbass bump like there is on the Quarks, or on many other budget models (all the ones I have tried) from the brand. In fact, I think the Chu is the closest tuning to my preference target that I have heard from them. The lower end is actually tuned similar to the Dusk, although at a slightly reduced level of presence.

Here is a graph of the Chu compared to my personal preference target:

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*all of my measurements can be found and compared on achoreviews.squig.link

This obviously puts the Chu off to a good start as far as its tuning in the lower ranges, giving me the impression of being clean and well balanced.

Taking some songs from my test track list, things like “Long After You’re Gone” are presented very well in the mid bass range, or “No Sanctuary Here”, which is more midbass focused, has plenty of clean and articulate bass, without giving the feeling that it is lacking (at least to me).

There are obviously some tracks that can benefit from a little bit more of a midbass presence than found on the Chu, such as “Jack Of Speed”, but I found that the Gryphon (or Go Blu) gave me that little bit extra when needed and that the Chu take it quite well.

Moving into the mids, they are well balanced and I have no complaints throughout the whole range. Vocals are present, instruments are easily separated and in general they do a pretty good job for a set of 20€ IEMs.

My first, and possibly only major, complaint comes when we hit the 5kHz mark. AS I have said plenty of times in the past, I seem to have a bit of sensitivity to 5kHz peaks and that is where the main peak in the upper ranges is on the Moondrop Chu. This can make certain instruments come across to me as harsh. There are certain upper guitar notes, percussion hits, and other things that just have too much presence in that region and can make me wince a little, depending on the track.

This is something that I think affects me more than others, as everyone's a little more sensitive to different things, so it probably won’t even be an issue for most people, but for me it does detract a little from the enjoyability of these IEMs, especially over longer listening sessions as I can find them tiring.

The upper treble has a decent extension to it, with a nice sensation of air and I really can't complain much about these higher ranges. It is not the smoothest of treble’s but it is acceptable, especially if we go back to considering the price.

Details are not the greatest but are acceptable. Background details can be a little hazy, seeming to be a little out of focus at times, but again, we are talking about a set of IEMs at 20€, at this price I feel they are adequate, although not amazing.

Soundstage is about on a par for a set of IEMs in this realm, with enough space and enough imaging to appreciate things like binaural recordings, but don’t expect a huge space outside your head.

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Conclusion…


The Moondrop Chu are a very good set of IEMs for their price. As far as sound, my only real complaint is that 5kHz peak that I mentioned, but as I also said, this probably affects me much more than it does other people. Other than that, I find that the sound is very good for the price bracket that these sit in.

In fact, on a sound level, these could easily be placed much higher, although I think that things like detachable cables would start to be a little more important if we start scaling the price ranges.

The contents included are also satisfactory for the price, except for the tips, which are worth the purchase almost by themselves. Maybe this is actually a good marketing move by Moondrop, they have a set of cheap IEMs with good sound that is receiving praise and will get many people to try them who may not have considered Moondrop in the past. At the same time, they include a set of tips that they sell separately for more than half the price of these IEMs, which are very good tips (in my opinion) and this may increase the sales of those tips by quite a bit also.

Whichever way we look at it, there is no way I can say that the Moondrop Chu are not worth their price, they are more than worthy. At a price of 20€, I don’t see them as anything other than a win.

As always, this review is also available in Spanish both on www.achoreviews.com and on www.youtube.com/achoreviews
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trippleed

New Head-Fier
Moondrop Chu, harmanish CRA
Pros: Good harmanish bright tonal balance
Nice packaging. Spring tips and wallet cloth case are included
Well balance staging and accurate imaging
Minimal sibilance and shouty that can be perceived
Sweet and inoffensive vocal that has nice clarity upon it
Good transient speed and resolution on its class
Nice instrument separation
Good texture and detail of midbass
Cons: Grainy lower treble
Bass light quantity
Peaky mid and treble
Quite thin weight midrange
Sub bass roll off
So so dynamic range and detail retrieval
Unnatural timbre that makes its musicality worse
Too dependant on Spring tips. Doesn't sound as good and balance on the other tips
Intro: The on sale packaging looks convincing and really suitable for wibu. On the front part mostly covered by waifu anime picture.
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In the box we get:
3 pairs of spring tips size s, m, and l
Wallet-shaped cloth case
Some kind of holy papers :v
Non-detachable IEM mic made of metal housing with paint quality similar to tripowin Lea (hopefully it lasts longer :v)
A cable with a material similar to the old iem kz cable, namely kz ed4 (don't get me wrong, the cable is quite durable). The cable feels thin, but luckily it doesn't tangle easily.
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Moving on to sound impressions...

Bass: The quantity is sufficient, a bit thin with a tendency to be in the mid bass. The bass impact is quite solid, it has a good texture and detail, the typical bass that can be found on titanium driver iem, such as Reecho SG03. Unfortunately, the sub bass rolls off quite quickly with an extension that doesn't go deep enough to the bottom. Somehow in some of my playlists I feel the sub bass hums or rumbles are fading away. Thus, Chu is not really suitable for EDM,hip hop, and any bass heavy genre. Luckily, the bass is speedy and suitable for some metal songs.

Mid: The presentation is slightly ahead of the bass and slightly behind the treble. So, Chu is classified as harmanish bright ushape. The mid weight is relatively thin, with more emphasis on the uppermid, so the male vocals feel more backward than the female vocals. The mid feels sweet, loose, and with good clarity like typical of Moondrop IEM. Unfortunately the timbre in the mids is a bit dry, so the musicality of the instruments and vocal are still lacking in my opinion. Like a double-edged sword, its slightly dry timbre makes its sound presentation less analog and natural. Especially on folk genre song which dominate by acoustic guitar and other percussion instruments, Chu did not manage to present the timbre of these instruments well. Besides that, the vocal also feels not that smooth and there are some following peaks that make this Chu uncomfortable to wear for a long time. Luckily its sibilance and shoutiness are well controlled in Chu.

Treble: Feels quite aggressive from the lower treble, with a quite good treble body, and pretty good detail. The peak also continues here, the lower treble especially the drum cymbals feel grainy or rough, with a presentation that is not very natural either. The upper treble is a bit of a roll off and the extension isn't that far, much like Tripowin Lea.

Technical: The staging is quite
wide, leaning towards the wide staging. Its depth and imaging are also quite good. The 3D staging presentation feels the best in my opinion on its price range. The separation can be separated well, unfortunately the details and micro details are sufficient. The detail and texture of the violin in the song Like a star-Taeyeon doesn't pronounce really well. The transient speed is quite good and fast, but unfortunately this is not matched by a good dynamic range. So, on some metal songs, when the tempo of the song suddenly turns slow, in Chu the tempo only manage to slow down a bit. So at slow tempo, it still feels fast in Chu compare with another iem that I have. It's not like Lea and EDA Balance, which immediately I can feel the tempo of the song is different, slow feels slow, fast feels fast.

Comparison:
Vs Lea: Lea has better tonal execution than Chu. More organic and natural timbre, thicker mid-weight with less peaks in the treble and mids. The bass in Lea feels fuller and in greater quantity, the sub bass is also reaching deeper, doesn't roll off quickly like Chu. The treble in Lea is smoother, with a less full body treble vs Chu's fuller one, although the treble extensions are the same for both. Lea staging is narrower, imaging is also not as accurate as Chu. The resolution is also not as good as Chu. But Lea has a better dynamic range and micro detail than Chu.

Vs EDA Balance: EDA balance feels more vshape than Chu. It has a thicker mid weight and a more balanced mid position between male and female vocals. The bass has a more boomy and more fun quantity, the treble is smoother and not as aggressive as Chu, although I can still hear the peak in its mid and treble. EDA Balance's timbre is a bit more natural and not as dry as Chu's, so the musicality is better. EDA Balance staging feels wider with depth and imaging that are not as good as chu. Chu's separation is also better, because EDA Balance still feels a little bleeding from the bass to the vocal. The detail and micro detail on both are the same, but the dynamic range is better at EDA Balance. Chu resolution is better than EDA.
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Chu is a pretty good iem on its class. But in tonal balance, I think Chu execution is still not as good as its competitors like Tripowin Lea and EDA Balance. Tonally, Chu is the harman version of CCA CRA. Fortunately, its good technicality makes Chu suitable enough for gaming or watching movies.

Overall, I give this rating for Chu vs its competitors:
Lea: 4.75
EDA Balance: 4.5
Chu: 4.25

Keep believing your own ears, and thank you for those who have read my review. Sorry if there are some unproper words from my review. 🙏

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Andrikman87

New Head-Fier
Miracles on bends. Review of Moondrop Chu dynamic headphones.
Pros: + High-quality, heavy and all-metal body
+ Good scope of delivery
+ Lovely soft silicone Spring Tips included
+ Low price
Cons: - Very controversial, and rather strange sound
- Fixed cable
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Hello! Moondrop, this is the company whose new products you are waiting for with great anticipation. Over the past few years, the manufacturer has established itself on an extremely positive side, and has fallen in love with a large number of music lovers around the world. Not in vain, the popular Moondrop Kato dynamic headphones at the end of last year won the unspoken title "Top for your money" not only in their homeland in China, but also in the CIS, and even in the west. The device is still considered to be almost the best choice in the segment under $200, and before that, a similar honor, that is, the best in a certain segment, was given to the Moondrop Aria, Moondrop Starfield, Moondrop KXXS and others. Such high merits and popularity became available thanks to the company's competent policy in the development and improvement of emitters, the involvement of new technologies, and reasonable and bold experiments not only in the in-ear headphones market, but also recently in the field of portable DACs. Most recently, Moondrop, without any pomp, presented to the public budget dynamic headphones with the fancy name Moondrop Chu. Many people were interested in the device not only for the price of $20, but above all for its delivery kit, which includes high-quality silicone ear cushions Spring Tips. Separately, these are sold for $ 13, which is, as it were, more than half the cost of the headphones themselves. With all this, on popular foreign forums and in reviews, the headphones are actively praised and admired, which naturally fueled my interest in this model, which is why I ordered them for a review without hesitation.

Specifications:

  • Emitter: dynamic, 10 mm in diameter, with titanium-coated composite diaphragm
  • Sensitivity: 120dB/Vrms @ 1kHz)
  • Resistance: 28Ω ± 15% (@ 1kHz)
  • THD: THD @ 1kHz ≤ 1%
  • Frequency response: 10Hz-35kHz (IEC61094, free field)
  • Effective frequency response: 20Hz-20KHz

Contents of delivery:

The headphones come in a small but very elegant package, where on the front side under a transparent plastic blister on a cardboard backing there is an image of a pretty girl, next to which the faceplates of the heroes of our review are visible through the slits.

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On the reverse side of a thick cardboard box, the factory frequency response graph is quite clearly shown and the technical characteristics of the device are described in great detail in Chinese and English.

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Inside the package we will find:

  • Headphones with fixed cable
  • A set of three pairs of quality silicone ear tips - Spring Tips
  • Black soft cover-purse with a button made of material resembling felt
  • Replaceable silicone earhooks
  • Set of paper documentation

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Of the most interesting, of course, I note the Spring Tips silicone ear cushions. Exactly the same ones are bundled with significantly more expensive Moondrop Kato headphones. The Spring Tips are very soft and slightly sticky. Made of high quality silicone, and very pleasant to the touch. In my opinion, these are one of the highest quality ear pads, and are in no way inferior to the more famous counterparts Dunu SpinFit, JVC Spiral Dot, AZLA Xelastec and others.

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Headphone appearance:

Headphone cases have a very atypical oblong-rounded shape, with a slightly curved lid, which depicts a branch or leaf, very reminiscent of a plant familiar to many.

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At the same time, the ear cups, including the cover and sound guides, are completely metal. They are quite weighty, which is more of a plus than a minus. Neat and even seams that separate the earpiece shell from the back cover are made almost flawlessly. Metal meshes inside the sound guides are also neatly glued. And in general, the workmanship of my earbuds is at a very high level, despite their seemingly low cost.

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Of the interesting, I note two compensation holes located on the inside of the device case, and the letter designation of the channels on the top of the shells. Here you can see the small conclusions of the non-removable cable.

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The headphone cable, despite the fact that it is non-removable, looks quite good. The wire is not thin, it is covered with a soft and pleasant to the touch silicone braid, which at the same time tends to get tangled easily. At the end of the cable there is a small plastic L-shaped plug and a large round plastic splitter with the company logo in the middle of the conductor.

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Despite the rather unusual appearance, the headphone cases are quite small, and a very long sound guide, made at the right angle, makes it quite convenient to place the headphones in almost any ear.

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Sound:

The headphones were tested with a QLS QA361 player, Abigail portable DACs from Venture Electronics and ES9318 DACs, as well as with a Meizu 16 smartphone.

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Having reached the sound of a new model of headphones, you begin to understand that no miracle actually happened. Headphones play well, but only within their price and at the level of conditional competitors in the face of some KZ, CCA, TRN and similar manufacturers. Looking at the frequency response graph of the novelty, an impressive rise in the area passing from the upper middle to high frequencies immediately catches your eye, which is noticeably louder than low frequencies. From this we can draw a small conclusion that the main accents of the sound of the headphones are respectively concentrated in the upper middle and high frequencies. Let's take a closer look at the sound of Moondrop Chu below:

Low frequencies

The new ones are kind of weird. Firstly, the bass here is not deep, while it feels as if empty and incorporeal. You practically do not feel the impact of the bass drum, do not feel the pressure and energy of the bass. This is especially noticeable in field conditions. On some music, it generally seems that the sound engineer forgot to add low frequencies to the track, which is why the melody is perceived flat and not framed.

Mid frequencies

I heard the opinion that the middle of the headphones is natural and musical, but where is all this asked? Where is the vaunted naturalness and musicality of the mids when they scream incredibly? Because of all this, you not only do not hear the bass, which is actually lost against the background of an extremely bright upper middle, but after a few tens of minutes you forget your name altogether and take out the headphones with great relief and incredible ringing in your ears.

High frequencies

Unfortunately, Moondrop screwed up here too. Even on an absolutely neutral source, the heroes of the review manage to focus on whistling and hissing, seasoning it all with a fair amount of sibilants, clattering and clanging overtones. There is nothing more for me to add here.


Conclusion:

Sticker fabric filters on top of the sound guide mesh, unfortunately, does not radically change the situation, but only adds a slight accent in the mid-bass area. Ultimately, who can I recommend Moondrop Chu to? Probably for people who want to make a small nice gift to a person who is rather far from music or to those who want high-quality ear pads for themselves, while not averse to overpaying a few dollars for a bonus in the form of headphones. I don’t see any point in comparing the heroes of the review with analogues from other manufacturers, because similar headphones from the same KZ often have more punchy, deep and percussive bass, while all, even the most budget models of the aforementioned manufacturer already have a detachable cable, which they cannot boast new headphones from Moondrop.

You can buy Moondrop Chu dynamic headphones and more from our friends in the excellent **** Earphones Store on AliExpress.

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NymPHONOmaniac

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: -High resolution and clarity
-Good imaging
-Decent soundstage
-Good transparency
-forwards male and female vocal
-fast treble attack with nice snap and sparkle
-generous package for 20$
-good sound value
Cons: -compressed dynamic
-dry anemic lean boxy bass
-thin dry timbre
-slight treble and timbral imbalance
-light note weight
-slightly trebly-shouty
-cold distant tonality
-tend to put background hissing of tracks on front
-cold uneven musicality
TONALITY: 7/10
TECHNICALITY: 8.2/10
CONSTRUCTION: 8.2/10
SOUND VALYE: 8.5/10



MOONDROP are well known by chifi audio enthusiast and begin to be recognize too by more closed minded audiophile, thanks to their Blessing 2 solid fan base. This company seem to have 2 tuning target, the Harman target aiming for natural balance which is used for IEM like Aria, Kato and Starfield, and their DF-neutral target take, call VDSF target, which aim for neutrality with high resolution, which is used for their Spaceship, SSR and their new ultra budget IEM i will review today the CHU. Priced only 22$, the CHU is an all metal cable IEM, with a 10mm titanium-plated dynamic driver.
The hype around the CHU is already very noisy, so let's see if i will enter the CHU CHU hype train with this review or not.

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SOUND IMPRESSIONS​


(gear used: Questyle M15, Tri TK2, Ibasso DX90 and Xduoo Link2 Bal)

TONALITY is gently bright neutral with focus on full treble region and high resolution rendering that doesn't boost texture or feel spiky. It's an open crisp sparkly sound, with cold bass and mids and vivid highs. Imagine a bass light Aria, with hint of Kato treble and leaner mids, and your not far from CHU sound rendering.


TIMBRE is dry, thin and smoothed in texture. Transparency is good, their no grain, but something hint of timbral imbalance can occur due to over focus of high harmonic compared to low harmonic that affect density roundness-fullness.

BASS is the weakest part of the CHU and notably lack dynamic in impact and slam, making it sometime overshadow by mids and highs. To my ears it's plain wrong and ruin whole musical experience when we need slam, rumble or kick drum well define punch. As well, it can go easily muffled when we have sub bass and kick going on at same time, making some electronic music like Kanging Ray OR album plain unlistenable. It seem rumble can make distortion at high volume too. In term of texture and resolution, when we can hear the bass, it's very good in fact, refined and linear with some interesting natural resonance. So, the CHU aren't made for basshead nor bass lover, due to a body less presentation and lack of energic punch and well rounded presence. For instrument like cello and even acoustic bass, it can pass, as well as very simple kick drum, but presentation will be dry and not vibrant nor dense.


MIDS are clean, crisp and lean with good transparency and amount of details and decent imaging. They are rather smooth and free of sibilance, but a bit cold and distant in dynamic feel due to light note weight which is more problematic for piano than vocal. About vocal, both male and female aren't recessed and have forwards open presence, yet, male vocal will be a bit effiminate due to lack of low harmonic body and fullness. When it come to female vocal, i'm very severe and while they are fowards and clean enough, definition is a bit too softed so they struggle to fully open and be well extract from other mid range instruments, ill say they are gently shouty, and sometime gently trebly too, with Arianna Savall sopramo high pitched voice, i did get border line ringing for ex. Perhaps this is due to lean dynamic of mid range that struggle to offer a sens of amplitude articulation as if all instrument play in same loudness scale. Apart treble section, which we will talk about right now.

TREBLE is the most vivid and lively part of the CHU, all energy and dynamic impressions come from this spectrum range, yet, CHU isn't particularly bright or agressive, avoiding dangerous peaks in specific region like upper mids and 8khz section.We are in well done boosted clarity territory here, crisp and vivid, snappy and sparkly, the highs are very impressive especially in this price range. Refined and adding a sens of air, the highs are stars of the show as well as stars in an overall cloudy sky if we can say, in the sens bass and mids seem very static compared to highs. CHU love folk and instrumental music, especially acoustic guitar which sound brilliant and have nice attack lead and delicate presentation with addictive natural resonance, though sometime a bit of lack of low harmonic. Harp and clavichord sound good too, though a hint dry metallic and thin, still presentation is clean and well detailed. Percussions are hit or miss, showing limit of treble snap and attack control, cymbals can sound a bit shrill.

SOUNDSTAGE is average wide and deep, not very tall nor hall like or gigantic. It's open in an intimate way. It have a 180degree frontal presentation too.

IMAGING is above average for the price, but seem to focus on treble separation while bass and mids have compressed layering but decent transparency that permit to locate static instruments. Separation doesn't have lot of space between instruments and the CHU struggle with busy tracks and get blurry in proper instrument separation-definition.


TECHNICALITIES are very impressive for the price, attack is fast but not perfectly controlled after impact (sustain-release). While bass is rolled off, treble extend quite far. Transparency and resolution are high too.


COMPARISONS



VS TANCHJIM TANYA (25$-1DD)

Tanya is warmer, thicker and more V shape. Timbre is lusher and more natural, less thin. Dynamic impact have more weight and overall balance is more cohesive and less sharp and treble obsess. CHU is colder, more clinical and analytical with anemic bass and thinner dryer timbre. Resolution is notably higher with the CHU and spatiality is more airy and open. Bass bleed more on the mids with the Tanya too, which have more slam and rumble, yet slower attack it seem. Mids are fuller and more natural yet not as clean. Treble extension cut faster with Tanya, making clavichord sound all about low harmonic, here the CHU is clearly superior with higher amount of details and more snap and sparkle and air. Soundstage is a bit wider yet not as deep with the Tanya. Technically the CHU is superior, though the dynamic is very tamed and overall musicality is miles ahead with the Tanya to my ears but this is subjective, still, wonky dynamic presentation isn't subjective and timbral imbalance is more evident with the CHU too, affecting timbre naturalness and....musicality again!

VS HZ SOUND WAIST DRUM (32$-1x 6mm DD)

HZ is slightly more V shape and warmer, with thicker timbre, thicker weightier slam and overall rounder less crisp neutral tonality. Resolution seem higher and cleaner with CHU, this is due to more tamed bass impact that doesnt move air nor touch the mids, which are notably lusher and more natural with HZ as well as more organic in timbral balance.
CHU is colder dryier brighter with more artificial sounding vocal (high harmonic unbalance) that are thin and uneven compared to HZ W. Treble is more agressive and detailed, highs have more sparkle and snap as well as faster attack it seem, here HZ seem a bit dark on top and less abrasive and boosted in upper mids, so while male vocal are more fowards and full sounding with HZ, female vocal are just a hint less energic and upfront yet lusher and more bodied and overall more pleasant as said.
Imaging is more precise with the CHU, soundstage is wider and deeper too.
Technicaly, this is a hard comparison since dynamic weight as well as sens of layering is better with HZ while attack speed and control is better with the CHU.
While tonality is better balanced, more cohesive and musical with the HZ Drum, resolution and overall technical performance is slightly higher with the CHU, yet less refined in presentation.


VS MOONDROP ARIA (80$-1xLCP DD)

So, some audacious reviewers proclaim the CHU is on par or even better than those mythical Aria....what a funny joke! Aria is from another league both in technical performance and tonal balance, but I guess the boosted clarity and tamed rumble can impress some auditor. Tonaly wise, Aria is warmer and more U shape, smoother and more cohesive, darker in treble region yet fuller too, in the sens transparency is better and permit a greater amount of sound layers articulation.
Bass of Aria have more slam, rumble and weight and embrace the mids more too, resulting in denser and more natural timbre. Mids are wider in presentation, fuller lusher in timbre, less shouty and more dynamic in note weight. If you were finding Aria thin sounding, the CHU will horrify you in that regard since its less meaty than Aria for sure. Now, treble is more boosted-upfront with the CHU and have more snap and brightness, yet it doesn't present as much nuance in sound layers and details and seem very unbalanced compared to more organic and fluid balance of Aria, it's more trebly too, so sometime you tend to lower or higher volume which doesn't happen with smoother more naturally balanced Aria.
Their not a single doubt that Aria is superior to CHU technically, and better balanced as a whole too, making the CHU very wonky and unatural sounding with compressed bass and mids and invasive treble presence that kill it's versatility.


CONCLUSION​


The MOONDROP CHU are excellent value earphones, especially if you seek for boosted clarity with above average technical performance in sub-50$ IEM market. When it come to tuning musicality, it will surely please a niche crowd that favorize analytical presentation over well balanced and full sounding tonality. If you are a bass head or bass lover, you should stay way from those, as well, if you are very sensible to dynamic presentation, bass and mids will feel too lean and cold. Timbre too might not please everyone due to a thin and dry presentation.
But does it mean it's all bad? Not at all, since the treble stole the show here and it's not just about one spike that wow you with micro details but a full sounding crisp presentation with impressive speed, high clarity and beautifully open presentation. I just wish i can say bass and treble doesn't feel compressed under this fizzy liveliness.
So, while i do not highly recommend those due to lack of versatility (and musicality) of it's tuning, I do think it's a legit upgrade for the fans of Moondrop SSR and Spaceship (unless you are seeking more bass than those 2).


PS: this review sample was provide by Hifigo. I have zero affiliation nor particular collaboration passion with this audio distributor.
You can buy those CHU here:https://hifigo.com/products/moondrop-chu


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adriansticoid

New Head-Fier
Moondrop Chu Review: Choo Choo Motherf-
Pros: Excellent price to performance ratio
Excellent set of accessories
Very good tonal balance
Cons: Fixed cable
Introduction:
Moondrop is a company from China that produces in-ear monitors, as well as some cables and earbuds. They were made famous by their signature all-metal build and their balanced in-house sound signature closely resembling the Harman target curve, or VDSF (Virtual Diffuse Sound Field) as Moondrop likes to call it. The Chu is their latest in-ear monitor, and included with it is Moondrop's own premium Spring eartips. The Chu currently retails for 20 USD, which makes it the second cheapest in-ear monitor released by Moondrop (right next to the Quarks which was just 12 USD). The Chu was provided to me for free by HiFiGO in exchange for this review.
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International purchase link

Specifications:
Driver unit: 10 mm double cavity dynamic, titanium coated diaphragm
Impedance: 28 ohms
Sensitivity: 120 dB
Frequency response range: 10 Hz - 35 kHz


Source:
Poco X3, Redmi Note 10 Pro paired with Cayin RU6, Questyle M15, Xduoo Link2 Bal, FiiO KA3, Tempotec Sonata E35 and Zishan U1

Test tracks:
Africano - Earth Wind and Fire
Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Gurenge - Lisa
The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
Monsters - All Time Low
Ours - Taylor Swift
Stay - Mayday Parade
Snuff - Slipknot
Yesterday Once More - Carpenters
So Slow - Freestyle
Aurora Sunrise - Franco
Attention - Pentatonix
Blue Bird - Ikimono-gakari
You're Still The One - Shania Twain
Anyone Who Knows What Love Is(Will Understand) - Irma Thomas
Salamin - Slapshock
AOV - Slipknot
Hey Jude - The Beatles
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
...and a lot more.

Unboxing and Accessories:
The Chu comes in a compact square box, which opens at the front through the clear plastic flap. Upon opening, there is the earphone inserted in a thick piece of foam. On the left side, there is a smaller rectangular box that contains a pair of removable silicone earhooks, since the cable is fixed and does not have any earhooks or earguides. There is also three pairs of the Spring eartips in small, medium and large sizes. Underneath, there is a pouch made of felt material, the instruction manual, quality control passed certificate, and an invitation card for Moondrop's QQ group chat. Outside the box, there is also an included wooden bookmark engraved with Moondrop and Chu logos and that same anime girl printed at the front of the box.
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Build:
The shells are made of injection moulded zinc alloy. The faceplate is decorated with streaks of gold. The part that holds the cable is plastic, and beside it are left and right side indicators. At the back part of the shell, there are two vents, with the other one being slightly larger than the other. The nozzles are equipped with a recessed metal filter and a lip to lock the eartips firmly in place.
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The cable is a very basic single core. The material used was not specified but it looks like this is a hybrid of copper and silver plated copper based on the color of the wires seen through the translucent insulation. Flexibility is acceptable but there is some slight stickiness to it. Very minor microphonics can be heard. Unfortunately, Moondrop did not include a chin slider here. The splitter is a circular piece of plastic with Moondrop's logo, and the L-type 3.5 mm gold plated plug is made of hard rubber.
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Now let's get to the sound.

Lows:
The lows are presented in a neutral, linear manner. Subbass features excellent depth, while the decay is delightfully quick and tight. Midbass is reproduced with the same characteristics; having just sufficient impact that doesn't impede the adjacent frequencies at all.

Overall, the Chu provides a smooth bass response that remains constantly clean across all tracks. The rumbles are not all that powerful but the depth can really be felt when the track calls for it.

Mids:
The mids sound open, airy, and with excellent clarity. Upper and lower mids are neutrally placed. Vocals have an above average level of articulation. There is a tiny boost in the upper mids that is noticeable on some tracks that enjoyably enhances female vocals and the definition of the instruments.

Overall, just like the lows, there is a nice linearity in the mids. Female vocals are slightly favored, but male vocals sound great either way. The transparency and coherence in this section is outstanding at this price.

Highs:
The highs are very natural sounding and has very good resolution. The reach in the treble is slightly above average, yet the decay is at a moderate length. Lead guitars and cymbals sound lively, and subtleties in every track have great presence.

Overall, the highs have a little bit of added sizzle to them, with the instruments sounding crisp and engaging. Relative to the price, the amount of details in this section is very impressive.

Soundstage and Imaging:
When it comes to the soundstage, the Chu is just average. There is much more expansion in the width than the height. Having said that, the clarity and precision of the imaging is superb. Instrument separation is also very good, as well as their layering with the vocals. Tiny hints of congestion is present in busy tracks.

Comparisons:
Moondrop Chu (1 DD, 20 USD) vs. Fiio JD3 (1 DD, 20 USD)
The Chu has a slightly better depth in the subbass, but the lows in the JD3 are heavier and more powerful. Midbass is a lot thicker and has bigger presence in the JD3, while the Chu has the cleaner presentation. The mids are a bit more forward in the Chu, while having way better clarity and resolution at the same time. Vocals, especially male ones, are chunkier in the JD3. Instruments sound more spacious and airy in the Chu. The treble is more prominent and more natural sounding in the Chu; able to reach better heights and more extended in its decay. The difference is not that big, but the Chu has the wider and taller stage. Imaging is way more accurate and clearer, and instruments are separated and layered better in the Chu.

Conclusion:
It's really nice to see the budget segment improving so much over the years, with neutral, balanced, and analytical sounding gears slowly becoming more and more affordable. Moondrop did cut corners to achieve this affordability for the Chu by making the cable unremovable, and it seems like the paint on the shells will eventually chip like some of their in-ear monitors, but they countered those by having their premium Spring eartips as a freebie. At its current efficacy, and price, the Moondrop Chu is extremely hard to beat.
J
jmwant
Great review! Budget IEMs have improved a lot!
adriansticoid
adriansticoid
@jmwant thanks man. Indeed and I'm really excited to see more improvements over the next coming years.
Ausemere
Ausemere
Glad I've found your reviews; you're concise and we have similar taste (LiSA, Slipknot, Ikimono, EWF). I wanted to get the Chu but now with the 7hz Zero I feel undecided... there are also many reports of the Chu dying.

ywheng89

100+ Head-Fier
Moondrop Chu Review
Pros: High price performance ratio
Bundled with Spring Tips
Well tuned
Non Fatiguing sound
Cons: Driver can be a little slow at times (purely nitpicking)
Moondrop Chu Review

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Intro
Moondrop is a company that needs no introduction within the audiophile community. Their latest budget offering, Chu which read as 竹 in mandarin, i do not know why it’s chu instead of zhu. The hype surrounding Chu has been the price performance ratio, is it really the case? Let’s find out.


Specifications (Grabbed from ShenzhenAudio’s site)

Material | Zinc alloy
Driver | 10mm high-performance dynamic driver
Diaphragm material | Titanium-coated
Sound coil | 0.035mm ultra-fine black CCAW
Magnetic circuit | N52 neodymium magnetic
high-performance internal magnetic circuit
Acoustic filter | Patented anti-blocking (anti-imbalanced) acoustic filter
Sensitivity | 120dB/Vrms(@1KHz)
Impedance | 28 Ω 土15% (@1khz)
THD | THD@1KHz≤1%
Frequency range | 10Hz 35kHz (IEC61094, Free Field)
Effective frequency response | 20Hz -20kHz (IEC60318-4, -3dB)


Packaging
The unboxing experience is fairly good. Three sizes of Spring Tips, earhook, and a waifu box (Although i'm generally not a fan of anime packaging), the whole packaging doesn’t look and feel cheap despite being a budget priced IEM


Build/Comfort
For an IEM that’s priced at 20$, the build quality is definitely not shabby. The build quality in my opinion is similar to Aria’s. Metal build but it doesn’t feel heavy when it’s in your ear.
I wore it for several hours during my listening session and I don't feel any discomfort, do take into consideration that your experience might differ as everyone’s ear is not the same, but generally it should be fine as there’s no weird or protruding edges. It can be worn over the ear or straight down. You can install the earhook to wear it over the ear.

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Source
Foobar2k -> Chord Mojo -> Moondrop Chu (Spring Tips)
Foobar2k -> Xduoo Link2Bal -> Moondrop Chu (Spring Tips)
Foobar2k ->Tempotec Sonata HD V -> Moondrop Chu (Spring Tips)
iPhone 12 Mini Apple Music -> Apple’s 3.5mm to Lightning Dongle -> Moondrop Chu (Spring Tips)
Cowon Plenue D2 -> Moondrop Chu (Spring Tips)


Sound Impression
Chu is tuned based on Moondrop’s VSDF target, which has a little mid bass hump and a rather conservative pinna gain. Chu is inoffensive if you are playing your music at average listening volume, however, when you start to crank the volume up, the driver within Chu starts to show its weakness, in terms of speed, but this is just nitpicking as this is a 20$ IEM after all. Chu has a rather neutral signature, tonality to my ears and setup, it sounded a little dry

Bass
  • Many complained that Chu is lacking in terms of bass, i’m not a basshead personally, but i like “fun” sounding IEM too, personally i find the bass of Chu is sufficient to my taste and library based on my pairing with Link2Bal
  • Bass sometimes is a little slow on busy tracks like Slipknot’s Duality where it’s having some difficulty in keeping up, it could be due to the driver in use, but that is to be expected at such price point
  • Despite the bass boost that can been seen in the graph, it does sound a little lacking to my ears, but this is possibly due to the bundled Spring Tips which attenuates the bass

Mids
  • The vocal placement sounded rather forward, not recessed at all
  • Male’s vocal sounded a little lacking in terms of texture, overall it's not too bad
  • Female vocal such as Faye Wong does sound fuller compared to male’s, very enjoyable
  • Lower to upper mid range are very lush and enjoyable, even at high volume, it doesn’t get hot

Treble
  • Treble is smooth and not fatiguing, some brilliance and sparkles are missing but generally, the detail retrieval capability is quite good
  • Extension is slightly lacking, but this is purely nit picking considering its price
  • For certain track, the treble does sound a little brittle
  • The treble is not offensive overall, you can listen to it for a long period of time and also crank up the volume without feeling fatigue
  • Good amount of air that doesn’t make Chu sounds dark

Soundstage/Imaging
  • Height and Width is average, doesn’t sound boxy nor too artificially wide
  • Chu gives good enough sense of space considering its price point
  • Imaging is average and nothing to shout out about, instruments can be identified properly except when you are listening to metal tracks where it will kinda struggle

Driveability
  • Chu is very easy to drive, unlike Quarks or Spaceship, you can get it to sound good even via Apple’s 3.5mm Dongle
  • Doesn’t seem to benefit from amping despite plugging it into my Xuelin’s Class A portable amp
  • However it does scale with source, in terms of how the dac/amp affect it in terms of colorization of the sound

Final Thoughts
Moondrop Chu is a well tuned set in my opinion, despite using a lower cost driver, Moondrop managed to tune it close to their VSDF target, albeit some sacrifices have to be made here and there in terms of sonic performance, but considering the asking price and also the overall package of Chu, one can just ignore the shortcomings and even blind buy a set. They are good as daily beaters but definitely not critical listening, yet it is good enough in the sense where it offers above average listening experience.

I will recommend Chu for its high price performance ratio, at 20$, it comes with Moondrop’s Spring Tips which cost 13$ by itself. With the build quality and audio performance that Chu offers, it’s hard not to recommend this.

If you are interested in grabbing a pair, head over to the following link in getting one:
Moondrop Chu

*Received the review sample from ShenzhenAudio, however, i am in no way influenced by them in producing this review, all thoughts are of my own, big thanks to them for the support as always

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nxnje

500+ Head-Fier
Moondrop Chu - Raising the budget bar
Pros: - Well tuned neutral-bright IEM
- Very comfortable
- Nicely built
- Spring tips included, which alone already cost more than €10
- Cloth carry case included
- Versatile silicone removable ear-hooks
- Very aggressive pricing
Cons: - Increasing the volume highlights the slight hottiness in the upper-mids
- Technicalities are nothing special, I'd say average for the price range
- Sometimes missing some bass slam
- Painting technique seems very similar to the one used to paint the Aria; hopefully it won't wear out in the same way.

Introduction​

Almost everyone in the hobby knows Moondrop nowadays (even those who are approaching this world only now) and for a good reason: let’s say that they know what they do.
I am a big fan of their SSR, on which the community have been saying mixed things as many like them and many others don’t (and I understand the reasons, but this is another topic I won’t be discussing in this review), and I am also one of the many that appreciated the Crescent and the Quarks, both of them competing with proposals from other brands in the sub<€30 bracket. The Chu also sells for around €20, which places them practically near the Quarks and in competition with different products from other brands, so we have another budget competitor that (I think) tries to distinguish itself from the numerous products you can buy nowadays.
Considering that the lowest price brackets are pretty crowded, I always search for a few product that I can “blindly” recommend, and after some intensive (and extensive) listening sessions with the Chu I’d like to share with everyone if these made me tick the “best buy” box.

Disclaimer: the sample was provided by Hifigo for free in order to write a honest review. I do not represent them in any way and this is not a promotional content.
At the time of the review, the Moondrop Chu were sold for around €20 on hifigo.com.

LINK TO BUY: https://hifigo.com/products/moondrop-chu

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Technical Specifications​

  • Configuration → 1DD
  • Sensitivity → 120dB
  • Impedance → 18 Ohm
  • Declared Frequency Response Range → 10Hz-35kHz
  • Effective frequency Response → 20 Hz – 20kHz
  • Cable → 1,2m fixed copper cable, my sample has no microphone but there is an option to have the cable with microphone
  • Connector type → L-type gold plated 3,5mm jack connector

Packaging​

Moondrop is always on top when it comes to packaging. Anime paintings are what people like the most and so they just put them on every box that contains earphones.
The package is also presented in a better way than practically any other IEM from KZ, CCA, TRN and so on, given the better management of the space into the box and the provided accessories. What does it contain?
  • The Moondrop Chu
  • 3 pairs of Moondrop Spring tips
  • Removable silicone ear-hooks
  • A cloth case
  • User manual

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Design and Build Quality​

Design is pretty simple and elegant, and the only painting you’ll find on the shells shows a leaf which isn’t excessively showy. The size of the shells is small and it’s coherent with the single driver configuration. Another thing to mention is that Moondrop opted for a vented design: there are two pressure vents in the inner side of the shell that prevent any kind of pressure issues during usage.
If I have to be honest: I was expecting a lower overall “solidity” as the first thing I thought about, when I first saw Chu’s photos online, was that the build quality could have been not-so-good. However, immediately after unboxing them, I realized how well they were assembled and the fact that they also weigh a tad more than I was expecting is also another sign of sturdy materials. One thing to note is that many people complained about Moondrop Aria’s painting wearing off, and considering these seem to be painted in a similar way I hope things won’t go the same way.

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Cable​

The cable is fixed and it isn’t any special, but I would really like to state that this is not a big con. We are already spotting some social network members, reviewers or forum users that are modding the Chu by replacing the fixed cable with a detachable cable (via 2PIN or MMCX connectors’ soldering), but I will just leave these as they are. The cable isn’t very different for the one used for older products such as the KZ ED9 or EDR1, but it isn’t as sticky and “microphonic” (just to mention, I didn’t experience any “microphonics” issue during my listening sessions with the Chu). All-in-all, the cable is not that bad and I think this was a pretty good way to reduce the price of the IEMs.
FYI: My sample does not have any microphone on the cable but you can easily buy the Mic version if you see the option is still available.

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Comfort and Isolation​

The Chu are extremely comfortable, and although the first times you’ll need to fight a bit with the removable silicone ear-hooks, once you’ve found the way to “install them properly” they are very easy to wear for prolonged sessions.
I don’t understand the choice of including a pair of removable ear-hooks instead of just putting pre-made ear-hooks on the cable, but I think these are usable on other IEMs as well and so you can also try them in different situations with various IEMs if you have time and curiosity to make some “experiments”.
Wearing the Chu without these silicone ear-hooks was definitely impossible for me as the cable was always falling down and I could not keep it behind my ears. If someone else managed to use them without those ear-hooks, well, let me know how you do that!
Isolation is not crazy, but definitely ok for everyday usage. If you live in big cities where there is a lot of noise and traffic, though, I’d advise searching for more insulating IEMs as, otherwise, you’ll end up increasing the volume and that’s never a good thing to do.
Honorable mention goes to the included tips (the Moondrop Spring tips) that are frequently praised online by many fans that also buy them separately. I don’t dislike them, but for my daily listening sessions I have preferred switching to a stiffer pair of tips on the Chu, even though the review, as usual, was written using the stock tips.

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Sound​

Personal preferences: I like trying new IEMs and signatures, but I am one of the guys who likes some added sub-bass and sparkle on top. I used to be a basshead and sometimes I still use some basshead sets but I usually pick more balanced sets for my daily routine.
I like listening to new music and genres, but if I want to be sure I’ll enjoy my listening session then EDM, Pop Rock, Ambient/Dark Ambient, Pop and Hip-Hop stuff must be in my reproduction queue.


TEST GEAR
  • DAC: Topping E30
  • AMP: Topping L30
  • Mobile phones: Poco F2 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
  • Portable DAPs: Benjie S8/AGPTEK M30B
  • Other sources: Presonus AudioBox iONE
Do they need an amp?
The Moondrop Chu don’t need an amplifier. Amplifying them does not introduce huge changes.

Sound signature
The Moondrop Chu are a neutral-bright set.

Lows: sub-bass is present and there’s a right amount of it when needed, it’s not prominent and maintains a natural profile with enough extension and cohesion. Bass is clean although not as textured as on other sets, being rather balanced and in the right quantity for almost every genre.
In general, the lower end focus more on sub-bass than bass presence (not a real boost tho), and because of this many I’m sure many will be searching for a tad more slam in the midbass. For this specific reason, in the case that you’re a basshead, I would search elsewhere: this is actually not bassheads’ stuff.

Mids: the midrange is balanced and has a lush approach. Instruments are portrayed in a very clean way and have more than decent resolution, and the layering isn’t bad either for the price. Male vocals are tonally correct and female vocals have the right energy to be enjoyable, apart from the fact that the latter can become sometimes a bit too forward. I am not saying that the Chu are sibilant or harsh in the upper mids, but if you usually listen at high volume levels then you’ll understand that they can become slightly “hot” sometimes.
I can easily use them for prolonged sessions but I get that there are people who prefer less forward upper mids based on the fact that they listen to volume levels that are higher than average.

Highs: treble is not actually the most polite out there but I think Moondrop did a good job finding a nice trade-off between sparkle and smoothness. Certainly, considering the neutral-bright nature of the Chu, those who usually prefer warm sets will still prefer darker upper ends, but there’s no doubt that these are seriously enjoyable and well tuned in the treble region. There are enough details to satisfy most users and the right amount of sparkle to give some air and dynamics to the overall presentation, which are the two most important aspects to consider when evaluating the treble in my opinion.

Soundstage is not the widest and deepest but it’s well rounded and does not even try seeming bigger with artificial boosts or something that can ruin the overall experience. I think every dimension is in good equilibrium and even though I have heard sets in this price range with more depth, width and height, it’s very difficult to hear something that finds a good combination of the three dimensions while keeping a good tuning.
Imaging is on point, I’d say average for the price and I do not think it’s one of the biggest strengths of the Chu.

Some comparisons:
Moondrop Chu vs CCA CRA

The CRA were hyped a lot this winter and we can say that this was “reasonable”. V-shaped, with crunchy bass, sparkling treble, lots of details and a crazy price/quality ratio.
The Chu are totally different: more balanced, more suited to be allrounders, less fatiguing to listen to and characterized by a better tonality overall.
The CRA have prominent bass, recessed mids and very bright treble, whereas the Chu have a more linear signature which is still slightly bright but overall much smoother than the CRA. The CRA, for example, have more details, but they are not as refined as the Chu in the treble; same applies for imaging and layering which seem to be overall less “confusing” on the Chu. Soundstage mainly differs on the overall roundness of the sonic scene: the CRA practically play in a 2D stage, whereas the Chu, even though they cannot give an “out-of-the-head” experience, operate in a stage that is characterized by well defined directions, even if they don’t really excel in that department.
The CRA have a detachable cable and so you’ll maybe want to consider them if you are not lucky with cables (happens, unfortunately), in order to swap cable if something goes wrong; on the other hand the Chu have fixed cable, so you’re stuck with that if they get damaged or so (they’re pretty sturdy tho, so I wouldn’t worry too much if you take care of them). CRA’s build quality is good actually, but the Chu just appear like a more refined and sturdier product from the first look (and daily usage confirms that feeling).
They CRA are slightly more capable in terms of isolation from external noises.

Moondrop Chu vs Final E1000
The Final E1000, as part of the Final E series, didn’t walk unnoticed on the market, and even though the E3000 are still the most popular Final set around (at least from what I can see), the E1000 gained a good reputation in the last years, also thanks to the fact that their price is “budget-friendly” and that they can be easily bought from popular sellers like Amazon and so on. The Final E1000 compete in the same bracket of the Chu, and their price is also similar, but I think there are some differences to address.
First of all, the Chu have more a more extended sub-bass and a less forward bass. On the E1000, in fact, the bass is more audible and it’s also more textured than on the Chu, with more punch and weight. In the midrange, this difference comes up when listening to vocal tracks: while the E1000 have a warmer midrange that warms up the lower midrange and male vocals, Chu’s neutral-bright approach makes the latter more energetic on female vocals and leaner on male ones. Well, it’s becoming a matter of preference, but if I have to be fair the Chu just sound “drier” than the E1000, which on the contrary seem to be more pleasant to listen to,
Speaking about the highs, the E1000 are slightly warmer and smoother even though there’s a tad of added energy in the lower treble. The Chu, instead, keep their slightly bright timbre with more air on top. Detail retrieval is not on very different levels.
Soundstage does not feel “ample”, in the true sense of the word, in any of the two sets, but it seems like the Chu play in a slightly wider stage whereas the E1000 have a bit more depth overall.
Both have a fixed sturdy cable that I think is adequate for the price range, and both are well built although the Chu feel like a more premium set also thanks to their heavier and more refined shell.
The Final E1000 insulate slightly better from outside noise.

Moondrop Chu vs KZ x Crinacle CRN (Zex Pro)
Pretty different.
The CRN feature a thicker low-end with more bass and sub-bass than the Chu, which instead tend to reproduce the low-end in a more balanced manner. The midrange is more forward on the Chu and the upper-midrange is where the CRN sound less “energetic”, thus being also less fatiguing when the volume is set to higher levels. The Chu also sound more airy and open on top, with more brightness and details.
The Chu appear to have better resolution from the first listen, but the CRN are characterized by a more polite, smoother sound that don’t become fatiguing when we increase the volume; this thanks to their bassier signature and their less forward upper-midrange and treble. This is a very important thing to consider if you think about buying one of these babies, so take your time to evaluate what’s more important for you.
Soundstage is wider on the CRN but slightly taller on the Chu, with limited (and similar) depth on both. Imaging is better on the Chu, whereas the CRN are not the most precise set when it comes to pinpointing sounds on the stage.
The CRN are well built even though their body is fully made of plastic, and they have a detachable cable, while the Chu are sturdier and heavier and feature a fixed cable.
Comfort-wise, the Chu are smaller and more comfortable than the CRN, but some may prefer the bulkier shell of the CRN which also feature some curves on the housings that help with the overall fit (this is a very subjective thing tho).
The CRN insulate slightly better.

Final Thoughts​

The Moondrop Chu are game changing in their price bracket: they’re well tuned, they come with a great set of accessories (Moondrop Spring tips and carry case), they won’t break the bank thanks to their price tag and they definitely sound good.
Technicalities department is where they stay grounded, with average detail retrieval, imaging and staging capabilities, but it’s really hard not to suggest grabbing one, moreover because of the high overall value considering what you pay for.
Last edited:
nxnje
nxnje
@conquerator2 Hey friend!
I do not own the Aria unfortunately, but a friend of mine has both and says the Aria have a bit more extension and body in the lower end and a slightly touch less lower treble, so they feel a tad warmer than Chu. Unfortunately, not having the Aria, I cannot compare.
Thanks anyway for the feedback, glad you liked the review.
Surf Monkey
Surf Monkey
Great reviews by everyone. I bought a set of these for my partner and she loves them. The packaging and included extras really delighted her. She had a great unboxing experience.

I have the Aria so I compared them and they are only ever so slightly different sounding. I agree that the primary difference is in the lower frequencies where it just isn’t quite as full as the Aria. I liked them so much that I sprang the twenty bucks for a pair of my own.
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@Surf Monkey glad you like them. I do not own the Arias but my friends always say that Aria have more note weight, better technicalities and depth overall. It's a superior product no doubts, but these are 20$ so I cannot really complain.
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