Moondrop KXXS

General Information

Specifications-

Frequency response - 10-80000HZ
Effective frequency response - 20-20000HZ (IEC60318-4)
Impedance - 32Ω (@1KHZ)
Sensitivity - 110dB (@1KHZ)
Quality control range - ±1dB
Diaphragm material - Diamond-Like-Carbon & PEEK
Coil - φ0.035mm-CCAW (Daikoku)
Shell Material - Zinc-aluminum alloy, die-casting-carving-polishing-plating
Transducer - φ10mm electric transducer
Standard wiring material: 2-pin, 4N-OFC silver plated copper
Jack – 3.5mm

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Latest reviews

Pros: warm, colored timbre
- cohesive sound signature
- most cons are more than acceptable given the price
Cons: - upper midrange shout/thinness
- technicalities leave something to be desired
- has a tendency to congest due to lack of speed
Please consider reading on my site here for the best viewing experience.

Introduction

Hey all, it’s your favorite Moondrop shill here back with another review! Yeah, I’m also real late to the party on this one. The original Kanas and Kanas Pro IEMs put Moondrop on the map; the KXXS is one of many spinoffs they’ve released since. I’ve put well over a couple hundred hours on my unit, and to this day it remains a personal favorite despite having moved onto more expensive, better IEMs. Let’s talk about what Moondrop got right and why this IEM is probably my best blind buy minus my purchase rational.

Yes, yes, we all know why I blind-bought it.


Going forward, I’ll refrain from the waifu meme-ry that plagues some of my other Moondrop IEM reviews.

The KXXS retails for $189.99 and can be purchased here. Seriously though, save yourself some money and buy the Moondrop Starfield instead. It’s basically a KXXS with a slick paint job at almost half the price.

Sound Analysis

You can find my reviewing methodology, test tracks, and more here.

Frankly, newbie me thought it was endgame from a technical standpoint. I’d never heard my music so clearly before. But the KXXS is…really nothing special here. The IEM’s attack transients are of decent speed; however, I find that it struggles to keep up on quicker tracks. To this effect, it too often congests, and there’s a general lack of micro-dynamic detail. Imaging comes across as decidedly average, even bordering on fuzzy at times because of this, and the soundstage is nothing to write home about.

I’d posit that Moondrop’s new SSR is faster, cleaner, and easily gives the KXXS a run for its money from a technical standpoint. The SSR’s technical performance is simply stellar for a single dynamic driver, all at a quarter of the cost. But enough shilling the SSR, let’s talk about the KXXS’s excellent tonality. First, I’m not going to lie, there’s definitely some reservations one should have going into the KXXS:

  • The upper midrange will be too pronounced, too thin for some. I suffered dearly my first couple days listening to the KXXS, coming from the dark, muddy mess that was the Massdrop Noble X. Hell, I thought the Noble X was the better IEM at first.
  • The bass’ attack isn’t very clean, particularly in the midbass. The punch is somewhat fuzzy, and just in general, the low end lacks some authority.
  • Overall, the KXXS is a warm, bright IEM which won’t suit everyone’s tonal preferences.
That said, I’ve mentioned more than once that I’m sensitive to timbre coloration. Pick any of my previous reviews, I take points off for timbre issues left and right. For example, I absolutely roasted the Thieaudio L3 for it’s smothered timbre. And yeah, the KXXS is also fairly colored. The usual weaknesses of an IEM with this much coloration apply; the KXXS’s resolution and detail retrieval are a far cry from many of the multi-BA IEM’s I’ve listened to. Furthermore, it no doubt contributes to the aforementioned congestion. But it’s not a bad type of color – no, no. This is a warm, blanket type of coloration that gives the KXXS an engaging and, dare I say, musical quality not dissimilar to the Sony IER-Z1R.

Honestly? I hate to use that term – it’s too often used as a cop-out for why an IEM sounds good. Still, there’s something really agreeable about the KXXS’ tonality, and it’s like greeting an old friend every time I pop them in for a listen. Like so, I occasionally find myself reaching for them over even my Moondrop Blessing 2.

Select Comparisons

Moondrop SSR [3/10]: The SSR is a very technical IEM for its price point, easily trading blows with the KXXS. But a prominent peak at 3K hampers the tuning by throwing female vocals to the front. This makes it a niche IEM, although a very good one if that’s your thing. The KXXS will better appeal to most listeners.

Moondrop Blessing [4.5/10]: The KXXS has a livelier, more colored signature. The Blessing is a much better technical IEM, but suffers from its analytical, closed-in presentation. This is only exacerbated by the shoddy bass response, and I’d imagine most would find the KXXS a more enjoyable listen.

Moondrop Blessing 2 [7/10]: Once again, the KXXS is more lively and colored while Blessing 2 runs closer to neutral. KXXS has more bass, but comes off as flabby relative to the Blessing 2’s low end presentation. The Blessing 2 also has a safer tuning and significantly better technicalities. It’s a clear upgrade from the KXXS.

The Verdict

The KXXS has ruined a lot of IEMs for me for better or worse. As much as I harp about its technical performance being underwhelming, that’s relative to more expensive IEMs. The tonality also really, really hits my sweet spot. Will the same hold true for others listeners? Who knows – everyone has their own preferences.

But I have no reservation asserting that the KXXS is a very solid IEM for the sub-$200 range. And that’s not even throwing the Moondrop Starfield, a pseudo-KXXS at nearly half the cost, into the mix. The price to performance on the Starfield is absurd; now that should be a no-brainer if you’re in the market for a good, entry-level IEM.

Score: 5/10 (Good)
Understanding my score: This is a personal, subjective assessment of an IEM’s sound quality. I don’t take into account any other factors, and it’s relative to the absolute best sound I’ve heard. Take it with a grain of salt! I’m not going to lie; I have high standards. But I’m not telling anybody how they should hear something – it’s a reflection of what me, myself, and I hear.
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Pros: Comfortable, Snug fit
- Beautifully braided, Silver-plated copper cable
- Incredibly lively and dynamic sound
- Detailed Highs without any noticeable sibilance
- Vocal clarity
- Exceptional soundstage and imaging
Cons: Mids are slightly scooped out of the mix
- Shells are particularly heavy for long-term wear
- Shell gets scratches and fingerprints easily
Sound Review by Kev
Introduction

Disclaimer : ShenzhenAudio has graciously provided us with this sample unit in exchange for an honest review. The views discussed below are a reflection of Project A3's thoughts surrounding the product .



Moondrop Audio is a chi-fi brand that has become a rising star in the Head-fi community, famed for its value-for-money offerings. On this fine day, I’ll be reviewing the Moondrop Kxxs; the direct successor to the Kanas and Kanas Pro; earphones that have been given an early retirement despite their loyal cult following.

Like its older counterparts, the Kxxs features reworked diamond-like-carbon transducers; expensive tech often found in much more exorbitantly priced competition, such as the Campfire Audio Atlas. But the price gap between both products is staggering; the Kxxs is priced under $200 USD, whereas the Atlas is currently being sold for $899 USD. It is easily inferred that its competitive pricing established Moondrop as a serious contender in the budget-fi market, capitalizing on the trickle-down tech from its competitors.

Given the well-deserved recognition the Kanas and Kanas Pro have earned over the months, can the Kxxs satisfy the community’s already sky-high expectations? Available at Shenzhen Audio.



Specifcations:
Diamond-like-carbon and PEEK
Detachable 2-pin cable
10Hz-80,000 Hz
110dB@1kHz Sensitivity
32 Ohms@1kHz Impedance

Gear Used & Tracklist:
Shanling M0 | Aune X1S | Periodic Audio Nickel (Ni) | Venture Electronics Odyssey | Google Pixel 2XL



Unboxing:
On first glance, the outer sleeve of the Kxxs’ box features a black-outlined print of a non-descript anime character. Behind the box, an exploded schematic of the Kxxs details what is being housed inside its shells.

Under the box, we are greeted by 3 well-organized compartments, one housing the earphones, the other accessories set and a gorgeous stamped saffiano leather case in navy blue.

The package comes with the usual accessories set that we’ve come to expect, such as several silicon ear tips in various sizes. However, the package does include some uncommon accoutrements, such as a set of tweezers and replaceable filters, a postcard, a serialized certificate of authenticity and an extra velvet pouch. For a package that costs under $200 USD, I have to commend Moondrop for being generous at this given price point.

Scalability:
The Kxxs, with its low impedance and high sensitivity, is easily driven out of all the sources I used for testing, without any audible hiss or interference in the foreground. Improvements were slight at best, with added width in the soundstage and a more pronounced mid-bass bump, especially with sources with high output power. Despite the high output impedance of the Aune X1s, there were no signs of hiss to be found the Kxxs.



Fit:
The Kxxs is built like a tank, and its heft did raise some concerns pertaining to its comfort. Despite its weight, it sat well in my ears and there was little to no rattle or movement once a good seal has been achieved. During my daily stroll towards the local train station, the earphones did not dislodge themselves out of my ear. The mirror-polished, aluminium-zinc shells are completely smooth, with no sharp extrusions to be found. However, it is worth noting that I started to notice some discomfort over extensive listening sessions.

Overall, the Moondrop Kxxs fits well in my ears, but may prove to be uncomfortable to some, given its weight.

Sound Signature:
The Kxxs is tuned similarly to the widely lauded HD800s in a miniature form-factor with a enthusiastic treble-section, offering a pristine balance between all frequencies whilst maintaining a V-shape tuning.

Bass:
Die-hard bassheads, look elsewhere; this is not a bass behemoth.
However, for those interested in a bass-response that presents itself in planar-like fashion, you’ll enjoy what is being presented here. The Kxxs has a mid-bass body that while punchy, is soft enough so as to not overshadow the midrange. Sub-bass is decent, with a slight emphasis on sustain and delay for added warmth, allowing the sound signature to not sound overly clinical and sterile.

Overall, the Kxxs, while planar-like in its bass presentation, carries characteristics from both dynamic and planar magnetic drivers; the best of both worlds, without overshadowing the others.

Mids:
The mids on the Kxxs are clear and transparent, placed right in the middle of the mix.
Interestingly enough, the midrange, while scooped out in order to give way to the both the highs and lows, remain distinct and tonally realistic; something that is often unheard of in most v-shaped sound signatures I’ve demoed over the years. There is ample lower-mid range warmth to accurately recreate the sonic timbre of both vocals and instrumentals. These aren’t the star of the show, but it is nevertheless, a technical feat.

Highs:
One of the Kxxs’ strength is its high-frequency response. To my ears, the highs sound porous and again, tonally realistic. String instruments are given the wiggle-room to breathe, tapering off at the right moment when vocals start to sound rough and overbearingly sharp for treble-sensitive listeners. Even poorly mastered tracks sound tasteful on the Kxxs.

Its presentation here falls under the “pain” threshold. The Kxxs hits that acoustic sweet spot for me.

Treble:
The Kxxs succesfuly strikes a beautiful balance between accuracy and comfort in the treble region.
It often dissipates quickly enough with poorly mastered tracks with a splashy treble section. However, it carries enough audible detail and forwardness to be considered clear for most listeners.

However, there is one critique to be made, and that is its strange brittle tonality. On several tracks, the treble sounds unnatural at times, especially with songs featuring unrestrained snare drums.



Soundstage & Separation:
This is what separates the Kxxs from the competition. It HAS a massive soundstage that at times, sound like a pair of closed-back headphones. The left-right separation on the Kxxs extends far out of my ears, with each surrounding spatial cue realistically placed. Apart from the Meeaudio p1, the Kxxs to my ears, has the widest soundstage on any earphone I have had the opportunity of testing in this heavily contested price bracket.

Comparison:
While it is a breath of fresh air to see budding brands focus on the budget-fi market instead of releasing statement piece after statement piece every single year, the sub-$200 earphone market is difficult to navigate, with upstart brands churning out new releases every month. This time, I decided to pit the Ibasso IT01s and the Tipsy Dunmer with the Moondrop Kxxs; three budget giants with unique, single dynamic drivers.

Comparison.PNG



Aesthetic Review by Steve


Moondrop has gain quiet a reputation in China couple of years ago, starting small and some may called it DIY, however, they've demonstrated a great example of how important of establishing a brand concept is. That's one reason how they pops up among all other brands in China. Now we are looking at their hyped one of the year KXXS and see what I think about it.

Colour:
The mirror finishing looks fine with the faceplate design. Nothing really specific to talk about since they've made a safe option on this part. However I think they could think of making different colours instead of the typical stainless silver like the metallic Grey, champagne gold, or even copper instead like the final B series did to give customers a better option.



Craftmanship:
Judging by the sample that I got, the gaps between shell and faceplate is acceptable for a metal structure design. You can't really expect a seamless finishing unlike the ones made out of acrylic so that you can smoothen out the edges in between. However the lip of the nozzle is missing which might be an issue for some eartips out there. Edges on the faceplate are smooth, no spikes on any corners as well. The whole iem is well polished, making the iem look shiny and glamorous.



Design details:
Now this is the major point we are looking into. The mirror finishing. The cons are pretty obvious, - a fingerprint scanner and scratches can be easily found after a period of time just like your rolex. Even if you take special care of it which I don't recommend, you will still get plenty of micro scratches under sunlight. So why bother ? another point is that I think moondrop should consider the design of the faceplate more thoughtfully , by using the mirror finishing, they should think of designing a faceplate with more surface and steeper angles making the mirror effects could be more reflective and stereoscopic. Comparing with the final B series, with the same finishing,I personally thinks the Finals did better. The current faceplate of the kxxs is a bit too plain and flat, so it might look better if they can apply some printings or sculptural elements like their logo onto it.

Silhouette:
A very rounded shape silhouette looks user friendly, matches well with the metal shell, however the weight of the iem is quiet obvious, also using metal type shells the ikko Oh10 is a bit lighter, so if you think the IKKO Oh10 is already heavy, than this might not be for you.

Cable:
The cable itself is nicely braided, slightly on the stiff side
, however the 2pin connector seem to be a bit cheap though, especially while most the brands out there use metal shell for this part. And since the kxxs used the mirror finishing, it might look much luxury for the plugs and splitter stuff to use metal parts with glossy finishing as well.



Packaging:
The whole presentation looks nice and neat, well organized as well. Definitely one of the best in its category. The case is also sturdy, chic and in good quality, practical and provides enough space even if you changed to a better cable. The only flaw IMO is the design consistency of the inner box and the cover sleeve, I understand that they wanna present a feeling of ACG type by looking at its Japanese comic style of drawing. If that's the case, then the inner box projects a very different feeling, leaning towards a minimalist designer style of package. So if they wanna make it look more consistent, a more graphical designed box and presentation seem to fit better in this case.



Aesthetic Conclusion:
in general the moondrop did a decent job on the Aesthetic side. The whole presentation from package to the iem itself clearly shows their passion and effort made in this project. Not prefect but almost there, it's good enough for the price along with the sound that they made, the Kxxs is definitely worth the hyped.

Ratings: ( based on the catagory under 199usd)
Colour: 4 / 5
Craftmenship: 4.5 / 5
Design details: 4. 5 / 5
Silhouette: 4.5 / 5
Cable: 4 / 5
Packaging: 4.5 / 5

Asethetic overall rating : 4.5 / 5


Sound Conclusion:
The Moondrop the Kxxs is the people’s IEM; an earphone that meets the expectations and tastes of many a consumer, and it does it surprisingly well. Not only is it built to last, but it punches above its weight as an earphone in its highs, lows and sound-staging capabilities.

It is a powerhouse of an earphone, offering clarity that’s unheard of in this price segment, giving competitors a run for their money.

Sound overall rating : 4.5/5*



*All ratings are accurate as of date of publication. Changes in price, newer models may affect Project A3's views on the performance and value of the reviewed product.
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Pros: Excellent Tuned
Great Sound Quality
Great Design
Fit is good
Cons: Moondrop could include a better cable and case
Moondrop Kxxs



You can buy Moondrop Kxxs at the link below.

Originally posted.

https://audiofiliabrasil.home.blog/2019/10/13/moondrop-kxxs-review/

Moondrop Kxxs can be found at Ak Audio.

https://pt.aliexpress.com/store/119089?spm=0.8937474.0.0.4d812e0e76DJve

Intro

Today after more than a month using this IEM on a daily basis, I will finally review and give my honest opinion about it.

Moondrop is a famous brand for its IEM, in particular the Kanas Pro which has caught the eye of several colleagues for the very high quality and Harman signature curve.

Unfortunately Kanas Pro went offline and was replaced by Kxxs which made subtle changes to the shell and handset signature.



Accessories & Design

Moondrop Kxxs is an in-ear equipped with a 10mm dynamic driver with a graphene coated diaphragm and PEEK coil. Kxxs are made of zinc and aluminum alloy and polished to a mirror finish.

The shells are a bit heavy due to the material used in the construction, however the earphone rests well inside the ear and is not uncomfortable. The shell is small and universal, light and ergonomic I'm sure most people will not have adjustment problems.

The supplied cable is 4itz silver plated from Litz, compared to the Kanas Pro cable I found Moondrop wrong and replaced with a much simpler cable so to speak, it doesn't even have the strain relief for you to regulate height. I chose to buy another cable, one of ****'s Oxygen-free Pure Purity 4N OFHC Pure Copper cable.

Along you will find a variety of tips, I chose to buy some pairs of JVC Spiral Dots ML which I found gave me a much better comfort and fit.

In addition, comes a blue case, I just bought a round case from TRN similar to Ibasso IT01 that I find easier to store and gives me more security to carry it in the backpack without worrying.



Sound

The Moondrop suggests burn-in for over 100 hours before analyzing, honestly I think it really took more hours for the sound to stabilize.

The bass of this IEM is amazing and it has a very good sub bass extension, it does not invade the other frequencies, it shows all its quality and strength when requested. Listening to Angel from Massive Attack you get an idea of the bass extension, on some headphones you don't even hear the bass and the effects of the beginning of the song. In Kxxs he has a strength and almost dark mood you really enjoy everything the band wanted to bring to the listener.

When testing the bass lines, you must listen to Rage Against the Machine Take The Power Back, and in the beginning you get the bass drum and bass, and the naturalness and detail of the tone is impressive. Other songs that are also mesmerizing are Radiohead The National Anthem which in addition to the bass line and drums, still has the effects that the band put in the background and set the mood for the song.



The mids are also very good and natural, the vocals are ahead and female and male voices sound good, for example, hearing The Girl From Ipanema by João Gilberto and Stan Getz gives you the creeps, his voice sounds so natural it sounds like you're listening he live with the whole band, the instrumental has good separation.

Speaking now of a female singer, I have to talk about Agnes Obel and listening to The Curse was a unique event the instruments have very natural and realistic timbre when Agnes starts singing the voice is very centralized and all other instruments have a separation very precise and you can hear well separated voice, piano, violin, cello one amazing thing that I had never heard was the vibration of the cello that was something I had never heard on that level.

The highs at first gave me an impression of very bright and hard, after some time I got used to it and saw that they were not so. Now bad recordings are very evident in the drum cymbal area, good recordings show that he has a good job in this area.

The soundstage is wide enough and has a width that allows you to identify each instrument and a very good separation for a single dynamic driver, the depth is something that impressed me to hear all the effects that I often missed. Pink Floyd Shine On You Crazy Diamond is a great example of how you can hear all the background effects with incredible clarity, Depeche Mode also sounds spectacular due to the effects and makes the experience much denser.



Conclusion

Moondrop Kxxs impressed me not with the full package, as I praised in the case of Ibasso IT01, I thought it was a downgrade to have shifted the cable from Kanas Pro to Kxxs a well rounded padded case would also look great.

Now talking about sound Moondrop has done a great job with the Kxxs all the Harman Curve adjustments made an incredible sound for a single dynamic driver.

In the price range of Kxxs it's hard to have a better candidate, I have nothing to complain about sound.

It was amazing to review my library and find many details I had never noticed in my songs and how great recordings went unnoticed.

It's wonderful to hear vocals along with good bass and drums with such clarity and detail, if you're a fan of dynamic drivers you should give this Moondrop jewel a try.

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