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Moondrop's single Diamond-Like-Carbon & PEEK dynamic driver in-ear monitor

Moondrop KXXS

Rating:
5/5,
  • 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

    5.jpeg 2.jpeg 4.jpeg 1.jpeg 3.jpg

Recent Reviews

  1. XERO1
    Moondrop KXXS
    Written by XERO1
    Published Jul 28, 2019
    5.0/5,
    This isn't going to be a full review of the Moondrop KXXS since Animagus did such a great job on his review of them. I fully agree with his overall assessment of the KXXS and I think they are a fantastic sounding IEM with many strengths and very few weaknesses. And for their reasonable MSRP of $189.99, they are one of the best values for a 'near-reference-quality' IEM that you can get.

    The only thing Animagus left out of his review that I think is of significant importance is that I discovered that the KXXS absolutely requires 48-72 hours of break-in before they start to sound their best.

    Up until owning the KXXS, I had never really noticed much of an improvement or even a difference when breaking in some of my other IEMs, so I didn't put too much stock in the belief that break-in can make a huge improvement in the SQ of a brand new IEM. Well I do now! I think the reason why may have to do with the DLC (diamond-like carbon) coating that is used on the KXXS's drivers. It makes them extremely rigid and that rigidity seems to require a significant amount of continuous break-in to get the drivers behaving the way the designers ultimately intend for them to behave.

    When I first heard the KXXS at the SoCal CanJam, I thought they sounded great. So when my pair arrived I eagerly listened to them, only to be pretty disappointed by what I heard. While the FR was just as I remembered it, there was now this harshness to the sound that I did not remember hearing at all with the samples I tried at CanJam. The harshness was most apparent in the vocal range and it greatly exaggerated any small distortions in the recording in this range to the point that there was no way I was going to keep them if this was how they sounded.

    Fortunately, I decided to try breaking them in by playing a few well-recorded vocal-centric tracks on repeat at a volume just below the loudest I normally would listen at. After the first 24 hours, I didn't notice any improvement and I thought that I would have to return them. But I let them break in for another 24 hours just to see if any change would occur, and thankfully it did! The unpleasant harshness in the vocal range was now almost completely gone! I listened to a bunch of my reference tracks and now they all sounded great, just like I remembered them sounding at CanJam. So I gave them another 24 hours of break-in and the sound improved a little more, but I didn't detect any significant improvements after the 72 hour mark.

    So if you are considering getting the KXXS, just make sure to hold off on judging their SQ until they have had at least 48 hours of continuous break-in with music that has good dynamic range.

    P.S. - Never use white noise or pink noise to break in headphones (or speakers). The nature of white and pink noise is pure RMS with no modulation. If played continuously at high levels, this type of sound can quickly cause a driver's voicecoil to overheat and warp, causing permanent damage. Just a little FYI.
    1. iFarmGolems
      > the KXXS absolutely requires 48-72 hours of break-in

      I hope this is true since I got them yesterday and I'm not impressed by the sound so far (coming from iBasso IT01). As you're saying, the sound is sometimes harsh with a sibilance on hi-hats and it sounds overall metalic. Will see if it improves.
      iFarmGolems, Aug 6, 2019
    2. KC33
      HI, any comments on the cable?
      KC33, Aug 13, 2019 at 10:33 AM
  2. Animagus
    Moondrop KXXS - Highly Recommended!
    Written by Animagus
    Published Jun 16, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Sound and build quality
    Deep impactful bass, natural sounding mids and clear treble
    Better fit than predecessors
    Interesting Anime style packaging
    Good amount of accessories
    Cons - Kxxs could do with a better cable
    My background- I am a professional musician, producer and audio engineer with experience in the performing, recording and pro-audio industry. I test products on a technical and musical level and try to write reviews as simple as possible from a music fan's perspective.

    Disclaimer – The sample was given to me to test and review. I am not affiliated with the seller or company in any way and write this review with my best unbiased opinion regardless of how the review turns out.

    Genre preferences- I majorly listen to rock, acoustic, pop and metal genres and occasionally checkout EDM music which is doing the rounds on the radio and charts.

    Reference Songs list-
    1. Foo Fighters- The Pretender, Best of you & Everlong
    2. Coldplay- Paradise, Up in flames & Everlong
    3. Ed Sheeran- Thinking out loud, Bloodstream & Galway Girl
    4. Chainsmokers – Somebody, Sickboy, This Feeling & Closer
    5. John Mayer- Slow dancing in a burning room, Stop this train & Say
    6. Gavin James- Always & Hearts on fire
    7. Switchfoot- Meant to live & Dare you to move
    8. Linkin Park- Papercut, Somewhere I belong & Talking to myself
    9. Maroon 5- She will be loved, Payphone & Lost stars
    10. Lifehouse- All in all & Come back down
    11. Karnivool- Simple boy & Goliath
    12. Dead Letter Circus- Real you
    13. I Am Giant- Purple heart, City limits & Transmission
    14. Muse - Panic station
    15. James Bay - Hold back the river

    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
    Included in the box - I got the pre-release version of kxxs, so it was just the KXXS, a cable and a small case (Pictured below)

    KXXS 1.jpg KXXS 5.jpg

    So, I asked their distributor for some pictures of the packaging and all its contents for you to see what all will come inside the box. From what I can see in the pictures, it comes loaded with a nice blue carry case (which I also got), a cable, an assortment of ear tips, a pouch to keep those ear tips, a tweezer, extra wax guards and manuals.

    a.jpg b.jpg f.jpg c.png
    Picture Courtesy - Shenzhen Audio


    Build Quality - The built quality of the KXXS is similar to Kanas Pro in appearance but the shells are bigger and the model name, ‘KXXS’, is etched along the seam whereas Kanas Pro was printed on the faceplate. The shells are made up of zinc-aluminum alloy die casts, which are then carved, polished and chrome plated. The KXXS shells are a little more weighted than the Kanas Pro, which gives me more confidence in their build quality. But that’s just me. The faceplate design is a bit different as it has 4 degrees of curvature whereas Kanas Pro had 3. The KXXS nozzles have a better designed lip to keep the ear tips in place unlike the Kanas Pro where a few people complained that its nozzle lips couldn’t restrict the ear tips from going further in.

    As a whole, KXXS looks like a better designed product.

    KXXS 2.jpg KXXS 3.jpg

    Fit and Comfort - Kxxs fits my ears better as the shells are bigger and they fill up my concha which gives the shell some good support from the bottom. The nozzles also go into my ear canal better and also block outside noise fairly well, more than Kanas Pro. Also, as stated above, KXXS has a better designed nozzle lip because of which the ear tips stay in place rather than going in and making a snug fit a little problematic. As a result, KXXS fits way better and more snugly than Kanas Pro.

    KXXS 4.jpg

    Sound - FYI, I review keeping the price of the IEM in mind. My opinion, appreciation and critique are all price range specific yet always keeping my version of an ideal sound signature and balance as a reference.

    Moving on, right off the bat, I feel that KXXS keeps the loveable Kanas Pro’s core identity following the Harman Target curve, but refines the sound tastefully and as a result makes it more interesting and enjoyable.

    Bass - In simple words, if you love impactful, refined and quality bass, KXXS is a must have! The sub-bass extends low down to the low end of human hearing and you can hear the rumble in songs where the bass goes low and deep. The mid-bass is well done and right on point. The note definition is quite good especially for me as a musician to figure bass lines out especially if they go down deep. Kicks have good slam and attack too. KXXS has good punch when the song demands it and especially shines with bass driven songs like Muse’s Panic Station, Kanivool’s Simple Boy & Goliath and EDM albums like Zedd’s Clarity and The Chainsmokers’ Sick Boy.

    Mids - The mids are pretty good too. They are similar to Kanas Pro but have slightly more resolution and clarity. They sound natural, timbre presentation is good and tonality of instruments is on point. I’m a sucker for a good kick and snare sound. Snares have good tone, depth and smack as per the song. Vocals sound natural, upfront and well defined in the songs. The KXXS stays very comfortable and musical at low and high volumes both. I don’t want to seem like I’m exaggerating but cracking the volume and listening to Chris Cornell’s Long Gone, Coldplay’s Everglow, Gavin James’ Always and Linkin Park’s Talking to Myself are a joy on the KXXS and sometimes gives me goosebumps.

    Treble - The treble is where KXXS and Kanas Pro are more different. KXXS has more clarity in the treble and more snap in the 2-4kHz region. The treble is quite comfortable as it follows the Harman Target curve. There aren’t any intrusive frequency boosts and the treble as a whole extends well, giving you a better sense of airiness. Vocals and cymbals never get sibilant or harsh.


    Soundstage, Imaging and Separation – KXXS has good width and instruments panned left and right are well defined and placed wide apart. It has good depth too as you can hear the depth of effects like reverb trails and delays. Imaging is on point too and the resolution and separation between instruments from a single dynamic driver is quite impressive.


    Comparisons –

    Moondrop Kxxs vs Kanas Pro

    Kanas Pro vs kxxs.jpg

    1. KXXS has more clarity and snap in the 2-4kHz which gives acoustic guitars and vocals the crispness I like. They sound more realistic and lifelike.
    2. Vocals have more individual clarity in KXXS than KP.
    3. Drum tones sound equally good on both.
    4. I think, with the added clarity, KXXS has a slightly wider soundstage.
    5. Overall KXXS has better separation between instruments.
    6. KXXS has a more realistic feeling of bass impact.
    7. When the songs get chaotic with lots of layers all over the sound field, KXXS handles it a bit better than KP.
    8. Kanas Pro has * very slightly* more warmth in the lower mids. KXXS has better resolution and clarity in that region.

    Conclusion – Moondrop KXXS does everything right. The bass is good, mids are natural, drums and vocals are a joy to listen to and treble is crisp and clear yet smooth. KXXS at its price is quite accessible and I think it is one dynamic driver IEM that everyone should have. It’ll work very well as a daily driver because of its robust and solid build as well as its extremely well-tuned sound signature. Highly Recommended!

    KXXS can be bought for $189.99 from here - Moondrop KXXS
      KC33, The Seeker, NeonHD and 20 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Animagus
      @GibranR. PM me as this will take some back and forth. Happy to help. :)
      Animagus, Jul 30, 2019
    3. superuser1
      I think the cable is absolutely ****ty! Its such a shame as it has so much potential that is marred by the cable and the included tips.. i still haven't found the perfect tip... Tried spin fits, spiral dots, Sony hybrid.. nada.. @Animagus help :D
      superuser1, Aug 7, 2019
    4. Animagus
      @superuser1 Hey! Try the eartips shown in the pictures above. They come stock with Fearless IEMs and Kanas Pro too. They help KXXS fit snugly in my ears. I have average shaped concha and use mediums. If you don't have these, here is a link to get them - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32705277906.html. You can choose your size and colour. 5 pairs for $1.80 + $2-3 shipping.
      Animagus, Aug 7, 2019
      superuser1 likes this.

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