Moondrop Sparks TWS

JQuB3

New Head-Fier
MOONDROP SPARKS – SETTING THE BENCHMARK
Pros: W Shaped Sound Signature
Great Detail retrieval for a TWS
Sub Bass Emphasis
Staging and Tonality
Price and Design
Cons: Not so responsive Touch Controls.
MOONDROP SPARKS – SETTING THE BENCHMARK

INTRODUCTION:

Moondrop Sparks is the budget TWS offering and this is their first-ever TWS release. The Sparks might seem lighter in terms of price but they sound way above the price point. They have crafted this TWS in a unique way and have given the special dynamic driver “BERYLLIUM COATED DOME WITH PU SUSPENSION RING”. Moondrop is known for their in-house Warm and Smooth sound which also attains that Harman target which I'm not a big fan of. But the Sparks is an example for the exception, where this sounds fantastic and in this review let's check out the sound in detail.

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SPECIFICATIONS:

Frequency Response: 20- 20000Hz(IEC 60318-4)
Driver Unit: 6mm Dynamic Driver
Housing Material: ABS/PC
Diaphragm: Beryllium-Coated Dome + PU Suspension Ring
Driver Coil: 0.035mm-CCAW
Magnetic Circuit: (HEMC)improved High-Efficiency Magnetic Circuit+N52 Neodymium magnet
Acoustic Filter: Patented Anti Clogging Filter
Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.2
Audio Transmission Formats: aptX Adaptive/aptX/AAC/SBC
Battery Capacity: Earphone 50mAh I Charging Case 700mAh
Playback time: 8 hours on earphone + 48 hours on charging case
Charging rating: 5V-500mA
Operation: Touch, Light + Voice prompt
Bluetooth Range: 10 meters
Supplier of Bluetooth PCBA: Self-developed

DISCLAIMER:

This unit has been provided to me as a part of a review circle organized by HiFiGo and I have not been influenced by the brand in anyway to manipulate this review. The whole view is based on my experience with it and based on my source and pairings. The views might differ from person to person.

DESIGN AND FIT:

The design of the sparks is unique in each way. The case is made out of complete transparent plastic and the good thing is that they possess that rubberized finish hence no scratches, smudges, or fingerprints. The rubber coating also acts as a water repellent in some cases. The earbuds are made out of plastic too which has that nice IEM kind of design.

The case lid has a nice satisfying click while closed and has a metallic hinge for longer durability. The case lid can be opened with a single hand and the branding is done on the top of the lid.

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The earbuds faceplate has a nice sparkling design which is also transparent hence the charging LED tends to shine outside when it gets engaged. The LED in the case also shines outside when the earbuds are taken out and placed inside indicating the charge status.

The NFC tag is present in the back of the case and type-c port is provided in the back of the case at the bottom-most portion. Overall, it has a solid build quality and a unique-looking transparent design. The transparent lights may look flashy but overall a very solid design and build.

SOUND:

The sound signature of the sparks is a W-shaped profile with one of the best in terms of technicalities. Initially, I didn't have any big expectations from this TWS because it's from the Moondrop since I don't like most of their in-house sound profile especially the starfield. But after listening to this MAN! THIS THING IS CRAZY SOUNDING AND IT BECAME MY FAVOURITE TWS! In this review let's dive into detail into why I consider this is one of the superior sounding ones in the market.

LOW END:

The low end in the Sparks is well-tuned if not excellently tuned. The taste I prefer is more sub-bass than the mid-bass cause this gives that nice rumble sensation along with some faster response and clear replay of the tracks. The same impression is seen in the sparks.

SUB BASS: It’s just sweet. They are not overwhelming or underwhelming. Instead, this is the right spot for tuning. The rumble and the reach of the sub-bass are just marvelous. They did as deep as possible and gave that sensational rumble while still delivering that thumpy and tighter mid-bass thus even if the track is heavily loaded with bass they don’t sound muffled or congested. The replay of the tracks via the Sparks is just sublime. I haven’t heard this kind of sub-bass in the wired earphones at this price point.

In the track “WHY DO WE FALL – HANS ZIMMER '', this is the track I use to test whether the earphone can dig deeper and bring out that very subtle presence of rumble, and surprisingly the sparks did it very well with exceptional separation and control.

MID BASS: The mid-bass is at the right spot which doesn’t interrupt the midsection or make the low end muffled. The kick drums and the bass guitars are struck perfectly with excellent separation, control, texture, and tonality. The bass being precisely faster, the sparks are easily able to manage the faster and complex tracks keeping everything under control like the control and separation.

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MID-RANGE:

The mid-range is nicely tuned here. The graph shows some recessed midrange but frankly, the whole presentation is presented nice and forward. Both the vocals and the instruments are nicely placed on the stage where there is enough room in terms of width giving a very spacious experience while listening. Most of the TWS struggles in the staging where they sound very closed or cramped but that's not the case with the sparks.

The vocals have that natural tonality. They sound vibrant and have that hint of brightness that gives the vocals life. The 3k peak does help give life to the vocals where that gives adequate brightness to the upper mids thus the whole experience is lively and engaging. The energetic factor is fantastic in the sparks where even the most boring tracks appeared satisfying in the sparks.

The timbre of the instruments are organic and not metallic giving a natural listening experience. The vocals have enough body from the mid-bass, they are not very thick rather they are precise and adequate in quantity thus the midrange sound very cleaner, spacious, and well separated.

The detail retrieval especially is fantastic for a TWS! They perceive even a minute detail in a track and replay it! The technical ability of this TWS is pretty comparable to a mid-tier audiophile-grade IEM!

Tracks Used:

  1. YEH SAARI BAAT – ROCHAK KOHLI
  2. RED – TAYLOR SWIFT
TREBLE:

The treble in the sparks is excellent. The TWS previously I have ever tried tend to lose in this region where they sound too sharp or very dull. The sparks just set a benchmark for the TWS where this thing just sounds sublime with a gracious amount of air and separation in this area. Combined with that incredible wired-level detail retrieval this thing is just an MVP.

First, the upper and the lower treble are equally balanced out and the brilliance factor it brings out is impeccable being a TWS. The sibilant is kept under control hence no sort of harshness or hotness is seen during my listening. The sparkle in the high end is pretty evident and they never sounded veiled or hazy. The highs extension is done very well with one of the best in terms of detail retrieval and resolution in a pair of TWS.

The cymbal strikes are pretty natural and smoother with precise attack and decay. The trumpets and the stringed instruments have that organic timbre giving this earphone a very natural sound. No sort of graininess is seen. Overall the treble is one of the best in the TWS market and comparable to that of the mid-tier wired IEM’s.

Tracks Used:

  1. SOMETHING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO HEAVEN – PHIL COLLINS
  2. DREAMS – FLEETWOOD MAC
  3. JACK OF SPEED – STEELY DAN
TECHNICALITIES:

SOUNDSTAGE: The staging of the Sparks is wide and deep. The height may not be the expressive factor but the width is above average for a pair of TWS. The vocals however are presented in an intimate manner but the instruments in the background are separated nicely and wide. The depth of the staging is great too and thanks to that excellent sub-bass response which made the whole listening experience 3D hence the holographic staging is absent here.

IMAGING: The imaging is pretty precise too where the instruments can be easily pointed out even in the busier and faster tracks. The transient response and the instruments sweep from one channel to the other is smooth and neat. There is no point imaging hence the response seemed very smooth and clean.

Tracks Used:

  1. CROSSING – YOSI HORIKAWA
  2. HIDEAWAY – JACOB COLLIER
  3. BATTLING MUSK OX – JACOB SHEA
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OTHER FEATURES:

CALLING: The call quality is good enough and the receiver didn’t have any issues while speaking and the voice can be heard very clearly without any issues. In noisier surroundings the call quality tends to be slightly worse but that's the case with most of the TWS in the market out there.

BATTERY LIFE: 8+48 and the claimed value is more or less achievable with the volume at 50-60 percent.

VOLUME: Thankfully there is a lot of headroom available for volume and normally I tend to keep only at 40 percent indoors and max of 60 outdoors. Pretty loud enough and interestingly with iPhones the sparks tend to push more volume.

VERDICT:

Sparks, the first TWS offering from the house of Moondrop is overall the best offering in the TWS market. The Sparks just blew my mind and expectations with its class-leading sounding in the TWS market. The whole presentation and the sound profile felt very grand.

The sound is very good where at one point you will start to think that the sound is too good being a TWS! The low end is deliciously tuned where the sub-bass has more presence over the mid-bass while the mid rage takes the nice and center stage with wide instrument separation, the treble is as detailed as possible yet they kept the sibilant under control. The brilliance and the sparkle in the sparks are brought out excellent. The technicalities are the strongest aspect of the Sparks where they just excel most of the IEM and TWS in this price range.

Other features like the call quality which is pretty good, has NFC function, has various codec support like the Aptx and Aptx Adaptive too. The app is messy and not baked well but does the job by updating the firmware of the earbuds. The wireless charging and the ANC lack but I never use those things in my routine. Overall the sparks is an absolute banger product for the money and set a NEW SONIC BENCHMARK for all the TWS in the market out there!

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theMUKe
theMUKe
Which firmware version did you use during the review?
I read that sound signature changes with different firmwares.
J
JQuB3
Oh.. I really don't remember which firmware it was on. 🙈

05.vishal

New Head-Fier
Moondrop Sparks Review
Pros: 1. Typical Moondrop House Sound which will satisfy many.
2. Battery Life.
3. Decent soundstage.
4. Fairly Priced.
5. Excellent Build Quality.
Cons: 1. The Fit may be a Hit for everyone.
2. Initial Pairing was a hassle…at least for me…
Moondrop Sparks has been provided by Hifigo.com in exchange for my honest opinions. You can buy the same by clicking here.

Techincal Specs:
  • Bluetooth V5.2 connectivity.
  • AptX high-quality Bluetooth transmission.
  • VDSF(Virtual Diffuse Sound Field) tuning.
  • Touch operation.
  • Single/Binaural call.
  • Magnetic charging case.
  • Three-frequency adjustment.
  • High-performance magnetic circuit.
  • TWS+ dual transmission.
  • Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz.
  • Diaphragm: Beryllium-coated Dome+PU suspension ring.
  • Coil: 0.035mm-CCAW Daikoku coil.
  • Magnetic circuit: Improved high-flux density magnetic circuit+N52 Neodymium magnet.
  • Acoustic filter: Patented anti-clogging filter.
  • Battery capacity(earpieces): 50mAh.
  • Battery capacity(charging case): 700mAh.
  • Battery life(earpieces): 8 hours on a single charge, 48 hours with charging case.
  • Bluetooth range: up to 10 meters.
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Build Quality:

The complete build is made up of ABS/PC and feels very solid. The case is semi-transparent and there is a cool-looking indicator that illuminates it while charging and there is an indicator in both the earbuds as well.

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Pairing:

I was unable to pair the TWS on the very first try and then I had to reset it. The second try was successful and after that I faced no issues. Once paired, the range was pretty good and I was able to roam around my house without any dropped connections.

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Battery:

The battery life was around 7 hours with mixed usage that included music, movies and calls.

Sound Impressions:

As I said earlier, Sparks TWS has the typical Moondrop house sound which means…this is a natural-sounding TWS with something for everyone.

Lows:

The bass is for the masses here. You will enjoy it. It has a quality punch to it and there is no bass bleed at all. It has a good textured presence, and you will enjoy it with all your favorite tracks. The decay is fast enough and seriously anything that I will say that will bring it down will amount to nitpicking

Mids:

The overall Mids have a pleasing presence and that it does not have anything bleeding into it from the lower frequencies. Vocals are shining and engaging and with a little bit of EQ, it becomes a rockstar.

Highs:

As Coming with a Moondrop signature sound…which means smoothened edges everywhere…trebles were a no brainer for me. No sudden peaks. Guitar twangs are crisp and strong…not piercing at all.

Soundstage and Imaging:

Equipped with a decent soundstage, Sparks TWS will satisfy your cravings with a good clean and wide soundstage.

Imaging was decent as well with no congestions noticed on busy tracks.

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Conclusion:

  • Natural, clean sound.
  • Smooth edges
  • Big stage
  • Balanced
  • Little low on energy.
If you are comfortable with these points…go for Sparks.
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Reactions: Colin5619
C
Colin5619
Nice review

mRaaghava

100+ Head-Fier
Moondrop House Sound in A TWS Shell
Pros: Natural, Balanced & Smooth Sound Signature
Very Good Fit
Very Good Isolation
Excellent Battery Life
Cons: Little More Treble Sparkle Would Have Been Nice
Lacks Upper Mid Extensions
Initial Pairing Issues
Moondrop Sparks TWS Review

Moondrop House Sound in A TWS Shell


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Disclaimer

Moondrop Sparks has been provided to me for review purpose as part of HiFiGo’s India review tour. I am in no way related to them nor work for them. One can buy Sparks TWS from the following link:

https://hifigo.com/products/moondrop-sparks-tws?_pos=3&_sid=dc62610de&_ss=r

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About

Moondrop, is one of the popular Chinese brands, which churn out very good products frequently that get acclaim universally, right from Kanas Pro to Illumination. Sparks TWS is their latest product which is the main product under test here. Sparks uses a 6mm single dynamic driver, with the diaphragm made of Beryllium coated dome and PU suspension ring. It comes with Bluetooth 5.2 version, supporting aptX Adaptive, aptX, AAC and SBC CODECs. You can pair Sparks with phones through NFC too, with the supported smartphones.

Build Quality

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The charging case and earbuds are made up of ABS/PC material and comes in three colors, purple, black and pink. I have got the purple one for the test purpose. Build quality is very good and feels quite solid. Earbuds shape is based on semi-custom form, and fits perfectly and provide a very good isolation. Charging case has a semi-transparent design and looks cool while charging and displaying charging lights of both the case and earbuds inside.

Wireless Connectivity

As mentioned earlier, Sparks can be paired with smartphones either with Bluetooth or NFC. Pairing process is a hit or miss affair for me, I did find it to take little more effort in successful pairing. I had to reset it twice to make a successful pairing with my two phones. But, once paired, I didn’t face a problem afterwards. Moondrop could have made this process easier. Bluetooth range is very good, and I could get consistent connection without any drops, even if I was at outer limit of its supposed 10m range.



Endurance

Moondrop claims 8-hour battery life for the earbuds and a 48-hour battery life for the charging case. In my tests, Sparks, indeed stayed true to such claims, I got almost 8-hour battery life out of earbuds with mixed usage including continuous music playback, video streaming and phone calls. Which is among the best in the market. Performance during phone calls was decent.

Sound Analysis

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Sparks has typical Moondrop house sound signature, which is neutral, natural and mature. Let us delve deeper into full breakdown of Sparks’ sonic performance.

Bass has got good rumble and is quite enjoyable. I found bass quantity to be just above average. Sub bass has good rumble and goes quite deep. Mid bass is decent. Decay is fast. But, I felt bass is lacking in quality overall and is not clean.

And as is the case with many Moondrop IEMs, Sparks have got very good mids section. Sparks has got natural, engaging and clean mids. Has good details and good separation. Male vocals sound natural. Female vocals sound very good, natural and engaging. Upper mids lack extension though. I wish it had little more energy and sparkle that will make it even better.

Same goes with treble performance too. Treble extensions are very good and clean, making Sparks sound airy. Cymbals crash are crisp. Even here, a little more sparkle up top was missing.

Soundstage is very good. Has very good width and depth. Making it sound very open. Imaging is precise. We can pinpoint the location of instruments easily. Instrument separation is also very good, with enough space between each instruments. Doesn’t sound congested at all. Has excellent dynamics and resolution overall.

Comparisons

Vs Sennheiser CX400BT

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I know this is quite an unfair comparison as CX400BT costs double that of Sparks officially. But you can get CX400BT at a price closer to Sparks quite often. CX400BT uses same drivers as Sennheiser’s flagship TWS, Momentum 2 TWS, and has excellent sound quality. Here goes the comparison:

Sparks has slightly more bass rumble than CX400BT, bass goes little deeper too. Amount of bass is clearly more in Sparks. But, where, CX400BT pulls ahead is in the quality. Bass is cleaner than Sparks. CX400BT has got good rumble too, but with very good quality bass, it takes the cake here. Those who prefer more quantity than quality, will like Sparks more. Sparks bass quality is decent, but not clean enough.

image9.jpeg


Mids of Sparks are slightly forward placed than CX400BT. Sparks has sweet and natural mids and are slightly more engaging than CX400BT. But, again, CX400BT has got better clarity, details and upper mids extensions.

Both Sparks and CX400BT have very good treble performance. CX400BT has more extensions up top making it sound livelier than Sparks. And has better details too.

Soundstage of Sparks is wider than CX400BT. Depth of both are on par. Separation and imaging are slightly better on CX400BT. Sparks has better isolation and fit over CX400BT.

Verdict

Overall, Sparks has typical neutral Moondrop house sound signature, which brought the brand very good reputation in audiophile community. Balanced, clean and smooth sound. I found that its sound quality leans on to the safer side of things rather than being exciting. It does very good in all things, but I wish it had more energy and sparkle up top. But, nonetheless, Sparks packs typical Moondrop’s Virtual Diffuse Sound Field response in a TWS shell. Very good TWS for the price.

Attachments

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lycos
lycos
Thanks for your review. How’s spark sound quality compared to samsung buds+ ?
mRaaghava
mRaaghava
Unfortunately one earbud of my Buds+ died, so couldn’t make a comparison. But from my memory, Buds+ is more neutral all through, with better battery life, mic quality.
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lycos
lycos
Cheers :)

iceperry

New Head-Fier
Pros: Sound Quality, Balanced and Mature tuning, Wide soundstage
Cons: Minimal features, Fit (and sound) is heavily tip dependent

Intro

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Disclaimer: I received the Moondrop Sparks from ShenZhenAudio at no charge in exchange for an honest review of my experience. Should you find yourself interested in a pair, they are available here. The thoughts and impressions in this review are my own and will be strictly objective. For more reviews like this, do check out our website.

Moondrop has accomplished a lot since it burst onto the audiophile scene. It has become a well-known name in the world of chi-fi. They have a fleet of well-performing IEMs under their belt, such as the Blessing 2 and Starfield, to name a few. This review seeks to assess the sonic performance of the Moondrop Sparks and if Moondrop has once again managed to work their magic into these.

Specs

Chipset: Self-developed, based on Qualcomm QCC chip

Bluetooth 5.2

Touch Button for Play/Pause/Power/Calls

USB Type-C Charging Port

Battery life

  • Buds: 8 Hours/Charge
  • Case: 48 Hours/Charge

Build Quality and Fit



The design of the Sparks is quite eye-catching. In fact, the black colourway is already quite toned down. The purple and pink ones are much flashier. Both the buds and case have a rubberised matte finish. While they feel good to the touch out of the box, I am usually not a fan of this material as it doesn’t hold up well in the long run. That said, Moondrop did include a leatherette hard case so no complaints there.

In terms of fit, they are average. The buds are quite big and yet don’t fit as naturally as I’d hoped. I’ve enjoyed better fits with other Moondrop wired earphones. That said, it is not terrible either. With the right tips, the Sparks seal well and are able to stay in the ears while I was out on walks, which is pretty much all that matters.

P1010367-1024x576.jpg

Sound

Tested using iPhone 12 with Apple Music

Bass

The bass on the Sparks is quite enjoyable. Like most other TWS I’ve tried, it is boosted a little and supports the overall sound with a satisfying oomph. However, unlike most TWS I’ve tried, the bass is not overdone and tastefully punchy. It is rather well-textured and overall sounds quite mature. I have quite a few EDM and pop tracks in my on-the-go playlist and the bass is fun, punchy and satisfying on them. I don’t find myself having to “settle for less” just because I’m using a pair of TWS earphones.

One thing I noticed is that the selection of tips can affect the bass quantity and quality. The shallower stock tips provide a more balanced and cleaner bass response while the longer stem-ed ones can sound a little more claustrophobic and boomy.

Mids

The boosted bass doesn’t bleed into or overshadow the mids, immediately bringing the sound of the Sparks a tier above many other TWS earphones. The mids of the Sparks has a similar tuning as many of their lower-end earphones which I’ve tried and enjoyed; full and mellow lower mids with slightly more forward vocals. Male vocals on tracks by Michael Bublé and Paul Kim were present and not recessed and suppressed as in many other lower end TWS. Higher vocals and instruments were energetic yet smooth, and most importantly, never offensive. The overall timbre was also very pleasant, with instruments and voices appropriately weighted.

Treble

The treble region of the Sparks is quite rolled off, though that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise for a TWS earphone. It’s rather inoffensive, with a decent amount to keep tonality and timbre sufficiently accurate. However, don’t expect too much detail retrieval in the treble. On certain tracks, it can get a little grainy. That said, do keep in mind I’m comparing the Sparks to your wired options since I think it’s capable of such comparisons.

Overall

The Sparks doesn’t have the same level of detail as you would expect of “hifi” IEMs, but that’s okay. It has a very pleasant tuning and a good amount of separation to back it up. It does a good job at putting out a wide soundstage, with a well-layered presentation that allows for an engaging on-the-go listening experience. Do take note that your choice of tips can have a world of difference so don’t hesitate to swap them around if you find yourself struggling with fit or sound.

Comparison

VS Moondrop SSP

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Full review of the Moondrop SSP

I would say the Sparks sounds rather similar to the SSP, especially in the bass and vocal presence. They have a similar organic punch in the drums which I enjoyed. However, the Sparks is much more “easily driven”. The SSP sounds a little sluggish if not powered sufficiently, something I didn’t experience with the Sparks.

VS Tipsy TM1

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Full review of the Tipsy TM-1

The Tipsy TM1 is also a pair of True Wireless intended for the audiophile audience. It has a similar set of functions, albeit limited. The TM1 is slightly more pricey than the Sparks, at USD 159, with the TM1 being a hand-made IEM. The TM1 has a more U-shape sound signature as compared to the warm-Harman tuning of the Sparks. The TM1 also has the big advantage of a much more comfortable fit, perhaps due to its smooth resin build and round-edged design.

Conclusion

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To sum it all up, I thoroughly enjoyed the sound I was getting from the Moondrop Sparks and was above my expectation of a TWS. Moving ahead, my expectations for TWS would definitely be higher and the Sparks would be a reference point and benchmark of sorts. For audio-conscious consumers, I am sure the Sparks certainly wouldn’t disappoint at its price point. However, people in the TWS game who prioritise functions like active noise-cancelling over sound quality may find the pricing of the Sparks a little steep for what it offers.

Takeanidea

Headphoneus Supremus
TWS - the 2nd coming Moondrop Sparks berylium 5.2 aptX adaptive
Pros: Moondrop Link - you can clone your Sparks into an IE800
Cheap - £65 for all this Sound - aptX adaptive & berylium coated drivers give good results
Cons: Fit - in the most challenging conditions they come loose
Sound - need eq ing to sound their best Features - Link app does not offer sound features - yet
TWS

TWS – the 2nd coming – Moondrop Sparks​



The Berylium coated Sparks from Moondrop

Introduction​

This is a link for the Sparks, if you’re interested enough to part with some cash for them. Subjective Reviews was sent a pair in return for our unique take on all matters audio. In this case, ShenzhenAudio, a major supplier of portable audio in China, have asked me to put Moondrop’s first ever TWS offering under the microscope. This one is good enough in quality (berylium), features (VDSF tuning) and price (£65.40) for you to read on further. If you have any interest in TWS, then a quality offering at less than half the price of some rivals is a definite attention grabber.

About the Sparks​

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What is TWS?​

The Sparks are Moondrop’s first TWS offering. TWS stands for truly wireless. As opposed to wireless earbuds, which have a cord attached to each driver that hangs behind the neck, the TWS eliminates the need for a cord altogether. TWS are therefore far more discrete. There is no cable sound. Compared to wireless buds/iem’s, there are, however, some inevitable compromises in performance. This is because 1 earbud is sending a signal to the other. In essence, 1 earbud acts as a bluetooth transmitter and earbud and the other acts as a bluetooth receiver and earbud. You can imagine the micro electronics needed to fit all that into something which fits in your ear. Only the smallest bluetooth chips have been able to fit under the tiny hood. A chip has to perform the function of dac (processing your phone’s music) and amp (making it powerful enough to hear). It also has to be versatlie enough to cope with fluctuations in wireless signal strength without affecting the sound quality or volume, yet small enough to last for several hours between recharging. Something has to give. And what is to fall on the sword? The sound quality, of course. In these days of innovations and features first, the audio quality is usually the fall guy.

Codecs​

The codec, which converts the signal from your phone to one which is heard in your ears, is going to put huge demands on that fine balance between battery, performance and the space there is within the driver shell of just 1 earbud. Until now, the lossier SBC and AAC bluetooth audio codecs have been taking on sound responsibilities. That means there is a gap between the resolution possible in a wireless and it’s TWS rival. The Sparks are the first TWS I’ve tested that have succesfully bridged that gap. The Sparks are supporting the aptX adaptive codec. In a nutshell, the aptX codec is described as near CD quality, or almost lossless. Adaptive takes this a step further; delivering HD sound quality that 1 study claimed “was audibly equal to 24 96 tracks”
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This statement is quite compelling. Just be aware that 420 kbits/s is the highest possible resolution for aptX adaptive. In real life situations you may be getting a far lower resolution; as low as 279 kbits/s, as the codec searches dynamically for a compromise between a stable connection and a high quality/ low latency output. More info can be found here
Alas, not all devices are able to support aptX adaptive. Astell & Kern,Sony, Samsung and Xiaomi are among some of the 1000 or so that do. For those that don’t, you’ll have to settle for aptX, also built into the Spark’s inventory.

Bluetooth Version​

The Sparks are the latest 5.2 bluetooth technology. Each new version aims to improve signal strength and quality whilst performing more efficiently. This means that by each change made by bluetooth we get a stronger, clearer performance and a longer lasting battery life. The Sparks have incorporated the best bluetooth codec with the best bluetooth version. Theoretically, that renders all TWS devices without these as obsolete. Of course, it’s more complicated than that. That’s why features can never explain what a device is actually like. At least with the Sparks we are off to a good start.

Moondrop Link​

Only currently available for your Android phone, the Link is an app which interfaces with the Sparks. The most obvious applications for the Link at present seems to be a firmware update and an online guide. The firmware update has made my Sparks into version 1.1.7. The online guide is the same as supplied with the packaging. The app claims to allow the Sparks to be eq’d in 2 seperate ways. The 1st is anticipated to be the usual generic presets, such as club, theater, hall, acoustic, rock, pop etc. The 2nd sounds interesting… This is supposed to allow the Sparks owner to change the tuning of their TWS to mimic other earbuds, IEMs and headphones. The question is thus; can the Sparks become a wireless Final A8000? Or a mini version of the Focal Utopia’s? I’ll let your imagination run wild with what may or may not be offered in the future. For the present, the App is undergoing development. It was released in May, and these features aren’t there at the time of writing.
Screenshot-2021-08-02-at-15.28.00-1024x793.png

Berylium​

Berylium drivers in a £65 TWS? For those of you unfamiliar with this extremely rare material, it is used as the driver material for the Focal Utopia Headphones. If you have heard a set of Utopia’s, you will know how incredible they spound, irrespective of any preferences for a more intimate sound stage, they are 1 of the best headphones in the World. I have heard the Utopia’s many times. I have auditioned the Final A8000, and my findings are here.


I also happen to have the Believe, from KB Ear, another berylium IEM, but far more affordable than it’s predecessors. Was it truly made from pure berylium, at that price? Due to the controversy over the purity of the materials used for the driver, it is now sadly out of production, but you can have a taste here

Berylium is 1 of the strongest materials on Earth. It can be stretched to an incredibly thin layer. The thinner and stronger the material is the better the accuracy of the sound. Berylium is expensive. It is dangerous to work with as it is extremely toxic. It comes from relatively few factories. A way to get around the cost factor is to spray a fine coating onto your driver diaphragm. You retain some of the characteristics of the original but you enhance the performance with the berylium. This is what Moondrop has done with the Sparks. This is not something I’d expect to see in any TWS, and certainly all the more remarkable in a set of buds at this price level.

Battery life​

The USB-C charging box will give 48 hours of power to the Sparks. That is surely enough to satisfy the most demanding of users! Each charge gives the Sparks 8 hours of in ear use. The occasional overnight charge of the charging box and you have unlimited use of your TWS device. More on the charging cradle later.

The Sparks unboxed​

Accessories​

The Sparks come supplied with the usual full colour box with the anime character logo of a rather attractive young lady on a broom, perhaps a derivative of Sailor Moon? The attention to detail is already evident, as expected from this company. A slide out box has a magnetic clasp holding everything down. Opening the box reveal the 2 buds and the cradle. A USB-C cable is included, as if we didn’t have 1 of them! But it’s a small one and shouldn’t take up too much space on your desk. Leaflets for warranty, safety, inspection, use and a download card for the Moondrop Link app are enclosed. The cradle has a leather case available for £5 extra. It protects the cradle from scratches. It looks lovely and is a no brainer as an enhancement to your overall Sparks experience. A list of specifications on the back is combined with the frequency curve of the buds.

VDSF – virtual diffuse sound field. What on earth is that?​

The tuning is a particular characteristic of Moondrop. They use the VDSF curve for the default tuning of their in ears. This is like the Harman Response Curve but a little punchier. Tuning is a way to describe how a device reacts to different frequencies. This results in the descriptions you’ll come across, like U shaped or V shaped, bassy or mid centric. I try not to use such phrases, but the sound characteristics are a product of the quality of the product and the way in which it has been tuned.
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Tips​

You get 3 sets of tips, with the usual 3 sizes. I’m presuming the tips are natural sound, bassy sound and treble enhanced sound, in a small, mediim and large variety. Whether Moondrop should state what each tip does to the sound characteristic of the Sparks is a moot point. I’m assuming those that like a punchier sound would be immediately biased towards the bassier tips and wouldn’t give the others a proper listen, for instance. I found it a little frustrating as I’m always in a rush to get to the best performance that suits my preferences, naturally, because I do a lot of listening to a lot of stuff. It’s a good thing to try every tip and then try your own tips if you have another set of favourites. The tips make a big difference to the sound, so don’t expect the ones that are already on the Sparks to be the best sounding ones. They might not be for you.

Cosmetics​

The look and feel of the Sparks are noteworthy. Some real thought has gone into these mighty midgets. There is nothing blan about the swirly night sky with a Moon for bud 1 and a star for bud 2. The cradle has curves in all the right places, sits the Sparks firmly in place and can be accentuated with a form fitting leather box.
box-1024x768.jpg

Fit​

The Sparks have a lug sticking out of them. I suspect that is to get them under the flap of the top cartilege of the ear, known as the antihelux. The shells are bulky and they take some moving around in my smaller ears before they can stay in place. For walking and sitting, they can rest in place without any undue stress or strain. For running, or more vigarous workouts, that will not be enough. They have to be wedged in place. The only 2 grip points are the tip, into your ear canal entrance and the lug that sits in your cartilege. The tips do not protrude very far into the ear canal. The design of the TWS does not allow for a deep fit. You cannot rely on that for a decent anchor point unless you are exceptionally lucky with getting a tip to exactly match the diameter of your ear canals. The lug is long enough that it should fit easily under the thinnest of cartileges. I had to wedge the lug firmly into place to stand any chance of it staying at or near the sweet spot in my ear canal without coming loose. In a 45 minute run I had to readjust several times and there was a real chance of my left earbud making a bid for freedom, which no one wants. A more contour fitting driver shell with a higher degree of opportunities to tuck under the antihelux, antitragus and tragus (the lower bit of cartilege) would have have been much more beneficial and would have an added a touch of elegance to the appearance of these buds. Moondrop ; I wonder whether there is scope for a Sparkier Spark in the future? Blessing 2, why not Sparks 2?
ear-768x1024.jpg

Sound​

The sound quality did display some of the characteristics of other berylium headphones and IEMs I’ve been lucky enough to hear. The tightness of the material perhaps gives an idea of how the sound will be. It is tight and accurate. The default sound of the Sparks was a little thin and dry sounding to my ears, having got through the 3 sets of tips supplied and arriving at my preference. I still don’t know for sure, but I suspect that I have put on the bassy tips. I have found a solution to this problem by installing a mini app called Morphet into my USB Audio Player Pro Android App. Morphet enables me to mimic other devices, such as the Sennheiser HE-6 or the AKG K-1000. Wait a minute…wasn’t this similar to what the Moondrop Link App says it will offer? I had a peek around and found the generic buds setting to add the depth and bass response I was looking for. The Berylium coating is arguably setting up for some good detail in the mid and high frequency ranges, making vocals slightly more forward and micro effects more visable than a listener is used to from set of sub £70 IEMs. And remember, these are TWS. No wires… Whatever your preference to your sound characteristics be it for a bassy sound or a detailed airy sound, the Sparks will benefit from eqing. Out of the box they sound too thin and edgy for rock and pop music, which is looking for that lower frequency response and some control of the peaks, where the synergy of multiple instruments competing with each other in the mix can get a little much. For classical music and jazz lovers, I supect that not much will need to be changed. I still preffered the generic buds setting for even these 2 genres, as I felt they offered a little warmth to the colder, more clinical presentation provided as standard.

Conclusion​

The Sparks may lead to a flame. The Link app is in it’s infancy. If it delivers a set of options that can turn your TWS into another IEM, much like the Morphet that I use, then it will showcase the chameleon like qualities of Moondrop’s first foray into the TWS market. The price is right, the looks are good, the codecs and bluetooth versons are class leading. To cap it all, there is berylium added to the drivers. As always, nothing is perfect. The sound needs adjusting, the driver shells want to come out of my ears when under duress, and not every phone supports aptX adaptive. For those of you looking for a TWS device, this is one of the best I’ve come across so far. I’ve heard TWS 3 times this price, and they seem like yesterdays gear, the technology has already moved on so much further. The Moondrop Sparks could get even better yet.
shenzhenaudio
shenzhenaudio
Thanks for your great review!
ValiN
ValiN
I'm not sure if I'm completely right, but from that last image to me it looks like you were not wearing the IEMs right. It looks like you put the right IEM in your left ear instead of the right ear. Like, the "lug" you are talking about should be facing downwards not upwards.

Kathiravan JLR

New Head-Fier
Moondrop Sparks TWS – A True Sparkle For A TWS
Pros: Smooth sound signature with tight bass
Above average soundstage
Battery life
App support for android
Price and Build
Cons: Unstable Fit
Average Technicalities
Moondrop is a known chinese earphone manufacturing brand which is known for producing a wide range of earphones ranging from budget to high end category. The most hyped earphones are the Starfield which also lived upto the hype created by the reviewers. Moondrop also has a great history of creating high end good sounding earphones like the KXXS, Blessing 2 and the Blessing 2 Dusk.


After their several launches and success of their high end wired earphones they also wanted to occupy the TWS market which is getting very hot nowadays in the market. As an introductory product moondrop have launched the Sparks TWS into the market marketing as they have the Beryllium coated drivers which is quite interesting in this price range for a TWS. In this review let’s see whether the Sparks stand up to the specifications claimed by the Moondrop.

SPECIFICATIONS:
Driver: 6mm Dynamic Driver
Diaphragm: Beryllium coated Dome + PU Suspension Ring
Housing Material: ABS Plastic
Bluetooth: V5.2
Audio Transmission: apTX Adaptive, apTX, ABC, AAC
Battery Capacity: Earphone – 50Mah, Charging Box – 700 Mah
This TWS uses the Virtual Diffuse Sound Field Technology which delivers the home signature sound of the Moondrop but it can be changed to your liking if you don’t prefer that style. It has TWS + hence you can now switch instantly to another device without disconnection from the previous one.

CONTENTS:​

  1. A charging case with earbuds
  2. Documentation
  3. A pair of foam tips with 3 different pairs of silicone eartips
  4. USB C cable
The box is very nice in feel and has anime pictures over it. The box is slip-on type and inside the box there is the TWS and the case is embedded in the foam tray. Below those foam trays there is the documentation which contains the warranty card and other user manuals.

DESIGN AND FIT:​

The design of the case is very minimalistic and neat. The case comes in a purple colour which is again Matt finished hence no more prone to scratches. The case feels very nice and velvety to touch. The lid has a metal hinge hence it will last long for sure. The lid closes and opens very silently and does not provide that satisfying click that we experience in the Airpods. The lid can be opened in a single hand. The outer casing is made of transparent plastic hence the charging lights glow very nicely. The branding is done on the top of the lid. On the back of the case there is the charging port and thankfully it’s a type C!

The Buds are designed very nice but the ergonomics are average. When the buds are inserted in the ear canal the buds don’t sit properly in the conca of the ear instead they just hang in there. The silicone tips alone helps in the fit and the body is completely out of the ear which might lead to frequent fall of the earbuds during your gym sessions and heavy workouts. For casual listening they are comfortable to wear. The isolation is very much average due to that fit issue. The touchpads are designed nicely with some sparkly pattern and have a vent for the microphone.

TOUCH CONTROLS:​

The Sparks touch control system is made very practical where the single tap gesture is not allowed since you may activate an unwanted gesture while adjusting the earbuds hence they are not available. Only double clicks and the triple clicks are available

APP SUPPORT:​

The sparks has the app functionality but the caveat is that it’s available for android as of now. Through the app the touch controls can be altered and the Full band equalizer system is present through which you can alter the sound signature based on your liking. Through the app you can update the firmware of the Sparks . The app also displays at what codec are the earphones connected and the sampling rate of the earphone itself.

BATTERY LIFE:​

The claimed battery life by the brand is 7 hours from 100 – 0 and based on my listening I was able to attain 6-6.5 hours which is pretty comparable and decent enough. The case however got another 4-5 complete cycles of charge claiming another 35 hours of usage. The earbuds get charged completely within 30 mins after being placed in the case and the case needs more than a hour to get completely charged.

CALL QUALITY:​

The call quality is good in the indoor environment and in the outdoors the mic picks up a lot of external noises. However I always prefer taking calls via smartphone instead of TWS hence it’s not a deal breaker for me but yeah this TWS is mainly designed for MUSIC!

SOUND:​

The 6mm Beryllium coated driver really does the magic here. The overall sound signature of the Sparks is very refined and clean. It’s a slight W shaped sound signature to my listening and really packs some punch being a TWS. I didn’t have high expectations initially when I opened the box but after listening to my first track this thing just made me think that TWS are ataaning that wirels level for sound quality in terms of general listening. Let’s dive deep into the performance of each frequency.

LOW END:​

The low end is very satisfactory in the Sparks. They have a nice punch and attack in the low end. It’s not as refined and slams like wired high end earphones but it’s very nice and above average for a TWS. The quantity of the bass is very nice and the mid bass is slightly more emphasized than the sub bass.
The sub bass has good extension and the rumble is very nice. They don’t go very low but that rumble can be heard evidently in bass heavy tracks. However in some tracks where the bass nuances are too little to observe then this will not be able to pick that up. Based on my experience with some TWS this one really excels for its price and even better than its competitors. The sub bass lacks the slam and weight, less resolved but overall the sub bass is very satisfactory and that nitpicking con may be that the wired high end earphones spoiled me!
The mid bass is elevated nicely and better than the sub bass presence. The mid bass however slightly bleeds into the mid section and causes slight congestion but overall the mid bass is tuned well. They have nice separation and texture which gives a nice rounded feel to the listener. The mid bass slightly feels thin hence lacks the body.
The bass however lacks the body due to that thin mid bass. The sub bass nicel digs deeper with sufficient rumble whenever it’s required.
TRACKS USED:
  1. COSMICA – SUBLAB AND AZALEH
  2. MEADOWS – MENUAL
  3. LOW – FLORIDA

MID RANGE:​

The id range recessed when compared to the low end. The instruments are pushed back very much and need very keen listening to hear the nuances in the mid range. The male vocals are recessed slightly than the female vocals
The male vocals have a nice resolving nature and the texture of the male vocals are very good. The female vocals are presented much forward when compared to the male vocals hence listening to Taylor Swift is a bliss. The instruments sound very tiny and need to raise up the volume to listen clearly which of course is not advisable considering the ear health.
The guitar strikes naturally and very well but the issue is with piano notes. They sound very tiny and very distant hence the detail retrieval is average in the Sparks. The lower mids are slightly recessed and the upper mids are elevated hence some harshness can be experienced. The recessed lower mids lead to the thin body to the overall sound hence for Hip Hop and Pop tracks this sounds very thin and lacking body overall.
The timbre and tonality is very nice for a TWS. They sound very natural and as expected since this being a single DD earphone.
TRACKS USED:
  1. SANTERIA – SUBLIME
  2. SUFFER – THE SMASHING PUMPKINS
  3. ROOFTOP DANCING – SYLVAN ESSO

TREBLE:​

The treble has average extension but it would have been better if there is a slight more sparkle in the top end. The highs are airy enough to provide a sense of good instrument separation. The highs have good resolution and thankfully no sibilance or harshness have been noticed during my listening. The energy is slightly lacking in the upper end but overall as a TWS this sounds really nice.
The cymbals strike naturally and sound very pleasant to the ears. The high pitched female vocals are portrayed very well with no harshness. The cymbal strikes could have used a bit more brightness to get that overall clarity but even with this tuning they sound very smooth yet detailed enough for a pair of TWS.

TECHNICALITIES:​

SOUNDSTAGE: The staging of this earphone is very nice and above average in overall width, height and depth. They have a good sense of air in between the instruments and due to that nice sub bass the soundstage of this even got elevated a bit.
IMAGING: The imaging is average at its best. The instruments are placed fairly precisely and well separated. The overall imaging is however slightly hazy due to the slight mid bass bleed. In very simpler tracks the imaging is very nice and when the track gets busier then it becomes hazy
TRACKS USED:
  1. GLOBAL GEAR – PUNYA SRINIVAS
  2. HIDEAWAY – JACOB COLLIER

VERDICT:​

The Sparks, a latest and the only offering as a TWS from the very known brand Moondrop is a blind choice as per my experience with it. They sound very clean, warm, detailed enough and airy to give you a great listening experience. For the price of 90USD this sounds really nice and punches even way above the price. They may not give you a detailed audiophile listening but for a semi casual and instead of going from mainstream brands this one definitely sounds way nicer compared to its competitors. Even Though they don’t have high end functionalities like the ANC, Transparency, Wireless Charging etc they were able to deliver one of the best sound out of all the TWS I have ever tried in this budget range.
The TWS market in the chifi is not very popular when compared to in ear monitor market yet moondrop came up with this gem and they did it really well with exceptional sound being a TWS. If you want a fun yet balanced sound then this might be your pick and you will appreciate that indeed this is a true sparkle of a TWS!
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trellus
trellus
How loud do these go? One problem I have with TWS is they often just don’t have enough headroom - only my Bose QuietComfort true wireless earbuds get really loud enough, but obviously they don’t sound as good as my wired earphones so I’m usually rocking wired earphones like the NM2+ into an EarStudio at the gym.
Kathiravan JLR
Kathiravan JLR
@trellus This thing has enough headroom with more than enough volume to spare. I can't go beyond 60 percent even in moderate noisy surrounding. Surprisingly the amp in this thing is pretty powerful and nice and has no hiss when the song is paused which is present in most of the TWS in this price range.

machinegod

New Head-Fier
Pros: Battery Life
Fatigue free tuning.
Cons: Sound lacks technicalities and finesse to a certain degree
Veil in the sound won't sit nice with many.
Disclaimer: The unit was provided by Hifigo as a part of a review tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own. You can purchase the Moondrop Sparks here.

Build and Fit
The Sparks case in made of cheap feeling plastic throughout. As a result the build quality is unfortunately lacking for the price.
Not only that, the case is translucent which lets you see partly inside. To make matters worse the lights inside the case paired with the cheap feeling case make the aesthetics of the Sparks quite toy like. It just looks chintzy and cheap in my opinion. For a few tens of dollars more you get the Tipsy TM1 TWS which features a ceramic carry case and overall much better build. The market offers better build and aesthetics for lesser than the asking price of Sparks as well.
The shells are quite big and the stem is tall. So it has a deeper insertion than your average IEM. People with small ears beware as the experience can be south of comfortable, like it was for me with my medium sized ears.

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Features and Functionality
First time pairing took a long time for some reason, do not know why. Subsequent pairings were fast. Moondrop has developed the Moondrop Link app for the international version which will be used for future OTA updates, pretty neat. Advertised is 8+48h battery life but like all TWS battery ratings, they must be taken with a grain, rather an entire shaker of salt. I got a little over 6.5h with aptx and at volume around 75% volume. Double tap to pay/pause and the usual suspects are present here of course. The mic quality is pretty much on par with most of the TWS in the market, i.e not that great but serviceable when needed. Yes, the voices sound kind of garbled and as if coming from "underwater".

IMG20210715094255.jpg


Sound Quality
The tuning of the Sparks is what people might call "safe" and that is a good thing depending on the situation. The tonality is definitely warm with a substantial roll off in the upper registers. There is a certain veil to the entire spectrum which does obstruct details from blossoming but provides a relaxed and fatigue free listening. Nothing really stands out when you are listening to the sparks except for the impactful midbass. That smooth flavor also means the dynamics take a back seat. Separation and staging could have been better, instruments come out a bit congealed in busy passages. This type of tuning is a blessing to poorly mastered music as it glides through the rough edges and is forgiving as a whole. Genres that require resolution and finesse wont be the ideal match with Sparks. Vocalists have their fine textures and nuances rubbed off as a result which obstructs resolution as a whole. This general smoothening out paired with the midbass emphasis renders lean and shouty tracks listenable by adding more body and gusto.

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Conclusion
For it's price tag, the Sparks does good. I wish its tuning had a bit more finesse and technicalities to complement. I also hope Moondrop improves the aesthetics and build quality of the Sparks. The TWS market is already saturated with some great contenders offering
great performance for a budget price. I hope the next iteration of Moondrop's TWS improves upon the Sparks' shortcoming.
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