Moondrop SSR Super Starship Reference Review - Reviews
Pros: Nice imaging for this price
Nice build
Cool design
Cons: Very bright
The latest model from Moondrop is the Super Spaceship Reference, otherwise known as the SSR. This new $39 In-Ear Monitor (IEM) is on the lower end of the Moondrop lineup and is a step up in price and quality from their popular Spaceship model.

First off, I was sent this SSR review unit by Shenzhen Audio, who are both an online retailer and distributor of Moondrop and other audio brands. You can find this product on their retail site at http://www.shenzhenaudio.com as well as their storefronts on Amazon and Ali Express.

https://shenzhenaudio.com/collections/moondrop/products/moondrop-ssr-super-spaceship-reference-in-ear-earphone




Build & Accessories
The SSR is a tiny IEM which is made of aluminum and looks to be possibly die-casted. It also has some sort of enamel clear-coat on the outside giving it a glossy appearance and feel to it. The front of the shell has a large torx screw that may be mistaken for a vent in photos, however the vents are present but located on the ear facing side of the shell and next to the nozzle. The small appearance actually does fit very well in my ears and kind of floats in your ear making little to no contact, depending on your ear shape, and is pretty comfortable overall.
The IEM houses a single beryllium-coated dynamic driver and uses recessed 0.78mm 2-pin connectors. The cable that comes with the SSR is a silver-colored and silver-plated copper wire that winds up nicely and is surprisingly very easy to maneuver and handle, and doesn’t feel to springy and would be hard to knot up.

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Sound

The Moondrop SSR can be described as a warm diffuse-field tuned IEM, which features a mid-bass focused lower end and a typical diffuse field type tuning which peaks up to 3KHz and gradually drops down and rolls off in the upper treble range. This IEM can be described as a possible reference tuning but it does lean a tad bright and possibly shouty with it’s large rise in the upper mid-range.

The low end is quick, punchy, and very tasteful, while having enough of a bass boost to provide a warmer than neutral sound. It doesn’t stray towards the rich, thick, and gooey type sound in the bass and lower mid-range however, and I believe that is partially due to the upper mid-range rise. That said, I find that the low end is acceptable for most rock music, and has a nice bass response that falls in-line with how much bass I like. It paints a clear picture without bloat.

The mid-range is predominantly dominated by that 3K peak with vocals pushed rather forward and occasionally sharp, particular with female vocals by much more forward and slightly strained. I found this less of an issue when switching to foam tips, as those typically tame some sharpness in my experience and seems to work here as well.

When I listen to Chris Stapleton, who’s deep gritty voice is backed by his roots-style americana rock, I find his voice sounds well defined and with enough power to sound accurate to my ears. Guitars plucks do come across a tad forward perhaps, but nothing that I’d consider fatiguing or sharp.

Treble on the SSR is actually balanced and generally smooth, however still rises a little higher than I prefer, especially in the lower treble range. Some may find the 3K rise to be fatiguing due to shoutiness or being overly sensitive in that area, with singers like Alison Krauss and Lauren Mayberry as prime examples of female vocals sounding a bit too overly bright.

Chromeo’s funky-dance songs are examples of music that can become fatiguing. They beats feature a lot of high-hat-type hits and snares that can seem a little too extreme for my ears. The bass lines do sound nice and clean, with punch, and the accentuated focus on the lower treble does make this song a little more exciting. The bass isn’t as powerful in the slam factor as songs like “Must’ve Been” deserves though.

My impressions on some of its more technical aspects are actually very positive for this $39 price tag. Like I mentioned before, the punchy and quick bass doesn’t seem to have any issues with muddiness and offers a clean bass representation that has some weight to it. The mid-range does steer towards the upper range however vocals and instruments do come in with good representation and clarity for this price point.

Imaging is at least better than average to excellent in this price point and is one of the better imaging IEMs I’ve heard under $100. This probably helped by the SSR having a decent soundstage and some depth. I was able to pick out instruments across the soundscape that wasn’t just in my head and instrument separation is actually a strong suit for this IEM even when I threw on songs with buzzing guitars and a lot of noise, like Sonic Youth’s Sonic Nurse record.


Comparisons

So where do I put this in the Moondrop Lineup? Without ever hearing the Crescent and Starfield, it’s a little hard to really compare it against the closest in it’s price range outside the ultra-budget Spaceship. In that case, the Spaceship is clearly outdone by the SSR and this marks a similar but improvement upon the $20 Spaceship. While the general tonality is similar, the SSR has a more balanced sound to it with less muddy midrange and improved fit makes getting seal a lot better. The technical capability is much improved with the change to the Be-coated driver and the new housing design.

I think the SSR is still a step or two below the KXXS and Kanas Pro though. Those two IEMs have a much easier to appreciate tonality that will cover most genres and individual preferences more so than the brighter tuned SSR. In addition, I think the shell design is better with an overall better package.

That said though, when comparing this IEM to it’s peers, I find this to fall somewhere in-between the V-shaped BLON BL03 and the diffuse-field targeted Tin T2. The SSR has a little bit warmer and punchier bass signature than the T2 but doesn’t get to the occasional muddy and elevated nature of the BL03. The SSR actually may be brighter than the T2 and the BLON however, but doesn’t have sibilance issues that I find occasionally present in the T2 and BL03, as it’s treble is tamed down a bit in the areas that I find most sensitive to sibilant consonant sounds.

Wrap-Up
In general, this SSR is a nice addition to Moondrop’s lineup and also a nice addition to the budget-tier IEM market. It has its own unique flavor that I don’t think any IEM in this price range currently has, in that it’s a punchier and warmer T2, which is still quite unique at this price range, even today, a few years after its initial release.

The biggest knock against it is that it does have a large emphasis in the upper mid-range and lower treble that may not appeal to some, and that’s a legitimate thing to be wary about, and it doesn’t necessarily extend that well down to sub-bass and upper treble range, but it works decently for most music.

Finally, I think the SSR is definitely well priced and can compete against others, with consideration for each individual’s personal preferences and tastes. Either way, it’s a nice little package that fits well, has a unique design and good build, and really comes ready to use.
MOONDROP SSR
Pros: -Fast and tight bass
-Transparent and lean mid-range
-Coherence
-Commendable imaging
-Light yet sturdy
-Resolution is top notch
-Price-to-performance ratio
Cons: -Peaky upper mid-range
-Needs little amplification
-Source dependent


Thank you SHENZENAUDIO for letting us give our honest take towards the MOONDROP SSR. Given that the review unit is from them and is free of charge, it doesn’t affect the honesty and integrity of this review.

Shop Link:

https://shenzhenaudio.com/products/moondrop-ssr-super-spaceship-reference-in-ear-earphone

The Company
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MOONDROP has been making audio gears since 2015, they became quite popular in 2019 due to their Kanas line up but i personally liked the Nameless when I bought it in 2018, it is very underrated and it features a very clean tonality. They became even more popular with their KXXS, STARFIELD and their ultra budget the Spaceship series. MOONDROP's flagship IEMs have good reputation too, both the Blessing and A8 have very good reviews from reviewers and users as well.

The MOONDROP SSR









The SSR is the 2nd iteration of fhe Spaceship lineup, the last year's MOONDROP spaceship managed to het considerably good feedback despite being released along with the BLON BL03 which is the spotlight of budget IEMs last year. The SSR intends to give high price to performance ratio without compromising build quality and I believe that the SSR managed to kept their vision. The SSR has a great and unique build quality for the price, it didn't use any of common IEM shell at this price point, the shell isn't as smooth as the BL03 or the T2 Plus, but it feels slightly better than VX's shell.

Frequency Response: 20-40000Hz(% Inch Free field MIc)

Impedance: l6Ω@lkHz

THD: 1%

Housing Material: Liquid Metal Aloy HousIng

Dlaphragm: Beryllium-Coated dome+PU suspension Ring

Coil: 0.035mm - CCAW (Daikoku)

Magnet: N52-High Density Magnetic Circut

Acoustic Fiter: Patented Ant-blocking Filter

Cable: Silver Plated 4N-Litz OFC

Connectors: 0.78 -2pin

Packaging








The packaging is quite generous for the price, you'll be greeted by an anime woman which has been a trademark for MOONDROP, it is very rare to see a carrying pouch in this price segment, although the pouch is on the smaller side it is still way better than not having one. The cable feels really nice too, it is coated and unbraided but based on my experience, the Nameless' cable didn't oxidize since the time I purchased it which means that the company really cares with the accessories. They also included 4 pairs of black silicone ear tips which I didn't liked but it feels better in the ears than the stock ear tips of KZ.

Fit and Comfort





The IEM shell of the SSR is on the lighter side despite using metal (liquid alloy) as material. I won't consider the shell to be ergonomic, there's a good curve on the shell that fits in my ears but it doesn't provide enough sound isolation, I prefer the shell of the T2 Plus or even the TRN VX since it is large enough to fit in my ears. On the other hand, I didn't felt any discomfort even when using it for hours and this is due to the fact that it is light weight and small. There's a striking industrial feeling to the design but I would've prefer a low profile shell cause it will provide better noise cancellation when listening in noisy areas.

Sound

I love gears with midcentric to flat sound signature as I really love listening to vocals rather than instruments. My genre ranges from heavy rock, alternative rock, pop rock, acoustic, pop, jazz and folk. Majority of my test tracks are in 16 bit – 44 khz and 24 bit – 48 khz FLAC file and here is the list of my commom test tracks.

  1. Reese Lansangan – For the Fickle (Background, female vocals and upper mids)
  2. Billie Eilish – wish you were gay (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Micro details)
  3. Rex Orange County – Untitled (Mid Bass, Mids)
  4. Ed Sheeran – Dive (Mid bass, Lower Mids)
  5. Reese Lansangan– My Sweet Hometown (Upper Mids and Instruments)
  6. Polyphia – Goose (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
  7. Utada Hikaru ft. Skrillex – Face My Fears (Imaging Layering, Bass, Mids, Treble, Coherence, Quickness)
  8. Polyphia – 40 oz. (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
  9. Polyphia – GOAT (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
  10. Ariana Grande – Raindrops (Background, Upper mids)
Bass
Subtle bass and minimal sub bass, rumbles are present but it sounds faint because it isn't rich in quantity luckily there's ample of details making textures sound really nice. Playing through Billie Eilish's "bad guy" rumbles are far from elevated, if you are used to listening with warm sets like the BLON BL03 then you'll definitely miss the quantity but the SSR is much faster making it sound more coherent and controlled. I tried "G.O.A.T" by Polyphia mid bass lacks weight and quantity, thump-y is the best way to describe it, it is fast in both attack and decay and it is quite resolving too, it is placed neutrally. This isn't a warm set and no bass-head should buy this one cause it isn't made for that market, the subtle bass response of the SSR will be suitable for those who wants a detailed set and who are easily getting tired of warm/bassy IEM, nonetheless I'm quite impressed with the details, adding a little more thickness and weight should've made the SSR a quite formidable all-rounder.

Midrange
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I used "Untitled" by Rex Orange County for testing the lower mid-range and its balance between leanness and warmth and the SSR is just a bit biased towards leanness, it isn't as dry as the TRN VX for example but I slightly prefer the note thickness of Tin Audio T2 Plus or the BLON BL03, nonetheless there's zero audible bass bleed in this set which is nice, it is detailed even with instruments. Upper mid range is emphasized but with my source (iFi hip dac) it is far from being overdone, the upper midrange is just right for my ears, I played "Face My Fears by Utada Hikaru" and the timbre sounded accurate to me, it doesn't sound harsh to my ears, it is rather sweet and intimate, it's not sibilant too and it is pretty resolving for both vocals and instruments. Finally I played "My Sweet Hometown" by Reese Lansangan and it's just intoxicating, I usually listen during my one hour break and the sweetness I'm hearing from this sub 2000 Php/40 USD IEM is just insane, the whistle part on this track is just nicely presented, details and transparency is the weapon of the SSR but if you really hate emphasized upper mid-range then this isn't your cup of tea for sure.

Treble
Treble is clean, sparkly and has good extension, it is slightly emphasized but it is quite resolving and airy, the sharpness of treble actually helped it to sound more detailed and give cymbals a nice splash. Playing "Asphyxia" by Co Shu Nie sounded fairly nice, I expect it to be harsh and chaotic but the SSR has quite commendable attack and decay speed for both bass and treble, it sounded quite sharp at times but never congested. I'm not a treble person but the emphasis of SSR is more on the upper midrange than the treble that's why I still find it manageable, the peaks on the T2 pro and T3 are harsher than the SSR, despite the emphasis, the SSR impressively managed to retain a natural timbre and tonality. If you are a treble sensitive and using an analytical source, I won't recommend the SSR because you may find it bright but if you are neither of the two, the treble of SSR sounded great especially for the price.

Sound Stage and Resolution
This is where the SSR amazed me, it packs a lot of details for the asking price without sounding artificial. If we're talking about details and imaging, multiple driver IEMs from KZ and TRN can provide it at the same price but expect a thinny timbre especially on the mid range. The SSR easily render details from mid bass to treble, sub bass isn't the most detailed cause it doesn't go too deep, overall texture is quite commendable. Sound stage feels pretty large, there's enough vertical expansion and somewhat more than average width and depth. Layering and imaging are unexpectedly great too, unlike the Blon Bl03 that slightly suffers due to slow bass, the SSR is damn fast making the sound decay quicker and having better overall coherence.

Sound Signature and Synergy
The SSR took a quite rare tuning especially in this price tier that is saturated by Harman, warm and V shaped signature IEMs. The SSR leans toward being analytical with emphasis on the upper mid-range and treble. Expect good resolution on the mid-range and treble department, mid bass is quite detailed too but it lacks quantity and depth in my opinion which means that a nice warm source like the iFi Hip Dac will complement the SSR nicely. Pairing it with a neutral source may sound good too but expect some shoutiness on the upper mid range.

Ifi Hip Dac (3.5 and 4.4)
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The Hip Dac has a warm tonality but I want to clarify that it doesn't sound bloated in any way, bass isn't emphasized but the overall presentation is thick making it sound warm. The SSR pairs perfectly with the Hip Dac, in fact I never suffered with the hotness of its upper mid range and lower treble that a lot of reviewer told in their review, bass has moderate depth, texture and remarkably quick. Mid-range sounded quite lean but never hollow, both vocals and instruments sounded clean and is not fatiguing in any way. Treble has moderate sparkle, nice transient speed and great extension. Turning on the xBass will make the SSR even more balanced with additional oohmp and throttling down the upper mid-range peak.

Using it with Satin Audio Chimera 4x, the SSR sounded cleaner, the cable also add some weight on the overall sound of the SSR. The mid range and treble didn't benefit too much with the cable but due to the termination, the SSR sounded more quiet, layering slightly improved too.

Comparison







TinHifi T2 Plus
The SSR is cheaper than the T2 Plus thus, I expected it to have inferior sound compared to the latter and my findings isn’t as straightforward as what I imagined. In terms of resolution, sound stage (size) and transparency, I’d pick the SSR over the T2 Plus but everything else goes to the T2 Plus. The layering and imaging of T2 plus is just nice, the stage isn’t grand but it is well layered and separated despite using a single dynamic driver. Timbre easily goes to the T2 Plus too, given that the SSR doesn’t sound that thin, I still prefer the control of T2 Plus with regards to note thickness, there’s no sign of shrillness too unlike with the SSR that can sound harsh at times. Bass sounds deeper, more textured and punchier on the T2 Plus too which is nice because it never sounded excessive it is just that the bass of SSR is subtle. The two doesn’t sound the same but having one between the two is more than enough, T2 Plus is easier to recommend overall due to its balanced sound.

BLON BL03
The Blon BL03 is one of the best budget IEMs of 2019 and can still fight its way in 2020. The SSR packs way more details and has slightly better imaging and layering capabilities, on the other hand the Bl03 has better tonality/timbre, it is smoother and sounds a bit more natural compared to the SSR. For the bass, it is a matter of preference, the BL03 will offer deeper sub bass and more elevated mid bass that decays quite slow (bass leaking to the mid-range and struggles with complex passages), while the SSR will offer much faster, tighter and more detailed bass at the expense of weight and depth. Midrange sounds more natural in the BL03 but it may be too smooth for some, the SSR sounds a bit dry but it packs good details, it is kinda peaky to especially when used with bright sources. Lastly, the treble of the SSR offers more brilliance, extension, speed and resolution while the BL03 sounded smoother yet airier treble that is much easier to listen. Technicalities easily goes to the SSR but the BL03 is tuned safely to the point that almost anyone can like its sound.

TRN VX
The VX and the SSR are almost parallel in terms of technicalities but I prefer the timbre of the SSR which is quite natural despite the midrange thinness. Bass goes deeper with the VX but they are equally resolving except that the SSR sounds more lean and has less weight into it. Midrange sounds dry on both IEMs but the SSR sounds more natural compared to the cupped midrange of VX. Both have excellent resolution, the SSR has more forward sounding midrange compared to the more laidback VX. The treble sounded more detailed on the VX, both sounds a bit sharp for me but they are both technically comendable.

Conclusion
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The SSR is back on sale now, the unit I received the mk1 yet I'm truly satisfied with how they were able to make a dynamic driver sound as technical as this without the timbre sounding whack. It pairs really well with the Hip Dac but it sounds sharp with the Cayin N5 mk2. The build quality is very good since it is made out of metal yet it is lightweight paired with nicely crafted cable and ear tips. This isn't the easiest to recommend due to its peaky upper mid range but it is probably one of the most technical entry for the price, definitely a good buy for those who prefer technical performance without having unnatural tonality, good job MOONDROP.
audioblog18
audioblog18
Thank you so much!
shenzhenaudio
shenzhenaudio
Love it, thank you. :)
audioblog18
audioblog18
No worries, the SSR won't please anyone for sure but they are really good technical set for less and I love it.
Pros: great technical performance, intentional tuning
Cons: potentially shouty upper midrange
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INTRODUCTION AND DISCLAIMER:

The Moondrop Super Spaceship Reference (SSR) is an in-ear monitor (IEM) using a beryllium-coated dome diaphragm dynamic driver. The SSR retails for $40 at Shenzhen Audio. I received the Moondrop SSR from Shenzhen Audio in exchange for a fair and objective review.

This review is also available on my blog: https://medium.com/@darmanskirata1136/moondrop-ssr-review-914188a84895

SOURCES:
I have used the Moondrop SSR with the following sources:

I have tested these headphones with local FLAC and Spotify Premium. Visit my last.fm page to get an idea of what I listen to.

PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:
2020-07-09 10.59.03 1.jpg

The Moondrop SSR comes in a square white box illustrated with the infamous Moondrop anime waifu in full color. Technical specifications for the SSR are provided in English and Chinese on the back of the box. The package includes a detachable 2-pin cable, three silicone eartips (small, medium, large), a synthetic fabric drawstring bag, a contact card written almost exclusively in Chinese, and a user manual, also written almost exclusively in Chinese. For the price, I can’t complain about the accessory selection. However, I encourage Moondrop to include at least one pair of their MIS foam eartips in future products.

BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN:
2020-07-09 10.59.24 1.jpg

The Moondrop SSR has low-profile aluminum housings with a glossy clear coat. The faceplates have a black nut set into the surface, and there are several vents on the inner face of the housing and on the side of the nozzle. “L” and “R” are inscribed into the inner faces of the housings. The 2-pin connections are slightly recessed. The nozzles do not have a lip to secure eartips.

The 2-pin cable has a transparent plastic sheath. The Y-split is a black plastic disc embossed with the Moondrop logo, and the L-shaped 3.5mm jack hardware is clear rubber. There is strain relief only above the jack and there is no chin slider. There is a red O-ring on the right-side cable in addition to the typical raised “L/R” indicators. The cable has pre-formed rubber ear guides. The fit of the 2-pin connectors is extremely tight.

COMFORT / FIT / ISOLATION:
The Moondrop SSR is intended to be worn cable-up only. The earpieces have a moderate to deep insertion depth but are comfortable to wear for extended periods. When worn, the entire housing falls below the outer surface of my ear, making the SSR ideal for use while sleeping. Secureness of fit is excellent, but isolation is average. The SSR does not have driver flex.

MEASUREMENTS:
SSR.jpg
My measurements were conducted with a Dayton iMM-6 microphone using a vinyl tubing coupler and a calibrated USB sound interface. The headphones are driven using my Element, which has an output impedance of no more than 1 ohm. The measurements use a compensation file derived from relating my raw measurements to published measurements from Crinacle and Antdroid. The measurements are presented with 1/24th smoothing. There is a resonant peak at 8k. Measurements above 10k are not reliable.

SOUND:
If one were to evaluate the Moondrop SSR based on the graph above, one could describe it as a Diffuse-neutral IEM with a slight mid-bass emphasis. sound signature with a forward midrange. My subjective experience with the SSR has been different. I perceive much more bass than measured, presumably because of my ear anatomy and the insertion depth I listen to the SSR at. I have small ears and insert the SSR as deeply as possible. Other reviewers with access to measurement rigs have found that blocking the SSR’s vents significantly increases its bass response. My guess is that these vents are mostly blocked when I listen to the SSR. For me, the sub-bass is emphasized over the mid-bass, though there is an ample amount of both. The bass response has excellent speed, articulation, and texture. There is a fair amount of mid-bass bleed, but it serves mostly to give the SSR’s lower-midrange body rather than creating sonic mud. The SSR has surprisingly great resolution throughout its frequency response.
Reviews of the SSR have been mixed in large part because of its polarizing midrange emphasis. I used the Moondrop SSR exclusively with Moondrop’s MIS tips, which bring the upper-midrange even further forward than the measurement above indicates. Male vocals are significantly less prominent than female vocals, though vocal intelligibility for both male and female vocals is excellent most of the time. The quality of the imaging and instrument separation is such that instrumentation panned to the left and right is easily distinguished from centered vocals despite the forward upper-midrange. The shouty quality of male vocals is most noticeable with vocal harmonies and gang vocals that are panned to the sides and overlap with instrumentation. Male vocal intelligibility suffers when this occurs. Female vocals have a breathy, mild sibilance to them but are not shrill to my ears. Harsh male vocals have good bite. Timbre is realistic if slightly dry.
The upper end of the SSR’s frequency response is weighted towards a gentle lower-treble emphasis, with limited upper-treble extension. There is a fair amount of sparkle but little air. Transients are not splashy or overly diffuse but also not unrealistically quick in their attack. Soundstage is expansive for a single dynamic driver IEM.

EQ:
I am a huge fan of Toranku’s target curve, which elevates the Moondrop S8 to a new level of clarity and does wonders for the KB EAR Diamond’s overemphasized upper midrange. However, equalizing the Moondrop SSR to this curve resulted in a subjectively overwhelming sub-bass response. I also did not find the equalized midrange response to be a clear improvement over the raw response.

AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AND SOURCE PAIRING:
The Moondrop SSR is surprisingly demanding in terms of its amplification needs and requires a competent dongle or dedicated amplifier to achieve volume levels I find acceptable. The UAPP workaround may be necessary for Apple dongle users. I did not notice hiss with any of my sources.

CLOSING WORDS:
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The Moondrop SSR stands apart from most IEMs at its price point because it is clear just from looking at its frequency response that its tuners had a specific target in mind for it, as opposed to shoving a mishmash of drivers into a shell and pushing it onto the market. That target may not be to everyone’s taste, but some measure of intentionality counts for a lot. The Kinera Tyr is one of the few competing IEMs that I feel deserves to be in the same conversation as the SSR because it too measures and sounds as though effort and care were taken to make it sound like something. If one is sensitive to upper-midrange “shout” the SSR should be avoided. If not, the SSR is a surprisingly technical monitor that is well worth its price.
shenzhenaudio
shenzhenaudio
Thanks a lot for your detailed review.
Pros: Outstanding detail and clarity in the mids - Comfortable, durable design - General accuracy and non-fatiguing nature
Cons: Tiny carrying pouch – Bass isn't as punchy and textured as the regular Spaceship
Greetings!

Today we're checking out an earphone that I was very excited to receive, the SSR, or Super Spaceship Reference.

That second S for 'Spaceship' is why I was so pumped to review the SSR. The original Spaceship was one of my favourite purchases in 2019 and served as a near perfect daily driver for my listening needs. Small, comfy, and with a level of sound quality that belied the very low price tag. It reminded me of the sort of hidden gems I'd find back when I first dove into the hobby when Chinese hi-fi products were just starting to build steam. A time when there was nowhere near the coverage and hype we see nowadays.

The SSR at 39.99 USD isn't quite as budget friendly as the Spaceship or some of my now obsolete gems, but with the slight price increase came some significant changes to aspects that people disliked about the Spaceship. The SSR has a more stylish, low profile shell with an over ear design that helps provide a more secure fit. The cable is also removable now, and uses a common 0.78mm pin size so you have lots of third party options available should you break it.

I'm not going to mince words; the SSR is awesome and easily up there as one of my favourite earphones of the year so far. Read on the find out why.

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What I Hear The SSR does not stray far from the signature found in it's predecessor, the Spaceship. That is very much a good thing in my opinion, as I quite enjoy that wallet-friendly, micro-dynamic equipped earphone. That said, there are some notable differences that lead me to expect the SSR will be slightly more universally appreciated.

Like the regular Spaceship, the SSR presents its treble with a smooth, grit-free sound that is tight and well controlled. No splash, no harshness. I find the SSR a hint warmer with a bit more weight to notes, yet it loses none of the airiness and space between notes. As a result, the SSR handles congested tracks just as comfortably. As with the original, I find the SSR to place more focus on the presence region instead of that upper treble brilliance, through the transition from one region to the other has been improved and balanced out. This combined with the slightly warmer sound results in similar detail, but within a more refined, smoother presentation. While detail is quite similar, I find the regular Spaceship just a hint more textured thanks to it's slightly cooler sound. Regardless, the SSR's treble presentation is maturely tuned and an absolute massage for the ears. I can listen for hours without fatigue settling in.

For the most part I find the general midrange emphasis basically identical to the original Spaceship. That is, the SSR pushes the mids forward, particularly vocals. The drop of additional warmth I was hearing in the treble is present here too, and I've been enjoying it more than I was expecting. I tend to enjoy a slightly, lean, dry sounding midrange, descriptors I cannot levy at the SSR in any way. Vocals aren't thick per say, but they've got weight and girth to them with female vocalists carrying the torch. Sweet and intimate, with plenty of detail. Because I enjoy the SSR so much and find it entirely non-fatiguing, for a good chunk of my testing I was listening at much higher levels than the usual “is anything even playing” volumes I prefer. Sibilance was impressively well-controlled, even on Aesop Rock's notoriously unforgiving “Blood Sandwich”. Since pretty much everyone says the SSR can be shouty, I looked for comments that actually included the tracks where they tested this. I know I'm not particularly sensitive to peaks, but even raising the volume to levels that caused clear distortion, nothing sounded shouty. Loud, oh yes, but shouty? Na. You want to hear something shouty pick up a Blue Ever Blue 2000EX and set yourself a new bassline. I hear this midrange as tonally accurate with great timbre, and with an absence of the occasional tinniness I heard in the previous model.

Despite nearly identical low end measurements to the Spaceship, I perceived the SSR as the warmer, bassier of the two. Extension is similarly good with some roll off in the lowest regions. Like the Spaceship the SSR can provide some decent thump and solid visceral feedback, but it's not going to rattle your eardrums. Where they really differ is in how that low end is presented. To my ears, the SSR is slower and softer with less texture. It seems to handle rapid double bass just as well, but grungy notes from The Prodigy and Tobacco are smoother. The differences aren't terribly vast, but they're certainly noticeable and give each a unique character, especially when you bring back in the mids and treble which are a hint cooler and less refined on the Spaceship.

The SSR's sound stage houses some similarities to the Spaceship, but in general I find it clearly superior here. Like the Spaceship the presentation is quite wide with effects able to careen off into the distance. There is a depth to the SSR's sound that the Spaceship lacks, giving the SSR a more dynamic and natural feel, especially with live recordings. I found imaging to be quite good with vast sweeps of movement channel-to-channel. Instrument separation is also quite impressive for such an inexpensive earphone, though a hint behind the Spaceship, with layering falling clearly into the SSR's favour. Where the Spaceship could sound a little confined on particularly busy tracks, the SSR remains open a spacious.

Overall I think this is a brilliantly tuned earphone. While not unanimously better than the original Spaceship, the SSR will without question proudly join it on my list of favourites under 50 USD. It can also now be the one I point people to when they say they wanted to try the Spaceship, but were turned off by the bullet-shaped shell or fixed cable.

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Compared To A Peer (volumes matched with Dayton iMM-6)

Kinera SIF (39.99 USD): I quite enjoy the Sif and while I think it's a good earphone, the SSR outclasses it. Treble out of the SSR is smoother and cleaner sounding with a better overall balance. The Sif's midrange is less forward with slightly less warm tone. Detail and clarity are good, but a step behind the SSR, as is timbre which takes on a lighter feel than is otherwise natural. Close, but not as nice as what the SSR outputs. Bass is where the Sif is going to win many over since it offers up notably more presence in both mid and sub regions. The presentation is more forceful and powerful with an even more visceral response to the deepest notes. Midbass is a little bloated feeling compared to the SSR, but it offers up more punch and a bit more texture. Neither sound particularly quick, though the SSR has a clear edge when it comes to rapid double bass notes thanks to the extra definition it provides between each hit. The Sif has a good sound stage, but the SSR's less intimate default vocal positioning gives it a better sense of space. Imaging is similarly clean between the two, while I find the SSR more layered and dynamic and instruments better defined and separated on congested tracks.

When it comes to build the Sif's plastic housings match the SSR in terms of fit and finish, though I prefer 2-pin designs to MMCX so I'll give the SSR the edge. Isolation is much better on the Sif with overall comfort being quite similar. The SSR will probably suit more users though since it has a distinct size advantage, despite the Sif not being particularly large. Cables are bout on par. The Sif's twisted cable looks fantastic and shares a similar aesthetic while being even softer and more pliable. The sharply angled preformed ear guides do result in even more annoying tangles to deal with should you store the Sif carelessly.

As you probably gathered, I prefer the SSR. It sounds more mature and refined with better technical capabilities. Other aspects like design, shape, cable, and comfort are a bit more personal or preference driven.

TinHifi T2 (49.90 USD): The T2 has been a staple recommendation of mine since I first covered it way back in October of 2017. In this hobby, that is some pretty ridiculous staying power. The T2 earned it though thanks to excellent build quality and a neutral-leaning tune that was unlike pretty much anything else on the market, all at a price that most could comfortably afford. I think it's time to let the old dog retire though, as to my ears the SSR is a step up in many ways. Treble is smoother and tighter with just as much detail and none of the roughness, though the T2 provides more sparkle and general energy to the sound it outputs. The midrange is more forward and vocals more coherent out of the SSR, and instruments presented with more accurate timbre. Bass digs deeper, is tighter, faster, and overall more refined, though I'll give T2 the nod for texture. The T2 holds it's own when it comes to sound stage though, offering up an experience that is just as spacious and more even when it comes to width and depth. I'd say the imaging out of the T2 is a hair more accurate and laying a hint improved, though I find the SSR to better separate individual instruments.

When it comes to build both are very well done, though the T2 gets the edge. Fit and finish is better with less visible seams and a design that works just as well cable up as it does in a more traditional cable down setting. I love the cable on my original T2, but I get why it was replaced for later iterations. It is somewhat stiff, rough to the touch, and has a great memory for sharp bends and kinks. Newer versions come with a much more flexible and manageable cable, though one with less character. When it comes to fit the T2 has not developed a particularly favourable reputation in the community. Personally, I find it fine for a product of that design. Stability is okay and I don't have to constantly reseat it. Others were not so lucky. I suspect those who own both will find the fit of the SSR to be greatly superior.

I love the T2. It was a revelation and I hope it's never forgotten. That said, it is starting to show it's age next to products like the SSR and even Tin's own T2 Plus that was recently released. It's still better than 90% of the offerings in the price range though.

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In The Ear The SSR features well-constructed, liquid metal alloy housings. Forged from two pieces and held together with a single hex screw, it looks and feels very study though the seam between the two parts is quite visible. Spacing is uniform and tight all the way around though. The cables plug in tightly and with a recessed design should be well-protected from accidental bends. The metal nozzle grills with integrated tuning damper have been neatly installed, as have the inner filters and vents found just under the L/R markings which have been forged into the body instead of printed or painted on. I have no issues with the way the SSR has been constructed, and also enjoy the design which pulls clear inspiration from the FLC 8S in terms of the general shape. The placement of the various vents/filters/screws also mirror the filter location on the 8S, further strengthening the similarities. That said, the SSR is not a ripoff given it is significantly smaller, does not feature an in-depth filter system, and is overall much more blocky around the edges.

The silver-plated cable I am quite fond of being that it is very similar to those found on a few favourites from my past. It is soft and pliable though the preformed ear guides, while flexible and comfortable, do lead to easy tangles if you aren't careful when putting them away. The clear sheath also works in this cables favour allowing you to see the silver-plated strands within. It is quite visually striking when you take a close look. The hardware Moondrop selected is also a plus, as least in most areas. The 90 degree angled jack is compact and well-relieved, as are the tiny 0.78mm 2-pin plugs carried over from the Starfield (though here they are clear, not blue). While the plugs are labelled with L and R lettering to denote channel, it is extremely difficult to see so Moondrop added a red rubber ring to the right size to help out. That's a thoughtful touch. The y-split is my only area of concern since it is quite sizable and lacks strain relief out either end. A chin cinch would have also been a welcome addition, but one is absent here. It's easy enough to make one with a twist tie or something similar though, if you feel it is needed.

When it comes to comfort, I found the SSR to be quite nice to wear. The small size and light weight combined with rounded edges and a reasonably long nozzle means it is quite stable during heavy movement. I can also comfortably lay my head on a pillow with them in since they sit so flush with the outer ear. Isolation is pretty sub-par though, at least without music playing. Since there are vents all over the place, plenty of sound leaks through. I can pause my music to chat with my wife while leaving them in, for example. Not too many earphones out there I can do that with. Now, bring music back into the equation and oddly, isolation feels pretty good. Little volume compensation seems to be needed to block outside noise, especially if you opt to squeeze on some foam tips.

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In The Box The SSR arrives in a squat, square box with the usual flair Moondrop is known for on the front; attractive fonts and anime artwork. This little lady was so popular, they even made an acrylic stand of her. If I saw this in a store I would have no idea it was earphone packaging. Honestly, it's really quite refreshing and a welcome change of pace from the usual packaging trends. Flip around to the back and you find more traditional and helpful details; an exploded image of the SSR showing off it's component parts, an accurate frequency response graph (not the usual marketing-guided fakery we typically see), and a spec list.

Lift the lid off and you find the SSR's earphones with cable attached resting comfortably in a foam insert. Alongside the foam insert is a smaller cardboard box embossed with the Moondrop logo in silver foil, inside which you find the included extras. In all you get:
  • SSR earphones
  • 0.78mm Silver-plated 4N-Litz OFC cable
  • Single flange silicone tips (s/m/l)
  • Fabric carrying pouch
While you are not provided a ton of extras with the SSR, what you do get is quality. The tips are the same ones included with the original Spaceship and the Starfield, using a soft, grippy silicone. They provide a great seal and are very comfortable. The fabric carrying pouch is thick and dense and feels like it could stand up to a ton of abuse. It's too bad it's so small though. Even after wrapping up the cable tightly with a three finger wind, there is just barely enough space to hold the SSR, and certainly not comfortably.

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Final Thoughts The SSR is yet another class leading product from Moondrop. Like the Starfield, its performance is so very clean and reliable with few faults, all of them minor. My only real complains are levied at somewhat pointless stuff, like a lack of extras and a carrying pouch that is barely large enough to cram the SSR into. Other than that, it's all good. The SSR is small and comfortable, well-built with a quality cable, and sounds great thanks to a creamy midrange and refined treble. Bass could use a hint more slam and texture, but that is just in comparison to the regular Spaceship. It is still quite satisfying, even on bass heavy tracks where you feel the SSR might be out of its element. It all sounds quite spacious too with excellent technical presence for such an affordable earphone.

This is one happily joins the Shozy Form 1.4 as one of my personal favorites of 2020, and as a result gets an easy recommendation. If you're looking for something in this price range, the SSR is well worth checking out.

Thanks for reading!

- B9

Disclaimer Big thanks to Moondrop for sending over a sample of the SSR for review. The thoughts within this review are my own subjective opinions based on a couple weeks of use. They do not represent Moondrop or any other entity. At the time of writing the SSR was temporarily removed from sale due to some issues with a recent batch of cables, but when it returns it will retail for 39.99 USD on Moondrop's official AliExpress store: https://moondrop.aliexpress.com/store/4980017

Specifications
  • Impedance: 16 ohms @ 1kHz
  • Sensitivity: 115dB/Vrms @ 1kHz
  • Frequency Response: 20-40,000Hz
  • Driver: Beryllium-coated diaphragm with PU suspension ring
  • Cable: 0.78mm Silver-plated 4N-Litz OFC
  • THD: <1%
Gear Used For Testing LG Q70, FiiO M3 Pro, FiiO BTR3K, Earstudio HUD100, Earmen TR-Amp, Asus FX53V, TEAC HA-501

Some Test Tunes

Supertramp – Crime of the Century
Slipknot – Vol 3 (The Subliminal Verses)
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
King Crimson – Lark's Tongues in Aspic
King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black
Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma
The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy
Steely Dan – The Royal Scam
Porcupine Tree – Stupid Dreams
Fleetwood Mac – Rumors
Tobacco – F****d Up Friends
Pros: Fast, tight and punchy bass
Good technicality for the price
Easy fit and very comfortable
No sibilance or harshness
Cons: Can be too shouty/intense for some people
Vocal might sound too thin
Faint bass rumbles
Not for basshead
Full Disclaimer: The review unit was sent to me by Shenzhenaudio in exchange for my honest opinion on this IEM. I'm not getting paid by them nor I'm affiliated with the store or by the Moondrop company itself. This entire review will be coming from my own experience with the IEM.

You can directly purchase the Moondrop SSR from Shenzhenaudio official store for the price of $40

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Introduction:
Since most people who are into chifi has probably known Moondrop at this point, I'll just skip this part to keep things shorter.

Unboxing:
The box is pretty simple, the mascot girl is at the front cover and there are a graph and specifications of the iem at the back. The size of the box itself is not very small but not that big either.

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The included accessories are:
- Silver Plated 4N-Litz OFC
- A small black pouch
- 1 set of silicone tips (S, M, L)
- Manuals & QC card

Built Quality & Fit:

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Housing - The housing of SSR is made of liquid metal alloy housing with a glossy finish. It has some weight on it since its metal, but it's still very lightweight when you wear them on your ear compared to their bigger brothers like KXXS/Starfield. With its shape resembling the FLC 8s or a heart, safe to say they are very comfortable and easy to get the right fit with. They also will not cause any fatigue or pain if you wear them for a long time.

However, the isolation on SSR is not as good as other iems with bigger housing. Here the isolation level is more or less similar to a bullet style iem.

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Cable & Tips - The SPC is really nice for the price, it's soft, no microphonic nor does it retains memory when you roll them up. It has a tiny red ring near the right 2-pin connector for L/R markings and a rubber-made round splitter, which IMO, better than the one on the Starfield or the B2 since it has no sharp edges. But just like other moondrop cables, it doesn't have a chin slider.

The silicone tips included is similar, or maybe the same as the one provided on Starfield. They are usable out of the box, but for better a fit and comfort, I would suggest doing some tips rolling.

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Carrying Pouch - It's tiny. Maybe even a bit too tiny. Even the og Spaceship with a $20 price tag has a much bigger pouch than the SSR. But despite the tiny size, it's still can be used since the cable is pretty soft to be roll up, so just roll it smaller & it will fit into the pouch nicely.

In terms of the material, the outer was kind of the water-resistant type instead of cloth material like the og, which can help to protect the iem from accidental splash of water.

Sound Analysis:

Gears used in this review:
DAP: Shanling M5s
Cable: Stock cable
Tips: Ortofon
Playlist: Korean R&B, Neo Soul, Hip hop, Jazz, Jpop, Western pop, Orchestral

Utilizing the beryllium coated-dome, SSR is the newest budget single-DD line from Moondrop to replace the Spaceship.

Moondrop_SSR-1.png
SSR measurement was done using an IEC-711 clone with 10k as resonance peak. The data is raw & uncompensated, so flat in the graph is not flat in real life.

Unlike their other IEMs that used their own VDSF reference tuning, SSR instead was tuned into the warm diffuse-field sound signature with a slight midbass boost and a peak at the 3kHz before it starts to roll off.

Lows - The bass on the SSR is pretty decent for its price, IMO. It is quite tight and fast without bleeding to other frequencies while still delivering enough amount of punch, texture, and body to the mix with the about 5db boost on the 100Hz (lower midbass).

However, what makes the bass here not the best is the lack of bass rumble. The early roll-off on the sub-bass has significantly made the rumbles almost doesn't exist. It's still there, but it's very short and faint. So, if you need a good sub-bass/deep bass rumble on your iem, I would suggest you to just skip the SSR.

But honestly, after using the Blessing 2 for a while, I unexpectedly able to enjoy the bass on SSR without much of a problem since the first time I listen to them. It may be because it has more bass punch than on the B2 too.


Mids - The main highlight of SSR that get a bit controversial.

With the unusually high boost on the upper mid-range, it is pretty obvious that SSR is not going to be for all kinds of ears. If you are used to a thicker sounding IEM, you'll surely find them too shouty (went past borderline), thin and doesn't have much body. I personally didn't get too bothered much, but it does sound a bit too thin for my taste too, so if they lowered down a few db, it will be much better.

But since they are pretty laid back, they didn't sound harsh even with that excessive boost. And in terms of the positioning, the vocal is definitely more forward than instruments.

The tonality here is not as bad as few reviewers had stated. They are quite less accurate but they are still tolerable. The timbre, however, still surprisingly sound natural.

Highs - The treble on SSR is safe as usual. It has some nice shimmers to it but it's still pretty smooth overall. Instruments like cymbals or high hats also still sound natural enough with a sufficient amount of air and crispness. I didn't detect any harshness or fatiguing peaks on it.

Soundstage and Imaging - The size of soundstage is pretty in the average with the dominance on the width than the height. The sense of depth is also a bit lacking, so layering is still a little flat and feels less 3D. But for instrument positioning, they are still very good considering the price is only $40.

Resolution and Separation - For the price, I think they are good enough. Detail & resolution is a bit above the average, but instruments on SSR are separated and defined well than their price tag, as they didn't sound congested or getting mixed a lot as on the Starfield.

Comparison:

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Blon BL-03 - Bl03 is totally the opposite of the SSR. They are much warmer and midbassy, contrasting the neutral-bright signature of SSR, which overall a much safer tuning that can be accepted by most people.

The bass on blon is also much slower, looser, and bloated, resulting in them to sound much warmer. But unlike SSR, the sub-bass on Blon has a much better presence than on the SSR.

For treble and technicalities, SSR definitely better since I can hear the cymbals playing more clearly and detailed than on the Blon.

SSR_vs_Crescent.png
Moondrop Crescent - Since the unit I received have bass problem (crazy bass boost up to almost 20db), I have done some modding to bring them down to the level close to Starfield. So this comparison is with a modded crescent.

Crescent also has a more relaxed tuning like the blon 03 that focused more on the midbass. It's much harder to drive, but bass punch and rumble is much better here. The mid is also thicker but with a bit lower in clarity due to bleed. Crescent is also a more in-your-face type, so the soundstage feels more intimate and narrower than on SSR.

SSR_vs_SF-1.png
Moondrop Starfield - Easier to drive, better in almost all aspects except instrument separations, clarity, and transient. The mid-bass is also more bloated here since it has slower speed and longer decay, but they have better lower end extension and bass punch. The soundstage on Starfield also has a better presence when you listen to them, which makes it feels more spacious and in-depth than on SSR.

Conclusion:
SSR is another solid IEM from Moondrop in the entry-level range. It has good technicalities, decent accessories out of the box and they are tuned close to the Diffuse Field instead of a more fun sound signature like the v/u-shape like other IEMs in the same price range.

It definitely can be a steal for those who want to taste the DF tuning that is mostly only available on higher budget IEM or Moondrop's own neutral VDSF that's only available on their higher-end IEMs or just want a daily beater IEM that can play weeb music or orchestral well.

But then again, if you aren't a fan of this kind of shouty tuning since the beginning of time or you've tried other Moondrop IEM and feel they are just too shouty for you, you can just skip the SSR because you aren't going to lose much.
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R
rprodrigues
yorosello, would you say that Starfield is worth the additional $ 60?
yorosello
yorosello
@rprodrigues it'll depends on what you are looking for. Since the sound signature is a bit different. Starfield is a lot warmer than SSR & technically better.
Pros: good, clean bass response
- strong technicalities
- cultured waifu art bonus points
Cons: liberal upper midrange boost
- not for bassheads
- bright/shouty to the point of fatigue
Please view the review on my site here for the ideal viewing experience. I have a few other IEM reviews too.


Introduction

If you’ve read my Blessing 2 review, then you’ll know that I have high regard for Moondrop as a company. Moondrop is mainly known for two things: Their excellent taste in waifus and their incredible lineup consistency. And to the credit of the latter, they’ve proven time and time again that they know what they’re doing. In fact, they practically have a monopoly over the sub-$1000 range with their Starfield, Blessing 2, and S8 trio of IEMs. These IEMs are geared towards the mid-fi crowd though, and the SSR (Super Spaceship Reference) which clocks in at $40 is simply them revisiting the IEM budget-arena and attempting to further exert such dominance.

You can purchase this IEM here from Shenzhen Audio, although I believe they’re currently out of stock.

Disclaimer: I purchased this IEM with my own money, and I have no conflict of interest with Moondrop. As usual, everything that follows is my honest thoughts.

The Tangibles

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S-tier waifu without a doubt. Read on to find out about the actual sound though.
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The SSR arrives in a square, cardboard box. Accessories include the cable, eartips, and a synthetic pouch. The IEMs themselves are made of metal and have an outer coating to prevent oxidation/rust. People hate on Moondrop's cables, and production is halted because of a cable quality issue, but this is probably their best yet. Tragically there's still no chin slider; it's covered in a clear, plastic coating, so it won't tangle as easily.

Fit, Isolation, and Comfort

Given the, let’s just say interesting, ergonomics of the SSR, I was somewhat worried about this aspect, but the minuscule size should mitigate most issues. Personally, I can keep them in my ears comfortably for several hours. Isolation is poorer than normal because they don’t fully seal off your canal like some larger IEMs might. As usual, standard disclaimer that fit is 100% subjective and that it’ll depend on your wholly unique ear anatomy. But the SSR are absolutely tiny, and if you can’t at least fit them in your ear then you’re probably cursed and should just quit IEMs altogether.

Sound Analysis

Testing Methodology:
  • Stock cable and stock tips.
  • FLAC files off of a Shanling M0.
  • Burn-in – Don’t believe in it unless we’re talking about your brain and ears getting used to the sound. For what it’s worth, I rarely hear differences after the fact.
  • SSR takes a surprising amount of power to drive. No trouble running it off of any of my sources, but I had to give it more juice than usual. I also rarely listen at more than 75dB, so take that for what you will if you’re a head-banger.
Bass: The SSR is very light on the bass; it’s good ‘ol DD bass with a distinctive punch and texturing. It runs close to neutral with a very slight boost and is pretty clean. If I have one real knock on the bass, it’s a lack of sub-bass extension. But I’m sorry, there also isn’t enough quantity. And hear me out – it’s not strictly a problem with the bass itself (which is very good), but an issue with the boosted upper midrange and treble that I’ll elaborate on more below. There just needs to be more bass to balance those higher frequencies.

Midrange: This is normally where Moondrop IEMs shine, and to a certain extent this is still the SSR’s standout, but it’s simply too pronounced. Whereas the other IEMs in their lineup already border on shouty-ness in the upper midrange, the SSR takes it not just one, but several steps further with a very liberal boost at 3kHz. I know what they were going for here – they’re tuning towards weeb music and anime OST tracks – but this is too much.

Thus, especially with female vocals, it has an inverse effect: The SSR comes off as almost shrill. Take for example “LIKEY” an upbeat, energetic track with a lot of synthetic sounds and higher-pitched vocalists by TWICE; it was almost painful to listen to. To be fair, I found it does work nicely with Aimer, a J-pop female vocalist with a unique, huskier voice and some SawanoHiroyuki[nZk] stuff whose vocals are normally too recessed with most IEMs. In typical Moondrop fashion, vocals are thin, lean towards smooth, and have good clarity for the price nonetheless.

Highs: Admittedly I don’t focus a lot on the highs while listening, and I’ve mentioned this in some previous reviews. As long as there’s nothing too out-of-place, I’m a happy camper. To this effect, I think the SSR’s treble presentation is actually fine. It’s clean, pronounced, and has a nice sparkle to it. Depending on one’s preferences, I could see this being either good or bad, but again – there’s nothing inherently wrong with it.

This is probably the most egregiously tuned Moondrop IEM yet; there’s an almost exponential rise to the mid-range at around 1kHz that extends to the treble region. It’s bright to the point of shouty-ness at times, and coming from the Thieaudio L3/L9 I recently reviewed – which are much darker – it was a real slap. I did grow accustomed to it after hours of listening, but I know that not everyone will. It’s not a laid-back tuning to me, and it’s a bit of a niche for sure. Maybe if you have some hearing loss in the upper frequencies this could be considered a pro – no, I’m serious.

Let’s briefly talk about technicalities because at least Moondrop hasn’t completely dropped the ball here. Timbre is good, and I don’t hear any issues here as should be expected with a dynamic driver. Soundstage is average, but imaging is particularly good, punching well-beyond it’s price point not unlike the Blessing 2. Something else I was pleasantly surprised by was the transient speed. Sure, it’s not BA fast, but for the price? It’s pretty darn good, and has no trouble keeping up with some busier tracks. Resolution and detail retrieval seem par for the SSR’s $40 price tag.

Test Tracks (some of the ones I went through)
  • Aimer – Hakuchumu, i-mage <in/AR>, Brave Shine
  • Brooks & Dunn – Red Dirt Road
  • Eden’s Edge – Amen
  • Eric Church – Springsteen, Hell on the Heart
  • Keith Urban – Defying Gravity (Album)
  • SawanoHiroyuki[nZk] – Best of Vocal Works (Album)
  • Taeyeon – My Voice (Album)
  • Tiffany – I Just Wanna Dance (Album)
  • TWICE – LIKEY
The Verdict

The SSR is like that kid-brother you love to death, but won’t ever shut up. I really want to like it, but simply put, the tuning is too shouty for the vast majority of people. It’s not a very agreeable tuning in the most objective sense, and it’s just weird to see Moondrop do something so esoteric because they’ve played it safe so far. We knew it was going to happen eventually though, and it looks like Moondrop finally has a miss. For $40 I’m definitely inclined to say it could’ve been a lot worse, but the SSR still isn’t as good as it could’ve been with the solid “VDSF” tuning that they normally follow. Hopefully they don’t make the same mistakes with their upcoming SSP! For now though, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt plus the usual cultured, waifu art bonus points.

Given my blatant critique of the SSR, I suspect this review won't grace the front-pages of Head-Fi like my last few reviews have. Make no mistake that the SSR’s still far from being horrible; in fact, it’s an acceptable entry point for someone interested in the Moondrop sound. But I do consider myself a straight-shooter, and I cannot in good faith cut Moondrop slack here despite my affection for the brand. Personally, I’d save my money for the Starfield or the Blessing 2 as they’re much better value propositions (relative to their price brackets) despite their higher cost of entry. So as much as I hate to agree with a certain reviewer who takes their cues from 2Pac DSD, this one should be a hard pass for most buyers and even die-hard fans of Moondrop.

Score: 3/10 (Average)
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 of me, myself, and I hear.
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RONJA MESCO
RONJA MESCO
Whoa...shots fired. Three outta ten is nothing to sneeze at or a grain of salt. It makes it seems this is a bottom of the barrel KZ or TFZ IEM that you find for $15.
Precogvision
Precogvision
@RONJA MESCO Lol, just looks bad because it’s relative. I consider it average SQ-wise. So on a letter grade-scale like Crinacle’s roughly a C give or take.
Pros: Fluid, natural presentation; superb, well-dosed low end; small, originally designed shells provide great comfort and fit; well-composed overall package.
Cons: Boosted upper midrange may be offensive to some; not as dynamic and zippy with a phone as expected from the specs; not the deepest soundstage.
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Moondrop SSR “Super Spaceship Reference” Earphone Review – Walking On The Moon

This review was originally published on https://www.audioreviews.org


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Moondrop SSR are a close-to diffuse-field-neutral tuned earphone that sonically excel by their non-sterile/non over-analytical balanced and fluid signature mainly fuelled by an outstanding dry and articulate, well-dosed low-end. The very small shells provide for excellent comfort and fit.


INTRODUCTION

The Moondrop team from my favourite Chinese city of Chengdu, Sichuan, have impressed us lately with a series of affordable dynamic-driver earphones in the budget to mid-tier segment. The $190 Kanas Pro Edition “KPE” placed the company in the league of the big dynamic-driver players – and their budget spinoff, the $30 Crescent, flew underneath everybody’s radar – and disappeared as fast as they had come out of the woodwork. Both earphones graphed almost identically approaching the Harman Target curve.

Moondrop SSR Super Spaceship Reference Earphone Review - Walking On The Moon 1

Moondrop dynamic-driver earphones, clockwise: SSR, Spaceship, Crescent, and Starfield.


I personally found the KPE not fluid enough for my taste, particularly in the transition from a strong, warm bass to a neutral midrange, the latter being part of Moondrop’s “house sound” for single DDs (audioreviews.org is still working on qualifying for reviewing Moondrop’s upscale multi-driver offerings) – and I blasphemcially preferred (and still love) the Crescent, which to me were a premium earphone in disguise. You find tons of in-house reviews of these Moondrop single DDs in our “earphone index” (you better bookmark it, tons of interesting reads in there), we did alone three different ones for the KPE.

The KPE received an overhaul in the $190 KXXS and its $109 Starfield spinoff, which started Moondrop’s new tuning trend – away from Harman and towards diffuse- field neutral (a signature mastered by Etymotic research). In other words, both models received a less bassy signature, Moondrop literally “flattened the curve” (please excuse this innuendo).

I much prefer this new approach and, to my delight, the Moondrop SSR were tuned along these lines. To give you the three most interesting points about the SSR imo, they are:

  1. Superb low end
  2. Fluid, homogenous, natural, never sterile presentation
  3. Excellent ergonomics
OK, some may still find the upper midrange “too harsh” but we will discuss this in detail below.


SPECIFICATIONS

Driver Unit: Beryllium-coated dome+PU suspension Ring Coil: 0.035mm – CCAW (Daikoku)
Impedance: 16 Ω @ 1 kHz
Sensitivity: 115 dB/mW
Frequency range: 20 – 20000 Hz
Cable/Connectors: 0.78 mm – 2 pin
Tested at: $39.99
Moondrop Company Page: https://www.moondroplab.com/
Purchase Link: Moondrop Official Store


Moondrop SSR Super Spaceship Reference Earphone Review - Walking On The Moon 2



PHYSICAL THINGS AND USABILITY

As you remember, I am not a fan of window dressing and therefore of boxes etc., I tacitly accuse luxury companies overpricing their stuff based on presentation…BUT…yes, but…Moondrop present even their budget offerings with tasteful, eyecatching yet subtle and therefore appealing Japanese anime. I did an unboxing video, if you are really keen on seeing it…

In the box itself is the usual: the two shells, three pairs of silicone eartips (S/M/L), a baggie, and the paperwork. The shells are small…really small (big bonus!)…with long nozzles – and they go deep into my ears, which results in an ok, but not fantastic seal, however great fit and comfort. As we speak, I have been listening to them for hours. The earpieces are made of metal and don’t feature the classic Moondrop KPE/KXXS-type chrome coating but rather a grey, industrial powder coating I know from IKEA office furniture. There are two vents and bassheads will be eager to find out how to tape them off in order to alter the sound for the bassier…I advise against it. Overall a very pragmatic industrial design in both shape and appearance. Build is very good.

In contrast to the $20 Moondrop Spaceship, the SSR’s cable is detachable – hurrah – although I don’t see a reason to detach it at all. It is a silver-plated 4N-Liz OFC cable with the classic round cross-section that appeals through its pearly white colour and its pliability. It features that classic puck-like Moondrop splitter but lacks a chin slider. Well, next time…

Overall, the haptic of the package is very good. One big bonus is that everything works right out of the box. No upgrade cable is needed and the largest tips fit my gigantic ear canals just fine. As to the source, hey, that’s a tricky one. I used iPhone and Mac, both sources connected to the ifi hip dac, and the iPhone also by itself. The iPhone is a neutral source and the hip dac is a warm source – and the sonic result with the SSR was totally different with either. Read on…


TONALITY AND TECHNICALITIES

My tonal preference and testing practice


My test tracks explained


To give you the “helicopter view” first: the Moondrop SSR are, as said, a neutrally tuned earphone that is never overly analytical or sterile and therefore never boring to some listeners, such as, for example the original Tinaudio/Tin Hifi T2. Moondrop stroke a balance between analytical and “musical/fun” and delight us with a liquid and balanced sonic presentation.

Moondrop SSR

Measurement corrected to emulate an IEC711 coupler.


Moondrop SSR.

Raw graph.

When using a warm source such as the ifi hip dac or ifi Nano BL, the signature can be quite warm – not what you expect from that graph. But, using my iPhone on its own, you get a less coloured sound.

So, what does the Moondrop SSR sound like? Actually, pretty good.

Independent of source, the star of the presentation is the low end. Simply fabulous how Moondrop dosed driver quantity and quality (speed is relatively fast for dynamic). While sub-bass extension doesn’t break any records, the bass articulation and dryness are very appealing to my ears. The low end is completely linear – no mid-bass hump pounding against my eardrums. The bass is marginally “underfed” so that my ears, while crying for instant satisfaction and more, more, more…they don’t quite get it – which makes for a non fatiguing and appealing Sisyphus experience. An analogy would be Jimmy Page’s rhythm guitar (the dude from Led Zeppelin)…it is never as raunchy and predictable and uber-satisfying as – let’s say – Green Day sonic one-trick pony. And you know which of the two made it bigger! As said, this low end is relatively new for Moondrop and it even undercuts the Starfield’s.

The articulate bass also has its effect on the lower mids as they don’t get painted over by it. The lower midrange features Moondrop’s house sound in that it is not the richest and densest. Combined with the bass, this keeps the vocals in the foreground (as much as the driver quality allows it), but they are never too intimate – and it provides for clarity and cleanliness in the midrange.

OK, the upper midrange is still elevated for the Western gusto but the resulting “shoutiness” is desired by the Asian markets – so I was told. This attenuates the vocals a bit and sharpens them by adding that famous “extra energy”. And that’s where the source comes in: my ears are really sensitive in he 2-4 kHz range, but the warm ifi hipdac/Nano BL dac/amp source iron this kink largely out. No problem. When listening with my phone, the upper midrange is still not fatiguing at moderate volumes (it is getting closer, though), however sensitive listeners can opt for the 3M micropore mod – as described in my Moondrop Starfield review and in our Modding 101 section (see toolbar above) [UPDATE: the 3M micropore mod does not work with the SSR, try a cheap 8-core pure copper cable instead to remove bite]. On the good side, the upper midrange adds transparency when listening at low to moderate volumes.

NOTE: some analysts find the upper midrange too hot such as co-blogger KopiOKaya, Crinacle, and Antdroid. Others, such as the Contraptionist don’t seen to mind. Handle with care!

The treble is rolled off a bit similar to but not as dramatically as in the Starfield. Trebleheads, don’t worry, the upper midrange helps you out sufficiently.

Technicalities? Yup, can’t complain either. The soundstage is rather wide but not so deep. It is not outright flat in the third dimension such as in an Etymotic earphone, but it is not as deep as in the Starfield because of its “lighter” low end. What sets the SSR apart from (much) more expensive models is the tallness of the soundstage, its ceiling could be a bit higher. Despite the dimensional stage limitations the spatial cues and three dimensionality are quite good. It could also bea bit vivid overall, it is playing rather polite in terms of dynamics.

As you would expect, timbre/natural sound reproduction is very good. That’s where the SSR can challenge more expensive earphones.

The other technicalities such as detail resolution/instrument separation and layering are also quite good but, as always, they don’t touch more expensive multi-drivers.


MODDING THE MOONDROP SSR

Many users complain about the strong 3 kHz peak. Our site offers instructions how to remove it by taping the nozzle filter over by 80-90% with 3M micropore tape. I tested it and it did not work in this case. The 3 kHz remained. Sigh!

Moondrop SSR


My second attempt was to leave the upper midrange alone and increase the bass so that the low end created a sonic balance to the upper midrange. This was done by taping off the front vent with Scotch tape and the result is indicated by the red graph. The closed front vent essentially only raises the back end of the curve. I find the resulting “red” bass response a bit too strong. You can move the graph in any position between red and blue by poking small holes into the tape covering the front vent. It takes a bit of patience, but hey…

Moondrop SSR



MONDROP SSR COMPARED

Since there are presently so many new single-dynamic-driver budget iems on the market, the choices are not easy – and comparisons are important – but read them all in all the other reviews, please, I am only a one-man guy. For purposes of comparison, I listened with my iPhone SE and the Audioquest Dragonfly Black. The reason why I used the Dragonfly is twofold: it strikes a balance between neutral and warm and I know it sonically very well. All of the models that will be mentioned in the following have been reviewed by us. You find the list HERE.

Let’s first have an in-house look at the $109 Moondrop Starfield and the $20 MoondropSpaceship. Though it may be a bit unfair to start with the much more expensive Starfield. It therefore comes as no surprise that the Starfield have more stage presence, more lower midrange (vocals) and depth in their imaging, the SSR are somewhat flatter, but wider, and less dynamic. The Starfield have more rumble in the bass, but the SSR have the better transition from the upper bass into the lower midrange. In fact they have the best transition in all the comparisons. The low end is where the SSR shines, that’s where the model’s main progress lies – and where the Starfield is somewhat congested in comparison. The Starfield is also easier to drive. Overall, the Starfield plays in a higher league and simply has “more substance”. It is like a car with bigger tires on a highway.


Moondrop SSR Super Spaceship Reference Earphone Review - Walking On The Moon 3

Tuning evolution from Moondrop Starfield (blue) to SSR (red): notice the toned-down bass/boosted upper midrange in the SSR. Ignore anything above 1 kHz as it is inaccurate.

The Moondrop Spaceship also have more rumble in the bass and are slightly less fluid and balanced than the SSR – and they are somewhat sibilant. Although the graphs of the two look almost identical from the lower midrange up, the SSR sail a bit smoother through the midrange, albeit the differences are not earth shattering. The SSR have the better ergonomics and a detachable cable.

In summary, the Spaceship are as good as they were 2 months ago and the diminishing return within Moondrop starts right there.

Moondrop SSR and Starship

Tuning differences between the SSR and Spaceship only exist below ca. 600 Hz.
Ignore the peaks at the upper end, they are artifacts.


The $99 Tin Hifi T4, similar to the Moondrop Starfield, also play a league above the SSR: everything in the T4 is a bit bigger, the image is more intimate and there is more rumble in the bass. Nevertheless do the SSR score on the bass/midrange transition and therefore their fluidity again. Where the T4 lose ground is their iffy fit and their rubbery, MMCX-connected cable.

The <$30 KBEAR KB4 are punchier, more dynamic and with more depth than the SSR – and more sibilance. They are more on the fun side but stay behind in terms of tonal accuracy and homogeneity. I would chose the SSR for the living room and the KB04 for the city bus.

The perennial favourite of 2019, the $30-40 Blon BL-03 are difficult to compare, as mine are heavily modified with 3M-micropore tape, pure copper upgrade cable ($$) and “Azla SednaEarfit Light” silicone tips ($). The Blon BL-03 don’t work right out of the box and the have fit issues because of their short nozzles. The Moondrop SSR don’t have any of these challenges and no additional investment is necessary to enjoy them. The Blon BL-03 cannot be topped in terms of timbre, they have a stronger, rumblier but also less tight low-end compared to the Moondrop SSR, they are more three-dimensional in their imaging and more lively in their dynamics. The Moondrop SSR are more homogeneous, less gritty, and dynamically more on the flat side in comparison.

And no, I don’t have the Blon BL-05 and Tin Hifi T2 Plus yet.


WHAT WOULD I DO DIFFERENTLY?

The above comparisons bring out the strengths and weaknesses of the Moondrop SSR. We have heard over and over again that the SSR excel in their low and and their fluidity, but they are prone to shoutiness (at higher volumes). One of Moondrop’s tuning characteristic is that boosted upper midrange, desired by the Asian markets however not so much by the – admittedly – smaller western ones. Maybe Moondrop will address this for the western customers in the future. I heard a bassier version of the SSR will be released soon, the Moondrop SSP, which may actually take care of this issue. Let’s hope…

The other issues are a relatively shallow stage and a dynamic flatness, however that’s probably the limitations of the driver and an artifact of the tuning…meaning…you change one end and it automatically affects the other. But hey, we should not forget this is a budget model and Moondrop offers plenty of alternatives in upper-scale dynamic driver earphones.


CONCLUDING REMARKS

I know, I wrote a lot in this review – much more than usual. The reason for this is that the Moondrop SSR imply inspire me by their fluid sonic presentation – and let’s not forget their handling. Once again, it is as simple as that: good quality + good sound + good value = great fun.

And you know what? I’d take the SSR over the KPE any day of the week. Moondrop are certainly on their way with their tunings as well as their design to conquer a bigger segment of the western market – and to move away from just being another Chi-Fi player.

By the way, these little rascals are still in my ears as we speak.

Until next time…keep on listening!

Jürgen Kraus signature


You find an INDEX of all our earphone reviews HERE.


DISCLAIMER


The review unit was sent to me from Moondrop upon my request. Thank you very much.

Get the Moondrop SSR from Moondrop Official Store

Our generic standard disclaimer.

About our measurements.

You find an INDEX of our most relevant technical articles HERE.
Last edited:
Otto Motor
Otto Motor
Its up on my blog!
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1TrickPony
1TrickPony
Can an iem be "balanced" if the mids are shouty? Look at that 3k elevation.

I ask you this because you placed "balanced" in the Pros section.

Secondly, when one places an iem in their ears, one would expect that it plays music. Whether you come from east or west, music has no boundaries. I don't understand why you needed to distinguish a great divide between east or west as if it was absolutely necessary.

Just my thoughts.
Otto Motor
Otto Motor
@1TrickPony: Good points:

1. Balanced: hmmm, balanced at moderate volumes...gets shouty at higher volumes...will have to think about it....and removed the term. That happened when you work on different ends of a review at different times.

2. That's a manufacturer's preference based on consumer's preference...which is based on the different cultures. That's how the manufacturers address their different markets. My Singaporian (!!!) co-blogger wrote an article about it: https://www.audioreviews.org/chi-fi-tuning/

We both helped some companies with their tuning and they outright refused to tame the hot upper midrange, as such is desired in the much bigger Asian markets. They desire screamers...

You may be influenced by the political ubercorrectness in the current Canadian political climate.
Pros: + reference, uncoloured and pleasing signature
+ fatigue free during fast high impact tracks
+ very durable industrial design
+ exceptional performance in string genre
+ scales with better amplification
Cons: - subjective looking design for iem
- bass centric and more warm sounding listeners will need look elsewhere
General Information
Design, Build and Comfort
The SSR design takes a fresh direction from the original Spaceship elliptical shape. The design, an almost “heart” shaped from the faceplate perspective, the right-angled straight nozzle and the cable pin connector placement, at first sight, created much puzzling questions on fit and comfort. And when you pick the SSR up for the first time, it all made sense. The solution, the size. The SSR is one of the smaller sized iem you can find on the market. The small size made wearing the SSR natural and fit excellently. Just a slide in, twist forward and with the right tips, they sit snuggly in the ear.

The SSR housing uses Liquid Metal Alloy material. It has a gloss-like gunmetal textured finishing and is very lightweight and feels incredibly solid. There’s confidence in handling them without worrying if it will break or warp under rough use. The faceplate and shell are held together with a black rivet, to complete the industrial design look and feel. A small air vent is located along the inner side of the length of the nozzle. An interesting placement for the vent. The nozzle ends with a tightly knitted mesh (patented triple layer anti-clogging acoustic filter) to keep ear wax and dust out. The other end of the “heart” shaped design sits the 2-pin connector (which accepts 0.78mm 2-pin cables) and the L and R indicators clearly embedded in the housing, making cable rolling a breeze.

The stock cable comes in an interesting clear pvc jacket that houses the Silver-Plated 4N Litz cable. Something refreshing from the now common bare braided stock cable. The cable itself is more than fairly soft with a little “springy” feel to prevent tangling up. Also the 2-pin ends are fitted with a flexible memory rubber guard that retains the ear hook shape, yet easy to stretch and bend when wearing them over the ears. The right ear cable comes with a red-ring to indicator. Small details but very comfortable thought out solutions on Moondrop’s part. We can swap out the stock cable for other cables to satisfy our cable rolling needs and also add those new Bluetooth add-ons and turn the SSR into a TWS iem as well.

The heart of the SSR iem, rest the Beryllium-plated Dome with a PU Suspension Ring diaphragm, accompanied by a N52 High Density Magnetic circuit (among the highest grade of magnets available in the market) to form the engine.

Fit wise, the SSR design works excellently with my ears and the M-size tips provide very good isolation without feeling ear ache or fatigue over long listening sessions (of about 2 hours straight).


D1871550-AE34-4D3D-A970-90358B1AB559.jpeg


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Sound Quality
For this section, the SSR iem with stock cable, were put through over 120 hours of continuous playback and followed with 24 hours of “resting” the drivers, since they arrived. This ensures during the review period, the iem sound characteristics have reached adequate maturity.

Choice of portable set-up employed in this review.
  1. The Dethonray DTR1 Prelude player paired with its headphone amplifier companion HDA-HA2, through a Toxic Cables Silver Widow interconnect.
A little note, to get (what I would consider) the correct fit, after insertion, try a track that has drums and “thump” in their impact. If we hear a solid “thump”, the insertion, tip used and isolation is ideal.

ED192C8D-E1E7-48A3-85E0-47096413AC05.jpeg


Starting things off, my immediate impression.
The SSR Super Spaceship Reference iem, given its performance, is perhaps incredibly surprising that it sits in its price bracket (USD39.99). Surprising. When we read that an iem “punches way above its price”, it has never carried more precedence than the SSR.

Moondrop’s SSR is another step in raising their game in terms of performance to price. Pushing the value chain upwards in terms of performance while keeping the price attractive.

As soon as the SSR sit in my ears and the music starts, I was greeted by the familiar Moondrop signature sound. Which connected me back to the time I first heard Moondrop’s StarField. Am not sure if it’s a coincidence or is it Moondrop’s way of connecting its range of iems in a familiar way. After some thoughts, I would say it is a positive feel good move. And that is as far as the similarities go between the StarField and the SSR.

Detail Retrieval
The SSR has a taste of picking details to be spotlighted. This nature is more evident when the SSR itself tends to have a very dark background itself. It came to my attention when playing Fleetwood Mac’s Sara and Not That Funny tracks from the Live album. The way the selected details were highlighted like the organ keys that were struck, mainly the higher keys were more pronounced and that presented the track to be heard differently from how it is usually done. Lindsey’s vocals especially the screams sounded very natural and the nuances in his scream could also be heard. Even Yanni’s Santorini track had more pronounced emphasis in some of the upper register side of the music. Be in for an adventure to hear your music a little differently.

Score : 7.5/10


Dynamics
The immediate sonic delivery is pure energy. The SSR is energetic. There is amazing energy and speed in delivering a reference-like and uncoloured sound.

The highs are vividly sparkling and shimmers before fading at the end without effort. High hats with Chimes ripple and fades almost like as quickly as it came. In most experiences, such energetic treble delivery comes with some visceral impact, and with the speed that SSR does, tend to be fatiguing in short listening sessions. Not so here. In Bee Gee’s Night on Broadway, Yanni’s Point of Origin and Ayumi Hamasaki’s We Wish tracks, it gives very clear examples of this.

An area to note though, out of the box, the volume between layers of vocals and instruments, seemed pushed upfront, leading to music tracks sounding two dimensional with little separating the louder and softer passages. After 60 hours of running in the drivers, the separation of louder and softer passages in the music improved significantly.

Score : 7.5/10


Imaging
From the Live recordings, the instrument placements were adequately highlighted. More of either left, right or somewhat meshed in the centre. In better recordings, the instruments and vocal placement do improve. Though I feel is reasonable given it’s target budget segment.

Score : 7/10


Soundstage
Turning to the Live recordings once more, the SSR staging is respectably wide. Enough to give the performance a good sense of air and space. There is more sideways perceived staging than height and depth. This can be roughly measured during the level of applause from the crowd in the recording. And thanks to its somewhat dark nature, the quieter passages of piano keys stand out for its intimacy.

Score : 7.5/10


Speed
One of the early findings and as true then as of this writing, the SSR is a fast sounding iem. That beryllium coated dome and N52 magnet of a circuit moves at incredible speed. They keep up with just about every fast track I could throw at it, including A-Ha’s Train of Thought, where the starting portion of the track is too incredibly fast for many dynamic drivers to replicate accurately, is replicated flawlessly here.

Also Kylie Minogue’s Disco Down, the electronic beats in the background were rendered beautifully. The synthesiser beats come alive in the SSR, where they would normally be more “in the background” and muted sounding in other dynamic driver iems.

Score : 8.5/10


Timbre
Kris Allen’s In Time track, has rattles, guitar strings, drums and the works. The drum rumble ripples with very light (but enjoyable) low end decay across the starting of the track and brings in the soft natural rattles in concert with Kris’ finger style guitar strums and plucks. Each string just sounded natural and life-like as they can be rendered. Similarly can be heard in Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well from the Live album. In standalone string albums, such as Kaki King’s Great Round Burn track (and by extension the whole album, Glow), sounded exceptionally good and enjoyable. The string pluck displays layers and they just pull you in as you listen. Truly mesmerising.
Vocals have a natural tone to them though they may sound somewhat less inviting due to that lack of warmth many would be accustomed to listening. You know, that warm wrapped around feeling. However, some recordings are done with a warm sounding slate, such as Yanni’s I Genitori, which sounded splendid (I’d attribute this to a fine mix of warmth, clarity, detail, all nicely shaken into a perfect cocktail flavour. Synergy.)
Perhaps this portion may be the decisive part for those who would like the SSR or perhaps look to other Moondrop iems. In terms of the vocals, string instruments and even the high hats, the natural almost uncoloured sound would be the SSR’s strength. For most, the very light mid bass bump may be enough to enjoy the music. Though the low end drum decay may be too light to sound “complete” for those who are used to more warmth and “meaty” presentation.

Score : 8/10

Tracks used for the review,
  1. Yanni - Santorini (Live)
  2. Yanni - Point of Origin (Live)
  3. Yanni - I Genitori
  4. Fleetwood Mac - Sara (Live)
  5. Fleetwood Mac - Not That Funny (Live)
  6. Fleetwood Mac - Oh Well (Live)
  7. Bee Gee - Night on Broadway
  8. Ayumi Hamasaki - We Wish
  9. A-Ha - Train of Thought
  10. Kylie Minogue - Disco Down
  11. Kris Allen - In Time
  12. Kaki King - Great Round Burn
The Child that is smart and also a tease
The SSR Super Starship Reference monitor, by my account above, may seem to be a tricky iem to figure out. It does make you work hard to understand it better. The music we know so well, takes interesting turns in the way its detail is spotlighted and hidden.

After running through more music tracks than the ones listed here, I’ve come to the realisation that the SSR excels well with fast tracks in the electronic genre, and on string element albums from such as Kaki King and Lindsey Stirling. They sound very good for their price, and even exceptionally more so on said genre of music.

The SSR in my books make an enjoyable and fun sounding outdoor monitor. The energy and speed makes listening more exciting. Am sure some may even find this addictive especially with fast sounding tracks. It also complements other Moondrop monitors such as the StarField. Especially so if you need more bite and energy in your instrumental library, the SSR delivers.

Overall it is a welcoming new addition to the Moondrop family and another signature high quality of work.

The Package
The SSR comes with the following,
  1. The Super Spaceship Reference iem
  2. SPC cable
  3. 3 pairs of silicon tips (S, M and L)
  4. Small pouch
  5. Moondrop card
  6. Warranty document

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Product Specification
SSR
Transducer typeBeryllium-Coated Dome with PU Suspension Ring and N52 High Density Magnetic circuit
Operating principleVented
Frequency response:20Hz-20kHz
Impedance:16 Ω @ 1kHz
Sensitivity:115dB / Vrms (@1khz)
Stock cable
Material4N-OFC (Copper)
GeometryLitz design
Y-splitMoondrop circular (black)
Monitor interface2-pin 0.78mm
Connection3.5 mm single-ended
PriceUSD 39.99

Rating (out of 10)
Sound Quality8
Build Quality9
Design and Usability8.5
Comfort9
Value for money8.5

If this review interest you, and the product could be something you’d like to try or add on to your collection of sounds, you may find themselves available on here.

Disclaimer:
The SSR Super Starship Reference monitors were provided by Shenzhen Audio for the purpose of this review.

I was invited to provide my honest and unbiased opinion and have no affiliation or receive any form of compensation for this review.

This review did not go through Moondrop or Shenzhen Audio, meaning they will see this review at the same time as you are here.
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shenzhenaudio
shenzhenaudio
We thanks for your effort, and really enjoy your comments on SSR. :relaxed:
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kenz
kenz
Thank you for inviting me to participate in this product launch review. :relaxed:
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