Headphones and Coffee

Previously known as Wretched Stare
Improved classic
Pros: wounderful harman tuning, build, cable is great and looks so nice.
Cons: The upper energy may not be for all. tips are just okay. As with all painted IEM care should be taken to prevent chips.

Let's talk about the new Moondrop Starfield 2, it builds upon the already successful and good core sound of the original. The Box is adorned with the beautiful artwork we have come to expect from MoonDrop with good documentation as well. Inside a simple layout showcasing the logo and the IEM and case. The shell very similar to the new Aria 2 and May, gone is the Kato shaped shell in favor of the flat backed shell with little brass vent that looks like a surprised emoji. On the subject of build the case and cable are much more elegant and more robust that the first. I like the look of the faceplate but think the OG was prettier. I found they were of good comfort and seal was average-to above average with good isolation. The cable flexes well but is a bit stiff. The included tips are a bit of a letdown, I would have much liked the spring or softears tips to be included. The case is nicely made but a little cramped for a thick cable.

My equipment used: ifi Diablo-2 , TempoTec V6, Questyle M15, Simgot DEW4X, Hidizs S9 PRO+, ifi Gryphon and Fosi audio sk01.

Lets talk about the Sound to me.

The MD Starfield-2 presents with a healthy dose of lower-end punch. This is not to say it's a bass driven IEM by any means, but bass is very well tuned here. The SF2 improves upon the original with a faster more agile Bass response.
Bass in general is a few steps north of neutral with decent weight and good clean details. It is not a rich as the EA500LM in presentation but it's very controlled and Mid-Bass is particularly impactful.
The Midrange is the hit or miss for some, while they are detailed and forward, there is a noticeable upper energy to female vocals they may be too much, but it is highly dependent on source, music and tips used. In general, I found the mids very good, upper mids presented bright with lower mids warm enough to give good note weight to them.
Separation and clarity are above average, and midrange is well defined.
The highs sounded very neutral with slight metallic patina similar to the Kato but not as noticed. There is a nice natural roll-off and the sparkle and air of the treble is presented without a harsh edge.

Soundstage: Was wide and had good depth and slightly less height, open and airy with accurate positioning the Starfield-2 can be good for mobile games and media. particularly RPG, it complements the atmosphere quite well.

In Retrospect:
The Moondrop Starfield-2 is a improvement on the original with better accessories, faster punchier Bass and Harman pleasantries. The only downside would be the upper Midrange energy, for some it could be a turnoff. overall, the SF2 is quite good and lends itself well to music of all kinds and casual gaming.

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500+ Head-Fier
Sequel Season
Pros: Solid zinc-alloy housing, stunning faceplate design
- Good stock accessories
- Fast, punchy bass response with a good sense of slam
- Better treble response than OG Starfield
- Good staging and imaging
Cons: Paint prone to chipping off
- Upper-mid shout can be too much for some
- Source and tip-sensitive sound
- Tuning filter are clumsy in practice
Moondrop has had a busy 2023, with multiple releases practically every month. The brand even updated some of its “greatest hits” models, and the Starfield II falls nicely into that segment.

Sporting a revamped driver and acoustic architecture, the Starfield II promise wholesale upgrades over the long in the tooth OG model.

Sequels rarely manage to live up to expectations, however, so their work is cut out for the Starfield II. Read on.

This review originally appeared on Headphonesty. The IEMs were sent in by Shenzhenaudio for review.

starfield2 - cover.jpg

Design and Build​

The Starfield II have a stunning design. The glitter-infused navy blue zinc alloy shell creates a dazzling display when light hits at the right angle. The golden streaks serve as a contrast while adding character to the design.

starfield2 - build.jpg

Moreover, the back vent is stylized by integrating it into a circular disc. Overall, the Starfield II stand out in terms of overall aesthetics and have a flashy design that does not go overboard.

One interesting design aspect is the ability to seal one of the front vents with the supplied rubber plugs. Sealing the front vent increases bass response by a couple of decibels.

Unfortunately, the implementation is not very streamlined since plugging in the rubber stoppers is cumbersome.

starfield2 - build2.jpg

Moreover, you can unscrew the nozzle and add damping materials inside, which opens options for additional modding.


The stock cable has good ergonomics, even though the sheathing could be more pliable. The matching gold-blue color scheme adds cohesion to the overall outlook. I do wish that Moondrop allowed the selection of balanced termination during purchase.

starfield2 - cable.jpg


The Starfield II are comfortable despite the relatively hefty shells (11g per earpiece). Due to the numerous vents, there is no pressure buildup. However, isolation takes a hit, so I’d recommend blocking the inner vent and using foam tips for maximum isolation.

Under the Hood​

The Starfield II utilize a 10mm Lithium-Magnesium alloy driver with an independent suspension surrounding the dome. Moondrop says that the driver has superior acoustic properties than pure Beryllium foil drivers, but I am not entirely sure of that claim.

Nonetheless, the driver has tremendous potential and usually appears on higher-priced IEMs, so kudos to Moondrop for lowering the barrier of entry to pure metal-foil diaphragms.

How Do the Moondrop Starfield II Sound?​

The following sound impressions are formed with stock tips, stock cable, and a Questyle CMA Twelve Master as the source. Test tracks are available on Tidal as a playlist.

The Moondrop Starfield II have a warm, V-shaped sound signature. Despite the warmth in the mids, the rather sizeable upper-midrange boost results in enhanced vocal clarity – perhaps a tad too much at times. Transient response is remarkably fast for the price tag, resulting in excellent note separation.



Bass is one of the highlights of the Starfield II, which is no surprise given the OG Starfield also had a lush, “rounded” bass response.

In contrast to the OG, the sequel focuses more on the slam and punch factor, as heard on Siamese Youth’s Nariyeh Thanei. Bass speed is also noticeably improved, resulting in fast basslines not bleeding into each other.

Bass texture could have more organicness, but it’s a common characteristic of metal dome drivers to have less “richness” in the mid-bass. Overall, it is an excellent bass response that masterfully toes the line between impact and overzealousness.


The mids are the most controversial aspect of the Starfield II.
The lower-mids are tuned well and match my preferences. A slight warmth from the upper-bass adds some body and “sweetness” to male vocals. However, the pinna gain can be too aggressive in many modern tracks, where the added compression becomes exaggerated.

As such, the Starfield II can be shouty for those who do not prefer vocal forwardness. For me, the lower-treble presence somewhat balances things out, but I cannot listen to the Starfield II at high volumes due to the upper-mid prominence.

Warm sources like the Cayin RU6 or iFi Hip DAC2 tend to smooth out this region, resulting in an engaging yet inoffensive midrange rendition.


Treble on the Starfield II is a marked improvement over the OG and other past Moondrop IEMs in this range, e.g., Moondrop Aria. The treble roll-off is not so abrupt and the upper-treble response is noticeably more extended, thanks to the latest-gen driver.

Treble timbre has a slight metallic sheen to cymbals and hi-hats, but it’s nothing too intrusive and can be mitigated via tip rolling. Speaking about eartips, the treble response can vary depending on the type of tips. The graph above showcases how three different tips change lower to upper-treble region frequency response.

At 103 db/mW sensitivity and 15 ohm impedance, the Starfield II need moderate amplification to be optimally driven. However, pairing them with a slightly warmer source is more important for best results.

starfield2 - case.jpg


Vs Simgot EA500​

The Simgot EA500 are priced a bit lower than the Starfield II but have some similarities. Both employ metal shells and removable nozzles, and both have a somewhat bass and upper-mid boosted V-shaped tuning.


In terms of accessories, the Moondrop Starfield II have a slightly better carrying case, and the design is more of a standout. The Simgot EA500 are less prone to shell discoloration but tend to attract smudges and scratches.

As for the sound, the EA500 are more relaxed in the upper-mids while having slightly more treble presence. The Starfield II have better staging and imaging but are also more source-sensitive.

In the end, for those who do not want to experiment with ear tips and sources, the EA500 are the safer choice.

Final Thoughts​

Moondrop Starfield II will not appeal to everyone due to the upper-mid prominence. At the same time, they may be the most technically proficient single dynamic driver IEMs under USD$150.

The main issue lies elsewhere: there are just too many IEMs, all fighting for the short attention span of potential buyers. Moondrop sometimes sabotages themselves by releasing a newer model too soon in similar price ranges, as the release of Aria 2 right after Starfield II will surely kill sales of the latter model.

There is great potential in the Starfield II’s driver setup if you can tweak a few things. But Moondrop is too focused on releasing the next great thing than making their current products as good as they can be.

So the Starfield II will remain the unloved, underrated sequel.


New Head-Fier
Moondrop Starfield II – Too spicy?
Pros: • Incredibly resolving for its price;
• Forward vocals;
• Beautiful shell and painting;
• A neutral-bright IEM for those that like it but having been starving for a set;
• Fantastic soundstage.
Cons: • Can get (very) spicy at times.

Build, Comfort & Accessories

Like the original Starfield, its sequel is also constructed in a beautiful metal shell with an eye-catching painting. I can’t comment about chipping issues but given that I have had this IEM since August and it still looks pristine is something, although I had never had any issues with the Aria Snow nor the Chu.

The cable is excellent. It is sturdy, thick, but not too heavy and it is still very flexible. To boost is comes in a beautiful dark blue color with golden metal parts that matches the IEM.

Eartips are only the common Moondrop ones. No Springtips for those that want them, but given the bright nature of this IEM I am honestly not sure the Springtip would be the best option anyway.

Comfort for me is great. It fits me very well and it stays put. I have used for hours on straight without the urge to take it out, not even for a little scratch on the ears.
Still on comfort, the stock eartips are fine but I did switch them for Spinfit W1 which in my opinion are a huge upgrade.


One thing about the Starfield that in my opinion doesn’t take away from the IEM but at the same time there’s no way to sugarcoat it is the filters that come with it. To explain in short words, the Starfield II has vents to release pressure, which is nice. However, in the package you will find some very tiny plastic filters you can attach to these vents to alter the tuning of the IEM.
Does it work? Yes and no. Let me explain.
The process of putting them in is at very best frustrating and I image that for some it will be a nightmare. After applying the filter, it rarely feels like it will be there for long and since they are so small, if they fall on the floor there’s a big chance you won’t find them.
Once you apply them, does it change the sound? Yes.
Does it sound good? Yes.
So it’s great right? No really. There are two issues for me once the filters are applied. First is that you get so much pressure so quickly the in a matter of minutes you stop thinking about the music and all you can think about is the pressure. The other problem is that at times while using the filter one of the sides of the IEM would go mute if I turned my head in a certain direction. The pressure some can take but random muting of the sound I guess that’s too much for everyone.

Sound Description

This time the star in Starfield is really warranted since this is one bright set but don’t let this mistake you since just like the stars at night, the Starfield II gives a beautiful presentation.


The bass is fast and well separated but not really emphasized at all. This is a neutral/bright IEM so it shouldn’t be a surprise that bass is not so pronounced but for my ears that aren’t lacking in any way. They are, in my opinion, on the neutral with perhaps a bit of a boost but not much, just enough to be satisfying.


Female voices are very forward, so intimate. They are even more forward than the usual Moondrop affair. For me they sound natural most of the time; only rarely you can hear sibilance or sharpness but not in a way that takes away from the song.


Pretty much everything in the high regions is intense. Don’t take this as a complain because I do think it is very much enjoyable, specially to give a different flavor to many songs you have listened to over and over.

Specific Songs

🎶 OMG – NewJeans

This is easily the song I have been listening to the most this year, on a variety of IEMs, so this the track I can most confidently pick up differences and nuances at the moment.
On the start, Hanni (one of the singers) sings without much of the instruments and it feels like she is right by your side, almost like she is singing right by your ears, just for you. For me it feels awesome but I it can certainly be too intimate for some.

🎶 Spicy – Aespa

This is probably the busiest track on the list and the reason to ask if this IEM can be spicy.
Well, I think the Starfield II really shows a lot of the track, it really is an experience but yes, it can get very spicy. These kinds of energetic songs are good to listen on the Starfield II when you want to get hyped up, pay attention to the very minute details but even I, someone who loves my treble, have to admit that it can be too much, but even with the same group, when listening to more relaxing tracks there is not a hint o sibilance, and it is quite soothing actually, like their track Thirsty.

🎶 Perfect Night – Le Sserafim

The song starts with a string of guitars and if you enjoy a good guitar, they sound lovely here but not only that, you can listen to every note apart from each other. Here I A/B’ed the Starfield II with the Moondrop Variations; while on the Variations I could easily listen to that small roll off sound when you release the strings, on the Starfield II it is very much harder to do so. Probably I could on some notes but not all.
Voices are beautiful and natural. Once the rest of the instruments join, everything continues to be smooth yet very detailed.

🎶 Roller Coaster – NMIXX

If you are somewhat familiar with this group, you should know one of the main vocalists, Lizzy, can reach some pretty high notes with ease, and when she does for a second you might for a second it would spike your ears but it doesn`t (about 2:15). The voices stay natural even when reaching high notes.

🎶 Algorithm – HeeJin

Like Aespa’s Spicy, this I consider a busier track because it has a lot of stuff at the same time, so it’s good to hear the separation of instruments and voices. It also has some highs, kind resembling older pop songs.

🎶 ETA & Cool With You – NewJeans

I decided to add these two at the last minute.
On ETA, again, like Aespa’s Spicy, is that kind of busy. I mention this a third time because I think these are the kind of songs that can make jump in or out of the Starfield II. If you want an energetic sound, be sure you will get, but if you feel like it’s too much, it will feel like this for many tracks of this kind.

On the other hand, Cool With You has one of the sweetest presentations I could have asked for. It is a mix of an open soundstage for instruments but very intimate vocals, and since the singer actually whisper during parts of the song, it feels very special.

Soundstage & Imaging

One of the things that most impressed me in the Starfield II were how wide its soundstage is. Of everything I have listened to I honestly think it trade blows with the Blessing 2 on that department.

Be it watching live shows or playing games it always feels very open, spacious and grandious.


If in music this IEM can be a hit or miss, depending on the person, in gaming I think they truly excel.

Details on the Starfield II is very high, and with the treble emphasis it is very easy to pinpoint enemies. I unfortunately have not played competitive FPS anymore (thank you, Activision Blizzard) but I have used it in third person games and open world.

On Resident Evil 4 Remake the sound is fantastic. You can easily listen to everything, locate enemies with ease, you can also perceive the openness when you start the game at the village.

I am also playing Call of Cthulhu while this game is not as ambitious as many AAA games you can tell the love in it by the sound design, and again, the Starfield II helps a lot with the mood here. Honestly, I think that in any game that leans a bit to horror this will do perfectly.

For open world, Elden Ring. Since it seems everybody has the game, I should mention it as well, and the space here great as well. It is almost as if you could feel the wind blowing in the game (as if you were there, yes, it is very immersive).

Lastly, I’d like to share a game that is uncommon, a visual novel, White Album 2. While playing these the voices sound great, natural and intimate, but some tracks can sound piercing at times, and I’m someone that rarely has this type of complain, so I think I should make this point.


Truthear Hexa


While I have been blatantly obvious that I like the Starfield II and it has a unique place in my collection, if I had to pick one it would easily be the Truthear Hexa.
The Hexa is very natural, very easy to listen to but it still has the hint of forwardness in the vocals that I love.
On the technical terms, I think the Starfield II has an edge but this may be due to the high treble energy.


Is the Starfield II an IEM for everyone? No way, but if you, like me, like a neutral-bright tuning, intimate vocals, a ton of details in upbeat tracks this surely should be considered.
A beautiful and highly resolving set that took a chance at trying something different from the ‘neutral with bass boost’ we see all the time these days.
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Great review, mate!