Precogvision

Reviewer at Headphones.com
Shoot for the moon; if you miss, you'll still be among the stars.
Pros: - well-rounded tonal balance
- highly-pleasing, cohesive intangible performer
- excellent value proposition
Cons: - layering ability
- somewhat rolled-off treble
- the usual, subjective tonal gripes some might take up
I have a Starfield on loan right now from @MRSallee so I figured I'd drop a quick Head-Fi review.

But first, a quick spiel. I've owned the KXXS (the Starfield's more premium brother) for more than a year at this point. In this time, I've been lucky enough to try and review dozens of IEMs, some very expensive ones, and yet, the KXXS remains a staple of my small collection. That alone should probably be a testament to how much I like the KXXS, and I have well over a couple hundred hours on my unit. Of course, this review isn't about the KXXS; it's about the Starfield, which promises comparable sonic performance at close to half the price. So let's see how it stacks-up.

If you've read my reviews before, then you'll know I don't really care to cover the accessories, build, etc. too closely.

starfieldvkxxs.jpg

A lot of people say that the Starfield is Harman-tuned, and eh, sure, I can see the resemblance. The main deviation would be in the bass which slopes out further, lending some extra note-weight to male vocals (not at all a bad thing); the Harman target is a good deal more incisive at around 200hZ by comparison.

Speaking of which, the bass on the Starfield is about equal parts sub-bass and mid-bass - considerably above neutral - and honestly, it’s not very good. At least, not according to the metrics with which I'd normally qualify good bass. Transient attack is fairly soft - there's no way around it - and dynamic slam is pretty lackluster with an oft-cited "pillowy-ness" to the way hits are articulated. The midrange of the Starfield is Harman-inspired, peaking at around 3kHz with a tad too much emphasis at around 4kHz which some might find bright initially; I know I certainly did on the KXXS. Interestingly, the KXXS actually has slightly more energy around this region, lending to a slightly brighter presentation. Treble is about equal parts milquetoast, rolling off fairly linearly post-5kHz with a tad bump in the mid-treble at around 8kHz and in the bottom air frequencies. Somewhat rolled-treble and extended bass shelf in-hand, the Starfield is, accordingly, a considerably warm IEM with a tendency to delve into congestion on more complex tracks.

For an IEM I like so much, I’ve already cited quite a few issues, right? But surely, you say, there's a catch. And indeed there is: You can take all those criticisms and flip them on their head. Not unlike the 64 Audio U12t, the Starfield toes the line between being intangibly pleasing and slightly neutering resolution with its soft, blunted transient attack; decay is equally oh-so-natural. Stack on the pillowy-ness in the bass, and a minor peak at around 12kHz that lends treble to a pleasant haziness in the decay, and you have a recipe for terrific timbre and - argh, I hate to use this word - a highly musical presentation.

Of course, let's not pretend that the Starfield is some technical savant or anything of the sort. It's not. It's a respectable technical performer for its price, sure, but it's light years away from touching a lot of flagship stuff, much less top-tier stuff. Dynamics are generally compressed, imaging is only slightly above average, and layering is pretty “meh” hence the aforementioned congestion issues. Heck, Moondrop’s own SSR gives it a run for its money! Still, you know...I don’t really mind. There’s something highly alluring about the way the Starfield shifts its perceived weaknesses into strengths, the way it straddles that line so neatly for my preferences, and it’s something I can’t get enough of each time I listen to it. Hell, I’d take the Starfield or KXXS over pretty much anything else under $200 on the basis of preference.

Speaking of which, you'll probably want me to compare it more closely with the KXXS. For most intents and purposes - at least tonally - they're close to identical sans that slight upper-midrange bump on the KXXS. Some friends have noted that the macrodynamic performance of the KXXS is better; likewise, I would agree that the Starfield sounds a tad overly loud in the way it scales dynamic swings and not quite as pleasing in its transient attack by comparison. Needless to say I doubt I could pass an A/B test between the two of them, so perhaps it would be more apt to say I find the Starfield lacks some of that je ne sais quoi relative to my KXXS. That is, maybe it's just the placebo and nostalgia getting to me.

In conclusion? There's no question in my mind that the Starfield is a terrific IEM, an excellent value proposition all-round even if I'd personally swing those extra bucks for the KXXS, as crazy as it sounds. So shoot for the moon; if you miss, you'll still be among the stars: the Starfield.

Score: 5/10 (Starfield)
Score: 6/10 (KXXS)
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holicst

Head-Fier
Incredible IEM for an unbelievable price
Pros: - shockingly good sound for the price
- excellent bass and treble extension
- fantastic tonal balance, no frequency stands out, no dips or bumps in the frequency response
- detailed, transparent sound
- beautiful design and build quality (paint does not chip if you handle it with care)
- decent cable and accessories
- easy to drive
- good fit (shallow nozzles), comfortable
- very affordable
Cons: - mediocre isolation due to vented design (sacrificed for sound quality)
About myself

I'm 38, so my hearing is possibly not the same as in my 20s. I like various music genres, mainly prog rock/metal, blues and some classical music. I'm not into rap/hiphop/EDM so I don't have a strong preference regarding excessive bass quantity.

Some background

I've purchased this item myself, it was new. I have no affiliation with the manufacturer nor was this a sponsored review of part of a loan tour. I know based on the review you may not believe this :D

Unboxing

The package looks great and tidy. All accessories are fine. I'm happy with the stock cable. Actually I used the Starfield with a TRN T3 silver cable, but then went back to the stock cable...

image051.jpg


Comfort and fit

These are very comfortable for me, fit tightly and secrurely. Isolation is not the best as there are two vent holes. I think this is a tradeoff for the sound quality. I find this a problem only during commuting. If you are on a train or bus and have a relatively silent part in your music then it can be distracting. If you listen to trash metal or techno then you won't notice the outside world anyway.

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Sound

Here comes the part that may sound like a paid advertisement :D Actually I cannot say anything negative about the sound. I sometimes just listen carefully to some music and wonder how this could sound better. I don't know.

I'm sure there are better IEMs, but I have not yet heard any.

Off topic: This is similar to human vision. Let's say you have 3 diopters, and have seen everything blurred all your life... then if you put on glasses with 1 diopters... you'll think: wow, now I can see much better. But because you have never ever had better vision, you cannot imagine how could this be even better. Then you get stronger glasses with 2 diopters and wow... once again everything is much better. How do you know you've reached perfect vision?

Bass is well extended and has great impact, clarity and slam. There is a single dynamic driver in this IEM, which can produce excellent bass response.

Mids are very good, have clarity, transparency and sound very natural.

Highs are detailed, well extended, never sibilant or harsh.

Tonal balance is perfect for me. I don't need more bass, no more mids, no more highs :)

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Comparisons

I think this $100 IEM beats everything I've tried so far, including the Shure 846, ItsFit Fusion and the Dunu Luna.

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Sources

Easy to drive. Now I use it with an E1DA 9038D and I'm very happy with the combination.

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Conclusion

This IEM is really very very good. I'll try to get hold of a Final Audio A8000 and a Shure KSE1200 to find out how much better an IEM can get. However, I'm sure the 17-25 times higher price of these IEMs does not reflect the possible sound quality difference.

The Moondrop Starfield has made the law of diminishing returns start strongly right from $100.

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EuphoniousMedia

New Head-Fier
Moondrop Starfields - Hype Worthy!
Pros: Astounding male and female vocals.
Very excellent imaging and soundstage.
Natural and fatigue free sound.
Mesmerizing paint job.
Cons: Lacks the low-end rumble.
Paint tends to chip off easily.
Cable braiding is rather loose.
Introduction:

Moondrop is one of the fastest growing “Chi-Fi” IEMs maker. They gained immense popularity in 2017 after their release of Kannas Pro and the budget oriented Starfields early this year. They tend to follow harman curve across all their IEM range. Their IEMs illustrate aesthetics and build quality and that’s why they are so liked in the community.

Disclaimer:

The review was tested at 110$ and all the judgement was made keeping the exact same price in mind. We're not responsible for any price change that might alter this review.


The item was purchased from HIFINAGE (Indian region) from our own money.

Purchasable link:

HIFINAGE
Moondrop Global Store

Specifications:

Spec Sheet - Starfields.png


Unboxing and accessories:


Unboxing experience was simple and just enough. The box is made out of a paper cover with a waifu watching stars. After removing the cover you have an actual box with Moondrop logo printed in silver.

Starfields Box


Opening the box, you will see Starfields sitting tightly in foam and a carrying case just below it. The case contains a purple wire and basic silicone eartips. Beneath the foam you have some documentation and a tweezer with 3 pairs of extra filters

Starfields Box Open


Case and Cable:

Cable that comes with the box is a 3.5mm unbalanced cable. It’s a 2 pin (0.78) which is purple in color to complement the Starfields. Y split has Moondrop logo printed on it and it doesn’t have any chin slider like the rest of Moondrop products. There are no microphonics. The cable braiding is not the best one we’ve seen. It definitely gets the job done. It’s not a bad cable in general but we’ve seen flawless cables from FiiO and Tin at this price point. Not to mention, the Kanas also came with a very superior cable. It uses a “L-type” termination jack.

The case is a semi-hard shelled round carrying case and it’s very smol. On top, “Moondrop Co.” is written in a gold accent. We really think Moondrop could’ve provided a bigger carrying case as you’ve to really wind the cable tightly to fit in the IEMs.

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IEM Quality and fit:

Starfields are made out of the same metal shell as KXXS with a paint job on top. They reflect different colors under different light. You’re technically getting a build quality of sub 200$ IEM for 110$ so they are built pretty well. They have some weight to it. Many users have reported chipping paint but we’ve not seen it in our unit yet. The shells fit in your ear concha pretty snuggly and fit is not an issue with this pair. They are comfortable for long use and they don’t stick out of your ears.

Sound Isolation:

Starfields are made up of metal shell, they block out outside noise pretty well. On medium to high volumes it’s hard for you to listen to your surroundings. The default silicone tips are very bad and couldn’t get a proper seal with any of it. You might want to invest in some third party tips for the best seal.

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The Driveability and sources used:

Starfields are mediocre to drive. They do not ask a lot like Kanas do, but amping them helps a lot with soundstage and clarity. With weak sources they tend to sound a little distorted and dry.

Sources used are:
  • iBasso DX120
  • Hidizs AP80
  • Shanling M0.

Measurement:

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Note: Frequency Response graph of Moondrop Starfields courtesy of Crincale. All the credit for the graph goes to the author.

The Sound:

Bass:

Bass is not the forte of Starfields,
out of box they sound very tinny after burn in of 60+ hours we saw a huge improvement in bass reproduction. It’s slow and loose in character. The bass takes a backseat in each and every song whether the song is bass heavy or not. The Bass notes are not so pronounced rather are very subtle and fluttery which needs very keen listening to feel the presence, the drums kicks are not that hard felt as it felt for other pairs in this price range. Talking about the lower bass range, it does rumble but on very low end bass tracks. To sum it up, these are not a fun pair in terms of bass, if bass is what you seek then don’t consider this as an option also.

Mids:

This is where these shine like they do in terms of paint job, the mid range is tuned so well it actually covers up all the shortcomings one would feel with the bass. Starfields sounds so wide, natural and multi layered that with eyes closed you will be taken to the recording studio the moment you press the play button, the kind of imaging that is produced is speechless, upon close listening a trained ear can pin point the exact location of various instruments used in the song which is very rare in this price point. Lower mid presence is on point which is why these do not sound muddy, and the transition from lower to higher mid range is perfectly balanced due to which it produces clean male and female vocals that are smooth and have weight to it.

Treble:

According to our listening the Treble is very relaxed and smooth in Starfields, it is actually so smooth it feels creamy and buttery in texture which is why no matter for how long you are listening to songs there is not even a slightest hint of fatigue. The treble reproduction is so precise and detailed that in each and every song you will be noticing something new as instruments sound clean and so detailed that there is no overlap in every instrument and is heard distinctively which is very difficult to find in this price range. They have a dip around 3 KHz in their tuning to avoid any type of sibilance or sharpness which is why these sound so smooth. They have excellent resolution, but treble roll off is rather quick and you do miss some macro-details.

Soundstage
:

Soundstage is incredible for the price. It’s one of the best we’ve tried in this price range. It has both height and depth presence which actually represents the sound on a huge scale due to this It is very immersive and you can make out different instruments playing at different distances very easily. Every instrument is lively and has his own space to breathe. Testing the soundtrack “Cornfield Chase“ from the movie Interstellar which showcases the brilliant use of church organ by Hans Zimmer to depict the feeling of scale and grandeur is reproduced by Starfields exceptionally well and immediately we were shocked to hear the natural reproduction of the instrument.

Imaging:

Imaging is exceptional with this pair, it gives a 3 dimensional experience and instruments project themselves at the right place. Layering is amazing and opens up the recording very vividly. Testing the same via the track “Callas Went Away” from album - Enigma MCMXC a.D which has so many instruments and opera verses which Starfileds handled with ease, every instrument could be heard distinct and crisp clear due to which the whole experience transported to studio recording space and it became very easy to pin point location of every instrument placed in 3-d sphere of audio immersion.


Tracks used:

  • George Ezra - "Shotgun" For male vocals.

  • Michael Jackson - "Wanna Be Starting Something" For detail retrieval in upper treble.

  • Run The Jewels - "Call Ticketron" For low end rumble.

  • Interstellar - “ Cornfield Chase” For layering and scale.

  • Enigma MCMXC a.D - “Callas Went Away” For detail in instruments

Conclusion:

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Under 110$, this pair is a no brainer. We can easily recommend this pair to anyone who wants mids and amazing sounding male and female vocals with just the right amount of soundstage. If you’re someone who likes a great amount of low end and listen to treble focused tracks, then this might not be the pair for you. If you like the Moondrop harmanish tuning then go for it.

Rated:

Grade Sheet - Starfields.png
jon parker
jon parker
Spot on review - paired up with good foam tips and a nice Litz 4.4mm cable...just WoW !
EuphoniousMedia
EuphoniousMedia

HappyPessimist

New Head-Fier
Beautiful but Uninspired
Pros: Gorgeous Paint Job
Decent Price/Performance Ratio
Solid Shell Build
Responds Well to EQ
Easy to Drive
Decent Soundstage for IEM
Treble is not Fatiguing
Cons: Fit
Fragile Paint
Included Accessories
Dull/Uninspired Sounding
Bass lacks impact
Treble lacks sparkle
I feel the Moondrop Starfield needs no introduction at this point. The Starfield is easily one of the most hyped ~$100 IEMs this year. While I think it offers a decent price/performance ratio, after having spent a couple of months with the Starfield I feel it has been overhyped.

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Packaging / Accessories
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The packaging is nice and pretty minimal. There's an exploded diagram of the shell/driver on the back of the box. Inside you'll find the shells, cable, ear tips, carrying case, tweezers and extra screens. One of the screens on my shells came really out of place.

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The accessories themselves were disappointing. At this price range many competitors offer much nicer carrying cases, cables and even ear tips. The KBEAR Diamond and the Simgot EN700Pro both come with nicer accessories (and the Diamond can regularly be found for at least $30 less than the Starfield). The cable is okay. It is very soft and kind of sticky. The left/right markers are also very difficult to see. The divider is nicely made, as is the 3.5mm right angle connector. I did not get any microphonics from the stock cable. I found the stock ear tips to be awful- No matter which size I tried I could not get a proper seal. I actually almost gave up on these very early on because the sound, especially the bass, was just not very good. When I listened to Aqueous Transmission by Incubus, the usual warmth that comes with the bass kicking in right around the 25 second mark was completely absent with all of the stock tips. I feel like IEMs in the $100 and up bracket should come with ear tips that are at least usable.

SCORE: 2/5

BUILD / FIT

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The shells are on the heavier side and feel super solid. There is a seam where the faceplate and shell meet. I haven't had any issues with the seam but I could see lint/debris getting stuck in there if you put these in your pocket regularly. The 2 Pin socket is recessed and cables feel solid when connected. The paint definitely steals the show with these IEMs and are for many, as it was for me, a big draw to the IEM since it looks so different than many of the other models.

One issue that I find myself still struggling with are the fit with these shells. Even with aftermarket ear tips it is difficult for me to get a good seal with these. I find myself wishing they would insert deeper and I have to constantly re-adjust these while wearing them. I haven't seen too many others complain about this issue but I've never had this much of an issue with fit.

SCORE: 3.5/5

SOUND
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The Starfield's feature a single dynamic driver with a 10mm CNT diaphragm. They are tuned to Moondrop's own harmanish tuning. Thanks to the DD timbre is excellent

Bass: Probably my biggest gripe with the Starfield's are with their bass. At least part of this is due to the ear tip/fit issues I mentioned above. The Starfield's bass lacks authority and while it has decent extension, mid-bass is much more present than sub-bass. Out of the box, tracks with sub-bass just seem to be missing something. There isn't much rumble and there's a bit of bass bleed into the mids. Bass is present but lacks density and leaves me wanting more.

Mids: Mids on the Starfield are probably where they shine most, specifically with vocals. Vocals sound great and are a bit more forward, often stealing the show from instruments. Both male and female vocals sound great. Outside of vocals, the mids are a bit less exciting and, similar to the bass, just a bit dull.

Treble: I'm pretty sensitive to treble and the Starfield's treble isn't harsh at all. Treble is a bit rolled off and while it doesn't ever get harsh it also lacks sparkle/excitement. The treble is very smooth but will likely be too recessed for those who listen to treble-heavy music or who prefer to have more sparkle in their treble. Again, it's just kind of dull.

Notes: The Starfield's do a lot good enough but are overall dull and uninspired sounding. Music isn't as fun as it should be. Soundstage has decent width for IEMs but lacks depth and height. Details are present but these IEMS haven't pulled anything new out of the music for me. I did not note any sibilance while listening. After trying foam ear tips I gave the Spinfit CP240s a shot and so far those have been great. Improved bass quite a bit and are fairly comfortable. They extend a bit longer as well, which I prefer. The Starfield's do look a bit ridiculous with them on though. The Starfield's do respond well to EQ.

SCORE: 3.75/5


CLOSING
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Overall the Starfield's are a beautiful looking, dull sounding IEM. I REALLY wanted to like these, but in the ~$100 price range there is just too much competition for these to have the amount of praise they've received. Are they good? Absolutely. Are they great? Not so much. I think the accessories, especially the ear tips, Moondrop included are very subpar when you look at what the competition is offering. Both the bass and the treble feel life-less and are just kind of dull. The Moondrop Starfield's really feel like a jack of all trades- master of none.
fizzytao
fizzytao
For those who can't find a good fit like me, you may try Acoustune AET07 tips. These work well for me.
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kmmbd

100+ Head-Fier
Being Bland
Pros: Good Build Quality
- Great vocal rendition
- Overall smooth tonality
- Non-fatiguing
Cons: Paint prone to chipping off
- Poor cable ergonomics
- Bass lacks texture
- Dull, blunted notes
- Treble rolls off too early
- Lacks excitement, low in dynamics
- Poor technicalities in general: mediocre detail retrieval, intimate staging, average imaging
IMG_8146_2.JPG


This review originally appeared on my blog.

To say that Moondrop has had a meteoric rise over the past two years would be quite an understatement.

From having less recognition than KZ/TRN to being one of the premiere Chinese manufacturers — it’s been quite a journey for them. My first encounter with them was with the Moondrop Crescent which is still one of the best in its price bracket and better tuned than many higher-tier stuff (reviewed here).

For a while Moondrop had quite a gap between the ultra-budget Moondrop Spaceship ($20) and Moondrop KXXX ($200). The Moondrop Starfield, at $109, aims to fill that gap.

The price is right, they look the part, and Moondrop didn’t make many blunders apart from the ill-fated Solis. The Starfield is set up for super-stardom. Can it handle the pressure?


Note: the ratings given will be subjective to the price tier. I bought the Starfield with my own funds, still, Disclaimer.

Sources used: Questyle QP1R, Cayin N6 II+E01, LG G7
Price, while reviewed: 104 euros.


IMG_8157.JPG


Build: The build is excellent for the most part, apart from the gorgeous finish that is prone to scratching/peeling off. The IEMs feel positively dense in hand and the machining is impeccable. These are the same shells as the KXXX so you’re practically getting the build of a $200 IEM here. Not bad.

There are two vents on the inner ridges, one just past the stem of the nozzle and another on the outer ridge. The backplate has a unique arrangement of triangular shapes that reflects light as it hits them. The color also shift from blue to a darker shade of purple depending on the angle. Very neat indeed.

The nozzle doesn’t have any lip for catching onto the eartips but most tips fit just fine. Only with very grippy tips (e.g. Azla Xelastec) did the tips tend to slide out if you had a deep seal. Something to notice.

The 2-pin connectors are slightly recessed from the housing, but I’d prefer further recession. Nonetheless, it’s better than those raised connectors.

Overall — solid build, with the only caveat of paint chipping off (too many such cases to chalk it up as happenstance).
4.5/5

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Accessories: The accessory set looks pretty fleshed upon first inspection. You get 6 pairs of eartips of S/M/L sizes, a glitzy cable that apparently has SPC Litz structure, a clamshell carry-case, some spare dust-filters and a tweezer (surprise!) to help you install them. The latter two are practically bonus at this price point so kudos to Moondrop.

However, the stock cable is bad. It has an overall poor in-hand feel and I just never found it comfortable once worn. The overall fit and finish of the cable is also subpar, and this is one of the worse cables I’ve seen bundled with IEMs in this price range.

Then there is the carrying case which is a bit too small for the Starfields. The eartips are also mediocre.
3.5/5

Comfort and Isolation:
The Starfield is heavier than your typical IEM but is mostly comfortable for long listening sessions. The weight can be a bit of a bother if you smaller ear-canals but for most people I think it’ll be fine. With the right eartips and a better cable the fit is seamless with above-average isolation. In stock form — not so much.
4/5


Now, onto the sound.

The Moondrop Starfield is a single Dynamic Driver design with a 10mm diameter Carbon Nanotube (CNT) diaphragm. Moondrop also employs a dual-cavity design here where the driver magnet, voice coil and driver diaphragm are concentrically arranged between two cavities, which basically looks like two end-caps.

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CNT drivers have become sort of a popular thing lately, with both the BLON BL-03 and Tin T4 using them (albeit at different price points).

The general sound signature can be described as balanced with rolled-off treble. The Starfield mostly follows the Harman curve, so you get a somewhat boosted low-end (though nowhere near basshead level), a nicely balanced midrange with the signature 3KHz peak and then it slowly tapers off in the treble region to avoid any harshness or treble fatigue/sibilance. All nice on paper, but reality can be… strange.

The following impressions were made with the Azla Xelastec eartips, though I did try with Spinfit CP-100 and Final E-type (Black) tips as well. The general signature remained similar, however.

Bass: The lows on the Starfield are rather balanced sounding upon first-listen. There’s a slight mid-bass boost to give a sense of warmth and the sub-bass is decently extended with good enough rumble up to 30Hz and slight rumble until 26Hz (after which it rolls off). All fine and dandy in terms of quantity.

And then we get into the quality of the bass response.

The bass has slow decay, which won’t be too much of an issue had it not been the general lack of texture in the bass response. Especially everything between 60–30Hz sounds monotonous. Bass punch is there, but it’s more of a hollow thump and lacks density. Bass notes lose their definition during fast flowing bass sections. Some may call it polite bass but the lack of texture in the bass makes the whole low-end sound lifeless. Snare hits and bass pedals lack their usual authority in many songs, e.g. Billy Talent’s Surrender.

The bass is boring despite not being anemic. It’s a strange sensation, almost as if the bass is muffled at certain frequencies (no, it’s not a sealing or eartip issue, I’ve confirmed with multiple tips).
3/5

Mids:
Definitely the best aspect of the Moondrop Starfield and their calling-card. The midrange is really well-tuned, with the vocals being the highlight (both female and male vocals). Lower mids are full enough to give baritone vocals their signature heft without making them sound boxy (check out Ben Howard’s Cloud Nine). Female vocals meanwhile never got shouty and has a particular smoothness to them that is hardly found in the chi-fi land. Vocal articulation is also well portrayed as you can pick up breathing patterns etc. though they are not as evident as certain vocal specialist IEMs (e.g. Final E4000).

The issue with the midrange lies in its general lack of “attack”. Everything sounds dull and blunted. String instruments lack bite as notes are rounded off, as can be heard on The Paper Kite’s Nothing More Than That (the guitar squeaks for example). It’s not evident initially but the more you use them you notice the missing pieces.

There’s no snap, that is.
* insert Thanos snap gif *

Tonally and in terms of timbre the midrange is pretty flawless, it’s the other technical aspects where the Starfield falls short.
4/5

Treble:
And lastly, the treble response aka the highs. The Starfield has a rolled off lower treble which helps in avoiding listening fatigue/harshness/sibilance but then you also lose a lot of definition in the upper registers. The downturn from 3KHz onwards is too steep in my opinion. Ironically, it’s not a dark sounding set, rather the abrupt roll-off results in cymbal hits abruptly disappearing into the void. It can give rise to a sensation of “fast transient response” but that’s misleading I’d say.

The lack of air in treble is also another issue. And of course — the overall resolution is poor. It can’t hold a candle to many lower-priced IEMs when it comes to detail retrieval, even at 1/4th the price. I’m not a detail junkie but the Starfield is technically outdone by a number of its competition and that’s a shame.

In short: mediocre treble response, nothing to write home about. At least it’s not harsh or sibilant.
3/5

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Soundstage: Due to the elevated midrange the soundstage is mostly intimate in terms of width. However, soundstage depth and height is also subpar.
2.5/5

Imaging:
Imaging is mostly left-right and while the spatial cues are alright, the instrument placement, separation and layering leaves a lot to be desired. Ordinal imaging (placement of instruments at corner positions) is also non-existent for the most part.
3/5

Bang-for-buck:
This is one criteria which confuses me about the Starfield. It doesn’t really do anything better than any of its competition, not to my ears. The imaging/soundstage is strictly average, the midrange is great but there are others with similar/better midrange performance, it’s not a detail-retrieval monster, it’s not even especially cheap.

What it does is hit a specific target curve to some degree and that’s that. It’s got the tonality right but everything else is a big question mark.
2.5/5

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Select Comparisons

vs
Tin T4 ($100): The Tin T4 used to be favorite of many but seem to be falling by the wayside thanks to the introduction of Tin T2 Plus. I digress. The accessories of the Tin T4 are of higher quality than that of the Starfield, but the QC issues are too prevalent on the Tin IEM and something you must note before making this particular purchase. Both of them uses a CNT diaphragm driver.

The bass is punchier and much better defined on the Tin T4 despite having lower quantity. The midrange meanwhile is thin and very detailed vs the full, elevated and warm midrange of the Moondrop Starfield. I prefer the vocals on the Starfield but if it’s micro-details you want Tin T4 is the way to go. Treble is too boosted on the Tin T4 with distracting peaks in lower treble while the Moondrop Starfield goes the opposite way and opts for an early roll-off. Ideal would be something in between — not the case here.

Imaging and soundstage is poor on both. Comfort/Build is better on the Starfields. Personally, I don’t recommend either.

vs KBEar Diamond ($68–70): The Diamond has a DLC diaphragm dynamic driver and has even better build and accessories than the Starfield. It’s also priced quite a bit lower.

In terms of sound, the sub-bass on the Diamond is boosted and gives it a bass-heavy tone. The recessed midrange and the subdued lower treble turns it into a dark-sounding IEM although it does the treble better than the Moondrop Starfield if you listen closely (treble notes don’t decay abruptly). The midrange has good timbre but is a bit too recessed for my liking. Soundstage/imaging is slightly better on the Diamond. Comfort-wise, I’d put Starfield ahead.

If you need a bassier version of the Moondrop Starfields you can give the Diamond a try. It also has a more enjoyable presentation in many tracks unlike the dull sounding Starfield.

vs Final E3000 ($50–60): The E3000 lacks a detachable cable so many might discard it right there. Fair enough. It does have much better stock tips but lacks any other niceties in the package.

In terms of sound though the E3000 lays bare to all the issues that the Starfield has. Firstly, the bass has a punch to them that the Starfield can’t match. Sub-bass rolls of earlier on the E3000 but the mid-bass performance makes up for that somewhat. There is no bleeding into the lower-mids, and vocals are even better portrayed on the E3000 esp the growling vocals. The grittiness of such vocals are not well reproduced by the Moondrop Starfield. String instruments are also supreme on the E3000 vs the bland delivery of the Starfield.

Treble is a bit subdued on the E3000 and can sound a bit splashy in certain tracks (in case of cymbals). Despite that, overall airiness of the treble is better on the E3000. Upper-mids are more upfront on the Moondrop Starfield so if you prefer intimate vocals the E3000 will sound recessed in the midrange. However, the soundstage is much wider on Final E3000, and imaging is polar opposite on the Final IEM with precise positioning of instruments and instrument separation that rivals many higher-priced IEMs.

The Final IEM, despite their lack of hype (outside of the #finalmasterrace circle, that is) and their relative “old age” can trounce the Starfield at its own game: smooth signature with a warm-ish tonality and balanced presentation. If you don’t mind the fixed cable and want the kind of presentation Moondrop Starfield offers, the Final E3000 will be a much better choice (at almost half the price), in my humble opinion.

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Conclusion

You know those earphones that you can listen to all day without ever getting tired or bored or fed up of it and the longer you use them the more they pull you in?

Yeah, the Moondrop Starfield is not one of those IEMs. Not for me.

I find that the flavor-of-the-month factor is a bit too strong with this one. It’s inoffensive, but it plays it too safe and becomes average in the process. It’ll likely to be one of those IEMs you fall out of love in the long run. Despite that if you’re sure that this is what you want — go right ahead and pay no heed to my cynical thoughts. The midrange is great in terms of tonality and the vocal performance is mostly excellent (unless you are fan of growling metal vocals). However, the bass is not very high quality, neither is the treble, and instruments in general sound below par. Lastly, the intimate soundstage coupled with subpar imaging renders this too… generic.

As for me: it’s boring. It’s lifeless. It’s bland. It’s the English breakfast without salt and pepper. It’s the sandwich that got cold overnight, and it’s just not worth it.

Overall Rating: 3.25/5
I cannot recommend this.

P.S.
since my review/impressions of the Starfield is in stark contrast to many well-known/popular/heavyweight reviewers, I just have to reiterate: I bought them at my own expense, so maybe I expected a bit too much, but I can only say what I hear. I tried every “good” eartip under the sun and got great seal. I also tried a different unit of Starfield and it sounded the same so perhaps no unit variance. Lastly, I used them for a whole month before writing this review, this is not a “gotta review this in one-week” kinda impression/review post.

Test Tracks: https://tidal.com/browse/playlist/04350ebe-1582-4785-9984-ff050d80d2b7
Last edited:
BrunoC
BrunoC
You only need to try this eartip: Inverted Starlines.
This converts the Starfield completly with more soundstage, more treble, more airy sensation, more dynamics.No joke.

audioblog18

New Head-Fier
MOONDROP STARFIELD
Pros: -Natural timbre
-Eye-catching paint job
-Great accessories
-Commendable layering and imaging
-Non-fatiguing tonality
-Nice low-end weight
-More than decent extension on both ends
Cons: -So-so treble resolution
-Loose bass
-Paint chips pretty quick
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 Starfield

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The Starfield is indeed one if not the most eye-catching IEM under 5,000 Php(100 USD). It actually adapts the shell of KXXS but it is now painted with a galaxy-like design. I've got problems with paint chipping too and it's kinda disappointing. It is definitely the heaviest IEM that I currently have and it still doesn't put too much strain on my ears though it may with other ears (smaller ears maybe). It uses a single dynamic driver and I can honestly say that it is a well tuned one, it isn't perfect but it is really commendable for the price.


Technical Specification:


Driver: Carbon Nanotube diaphragm-10mm Dual cavity dynamic driver


Detachable cable standard: 24AWG Litz 4N OFC 1.2M


Cable Interface: 0.78 2pin interface


Sensitivity: 122dB/Vrms(@1khz)


Impedance: 32Ω±15% (@1khz)


Frequency response: 10Hz-36000 Hz (free field. 1/4 inch MIC)


Effective frequency response: 20Hz-20000 Hz (IEC60318-4)

Packaging

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Despite bad comments, I really think that they included pretty much everything that is needed for an IEM at this price tier, there's a good carrying pouch, a set of silicone eartips (6 pairs), a nice cable and even a filter replacement. It may not be as flashy as its predecessors but it is understandable since the price is reduced by almost 1/3. All in all, I honestly find the packaging of Starfield to be pretty great, maybe because I didn't owned a KXXS thus, I don't have high expectations for this IEM.

Fit and Comfort

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As I've said, the Starfield is not even near being "light-weight" which means comfort and fit can be really tricky for some. Despite its weight, my ears doesn't felt any discomfort, isolation is not the best but it is good enough even in moderately noisy environments. The stock ear tips aren't that great so I used a 3rd party wide bore silicone ear tips which is my favorite, with proper ear tips it fits nicely to my ears. I won't really recommend this IEM for those with really small ears cause I think they'll have fitting issues with this.

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

This is definitely my only gripe (sound-wise) with the Starfield, both attack and decay isn't that quick, it is noticeable with complex passages that has plenty of instruments that mixed with vocals. I tried "bad guy" by Billie Eilish and sub bass is definitely present, rumbles are rendered nicely with moderate resolution and nice depth. Mid bass isn't as tight as other IEM's that I've tried recently, though it is faster than the BL03, it is not as agile as T2 Plus or the SSR which are priced lower than the Starfield, nonetheless there's moderate impact and weight that gives the overall bass of the Starfield a bit fun rather than linear, it's not too upfront though which is a nice move considering the speed and weight of the mid-bass, the positioning helped to kept it under control.

Midrange
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For me, midrange is the star of the show, it's not that it is a mid-centric pair of IEM but it is definitely the part I love the most. I'm quite impressed how the kept it to sound clean and still providing good amount of body for both lower and upper mid-range. There's no sign of dryness or hollowness even when playing pretty thin sounding male artists such as Rex Orange County and Passenger. Lower mid-range is neither upfront nor recessed, it is placed quite neutral, there's a very minimal bass bleed but it isn't audible unless you are really nitpicking. There's a minor peak on the upper mid-range which made the overall upper mid-range kinda sweet and a bit intimate. The Starfield isn't sibilant at all and it packs very good timbre with slightly lush approach which actually negates the slight bump, playing some tracks by NIKI feels smooth and enjoyable.

Treble

Treble isn't the forte of Starfield, it is rather smooth than resolving but it is well extended, the sparkle it packs isn't mind-blowing but instead it is just sufficient for the treble not to sound too dull or un-energetic. I can cite IEMs that has better treble response in this price range such as the Toneking T4 or even the BQEYZ Spring 1 but both of them doesn't have a well balanced mid-range like the Starfield. Both attack and decay of its treble is just moderately fast. Playing my treble-centric test tracks with the Starfield proves that the tuning here favors smoothness rather than resolution and it is nice thing for me who doesn't listen treble heavy tracks, therefore I can't really recommend this set for those who loves classical or metal music.

Sound Stage and Resolution

Both sound stage and resolution of the Starfield won't blow your mind, it won't slap you with great amount of details or drown you with extremely spacious sound but rather it will soothe you with its natural sounding timbre and smooth overall tonality. Sound stage isn't bad, it just lacks width but there's enough depth and height, maybe the sluggish bass and the mediocre sparkle on the treble is the reason behind this. Resolution is sufficient, for me I find the mid-range to be the most detailed area here, sub bass is fairly textured as well but the treble which is usually the highlight of highly resolving IEMs isn't that detailed nonetheless I find both layering and imaging to be superb despite the lack of sound stage magnitude.

Sound Signature and Synergy

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I've used many sources in reviewing the Starfield, iFi Hip Dac, Cayin N5ii, Shanling UP4 and Topping D10s paired with Cayin c5 and Periodic Audio Ni. For me it pairs really well with the N5ii and Topping D10s which slightly boosted its treble response, the hip dac and UP4 on the other hand further highlighted its bass and lower mid-range which may be favorable for some. Nonetheless due to its harman tuning (Warm and Smooth) I'd suggest to use it with a neutral or bright source to balanced out its tonality, nonetheless its natural characteristic won't change even change sources, it still packs natural timbre with very good overall smoothness.

iFi Hip DAC

The hip dac adds body and warmth to the Starfield which is already a pretty full sounding IEM ootb, it may be a really good pairing for those who are searching for bassy pair but also wants a good quality one. The hip dac doesn't only add quantity but also it enhances the quality, despite its innate smoothness, it makes the bass slightly quicker and more refined. Mid-range sounds fuller while treble may sound a bit too smooth. This pairing has really good imaging, layering and sound stage magnitude which may be your cup of tea.

Cayin N5ii

I used the N5ii for the review simply because it is the best pairing while staying portable, the N5ii slightly made the loose bass of Starfield a little bit tighter and faster at the expense of weight. With the N5ii, everything sounded leaner coming from the Hip Dac, upper mid-range became a bit thin but it is still sufficient due to the fact that Starfield is innately warmish. Treble was pushed forward and is more sparkly than before which is nice, sound stage magnitude is slightly less than with the hip dac but I believe that this pair is more resolving.

Shanling UP4

My best portable buddy at the moment, it is a bit warm yet pretty powerful and smooth, this guy is definitely the most inferior one in terms of technicality but it's my favorite as I use it when I roam in my workplace (Industrial Plant). This is a very good pairing for portable use but definitely not the best for serious listening. Noticeable difference from other sources is that the midrange became too thick and treble became more un-energetic.

Topping D10s

The best pairing of them all, the Starfield became revealing and more accurate (layering and imaging) compared to other sources that I've tried. It "CAN" be portable but it will suck your transport's battery like a leech and it is really hard to carry nonetheless when listening on your desktop, this setup is just so good. Dynamics are really nice, bass, midrange and treble has an even body and transparency which I really like. Tho the speed of Starfield didn't improved much with this pairing, everything else sounded better coming from the sources mentioned above.

Comparison
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BFD Unix
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The UNIX is a single BA IEM and it is a U shaped IEM, bass weight and magnitude easily goes to the Starfield cause it is sufficient and isn't excessive too, well the UNIX is expectedly faster but it is rolled off compared to the deep sub bass of Starfield. Mid-range goes to Starfield as well, it is smoother and has better and more natural timbre, though I'd say that the UNIX packs a little bit more details but I prefer the tonality of Starfield. Despite the lack of extension of UNIX, it's treble is definitely more sparkly, resolving and faster than the smooth and un-energetic treble of Starfield thus I'll give this one to the UNIX. The Starfield is less resolving but it has better imaging, layering and even sound stage magnitude.

BQEYZ Spring 1
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We have a Spring 2 now but I don't have it yet, the Spring 1 is probably one of the best sub 6000 Php (120 USD) IEM last year and it can still go toe to toe with the Starfield. Tonality and Timbre easily goes to the Starfield, Spring 1's bass is tighter and faster but I believe that the Starfield has deeper sub bass, so it's just a matter of preference. Mid-range goes to Starfield, it definitely sounds fuller and more natural from lower to upper mid range. Treble goes to the Spring 1 though, it is faster and has more energy in it, extension are pretty parallel IMO, Spring 1 can squeeze more details on the treble too. Despite the tri-brid driver configuration of the Spring 1, I still find the Starfield to be better in terms of layering and imaging while the Spring 1 to be more resolving.

Kinera Freya
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An unfair match up price-wise, but they are more alike than I expected, I don't know if this Kinera Freya have a quality issue but I don't find it to be the one described by recent reviewers. Bass is much subtler than the Starfield, they almost have the same amount of details here while the starfield having deeper sub bass. Freya's mid-range is lush just like the Starfield but the upper mid-range came out too warm IMO, and despite having the same timbre, I can easily feel that the Starfield sounded more open. Lastly, treble sounded a bit more refined in the Freya, it is a bit more sparkly too but the difference is not really huge. Sound stage magnitude goes to the Starfield while layering, imaging and resolution goes to Freya (very close fight), The accessories of Freya is far far better than the Starfield tho since they even included 2 DAC Dongle (1 Type C and 1 Lightning).

Conclusion
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I've read a lot of praising review towards the Starfield but there are plenty of "meh" reviews as well, despite all of those negative remarks I will stand by my conclusion that the MOONDROP Starfield is a good buy and is pretty easy to recommend. It is probably the easiest to listen IEM in its price tier, bass is a bit loose but it is smooth, deep and has good amount of weight. Mid-range is smooth as well with commendably natural timbre and sweet upper mid-range. Treble is the weakest point due to lack of energy and resolution, nonetheless I can listen for hours when I'm using this IEM due to its relaxed, non-fatiguing and smooth treble. Layering and imaging is excellent while the overall resolution is obviously not the forte of this IEM. I've been using it for a month now and I spent more than half of my overall listening time with the Starfield.



Visit our website:

https://hiphilaudio.wordpress.com/2020/08/18/moondrop-starfield/
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audioblog18
audioblog18
Periodic Audio Ni and Cayin C5 sir.
WriterHead
WriterHead
Great review.
audioblog18
audioblog18
Thanks!

chinerino

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Luxuriously smooth across spectrum, Impressive sub bass and treble extension, Nice soundstage, A flagship IEM tuning minus the flagship price.
Cons: Paint chips easily, Bare bones accessories and fragile cable, Bass can get a little muddy due to slow decay
View more reviews at: https://www.perrivanaudio.com/


Driver Setup: Single Carbon Nanotube (CNT) Dynamic Driver


Price: SG$150



Intro

Disclaimer: I borrowed the Moondrop Starfield from mistereden on Carousell Singapore for review purposes. It currently retails for $149.90 (SGD) here.


This is a review of the Moondrop Starfield, a single dynamic driver earphone from the company who brought us the Kanas Pro, Blessing and A8 among many other great offerings. The Starfield has quickly become one of the most popular recommendations in the $100 - $200 price range and we shall explore why that is the case today.

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Packaging and Accessories (Score: 6.5/10)

Minimal packaging but still not lacking in quality in any way. Moondrop’s minimalistic approach still carries a certain classy vibe. The black zippered case, although a little on the small side, feels very sturdy and well-made. I really like the black gold colour scheme with a small gold imprinted branding on it. Almost looks like a brand name item.


It also comes with tweezers and replacement mesh filters and the stock ear tips which are quite comfortable. Overall, nothing to scream about but nothing much to complain about.

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Build Quality and Fit (Score: 7/10)

Build quality of the earpieces are great. It uses the same zinc-aluminium alloy for the shells which feels quite weighty in the hand. Although significantly heavier than typical plastic shell IEMs, these still fit very nicely in the ear. It has good balance and doesn’t threaten to fall out of the ear. Although these may not be the most comfortable earphones for anything more than a stroll outside.


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Although the Starfields look so pretty thanks to its unique glittering paint job, it does not seem to be very durable. It’s been said that they can chip from just the IEMs knocking against each other and it's a real shame.


The cable is really soft in the hands and comes in a matching dark blue. Although Moondrop have been quite proud of the technical specs of the cable, I would say it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence just looking at it.


Sound (Overall Score: 8/10)

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Frequency response graph of the Moondrop Starfield courtesy of Crinacle


Sources Used

  • Shanling M3s

Albums and Tracks Listened to

  • Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ) – Jazz me Outside Part. 1
  • Postmodern Jukebox – The New Classics (Recorded Live!)
  • La La Land Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  • The Temptations – Classic Soul Hits
  • Noah Kahan – Busyhead
  • Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K.622 by Martin Frost

Bass (Score: 7.5/10)


The sub bass extension is very good and is probably the best thing about the bass. The bassline on The Temptations’ “How Sweet It Is” sounded really satisfying with the nice rumble in the lower bass. There is an overall emphasis on the bass and lends to the overall warmth of the sound.


However, I find the decay a little too slow for my liking and at times muddies the tracks. I prefer quicker bass with more bite while the Starfield has it more rounded, however, this may be a matter of preference. Listening to PMJ’s “All about That Bass”, when it hits the double bass solo, I didn’t really enjoy the texture of the double bass plucks as I usually would, and I wish kick drums had more bite and punch.


Mids (Score: 8.5/10)


Mids are very smooth and I would say the main difference between the Moondrop KXXS and the Starfields lie here. It’s more of a matter of preference in this area but Moondrop has smoothened out the peaks in the upper treble and now female vocals are less forward. People who shied away from the KXXS because they found the upper mids shouty would rejoice. Personally, I preferred the energy of the vocals in the KXXS, but the differences aren’t that huge, and I still find both enjoyable.


Listening to PMJ’s “Perfect Duet”, I didn't have any problems when it got to the saxophone solo. It usually gets a little bit overbearing to listen to and have to turn the volume down on earphones with peaks in the upper mids and treble. However, on the Starfields the solo remained controlled yet soulful, with plenty of air to it and avoided all harshness.


The lower mids of the Starfield have plenty of body to them and possess a certain mellow sound to them. I really enjoyed listening to the A Clarinet in the Martin Frost’s rendition of the Clarinet Concerto in A. The clarinet solos were very full-bodied, smooth and the instrument tonalities were all spot on.


Treble (Score: 8/10)


There is significant airiness in the treble and it never comes across harsh or cold. Bells and crash cymbals have a very nice timbre and sparkle to them and complements the overall warmth of the Starfield’s tuning. I had absolutely no problems with sibilance and it’s something you almost never get on the Starfield’s. On top of this, the treble extension is very impressive and doesn’t compromise on the microdetails.


Overall


The Starfields have quite a big soundstage and the expansive sound adds a certain luxurious feel to the sound signature. I would say this Harman tuning is very mature and is one that is sure to be enjoyed by many. There are technicalities that can be improved in the bass region but the Starfields really don’t deserve my nitpicking at this price point.


Comparison

Moondrop Starfield ($150) vs. Moondrop KXXS ($250)


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The Moondrop KXXS (Review Here)


The differences between the two... start and end at the extravagant unboxing experience of the KXXS which the Starfields miss out on.


Okay I’m kidding, partly. Apart from the fact that the Starfield comes in the blue paint job, the shells are identical and made of the same sturdy metal alloy. They both too have the same sound signature and you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart unless you have been listening to both for a while.


To me, the differences lie mostly in the upper mids and how forwards the vocals (especially the female vocals). Although I did say I prefer the slight edginess of the KXXS more, it’s still a miniscule difference in the grand scheme of things.


Having owned the Moondrop KXXS before getting my hands on the Starfield, I was puzzled at the release of such a similar looking IEM with a similar single dynamic driver set up. And this feeling slowly grew into bewilderment and disbelief when the Starfield sound almost like a side grade. How was Moondrop going to justify the difference in price between the two models? (The miniature plastic anime-girl figurine that comes with the KXXS isn’t going to cut it for me)


It becomes nearly impossible for anyone to recommend the KXXS with such a value option of the Starfield available. Although the Starfield does have a poorer cable and an inferior paint job, everything else about the Starfield just makes the KXXS obsolete.

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Conclusion

Moondrop went with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach on the Starfields with a continuation of the Harman target tuning. Some may see the smoothening of the upper mids as a “fix” to the KXXS. The overall sound of the Starfield is a somewhat “premium” sound minus the premium price tag. I can see this tuning being very popular and is one that you can listen to for hours on end without fatigue, whether you’re gaming, listening to audiobooks or just listening to music. I can see this pair of earphones being a fan favourite for a long time, and if you’re a fan of Moondrop’s take on the Harman tuning, this would be a double win for you. Once again, Moondrop has outdone themselves and raised the bar for a capable and yet musical single dynamic driver IEM and this is now the new benchmark to beat.
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ostewart

Reviewer at Sound Perfection Reviews
Pros: Natural and smooth sound, well built, comfortable, affordable
Cons: A little soft at times
Firstly I would like to thank HiFiGo for sending me this sample to review.

*disclaimer: This sample was provided for the purpose of writing a review, no incentive was given to write a favourable review. All opinions expressed are my own subjective findings

Gear Used:
iBasso DX200 > Starfield

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Tech Specs:

Driver: Carbon Nanotube diaphragm-10mm Dual cavity dynamic driver
Detachable cable standard: 24AWG Litz 4N OFC 1.2M
Cable Interface: 0.78 2pin interface
Sensitivity: 122dB/Vrms(@1khz)
Impedance: 32Ω±15% (@1khz)
Frequency response: 10Hz-36000 Hz (free field. 1/4 inch MIC)
Effective frequency response: 20Hz-20000 Hz (IEC60318-4)

https://hifigo.com/products/moondrop-starfield-carbon-nanotube-diaphragm-dynamic-earphone

Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories:
The Starfield come in a very nice looking blue box with an outer sleeve that has an exploded diagram of the IEM's on the back. Slide this off and the blue box underneath slides open to reveal the IEM's held in an insert with the case below. Simple, well presented and effective packaging here.

Build quality is excellent in my opinion, the housings are metal and feel solid, the cable is a little soft and thin but should hold up fine with some care. There is good strain relief and they use a normal 0.78 2-pin connector so the cable is easy to replace. The paint job is superb and looks incredible in the right lighting, however it may chip in the long run.

Accessory wise you get a semi-hard clamshell case with Moondrop on it, along with a good selection of tips (6 pairs in total). Something that was also included in mine was a pair of tweezers and 3 pairs of mesh wax guards, something that no doubt will be of use in the future.

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Comfort and Isolation:
Once the right tips are selected the Starfield are an excellent IEM comfort wise, with a perfect shape for my ears and a soft cable they don't cause any irritation or hot spots. They are hold pretty well in my ears and don't stick out much at all.

Isolation is good, not excellent, but more than suitable for daily use and general commuting. They are a vented dynamic driver, so fair about the same as most other similar models.

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Sound:
The Starfield match the Harman Curve quite closely in measurements, so that might give you an idea of how they sound.

Lows: The low end is slightly full and warm compared to a more reference tuning, but it is not out of place of overblown. There is a slight sub-bass lift that adds a pleasant warmth, mid-bass doesn't hit too hard but it is well presented and fairly controlled. There is always a sense of warmth when listening to the Starfield, which adds a little body to the midrange and makes them very enjoyable and fatigue free. The lows don't throw the overall balance of the Starfield, when called upon they dip deep and can handle most complex mixes without getting in the way.

Midrange: Well the midrange sits perfectly in the middle where it should be, with good layering of different parts of the recording. The lower midrange has a little added warmth, but this doesn't affect the overall tonality that is quite natural and real. Electric guitars can sometimes sound a little soft, not quite having the bite of more neutral tuned IEM's. That being said, they are a good all-rounder and work well with most genres. What does stand out is how real everything sounds, there is also plenty of detail to be heard if you listen out for it.

Treble: Slightly relaxed but well defined and smooth is how I would describe the top end of the Starfield. There is enough bite for snares to snap, and good extension without rolling off too early. They are not metallic or sharp, instead they take a slightly reserved but refined approach to presenting the treble. Again this all adds to a completely fatigue free sound, with the transition from midrange to treble being devoid of sibilance.

Soundstaging is not a strong point of the Starfield, they have more height than width, but due to their controlled nature layering is very good. Recordings sound coherent yet it is easy to distinguish each part.

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Conclusion:
The Starfield are going to be one of my main recommendations around the $100 mark from now on; they are smooth, natural and just sound right. They don't try and wow you with a speedy sound, nor do they throw tons of bass at you, they just play what you are listening to in a fairly honest and enjoyable way. They lend their hand to most genres and I cannot fault their sound, they nail it on so many levels that they are honestly hard to criticise. Not to forget they come well built with great ergonomics, what's not to love.

Sound Perfection Rating: 8.5/10 (nearly perfect for this price, excellent value)

Measurements may not be 100% accurate, psycho-acoustic smoothing applied in REW (IEC 711 coupler from China)

Moondrop Starfield.jpg
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ryanjsoo

Reviewer for The Headphone List
ryanjsoo's Reviews
Pros: Refined Harman-neutral tuning, Strong detail retrieval, Stunning design and build, Supple Litz cable
Cons: Somewhat sloppy bass reproduction, Average noise isolation
Introduction –

I was first introduced to the China-based company by my friend and fellow reviewer Klaus, who is certainly very knowledgeable about audio and whose opinion I hold in high regard. He was enthusiastic about a new company, Moondrop, and their first in-ear, the Kansas Pro. Though I never had the opportunity to demo this earphone, the company’s name stuck in my mind and seemingly, many others, as they’ve now climbed to international notoriety and are currently inundated with review requests. For the company has come far, delicately refining their interpretations of the famous Harman curve. The Starfield is one of their most successful ventures, tracing the curve just as religiously as its predecessors but at a more approachable $109 USD asking price. As we’re about to see, Moondrop makes every dollar count in their designs. You can read all about the Starfield here and treat yourself to one here.



The Pitch –

Harman-neutral Tuning


Though neutral has become a more subjective term over the years as more minds contribute to different curves simulating different acoustic environments, the Harman Curve has achieved special notoriety. It has been designed for mass appeal and is flexible between different form factors, you can read Tyll’s infinitely more eloquent breakdown here. The Starfield traces the Harman Curve incredibly well and makes some key changes that are very agreeable to my ear. Most notably, the upper-midrange is just a tad smoother while we observe an uptick of energy, instead, within the lower-treble. Though considered by most critics not to showcase perfect balance, this is a refined and mostly natural-sounding tuning that is a pleasure to see at this price range.

Carbon Nanotube Driver

Where the former KXXS implemented a diamond-like carbon coating on the same diaphragm as the Kansas Pro before it, the Starfield employs a redesigned driver. It features carbon-nanotubes woven into a polymer film to create a combination of lightness and rigidity. Alongside, Japanese imported Daikoku CCAW voice coils, the Starfield’s driver is rapid accelerating, low in distortion and well-controlled, promising improved transient response in addition to strong end to end extension. Readers familiar with my work will know that I’m all for a well-done single driver over a model that fails to juggle the numerous variables involved in tuning a multi-driver design.

Litz Cable

The Starfield comes with a 24AWG 4N OFC cable with Litz structure. The Litz configuration consists of multiple thin strands of wire with individual insulation that minimises skin effect and transmission loss due to opposing EMF in other strands. This is said to be especially suitable for high-frequency signals. There are 6 Litz configurations in ascending order of complexity, though the exact configuration of the Starfield’s cable is not stated. Some also consider Litz wires to be more resistant to oxidation due to their more insulated design.



Unboxing –

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The Starfield assumes a minimalist unboxing experience with a clean box adorned with appealing artwork. Inside is a hard box containing the earphones and accessories within a card inlet. Moondrop includes 6 pairs of silicone ear tips, all in various sizes to ensure a comfortable seal. As there is such a wide range of sizes, the user can also slightly alter the fit depth and sound to their preference. The Starfield comes with a solid zipper case for travel. It’s also good to see Moondrop providing additional metal mesh nozzle filters in addition to a pair of plastic tweezers to install them.



Design –

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The Starfield is a pleasure to look at, nailing the fundamentals with practicality and style. The housings adopt a 2-piece metal construction with gorgeous pearlescent blue paintwork. The central seem is prominent but smoothly finished and the earphones possess a premium density in the hand and ear. Two vents are visible on the inner face, as such, wind noise is not an issue when wearing these earphones outside. Though I’ve heard that chipping can be an issue, I didn’t experience any during my weeks of testing. This issue can be mitigated by wrapping the earphones around 4 fingers from the earpieces rather than the plug to avoid impact and chips in addition to using the included carrying case.

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Up top, it employs a 0.78mm 2-pin removable cable. As aforementioned, the cable is of excellent construction with 4N OFC conductors arranged in a Litz geometry. It’s a 4-wire braided unit with a soft, supple jacket. Alongside an over-ear fit, the cable carries no microphonic noise and coils easily for storage with no memory. The metal Y-split is very fashionable, featuring the Moondrop insignia printed on its surface and its weight takes the slack off the cable to keep it routed over the ear, a nice touch. Meanwhile, the right-angle 3.5mm plug demonstrates good construction with ample strain relief while the ear-guides provide comfortable and stable wear with their soft pre-moulded design.



Fit & Isolation –

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Though certainly on the larger side, the Starfield is ergonomically shaped with flattened rear and contoured inner face that conforms well to the curves of the outer ear. As the housings are thin, the Starfield provides a reasonably low-profile fit too. The nozzles are tapered and nicely angled to neutrally position the earphones, thereby, avoiding contact with the outer ear and hotspot formation over long listening sessions. Fit depth is medium but can be quite deep when sizing down tips. I found a slightly shallower fit provided a more balanced sound by preventing over-intimate vocals and a slightly warmer low-end. The earphones provide a strong seal but no driver flex or pressure due to their more open, vented nature. As a result, noise isolation is average, just suitable for general commute but definitely not adequate for loud environments such as air travel.



Sound –

Moondrop Starfield

Testing Methodology: Arta via IEC 711 coupler to Startech external sound card. Note that 7-8KHz peaks are artefacts of my measurement setup. Measurements besides channel balance are volume matched at 1K.



Tonality –

The Starfield has excellent channel balance, suggesting strict quality control. It provides a mostly balanced if slightly mid-forward and neutrally toned sound overall. To my ears, this is not a sound of perfect linearity, matching my impression of other Harman-target earphones. There is sound technical ability at play, sub-bass has good quantity and power while mid and upper-bass are clean and balanced. There’s a smooth transition into a lightly subdued lower-midrange before a climb to 3KHz prominence, creating a clear, open and somewhat forward vocal presentation. Meanwhile, the 4KHz region is a touch attenuated while the treble is fairly linear. As such, this is a signature that comes across as clean, forward and revealing without being excessively bright, sharp or fatiguing up top.



Bass –

Lows altogether are clean and natural and represent modest performance. Sub-bass extension is very good which, alongside lifted quantity, delivers concise, physical slam at the very bottom in addition to pleasing power and weight. The mid-bass and upper-bass are both linear and well-balanced instigating a light low-end warmth and slightly fuller notes. As will become a running theme in this review, the tuning is very well-executed, there is no bloat or tubbiness and the tone is natural.

It is with regards to technicality that the Starfield falters. Driver control is only moderate, not muddy or boomy as its tuning is well-metered, but a touch loose and lacking the defined transients of some competitors. Decay is reasonably quick but there is a distinct lack of definition and a smoother texture so the sound is lacking some separation and organisation, especially noticeable on complex tracks such as Dirty Loop’s Next To You. Nonetheless, this low-end isn’t overtly sloppy and will be sure to engage with its depth, dynamics and clean tuning.



Mids –


The midrange, I find to be especially sensitive to the whims of the bass and treble. It is Moondrop’s close adoption of the Harman curve that grants this earphone a delightfully natural and refined midrange presentation one would not expect at this price. There’s a small dip in the lower-midrange providing bass/midrange separation before rising to prominent around 3KHz. As such, this isn’t a full-bodied sound, but one with mostly neutral tone and warmth alongside a slightly bright and vocal-forward presentation. In turn, its presentation is revealing and clean while well-metered bass emphasis upholds balance and imbues some additional body.

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Vocals are a touch thin and slightly enlarged size with accurate articulation; lacking rasp or sibilance. The 4KHz region is also impressively linear, imbuing a lovely balance between delicacy and density while maintaining alluring openness and extension. There isn’t a hint of truncation here nor coolness despite lying on the brighter side. As the upper-midrange does sit forward, they are a touch intimate and, in terms of timbre, aren’t perfectly accurate. Still, they get darn close, the tuning is superb if you’re looking for clean, clear and natural vocals.

Of course, such a positive impression comes with a disclaimer, personal preference is key. Those valuing coherence will still want to consider that this isn’t a warm or rich earphone with perfectly resolved notes. From a technical standpoint, I can also see a similar trend as the low-end with resolution being middle of the road as are layering and dimension. In the grand scheme of things, I would personally have preferred a slightly denser and smoother voicing by toning down the upper-midrange. However, I would honestly be challenged to find a more desirable combination of midrange qualities around this price point.



Highs –


Beyond establishing a detailed and extended image, tuning the high-end has been a source of much deliberation in the audio world and surely is an area that many are sensitive to. The Starfield is well refined here, with the dynamic driver taking the sharp edge off transients while retaining plenty of crispness and presence. The lower-treble is a touch smooth, sitting just behind the upper-mids while the middle-treble has a small peak around 8KHz before a sharp fall-off. This imbues a pristine sense of clarity while ample instrument body is derived from lower emphasis. Resultantly, highs don’t sound brittle, splashy or strident in the slightest.

Instrumentation is clean and crisp while detail retrieval is excellent even if this isn’t immediately apparent due to their smoothness. Body is somewhat thin while note attack is smooth, thereby preventing the top-end from fatiguing the listener and contributing to a more controlled and composed image. The background is dark and clean with a moderate amount of air and background detail retrieval. A peak in the upper-treble also contributes to clean transients and even a touch of sparkle. Extension is quite good as is resolution though obviously, the sound isn’t abounding with micro-details and minutiae. It is, nonetheless, a well-metered tuning that is natural for the most part with an uptick of air and final octave energy



Soundstage –


The Starfield creates quite an expansive soundstage that extends just beyond the periphery of the head. It is well-rounded with pleasing ability to project depth and vocals too. Imaging is accurate if not razer sharp, vocals are strongly centred while instruments fan out to the side. Layers are defined with good contrast between background and foreground, while instruments are organised coherently crafting a pleasing sense of directionality and immersion. Separation is also good, some fine textures are lost in the bass, but the midrange is nicely defined as is the high-end on behalf of the earphone’s darker background.



Driveability –


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This is an easy earphone to drive with a 122dB sensitivity and 32 ohm impedance, meaning that it is both efficient and fairly resistant to hiss. Being a single dynamic driver, the earphone also is very source agnostic, sounding basically identical in terms of signature from the 10-ohm Hiby R6 as my JDS Labs Atom desktop setup. The Starfield scales well with a bit more power and drive from a dedicated source. Comparing the Pixel 4 dongle to Earmen TR-AMP yielded greater driver control with cleaner transients. The midrange became a touch smoother and the highs more refined, sounding a touch brittle with the dongle. That said, the Starfield is surely more forgiving of the source than most earphones and, therefore, represents a good choice for listeners who may not own a high-end source or simply want an earphone to listen from their smartphone on the go.



Comparisons –

iBasso IT01 ($99):
The IT01 has a more V-shaped sound and its Tesla driver delivers excellent quality for the price. It has better extension and noticeably more bass quantity, especially within the mid-bass, being fuller and warmer. It has more bloat but immediately superior driver control yielding better note definition and separation. The IT01 has a similar midrange tuning but is more laid-back compared to its bigger bass. It too is quite natural, warmer due to its greater bass, less cohrerent due to a more recessed lower-midrange.

The Starfield is more vocal-forward while the IT01 is a bit glossier with a touch less body, more low-end warmth and more lower-treble presence. The Starfield sounds more linear and with a more accurate timbre while the IT01 is a touch more engaging without sounding overly skewed. The IT01’s treble is crisper and more aggressive with a 5KHz peak while the Starfield is more linear with smoother note attack. The Starfield has more instrument texture and foreground detail retrieval where the IT01 has more detail presence but thinner instruments lacking the same resolution. The Starfield has more air and better extension enabling a slightly wider soundstage alongside more coherent imaging and layering.

Samsung Galaxy Buds ($129): Following Samsung’s acquisition of AKG and Harman, it’s unsurprising that their products have provided some impressive fidelity and stay faithful to the Harman curve in terms of tuning. This begs the question, is there much more to this comparison besides tuning? Simply put, yes, the Starfield provides a noticeably more insightful and immersive image. Though they share their signatures very closely bottom to top, the Starfield provides noticeably better sub-bass extension in addition to a tighter, more controlled low-end. Both are very natural through the midrange and similar in tone and body.

The Starfield’s transients are a touch cleaner with greater note resolution, though they are strikingly similar. The Starfield has a touch more vocal extension and lower-treble crispness alongside noticeably greater detail retrieval. It extends better with a cleaner background and more sparkle. As a result, the Starfield has a wider soundstage and better imaging. Those looking for a nicely tuned Bluetooth earphone will want to look into the Galaxy Buds which seem to the buck the trend of overly bass-heavy wireless earphones.

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Final Audio E4000 ($149): The E4000 is a slightly more L-shaped earphone with more bass and smoother treble. The E4000 has better sub-bass extension with more pressure and more mid and sub-bass quantity. As its sub and mid-bass are quite linear, the E4000 doesn’t suffer from too much bloat while the more balanced Starfield is slightly cleaner. Both resemble each other closely through the lower and centre-midrange region with 3KHz prominence, the E4000 tones it down a bit, aligning with my ideal smother and denser image slightly more where the Starfield is more neutrally toned with better vocal extension and clarity.

As the E4000 has more bass and a smoother lower-treble and upper-midrange, it is notably fuller and smoother and its tone is slightly warmer, it also lacks the intensity of the Starfield. Both earphones have a smoother treble with excellent retrieval for the price, the E4000 is slightly warmer and more organic, the Starfield is cleaner and crisper with more air and separation. The E4000 has a darker background, both extend similarly. The E4000 has a slightly wider soundstage where the Starfield has better separation besides the bass where it is noticeably less controlled.

Simgot EN700 Pro ($149): The EN700 Pro features a more U-shaped sound with bigger bass and slightly crisper treble. The EN700 Pro has slightly more impact and slam with greater mid-bass emphasis. Its low-end has slightly better control and quicker decay, resulting in a more aggressive texture. The cleaner Starfield has more separation but is smoother and less defined. The EN700 Pro has a natural, warm midrange and is a touch laid-back while the Starfield is cleaner in tone, smoother and more forward. Both have an accurate timbre in addition to appropriate body and articulation.

The EN700 Pro is a touch warmer and less intense sounding, it also has slightly more focus on articulation due to its more forward lower-treble where the Starfield is noticeably smoother. The EN700 Pro has a crisper top-end with more note attack and thinner instrument body on behalf of its 6KHz peak. The Starfield is cleaner and has better detail retrieval. It has more air while the EN700 Pro has a slightly cleaner background. The Starfield extends a touch more with more sparkle and background detail while the EN700 Pro is more open with a wider soundstage on behalf of its form factor.



Verdict –


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Moondrop has carved out a very loyal niche in the hobby. With the Starfield, as my first experience with the company, I can see this is for good reason. The Starfield is priced well and doesn’t make any fatal compromises in either build or sound. Its tuning showcases remarkable refinement, accurately tracing the Harman curve alongside its pros and faults. In turn, it is a tad intense in the upper-midrange though elsewhere, balanced and progressive with an uptick of engagement in the bass to retain drive and fullness. The low-end itself does mire its performance, being neither tight nor especially well-controlled. As such, this earphone appeals best to listeners wanting a delicate and revealing midrange alongside a natural and well-detailed treble while those wanting deep, defined bass will want to investigate the myriad excellent alternatives within this price range. Which brings me to my final say, the Starfield is modestly priced for what it offers. Though not perfect, it specialises in versatility. Accordingly, the Starfield makes for a strong purchase and an excellent introduction for newcomers to the best aspects of the audio hobby.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed my review, please see my website for more just like it!

Track List –

Crush – NAPPA

Dirty Loops – Next To You

H.E.R – I Used To Know Her

Missy Higgins – The Sound of White

Nirvana – Nevermind

Pixies – Doolittle

The Weeknd – After Hours

Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride

DallaPo

New Head-Fier
Pros: Natural sound
Harman curve
energetic mids / relaxed highs
Perfect all-rounder
Processing/Price
Cons: Sub-Bass could be a bit more
upper mids sometimes a little hot
Cable
Intro
MOONDROP quickly achieved great popularity in the (C)HI-FI world with the Kanas Pro and set a benchmark in the price range with the single-dynamic configuration. Meanwhile the Kanas Pro is no longer produced and replaced by the KXXS, which is probably a refined version of the KPE (Kanas Pro). Unfortunately I have not heard the KXXS and the KPE is currently not available for A/B comparison. But I don't see this as too relevant, because all three IEMs have nearly the same signature and frequency response. Therefore the KPE is not available anymore and the KXXS is twice as expensive. A comparison with the TIN HIFI T4 makes more sense in my opinion (OUTRO). Nevertheless I will include my stored impressions of the KPE.

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Handling
The housing is almost identical to the KPE and KXXS. Instead of a mirrored faceplate, the Starfield is blue-metalic with the golden Starfield logo on the right side and a graphic resembling a compass on the left side. Otherwise the SF (Starfield) differs from the KPE in its sound ports, which have no lip for better tip-holding and appear a little shorter. But they are so thick that every tip holds without problems.

The wearing comfort does not differ and is excellent despite the high weight.
However, the cable (probably also due to the lower price) is a step backwards. It is very thin and tends to get tangled up quickly. However, the blue matches the earpiece well.

Here I copy one to one the description of the KPE, since this also applies to the SF:
>> In absolute quiet rooms you might be able to sense some of the music that the KPE brings to your ears, but only at a higher volume, which is not recommended anyway and also lets the KPE reach its limits - but we are talking about a volume with ear pain potential. The KPE isolates from the outside world quite well with the appropriate attachments, but also allows some outside noise, which makes sense especially in traffic. <<

However, in the meantime I would "guess", I would exchange with "listen well". My girlfriend was simply annoyed when working in the same room :wink: Admittedly I also hear very loud :D

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Sound
I would not describe myself and my hearing as super analytical, but rather emotional and honest. I can't and don't want to be able to hear a big difference when a frequency is raised by 0.005 dB. For me, it is rather the whole package that counts and I prefer to limit myself to the obvious, whether positive or negative.

What is obvious is that the SF has slightly less sub-bass than the KPE. You don't have to use the graph as a comparison, I can easily retrieve it from my mental listening archive. The SF is still a quite warm representative, but it sounds a bit tighter in the bass range. This makes it sound a bit more pithy and direct. This is certainly a matter of taste. I prefer a more pronounced sub-bass range, but I can also understand the need for more punch. Well, but the difference to the KPE is not and will not be serious. That means: bass = very good, which is reflected in texture and detail resolution, but some air up in speed and pressure.

The obvious similarity continues in the midrange. However, I find the KPE warmer and smoother, with the SF getting a bit hotter in the upper mids from time to time, but never exhausting. Nevertheless, the mids are very positive. They sound very natural and are emotional and energetic. Vocals can be convincing with both sexes and are easily brought to the fore. However, they are sometimes a bit too present for me. I can't detect any unnaturalness or artificial colouring in guitars, strings and other instruments. However, I prefer the tuning of the KPE a bit more.

Also with the trebles I dare a copy of the review of the KPE:
>> No matter what you put in the trebles, they handle it well. They reveal even the finest details and present themselves clean, airy and always unagitated. At the same time they have an extensive extension, which is expressed in a peak beyond 10 kHz. This makes the KPE sparkle without limiting the listening pleasure. Sibilants, jingling, or exaggerated hardness are a foreign word for the KPE. The high frequencies literally purr and give the KPE more openness and energy, thus providing a counterpart to the softest mids. <<

As the mids of the SF are a bit more present, the highs in combination with the mids appear a bit more driving and lively. Nevertheless they show all the positive characteristics of the KPE. Well done!
Separation and location are clearly above what you can expect for less than 100 €. Here you can also orientate yourself on the KPE, which makes the Starfield seem almost too good for the price and you ask yourself why spend twice as much, for probably minimal improvements compared to the KXXS (assumption, due to the similar drivers and almost identical signature)

When we talk about weaknesses of the Starfield, you have to dig a little deeper. I'd like to see an even more prominent bass, because sometimes it's a bit too brave for me on the SF. But that makes it very natural. But the Starfield is in no way weak on the chest when it comes to the bass. It's rather a subconscious basshead speaking out of me.
In addition, the mids could be a My more relaxed, although I really appreciate the dynamics and liveliness of the SF. Also, the stage of the Starfield doesn't seem to be as deep anymore compared to the KPE, which is probably due to the somewhat contained sub-bass.

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Outro
For me, the STARTFIELD under 100 € is not only a safe choice, but a no-trainer.
If you like natural sound, a la HARMAN curve, you can hardly go wrong here. The cable is a drop of bitterness, but there are very good replacements available for a very reasonable price, which should be easy to get at the price of the SF. The Starfield makes it easy to like him. Both from the sound as well as from the seat and optics. Side note: even though country music is not really one of my genres, I have a lot of fun with the SF!

Let's come to the promised short comparison to the TIN HIFI T4, although I don't really like such direct comparisons.

The TIN HIFI sounds more neutral in comparison, with less bass emphasis and a bit colder. On the other hand, the bass is faster, the treble a bit more present, with a subjectively larger extension. Vocals are placed a bit more in the mix. The STARFIELD appears more airy, the T4 however more clear and defined. Both are similar in resolution, details and also in stage size, concerning the stereo image. In depth, the STARFIELD has the upper hand.

https://shenzhenaudio.com/products/moondrop-starfield-carbon-nanotube-diaphragm-dynamic-earphone

MD STARFIELD.jpg
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NymPHONOmaniac

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Smooth neutral sound, Perfectly balanced tonality, Natural&Nuanced timbre, Transparency, Wide Soundstage, Versatile sound, Not a hint of harshness, Fluid layering, Bass control, Transient response, Male&Female vocal, Delicate treble, Excellent Construction, Overwhelmingly sexy look, Price Value
Cons: A hint of extra edge to the definition and clearer imaging and we got one of the best single DD IEM ever made in sub-500$ price range.
MOONDROP STARFIELD REVIEW

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SOUND: 9/10
CONSTRUCTION&DESIGN: 10/10
VALUE: 9.5/10
There was a time MOONDROP was mostly known for creating earbuds that stand apart in terms of design and sound quality, but now they are mostly known for their earphones line up that goes from 20$ budget like Spaceship to TOTL high end like 1100$ Solis. Their biggest seller is the Kanas Pro and KXX, which like the legendary Vsonic VS7, is a single dynamic driver IEM that pass the test of time and still is praised for it’s balanced tuning 2 years after it’s launch.


Moondrop isn’t you normal Chi-Fi company, their products are unique and cannot be mixed up with other less mature Chinese company. They have an ”house sound” often inspired by Harman target frequencies curve and a singularity in earphones design that try to be elegant and beautifully presented.


In the past, I have reviewed their entry-level NAMELESS earbuds, which I love, and their entry-level SPACESHIP earphones, which I find maturely tuned but not musical enough.


I was always curious about their Kanas Pro and KXX that both use high-end DLC dynamic drivers, but was rather skeptical about the price value of those. When I heard they create the STARFIELD, a more budget-oriented earphone with similar tuning than KXX and using Carbon nanotube diaphragm drivers, my curiosity was triggered and I begin my quest to find a review sample.


Priced at half the price of the KXX, the STARFIELD hasn’t stopped being praised since its launch. People are as much impressed by its design and construction as the refined sound they deliver. But is it just an ephemeral hype that will go back to dust in some months or did the STARFIELD really is an IEM that surpass others in term of both musicality and technicalities?


Let’s see in this review what the STARFIELD really worth.


You can buy these earphones for 110$ from Moondrop official store HERE.


SPECS


Driver: Carbon Nanotube diaphragm-10mm Dual cavity dynamic driver
Detachable cable standard: 24AWG Litz 4N OFC 1.2M
Cable Interface: 0.78 2pin interface
Sensitivity: 122dB/Vrms(@1khz)
Impedance: 32Ω±15% (@1khz)
Frequency response: 10Hz-36000 Hz (free field. 1/4 inch MIC)
Effective frequency response: 20Hz-20000 Hz (IEC60318-4)

INTERN

The STARFIELD uses a ”super sequential carbon nanotube diaphragm” for their dynamic driver. This technology permits to mix together carbon nanotube micro material with a polymer to have a diaphragm of only 6 microns thick that is highly rigid, solid, light and flexible for a fast undistorted transient response. For the voice coil, they import from Japan a high-quality lightweight Daikoku’s CCAW. Inner acoustic cavity too is meticulously designed with a brass-plated inner cavity that has 5 pressures relief holes to cancel any unwanted resonance and distortion. The highly sophisticated audio engineering and acoustic design is a serious proof of how professional Moondrop company is.

CONSTRUCTION

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The construction is just mind-blowing, not only it feel very solid but the design and paint job is just too sumptuously beautiful. These do not look like 100$ iem, more TOTL iem from the quality of craftsmanship. The Starfield is 100% thick metal with night blue color full of starry sparkle and shimmering gradient that enlight the subtle angle work of housing. It’s heavy in hands but comfy in ears. 2pin connector are solidly stocked between 2 parts of housing, so the cable is thighly connected without risk of benting from left to right. The pictures you see on the net do not fully capture the complex beauty of this earphone, depending of the light they will have different nuance as well as blue tone, even if the drawing of a big star on them isn’t the best esthetical choice, I still consider the Starfield to be among the nicest looking earphones of my collection.


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The CABLE too is of good quality enough, and again, esthetic play a big role as it have same blue color that fit perfectly housing look. It’s a nice 4cores 24AWG 4N oxygen free copper cable, light, smooth enough with preshaped ear hook that are flexible enough to be comfy. In terms of conductivity and sound, they do not affect negatively the Starfield at all and do not justify an urgent cable upgrade at all.


DRIVEABILITY


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At 32ohm of impedance, one might think these will seriously benefit amping, but the very high 122db of sensitivity cancel this obligation. Starfield is easy to drive, not 9ohm high sensitivity kind-of super easy to drive, but any DAP will be able to open their dynamic sound. While I do not use a portable amp with them, I still find they sound the best out of my ultra-clean Ibasso DX90 or through Xduoo X20 DAC hooked to my JDS Labs ATOM amp. What I mean the Starfield merit high-quality audio source so you can hear all that they have to offer.


ISOLATION


As expected with thick metal housing of this type, the Starfield does a wonderful isolation job and will cut outside noise drastically. Sound leakage is present dut to 2 front venting port, but minimal and less loud than IEM with open back or with back venting hole.

SOUND

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I don’t think it’s possible to dislike the mellow near-neutral full-bodied sound of the Starfield, and for amateur of Harman target curve tuning, this might be the affordable high fidelity dream come true. In fact, even those who hate Harman target tuning could possibly fall in love with these. The DLC driver used is both excellent in technicalities, tonal balance, and timbre. The sound is transparent with a hint of warmth and gently elevated mid-range and lower treble that offer exquisite presence to most instruments and types of voices. Though not V shape, the bass extends beautifully wich even a lot of pricier bassy iem can’t achieve, this bass is perfectly articulated, have a natural body and flat but lively response. While the treble isn’t super sharp or sparkly, it doesn’t feel dark or lacking in detail either. Yes, the hype is justified about these highly refined and well-tuned IEM, but it’s not created for a sudden wow effect, like a perfectly cooked meal with just a hint of natural spice, the Starfield is made for long time degustation, it’s not a Mexican or Indian meal, more like high-class French cuisine.


SOUNDSTAGE is vast, airy without being hall like or distant, it’s very circular in its wideness, tallness and deepness, creating an immersive experience. It sounds out of your head, but like if you have 4 bookshelf speakers around you.


IMAGING is good, not particularly high definition or analytical, instrument separation has good space between them and placement is spacious but the definition isn’t edgy enough to be vividly accurate. In real life, imaging is not sounding clinical anyway.


TONALITY is perfect. Smooth, natural with a hint of warmth. Tonal balance is fluid, balanced and cohesive, with no awkward boost or tamed range.


TIMBRE is a beautiful mix of transparency, nuanced texture and sweetness.


BASS is sumptuous in both balance and quality. We have here a flat bass response without being tamed, rolled off or dry sounding. Sub-bass has an unforced natural rumble that does not bleed on anything, separation with the mid-bass is natural and organic. By flat, it doesn’t mean the Starfield bass is shy and lacks weight, in fact, it’s a little boosted and has some authority to it, this helps to offer a high level of articulation and well-rounded slam. The texture is soft, free of unnatural grain, but with good nuance in details, with the Starfield you will be able to make the difference between electric bass, acoustic bass, and synth bass timbre. The same goes for the cello instrument, wich sounds tonally right and very clear. The kick drum is round, punchy, never too aggressive or bright but never dull or too liquid as well. Again: perfect balance for perfect all-arounder. Even when I tested the Starfield with super fast and busy JazzRock like Elephant9 ‘’Dodovoodoo’’ album, the bass line wasn’t shadowed or bloated and keep its fast articulation which it’s sincerely mind-blowing for a single dynamic driver earphone.
MIDS are for me the highlight of Starfield, free of any tonal imbalance, artificial timbre or sibilance, they are smooth, yet have a good edge and effortless presence. Should it be a male singer like Timber Timbre or female vocals like Agnes Obel or Susanna Wallumrod, the mid-range flexibility and full covering permit an exquisite transparent musicality of any type of vocal. The timbre is smooth but full and natural, instrument or vocal have above average definition without favoring any part of the edge like it can happen when we overly head texture details or lower harmonic emphasis. Never shouty, harsh or dull, the mids have a grand extension and soft resolution. It’s a little light in impact compared to mid-bass weight but nonetheless has a snappy attack to it, which is shown better with guitar, cello, violin than piano or saxophone, which both sound good, airy and well defined but not as edgy as other instruments. Again, fast transient response of the DLC drivers used shows its high speed and accuracy with music that plays a lot of different instrument, like it show in ‘’Adam Baldych&Helge Lien Trio’’ Bridge album, the violin is very lively and well defined, it does not shadow piano work neither the drum and percussion, everything is cohesive, realist and highly musical with a light agile touch to its volatile snapyness.


TREBLE is well balanced with the rest of the audio spectrum and has a delicate crispness to it. It has smooth decay to it and not shrill or harshness whatsoever. Highs aren’t particularly vivid or snappy, but got good nuances to them, avoiding to sound artificial, metallic or overly forwards. Percussions and cymbals have realist presentation, free of any splashiness or tonal discordance, they stay in the back and never stole your attention. An instrument like harpsichord sound full, beautifully textured and quite thick, but it lacks a little hint of brilliance to sound perfect. Nonetheless, the relaxed treble sounds full and lively.

COMPARISONS

VS AUDIOSENSE AQ3 (180$)


Both of these are rather mid centric, but the biggest difference is in how the sound expands in the air, Starfield having bigger soundstage to offer more spacious rendering.
SOUNDSTAGE is notably wider while the AQ3 has a strange mix of tallness and deepness making spatiality a little awkward. IMAGING is more holographic with the Starfield, which is due to a mix of better transparency and spatialization realism. BASS is thicker and more punchy in mid-bass with the AQ3, but its warmer and less detailed and do not extend as well in sub-region as Stardfiled bass, which is more transparent and have a better transition to mid-range too. MIDS are more intimate and slightly more forwards with the AQ3, but they are less wide and airy and lack the definition edge of the Moondrop, which in the end is tonally more accurate. TREBLE of both these iem is rather soft, but I feel the Moondrop is better balanced in highs and has more natural decay too.
All in all, the AQ3 cruelly lacks bass control and extension of Starfield, as well as soundstage spaciousness and overall tonal cohesion refinement.


VS FINAL AUDIO E4000 (140$)


Very similar in tonality and timbre, the Starfield biggest difference is it’s notably bigger soundstage and slightly more natural tonal balance. IMAGING is more spacious, articulate and holographic with the Starfield, making the E4000 sound quite compressed and intimate, lacking in instrument separation space. BASS is thicker and little more boosted and weighty with the E4000, but it is less extended and a little boomy compared to the better controlled low end of Starfield. MIDS has a wider presence and fuller timbre with the Starfield, they are smoother in the upper mid-range too and offer better transparent layering free of subtle grain. E4000 sounds a hint breathy and vocal sound thinner and more distant. TREBLE is more laid back and delicate with Starfield with longer decay than slightly more detailed and snappy highs of E4000.
As a big fan of E4000, I’m sad to conclude Starfield offers a more immersive and cohesive musicality with richer timbre even if overall less energic and detailed on top.


VS KBEAR DIAMOND (80-110$)


This two iem are rather similar in sound signature but less so in tonal balance and timbre. The STARFIELD offers thicker, fuller and more natural timbre while the DIAMOND is more transparent and airy. SOUNDSTAGE is very similar with both but slightly wider with the Diamond. IMAGIN too is a hint sharper with Diamond. BASS is more controlled and extends naturally to its bottom end with the STARFIELD while the DIAMOND is a little more punchy and boomy, with thinner timbre and hint of dryness. MIDS is fuller, has more presence and natural timbre with the STARFIELD, the DIAMOND mids are thinner as well as little more shouty and edgy, this can be good for instrument attack in this range but affect tonal balance negatively. TREBLE sound again fuller and more life-like with the STARFIELD, but lack extra sparkle and decay that add air to DIAMOND presentation. Still, highs sound little more artificial with a hint of metallic brilliance compared to perfectly balanced STARFIELD.


All in all, STARFIELD is pricier and offer a more balanced, natural and refined tuning that enlight DIAMOND micro-imperfection.


VS BLON BL-03 (30$)


These two have pretty similar sound signature, but BLON is slightly brighter and bassier and more delicate and balanced Starfield. SOUNDSTAGE is bigger with Starfield and imaging has better transparency and layering. BASS is slightly more boosted and punchy with the BLON but it’s more muffled and extends less naturally, as well it bleed more on the lower mid-range making the MIDS more recessed. MIDS are thinner and brighter with BLON with more energy in upper mids making it more edgy and shouty, as well, the imaging is less accurate and more prompt to congestion in very busy track prooving transient response is faster with the Starfield. TREBLE is smoother and better balanced in tonality with the Starfield, where the BLON is slightly harsher-grainier, though the attack is more snappy, it’s not as refined in definition than the Starfield.
All in all, while it’s hard to justify paying 3 times the price to get a more balanced, refined and articulated sound, the musicality improvement with Starfield is evident and free of all BLON imperfection.


CONCLUSION


P1050244



It’s extremely rare to have this type of accomplished mature tuning within Chi-Fi audio market, and I can even imagine Harman Kardon envying the vastly nuanced and highly musical STARFIELD inspire by their very Harman target response curve.


Not only the Starfield has fabulous construction and mesmerizing unique look, but the sound flow naturally through its refined and smooth musicality. Everything is articulate effortlessly in its highly transparent imaging and has an addictive immersive yet inoffensive tonality.


For the fan of Final Audio E series or warm neutral rich-sounding IEM, this could be the IEM they dream to own, and you know what: anybody can afford them. At 110$, I consider the Starfield as nothing less than the new 100$ dynamic driver earphones Benchmark for reference sound.


For more honest reviews, go to my official website HERE
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C
Celty
"MMCX connector are solidly stocked between 2 parts of housing", eh? There is a two pin connector, no MMCX connector.
NymPHONOmaniac
NymPHONOmaniac
@Celty well see...inattention typing error...changed.

darmanastartes

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: balanced, Harmanish tuning with controlled but firm bass, clear midrange, and crisp treble, good resolution, imaging, and instrument separation, wide soundstage,
Cons: mild driver flex with deep insertion, fit not super secure with stock eartips, shallow soundstage
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INTRODUCTION AND DISCLAIMER:
The Moondrop Starfield is an in-ear monitor (IEM) utilizing a 10 mm dual-cavity carbon nanotube diaphragm dynamic driver. The Starfield is available at HiFiGo and on AliExpress for $109.99. HiFiGo provided me with the Starfield in exchange for a fair and objective review.
SOURCES:
I have used the Moondrop Starfield with the following sources:
  • JDS Labs The Element
  • Apple USB-C to 3.5mm dongle
  • Meizu HiFi Pro dongle
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:
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The Moondrop Starfield comes in a long rectangular blue cardboard box with a purple slipcover. The slipcover is printed with an image of a female silhouette looking up at the night sky. A small sticker on the back of the slipcover lists technical specifications for the Starfield, mostly in Chinese. The Moondrop logo is printed in silver inlay on the front of the box. Inside the box, the IEMs are held in a foam mounting sheet.
The package includes a detachable 2-pin cable and 12 grey silicone eartips in three sizes (S, M, L). Also included are a quality control pass chit, a contact card written exclusively in Chinese, a user manual written in Chinese and Japanese, and a set of replacement nozzle filters and a tool to install them with.
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A Moondrop-branded semi-rigid zippered carry case is included in the package as well. The carry case is a little small and requires the Starfield’s cable to be wrapped more tightly than I am accustomed to in order to fit the IEM inside the case, but is of good material quality.
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BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN:
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The Moondrop Starfield uses a two-part shell design with a prominent seam between the inner body and the faceplate. The housings are metal with a sparkling metallic blue finish. I have read that this finish chips easily, but in my case, it remained intact over the several weeks I used the Starfield. The faceplates are fingernail-shaped with four distinct sub-faces emanating in a ray pattern from a point just above the 2-pin connector. The way that the sub-faces reflect light differently as the earpiece is manipulated is neat. The left earpiece’s faceplate is emblazoned with a starburst, while “Starfield” is written in cursive script along the bottom edge of the right earpiece’s faceplate. The earpieces are otherwise unmarked. The 2-pin connectors are slightly recessed. The nozzles have recessed mesh covers. There are two circular vents on the inner faces of the earpieces. The nozzles do not have a lip to secure eartips, but the stock eartips have such a narrow bore that I did not have any issues with eartips coming loose during my time with the Starfield.

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The 4-strand braided 2-pin cable included with the Starfield is light and has a propensity to tangle. The cable is moderately microphonic. It has a right-angled 3.5 mm termination with clear rubber hardware and good strain relief. The Y-split is a black metal disc marked with the Moondrop logo. There is no chin adjustment slider or strain relief at the Y-split. The cable uses preformed clear plastic earguides. The minimalist 2-pin connectors have faintly raised markings to indicate left and right, but the markings are so small and unobtrusive that they require scrutiny to distinguish.
COMFORT / FIT / ISOLATION:
The Moondrop Starfield is intended to be worn cable-up. They have a shallow insertion depth, and I found them to be extremely comfortable to wear for extended periods. However, secureness of fit is not ideal. Even with the largest included eartips, I found that the housings migrated out of my ears over time and required frequent re-adjustment. Isolation was average. There is mild driver flex if you insert the IEMs deeply.
MEASUREMENTS:
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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. The magnitude of the valley around 7k is a coupler artifact. There is a resonant peak around 8k. Measurements above 10k are not reliable.
SOUND:
Note: My impressions are based on use with the stock eartips.
The Moondrop Starfield has a Harman neutral tuning.
The Starfield has a polite yet firm bass presentation that is tightly-controlled but never anemic. The well-extended sub-bass is elevated compared to the mid-bass, with a tasteful amount of rumble. The mid-bass is both impactful and precise, with excellent speed and articulation. The bass has good texture despite the level of restraint shown in its presentation. The bass is also quite resolving.
The mid-bass recedes early enough to avoid creating congestion in the lower midrange without robbing notes of weight or warmth. Echoing my experience with other Harman-ish IEMs such as the Tanchjim Oxygen, I hear the Starfield’s midrange tonality as dead neutral. Listeners accustomed to IEMs with a warmer tonality will likely find it cool. While the lower mids are recessed compared to the upper mids, male vocals intelligibility is excellent and male and female vocals are perceived evenly. However, vocal delivery is emphasized over instruments in the lower midrange. Female vocals are clear and presented without a hint of sibilance. The balance struck between presence and smoothness is exceptional, and timbre is excellent.
The treble is crisp and energetic, with ample air and sparkle, yet does not fatigue the listener. Transient delivery is fast but not unnaturally so. Overall resolution is excellent, as are imaging and instrument separation. The Starfield’s soundstage is wide but shallow.
AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AND SOURCE PAIRING:
The Moondrop Starfield can be driven to a comfortable listening volume with a competent dongle. I did not notice hiss with the Meizu HiFi Pro dongle or the Apple dongle.
COMPARISONS:
Moondrop Starfield vs KB EAR Diamond
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The KB EAR Diamond is an IEM utilizing a diamond-like carbon-coated PET diaphragm dynamic driver retailing for $79. The Diamond is more aggressive sounding than the Starfield, with a heavier, more impactful bass response and airier upper treble. The Diamond can be slightly sibilant, which I did not experience with the Starfield. The Starfield has slightly faster bass and more refined treble transients. The Diamond comes with a better cable and eartip selection and a roomier carry case.
CLOSING WORDS:
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The Moondrop Starfield is an incredible IEM, especially for the price. However, I consider it a sidegrade from the KB EAR Diamond in some respects, and the decision to purchase one IEM or the other mostly comes down to tuning preference. If you prefer a more neutral sound, the Starfield is worth the additional $30 over the Diamond, while those in search of a more energetic, V-shaped tuning should stick with KB EAR’s offering.
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B9Scrambler

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Gorgeous looks – Refined, balanced, versatile tune with zero offensive qualities – Ergonomics and comfort
Cons: Thin cable isn't for everyone – Paint job subject to chipping (per other users experiences) – Upper treble may be a bit too relaxed
Greetings,

Today we're checking out one of Moondrop's more recent releases, the Starfield.

Moondrop is a Chinese company out of Chengdu and has rapidly risen to fame within the audiophile community. They are known for earphones and earbuds that follow the Harman tuning curve, but with a spin here and there to give each product a unique sound, at an affordable price and with stellar build quality and interesting designs. My time with the Starfield has showed these qualities to ring true, and I have been seriously impressed with the performance on tap from a product costing just over 100 USD.

The most apparent change I've noticed as you move up in price is not necessarily the frequency response curve, but overall refinement and technical capability. As earphones get more expensive (and this is not a set rule because there are definitely exceptions) they get smoother and more mature sounding without making sacrifices to achieve those qualities. Imaging, layering, and separation all improve, giving off a more natural presentation. That was something that I adored about the Brainwavz B400, and why it's still one of my favorite iems to this day. It's staging is simply a step above everything else I've heard in the price range, and more in line with the performance you get from much more expensive gear. The same can be said for the Starfield which to me is all the more surprising and impressive because it does it with a single dynamic driver, not four balanced armatures ala. B400.

The Starfield is a fantastic product worth your attention, and this is why.

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What I Hear Treble is decently well extended with a comfortable level of upper treble emphasis. Cymbals, chimes, etc. are not overly present giving the Starfield's presentation some sparkle and satisfying air between notes. It manages to be neither tiring nor dull, and for my preferences hits an elusive mark of a near perfect balance of technical competence and entertainment value. Lower treble is slightly elevated giving the Starfield's presentation plenty of detail without being overly analytic. This further feeds in why this earphone is so enjoyable over long term listening sessions. Even at listening volumes I'm not comfortable with, it remains shockingly fatigue free. The 10mm carbon nanotube driver the Starfueld is equipped with is reasonably quick too, with a fairly accurate attack and decay.

The Starfield's midrange is less recessed than other iems that chase the Harman curve, which I was very glad to hear. It's still a u-shaped tune, but not excessively so. Vocals and instruments are well-weighted, leaning ever so slightly towards a lighter style that helps improve clarity. Upper and lower mid balance is very even and linear with neither range showing a significant boost in presence. Upper mids are slightly more prominent, but not enough to warrant more than a passing remark. It doesn't lead to a shouty or overly aggressive presentation whatsoever. Timbre is outstanding and a step above most other products I've heard in recent memory. Picking apart varied instruments in a busy ensemble is fairly effortless with only various multi-driver or mega-buck iems competing. Few single dynamics I've heard sound quite as accurate.

Bass on the Starfield in conservatively elevated with a moderate density and weight. The presentation is quite linear her too, from upper bass to lower where it starts to roll off, thereby reducing emphasis on the lowest of notes. There is still plenty of air being moved though, and the Starfield can certainly satisfy with notes that are meant to be felt more than heard. Mid-bass is reasonably quick and displays a decent level of punch. On occasion it comes across a tad soft and lacking impact. Texture and detail are excellent with grungy bass notes being accurately reproduced. Nothing feels overly smoothed and certainly not one-note. It's a typically dynamic sounding low end.

The Starfield's sound stage is greater in width than depth with the ability to toss effects past the sides of your head and well off into the distance. Imaging is especially impressive and nuanced with fine channel-to-channel movements being exceptionally clear and obvious. Off hand, the only sub-200 USD earphone I can think of that bests it is the Brainwavz B400. The larger than average staging helps give the Starfield a very layered presentation with live recordings displaying clear depth between instruments. It also works well with gaming letting you judge distance fairly accurately in racing and combat titles. Instrument separation is also above average and only at extremely high volumes did I ever find tracks becoming congested or muddied, something that in my experience is fairly common to single dynamic earphones.

To put it simply, the Starfield is easily one of the best sounding single dynamic earphones I've heard, regardless of price. The mildly u-shaped tune gives it impressive versatility across genres while remaining technically impressive in terms of clarity and sound stage. Like my other favorite sub-200 USD earphone, the Brainwavz B400, the Starfield is always entertaining and never fails to put a smile on my face. It's good for long listening sessions, and can even be used to analyze tracks if you want, though there are others that better it in this regard. It has a true jack-of-all-trades tune that doesn't really sacrifice much of anything to get there.

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Select Comparisons (volumes matched with Dayton Audio iMM-6)

KB EAR Diamond (79.00 USD): Bass on the Diamond is slower, digs deeper (Starfield seems to roll off slightly), and is more prominent, but the sheer presence of the midbass overwhelm. Bass out of the Diamond lacks the texture and nuance of the Starfield. Starfield also has more punch and authority to notes. The Starfield's midrange is more forward and more even in terms of upper and lower balance so male and female vocals sound more evenly represented. Timbre is similarly good with the Starfield having a very slight edge. Treble out of the Starfield is more detailed and better controlled (i.e splash free) though the brilliance region could use a boost to put it more in line with the Diamond's presentation. The Diamond's sound stage lacks the width of the Starfield's, but isn't too far off in terms of depth. Imaging, layering, and separation are all in Moondrop's backyard though, all of which are some of the best I've experienced in a sub-200 USD earphone.

The Starfield's improved detail and technical ability combined with a more balanced signature (still u-shaped though) has me picking it up over the Diamond every time.

In terms of build, the Starfield has a much neater, more interesting paint job and imo is one of the coolest looking iems around. Fit of the component parts goes to the Diamond though, since seams on the Starfield are much more noticeable. Comfort and isolation are just very slightly better with the Starfield for me, with foam tips making it pretty much a wash. When it comes to the cable, as much as I love the Diamond's I am a huge fan of thin and light braided cables. The Starfield's certainly lacks the durability factor but it stays out of the way and I quite enjoy it. Most will probably prefer the Diamond's cable though.

TinHiFi T4 (79.00-119.00 USD): Bass on the Starfield is a little heavier and warmer with similar extension. The T4 is more textured and faster handling rapid notes even better, but like the Starfield can lack impact at times. The T4's midrange is more forward with more upper mid emphasis. It has a cooler tonality and less accurate timbre as a result. Clarity and detail are similar with the T4 having a very slight edge. While neither earphone adds sibilance to a track, it's more prominent through the T4. Overall a much less forgiving midrange than the Starfields is. Treble out of the T4 is more prominent from lower to upper giving it's presentation extra energy and sparkle. Attack and decay are snappier than they are out of the Starfield giving it a more analytic feel. Sound stage is pretty even between the two with the Starfield's less forward mids giving the impression of a more distant and rounded stage. The T4 can toss effects further away despite a more intimate starting point. Imaging is notably more nuanced out of the Starfield while both provide excellent layering and separation.

I'll give the Starfield a slight edge in overall sound quality due to the T4's mediocre imaging, but otherwise they trade blow for blow and are both outstanding earphones. Go with the T4 if you like a more neutral leaning sound, and the Starfield if you prefer some extra low end and general warmth.

In terms of build, both are great. The T4's design isn't as eye catching but fit and finish is better, and since it features bare metal, you won't have to worry about paint chips as seems to be an issue for some with the Starfield. While I like MMCX connectors, the T4's have too much play and feel nowhere near as secure as the Starfield's excellent recessed 0.78mm 2-pin ports. The Starfield's cable is also nicer. While the T4's cable is thicker and has a nice chin cinch, it's also quite bouncy and sticky. The Starfield's cable is light and lean and rarely gets in the way. Both have well-design preformed ear guides.

Brainwavz B400 (169.50 USD): The quad-armature B400 has been my sub-200 USD benchmark for a couple years now, and while the Starfield doesn't quite unseat it, the fact they're even being compared should give you an idea of how much I respect the Starfield and its performance.

When it comes to bass, performance is unexpectedly close but favours the Starfield with it's dynamic drivers. Notes hit with greater impact and it moves more air thank to improved extension and more sub-bass presence. They start the process of rolling off around the same time though. In favour of the B400 is texture and speed. The B400's midrange is notably more forward and intimate with more detail and similar clarity. Vocals have a bit more meat to them which really benefits female voices. Timbre on the B400 is great, but the Starfield sounds just a bit more natural, most noticeable to me with pianos. Treble on both earphones is quite relaxed with the B400 sounding more lively in the upper treble region. Once again, detail and clarity reside in the B400's camp, but the differences are fairly minor. While the B400's sound stage is clearly the smaller and more intimate of the two, its multi-driver setup gives it a clear edge in layering and separation. Imaging on both is also well above-average in my opinion, with the B400 giving listeners even more precise movement and depth to it's presentation.

I absolutely adore both of these products and could easily live with either as my only earphone. They're that good. In the Starfield's favour, its more relaxed mid-range and deeper bass gives it a more chill vibe, whereas the more mid-forward B400 demands your attention. I still favour the B400's presentation, but I'd be 100% content with either. Given the price difference and the B400's sub-par build quality, that is a win for the Starfield.

In terms of build, no contest. The Starfield's painted steel shells are miles ahead of the B400's 3D-printed shells in everything but comfort and isolation. Moondrop also equipped the Starfield with a nicer cable, though one that likely won't be quite as durable as the more heavy duty one that Brainwavz provides.

In The Ear The Starfield is a gorgeous looking earphone with an organic, low profile design. Fit of the component parts is good, but there is a prominent seam circling the base of the face plate that may or may not bother some. The ports for the removable cable are recessed a couple millimetres into the housing offering a snug fit for the plugs and enhanced protection from accidents and careless owners that shove the earphone in their pocket. Unlike most other products in the Moondrop range, the Starfield is painted an eye-catching metallic blue with the Starfield name on the right earpiece, and a compass on the left. Personally, I think they're one of the best looking products on the market and are oozing style. It's certainly a breath of fresh air from the bare metal, or chrome, or black earphones that are oh so common. Keep in mind though that this paint job doesn't seem to be the most durable thing in the world with numerous examples of them being chipped floating around the web. As long as you're not slinging the Starfield around your neck when not in use, letting the earpieces clack together while you walk, or stuffing them in your pocket without first being set within the case or some other protective carrying device, you should be okay.

The cable Moondrop includes with the Starfield is going to be a divisive one in my opinion. There are those that like a thin, lightweight cable, of which the Starfield's is. Strain relief is good at the 90 degree angled jack, but lacking entirely at the chunky metal y-split. Leading up to the earphones are preformed ear guides which again, some like, some detest. The plugs themselves continue the lightweight theme and are small and unobtrusive. For me personally, I love this cable. The blue colouring matches the rest of the product, the low mass keeps it from tugging at your ears when running or doing anything more vigorous than a walk, and it doesn't seem to catch on your environment often. It's like a slightly beefier, cheaper feeling version of the EarNiNE EN2J's cable. On the other hand, the braid kinda loose (though not as bad as the TinHifi P1's), and the lack of strain relief at the y-split is somewhat concerning for overall longevity. For something that is as nice to actually use as this cable is, I can accept the negatives in place, even if they don't have to be there.

So the Starfield is pretty well built, looks good, and the cable is decent. How is it to actually wear? For me, fantastic! Despite the weight of the dense metal shells, the Starfield's ergonomics are outstanding. The low profile design keeps weight distribution fairly even around your outer ear, and while it has a fairly shallow fit, there is never the feeling of a compromised seal. Isolation unfortunately is not amazing. I don't find this entirely surprising given the shallow fit and twin vents on the inside of each earpiece. Of course, foam tips help mitigate this sound leak somewhat, but not enough to make the Starfield an ideal pick for routine use in noisy areas like a coffee shop or on transit.

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In The Box Moondrop equipped the Starfield with some classy packaging. The outer sleeve is beautifully designed with a number of neat touches. The brand is known for prominently featuring Anime girls on their boxes, and while one appears here she is merely a silhouette set against a starry night sky. In the sky is the Starfield name and the statement “Listen to the Sound of Stars”, surrounded by two lines that mimic the upper and lower edges of the left earpiece. This sort of attention to detail goes a long way in setting Moondrop apart from the competition in my eyes, as I'm someone that truly appreciates when a brand puts effort into their packaging. Out back of the sleeve is an image of the Starfield's right earpiece, but deconstructed to show off the component parts. Slipping off the sleeve reveals a blue box printed with the Moondrop logo in silver foil lettering. The speckled texturing of the box reminds me of what Campfire Audio does with their cardboard, though here it is much more subtle.

Removing the lid you find the blue specking continues. The top half of the interior is dominated by a cardboard covered foam insert in which the Starfield's earpieces are set. Starfield in silver foil lettering resides just below the earphones. Lifting out this insert reveals a covered compartment where some extra accessories along with the manual, contact info, and QA cards are stored. Backing up a bit, the rest of the package contains a compact clam shell case in which the rest of the accessories can be found. In all you get:
  • Starfield earphones
  • 0.78mm 2-pin 24AWG Litz 4N OFC 1.2M cable
  • Carrying case
  • Tweezers
  • 3 spare pairs of metal nozzle filters
  • Single flange silicone tips (s/m/l x2)
This is a very simple but enriching unboxing experience. Outside of the sleeve being tough to remove initially, the rest of the experience is fuss free. The design is attractive and well thought out, as is the accessory kit. The clam shell case is smaller in circumference than most, but has enough depth to comfortably hold the earphones and spare tips while still fitting in most pockets. It has a pleasing texture too thanks to the grippy, knobbled surface. The tweezers and spare filters are something you usually only get with vastly more expensive products and were a welcome surprise. Lastly, the included tips are top quality and use a grippy, soft silicone that reliably seals and causes zero discomfort. Some more tip variety would have been welcome though.

Final Thoughts It continues to be an amazing time for fans of portable audio. It's hard to find a bad sounding earphone. Everything from super cheap budget gear to high end earphones is usually at the very least competent, if not very good. Unfortunately, that also means that it takes something seriously impressive to stand out. The Starfield is one of those rare products.

The Starfield pops visually. It performs at a level that was unimaginable for a product around 100 USD a few years back. The build quality is good. The packaging is nice. The accessory kit isn't full of cheap, throwaway extras, like a case that you can pick up on Aliexpress for 50 cents. The overall presentation and performance is a step above most of the competition. Moondrop aimed high with the Starfield, and absolutely nailed it. If you're looking to buy an earphone for under 200 USD right now, take a long hard look at the Starfield. I have a feeling this one is going to remain a strong contender for quite a while.

Thanks for reading!

- B9

*If you enjoyed this review, visit The Contraptionist for more just like it.*

Disclaimer Thanks to Nappoler with Hifigo.com for arranging a sample of the Starfield for the purposes of review. The thoughts within this review are my own subjective opinions and are not representative of Moondrop, Hifigo, or any other entity. At the time of writing the Starfield retailed for 109.00 USD: https://hifigo.com/products/moondrop-starfield-carbon-nanotube-diaphragm-dynamic-earphone / www.aliexpress.com/item/4000644906074.html

Specifications
  • Driver: 10mm Carbon Nanotube dual cavity dynamic driver with Japanese Daikoku CCAW voice coils
  • Impedance: 32Ω±15% (@1khz)
  • Sensitivity: 122dB/Vrms(@1khz)
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz-36,000 Hz
  • Cable: 0.78mm 2-pin 24AWG Litz 4N OFC 1.2M
Devices Used For Testing LG G6, LG Q70, XDuoo Link, Asus FX53V, TEAC HA-501, Periodic Audio Nickle, Shanling M0, Hifiman MegaMini

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
Last edited:
talponne
talponne
I'm a big fan of your work.
Big up!
Alibora
Alibora
Great review!
B9Scrambler

Aibo

Head-Fier
Pros: - Balanced sound signature
- Smooth and even presentation
- Bass has both impact and control
- Fit: nicely shaped buds and soft ear-hooks
Cons: - The cable could have been better
This is my first contact with Moondrop's earphones but right out of the box it promised to be an interesting one. Besides earphones themselves, you get detachable cable, several ear-tips and small carrying case.

Moondrop Starfield 03.jpg

BUILD AND FIT
It seems that earphones are made of marble or some similar material. They feel reassuringly heavy and sturdy in hand. On the other hand, the braided cable feels delicate. It's quite thin, soft and sufficiently long. I really liked the softness of preshaped hooks that go around the ears. They're easy to mount and adopt to any ear shape (unlike what I've experienced with BLON and KZ model).

Once put into place, buds were sitting securely despite their weight. The next thing I noticed is that cable is not microphonic at all. It probably has to do with it's soft and bandy nature.

Anyway, this model definitely deserves praise for looks, fit, and comfort of use. But it's time to find out how they sound.

Moondrop Starfield 04.jpg

SOUND
I attached Starfield to my phone via HIDIZS Sonata HD DAC dongle. There was plenty of power and drive in this combo, and I'm happy to report these IEMs are not difficult to drive. So I started listening and the first thing I noticed is how well balanced and smooth the sound is. My ears usually need some time to adjust to the new sound signature, but this time I felt at home from the first note. I was listening to some acoustic guitars, and strings sounded full and energetic. Lots of details and spacial cues could be heard too, creating atmosphere and space around musicians. That said, they're never put to the front. Sharp edges extend the main body of every tone very naturally, not trying to excite and razzle-dazzle you.

Then I changed to more potent Dragonfly Black which brought slight improvement to drive and dynamics. Changing trough different music genres I was able to once more confirm how well balanced this model is. Bass notes in both Rock and Pop songs had plenty of weight and drive, making me thump my foot with it. Even more important, it's never bloated, never boomy, never loses pace and control. This powerful but fast-moving and precise bass is just a joy to listen to, and one of the best I've heard so far in any IEM.

Moving up the frequency range, more good news awaits. Vocals sound very clean and uncolored, neither mid-bass nor higher frequencies are bleeding into them. Listening to my favorite Pop and Jazz singers is a delight. They sound full and present and there's never any artificial warmth or blooming in their voice. What made me even happier is that there's not even a hint of harshness. So commonly used trick of boosting upper midrange/lower highs is just not present here. That same trick gives an illusion of sharper and more resolving sound but tends to introduce some nasty side effects. One of them is sibilance with voices which I'm really not a fan of. The other effect of such voicing is that listening can get tiring very quickly. You don't have to fear any of those with Starfield as their approach to midrange is perfectly mature and balanced.

In the highest register, things proceed in a similar fashion. Integration and smoothness are a priority here. I'm able to hear airiness around instruments and voices but in a slightly laid back manner. If you want your earphones to zealously dig that last spatial cue and airiness of the recording - these might not be what you look for. But the more songs I listened, the more I appreciated this kind of safe high-frequency tuning as my ears didn't get tired.

When all of this is put together, we get a really well-balanced signature. The seamless integration across the frequency spectrums provides a real unity to the sound. Absence of nasty blooming, added warmth or harshness just seals the deal. Lack of those artificial sweeteners leaves room for natural reverbs and echoes to be heard, and that's what I call hi-fi.

COMPARISONS
Models I'm comparing these with might be odd to you but I'll simply compare them to what I have at hand.

Let's start with the cheapest one - **** ****. I really like these giant killers cause their quality is insane considering the price. However, next to Starfield they sound muddy and bloomy, especially in the mid-bass and low mids section.

Next in line are Tin Audio T2s which tend to impress with their clarity. Their bass weight leaves something to be desired though. Upper midrange and highs sound exciting but bright and hissy compared to Starfield. I really like T2s but they can be tiring with some music while I can listen to Starfileds for hours without a problem.

BLON BL-03s are very resolving and fun to listen to. They're also bassier and the quality of the bass (precision and speed) is not at the same level. Midrange on BL 03 is recessed compared to Starfields so vocals are not as present and full-sounding. Lastly, they have a much poorer fit in my ear.

Lastly, Sennheiser Momentum In-ear launched at a similar price but can't match Starfield Sonically. Their bass is simply not as controlled, lower midrange is recessed and harshness in the upper registers can be observed.

CONCLUSION
As I mentioned at the beginning this is my first contact with Moondrop earphones and I'm happy it's with such praiseworthy model as Srarfield surely is. It rarely happens that balance and unity of presentation are put before that last bit of excitement and tricks meant to wow you. If you're after some specific signature like added warmth or maybe zing to highs, super airiness, etc. - these might seem voiced too safely to you. But if you don't like artificial sweeteners and prefer your sound to be naturally balanced, these might be just the thing you need.

For once, I'm happy to get this kind of mature approach. I'm happy to hear details and reverbs as a result of fast-paced and well-behaved drivers and materials, not as a result of boosted frequencies. Moondrop Starfield has every right to be called hi-fidelity, which is something a lot of in-ears, honestly, don't deserve.

. . .

You can read this and other reviews at iiwireviews.com

Video review:

Otto Motor

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Well-executed Harman target tuning; excellent imaging; sound improved over the Kanas Pro Edition (KPE); beautiful design and build.
Cons: Upper-midrange forward not for the most sensitive ears; treble a bit shy.
frontis-copy-2-800x445.jpeg


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


The Moondrop Starfield appears to be the slight variation of their KXXS flagship at a more affordable price. It features a warm low end, a neutralish midrange, and a conservative, slightly cautious top-end resulting in a warm to neutral overall sound close to the Harman target curve.


INTRODUCTION

Moondrop have become a household name recently, for example through their successful and popular Kanas, Kanas Pro Edition (KPE), and most recently through their KXXS. These single-dynamic-driver earphones settled in the sub-$200 segment. In the budget area, the company pleased the critics with their excellent Moondrop Crescent that was discontinued way too early. Moondrop also revived the premium earbud with their “Liebesleid” model (after a beautiful violin piece by Vienna violinist Fritz Kreisler, if you ever wondered). Moondrop’s signature build appears to be high-quality metal shells with smooth, polished finishes. As I had mentioned (KPE review) before, Moondrop is also distinct from other companies in the relatively small world of Chi-Fi in that they are not located in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, but in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, a place better known for its spicy food than for its high tech. But wait…


SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Starfield
Driver Unit: CNT carbon nano tube diaphragm-10 mm dual cavity dynamic driver
Sensitivity: 122 dB/Vrms (@1kHz)
Impedance: 32Ω ± 15 %(@1 kHz)
Frequency Response: 10 Hz – 36 kHz(free-field 1/4 inch MIC, -3dB)
Effective frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Cable: 24 AWG Litz 4N OFC cable
Pin: 2pin 0.78mm
Tested at: $109
Link: Aliepress Moondrop Official Store


PHYSICAL THINGS AND USABILITY

I received the Moondrop Starfield not in the retail box but in a plastic bag with the content shown in the photo: two sets of S/M/L silicone tips, cable, and the earpieces.

BkY14tp.jpg

The quality metal earpieces are identical in shape with those of the Moondrop KXXS and KPE, and the beautiful powder coating makes them a work of art: the surfaces sparkle under light. The 24 AWG Litz 4N OFC cable may have been chosen for optimal sound but it is a bit stiff and does not feature a chin slider.

The large earpieces fit me well and are reasonably comfortable. Isolation is what you make out of it, and it was good in my case using the largest included silicone eartips. I used low-impedance sources such as my iPhone SE with or without the Audioquest Dragonfly amp/dac. The Starfield are easy to drive.


TONALITY AND TECHNICALITIES


My tonal preference and testing practice

Striking is that the bass has been dialled down compared the the KPE (I don’t know the KXXS), but it nevertheless digs deep enough (I would not want more). The low end is not the fastest but also not the slowest, it is nicely textured, well rounded, and not overbearing. There is a light mid-bass hump that can make the low end slightly boomy and that can bleed into the lower mids. This may add warmth but also minor congestion in some tracks.

AFpekSk.jpg

Frequency response of the Moondrop Starfield.

The midrange is very close to that of the KPE which appears to be Moondrop’s signature: neutral, clear and clean, dry, and crisp…but since the bass is less prominent than in the KPE, the vocals are not perceived as attenuated; they are actually nicely sculptured and reasonably dense. The upper midrange is (once again) a tad forward, which, on the one hand, energizes the vocals department, but, at higher volumes, it also may add minor harshness that can be fatiguing to some over longer listening periods. This is a common occurrence also present in such popular models as the JVC HA-FDX1 and the Blon BL-03. But at lower volumes, this upper midrange yields a pleasant, holographic (“cavernous”) listening sensation in the Moondrop Starfield.

r6vycp3.jpg

Frequency responses of the Starfield and KPE, both close to the Harman target response.

The lower treble is taken back quite a bit and is inoffensive, so that cymbals migrate into the background. It rises sharply to a broader spike at around 15 kHz to add sparkle and fake resolution. A safe approach.

The soundstage is tall, reasonably deep, but about average in width in my perception….controlled by the low end. Separation is very good for a DD. The other technicalities such as instrument separation and spatial cues are towards the higher end of what you expect from a single DD. Timbre is spot on. My bickering aside, the Moondrop Starfield’s imaging is outstanding.

uCmeJLg.jpg



REVERSIBLE MOD

Here a simple variation for listeners who are sensitive to the 2-4 kHz “Chi-Fi peak” area: taping the nozzles over with 3M micropore surgical tape by 90% tones down the upper midrange and, less so, the 15 kHz treble peak. This results in a fuller, warmer, non-fatiguing but also less energetic midrange — a boomier, softer bass perception — and in my desire for a tad more lower treble. The sonic differences modded/unmodded are more substantial than the graphs indicate. This mod is easily reversible, you just rip the tape off again. Moondrop would please Western listeners more by not sticking religiously to the Harman target curve but rather rely on their ears.

ab9177z.jpg

Taping 90% of the nozzle with micropore tape mainly decreases the upper midrange.


Xqy5SYF.jpg

This nozzle is only taped off by 60-70% with micropore tape in this photo. You need to tape it off by 90% to get the result shown in the above graph.


COMPARISONS


The contenders in this class should be the Tin Hifi T4, the KBEAR Diamond, and the Blon BL-03. I don’t know the T4 but it apparently has unreliable MMCX connectors like the T2, and, allegedly, different batches sound different. The KBEAR Diamond is actually not too dissimilar to the Moondrop Starfield: average soundstage, a slightly more emphasized but also faster low end, inoffensive treble, and a warmer midrange with a slightly larger note weight (without emphasis on the upper midrange). Technically, both play in the same league imo and it comes down to taste which one to choose. The Diamond may be safer but also less exciting for some, and the Starfield may be more interesting. The Blon BL-03 appear to sound different for everybody, and the sound of my “pimped” version has to be viewed with a grain of salt. To me, my Blon BL-03 sound more open than the other two, with a larger soundstage, and they have the driest bass of the bunch. And they also offer a forward upper midrange that some remove by adding micropore tape on the nozzles as described here.


CONCLUDING REMARKS

Moondrop never seem to disappoint. With the Starfield, the company has released another beautifully built and very good sounding single DD model between their KXXS DD flagship and their Starship budget model. While I had some reservations with the KPE (mainly because of its price), the value of the Starfield is great as it does not offer less than the $189 KPE (and presumably the KXXS). It will therefore attract many fans. I personally like the Starfield a lot…it is just in my category of what I would buy. In the big picture, the earphone aficionado is spoilt for choice in the $100 segment right now. The Starfield is another piece in Moondrop’s puzzle of becoming a recognized brand beyond Chi-Fi. Well done!

Keep on listening!

This review was originally published at https://audioreviews.org


DISCLAIMER


I thank Moondrop in Chengdu for supplying the review unit upon my request.

Product Link: MOONDROP Official Store

Manufacturer’s Website: Moondrop Co.

My generic standard disclaimer.

About my measurements.


FURTHER READING


The Moondrop Starfield Photographed
CT007
CT007
Nice. No matter how good of reviews these may be getting, I suspect they will sound too much like my ho-hum KPE, and therefore I'd instead advice an IEM with more potential, such as the Reecho & Peacock Spring or ThieAudio Legacy 3.
Otto Motor
Otto Motor
They sound exactly like your KPE but with less bass.

ezekiel77

Reviewer at Headphonesty
Pros: Value for money
- Eye-watering design
- Excellent build quality
- Assured fit and great comfort
- Good isolation
- Well-implemented (if modified) Harman tuning
- Fluid, coherent tuning
- Beautiful mids
- Even treble response
- Soundstage size and imaging
Cons: Too much competition in this price bracket
- Fragile cable
- Midbass bloat and bleed
- Bass speed and texture
- Overall sluggish transient response
- Treble is a bit too safe
An entry-level earphone with its head in the stars, the Starfield is a value proposition by Moondrop, a company that seems to do no wrong (just yet). It’s time to dive headfirst into the universe of Moondrop’s enchanting tuning.

“Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, never let it fade away.” You’ve heard of a star fall, but how about a moon drop? Moondrop is part of the brigade of “holy crap, there they are again” fast-rising brands in Chi-fi, along with Fearless, Tin HiFi and the like. I’m sure there are others, but these three brands release new stuff at such a breakneck pace, it’s as if their lives depended on it.

Established in 2015, Moondrop started off as a studio comprised of enthusiasts. Early on, they released earbuds with fancy names and peculiar nomenclature (ShiroYuki, Liebesleid, and most peculiar of all, Nameless) before dabbling with in-ear monitors (IEMs). Over the years they’ve flexed their financial muscle, and now have independent R&D and manufacturing arms.



Starfield-01.jpg

You choose your travel agent, I choose mine.



Their IEM tuning is famously based on the Harman Target Response Curve. They take a can’t-fail, research-based tuning recipe, apply a few tweaks, scour the earth for drivers that do the best job for the price, before unleashing a full range of IEMs from entry-level to flagship. And here’s the thing, they are remarkably consistent in what they do. I’ve never heard a badly-tuned Moondrop yet.

Today we look at their entry-level model, the Starfield. Powered by a single carbon nanotube (CNT) driver (ok just a variation of the dynamic driver), the Starfield (rhymes with Garfield) is marketed as the musical, easy-listening complement to the incisive, reference-tuned KXXS. I’m always tickled by CNT drivers because it’s one letter away from the most offensive word in English.

It’s can’t. Can’t is a horrible four-letter word.

The Starfield is available via Moondrop’s official Amazon and AliExpress pages. I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to Moondrop for the review unit and their patient communication.

This review was first featured in Headphonesty.



Equipment Used:

DAP

  1. Sony NW-WM1A “K” Modded, FW 2.0
IEMs
  1. Moondrop Starfield
  2. Tanchjim Oxygen
Albums
  1. Aaron Neville – Warm Your Heart
  2. Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
  3. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
  4. Hozier – Wasteland, Baby!
  5. Jill Barber Band – Mischievous Moon
  6. Macy Gray – Stripped
  7. Michael Jackson – The Essential
  8. Taylor Swift – 1989
  9. The Dark Knight: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard
  10. The Eagles – Hell Freezes Over


Technical Specifications
  • Driver: 10mm dual cavity Carbon Nanotube (CNT) diaphragm
  • Sensitivity: 122dB/Vrms @1kHz
  • Impedance: 32Ω±15% @1kHz
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz – 36kHz
  • Effective frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz (IEC60318-4)
  • Connector: 2-pin 0.78mm
  • Cable Length: 1.2m
  • Cable Material: 24AWG Litz 4N Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC)


Starfield-02.jpg

This improper unboxing has Brad Pitt yelling “what’s in the box?” incessantly.



Packaging and Accessories

Well, I received the reviewer’s package, which is just a little baggie with the Starfield IEMs, cable, and 6 pairs of silicone ear tips of various sizes. The full retail package comes with delightful anime box art, and probably more accessories than you can shake a stick at, but I wouldn’t know.

The midnight blue cable looks like a variant of the generic Plastics One cable, with a handsome splitter of the Moondrop logo the only notable difference. I like the paint job, and at this price I shouldn’t complain, but I’d definitely like to see a thicker, higher quality stock cable.



Design and Build Quality

The Starfield is essentially the KXXS with a coat of woohoo paint. As a refresher, the shells are made of zinc/aluminum alloy, with a crease down the middle separating two halves. The angular faceplate exclusive to itself and KXXS, like brothers from a different mother. Wait, it’s the same mother. Being metal, they are heavy for their size, but are a joy to handle, and wins durability points.

But here the star (sic) of the show is the “special painting tech” which coats the Starfield in a glittery navy blue/purple gradient. The colors change as you rotate the earpiece, and sparkles under a light source. The Starfield reflects a lot of light thanks to the angled faceplate, highlighting the intricate, innate beauty of the shells. This is vanity of the highest order, and I love it! They should market the Starfield with Coldplay’s “A Sky Full of Stars”, because those words describe their looks best.



Starfield-03.jpg

“Do you happen to know the way to infinity and beyond?”



Fit, Isolation and Comfort

The Starfield softly whispers in my ear.
“I’m going to slide in now, ok?”
“Will it hurt?”
“No. Trust me.”
“Sure thing, sweetheart.”
“I forgot to bring lube!”

And in goes the small but sturdy earpiece into my ears. The faceplate might have all the funny angles, but the inner surface of the Starfield is smooth and seamless throughout. They fit comfortably, and despite being made of metal, stay put most of the time. The stock tips provided an excellent seal, top marks for that.

The Starfield has two vents on each earpiece, but despite that, isolate better than expected. I thought I would hear my colleague chew from across the room, or the randy cats outside the office, even with music at full blast. But lo and behold, the Starfield was able to block out as much as 70% of external noise, even the cats. This might be because the vents are at the inside surface of the shells.


Sound Quality

The Starfield is but a blip in a sky of budget Chi-fi IEMs, so what matters most is the sound, for a good tuning echoes in eternity. Or more accurately, rides the hype train a while longer.

Overall Sound Signature

According to Moondrop, Starfield’s tuning is based on the Harman target response curve, but with a few adjustments. What I hear is a fuller midbass and lower mids section compared to the other Harman-neutral IEMs, essentially making this a warm Harman, if such a term exists. I’ll call it the Warman Harman.

This particular beast veers close to L-shaped territory, owing to the boosted sub-bass and midbass, mildly elevated upper mids and lower treble, and a neutral mids response. Put together though, it’s a fun and agreeable tuning with emphasis on round, full-sized notes, with a soft and delicate touch.

This will not scrutinize nor slice through your music with the exactness of a paring knife, the Starfield is more like a big spoon that stirs all musical elements into a big pot for a harmonious broth. The best part is, the soundstage is large enough so the music doesn’t blend into a mess, like when you mix more and more colors and eventually everything becomes brown. A space oddity this is not.



Listening Conditions

Critical listening was done after 50 hours of burn-in, breaking down this stubborn CNT and rendering it a submissive, blubbering mess. I hear no difference after burning in though, so make of it what you will. The main review rig is Sony’s NW-WM1A Walkman modded by Project K, using the stock cable and stock medium tips.



Starfield-04.jpg

Subtle purple is my proper people.



Bass

Across the universe, the stars crash and collide… in star wars. I’ve always wanted to say something epic and cheesy. The bass likes to think in grand proportions too, settling for nothing less than thick, full and rounded notes ad infinitum. The sub-bass reach is impressive, delivering boisterous and ballsy blows. It’s a welcome rush to the ears whenever the sub-bass bellows in full glory.

The midbass doesn’t shy away from the action either, and carries on the foundation laid by the sub-bass. It starts with rounded-off attacks, followed by a hefty note body, and finished with a smooth, lingering decay. Notes are punchy and physical, delivering might and fury whenever needed. It’s Thickasaurus time, all right!

Predictably, you know where this leads. The bass is heavy-handed, bloaty, and at times overwhelming. Bass speed, texture, detail and layering all take a back seat to the almighty full-on bass attack. This is not your textured, layered bass, but a fun, take-no-prisoner boom-boom Becker bass, that bleeds unapologetically into the mids after one too many drinks.



Mids

Picture a geyser, a waterfall, or a virgin gir… scratch that. The Starfield mids are so fluid, they might as well be wet. The calm, assured flow of one note to the next is so buttery and eloquent it’s like Bruce Lee standing next to you saying “be water, my friend”.

The after-effect of the midbass hump is a plump, luscious lower mids section. Male vocals have a bellowy, weighty edge, while bass guitars and cellos have an authoritative body. The middle to upper mids leave me spellbound, with sufficient richness to sound luxuriant, yet enough air to sound ethereal. Strings and female voices affect me as if they were real.

Notes have the right thickness, and decay with a gentle flutter. The texture is fine as silk, with nary a hint of grain. Transient response is, predictably, a bit sluggish, but coherence is just about perfect from the lower mids to the upper. Aided by the Harman curve or not, the mids are tuned wonderfully and a worthy highlight. It’s time to yield and be healed by the majesty of the Starfield.



Starfield-05.jpg

Behold! The color gradient in all its radiant glory!



Treble

Like dipping your French fry in ice cream, the Starfield treble is a crispy snack wrapped in layers of creamy smoothness. Like the rest of the signature, the treble is playful with a side of mischief. With a nice bump in the lower treble, notes are quite energetic and airy. Cymbals and hi-hats have an audible crunch and good shimmer, with details to spare.

At the same time, there is a fullness to the notes that prevent the treble from sounding brittle or too airy. The solidity and smooth flow of the notes dial back the flippancy and adds a dash of seriousness, like putting glasses on a toddler. Before the notes take flight in a flurry of sparkle and air, gravity and weight make sure the notes are well-fed at the start.

The extension is alright, with a dip starting in mid-treble. Some treble-heads might want a dangerous, strident treble with more glory and panache, but for the most part, the Starfield is executed well, with musicality and agility in equal measure, if a bit too safe.



Soundstage and Imaging

Space… is as big as it gets. You think of the planets, the cosmos, the reaches of the sky we have yet to discover… I’d like to say Starfield’s soundstage is like its namesake, but that’d be an outright lie. But still, it’s quite good, better than many in its price range, with a width that’s more appreciable than its depth and height.

Importantly, notes have space to play and breathe, and a good amount of air tails behind. Except for the midbass, you’ll never accuse the Starfield of sounding congested. Imaging does its job, with well-defined cues in all three axes. You relax and drift away as the music envelops you and unfolds naturally. It’s like sitting in the front row of a performance, not as engaging as onstage, but you won’t miss anything either.




Starfield-06.jpg

The Starfield is so attractive, he’s forming his own solar system.



Comparisons

Tanchjim Oxygen


As you may know, Oxygen was a hit-or-miss, save for the brilliant mids. But does that mean I dislike the Harman tuning as a whole? This then, is the litmus test, a tale of two Harmans. We might never know what a verbatim Harman tuning sounds like, since Sean Olive and company came up with the frequency graph but left the IEM-building to other manufacturers.

So implementation of the graph becomes paramount, and Oxygen’s hollow lower mids and treble bluntness killed most of my love for it. Still, Starfield, at less than half the price of the Oxygen, seems to have a mountain to climb. The Starfield already has a leg up with a more attractive design, scratch resistance, and better fit, but it’s all about the sound.

Comparing the two, you hear similarities in tone. The boosted bass, forward mids and natural, realistic timbre are the main selling points of both, but there are many differences to be had as well. Although both are tuned to be smooth and tuneful, Oxygen on the whole is more resolved and immediate, while Starfield is more open and laid-back.

Oxygen is better extended in the sub-bass with a more visceral response, while Starfield has a much meatier and engaging midbass, sometimes to its detriment. Oxygen’s main weakness, the recessed lower mids robs male vocals and plucked strings of body and presence. Starfield glides through this area effortlessly, with a fullness that Oxygen can only be envious of.

The highlight of both IEMs are in the mids, and are equals in tone, note density, and lushness. However, Oxygen is more aggressive and forward, and can be shouty and raspy especially in the upper mids. Starfield is more controlled and refined throughout, with an airy finish to the notes that’s never harsh.

Starfield’s playful treble is shimmery with plenty of air, while you already know I don’t like Oxygen’s. Crucially, Starfield has a much larger soundstage, lending a more spacious and calmer presentation. I can wade through any musical mess with ease, while Oxygen just sounds suffocated at times. It seems you have to look to the stars for answers, and to me it’s clear. Starfield is simply a better-tuned IEM.



Starfield-07.jpg

Sights firmly set on the Woodywood Walk of Fame.



FInal Words

Starfield, high yield, a stellar earphone is now unveiled. If you’ve ever wanted a taste of the Harman tuning on a budget, this is an outstanding example. Starfield has many things in its favor to illuminate the price bracket, particularly the luscious, warm signature that soothes the soul. The marvelous starstruck design is just the cherry on top.

Sometimes though, there is no happy ending. The Starfield, as good as it is, might get lost in a tsunami of similarly-priced Chinese-made IEMs, especially when dozens are rolled-out every month. The worst part is, the standard of budget has been raised for some time, and it is harder to find a genuinely bad IEM these days.

What Starfield has going for it is Moondrop’s name recognition, spotless reputation, and tuning mastery to weather through the Chi-fi storm. The Starfield will appeal to many with its pleasing, mellifluous tuning, but is that enough to stand out and last beyond flavor-of-the-month (FOTM) status? Only time will tell.
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eclein
eclein
Nice review when you take out all the weird innuendo and attempts at humor. Wordy and wonders on and off topic. I’m being honest because its very informative and helpful. A few tweaks and its there, please don’t take these comments the wrong way. Thanks for your review!

FcConstruct

Head-Fier
Pros: Coherent with a bass and lower mids focused tuning
Solid resolution and separation ability
Decent soundstage and imaging
Great price-performance ratio
Cons: Lack of air in the mid-upper treble



The MoonDrop Starfield is a new $110 single dynamic driver offering from MoonDrop that boasts a carbon nanotube diaphragm. Full disclaimer: I was sent the Starfield as a review unit from HiFiGo in exchange for my honest opinions. Edit: HiFiGo has provided a $5 coupon for the Starfield. The code is HIFIGO5.

The Starfield has a glittery deep blue shell with asymmetrical designs on its faceplates. Under the right lighting conditions, it's rather aesthetically pleasing. The shell has a decent amount of heft to it and is made fully out of metal. It's very comfortable in my ears, though the nozzle bore is on the larger side. It comes with a supple braided blue recessed 2-pin cable that matches the shell's aesthetic.

The box additionally comes with a few other goodies such as 2 extra sets of S, M, L tips, a small case, and oddly enough, tweezers and nozzle filters. I'm not exactly sure how to replace these filters but it's comforting to know that it's there.




Sound

Overall Sound Signature:
The Starfield is a full-sounding, bassy IEM with a generous amount of warmth and a very polite treble response. It would excel in many modern bass-heavy genres with a special mention of electric guitar tracks.

Bass:
Unashamedly bassy, the Starfield is coherent in the low frequencies with excellent bass note definition and solid sub-bass rumble. Bass guitar lines are clear, distinct, and nuanced. The Starfield trades quick transients for a heavier (and fatter) impact with a slight trailing decay that accentuates the full thump of the kick. It attempts to re-create that body-impact of a live room and does so with limited success. The trade-off is that the bass can sound "rounded-off" as if the skins on the drums are just a little loose. Even though the bass is elevated significantly, the Starfield does not bloat much into the mid-range. I have no issues with the timbre here; the Starfield proudly boasts a quality dynamic driver nature. If you love the feel of a thick, full bass response, especially a rolling bass guitar, the Starfield will satisfy.

Mids:
The lower-mids are the name of the game here. They are undoubtedly thick, contributing to the warm, full-bodied sound the Starfield embodies. At times, the Starfield can get overwhelmed in complex passages with too many instruments occupying the lower mids. There, the Starfield starts to blend notes and becomes a touch muddy, though this is rare. The tonality of instruments is quite good; there wasn't anything I could pick out as being off in any way. Vocals on the Starfield lean towards the warm and thick side of things, with enough upper mids to stand out from the mix without being recessed. Otherwise, the vocals on the Starfield isn't too special; don't expect any haunting female voices from it any time soon. Interestingly enough, electric guitars are what stood out the most for me in the mids. The tuning of the Starfield somehow managed to lend great body and a superb tone to the electric guitars. It's awesome if you listen to gritty rock.

Treble:
The Starfield's treble is polite. Too polite. It is never harsh nor sibilant to me. There is a good amount of lower treble that allows for the crisp attack of hats/cymbals and definition in the upper harmonics for acoustic guitars. However, the treble does start to slowly recess past that point, taking along with it the delicate decay of the cymbals or the airiness of the track. On occasion, I felt that the Starfield was almost suffocated or even choked (particularly in the vocals) due to the lack of treble, especially when coming from a more neutral IEM. This feeling went away over time as I got used to the Starfield's tuning. While the Starfield keeps a polite treble to craft a non-offensive experience for everyone listening, I can't help but feel that it partially compromises greatness for mere goodness.

Staging and Imaging:
The Starfield does a good job here. I'd classify it as an all-rounder. Not extraordinary but a good and competent effort. Good width and depth to the soundstage. Imaging is equally solid with more nuance beyond the 3-blob phenomena.

Resolution and Separation:
The Starfield earns major points here. It has fantastic resolution in spite of a light treble response. In particular, the lower-mids and bass regions are very well resolved. Both the electric and bass guitars benefit greatly from the Starfield's dynamic driver and are beautifully rendered in most tracks I tried. Instruments have a nice separation without feeling congested, though as noted above, they sometimes do step on each other's toes when passages get too dense with lower-mid energy.




Comparisons

I chose the Tin Audio T4 to compare the MoonDrop Starfield to as both IEMs hover around the ~$100 mark and represent a new generation of Chi-Fi monitors. In addition, ever since I first reviewed the T4, it remains my standard for comparisons for budget IEMs due to it's neutral tuning and solid technical foundation for the $100 mark.

When A/Bing, the tuning differences are immediate. The Starfield is thick in comparison to the T4's lean nature, with significantly upper-bass to lower mids that make the Starfield sound fuller. The recessed treble in the T4 is apparent against the T4's unashamed treble response; while the T4 carries the delicate drawn-out shimmer of the cymbals better, the attack of hats/cymbals can sometimes sound harsh compared to the ever polite Starfield. Conversely, the mid-upper treble in the T4 is a breath of fresh air to the Starfield lack thereof. Surprisingly, both have a comparable amount of sub-bass response, with the Starfield edging it out slightly. Technicalities wise, the Starfield is a quarter step above the T4, mostly due to a well-rounded staging presentation than the T4's flatter stage and strong resolution in the face of heavy low-mids emphasis.

Between the two, I think most customers would be better served with the Starfield. It has a much more forgiving and fun tuning compared to the T4's analytical slant without sacrificing technicalities. Fit is also better with the Starfield and the 2-pin connection tends to be more reliable than an MMCX. Congratulations MoonDrop. I thought it would be a while before another ChiFi IEM comes along to meet or exceed the $100 standard the T4 set but here is the Starfield less than half a year later.

Should you buy it?

Yes. For $110, the MoonDrop Starfield is an IEM that has no major flaws while sporting a consumer-friendly tuning for popular modern genres. Price tag aside, I think of the Starfield as a solidly mid-fi IEM that few would complain about. Its thicker nature and lack of airiness in the treble may be a little off-putting initially to those coming from more neutral IEMs but likely that feeling will go away with time. For most people, the Starfield will be a superb good starting point into the world of IEMs as you'll need to start spending quite a bit more to solidly beat them. I'll be interested to see how the IEM scene develops as companies like MoonDrop make better and better products at very competitive prices.
eclein
eclein
Thank you this was helpful in my decision to buy a pair, I don’t have this type of single dynamic in my collection so I’m excited to hear it!
FcConstruct
FcConstruct
@eclein Glad to help! Sadly I didn't have the MoonDrop Kxxs to compare to but I really don't think you could go wrong with the Starfield. Let me know your thoughts!
G
glivano
Im curious about the eartips, can i use comply foam tips for this iem?

yorosello

1000+ Head-Fier
Pros: Another good tunned single DD from Moondrop
- Balanced yet musical
- Above-average soundstage
- Beautifully made shell
- Bang for bucks
Cons: - Stock cable is rather flimsy & fragile
- Lack of Accessories
- Mid-bass bleed
- Lacking some treble
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Disclaimer:

The unit reviewed is my own personal unit that I bought locally, so I'm in no way affiliated with any store or the Moondrop company. All of the written below will purely come from my own experience with Starfield after a week and I'll try my best to provide the most honest, unbiased review as I can.

Disclaimer #2:
This is going to be my first full-length review since I joined this community last year (I usually only give out short reviews on a few threads here and there). So please do forgive me if this review is not going to be as detailed/technical as the pro-reviewers'. However, if you need more information that I didn't mention here, you are very welcome to comment or PM me about it :D.

Introductions:
Moondrop has become one of the widely known audio brands from China at the rise of the Chi-fi trend these last few years with their Harmanish-tuning IEMs such as the Kanas Pro, Kxxs, and Blessing. Thought that was the case, I personally never had a chance to try any of them yet, so Starfield is pretty much my first encounter with Moondrop.

However, unlike its predecessors, Starfield doesn't feature the Diamond-like Coating (DLC) Diapghram inside their beautifully painted housing. Instead, Starfield is equipped with the Super-sequential Carbon Nanotube (CNT) Diaphgram, the same transducer that was adopted on the much-hyped Blon-03, Tanchjim Oxygen, Tin Hifi T4 and last but not least, the retired Semkarch CNT-1. With that said, according to Moondrop, Starfield will produce more loose, delicate yet soft and stretched sound in contrast to the Kxxs's sharp, wide, accurate sound and super clear analysis.

Retailed at $109.9

Basic specifications:
Driver: Carbon Nanotube diaphragm- 10mm Dual cavity dynamic driver
Detachable cable standard: 24AWG Litz 4N OFC
Interface: 0.78 2pin
Sensitivity: 122dB/Vrms(@1khz)
Impedance: 32Ω±15% (@1khz)
Frequency response: 10Hz-36000 Hz (free field. 1/4 inch MIC)
Effective frequency response: 20Hz-20000 Hz (IEC60318-4)

Unboxing:

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The box was clearly simpler than its predecessor, the KXXS. It was a rectangular shaped box with an outer sleeve that features a silhouette of an anime girl staring at the star-filled sky as the front cover and the dissection of the dynamic driver used on the IEM at the back.

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Behind the sleeve, you'll meet blue-themed stiff cardboard with a pretty big new Moondrop logo on the middle of it. And once you are inside, you'll see two compartments, one was to house the IEM itself, and the other was for the accessories.

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At this price point, the included accessories here was rather a bit too simple, in my opinion. As they only include 6 pairs of silicone tips with 2 pairs for each size, a small-sized black Eva case, a tweezer and 3 pairs of replacement grills. They could have included some foam tips or wide bore tips and a better storage case for the IEM just like their direct competitor such as the KBEar Diamond that was currently retailing for $80 (at the time of writing). I hope I didn't ask too much.


Build & Fit:

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Housing

"They are beautiful as heck!" Is all I can say about the Starfield.

I think they are the most eye-catching universal fit IEM I have ever seen since I joined this community. It had caught my attention since a member of the community here reposted the Starfield's picture from the Moondrop's boss back at the end of October/early November last year and since then, I never wanted to miss a single update on them.

Utilizing the same material and shape as its brother, the KXXS, Starfield may look pretty heavy to the ears for some users. However, in my case, I never felt that way. They are very comfortable and sit very well on my ear without any problem including driver flex issue. I had tried to wear them as long as I could & I still didn't get any fatigue from it. This is because they would just disappear into your ear and you'll not notice them much after that like the resin-based housing IEMs. They also seal pretty well once you insert them to your ear since their shell is medium-sized and they'll not protrude too much from the ear.

But what I liked the most was the coating Moondrop did on the housing. It made them look like a gem. The glittery blue coating that could changes colours when you exposed them to the light is just gorgeous, and not to mention, the big gold star on the left piece and their name on the right.

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Cable and Eartips
For the stock cable, it was another one of the shortcomings that I have on Starfield aside from the lack of accessories. It wasn't because of the colour, but rather from the quality of the cable that was pretty much under-qualified for this price range.

The supplied cable is very thin and light, as well as the use of plastic for their jack and the 2-pin's male housing that made them feels very fragile. The absence of a chin slider may also become one of the factor people will not use the stock cable when they received their starfield even when the colour matches very well with the IEM.

In term of the provided ear tips, they were okayish to me. Still usable but because they are narrow bores tips, which it'll have the tendency to add some boost to the bass frequency and lower the higher frequency, I decided to use the short SednaEarfit Light instead.


Sound Analysis:

My gear in this review:
- Source: Shanling M6
- Eartips: SednaEarfit Short
- Cable: ISN Audio S8 SPC with 2.5mm
- Playlist: Korean Pop, hip-hop, neo-soul, jazz, orchestral, BGMs, Jpop, dance, R&B

Starfield is a single dynamic driver IEM that adopts a 10mm Carbon Nano Tube driver with dual cavity. Their tuning is based on Moondrop's house sound signature, the VDSF, which is their own variation of diffuse field target. On Starfield, however, the VDSF is leaning closer to the Harman target with the tendency of bass boost with slightly less upper mid.

Lows
The low frequency of Starfield can be considered pretty neutral. They are not a lot, but also not too less for someone who's coming from mostly V-shaped IEMs in the past. The speed and decay are not too slow nor too fast, but because of the quantity, they end up becoming slightly bloaty and bleeds into the mid a bit.

However, even with their neutral-ish nature, they are still able to deliver satisfying punch and rumble with good amount of body, when I'm listening to the bass-heavy track with them. They also have decent texture and definition, plus good timbre, making them one of the most natural-sounding bass IEM I've ever tried so far (at the time of writing).

Mids
Another thing that amazes me the most here is how good Starfield presenting the vocals. Because even though it has a hint of mid-bass bleed, the vocal still stays quite forward and sounds clear and transparent to my ear. They also don't sounds overly thin and have a good amount of body to it, which makes them very good with male vocals and electric bass.

The tonality and timbre here are also surprisingly close to accurate for me, despite the warmth they have. They didn't have many colorations or whatsoever like other IEMs in the same price range that I had encountered, so most instruments or even vocals will sound as close as what they should be here.

Highs
The treble on Starfield is quite safe and smooth, so they will never going to sound harsh, piercing or even sibilant. This might be a good thing for some people who are treble sensitive or those who are looking for tuning with the relaxed treble. But for those who aren't, they'll wish Starfield to have more treble and extension.

It's still capable to produce enough details and clarity to satisfy your ear. Cymbals/high hats also still have some crispness and air on it. But just that, it'll sound kinda splashy sometimes, and when there are a lot of instruments playing, they tend to get congested and muddy, making them less enjoyable for orchestral pieces.

Soundstage & Imaging
To me, their soundstage is within the average to slightly above average, while the imaging is also pretty solid for the price. They have a good balance between both height and width with decent expansion to make them sound open and spacious. Though, the depth is slightly lacking, causing them to be a bit flat/less 3D.

Resolution & Separation
For the price, the resolution on Starfield is solid. They are not the most analytical due to the lacks of some treble, but you'll still get all the details from the songs you are playing. Separation, as I had mentioned before, also decent for the class even though on some busy tracks, the instruments tend to get mixed up a little sometimes.

Drivability
Starfield falls under the relatively easy to drive IEM as I can drive them with my low powered sources without a problem.


Comparison:

TFZ No. 3
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Being in the same price range, TFZ No. 3 is also a single DD IEM that adopts the DLC driver with transparent housing made of resin. It may look a bit plasticky but it's quite thick and solid.

In terms of tuning, TFZ no. 3 is clearly a V-shaped sounding IEM with a lot of boost on both bass and treble with recessed mids, unlike Starfield that is tuned to Harman-ish sound signature.

From the lows, you'll know right away that No. 3 is an ultimate bass head IEM. Unlike Starfield that has semi-tight bass, the bass on No. 3 can extend as low and deep as you want with a much more powerful impact and fuller body. They also have slightly longer decay but similar in attack speed with Starfield, making them sound far more bloaty.

The vocal on No. 3 also noticeably sounds thinner and recessed, which are typical for a V-shaped IEM.

For treble, No.3 has more boost in that area than Starfield, but they sound harsher and peaky, which will cause fatigue to those who are treble sensitive. They are also pretty detailed as Starfield, but because of the huge amount of boost on the lower frequency, it ends up kind of overshadowed.

The soundstage on No.3 also much more intimate and closed sounding than Starfield, so instruments will sound more congested and full in your head.


Verdict:
Are they worth it for $110? Definitely. They don't just look beautiful outside, but they do sound beautiful too. I didn't regret that I had to wait for almost a month to get my hand on them. Moondrop is really setting the bar high for its competitors with Starfield.

For someone that just experience the Moondrop for the first time through Starfield, I can't praise them enough for the quality that they provide here. Although, I know very well that Starfield isn't the most perfect IEM in the price range due to the lack of treble, for example. With their non-offensive tuning, timbre, solid technicalities, and overall packaging for a sub $100 IEM, they are definitely going to be in my favorite IEM and recommended list.
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yorosello
yorosello
@Assimilator702 actually, they also released the fiio fh1s not long ago, they have the same shape, set up, just a different color of housing (purple instead of blue), a pelican case & copper stock cable. Then they are selling them for around $90, which is a bummer. It's just like the EA3 is the beta test for the FH1s
D
doors97426
which earbud is the right side the one with the star or the one with the name thanks
yorosello
yorosello
@doors97426 you can see via the cable, it has L&R markings on it. As long as you follow the same side
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