MOONDROP X Crinacle Blessing2:Dusk

General Information

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SPEC:

Impedance: 22Ω @ 1KHZ (± 15%)
Unit configuration: 1DD + 4BA
Frequency response range: 9-37khz
Treble unit: Knowles SWFK
Midrange unit: Softears D-MID-A
Woofer: 10mm paper cone diaphragm
Effective frequency response: 20-20KHZ
Quality control range: ± 1dB @ 1KHZ
Sensitivity: 117dB / Vrms @ 1KHZ
connector: 0.78-2Pin
THD: < 1% @ 1KHZ

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Latest reviews

Precogvision

Reviewer at Headphones.com
Pros: - class-leading tonal balance
- macrodynamic contrast
- value
Cons: - coherency
- bass intangibles
This is just a quick summary of the B2 Dusk, as I have it on-hand again from MRS. See his Youtube channel here. Yeah, I enjoyed it enough to steal it for another listen - something that doesn't happen often. You can also read my original, full-review here.

If you're not familiar with the original Moondrop Blessing 2, then suffice it to say it's by and large without peer in its price bracket thanks to its stellar, balanced tuning and surprisingly good technical chops. It is the undisputed $300 benchmark. But make no mistake: Equally so, it is not an IEM without flaw, and I myself became one of its detractors as I put more time onto my unit. The Dusk aims to rectify some of these issues and serves as medium with which to bring Crinacle's expert tuning to the masses.

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So, the Dusk. As the name Dusk might imply, the Dusk is a warmer, darker IEM - only by comparison, of course. Independently, I’d probably classify the Dusk as something along the lines of “neutral with bass boost." This is one of the most well-tuned IEMs that I've heard.

Bass is boosted almost exclusively in the sub-bass regions, curving out by 200hZ. This is important because you can “push” sub-bass a good deal. It’s mostly when you start curving an IEM’s bass shelf with more of a mid-bass emphasis, or past 200hZ, that you run the risk of delving into bloat; this is what Crinacle has aptly avoided with the Dusk’s tuning. Stellar bass tuning aside, I find the Dusk's bass lacking on a more intangible level. It has a distinct dryness, lack of texture to it, despite the largely clean transient attack it exhibits.

The midrange of the Dusk exhibits, to my ears, an unparalleled level of tonal accuracy. And those are not words I sling lightly. While there are midrange tunings I might prefer more - such as the venerable 64 Audio U12t's - I'll be the first to admit they do not hit my perceived neutrality as closely. Macro-detail is quite good thanks to the contrast between the leaner lower-midrange and tilt to the upper-midrange. I imagine some might find note-weight a tad lean; however, I struggle to see someone taking fault with the Dusk's midrange devoid of tonal preference. It's really just that good. This is what I wanted the Hidition Viento's midrange to be, but it just wasn't.

Now, I'm not going to shower you with hyperboles of excellent extension, articulate treble, or sparkle regarding the Dusk's treble. It's the Dusk's weak point, plain and simple. Treble on the Dusk is characterized mostly by lower treble with a peak at around 6kHz which lends to a slight tinny-ness to the way hi-hats are articulated. Mid-treble sounds fairly linear, followed by a rapid slope off of 10kHz, shaving off a good deal upper-air. Mind you, these issues are expected for a $300 IEM, and I've heard much, much worse.

The Dusk is a competent technical performer; that is to say, excellent within the scope of its price bracket. Imaging appears to have taken a slight hit - at least on a psychoacoustic level - relative to the original B2. This is likely a product of more bass and less treble; on the whole, the Dusk's imaging remains above average with slight image diffusion. The much-maligned BA timbre of the original B2 has been mitigated some, particularly in the treble, likely the result of less sheer treble quantity. Something I will highlight is the Dusk's macrodynamic ability. Here, I'm most closely talking about the way an IEM scales the decibel peaks and valleys in a given recording. The Dusk sets a strong precedent - at least in the $300 bracket - for its dynamic contrast.

In conclusion? The Dusk irrefutably demonstrates the merits of tuning with calculated, deliberate precision. If the B2 set a precedent for the $300 bracket, then the Dusk is one of the extremely rare IEMs - the few and far between - that I dare say is almost unfairly good. This is one of the most tonally pleasing IEMs on the market and my undisputed $300 pick.

leaky74

500+ Head-Fier
From Dawn till Dusk: Pinnacle of Clinical from Crinnacle?
Pros: Build
Technicalities
Reference but fun tuning
Value Proposition
Cons: To my ears, still a little (just a little) bright and shouty in the upper mids
First of all, many thanks to Shenzen audio, @crinacle and @skedra for helping to organise this review tour.


Intro
For those following the IEM market over recent years, you'll have no doubt noticed the emergence of the Moondrop brand. It's a brand that have developed a reputation for having a consistently well implemented house sound; a tuning that tends to err toward being on the more neutral side. Add to that reputation a build quality held in equally high regard, it's easy to see how the brand has gone from strength to strength. Finally, factor in a pricing strategy that is more 'winning' than merely competitive and, well.....you get the picture; Moondrop are doing well!!

This model, the Blessing 2: Dusk, is a collaboration with everyone's favourite measurer and reviewer of IEMs, a certain Mr Crinnacle. Come on, who hasn't added the IEMs at the top of those rakings to a wish/audition list?! This is the second of Crinnacle's collaborations, the first having been at the kilobuck end of the market with the Fearless Crinnacle Dawn.

Back to the Blessing 2 Dusk and the rough idea has been to take the original Blessing 2 as a platform and tweak it's sound to have something that‘s perceptibly neutral, in the sense that no region seems overly boosted nor dipped in normal music listening.

In Crin's own words, ".... most would know my thoughts on neutrality: it‘s boring. At any case, according to my own experiences it takes quite a bit more bass boost in an IEM relative to headphones and speakers to get the same perceived bass response, so obviously the Dusk will get some extra oomph in the low-end.

And when it comes to bass, you all know I preach the word of “sub“. No dirty 1kHz bass shelf for the Dusk here, only the highest quality boost concentrated from 150-200Hz down. The placement of the bass shelf is a fine balance in itself; too high and you get muddiness and warm colouration, but too low and you lose the sense of weight behind the bass".

And on the aspects of the original B2 that he was keen on addressing with the Dusk:

… I‘d love more sub-bass and rumble, but the B2 already has more than adequate slam and texturing to the bass notes so this is more a preferential complaint than a critique.

The midrange is almost where I‘d be perfectly content with it. If I had the choice I‘d probably kill the 3kHz response by just 2, maybe 3dB (that whole “a little too shouty“ thing that I‘ve mentioned before)…

So, ignoring the review title (I jut liked the rhyme!), and instead taking the above commetns as a 'to do' list, lets crack on and see if it's 'mission accomplished'.

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All images from Shenzen Audio's Website

Accessories wise you're presented with pretty standard fair; decent case, selection of silicone tips and a copper 2pin cable.
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Build quality is as solid as Moondrop have developed a reputation for; the generic custom style shells I found to be as comfortable as similar units I've tried. Peering into the shells themselves, the neatness of the internals is worthy of appreciation. The nozzles are long and unusually wide, so much so that the only tips I had to hand (other than stock), that actually proved an easy fit were Spiral Dot++. Worth noting here is that also included are a set of stick on wax filters. After you've experimented with (or at least tried to), different tips, you'll understand why. I think you'd need the touch of a surgeon to execute a tip replacement without at least disturbing those filters!

As regards the cable, it does the job. It's a bit stiff and prone to tangling but at this price point it's OK. Could be better but I've experienced poorer cables on much more expensive IEMs.

Moving onto sound, do these hit the brief set out by Crinnacle? I think they do in terms of target signature; they certainly measure that way. Whether they hit the mark in achieving the changes over the original B2, I can only assume so.

In terms of the sound, if I'm being critical, I still find the upper mids too much for my personal tastes; I can still find them a little shouty (which suggests the original B2 probably wouldn't have been to my taste). Now, it's probably because my preferences seem to have a settled on warmer signatures, I find these a little bright. Just a little. Also, worthy of note is that I had these for review over Christmas. A little less of a hectic time and I'd liked to have been able to spend a bit more time experimenting with tips etc to try and tweak them just a little more to my preference.

These are just personal preferences though and what I will say is that the tonality definitely hits the target of being pretty reference without being boring.

The DD bass is probably the star of the show here, providing decent texture & rumble, well integrated and with a level of cohesiveness that many hybrids fail to achieve.

To my ears, if your preferences lean toward a more reference but still 'fun' tuning, you will be more than pleased with these.

What I would say is that, for me, the technicalities that the B2 Dusk demonstrate are excellent. Detail retrieval is super high & imaging and staging top notch too. Maybe a limitation of driver count but on some busier tracks I found things could sound a bit congested/crowded.

To conclude, these are a top quality IEM full stop. Factor in the cost and they're exceptional. A solid recommend & mission accomplished!

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Z
Zerozen
I am really confused between the mangird tea and b2 dusk...
Can you give me a comparison between the two?

skedra

Head-Fier
Great value option
Pros: Great tuning
Resolution
Staging
Comfort
Cons: Slightly mid-forward
Average treble extension
The shell can be too big for some
The splitter can be annoying
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Overview
For those following the IEM scene the names, Moondrop and Crinacle are probably quite known. On one side Moondrop know for making IEMs and earbuds in various budgets on the other Crinacle know for his huge database of measurements and reviews of various audio gear. Those two decided to collaborate on an IEM based on the Blessing 2. The Dusk is the fruit of this collaboration, tuned to Crinacle, using the same driver configuration as the original blessing2 (1 dynamic driver and 4 balanced armatures). Those types of collaborations are still quite a rare thing in the audio world which made me quite excited to hear the final product especially considering the fairly affordable pricing.

Big thank you to Shenzen audio and @crinacle for helping to organise this review tour.


In the box
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  • IEMs
  • 1.2m copper cable
  • Aeroplane adapter
  • 6 sets of silicone tips
  • Case
  • Paperwork / Graph
  • Extra grills (not pictured)

Build quality and accessories


The IEMs are made very well, unlike a lot of other pseudo custom models, the Dusk shell is full rather than shallow. This gives it a bit more weight but also feels like it won’t just crack or break from a random drop. The faceplates are smooth and nicely finished in a brushed finish with minimal branding (there’s an option to get a special version with the same girl graphic engraving like the one on the packaging).

My main gripe with the build of the IEMs themselves is the really thick stem which makes using aftermarket tips harder than it could be. The fact the grill is glued on and can be replaced is both a pro and a con in my book, it sits in front of the stem rather than slightly recessed which makes it prone to be removed by accident when changing tips.

The cable is where Moondrop should’ve spent more time, it’s thin, quite prone to tangling and the splitter is unnaturally large and weird shaped which makes it even more prone to getting stuck or tangled when taken out of the case. I’d definitely recommend replacing the cable.

Finally the case, nothing to really complain about here. Quite roomy, well-made case with minimal branding. It feels like it will protect the IEMs when carrying them around in a backpack or just storing them in general.
Otherwise, the accessories are kind of standard for this price range product.


Fit and comfort
The Dusk fit is very good, shells are pseudo custom but not extremely so, which makes them comfortable for hours. The only gripe here is the stem is quite thick so even when using the smallest size tips it may cause issues for those with small ear canals. The isolation is about average, they are vented so wind noise can sometimes be picked up.

Sound
Fairly neutral with a subbass boost and slight upper midrange emphasis (albeit it is really slight in terms of general balance).

Bass
Very dynamic and punchy, mainly focused on the subbass presence and much less so midbass. The texture and extension are both very good, albeit the resolution is not as good as flagship IEMs but the tuning makes up for it with a fun but not overblown presence. This is one of the best-tuned bass shelves I’ve heard, completely avoiding the possible muddiness of the lower midrange coming from the midbass bleed while providing enough of bass weight and “fun” quality to the music. Listening to “Bonefield – Window” or “Infected Mushroom – Flamingo” really shows the punchiness and extension of the Dusk.

Midrange
Fairly linear with slight upper midrange emphasis, albeit less so than the original Blessing 2 which to me is a good thing. Listening to “Fleetwood Mac – The Chain” the female vocals tend to have a bit more presence than male ones but never to the point of being overpowering or shouty. The texture is good, I wouldn’t call it much above that but considering the price, it’s way more than adequate. The resolution is very good, which is helped by the bass tuning not getting in the way.

Treble
Here’s where the Dusk shows a bit of weakness, the extension is only what I would consider “good” or “adequate”, the treble rolls off too early and leaves you wanting more, especially if you’ve heard IEMs with a better extension before. That’s not to say the treble is bad, it really isn’t, the resolution is decent, it’s practically never harsh and sibilance is based on the track rather than the IEMs emphasizing anything. Listening to “Pink Floyd – Time” shows both the limitations of the Dusk but also it’s coherence. The “air” is decent considering the extension, it’s plenty enough to provide a good sense of separation.

Imaging and Soundstage
The soundstage is about average, it never really surprises but it also doesn’t disappoint. The imaging is very good, with very good lateral positioning and fairly good depth positioning.


Conclusion
Even though it may seem I’m quite critical of the Dusk it’s actually nitpicking. At the price of 329$, it becomes my default sub 500$ recommendation. The tuning and the technical performance are both great, and even though it isn’t a “giant-killer” to me, it is still an extremely good IEM which I think is worth trying out and I can easily see it being end game for a lot of people.

Some of you may ask, is it better than the original Blessing2? Technically – it isn’t, however, the tuning of the Dusk is definitely more to my preference, so I recommend reading some reviews from people who you know have similar taste to you and picking the variant you feel will work better for you that way.

Finally congratulations to both Moondrop and Crinacle for this release. Good job.
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Z
Zerozen
I am really confused between the mangird tea and b2 dusk...
Can you give me a comparison between the two?

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