Moondrop in-ear monitors Impressions Thread
Sep 22, 2021 at 7:05 PM Post #10,127 of 10,652

Tomm11

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To be honest, I was wanting all copper but the Chimera II was in stock at Musicteck and my patience was running thin so I bought it, hoping for the best. Thankfully it worked out well because I'm generally not big on spending north of $100 on iem cables.
 
Sep 22, 2021 at 11:19 PM Post #10,128 of 10,652

Bruno Ibanes

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I don't have the necessary equipment to make scientific claims about burn-in in Aria, but to me, it feels like another IEM after 40 hours of burn-in. The bass is much more impactful, and the voices are much more forward, I can't talk about the treble. I don't think it's psychological, I would very much like users to start making reviews based on graphic measurements before and after the recommendation of burn-in hours from their manufacturers, even if their opinions about the audio didn't change, because now talking about psychology, memory can play tricks on us in the sense that I may not think the audio has changed, but in reality it has changed and I got used to it. A cool and rigorous way to test this would be to take the IEM out of the box, make the graphs, test, write the review, burn-in as the manufacturer asks (don't use it during this period and don't look at the review anymore) , save it for a month and then write another review. I know this would cause anxiety, but we could probably dispel this myth. In fact, I'm finishing my degree in psychology, this would be a very interesting topic to write with a neuroscientist: psychoacoustics and burn-in in IEMs.
 
Sep 22, 2021 at 11:59 PM Post #10,129 of 10,652

Ufanco

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I don't have the necessary equipment to make scientific claims about burn-in in Aria, but to me, it feels like another IEM after 40 hours of burn-in. The bass is much more impactful, and the voices are much more forward, I can't talk about the treble. I don't think it's psychological, I would very much like users to start making reviews based on graphic measurements before and after the recommendation of burn-in hours from their manufacturers, even if their opinions about the audio didn't change, because now talking about psychology, memory can play tricks on us in the sense that I may not think the audio has changed, but in reality it has changed and I got used to it. A cool and rigorous way to test this would be to take the IEM out of the box, make the graphs, test, write the review, burn-in as the manufacturer asks (don't use it during this period and don't look at the review anymore) , save it for a month and then write another review. I know this would cause anxiety, but we could probably dispel this myth. In fact, I'm finishing my degree in psychology, this would be a very interesting topic to write with a neuroscientist: psychoacoustics and burn-in in IEMs.

I feel I hear a difference after burn in and by using different materials in earphone cables. Would be nice to find a way to show or measure the difference or find out if it’s all in my head. Too many others claim too hear difference with cables and burn in so tend to believe there is. I believe that with cables it might just be difference in resistance and build quality. I don’t buy into the needing to spend thousand or even hundreds on a good cable. I do question any cable over $100.00 and feel it’s just marketing or snake oil but that’s just imho.
 
Sep 23, 2021 at 12:41 AM Post #10,130 of 10,652

Bruno Ibanes

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I feel I hear a difference after burn in and by using different materials in earphone cables. Would be nice to find a way to show or measure the difference or find out if it’s all in my head. Too many others claim too hear difference with cables and burn in so tend to believe there is. I believe that with cables it might just be difference in resistance and build quality. I don’t buy into the needing to spend thousand or even hundreds on a good cable. I do question any cable over $100.00 and feel it’s just marketing or snake oil but that’s just imho.
Probably. Different materials conduct electricity in different ways. To explain it in a very reductionist way: audio is nothing but electricity converted into something audible.

Edit: I just don't think it's worth spending $50~$100 on a cable for an IEM worth $100 for example. In my head, that doesn't make sense. It would be better to save that $50, get another $50, let's say and buy an IEM with the same tone (or not), but with superior technical specs (build, drivers, etc.) in the $200 range. I understand that if we follow my logic we will never have a good cable and so on. But that's where I say it depends on the value. Soon I'm going to buy Dusk, according to the reviews it has such good specs that it can compete with IEMs in the $1000 range, then it's worth giving $100~$200 on a cable. But, obviously, that's my personal opinion.
 
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Sep 23, 2021 at 1:18 AM Post #10,131 of 10,652

Lamim Rashid

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Ooooh....look what came in today. Let's see what Moondrop did with this one. :ksc75smile:

I'm dying for some first impressions since I have one order and am undecided about cancelling it. I've only talked to one other person who has got these and he told me the were technically very good for the price but sounded terrible tonally and very imbalanced. He didn't have any iems to compare that I even knew of cause he only has expensive ones so I really want to hear some more opinions. I'm between getting this, the mangird tea and falcon pro since I don't like my dusk more than my starfields.

Edit I've found this graph comparison to the starfields. Any how that 8-10k peak will make these sound compared to the starfields? Graph is similar all around apart from that dip being replaced with a peak.

FB_IMG_1632375662982.jpg
 
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Sep 23, 2021 at 1:56 AM Post #10,132 of 10,652

Bruno Ibanes

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I'm dying for some first impressions since I have one order and am undecided about cancelling it. I've only talked to one other person who has got these and he told me the were technically very good for the price but sounded terrible tonally and very imbalanced. He didn't have any iems to compare that I even knew of cause he only has expensive ones so I really want to hear some more opinions. I'm between getting this, the mangird tea and falcon pro since I don't like my dusk more than my starfields.

Edit I've found this graph comparison to the starfields. Any how that 8-10k peak will make these sound compared to the starfields? Graph is similar all around apart from that dip being replaced with a peak.

FB_IMG_1632375662982.jpg
LOL. I would probably love KATO. This peak in 8K "kills" some people, it's a very sensitive area for our hearing. Crinacle said the only thing he would improve on B2 Dusk would be this area, I believe he will love KATO (or not). I could be very wrong, but it seems to me from this graphic that KATO will sound very similar to my irreplaceable Tin Audio T2 Pro. Sub-bass a little forward, neutral bass and a lot of mids and treble. It seems to be very different from what Moondrop usually does...
 
Sep 23, 2021 at 2:04 AM Post #10,134 of 10,652

Animagus

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I'm dying for some first impressions since I have one order and am undecided about cancelling it. I've only talked to one other person who has got these and he told me the were technically very good for the price but sounded terrible tonally and very imbalanced. He didn't have any iems to compare that I even knew of cause he only has expensive ones so I really want to hear some more opinions. I'm between getting this, the oxygen, mangird tea and falcon pro since I don't like my dusk more than my starfields.
Adjectives like tonally terrible and imbalanced are the complete opposite of what Kato or Moondrop IEMs like KXXS, Starfield, Aria, Blessing2, Dusk or S8 sound like. These are all tuned to or around Moondrop's VDSF target, which takes inspiration from Harman and Diffuse Field reference target curves. Now one might prefer or like a more coloured sound than these as a subjective preference but objectively, these IEMs are tonally correct and portray instruments accurately.

Quick OOTB impressions of Kato - I could only try a couple of songs between Kato and KXXS last night before I dozed off, so these are just my quick impressions. With the golden nozzle (which I think I prefer over the silver one), Kato sounds like a more natural and slightly more resolving, punchy and dynamic version of KXXS, with a slightly more open, clean and spacious soundstage in comparison. This comparison mostly translates to Aria and Starfield too.

I quite like the Tanchjim Oxygen too, which again is tuned close to the Harman Target curve and sounds quite similar to KXXS, has slightly better technical performance, but has a short and stout nozzle which isn't the best if you like a good snug fit. I haven't tried Mangird Tea or Dunu Falcon Pro, so can't help you there.

Hope this helps! Feel free to PM me. :)
 
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Sep 23, 2021 at 2:15 AM Post #10,136 of 10,652

Bruno Ibanes

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Adjectives like tonally terrible and imbalanced are the complete opposite of what Kato or Moondrop IEMs like KXXS, Starfield, Aria, Blessing2, Dusk or S8 sound like. These are all tuned to or around Moondrop's VDSF target, which takes inspiration from Harman and Diffuse Field reference target curves. Now one might prefer or like a more coloured sound than these as a subjective preference but objectively, these IEMs are tonally correct and portray instruments accurately.

Quick OOTB impressions of Kato - I could only try a couple of songs between Kato and KXXS last night before I dozed off, so these are just my quick impressions. With the golden nozzle (which I think I prefer over the silver one), Kato sounds like a more natural and slightly more resolving, punchy and dynamic version of KXXS, with a slightly more open, clean and spacious soundstage in comparison. This comparison mostly translates to Aria and Starfield too.

I quite like the Tanchjim Oxygen too, which again is tuned close to the Harman Target curve and sounds quite similar to KXXS, has slightly better technical performance, but has a short and stout nozzle which isn't the best if you like a good snug fit. I haven't tried Mangird Tea or Dunu Falcon Pro, so can't help you there.

Hope this helps! Feel free to PM me. :)
Friend, can you talk about this peak in 8k?

When we look at the T2 Pro chart:

T2-Pro.jpg


(my little darling), some people find it bizarre. I Love! Because of this peak it has some simbilance, which I sometimes even consider a recording/mixing defect, but I'm not sure I'm correct, because it doesn't show up on all albums. The presentation of microdetail in this IEM is also gigantic and I believe this has to do precisely with these frequencies from 6 to 20k.

As I mentioned above, soon I intend to buy B2 Dusk, but now with this KATO chart above I was in doubt. Dusk or KATO? Even because without a doubt KATO has a better construction.
 
Sep 23, 2021 at 3:07 AM Post #10,137 of 10,652

Animagus

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Friend, can you talk about this peak in 8k?

When we look at the T2 Pro chart:

T2-Pro.jpg


(my little darling), some people find it bizarre. I Love! Because of this peak it has some simbilance, which I sometimes even consider a recording/mixing defect, but I'm not sure I'm correct, because it doesn't show up on all albums. The presentation of microdetail in this IEM is also gigantic and I believe this has to do precisely with these frequencies from 6 to 20k.

As I mentioned above, soon I intend to buy B2 Dusk, but now with this KATO chart above I was in doubt. Dusk or KATO? Even because without a doubt KATO has a better construction.

Wow! That is one massive boost! I reckon most would/should have a problem with it, but well...

Okay, so let me try explaining quickly. It's called sibilance and it can lie anywhere between 7-10kHz depending on the vocalist and how pronounced his/her Ss and Ts are or were captured by the microphone. There are recording tricks we audio engineers use to avoid/reduce it while recording vocals, like using a vocal pop filter in front of the microphone or a pencil rubber-banded to the grill at the centre of the microphone's diaphragm. It can then be further controlled/reduced while mixing with the help of a dynamic processor called DeEsser. Without getting too technical, the DeEsser basically allows us to scan the dominant frequency causing sibilance and then program it to automatically reduce it by a few dB whenever it hears it. Yet, sometimes the final song master still has sibilance present in vocals, which either the mixing/mastering engineer missed (seldom happens with experienced pros) or was difficult to get rid off completely without comprising the vocal tonality/character in the recording.

Now in case of IEM tuning, a normal boost in this 7-10kHz with decent gain is well, normal, and portrays mixes naturally but a significant boost in this range can amplify sibilance if vocals in the song already have it or are borderline there. A big enough boost can even introduce sibilance in well treated vocals. It also adds sharp transient attack to instruments, especially hi-hats and cymbals, which can be painful to listen to for a lot of people. A big one makes me dizzy and gives me a headache. With that said, a brighter tuning or significant boosts in treble do help in perception of better micro-details but at the cost of it coming off as peaky or overly bright. But in my opinion, good micro-detail retrieval capability in IEMs/Headphones should be appreciated when it is done tastefully with the help of good tuning and technical performance, without overly boosting of treble.

Now our ears are very capable in adaptability and some people are able to get used to this boost over time and start liking it, but a 10-15dB boost above neutral is quite significant and should be problematic. Age based hearing loss and partial hearing loss in case of younger people can also be contributing factors to this being perceived as normal. In case of latter and if you're concerned, I highly recommend getting a quick audiometry test just to be safe and rule it out. :)
 
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Sep 23, 2021 at 3:21 AM Post #10,138 of 10,652

Benzo277

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Matte version
Would be interesting if Moondrop go back to airbrushed metal for a new release. Something like the original Kanas.
 

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Sep 23, 2021 at 3:52 AM Post #10,140 of 10,652

Bruno Ibanes

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Wow! That is one massive boost! I reckon most would/should have a problem with it, but well...

Okay, so let me try explaining quickly. It's called sibilance and it can lie anywhere between 7-10kHz depending on the vocalist and how pronounced his/her Ss and Ts are or were captured by the microphone. There are recording tricks we audio engineers use to avoid/reduce it while recording vocals, like using a vocal pop filter in front of the microphone or a pencil rubber-banded to the grill at the centre of the microphone's diaphragm. It can then be further controlled/reduced while mixing with the help of a dynamic processor called DeEsser. Without getting too technical, the DeEsser basically allows us to scan the dominant frequency causing sibilance and then program it to automatically reduce it by a few dB whenever it hears it. Yet, sometimes the final song master still has sibilance present in vocals, which either the mixing/mastering engineer missed (seldom happens with experienced pros) or was difficult to get rid off completely without comprising the vocal tonality/character in the recording.

Now in case of IEM tuning, a normal boost in this 7-10kHz with decent gain is well, normal, and portrays mixes naturally but a significant boost in this range can amplify sibilance if vocals in the song already have it or are borderline there. A big enough boost can even introduce sibilance in well treated vocals. It also adds sharp transient attack to instruments, especially hi-hats and cymbals, which can be painful to listen to for a lot of people. A big one makes me dizzy and gives me a headache. With that said, a brighter tuning or significant boosts in treble do help in perception of better micro-details but at the cost of it coming off as peaky or overly bright. But in my opinion, good micro-detail retrieval capability in IEMs/Headphones should be appreciated when it is done tastefully with the help of good tuning and technical performance, without overly boosting of treble.

Now our ears are very capable in adaptability and some people are able to get used to this boost over time and start liking it, but a 10-15dB boost above neutral is quite significant and should be problematic. Age based hearing loss and partial hearing loss in case of younger people can also be contributing factors to this being perceived as normal. In case of latter and if you're concerned, I highly recommend getting a quick audiometry test just to be safe and rule it out. :)
In fact, an advantage of living in Brazil is that these exams (and specialists) are VERY cheap! I paid exactly $4.50 bucks about 1.5 years ago to do an audiometry test (a specialist appointment costs exactly the same price). More than perfect listening for my age (26 years old)! Despite using IEMs, I never use volume more than 10 and more than 60 minutes with them. Curious isn't it? I believe it's just a tonal preference. For example, I love hearing simbilancy or my singers "sniffling" into the microphone. As we say in Brazil: every crazy person with his mania...

Edit: you mentioned cymbals: they delight me in T2 Pro (Midas Shadow - Al Stewart, is a great example for cymbals). Seriously! You needed to hear this IEM, part of the community crucifies it, another loves it. I bought the T3 and for me it was horrible. Now I'm with Aria, but it's far too different, for female vocals the T2 Pro is another world.

Edit 2: a little detail, the graph line is the bottom one in grey. Crinacle used a "1/12 octave smoothing." in this chart, I never understood why. I think it was just to make the line more visible... But I've never seen it repeated in another review of his, although I don't see his website very often.
 
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