Moondrop in-ear monitors Impressions Thread
Apr 23, 2022 at 2:08 AM Post #11,086 of 11,323

Alex May

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Frankly, I found the spring tips to be the best sounding ones on the Kato, at least when compared to the other two I've tested (Spinfit CP145 and Acoustune AET07).
If they fit tight, I guess, they would sound perfect. But their maximum size is about 11.8mm. My ear canals require 12.6mm minimum. That narrows down the selection of suitable tips for people like me.
 
Apr 23, 2022 at 2:41 AM Post #11,087 of 11,323

emperor22

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If they fit tight, I guess, they would sound perfect. But their maximum size is about 11.8mm. My ear canals require 12.6mm minimum. That narrows down the selection of suitable tips for people like me.
Yes, that's a complain I see a lot regarding the spring tips. From what I see, the highly variable fit of the tips (and for few, the small housing) is what makes the Kato's sound so polarizing. The reviews where the reviewers are able to use the spring tips are usually positive.

I heard that they will start making bigger sized spring tips, so I hope you'll be able to hear what you're missing out.
 
Apr 23, 2022 at 3:38 AM Post #11,088 of 11,323

ian91

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Is it easy to drive?

Yep, it's reasonably 'easy' to drive. As always, the RU6 (OS) makes a good partner for this DD, appears to improve imaging and bring out texture.
 
Apr 23, 2022 at 3:44 AM Post #11,089 of 11,323

Animagus

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Yes, that's a complain I see a lot regarding the spring tips. From what I see, the highly variable fit of the tips (and for few, the small housing) is what makes the Kato's sound so polarizing. The reviews where the reviewers are able to use the spring tips are usually positive.

I heard that they will start making bigger sized spring tips, so I hope you'll be able to hear what you're missing out.
Spring tips are a slightly loose fit for my ears too. Try Kato with ear tips like BGVP A07, Fearless Green Bore eartips or Acoustune AET07, which help with a very nice snug, deep fit. I like to use them with most IEMs.

In general, it's best to have a decent collection of eartips and roll 'em with every IEM you buy. For starters, I can recommend BGVP's awesome collection of tips that can all be purchased for what you'd pay for a set or two of premium tips. Here's the LINK for them.
 
Apr 23, 2022 at 3:51 AM Post #11,090 of 11,323

emperor22

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Spring tips are a slightly loose fit for my ears too. Try Kato with ear tips like BGVP A07, Fearless Green Bore eartips or Acoustune AET07, which help with a very nice snug, deep fit. I like to use them with most IEMs.

In general, it's best to have a decent collection of eartips and roll 'em with every IEM you buy. For starters, I can recommend BGVP's awesome collection of tips that can all be purchased for what you'd pay for a set or two of premium tips. Here's the LINK for them.
I've tried the AET07 and CP145. They do provide a better fit, but not necessarily a better sound. Maybe I'll try the others sometime, but tips with narrow bore and/or harder material make the Kato sound less natural for me. You can refer to my post here for my explanation of this.

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/moondrop-in-ear-monitors-impressions-thread.894139/post-16929453

I might have suggested that I also have problems with the spring tips' fit but I don't. I have smaller-than-average ears and the medium spring tips fit me perfectly, whereas for most people from most reviews/impressions I've read, the biggest ones seem to barely make a seal.
 
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Apr 23, 2022 at 8:29 AM Post #11,091 of 11,323

crabdog

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Believe the hype or no?

I've tried the AET07 and CP145. They do provide a better fit, but not necessarily a better sound. Maybe I'll try the others sometime, but tips with narrow bore and/or harder material make the Kato sound less natural for me. You can refer to my post here for my explanation of this.

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/moondrop-in-ear-monitors-impressions-thread.894139/post-16929453

I might have suggested that I also have problems with the spring tips' fit but I don't. I have smaller-than-average ears and the medium spring tips fit me perfectly, whereas for most people from most reviews/impressions I've read, the biggest ones seem to barely make a seal.
The Large spring tips are like an M for me. I wish I could use them because they seem to be really good quality but they're way too small.

Oh, and Chu is here:

Moondrop Chu.jpg
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 12:58 PM Post #11,093 of 11,323

ian91

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How to improve moondrop chu bass way better?

There are some who have covered the ventilation ports on the inner aspect to enhance bass but I haven't tried it yet.

The appeal of the Chu for me is the open midrange and tight and detailed bass. Any artificial enhancement beyond the intended tuning might risk compromising that. I might experiment though...
 
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Apr 24, 2022 at 10:10 PM Post #11,094 of 11,323

baskingshark

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How to improve moondrop chu bass way better?

You might need to look at an alternative IEM, as this is not a basshead tuning.

EQ, pairing it with a warm source, or using foam tips/final E black tips may help to some extent in increasing the bass quantities.
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 11:56 PM Post #11,095 of 11,323

voicemaster

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How to improve moondrop chu bass way better?
Define better? Quantity? Quality? Subbass or midbass prominent? Detailed and textured?
Just boosting the bass on EQ doesn't necessarily make the bass "better".
Also keep in mind that Chu from many reviews do seems to be more neutral tuning so looking for a more V tuned IEM is better imho.
 
Apr 25, 2022 at 1:49 AM Post #11,096 of 11,323

surfgeorge

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How to improve moondrop chu bass way better?
You can boost bass by a few dB by sticking a tiny piece of 3M Micropore tape over the vent hole close to the nozzle.
This will increase quantity, but not quality, it might even make the bass slightly less clean and tight, even though I didn't recognize any differences in quality.

The reason for using the 3M Micropore tape is that it is breathable and does not fully block the vent.
Therefore it will prevent air pressure build up and driver flex, but still boost bass by increasing the air flow resistance.
If you use a regular Scotch tape, it would completely block the vent.

EDIT:
Spent more time with the Chu, comparing stock and modded tuning and comparing the technicalities to the JVC FDX1.
I clearly prefer the tuning of the modded Chu over stock, it has more body, a hint of warmth and decent bass foundation, supporting the smooth upper midrange and well extended treble.
Technically it has a surprisingly large and open soundstage. The areas where the Chu cannot keep up with the FDX1 are dynamics, detail, separation, definition and punch/slam. The most obvious is the bass impact, which simply sounds very soft, the other characteristics mostly show as a super smooth presentation and a little smearing over of the textures of the music.
But the frequency response is really good, I think even better than the FDX1, and it's an extremely balanced and inoffensive, very enjoyable listen. At $20 that is more than you should be able to expect. So for vocals and relaxing music it's a treat.
 

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Apr 28, 2022 at 7:16 PM Post #11,099 of 11,323

nymz

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So, yesterday I dropped my take on Chu and the current market on my thread. I just figured out it would be nice for maybe others to see it here, so I'll just leave it here. Hope you enjoy it and have a nice weekend ahead of you!






Moondrop Chu - A novel

Disclaimer: The listen on Chu was done on multiple sources, but mainly on Qudelix5k. Tips used were Final E. I paid full retail price but I'd like to thank Dudo Audio Store on Aliexpress for shipping me these in no time.



1651187332856.png



Pt. 1 - The basics (a glossary)

Hype

Hype in this hobby is all about making people talk. Humans will always correlate smoke with fire, and by generating hype, you are generating smoke. People will pay to see if there's a fire. The more people that buy something, the more smoke comes out. Once everyone gets a taste, and if there's fire, it will escalate. Sales 101.

Now, this is why reviewers exist. They generate the smoke and if the fire is there, they are gasoline.

Hyping should not be confused with shilling and shilling should not be confused with personal tastes. When a reviewer tells you "X is good for me, but I can see where it won’t fit everyone's library", that's honesty, not shilling.

Shilling is when something is flawed and you omit that, in hopes to boost sales. Trustfull reviewers can't shill, as they depend on loyalty.

Value and Diminishing Returns

Diminishing returns is a wide broad term used to describe when the effect of increasing a variable still increases the other, but slowing down, to a point that you are boosting something to get mere marginal increases.

In this hobby, diminishing returns is how much more you have to pay to get some upgrade over your current unit. DR are usually found early, on low to mid brackets, to a point a lot of people won’t go past the mid fi region.

Value is exactly what it is. The price. The price you pay for the package you are getting, with everything needed included. Let it be accessories, extra filters you need for a specific tuning or a source powerful enough to push the set.

(Ultra) Budget market

Right before I joined the hobby, chifi brands started pumping good or well done for the price sets out. According to most, a couple years ago it was unthinkable to achieve such good sets for such a price, and I believe them.

Back to 2022, you now have well tuned planars, taking everyone by surprise, at affordable prices. You have offers like Tripowin's latest releases setting a footprint. You have budget collabs with renowned people to prove good tuning doesn't need to be paid for.




Pt. 2 - Overview


Anyone in the internet know these by now. They are being labeled as the "buy first, ask questions later". Now, what does it feature?

Chu is an IEM using a micro DD in a metal shell, with a non detachable cable. Comes inside a small box, along with 3 pairs of Moondrop's own Spring Tips and a carrying pouch. That's it for the package.

The shell is actually really nice and fits my ears just right, giving some good isolation with the right tips.

The carrying pouch is cheap and on the non-functional side, but better than nothing at this point.

The spring tips I will not comment much, as tips are as personal as underwear: everyone likes different form factors and materials.

My only complaint will go into the cable. It's a bit memory prone, feels cheap and has a bigger than needed round Y splitter in the middle of it. There's no way around it, it's terrible and you have to live with it.




Pt. 3 - The antipasti


Despite everything, you should know that Chu is not:

  1. A giant killer, as such, does not exist.
  2. A one size fits all kinds of tuning, to an extent.
  3. A bass head iem.
  4. A treble head iem.
  5. Very technical.
  6. A replacement for your favorite budget iem, but this varies from person to person. It makes a great companion to that pair.
  7. Much different from your single DD moondrop collection.
  8. Does not come with weeb merch other than the box.
  9. An expensive IEM and some QC problems are expected down the line.

If something above bothers you, you have been warned and might want to stop reading right now. We are about to enter the void.




Pt. 4 - The Hype train. Chu chu.

1651187763516.png


If you read part one of this romance, you know what's coming.

Buy first, ask questions later.

Chu is tastefully tuned. And no, I don’t mean for the price - good tuning is free. It has the best mid-range I’ve heard for under 100 bucks. I mean, the graph kind of speaks for itself.

It’s not the best bass in the locker room, but still has a touch of impact, speed and tightness. It secures just enough warmth and note-weight to not feel overly thin, and it leaves any kind of bleed at the door.

The mid-range is brilliant. Vocals sound great, pianos sound great. It’s just well done, and for sure one, if not the best mid-range under 100 I’ve heard.

Treble is in the sweet spot. Not dipped enough to blast the volume like dark iems or play it for ten hours straight, but just elevated to a point it doesn’t get bright. Extension is definitely there, which is actually surprising given the control over the rest of the treble frequency and the bracket it competes in.

Of course, what Chu masters in tuning, lacks in technicalities. It’s a budget IEM after all. Detail, imaging chops and separations are what is expected. The timbre decay shown is actually surprising, never feeling too metallic or sped up, just enough release to feel natural, without being sluggish.

I will go further and do some hot takes:

  • I prefer Chu to Moondrop’s own Aria.
  • I prefer Chu’s tuning to Kato’s.
  • I prefer Chu’s tuning to Titan S.
  • I prefer Chu’s tuning to most of the stuff I have heard up to now, no matter the price.

Again, buy first, ask questions later.




Pt. 5 - The value.


Twenty dollars.

Twenty dollars and you get great tuning, 3 pairs of spring tips and a metal shelled IEM. The tips themselves, if bought separately, cost more than half of that.

There’s no better value than this, in the current market. Sure, non-detachable cable, but let’s think about it for a second: if it had a regular cable connector, everyone and their mother would spend more on a cable than the IEMs costs - I know I would.

Another thing to add value is the easy driveability and how good the stock sound is. Grabbing chu and an apple dongle, for around 30 dollars, will take you places.

Already have a collection? Greatest and cheapest beater ever.




Pt. 6 - (Ultra) Budget market.


So, what’s the competition?

At this price, only one IEM comes to mind: CCA CRA.

But those two words come with a price: it’s very likely that you're gonna want to mod or EQ it from stock tuning. It’s very likely you will end up changing that nasty cable. It’s very likely you will want better tips than comes with stock.

CCA CRA was the ultra budget king - and to a point, it still is, - for a reason. You can see it in the polar opposite of Chu. A very technical IEM for its price, with some poor stock decisions. People like myself EQ CRA to use as a grab and go, giving insane value for a beater and keeping your music singing everywhere. For some genres, I prefer my EQ’d CRA to Chu. But that requires “modding”. In stock form, Chu gets CRA on the floor, unless you are a basshead or V-shape kind of person.

I don’t think Chu and CCA are just rivals. I think they compliment each other. Someone that doesn’t want to spend more but has the two, can cover most libraries with ease.

Good luck beating this.

Value ranking: 5/5. Personal Ranking: 5

If you made it this far, thanks for reading.
 
Apr 30, 2022 at 8:43 AM Post #11,100 of 11,323

lowrider007

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Interesting that you say you prefer the Chu over the Aria's, I would say currently that is still the best IEM under $100, it's currently one of my favourite IEM's when it comes to tuning, preferred it over the B2, I guess I'll have to grab a pair to compare.
 

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