I remember the early days when barely anyone has even heard of the brand “Moondrop”. It was by pure accident that I stumbled upon measurements of the original Blessing on the Ear-Fi Blog, at which point my interest was piqued enough to start asking around for sample units to review.
It’s funny in retrospect, how this almost-underground upstart company managed to hit the Harman in-ear target better than Harman could. And so established their reputation as the “Target Hitter”, tuning their IEMs to Harman (and Diffuse Field in the case of the Spaceship).
I don’t think anyone, myself included, would’ve expected that Moondrop would become one of the greatest chifi powerhouses of the new generation, churning out product after product that received their own share of critical acclaim and mainstream hype. Their meteoric rise no doubt contributed to many other chifi companies’ consideration of Western academic curves as viable targets, which may be why we’ve been seeing a renaissance of chifi IEMs attempting to emulate Harman (to varying degrees of success).
Moondrop’s original superstar was the Kanas Pro, a metal-shelled DD IEM that served to be their ticket into audiophile fame. It was then discontinued and replaced by the more-similar-than-different KXXS, right down to the shell shape and aesthetic design. The Starfield is the latest addition to what I’d consider as Moondrop’s “midrange DD lineup”, though in this case the Starfield is not a replacement to the KXXS but rather its own product altogether.
At a price way cheaper than the KXXS, it seems that Moondrop is looking to dominate a new price bracket. Let’s see if their newest entry is worthy of their reputation.
Driver configuration: single DD
This Starfield was provided by HiFiGo.
My unboxing posts are pretty much the only times I’ll ever talk about build quality, accessories and the like. I’m not really the person to ask about these things as I don’t really care about them that much.
- Canvas case
- Replacement mesh filters
Cable: 4-core round braid. Gets pretty kinky and has some loose braiding in spots. Skinfeel is alright but overall this is one of the cheaper quality stock cables I’ve come across.
Connection: Slightly recessed 2-pin (0.78mm). Should be resistant due to lack of swivel and proper security, but would’ve preferred a fully-recessed connection.
Build: painted metal. Feels sturdy, no apparent weak points on first glance.
Caveat emptor: there have been many reports on the Starfield’s paint chipping over.
Fit: not a normal shell shape, but fits me fine personally.
Isolation: above average, could be better but enough for outdoor use.
- The Starfield actually sounds almost identical to the KXXS.
- I personally prefer the Starfield’s tonal balance because it has a little less shout, and is also a tiny bit warmer as a result.
- Excellent technicalities; probably not to Etymotic’s level but certainly way beyond that of its similarly-priced peers.
- The Starfield pretty much makes the KXXS obselete. Unless you just want the anime packaging.
My upcoming review will be a shootout between the Kanas Pro, the KXXS and the Starfield.
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