Table of Contents
You guys have been begging for this for months, and now it’s finally here.
At this point, I’ve touched on Moondrop IEMs so many times that doing an introduction on the company would just be another copy-paste job. So let’s just skip that and focus on the Blessing: past and present.
The original Blessing (which I shall now shorten to simply “B1”) was the first Moondrop IEM I ever listened to and one of the very few to truly impress me. That said, it was not a perfect IEM and there were a lot that Moondrop could improve on, looks and build included.
The Blessing 2 (B2) is the update to the iconic-yet-forgotten original, sporting a whole new build courtesy of Heygears. Heygears is a 3D-printing specialist based in China, most known for their 3BA Anora model before they’ve (presumably) dedicated themselves to the OEM business. The precise nature of the acoustic tubes within the B2 are a testament to the new manufacturing process, and overall the B2 looks far cleaner than the porcelain-esque design of the original.
With a shiny new suit and a new coat of paint, the B2 looks ready to take on their newly-acquired fanbase. Does its sound match up to the improved aesthetics?
Driver configuration: 4BA + 1DD hybrid
This Blessing 2 was kindly provided by HiFiGo.
Signature & Tonality
The B2’s sound signature can be described as simply… neutral. One may also refer to it as slightly bright-neutral, perhaps mildly V-shaped if one were sensitive to bass, but for the most part the B2 fits under the neutrality umbrella rather well.
Here’s where I’ll do something a little different and drop the tone grade right now.
Tone grade: S
Now that I have your attention, let me remind everyone that “S-tier tone” is not perfect tonality. It simply means that it outclasses the majority of the competition in this aspect. So please disregard any notion that the B2 may be some sort of tonality panacea that would preferred by every single audiophile on the planet, because such a product does not exist given the subjectivity of the hobby.
To prove my point, I’ll put forth some theoreticals on why you may not like B2 despite the high tonal score:
- It may sound a little too shouty, or a little too intense in the upper midrange.
- You may take issue at its treble presentation, which some may consider a little rolled off.
- A few people (not the majority) have reported a slight 6kHz resonance or peak going on, which may make the B2 a little sharp.
- It may be a little too thin in the notes.
- The bass response may not satisfy those who are looking for a large bass emphasis.
Note the abundant usage of the word “a little” here; a little here, a little there, all could contribute to one’s ultimate dislike of the B2’s tonal profile. But from an abstract viewpoint and looking through a more objective lens… there’s nothing wrong with the B2’s tuning. Without going into real pedantic nitpick territory, at least.
The bass response is what I’d consider as “perceived DD neutral”, so for those who are used to “flat BA bass”, the B2 would ultimately sound very bassy. However to me, the B2’s bass is very much in line with the rest of the frequencies, being neither overshadowed nor overpowering any other instruments. Despite the neutrality, the B2 is able to dig deep into the lowest octaves of bass with zero effort and present rumble with authority, yet remaining controlled and “dignified” befitting of its reference monitor status.
(That said 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), but I would also be happy to settle with the current tuning.
I don’t know what else to say. If you brush aside the nitpicks, Moondrop have nailed it with the B2. I’ve personally used it for an entire day without swapping it out for another set, and that never happens with the other review units I have. The B2 is just that tonally pleasant.
Tonality and tuning is definitely the B2’s strength, but at least its technical performance is no slouch either.
The B2 isn’t going to compete with the top-tier monsters out there in terms of resolving ability, so tamper your expectations. Instead, the B2 performs more like a standard technical monitor, outpacing the legendary ER4 just slightly.
The interesting thing about the B2 is its imaging. I know many are tired of my talking about the whole “80% of IEMs have average imaging” shtick, but the B2 actually manages to distinguish itself from that blob of mediocrity pretty well, landing it in the coveted realm of above average. The stage manages to diffuse itself beyond the head, so the in-your-head effect comes in very rarely, if at all. Positional accuracy is very good, particularly percussions, where each rhythmic hit is neither overly forward (a weakness of super bassy IEMs) nor sunk into the background (a common attribute of “reference-tuned” BA IEMs).
I don’t think you’d offend anyone by describing the B2 as a “technical IEM” despite its tonal specialty. This is about as all-rounder as an IEM can get.
Technical grade: A
I think one could already infer my thoughts of the B2’s value proposition based on my previous analyses. So to keep things interesting, let’s use Moondrop’s other IEMs as comparison points given that they are value freaks in their own right (for the most part, at least).
Against the Solis ($1,100): I’ve never really liked the Sonion EST drivers, and Moondrop does little to change that. Even though the Solis may be Moondrop biggest “flop” (that seems more like an experiment rather than any serious development), the Solis is still a very competent warm-neutral monitor that could still compete with the general kilobuck market. That is, if you eliminated the top-performing stuff.
Unfortunately, the B2 is a far better tuned IEM, with technicalities equalling the kilobuck monitor depending on your perspective. The Solis serves as a value demonstrator for the B2 rather than a serious competitor, but I doubt anyone is complaining about that.
Against the Starfield/KXXS ($110/$190): The “faceted Moondrop twins” are half to a third of the B2’s retail price so it’s not quite a fair comparison here. But they are one of the most ubiquitous recommendations for the sub-$200 budget, so they are at least relevant when the conversation revolves around value and price-to-performance.
The B2 and the Starfield/KXXS basically exist in two different target markets given their performance; while the Starfield/KXXS aims high and plays with the sub-$500 crowd (with really only one IEM threatening its value proposition), the B2 goes even higher and plays with the sub-$1,000 big boys. Sure, the B2 may be the better IEM, but that doesn’t really matter if you can’t afford it and have to go with the cheaper buy.
Against the S8 ($700): I’m not going to go too deep into comparing the S8 and the B2, so I’ll summarise. Despite being half the price, the B2 more or less trade blows with the S8. And the S8 is already the cheapest IEM in its performance ranking!
I’d still maintain that the S8 remains one of the best sub-$1,000 value kings out there. But you cannot deny that when Moondrop one-ups themselves, we as the consumers only stand to benefit. Every single time.
Value Rating: ★★
Blessing 1 versus Blessing 2
Again, let me get it straight, the Blessing 1 (B1) is a great, competent IEM that holds up surprisingly well today. Refer to my review if you want more details, though do note that this was originally published in September 2018 so it’s very different from my language and styling today.
No doubt, the B2 is a improvement over the B1. But more than that: it’s so much of an improvement that the B2 outclasses the B1 in every single way. This is probably the shining example on how a brand could refresh and update an old model, refining strengths and eliminating old flaws.
The two biggest flaws of the B1 was easily the limp bass and a very shouty upper midrange which was further exacerbated by the former. This made the B1 a very thin and intense sounding monitor, and while it was very competent from a tuning and technical standpoint I haven’t touched it for a while since it doesn’t play well with my preferences.
The B2 kills the upper midrange, which is simple enough, but then they also managed to vastly improve the impact and texturing of the bass response, despite the B1 measuring with higher levels of bass than the B2:
I don’t know how Moondrop did it, but it was done. The B2 the ultimate refinement of an already-great IEM, and my only fear is that Moondrop might’ve just hit their ceiling.
Moondrop needs to make some garbage so I don’t come off as some unabashed shill. The insane consistency of Moondrop’s IEM range continues to boggle my mind, and the Blessing 2 shows that Moondrop is willing to compete with themselves to push forward a better product.
I refuse to utter the cliched phrase of the initials “G. K.”. But if you’re going to have a spending budget of $500, $1,000 or even $1,500, the $320 Blessing 2 should go onto your list of considerations. Bravo, Moondrop.
Grade: A+ ★★
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