Table of Contents
At this point you might be groaning: “oh great, another Moondrop single-DD in a metal shell!” An understandable sentiment considering that with this new release, Moondrop currently has four models in this similar vein:
- The oldest of the current-production lot, the KXXS
- The subsequent and also cheaper Starfield
- The Drop-exclusive variant, KXXX
- And now, dethroning the Starfield as the cheapest variant: the Aria.
And that’s specifically ignoring the discontinued Kanas and Kanas Pro, both of which being the progenitors of this particular line of Moondrop DDs. So if you’re feeling an odd sense of déjà vu just know that yes, you’ve been in this place before.
The “Aria” namesake has actually been used by Moondrop before: a single DD IEM in a bullet-style configuration not dissimilar to the once-popular Crescent. I can’t exactly pinpoint when the Aria was launched but a cursory Google search shows results as far back as 2018 though not any earlier, and the discontinuation date is even harder to nail down.
Regardless, this is it; Moondrop’s newest entry into the crowded sub-$100 space. How good is it actually?
Driver configuration: single DD
This Aria was kindly provided by ShenZhenAudio.
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 zip case
- Filters and replacement tweezer tool
Cable: 2-wire twist braid in a cloth sheathing. Fairly pliable though retains a bit of kinking. No complaints beyond that.
Connection: recessed 2-pin. My first choice between the 2-pin/MMCX debacle, so no complaints here.
Build: full-metal build. The faceplate is flatter than the KXXS/Starfield but the shells seem to be made from the same mould. Feels sturdy, durable, and a bit on the heavy side.
Fit: pseudo-custom. A little hefty but otherwise comfortable.
Isolation: decent, not the best but it works.
- Obvious comparison to the Starfield here: yes, they are… very similar. It’s honestly hard to tell between the two and if I do it’s clearly not by tuning, but rather the subtle differences in how each presents their respective images.
- The Starfield has slightly more narrow soundstage but more precise imaging, whereas the Aria can get impressively wide but at the cost of positional accuracy.
- Otherwise yeah, another solid budget DD from Moondrop. The Aria and the rest of the DDs are definitely suffering from Same Face Syndrome at this point, but I can’t really fault it especially when it all comes with a price cut. If anything else, Moondrop’s embodying the whole “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy to a T.
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