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Moondrop has got an IEM for every occasion: a kilobuck set, sub-kilobuck sets in both DD and BA configurations, a sub-$500 hybrid, various sub-$200 DDs, and of course not to forget their sub-$100 budget offerings.
And here, Moondrop still wants more. With their headphone project still in development hell, one unlikely-yet-totally-expected product has popped up from within their catalogue: a true-wireless IEM. First released in China in a pink/purple aethestic, Moondrop now releases their highly-anticipated Sparks TWS to the international market, this time in a safer and (IMO) more classy black/gold colour palette.
Let’s keep this introduction short and sweet since everyone’s familiar with Moondrop by now. IEF has the privilege of being one of the first reviewers with the international edition of the Sparks, and so now we shall answer the question: how good are the Sparks really?
Product page: https://www.moondroplab.com/sparks
Driver configuration: single DD
This Sparks 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.
- USB-C charging cable
Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 with apt-X, SBC, and AAC compatability. No significant dropouts based on short testing.
Battery life: advertised at 7 hours for the IEMs themselves, and an additional 35 hours’ worth of charge in the case. Not the best, rather average as far as TWS IEMs go.
Build: matte plastic. Rather obvious faceplate seam, not the most premium-feeling TWS IEM out there.
Fit: pseudo-custom. Stays in place fine even without cable hooks.
Isolation: decent, not the best but it works.
- First impression: shout. Not SSR-levels of screaming, mind you, but the Sparks definitely are a little too upper-mid forward for me.
- Not the worst though; even within the TWS realm I have definitely heard shoutier sets than this.
- Tasteful bass boost, though I’m not sure if it’s enough for the TWS usecase (i.e. outdoor use). But at the very least it’s solid in a silent listening environment.
- Treble would be the most “off” thing about the Sparks. Has qualities similar to the “bitcrush” that I complained about in the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, though thankfully not as offensive. Still a problem though.
- For a sub-$100 TWS: excellent. Apart from used Galaxy Buds or even the Lypertek Tevi, the Sparks would be solid rec for audiophile sensibilities.
- Though that’s also assuming that there aren’t any major glitches in the Sparks, which is a valid concern considering that this is basically Moondrop’s first attempt at a TWS. Can’t say too much right now since I’ve only done basic testing, but so far so good at least.
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22 thoughts on “Moondrop Sparks: Unboxing”
I bought the Tevi’s based on your impressions and think they’re pretty great. They aren’t bassy enough, though. I also returned some Galaxy Buds+ because of their (at times) unbearable treble. I hope it’s not just a technology limitation. If anyone can tune a TWS with satisfying bass AND more than passable treble, I hope Moondrop could with a few iterations.
Get the new Buds Pro. I’ve owned the whole line up, including many other brands and the Pros have been the best I’ve hear to date.
Tried them to but stick to my buds+ with personal equing due to the fit. Couldn’t wear them even for half an hour.
Looks really promising and I’m curious about this mids and treble 🤔
Do the IEMS fit in the case with normal tips?
I put Comply Tx-400 tips on them. They fit great, stay put, and fit in the case no problem.
is there any kind of internal equalization going on? that controlled bass rise from around 250hz looks kind of artificial for a single dd
Pretty much all modern TWS IEMs have some DSP compensation going on, and imo this is a good thing since they can therefore achieve a specific target tuning much more precisely.
I’m still not a fan of TWS though – don’t like to rely on batteries and charging, and pretty much all fail my personal standards when it comes to convenience/my specific requirements (possibility of listening very quietly, no/only very soft beeps/alerts, …).
Moondrop actually admitted that they used the built-in DSP on the QCC3040 Bluetooth chip in their marketing material (written in the “Tuning” section) (I saw this on ShenZhenAudio).
Are there differences in tonality between this and the Chinese version + size differences? From your pictures, seems like the length for the bore is much smaller compared to the purple/pink ones which would be a better fit.
I tested them myself and reached one conclusion: the difference is only in the paint job.
Well, there is only one extra difference, the pink and purple models have a second version each which allows it to use the Hiby Blue app, instead of Moondrop’s proprietary app. But those aren’t any different (soundwise, fit-wise) from the International model and the regular models which use the Moondrop Links app.
I was hoping these would be shinning sparks on us. Guess I’m still waiting for the Earfun Free Pro Oluv’s edition.
Bought the AKG N400 on your recommendation.
Sound awesome, and that’s it.
The charging pins sometimes don’t make proper contact, pairing them with more then one device is a pain, Audio/video sync is more a prayer then a goal.
I wish you would put more of that detail in to the TWS reviews, since audio quality isnt the only thing when it comes to TWS headphones
youre on the wrong website if you want opinions on stuff other than sound
Well, IEF is the website which talks ONLY about audio quality, if you want to see the other stuff, I’d recommend tech magazines/webs, like CNET, TechRadar, Tom’s Hardware etc. they focus more on the fit, battery life, price and other aspects of a TWS earphone.
How’s it compared to Sony Wireless IEMs?
Which Sony wireless IEM? The original WF-1000X, XM3 or XM4?
Would you say these have more or less shout than the Buds+? I’m considering getting one of the two for my girlfriend. From what you said in your Buds+ review it seems that the bass would better on the Buds+, but she mostly listens to jazz and classical (with tiny bits of pop and musical theatre music in there), so that really isn’t a decider. Thanks in advance!
You can’t change the volume with the touch controls. There are no single-tap commands implemented, which would have been great for changing the volume. An absolutely baffling oversight that limits these to use with a device like a smartphone that has its own volume control, and rules out using them with a dedicated bluetooth transmitter.
The newest Moondrop link app update has added customizable touch controls and you can set volume up and down to single taps
Does the mistip t-41 fit on this iem?
Are these not going on the TWS list? :'(