Giving the growth of Moondrop in recent days, they aren't that of an unknown brand to the community anymore... At least compared to a year ago.

Due to their reputation on how their marketing strategies, it comes as no one's surprise that I do have a significant interest in their work though not just from their usual anime waifu mascot promotion, but that their IEMs are deadly competent in terms of sonic performance. And speaking of which, the Moondrop Blessing 2 has been mentioned on and off in the community now.

And here we are, back to the Blessing 2 again... sort of. Giving the involvement of a fellow reviewer in the industry that is Crinacle recently, Moondrop collaborated with him to "improve" the tonality of the IEM.
Now, I once have praised the Blessing 2 and up until now it is still my personal favorite, so the Dusk here posed as a testament to whether it can be an upgrade or not. Let's find out.

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The Blessing 2: Dusk is provided thanks to Crinacle and Shenzhenaudio on a loaning tour.

Some of you might be bored to death with this being repeated in some of the reviews here and there. But while I do talk to Crin and participate in his discord server quite often, I won't be holding my punch here on this review. Credit when it dues and criticize when needed.
With that out of the way, let get started.

Build and Accessories:

Moondrop x Crinacle Blessing 2 Dusk packaging
  • 6 pairs of silicone ear tips (2 sets, each set consists of S/M/L size)
  • Unbalanced 3.5mm 2-pin cable
  • Storage case
  • Airplane adapter
  • Product instruction paper and company information cards
  • Ah yes, we have a frequency response curve of the Dusk with an anime waifu mascot with glasses also
  • The IEM itself
Bonus: Some copypasta about glasses of a certain fox, might be cringe for some, you have been warned.

Giving the fact that this is just a Blessing 2 packaging, I would rather link you to my old Blessing 2 article for this but let's address the newer stuff here: The filters.

One thing you might notice if you compare the Blessing 2 in its initial days and the current sample that there is a dust filter applied in later batches. And honestly, while keeping the filter on is something I would encourage if possible, I can't ignore the fact that it is fragile and easy to be ripped off even when you aren't trying to do it. This applies to both the Blessing 2 sample which my friend got recently (aka 1 month old) and the current Dusk loan sample which possibly had gone through some hands.

If you are wondering whether if there is any change in sonic quality if you rip off the filter then I can assure you: unlike something like the Moondrop Starfield, it doesn't. If you are still that stingy about keeping the filter on and worrying about it ripping, buy the replacement filters that Shenzhenaudio provides.



Moondrop x Crinacle Blessing 2: Dusk Frequency response - Can be seen from the Frequency Response Index

As the name implies, the Dusk is basically a retuned version of the all so famous Moondrop Blessing 2 by Crinacle where he claims that it is still slightly "shouty" to his preference. Beside, this version also includes more focus into the bassline comparing to the original which is appreciated.

Moondrop x Crinacle Blessing 2: Dusk against In-Ear Fidelity Neutral target - Comparison graph was generated from the Graph Comparison Tool

Now, whether how much you disagree or agree with his opinion regarding his position as a reviewer, one thing that I see a lot of people agree with is that: He knows what he is doing when it comes to these types of collaboration. So at the very least, this is a well tuned IEM with not so many issues that I can point out.

And since this is also a collaboration with a reviewer who has a specific tuning target in mind - which is "at least" one of the many renditions of his personal viewpoint on IEMs, I think a nice way to plot this review is by bringing out one of mine own also.

Introducing: "Banbeucmas Preference Target".

Graph was generated from the Graph Comparison Tool

This isn't really a new thing though, as from the first day that I publicly announced my own graph database, this had been briefly mentioned in the Q&A section. Though, for people who don't know about the target being a thing, now you know.

Just a bit of notice before we continue, the whole point of this target being called "Preference" is due to my listening experience with IEM following this target in one way in another has been quite positive most of the time. This is not by any means that any IEM that doesn't follow this target won't sound good to my ears.

Anyway, let's get back to the main topic.

Moondrop x Crinacle Blessing 2: Dusk against Banbeucmas Preference Target (Normalized at 800Hz) - Comparison graph was generated from the Graph Comparison Tool

Plotting the Dusk against my personal preference target, you can sort of see why I am resorting myself to being too nitpicky in this review. The Dusk generally follows really close to my target to the point the margin of errors from 20Hz to 7kHz is only ~1 to 2dB. If anything, these graph reflect quite well on my listening experience before measuring this earphone.

But now, here are the nitpicks that I mentioned:

  • I want slightly more punch out of this IEM
  • The Dusk can be a little bit warmer
  • Treble on the Dusk lacks some airs
  • The midrange can be a bit more forward (to be more precise the pinna peak can be a bit sooner)

If you have ever read my review on the original Blessing 2, you can see that the Dusk does inherits some of these flaws from its sister. But overall, due to how the safe the Blessing 2 is tuned, I feel like the Dusk takes this to a slightly higher level, notably by sacrificing a bit of warmth for more bass while keeping everything nearly in touch, making the Dusk an option that even safer with some small caveats in the technical department in relative.

*Sigh* Since this review cannot prevent itself from getting the B2 involved, I will just address the Dusk in more detail by switching to the comparison section then.

Choice comparison:

vs Moondrop Blessing 2 (and more detailed sound analysis on the Dusk):

Onee-san vs Imouto-chan
Moondrop x Crinacle Blessing 2: Dusk vs Moondrop Blessing 2 (Sample 3 and 4) - Comparison graph was generated from the Graph Comparison Tool

I am not sure what is happening with all of the Blessing 2 batches right now, but currently with 4 samples available on my database, you can see that some variations are going on right here. Though for now the comparison will be based on Sample 3 and Sample 4.

Anyway, let's get back to the technical topic that we are leaving behind. This is where I started to realize that I reach for the Blessing 2 more than the Dusk for Instrumental despite the latter having better tonality for me... One of the notable reasons for this is on its soundstage.
Yeah, while I don't think the downgrade in this department is that destructive to the Dusk, it's still quite notable after a while. For some reason, the Dusk keeps the width in tack while having a stage height and depth being slightly more closed off than its sister. Note transient is also slightly more rounded off, though its an even less of a concern than the soundstage issue.

Tonality wise, despite how the graph looks, the Dusk actually managed to have more punch and rumble comparing to the original. It is also less shouty though with 2 remarkable trade-offs: Lower-mid and treble.
This is somewhat related to my personal target since I did complain about the small lack of warmth which I did try to patch by applying a small EQ at the region. That said, the treble roll-off made the Dusk being slightly more vailed than its onee-san sister though contribute to it having a safer tone as I mentioned above.

With all that being said, I think the Dusk sounds more like a side-grade, an alternate option for someone who loves the Blessing 2 but mostly wants slightly more bass out of the IEM (And it's quite decent bass too).
Of course, there are something that needs to be "sacrificed", but all in all, they are still 2 IEMs that I considered as "Excellent" with great technicality that one might even find it hard to upgrade until reaching near kilobuck range.

vs DUNU SA6:

Moondrop x Crinacle Blessing 2: Dusk vs DUNU SA6 - Comparison graph was generated from the Graph Comparison Tool

Ah yes, one of the latest offerings from DUNU, and it's a really good one too, though I digress.

Disregarding the price, for most of the part, I consider the Dusk and the SA6 to be equal in terms of sound quality for different reasons. Obviously, this is a comparison between a full BA set and a Hybrid so there will be noticeable differences in terms of timbre and coherency, which here I would give the point to SA6 on this front as the driver are really well implemented with only a small fraction of the plasticky timbre going off whereas the disjointedness between a DD and BA is more noticeable on the Dusk. Though, the Moondrop offering is more open in terms of stage and more pinpoint imaging.

However, the more I begin to break down the sound presentations of both, things become more interesting. To summarize:

  • The SA6 went for a sheer upfront presentation, with a tighter bass, more noticeable reach in the sub-bass region (especially with bass switch on, but both are noticeable nonetheless), and most notably a treble boost at 6 - 8kHz which gives you some sense of clarity. Notes are noticeably sharper and more defined than the Dusk.
  • The Dusk is the more "atmospheric" option. The bassline has slightly more impact while being relatively tight though sub-bass region being more of a subtle hint of existence, in the background rather than sheer fast, upfront rumble like the SA6. Female vocals are more forward due to the upper midrange boost for sure but the treble roll-off makes the Dusk being more pleasant to listen to.

Again, this is more of a trade-off between "clarity" and "openness" for me. Other than that, if we look at the pricing of both IEM then the SA6 might make you shiver, though knowing how the Blessing 2 and the DUNU SA6 is shaped I would reckon the latter being a safer option for comfort if your ears happened to be sensitive.

Just pick your poison.

vs 64 Audio U12t:

Moondrop x Crinacle Blessing 2: Dusk vs 64 Audio U12t - Comparison graph was generated from the Graph Comparison Tool

This is where I would consider as one of the possible upgrade from the Dusk. The U12t is even a safer option on its tuning with an upper-midrange response that is even tamer and not to mention how it is arguably a better technical set.

Though aside from the improvement in imaging, what I like about the U12t is that it managed to have a better bass response which is precisely in line with what I want it to be, not to mention the fact that U12t is deadly competent in its bass technicalities which can reach really deep into the sub-bass while being engaging, "dynamic" nearly how I would feel on a DD. Treble is also a step up too with better extension, a decay that lingers, and a hint of "zing" by the end of the spectrum which is more noticeable on percussion like cymbals, hi-hats while keeping everything pleasant and sibilance free.

Would there be any regret for one going for this route?
Possibly, though at most I can think of is that one might yearn for more forwardness on the upper-midrange, but that's a small trade-off that I am willing to make.

vs DUNU DK-2001:

Moondrop x Crinacle Blessing 2: Dusk vs DUNU DK-2001 - Comparison graph was generated from the Graph Comparison Tool
This comparison is requested by one of the Patreon of the blog

Pricing wise, the DK-2001 is being presented as a cheaper option comparing to the 340$ MSRP price tags of the Dusk, yet the contrast in sound quality is quite significant.

Nothing much to say here per-se, While the DK-2001 has a warmer presentation, I have some problem with its pinna gain where female vocal while forward, sounds honkier to my ears, not to mention the Dusk arguably having better treble extension also. And do I have to talk about the technicalities?

In case I haven't make this clear, I would recommend getting the Dusk all the way unless you love the DK-2001 after trying out both of them. Not that I think the 2001 is bad though, just that since the birth of the B2 with its reputation being really positive in my perspective and since the Dusk is just a derivative...

You get my idea.


My hand hurts typing this review

That said, there is a reason why I spent more effort on writing the sound portion of this review more than normal. The Dusk all in all, naturally inherits what made the B2 being great despite some small change here and there. So this article just double on that take and giving a more detailed analysis not only on the Dusk but the B2 as a whole.
Last but not least, I will give my praise to Crinacle and Moondrop on this successful collaboration. While the Dusk isn't necessary better than the Blessing 2, I would give them both, a recommendation.

Recommendation ratings: Recommended