Giving the appearance of Moondrop lately there isn't much to say. At least from the KXXS till now I think they have been really consistent with their release where each of their earphones received decent amount of praise from the community.

The Moondrop SSR seems to be the refresher of Moondrop's "old" budget model: the Moondrop Spaceship which I had some lukewarm opinions with.
With Moondrop's way of working I usually have 2 outcomes in mind: Either they pulled a KXXS - Starfield or the Moondrop Blessing 1 - 2 situation. Let's see how the SSR performs.


Information:

This Moondrop SSR unit was provided by Shenzhenaudio in exchange for my honest review.

Build and Accessories:

Moondrop SSR packaging
  • 3 pairs of silicon tips (S/M/L)
  • Unbalanced 3.5mm 2-pin cable
  • Storage pouch
  • The IEM itself

The SSR comes with really simple packaging which is not a surprise. The cable reminds me of the DUNU DM-480's one where they both share the same protective sleeve with the difference is that the SSR uses an L-shaped 3.5mm jack and plastic Y-splitter for its cable. I slightly prefer the DM-480's cable though, for some reason, it has a smoother texture comparing to the SSR's, there is also a chin slider that the SSR lacks which is always a plus in my book.

The SSR's storage pouch seems to be made from fabric, it is black and on one side there is the company icon printed at the corner. You won't find any spare space on that pouch after putting the SSR into though - it's barely enough to put the IEM in.

The IEM itself is made from metal with a weird heart-shaped design. There is a vent on the side of the nozzle and a black hexagon screw at the corner on the backplate of each sides of the IEM. The SSR's isolation is below average no matter which tips that I tried with the obvious exception of foam tips so keep this in mind if you want to use this IEM on noisy places.


Sound:

Moondrop SSR frequency response
Moondrop SSR (Bass mod - Side vent taped) frequency response

Measurements are done on a calibrated IEC-711 clone. Expect a resonance peak at 8kHz.

My measurements are also raw and uncompensated, hence flat in graph is not flat in real life.

Signature:

The Moondrop SSR have a signature that I would called as Warm Diffuse Field. Characterized by the lower mid boost and "Diffuse" type of signature which raise up to around 3kHz before rolling off.

Subjective opinion:

To begin with, the bass response of the SSR is what I would call "average" for a neutral IEM at this price. It isn't really bad bass by any means; In fact, the shining point of the SSR's low-end response is how fast, clean it is presented while still able to provide a bit of impact. But, for someone who does listen to bass-heavy tracks, the SSR's bass will be considered as lacking in quantity and extension. You probably can "improve" the bass by taping the side vent of the SSR, but I would just buy a V-shaped IEM which is plenty at this price if I want more rumble and punch.

The mid-range of the SSR might be one of the most debatable aspects of this IEM - most notably, is the upper mid where it has a  ~12dB of boost at 3kHz. While this boost does benefit vocals by giving them a lot of focus on stage, it can be "too shouty" depending on one's ears and preference. This is not a big problem for me personally, but I would agree that a 3 - 4dB of reduction in the upper mid region would have been better for the SSR.
Other than that, I don't see much issue with the SSR's mid, the lower midrange does have some boost thus gives the IEM some warmth which is fine for me but I am not the one who usually would complain much about this so YMMV. The presentation overall is clean and forward which is the reason why I find myself enjoying this earphone.

The treble performance of the SSR isn't something that I would write much. It is quite laid back for my ears although cymbals and hi-hats occasionally lack sparkles, vocals also lack the airiness that I usually prefer. Moondrop usually plays too safe with this region - some boost on the treble would have been nice.

The SSR's technicality is quite fine for a 40$ IEM. Detail retrieval wise, it's not the best and I am sure I can hear more details with decent earphones in the >=100$ bracket but staging and imaging is pretty on point. While the SSR's staging is far from the best, It does have some "over the ear" effect which barely reaches the "above average" tag to my standard. Imaging is also quite nice where I have less trouble figuring out instrumental position comparing to similar priced IEM due to how clear the SSR's sound is portrayed.

Choice comparisons:

vs Moondrop Spaceship:

As suggested from the name, the Moondrop Super Spaceship Reference (SSR) serves as a refresh model of the Moondrop Spaceship.

In this case, the SSR wins its predecessor by a slight margin, with the SSR having slightly better staging, warmer and tighter bass comparing to the Spaceship. But other than that, both have lackluster extension on both ends and can be potentially shouty depending on one's preference.

vs BLON BL-03:

Sitting at the price of 40$, one of the competitor that the Moondrop SSR would face is the BLON BL-03 which until now, still got a decent fanbase even after more than half a year since it appeared on the market.

I think the BLON BL-03 would be more preferred for a lot of people due to its safe tuning which is more "fun" and less shouty than the SSR. But personally though, the SSR is more less of a trade blow comparing to the BL-03. While the BLON BL-03's tuning is safer than the SSR, its technicality falls off comparing to the SSR by a significant margin - the BLON might have the upper hand with its tuning, but noticeably more congested and lacking details comparing to the Moondrop SSR.


Conclusion:

Since the release of the Moondrop Spaceship, I have always think that it is just an "entry ticket" if you want to know about Moondrop's house sound. This, haven't change with the SSR even when I have experienced it for a while.

While I think the Spaceship can be a better IEM comparing to the SSR on the price to performance front, the SSR might still have some edge due to the accessories upgrade and slight improvement on sonic performance from its predecessor. Even among the IEMs in the market, it can still be a good consideration for someone who wants to find a "neutral" IEM.

Recommendation ratings: Recommended


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