Disclaimer: The review unit was sent to me by Shenzhenaudio in exchange for my honest opinion on this IEM. I’m not getting paid by anyone nor affiliated with the store or the company. This entire review will be coming from my own experience with the IEM.
You can directly purchase the Moondrop SSR from Shenzhenaudio’s official store for the price of $40
This review is originally posted on Head-fi.org.
Check out the unboxing here if you haven’t.
Since most people who are into chi-fi have probably known Moondrop at this point, I’ll just skip this part to keep things shorter.
20-40000Hz(% Inch Free field MIc)
Housing Material: Liquid Metal Aloy HousIng
Diaphragm: Berllum-Coated dome+PU suspension Ring
Coil: 0.035mm – CCAW (Daikoku)
Magnet: N52-High Density Magnetic Circut
Acoustic Filter Platented Ant-blocking Filter
Cable: Silver Plated 4N-Litz OFC
Connectors: 0.78 -2pin
My gears in this review:
- Source: Shanling M5s
- Cable: Stock cable
- Tips: Ortofon
Utilizing the beryllium coated-dome, SSR is the newest budget single-DD line from Moondrop as the “successor” of the Moondrop Spaceship.
Unlike their other IEMs that used their house sound, the VDSF reference, SSR was instead tuned into the warm diffuse-field sound signature with a slight mid-bass boost and a peak at the 3kHz before it starts to roll off.
The bass on the SSR is pretty decent for its price, IMO. It is quite tight and fast without bleeding to other frequencies while still delivering enough amount of punch, texture, and body to the mix with the about 5db boost on the 100Hz (lower midbass).
However, what makes the bass here not the best is the lack of bass rumble. The early roll-off on the sub-bass has significantly made the rumbles almost doesn’t exist. It’s still there, but it’s very short and faint. So, if you need a good sub-bass/deep bass rumble on your iem, I would suggest you just skip the SSR.
But honestly, after using the Blessing 2 for a while, I was unexpectedly able to enjoy the bass on SSR without much of a problem since the first time I listen to them. It may be because it has more bass punch than on the B2 too.
With the unusually high boost on the upper mid-range, it is pretty obvious that SSR is not going to be for all kinds of ears. If you are used to a thicker-sounding IEM, you’ll surely find them too shouty (went past borderline), thin and don’t have much body. I personally didn’t get too bothered much, but it does sound a bit too thin for my taste too, so if they lowered down a few dB, it will be much better.
But since they are pretty laid back, they didn’t sound harsh even with that excessive boost. And in terms of the positioning, the vocal is definitely more forward than the instruments.
The tonality here is not as bad as a few reviewers had stated. They are quite less accurate but they are still tolerable. The timbre, however, still surprisingly sounds natural.
The treble on SSR is safe as usual. It has some nice shimmers to it but it’s still pretty smooth overall. Instruments like cymbals or high hats also still sound natural enough with a sufficient amount of air and crispness. I didn’t detect any harshness or fatiguing peaks on it.
Soundstage and Imaging
The size of the soundstage is pretty average with the dominance of the width over the height. The sense of depth is also a bit lacking, so layering is still a little flat and feels less 3D. But for instrument positioning, they are still very good considering the price is only $40.
Resolution and Separation
For the price, I think they are good enough. Detail & resolution is just a bit above the average, but instruments on SSR are separated and defined well than their price tag, as they didn’t sound congested or getting mixed as on the Starfield.
The SSR is still relatively easy to drive by phone or a DAP, but they do need more power than either the Starfield or Blessing 2.
The Bl03 is totally the opposite of the SSR. They are much warmer and mid-bassy, contrasting the neutral-bright signature of SSR, which overall is a much safer tuning that can be accepted by most people.
The bass on blon is also much slower, looser and bloated, resulting in them sounding much warmer. But unlike SSR, the sub-bass on Blon has a much better presence than on the SSR.
For treble and technicalities, SSR is definitely better since I can hear the cymbals playing more clearly and detailed than on the Blon.
Moondrop Crescent (Modded)
Since the unit I received has a bass problem (crazy bass boost up to almost 20db), I have done some modding to bring them down to the level close to Starfield. So this comparison is with a modded crescent.
Crescent also has a more relaxed tuning like the Blon BL-03 that focused more on the mid-bass. It’s much harder to drive, but bass punch and rumble are much better here. The mid is also thicker but with a bit lower in clarity due to the bleed. Crescent is also a more in-your-face type, so the soundstage feels more intimate and narrower than on SSR.
Starfield is easier to drive, and better in almost all aspects except instrument separations, clarity, and transient. The mid-bass is also more bloated here since it has slower speed and longer decay, but they have better lower-end extension and bass punch. The soundstage on Starfield also has a better presence when you listen to them, which makes it feels more spacious and in-depth than on SSR.
SSR is another solid IEM from Moondrop in the entry-level range. It has good technicalities, and decent accessories out of the box and they are tuned close to the Diffuse Field instead of a more fun sound signature like the v/u-shape like other IEMs in the same price range.
It definitely can be a steal for those who want to taste the DF tuning that is mostly only available on higher budget IEMs or Moondrop’s own neutral VDSF that’s only available on their higher-end IEMs or just want a daily beater IEM that can play weeb music or orchestral well.
But then again, if you aren’t a fan of this kind of shouty tuning since the beginning of time or you’ve tried other Moondrop IEM and feel they are just too shouty for you, you can just skip the SSR because you aren’t going to lose much.
If you have difficulty understanding my assessment, please refer to the FAQ