Current testing methodology is v1.2
October 28, 2021
4.02 x 3.94 x 1.54 in
In this age where True Wireless (TWS) buds are a dime a dozen, it’s admittedly getting more difficult to navigate the space.
Every brand wants to market its product as the best, but as we all know, they all cater to different markets with diverse expectations for “stellar sound.”
Marketing efforts, ANC, and hype can easily drive prices up way beyond the scale – which leaves audiophiles scratching their heads since they’d rather invest pretty pennies in wired earphones or headphones for premium sound quality.
Priced at only $42, it promises the company’s beloved signature sound in a package that you won’t be afraid to lose. It’s the ideal go-anywhere kit – that’s if you can stand its anime inspiration.
Moondrop Nekocake TWS Earbuds
Balanced sound and extreme comfort on a budget.
The Moondrop Nekocake is a fantastic-sounding pair of TWS earbuds for the price, especially if you’re a fan of balanced sound.
Its spectacular in-ear comfort despite extended listening sessions is also one of its strongest points. The only thing holding it back is the subpar ANC, but that’s a reasonable concession given the amount of money you’re shelling out.
- Bluetooth Version: 5.2
- Bluetooth Protocol: A2DP/AVRCP/HFP/HSP/SBC/AAC
- Charging Port: Type-C
- Impedance: 32Ω±15% @1kHz
- Working Distance: 10m (barrier-free open environment)
- Support Devices: all Bluetooth devices and smart phone
- Earphone Charging Time: about 1 hour
- Charging Case Charging Time: about 1.5hours
- Earphone Battery Capacity: 3.7V/37mAh
- Charging Case Battery Capacity: 3.7V/380mAh
- Earphone Battery Life: about 4 hours
- Battery Life with Charging Case: about 12hours
What’s in the Box?
- Moondrop Nekocake TWS Earbuds
- Charging Case
- USB-C Charging Cable
- 3 x pairs of ear tips (S, M, L)
- User Guide
- Warranty Card
- QC Certificate
Stuff I like
- Neutral and balanced sound
- Lightweight build
- Comfortable fit
Stuff I like less
- Inadequate noise-cancellation
- Not enough bass for bass heads
The Moondrop Nekocake comes in a white box with an anime graphic on the front, which is what you’d typically see with Moondrop products.
Inside the box is a black plastic mold that holds the earbuds and the charging case in separate compartments. Overall, they’re packaged and presented well.
When I first held the charging case in my hands, its plastic construction almost felt like a toy. There’s a bit of heft to it but its light plastic material set off some red flags in the quality control department.
Then I remembered that these earbuds cost only $42 and all was well.
Visuals-wise, there’s a line pattern on the cap with “NEKOCAKE” and “MOONDROP” written in a cutesy font. There’s also a little cat logo just below the single indicator light while the backside features a single round button.
Underneath the case are the texts describing the device and the USB Type-C charging port.
Now it’s time to open up that latch to reveal the star of the show.
Thankfully, the hatch uncovers the earbuds in a swift but graceful motion. Moondrop has used some magnets to refine the experience a little bit, which is a nice touch.
The buds themselves are constructed of the same material as the rest of the case. Some may not appreciate this, but I very much did. Why? Because it’s light.
Regardless of the use of featherweight materials, the Moodrop Nekocake still feels pretty sturdy. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend dropping them on purpose to test their durability.
Plus, being lightweight often translates to the best fit and long-wearing comfort, which is always a welcome bonus.
Fit and Comfort
Speaking of comfort – the sensation I felt after putting the Moondrop Nekocake in my ears for the first time was notable. That’s because I didn’t feel much at all.
Normally, earbuds with longer stems can feel like they’re working against gravity and have the tendency to fall out of your ears and it’s usually because of two things. Either they’re incorrectly designed or they’re too heavy.
And the Moondrop Nekocake is neither of those.
Choose the ear tips that fit you best, put them on, and you’ll quickly forget they’re even there. Maybe you’ll remember when an anime girl voice tells you that your buds are running low on juice.
At this point, I’ve used them on a lot of long-haul flights because they’re comfortable enough to fall asleep with, and I always feel confident that they’ll still be in my ears by the time I wake up. The last thing I want to do on a flight is check every nook and cranny for a lost wireless bud.
The Moondrop Nekocake is, as expected, tuned to the same characteristics of the brand’s Virtual Diffuse Sound Field.
In layman’s terms, the company really aims for all its audio products to meet a certain graph characteristic in tuning.
As a result, the 13mm drivers on the Nekocake buds sound quite similar to other Moondrop products, albeit with some differences courtesy of the wireless nature of these buds.
Please keep in mind that all testing will be in the Moondrop Classic EQ setting.
Moondrop products tend to lean to the warmer side of things and the Nekocake is no different.
There’s sufficient bass thump to keep things interesting, even for such a tiny package. This benefits genres like rap, hiphop, and EDM.
However, don’t expect room-shaking quantities as these weren’t developed for that purpose, in addition to naturally having less power thanks to a tinier frame.
What’s good is that each beat doesn’t stay for any longer than it should, keeping the tunes feel on-point and sharp. Bass heads might be a bit iffy, but this is far from boring.
The lack of overwhelming bass in the Moondrop Nekocake makes room for the midrange to exist without issue.
Vocals and instruments are presented in such a way that they shine on centerstage but the soundstage itself is limited, given the form factor.
Without being overly technical, these are a fun listen that will let you hear everything you want to. Unless you start nitpicking, then it’s a perfectly usable pair of buds.
The treble on the Moondrop Nekocake is… alright.
That’s definitely okay since it’s not sibilant nor it’s exhausting to listen. That’s what makes it so great for prolonged usage, in addition to its comfort.
Since music still comes through with sufficient power, I can say that the tuning on these earbuds is just right
Active Noise Cancellation
To put it bluntly, the ANC on the Moondrop Nekocake is an afterthought.
On a flight, it does enough to mute out jet engine sounds with the music turned up. However, there’s no denying that the difference is minimal when you turn the music off, and that it’s far outdone by other TWS buds in this regard.
When you think about it though, most $40 TWS buds have mediocre ANC to begin with.
So if you come into this with those expectations, you’ll be fine. Look more towards the Sony WF-1000XM4 and you’ll just be disappointed.
The Moondrop Nekocake is far from a perfect pair of TWS buds.
There are certain elements that still hold it back, and these may be further emphasized if you can’t stand the anime girl sound prompts. After all, most of the buds’ toggle-able configurations somehow bring these into your ear.
Despite this, the inoffensive balanced sound, long-wearing comfort, simple controls, switchable EQ settings, IP rating, and other pluses make it easy to overlook its flaws – most especially since it only costs $42.
You can take the Moondrop Nekocake anywhere with no worries, and I think that this is a luxury in itself.
As someone who is very passionate about all things tech, Nath loves breaking concepts down into simple terms for even beginners to understand. In his free time, he travels, indulges in his automotive hobbies, or simply looks for new jams to listen to.
This post was last updated on 2023-11-28 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.