Current testing methodology is v1.2
August 2, 2021
3.23 x 3.11 x 1.69 in
The Moondrop Quarks are well known in the hi-fi community as they’ve become one of the most highly recommended IEMs in the market when they were first released.
The Moondrop Quarks are IEMs that come in a classic earbud design with a neutral sound signature. They’ve been around for quite some time now, but I never really gave them that much attention. At least not until now.
After ignoring their existence for a long time, I decided to try the Moondrop Quarks. With more and more budget IEM releases in the market, I wanted to know how well they perform against similar-priced IEMs.
Moondrop Quarks IEM
An ultra-budget IEM offering from Moondrop. Can it still compete against newer IEM releases?
The Quarks are an affordable pair of IEMs from the famous Chi-fi brand, Moondrop. When they were released, they were regarded as one of the best IEMs you can get for their price point and are often recommended around the hi-fi community.
I’ve been testing the Moondrop Quarks for a while now, and overall, they’re a great budget option for those looking for a neutral sound tuning on IEMs.
Though they have their fair share of shortcomings, these IEMs are still a solid choice, and I’d suggest giving them a chance. You may end up liking them.
- Driver: 6mm DD
- Frequency: 20Hz-20000Hz
- Impedance: 16Ω
- Sensitivity: 116dB
What’s in the Box?
- Moondrop Quarks earphones with cable (not detachable)
- 3 x pair silicone ear tips
- 1 x small carrying cloth bag
- Instruction Manual
Stuff I like
- Balanced tuning
- Low-profile looks
- Affordable Price
- Great mids
Stuff I like less
- Lack of bass presence
- Highs are quite lacking
- Build quality feels cheap
The Moondrop Quarks come in a sleek black box with gold accents and a flip-up opening. The box reminds me of the packaging for the older Arias I used to have.
Moondrop never fails to impress me with how well they present their products through the packaging.
Upon opening the box, the Moondrop Quarks come neatly presented and have included a few pairs of silicone ear tips with varying sizes. Although the extra silicone tips are becoming a standard, they’re always a welcome inclusion.
I like the traditional earbuds design of the Moondrop Quarks as they have this low-profile feel. The only letdown is that they don’t come with a detachable cable feature which is a compromise for this kind of design.
Sadly, the Quarks come with a generic pair of ear tips, similar to the spring tips, which come pre-installed with its sister, the Moondrop Chu.
Overall, I was pleased with how well the Moondrop Quarks look and are packaged, which makes a good impression on me.
The Moondrop Quarks have great aesthetics with a transparent design and low-profile look but it does feel cheap in the hands.
One thing that bothers me is the cable. I feel like it’s very thin and could easily break, unlike that of other IEMs at the same price point.
Plus, the lack of a detachable cable feature makes it harder to replace once you break it.
The Moondrop Quarks are lightweight. There are times that I even forget that I’m wearing them.
The included ear tips fit nicely in my ears.
When trying out new IEMs, I usually opt for the included medium-sized ear tips but in the Moondrop Quarks’ case, the medium ones felt uncomfortable. Switching to the smallest size of ear tips solved the problem for me.
Upon initial testing of these IEMs, I was underwhelmed with how they sounded.
I expected a similar tuning with the Moondrop Aria but its tuning is much closer to the Moondrop Chu.
I noticed the lack of presence in the bass and it sounded like it was pushed further back into the mix. The same goes for the treble. I liked how the mids are tuned but they still generally lack clarity.
The bass is tuned just right for these IEMs with a neutral sound signature.
One thing I noticed with the bass response of the Quarks is that the mid-bass sounds more present and has more body compared to the sub-bass.
An issue I encountered is that the bass sounds muddy when listening to more bass-heavy tracks.
For me, one of the redeeming features of the Moondrop Quarks is how its mid frequencies are tuned.
This makes the vocals and musical instruments very present in a mix that sounds natural and proper to its nature.
I think that the mids are the highlight of the Moondrop Quarks even though they sometimes lack body and clarity.
The treble in the Moondrop Quarks is less aggressive and harsh than I expected for this price range.
The treble may seem recessed in the mix at first, but it’s just that the mids are more elevated than the treble.
Another thing I like about the tuning of the Moondrop Quarks is that it doesn’t have any harsh frequencies or sibilance present, which is a common issue for IEMs under $20.
Music Listening Experience
I’ve tested the Moondrop Quarks with different genres of music to see where it would sound best and listed the ones that they work well with.
These are my findings:
- Jazz – The Quarks gave a natural and warm sound to the instruments used in this genre
- Classical – Listening to classical music with the Moondrop Quarks definitely nailed it when it comes to balancing and reproducing the soundstage in this genre.
- Rock or Metal – The sound delivered by the Quarks was pretty tight, and the instruments sounded as natural and present as they could be
- Acoustic – The tuning of the mids in the Quarks was able to complement the guitars and vocals to the acoustic tracks that I’ve listened to.
After testing out these IEMs, I found out that their neutral sound signature works best with music made with instruments, as it provides warmth to the songs.
When it comes to gaming, detail, sound separation, and soundstage are critical factors that IEMs should have, as these are the things that can give you an edge.
That goes for most types of games but especially in FPS or first-person shooter games.
I’ve decided to test the Moondrop Quarks on different FPS games to see how well they’d perform. I’ve also tested it out on other RPGs to benchmark the quality of details and soundstage that these IEMs have.
In Valorant and Counterstrike: GO, the Quarks performed above average. I liked the soundstage and sound separation of these IEMs in gaming, as I could accurately interpret my enemies’ location, which is essential in competitive games like these.
In an RPG like Horizon, these IEMs could shine and give justice to the different soundtracks of the game. Its neutral tuning complemented the other music playing in the background.
The Moondrop Quarks are an excellent introduction to the neutral sound signature and a great budget option for those looking to get into hi-fi audio.
Their strength lies within its low-profile yet timeless design. They offer excellent sound quality for a small amount of money and some people may find them really fun to listen to.
The Moondrop Quarks do an excellent job of what they’re designed for, but the lack of features and versatility can be disadvantageous.
Since their release, there are plenty more IEMs within the same price range with the same features but with so much more to offer.
These IEMs lack the feature to stand out against the current market offerings, so they’re not as highly recommended compared to other IEMs at the same price point.
If you like listening to the same genres listed above, then the Moondrop Quarks are worth considering. Give them a try and you might enjoy them.
A man of many interests, Querho is passionate about discovering new things that stimulate the mind. When he is not writing about the things he is passionate about, Querho can be found making music at his home studio.
This post was last updated on 2023-09-28 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.