Founded in China just eight years ago, Moondrop has grown to be one of the most prominent Chi-fi brands – even garnering worldwide acclaim, especially with the anime crowd.
The brand’s winning formula has consistently been a combination of stellar design, supreme value for money, superb audio performance, and a well-drawn anime character to match. This unique plethora of factors has gained Moondrop a loyal following in its brief existence.
I’ve also personally collected a lot of their units, from their first attempt at a TWS in the Sparks, the ever-popular Starfield and Kato IEMs, as well as the Quarks I use for bedtime. Despite its massive success, the company has no plans on slowing down anytime soon.
Here are my personal favorites from the brand’s releases this year.
Best 6 Moondrop Releases in 2023
Moondrip has released numerous products this year and while all of them are relatively good, there are some that stood out for me.
Moondrop Chu II
When the original Moondrop Chu came out last year, it rattled the budget audio space by providing performance levels exponentially beyond its $20 price. Most people praised its surprising technicalities, far surpassing the bass-centric characteristics its price-based rivals often target.
It definitely reinvigorated the space and other brands got competitive. The Chu was eventually trumped by the 7Hz Salnotes Zero as the top budget pick, with the former “falling” to the top two or three spots instead.
Now, Moondrop has fought back by releasing an updated version of the Chu in the Chu II, which is easily one of our favorite Moondrop releases this year.
It seems that the brand’s goal was to put down its foot as the undisputed king of entry-level IEMs. To achieve this, Moondrop has kept the Chu line’s signature features such as the detachable cable, replaceable nozzle, and alloy cavity, which are attributes often linked to high-end devices.’
However, they’ve even gone one step further by allegedly making the Chu II the first-ever entry-level IEM to possess an aluminum-magnesium alloy dome composite diaphragm. According to the brand’s marketing materials, this should extend the treble bandwidth and reveal more subtle details.
Moondrop Starfield 2
Here we have another sequel, the Starfield 2. Its predecessor, the original Starfield, is arguably the reason why Moondrop is where it is today. That IEM was widely considered to be the best one you can get within the $100 price range for a long, long time.
As time passed, the Starfield also fell victim to the fast-moving tech world. It was slowly transcended by its competitors and even cannibalized by its little sibling, the cheaper yet similarly-performing Aria. Another knock against it was that its resplendent, starry finish would suffer from paint chips over time.
The Starfield 2 is the company’s answer to resurrect the legendary moniker. It possesses a lithium-magnesium alloy dome composite diaphragm that’s meant to reduce unnecessary resonance and emulate a more natural treble response.
As with the other IEMs, the nozzles and cables are replaceable. Now, about the paint chips? We’ll just have to wait and see.
When the Moondrop Nekocake came out, it was the most affordable TWS option you could buy from the brand. Ironically, they were also the only ones that came with ANC.
Moondrop Space Travel
Those ended up being personal favorites that I still use to this day. Despite owning loads of other more expensive TWS buds, I’d end up plucking out the Nekocake from my collection without thinking and using them for naps, workouts, strolls, and everything in between.
It wasn’t the BEST at anything but its long-lasting comfort, lightness, and appealing sound characteristics did propel it straight into my heart.
This versatility is the very reason why I’m quite optimistic about the Moondrop Space Travel, which is pegged to be an improvement over the Nekocakes. There isn’t much on them online yet considering they’ve just been released – except for some positive-looking graphs.
If the target was Moondrop’s usual in-house diffuse curve, then the mission succeeded. Other things it has going for it include a futuristic-looking case and an affordable price tag.
Moondrop Moonriver 2
The Moondrop Moonriver 2 is a portable DAC/AMP that’s been developed to power high-end IEMs and headphones on the go. It packs premier decoding chips developed by Cirrus Logic – a world-renowned producer of such technologies.
As such, it boasts support for high-resolution, lossless audio formats which should elevate your entire listening experience.
Not much is known about the Moondrop Joker as of now. Based on currently available promotions, the Joker is a full-sized headphone geared toward professional monitoring use. It’s of the closed-back variety, with a dynamic driver setup to boot. The advertorial promotes prompt response, restoration timbre, and high resolution. That’s all we know as of now.
This is Moondrop’s third attempt at developing a headphone – with the first two being the Venus and the Void. We’ve given our thoughts on the Void at COMPUTEX 2023, while we’ve yet to test the Venus.
The former boasted decent sound quality, but the build was a little unbecoming of a $199 product. Hopefully, these issues will be addressed with the middle-of-the-pack Joker.
Moondrop DASH75 Mechanical Keyboard
For the final item on this list of our favorite Moondrop releases, it’s a surprise release from Moondrop but a pleasant one nonetheless, which is the DASH Mechanical Keyboard.
I’ll get it out of the way – this mechanical keyboard has the previous Moonriver 2 installed inside it. So you can savor that enhanced audio experience mentioned earlier from the convenience of this keyboard.
Onto its aesthetic – the DASH takes after yesteryear’s Commodore 64. It has a clean design that’ll seamlessly mesh itself into any setup. Implanted onto its surface are 8-bit retro keycaps adding to the overall feel. It even lights up with presets available with QMK/VIA compatibility.
Besides its looks, the keyboard comes equipped with in-house Moondrop LUNALIGHT Linear switches which should make typing a rewarding endeavor. If it’s not your vibe, then that’s alright as this is a hot-swappable keyboard.
Other notable features include two USB ports and an internal immersed-Gold PCB.
What do you think of these Moondrop releases? Let me know in the comments below!
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 2023-12-02 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.