Moondrop — one of my favorite brands in dynamic IEMs since the first try on their popular Kanas Pro model that has received a very warm welcome on the market. This was a very close match to Tanchjim Oxygen — my «end game» in the same category among all single dynamic driver IEMs, additionally having significantly lower price tag and better fit. Kanas Pro sound lacks a touch of delicacy in this comparison but the overall quality and satisfaction from listening is really close to the leader…
Anyway, high standards for Moondrop IEMs has already been set in the minds of the followers and the expectations about the future products derive from that. Considering today’s topic — Moondrop SSP — price is more than adequate and the declared specs are impressive, at least on the paper. We have received our sample from SHENZHEN AUDIO store and ready to share the experience.
Moondrop SSP is produced by Moondrop Technology Co. Ltd located in China. Company was founded in 2015, starting its way with high quality earbuds and later developing such respected IEM series as «Kanas», «Blessing» and «Reference». Currently, the company is focused only at this market, investing all knowledge, experience and resources to developing new remarkable products.
SSP (Super Spaceship Pulse) IEMs have another relative product named SSR (Super Spaceship Reference). Both have similar design, structure and diaphragm but tuned slightly different by the means of damper selection. Pulse are more V-shaped whereas Reference are more linear.
Moondrop SSP specifications:
- Type: single dynamic driver IEMs
- Diaphragm: Beryllium-Coated Dome+PU Suspension Ring
- Coil: 0.035mm-CCAW (Daikoku)
- Magnet: N52-Neodymium High Density Magnetic Circuit
- Acoustic Fiter: Patented Anti-blocking Filter
- Frequency Response Range: 20-20000Hz (IEC60318-4)
- Frequency Response Range: 20-40000Hz (1/4 Inch Free field Mic)
- Impedance: 16Ω@1kHz
- Sensitivity: 112dB/Vrms@1kHz
- THD: <=1%
- Housing Material: Amorphous Metal Alloy Housing
- Cable: Silver Plated 4N-Litz OFC
- Connectors: 0.78mm, 2pin
- Jack: 3,5mm single-ended
Impedance | sensitivity figures here are showing that SSP is pretty versatile model and should be easy to drive to an appropriate level even with a regular smarphone audio output.
Packaging and design:
Not sure how Moondrop is involved into anime drawings but the main theme used on both SSR and SSP boxes are exhibiting such images. As well as most of the rest IEMs and earbuds in their lineup. Perhaps, someone in the company has a talent and hobby to draw such, or there is a corresponding colaboration with anime artists which results not only in such package design, but also promotes this movement through the official website.
In either case, the customer receives small rigid box, with anime artwork at front and sticker with the product details on the back side. IEMs are neatly packed inside and held at place by a special foam insert while the rest of the accessories are stored in a separate box in compartment below.
This box seems very familiar to us — almost the same packaging with slightly different dimensions is used in Tanchjim Cora IEMs. This is not a surprise that different brands might be using OEM/ODM packaging from other suppliers.
SSP IEMs come with the next list of accessories:
- 2pin, 0.78mm audio cable with 3.5mm SE terminal
- 3 pairs of silicone eartips
- soft pouch
- couple of leaflets
Is it only us, or most of the manufacturers start to include less amount of eartips? We remember the times when there were 10-12 pairs included, along with a couple more pairs of the memory foam eartips… Anyway, 3 pairs with L, M, S size should be enough to find the best fit and would last long with the appropriate cleaning and treatment.
SSP shells consist of two metal alloy parts with matt rough finish. The design and shape is kind of irregular with some interesting details and findings. For example, a single golden screw not only holds top cover and base together, but also plays a role of central design element and ends up with the additional compensation opening on the base.
Another compensation opening is located on the body of the output nozzle. Good combination of blue shells and golden screws. By the way, output nozzles are pretty long which should lead to a good wearing comfort.
Both channels have corresponding side indication (L & R notches), aluminum filters and 2pin, 0.78mm gold-plated female connectors. Moondrop insists that the filters are specially designed to allow the best performance and changing to other might result in significant deviation from the original tuning. Spare filters are available for purchase (we hope that one day every brand would design their IEMs so that any filter would be easily removable for cleaning or replacing. Make it magnetic, for instance, but do not glue it at place ).
In overall, SSP IEMs are small, light, with long output nozzles and look beautiful. 2pin cable connectors sit tight.
Stock cable is silver-plated OFC equipped with resin L-shaped terminal housing, plastic Y-splitter, springy ear guides and channel indication in a form of red plastic ring on the right channel. Since it is detachable, there are plenty of options to replace the cable or switch to balanced connection if necessary.
We have decided to conduct both tests: with stock SE cable and Hidizs 2.5mm BL cable. Hidizs AP80 (SE connection), AP80Pro (2.5mm BL connection) and HiBy R5 (4.4mm BL connection with iBasso CA-02 BL 4.4mm -> BL 2.5mm) were chosen as a source hardware. Since Moondrop SSP are low impedance | high sensitivity IEMs — any of those DAPs can drive it easily. As for HiBy R5 — it has 1040mW@16Ω per channel on BL output. Not sure if SSP can withstand such power but interesting to understand how it would behave when driven to maximum
Moondrop SSP are V-shaped IEMs with slight gain elevation on lows (40 — 100Hz), significant gain peak on treble (4-6kHz). According to the graph, volume difference between mids and lows reach ~7dB while mids to treble — ~17dB. The resulting sound would depend of the quality of IEMs, diaphragm material, damping, fine tuning, mechanical and electrical capabilities. Many low-quality models would suffer of harsh distortions and nasty high peaks even with less apparent V-shaped curve. But we can assure you that SSP is not the case… Moondrop SSP are surprisingly accurate, clean and free of unwanted peaks or distortions even with this type of tuning.
First that we have noticed is a presence of lows in significant amounts, with good volumetric feel, more than average extension and perfectly defined boarders. Bass doesn’t disturb other ranges and fits organically into entire mix despite its overpowered exposure. Midbass feels powerful, tight and very fast. The dynamics and articulation are perfect for a single driver unit that does a lot of job in parallel. The only less impressive aspect of lower range is a moderate amount of details it resolves.
The feel of high resolving potential and large amount of tiny nuances step in on mids and treble. This perception is derived from a specific tuning approach that creates such «virtual» resolution feel by raising gain in lower treble range. Again, SSP does it quite accurately, really adding some sharpness to mids and sparks to treble with no further negative effect. Yes, mids do sound a bit thin and laied back but the emotions and expression are over the edge. No whistling or screaming notes, though.
Treble section here reminds of armature drivers by clean and detailed delivery. Extension is not that great, of course, but the picture in overall is bright, sparkling, airy and detailed. Again, heavy treble elevation is not that frightening in real life as it may seem from the graph. Just adding extra sharpness and brightness.
Another revealing feature of SSP is a width of the soundstage it produces. Impressively wide, with precise instrument placement and good separation at low to mid volume levels. Higher volume levels (closer to maximum) leads to audible blending of instruments and some loss of details.
Sound in overall:
Moondrop SSP sound is impressive in many aspects. Signature is bright but not so cold as with armature units, large amount of accurate lows, excellent performance on midbass, high resolution on mids and treble, emotional delivery on vocals with no negative peaks, wide soundstage… And at the same time, all of this feels less cold, more collected and full-bodied than its close hybrid or armature rivals. SSP still shows the best behavior of dynamic IEMs while brought very close to armature | hybrid sound by its delivery. Not saying that SSP are the best dynamic IEMs ever — still have to learn from such monsters as Tanchjim Oxygen how to sound more delicate and rich — but definitely the leader with this price tag.
One more word about the difference with sources and types of connection. The difference between BL and SE connection with HiBy R5 is hardly perceptible. Perhaps, only the scene width and slightly better instrument separation. But the difference between Hidizs AP80 and HiBy R5 is more obvious. AP80 sound colder that accents SSP brightness even further. Seems that R5 is a better source of SSP after all, as it slightly balances the nature of V-shaped IEMs. Additionally, the resolution of R5 is higher that helps SSP IEMs to sound very impressive.
Compared to: BQEYZ KB100
As a matter of fact, for us, the closest rival to Moondrop SSP excellent performance is the hybrid BQEYZ KB100 IEMs. Similarly impressive in many aspects, both models resemble each other in signature. KB100 are better in treble extension and overall resolution, while SSP are definitely more capable on lows and handle this range better. Soundstage is also better in SSP, while KB100 are not that susceptible to blending at high volume levels.
Compared to: LZ HIFI A6Mini
Another good hybrid rival with double the price and piezo-electric driver. A6Mini have great bass performance and higher resolution in overall. Better lows and treble extension. Where SSP perform better is on mids — not that thin and not that heavily bright, while staying close in the dynamics, amount of bass and clarity. Soundstage is on par.
Really impressed with Moondrop SSP performance. Rare example when every single technology or feature declared on paper gets finally revealed in the real product. Single dynamic driver that feels as if there are couple additional balanced armature units — large diaphragm for lows and high quality armature for mids and treble. Not blending, not bleeding. Clean, detailed and engaging sound that should satisfy the most demanding ones if V-shaped tuning is the preference. Highly recommended for all types of sources, most of the music genres as well as for everyone who is tired of dry and academic delivery.
Moondrop SSP are available at SHENZHENAUDIO store: LINK
Thank you for reading.
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