Dethroning The Previous King (Moondrop Blessing 3 Review)
We all know Moondrop’s legendary Blessing 2 and Blessing 2 Dusk. Two IEMs that truly stood the grueling test of time, remaining one of the top contenders under $500 for years and years. The Blessing 2 siblings are simply a performance miracle for the price, with no clear competitor capable of dethroning them in their price bracket, until now. Say hello to the new Blessing 3, Moondrop’s “upgrade” to the renowned Blessing 2 siblings. Does it live up to our expectations? Let’s find out!
Driver Setup: 2 Dynamic Drivers + 4 Balanced Armature Drivers
Price (USD): $320
Source: Topping A90 & D90LE
Graph Tool: Clone IEC 60318-4 Coupler (Clone 711)
Overview & Non-Sound Related
One thing you’d notice right away is the Blessing 3 has one more dynamic driver than its predecessors while retaining the $320 MSRP. The lack of a price bump is a welcomed surprise in the age where good IEMs are becoming more affordable. It seems Moondrop is very aware of the state of the IEM market and has decided on a course that favors the customers. Now while that deserves a thumbs up, it’d be even more impressive if they addressed the issue that plagued the previous Blessing 2s, the shell size.
The shell size was one of the biggest complaints with Blessing 2 and Dusk; they were too big for some listeners and caused discomfort. The unfortunate news is the Blessing 3 keeps the same size and shape as the Blessing 2, so for those with issues with the previous models, the experience will be similar here. However, the shell is smoother and less edgy than the previous models, and the nozzle is also slightly smaller, so that might help with comfort to some small degree.
With the non-sound out of the way, let’s finally get into the tuning!
Tuning & Blessing 2 Dusk Comparison
Moondrop Blessing 3 follows rather closely to the tuning of Blessing 2 Dusk, with notable changes in the bass and treble region. If you’re familiar with Blessing 2 Dusk, imagine having less bass, a similar midrange, and more treble air sparkles. These changes also allow vocals and midrange instruments to shine more than the Dusk. While the Dusk is natural and neutral, Blessing 3 is also natural but with a touch more energy and perhaps slightly thinner.
Since we’re already comparing Blessing 3 to Dusk, let’s complete the comparison before moving on to the sound breakdown section of the article.
Detail-wise, the Blessing 3 sounds more detailed than the Dusk; the additional treble air helps elevate micro details and incisiveness in high-frequency instruments. The overall bass reduction makes Blessing 3 sound cleaner and pushes the focus toward clarity. Soundstage perception also widens with the tuning change; Blessing 3 is noticeably airer and more spacious sounding. In summary, if you ask me if Blessing 3 is a step up from Dusk in technical performance, I’d say half-step, but better nonetheless.
Blessing 3 has exceptional bass control and outstanding dynamics. Its impacts are tight and satisfying to hear; there’s no bluntness—a near-excellent bass if not for one thing…..the quantity. Blessing 3 is not a bassy-tuned IEM. It’s very upper-midrange and treble-heavy, which causes the bass to, unfortunately, feel overshadowed or “playing second fiddle” to the rest of the mix. The bass quality is fantastic, but the quantity leaves more to be desired. Although, this is highly taste dependent. The bass here will be perfect for some listeners out there. It’s not devoid of bass. It’s just less bass, but for some, less is better.
Early in the article, I mentioned that Blessing 3’s midrange is similar to Blessing 2 Dusk; that is to say, it’s just as gorgeous—incredibly natural sounding vocals and instruments. The timbre is also very smooth, and though it has an energetic touch, it’s not grainy or harsh in the timbral decay. The lower midrange is exceptionally clean with equally exceptional upper midrange smoothness. All this leads to a beautiful, clarity focus, midrange presentation that, if not surpassing, is at least equal to Blessing 2 Dusk.
The only con I can find is a small nitpick that might be slightly thin or shouty for selected listeners who are extra sensitive to higher frequencies. However, for context, it’s less thin sounding than Moondrop Variations can be for those listeners.
Blessing 3 has a near-perfect treble, great extension, smoothness, and lively without grain or harshness. The only nitpick I have here is a slight splashy feeling. However, this is, again, nitpicking at most. The treble quantity will not be an issue for those sensitive to treble either. It is boosted treble, don’t get me wrong, but it’s tastefully done.
I stated in the Dusk comparison that Blessing 3 has a spacious-sounding stage compared to Dusk, but I should clarify that it’s also spacious sounding compared to the rest of the market. You’ll hear distinct air and clear separation of the lower and higher instruments. The tuning does an incredible job of portraying a vast sense of stage.
As for note definition, Blessing 3 is also great, competing easily with more expensive IEMs.
Now, with all these amazing qualities, would I put Blessing 3’s technical prowess on par with the “endgames”? The answer is almost. The only shortcoming of Blessing 3 that keeps it from the top-tier club is micro details. Blessing 3 has great micro detail presentation but can use more incisiveness and definition to truly take it to the top level.
Comparison VS. Blessing 2
Blessing 3 and Blessing 2 are both great, but Blessing 3 is in another league entirely. I almost feel bad for Blessing 2 for the history and the wave it started in the community, but the truth is, Blessing 2 is no longer needed. Let me explain.
For a long time, Blessing 2 was the brighter and more analytical version of the Dusk, which serves the community that wants a more technical presentation than what Dusk can offer. However, Blessing 3 is now taking that spot. Blessing 3 is the more technical version of the Dusk done with more finesse than Blessing 2. The treble and timbre are smoother and more natural, the lower midrange is cleaner, and the bass is more dynamic. It’s simply an upgrade to the Blessing 2 in every aspect imaginable.
Blessing 2, it’s sad to see you go, but it’s time you make way for the next generation.
Comparison VS. Softears Studio 4
Now this is an interesting comparison because Studio 4 is my personal benchmark for IEMs under $500. It’s an incredible IEM, and if you want to see the video review, I’ll link it here.
The Studio 4 has a tamer and more relaxed tuning than Blessing 3, which has noticeably more upper midrange energy. This results in Studio 4 having a more natural sounding timbre and smoother decay while sounding less lively than Blessing 3. I should clarify that at this level, the margin for better is razor-thin. When I say Studio 4 is better at a specific aspect or vice versa, it’s only slightly better at most. This speaks volumes about the Blessing 3’s performance as it can stand up to even my favorite under $500, which cost $100 more than it.
Other than timbre, Studio 4 also has just as good bass control, and due to the relaxed upper midrange, the bass shines through more than on Blessing 3. The bass feels more satisfying and fuller on Studio 4, though I’d give the slight edge in dynamics to Blessing 3.
Two aspects that are better in Blessing 3 are clarity and details. If you seek livelier vocals and more micro details, Blessing 3 might be the better choice. But besides that, I still prefer Studio 4 overall.
It’s easy to see where this IEM will place in the market. It’s easily the top three best IEMs under $500, exhibiting zero deal-breaker flaws, and the minor flaws it does have are nitpicked and highly taste dependent at worst. Blessing 3 is simply a great IEM that most will enjoy (barring those with smaller ears, unfortunately).
If you’ve been waiting for the upgrade to your beloved Blessing 2 or a more detailed version of Blessing 2 Dusk, you have it here in Moondrop’s Blessing 3. And if you’re looking for value for money at around $300, Blessing 3 should be near, if not the top, of your watch list.
Check out Moondrop Blessing 3 Here (not affiliate link): https://hifigo.com/products/moondrop-blessing3