Moondrop Aria 2021 Review:- Smooth Performer!!
Moondrop requires no introduction. They have made a great reputation in the industry as leading manufacturers of high-tech IEM sets with multiple successful pairs such as the Starfield, KXXS, Blessings 2, S8, and many more. Recently Moondrop released its latest single DD offering in the budget segment, the Moondrop Aria. They have actually used the name Aria previously for a single DD set that they released back in 2018 but discontinued it soon. The latest Aria 2020 only shares the name with the previous model, here the set is entirely redesigned with new looks and powerful performance. I got the Aria a few weeks back, Today I am sharing my review for this latest offering from the house of Moondrop.
I got the Moondrop Aria review sample from HiFiGo.com in return for my honest opinion on the set. I am not paid or affiliated by either HiFiGo or Moondrop in any way to write positive or negative about the pair. All thoughts in this blog are completely my own based on my personal experience with the pair. You can buy the Moondrop Aria from HiFiGo from the link below.
Packaging & Accessories:-
I got the Moondrop Aria without its retail packaging to keep my shipment size small and reduce some taxes. But I received all the accessories such as the included ear tips, carry case, tuning nozzle filters, nozzle filter changing tool, and a manual. Though I checked out unboxing by HiFiGo on their YouTube channel, the retail packaging of Aria is beautiful and well designed with an anime girl image right on the front. But since I received no package, no comments on the packaging of the pair. You can check out the unboxing on the HiFiGo YT channel below.
>Moondrop Aria earphones.
>2-pin cable with fabric coating and 3.5mm termination plug.
>Six pairs of silicone tips.
>Three pairs of grill-type covers for the nozzle.
>Three pairs of foam-type covers for the nozzle.
>Clip to carefully change the cover in the nozzle.
Design & Build Quality:-
Excellent, excellent is the word that comes into my mind when I hold the Moondrop Aria in my hands. The earpieces here have an excellent metallic build with a rich matte black finish to them. There is a beautiful pattern of lines on the face panel with golden color. Aria is also printed on the backside of the shells. The two-pin connectors are recessed onto the body and are present on the top of the shells. There are two vents for the air pressure management inside the cavities, both are located on the inner side. The pair is so well-built that it is really hard to find cons in its build quality, especially considering the price of just 80$. To me, it looks better than the glossy Moondrop Starfield.
The included cable is also very good. It has a fabric coating throughout, never gave me any tangling issues. It has R and L denoted near the connectors with rounded foam covers too for a round-the-ear firm fit. Though the carry case is quite small though this is just nitpicking to find faults in the build quality of the pair.
Fit & Noise Isolation:-
Moondrop Aria initially gave me a slight bit of fit issues with the stock tips, The pair sealed the ear canal completely but kept on falling from my ears. Using Final Audio Type-E tips or SpinFit CP100 tips provided a much-improved fit. My entire time with the pair is spent using Final Audio Type-E tips. They surely gave me a very comfortable experience with very good noise isolation blocking out the environmental noises.
Driving The Moondrop Aria:-
Moondrop Aria can be driven easily off a regular smartphone with a 3.5mm jack. I paired it with my basic Honor View 10 smartphone and the output was actually loud even at 11/14 volume level. I also used Aria with my Cayin N3 Pro and it was an excellent pairing. Clean background, good clarity, smooth, warm vocals, punchy bass are just some of the key characteristics of the N3 Pro and Aria pairing. Also, it was adequately loud at like 45/100 volume on the medium gain on the N3 Pro. Shanling M3X also offers as a decent source for Moondrop Aria, it has a clean, powerful presentation at about 55/100 volume on low gain.
Don’t worry if you don’t have any power source, you can easily enjoy the high-quality sound with the Aria right off your smartphones though like always I suggest using Portable USB DAC/AMP or Hi-res players for the best experience.
Moondrop has an open, crisp, and engaging sound presentation with a slightly warm tonality and a U shape signature. It is said to follow the Harman tuning curve, but in my review, I will not be comparing it instead I will be sharing my experience with the pair. The pair produces a punchy lower-end response that sounds refined and well-textured, shows good quality in both sub-bass rumble and mid-bass slams.
Vocals have a warm touch though they sound recessed and backward compared to the instruments. Treble portion has a good sense of energy and has a safe, non-fatiguing response with good micro-detail retrieval. One thing I loved the most with Aria is its crisp clarity throughout the frequency range, like the lower end is tightly controlled, doesn’t leaks into the mids, the overall clarity of the pair is just top-notch. It has a spacious, airy soundstage presentation that brings a wide, expansive experience with live performances, binaural recordings, and more.
Recently I also reviewed the Whizzer HE01 that is also available for the same price, the resolution and clarity of Aria are on another level. Great job by Moondrop in tuning this single DD pair. Here’s the frequency-wise description of the sound.
Moondrop Aria produces its charm with a tight, punchy lower-end response. It hits with a well-textured refined bass response that adds the fun factor to our music and complements the other frequencies. Lower end has quality rather than quantity, it has a clean, punchy presentation with minimal bleed to mid-frequencies. The pair has powerful slams in mid-bass and produces decent rumble in the sub-bass region. It can not be called a bass-heavy pair rather, we can call it a balanced U-shaped signature with elevated bass response.
Mids are the main attraction with decent clarity and smooth, natural tonality. Instruments have an airy presentation with a spacious sound stage. Both male and female vocals have a nice body and carry a natural tonality with a slightly recessed presentation. They don’t sound engaging as with the HE01, maybe because HE01 has a more upfront presentation for vocals. Though the resolution and clarity of vocals are simply top-notch. Instruments have good clarity, separation with quality layering.
Aria has a safe, smooth treble frequency response. It shows good energy and sparkle with a smooth non-fatiguing response and good extension. Instruments such as Electric Guitars, Violins, Pianos show excellent separation with a non-sibilant response. The pair also produces good micro-details presenting a very enjoyable experience for its users.
Soundstage and Layering:-
Moondrop Aria has a spacious soundstage presentation with excellent instrument separation and layering. The pair has an open, wide presentation with a good sense of depth on the stage. Layering, Imaging, and other dynamics of the pair are very good compared to other IEMs in their price range such as T2 Plus, HE01, and more.
Changeable Filters for Nozzle:-
The filters are very small and quite hard to switch between. But with foam filters I find the bass to be slightly better than the stock grill filter. With the available grill filter, I don’t find much difference in the sound.
Moondrop Aria Vs Whizzer HE01:-
HE01 and Aria both come at the same price 79$. But they both differ in sound quality with different presentations. Here are my comparison findings between both of these:-
>HE01 has a more intimate presentation with forward vocals.
>Aria has better resolution and clarity throughout the frequency range.
>HE01 has more bass quantity, while Aria offers better quality with a refined, textured response.
>Soundstage on both the pairs have a similar width though depth is better with Moondrop Aria.
>Treble extension and clarity are better on Aria.
>Aria has better build quality also cable is fabric coated in Aria.
Moondrop Aria has a very open, smooth-sounding signature with punchy bass and a safe, non-fatiguing treble response. It suits multiple genres with its energetic response making it an all-rounder pair under the 100$ price tag. The pair has tough competition with HE01 where I personally found the vocal performance to be better, but the overall resolution and clarity of Moondrop Aria has a much better presentation and makes it my preferred choice most of the time.