Moondrop Blessing 2 Review - A Blessing in Disguise
Updated: Feb 2
Disclaimer: The unit reviewed is my own personal unit that I bought locally. This review will come purely from my own opinion on the IEM and you are welcome to agree or disagree with it.
This review is originally posted on Head-fi.org.
Who doesn't know Moondrop by now?
Those who have been into the chi-fi games for a while must have known Moondrop as one of the few chi-fi companies that have been pretty consistent in making good products (with the exception of their earbuds line-up) and lovable waifus throughout their journey in the industry.
Most of their IEMs, since the Kanas era until the recent release like the Starfield, are mostly getting favourable receptions from the community and almost always get into the recommended list to those who are looking for a sub $100-200 IEMs. So it'll be a pretty rare sight to find anyone dislikes the products from the critically acclaimed brand, Moondrop.
MOONDROP Blessing 2 In-Ear Headphones
Impedance: 22 Ω @ 1kHz (± 15%)
Unit configuration: 1DD & 4 BA each side
Frequency response range: 9-37KHz
(1 / 4-inch free-field microphone, -3dB)
Treble unit: Knowles SWFK
Midrange: Softears D-MID-A
Bass: 10mm paper cone diaphragm coil
Effective frequency response: 20-20KHZ
Quality control range: ± 1dB @ 1kHz
Sensitivity: 117dB / Vrms @ 1kHz
Change connector: 0.78-2Pin
THD: <1% @ 1KHz
Shell technology: 3D printing of imported medical resin
My gear in this review:
• Source: Shanling M5s (Balanced)
• Cable: ISN S8 2.5mm
• Eartips: SednaEarfit Light Short
Moondrop Blessing 2 is a hybrid IEM that is equipped with 4 BAs and 1 DD per side. Utilizing 2 balanced armature for the highs, 2 more balanced armature to handle the mids, and a 10mm paper cone diaphragm coil for the low frequency.
Similar to its predecessor, Blessing 2 is also a relatively bright sounding IEM. But what Moondrop aiming here with the new Blessing 2, is to fix the bass quality and the harshness on the mid and high frequency of the original Moondrop Blessing.
The tuning of Blessing 2 is based on the Moondrop's own target, the VDSF response.
Blessing 2 has a rather neutral-sounding bass with a little bass boost to prevent them from sounding too cold or analytical. They are fast, controlled, and clean, almost to the level of the BA bass, yet they still able to deliver plenty amount of impact and rumble of a DD.
The bass on blessing 2 is more focused on the sub-bass instead of mid-bass, and since the quantity is quite low/almost neutral, it doesn't mix up or bleed to the mid-range. So the low end is very clean.
However, the low mid-bass quantity caused the punch to be a bit too soft sometimes. And although they can extend much more than they are now, because of the fast decay, the rumble becomes way shorter than most DDs I had listened to. The bass may also go a little blunt sometimes on some tracks (bass-heavy tracks mostly, but not all of it) and it lacks a fraction of texturing as well.
The mid-range sound very transparent, natural, and realistically reproduced. It also has a good body and accurate tonality to it, which I believe not many of their rivals in a similar price range or even above can do better than them. Plus, even with the brightness that they have in the mids, they never sound too harsh or shrill to the ear as well.
The position of the vocal here also isn't too forward as I expected. They are actually pretty laid back and positioned right in the center of the mix.
I can't really find any weakness here except the male vocal is going to be a tad more recessed and thin sounding than the female vocal due to the bright nature of Blessing 2.
The treble has a good extension. They are not overly done and have enough air to make them sound open and less congested. The presentation of the cymbals is clean and crisp yet still feels natural overall.
While they can be pretty aggressive sometimes, they still never get shouty or even piercing. So they are great for my long listening sessions.
Soundstage & Imaging
The size of the soundstage is slightly above the average, and I feel that they have more height than width. The sense of depth also done nicely and precisely too, which makes them very good in layering and generating 3D like imaging.
Resolutions & Separations
Their resolution and detail retrieval are undoubtedly beyond their class. This is because they can render all of the details and clarity so effortlessly almost to the level of the TOTLs.
The instruments are also separated incredibly well in Blessing 2, as you'll never find yourself hearing the instruments getting mixed together here in any classical or orchestral tracks.
They are relatively easy to drive even with my phone. But they need a bit more power than Starfield since I need to turn up the volume more to be in the same level of loudness as Starfield. (Starfield 40 = B2 around 42/45)
Although Starfield was using the same VDSF reference as Blessing 2, Starfield's sound signature can be considered pretty the opposite of B2. Starfield is neutral to warm while B2 is neutral to bright.
Starting from the lower end, Starfield has much more bass quantity than B2. The bass also has a harder punch, much slower in decay and looser. But despite the better punch, they didn't sound as clean as B2.
In term of the mids, Starfield is a tad thicker and fuller than B2 due to the warmth that they have. This, in turn, makes the recess between male and female vocals less obvious than in the B2. The transparency is also slightly lower on the Starfield, as they can be a little bit grainy.
The treble on Starfield doesn't extend as much as the B2, which can make them a bit muddy and splashy sometimes when there are cymbals playing. But this lower quantity of treble also makes the peak on Starfield less intense, making them a fatigue-free iem which is good for treble sensitive people.
The technicalities, which include the imaging, soundstage, resolution, and instrument separation on Starfield are obviously less resolving than B2 in comparison.
- The imaging is flatter
- The soundstage is narrower/intimate
- The resolution is slightly lower because of the lower treble quantity
- The instruments can get mixed up sometimes if they are playing a busy track.
B2 also has a more laid back presentation overall, while Starfield is more in your face.
So, is it worth it to upgrade from the Starfield to Blessing 2?
If you don't mind the less quantity and softer bass punch and you are looking for a similar tuning with a TOTL quality, it's definitely a yes. But overall, Starfield still very good for its price.
The tuning of the original blessing is based on the Harman target unlike the B2 with their house sound VDSF, but overall they measure fairly close to each other from the graph above.
Although they are identical in the graph, I can assure you that the improvements they made on the B2 are massive.
The bass quality on the og Blessing was clearly inferior compared to the B2's. The bass slam is lackluster, the texturing is just so so and it doesn't really rumble. The speed and decays is also a tad faster than on the B2, which makes them sound less natural to me. Even though it has a little more quantity than the B2, the bass on B1 sounds much drier and less due to the aspects above.
For the mids, B2 is smoother and laid back compared to the B1. The vocal on the B1 feels more forward and thinner, making the male vocal become more distanced and female vocal sound shouty as the result. It still didn't have any sibilant, but it can cause fatigue in the long term. The clarity here also slightly below the B2 as I caught it grainy sometimes on some tracks.
The treble between the two performs closely, just that B2 doesn't have the dip on the 7k that make B1 lose a bit clarity from the B2. Both extend also well without a doubt but cymbals and high hats sound better on the B2 as it has more air than B1.
Coming to the technicalities, you can immediately notice that B1 has more intimate soundstage than the B2. The sense of depth is also lacking on B1, but the width between both are pretty similar, making B1 feels flatter on their imaging. The resolution, instrument separations and layering also without a doubt better on the B2 because on B1 instruments can sound fuzzy/mixed up sometimes tho it's not as bad as Starfield, IMHO.
Overall, B2 is a very good upgrade if you are looking for an iem with a similar sound signature as it offers major improvements from most of the weaknesses that people complained about the og Blessing.
For the fit, it's pretty funny for me because I can't really get a good fit with the B1 especially the left side even when I had used sedna tips and it has a more universal type shell. It keeps sucking my left ear even without using sony hybrid / final E tips.
Moondrop Blessing 2 is without a doubt, one of the best performing mid-fi range IEM that you can get right now. And the fact that they're executing way more than their price value aside from the few small drawbacks, especially with the much lower price they have than their predecessors, made it even crazier. Although they still can't compete with the TOTLs like the 64audio's u12t or tia trio, at least they have been pretty close in closing the gap now. So if I'm going to look for an upgrade from the Blessing 2, I need at least going to the kilo bucks range now.
One small side note:
Just for a precaution that you should never ever drop the B2. As after they accidentally sliding off the table and dropped to the floor, one of the faceplates fell off and the pin sockets also come loose. Thankfully, the drivers are not affected. I had glued them back together after consulting with their rep, so they are fine by now.