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Moondrop Blessing 2 Review (IEM)

Rate this IEM:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 2 1.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 11 6.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 85 48.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 76 43.7%

  • Total voters
    174

autoexec

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Excited to see your findings on the S8. I've always lauded the quality of its subbass and how it's not in anyway sounding thin like the B2. B2 has been always thin to me and definitely lacked substantial body in the mids. It's like it's trying to sound clean and clear from the thinness in the mids. Bass can be quite enjoyable on noisy environment but with critical listening, I've always felt it to be one-notey and lacks definition and would rather have it toned down.
 

FrantzM

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Crinacle handled the "KZ BS" perfectly.

And it is a very subjective hobby, despite and alongside the scientific nature of our approach.
I believe this has to come to be comforting to repeat that our hobby is "subjective'. The reality , sobering and humbling, is that there are objective metrics to why we love a transducer or not. Seeing and knowing what we are listening to, do throw this objectivity out of the doors but, we humans, respond to certain things the very same way, the great majority of us, regardless of ethnic, social or regional backgrounds. Good sound, accurate reproduction of sound signals is measurable. be it from speakers or headphones... Such a deep "hole" in the region where the hearing apparatus of Human Earthlings is most sensitive is bound to sound inaccurate for said Humans. Sprinkle this with some well-placed words and knowledge and some of those humans, may start to "like" such lack of accuracy, Remove it... and ...


Peace
 
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mrbungle

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Excited to see your findings on the S8. I've always lauded the quality of its subbass and how it's not in anyway sounding thin like the B2. B2 has been always thin to me and definitely lacked substantial body in the mids. It's like it's trying to sound clean and clear from the thinness in the mids. Bass can be quite enjoyable on noisy environment but with critical listening, I've always felt it to be one-notey and lacks definition and would rather have it toned down.
You’re at least the second person to complain about a thin sound. You have a particular example track where this is apparent?

One of my sibilance tests, Laura Stevenson/Moving Cars for example sounds warm and rich in the mids to me.

Others have complained about a boring sound. My initial reaction is you probably listen to boring music, but I guess things bass extension and spatial can add some fun. But the B2 are IMHO pretty decent here for IEMs, for example some of my tests here are Saint Etienne/Penlop, Perfume Genius/Otherside, or Max Richter/Cradle to the Grave.
 

NoteMakoti

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The Blessing 2 is a great IEM, but I've been chomping at the bit to try something new. I'm looking forward to more IEM reviews!
 

mrbungle

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The Blessing 2 is a great IEM, but I've been chomping at the bit to try something new. I'm looking forward to more IEM reviews!
The new Sennheiser IE600 look promising, I‘m waiting for them launching in the US. Maybe (probaby) not worth the premium over FD5/7, but great tuning and probably very comfortable fit and build quality.
 

ArthuRScarlet

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“IEMs with Good Bass"
sofar there are AKG N5005(literaly Harman Bass), Sennheiser IE900 (Deepest bass, However this guy has no 3khz boost), Sony IER Z1R( But with 200hz boost)
 

Rottmannash

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Possibly, but the Blessing distortion isn't really problematic until you go over the 104dB threshold . Still higher than other iem though. Will be interesting to see more models with different driver configs for sure.
I have these and have listened to them are extremely high volumes when driven by the THX 789 with no audible (to me) distortion.
 

Rottmannash

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Yorkshire Mouth

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Moondrop Blessing 2 IEM. It was sent to me by Shenzhenaudio and costs US $320.
View attachment 198183
Blessing 2 feels substantial in hand without being overly large. The tips included are silicone and rather thin. This made it harder to mount on my headphone fixture but worked very well for my ears.

Note: The measurements you are about to see are made using a standardized Gras 45C. Headphone/IEM measurements by definition are approximate and variable so don't be surprised if other measurements even if performed with the same fixtures as mine, differ in end results. Protocols vary such as headband pressure and averaging (which I don't do). As you will see, I confirm the approximate accuracy of the measurements using Equalization and listening tests. Ultimately headphone measurements are less exact than speakers mostly in bass and above a few kilohertz so keep that in mind as you read these tests. If you think you have an exact idea of a headphone/IEM performance, you are likely wrong!

Moondrop Blessing 2 Measurements

Let's start with our usual dashboard and special target for IEMs:

View attachment 198184
When I first measured these, I thought they had target Harman curve but my fitment was wrong given the small differences. Then I read up and it seems they have their own tweaked target they call VDSF (diffused target of sorts). Variations from Harman target were small so I was very curious as to its audibility (see listening test section). Relative response shows how small the variations are:


View attachment 198185

I was dismayed to see the same distortion which we saw in another BA driver IEM:
View attachment 198186

I worked on qualifying this in listening tests.

View attachment 198187

Impedance is low and a bit variable:
View attachment 198188

Sensitivity is on the low side meaning you need more power to drive it:
View attachment 198189

Group delay is clean and uneventful:

View attachment 198190

Moondrop Blessing 2 Listening Tests
First impression was, "hey this is quite good and doesn't need changing." Experience shows however that absolute evaluation is not truthful. So I developed an EQ based on differences with our target curve:
View attachment 198191

AB testing quickly showed that the sound without EQ was thinner and a bit harsh. It would be fascinating to have a formal study of this to see where preference lands in blind test as the difference is small and is two flavors of good sound.

With EQ in place, the fidelity was startling good at times. The level of detail was amazing during some periods. I then cranked up the volume some and noticed distortion in upper bass with some subtle ticking. Push it harder and it compresses, refusing to get louder and and become more congested. Mind you, this is at totally unhealthy listing levels but shows you that the distortion measurements are accurate and predictive.

I have yet to hear an IEM with good sub-bass. Response of the Blessing 2 was better than average (with EQ) but still very far from any over the ear headphone.

Conclusions
Without EQ, the response of Blessing 2 is close enough to our target to beat out performance of vast number of speakers on tonality! With EQ, it becomes even better, with warmer, and less harsh sound. It can't handle ear bleeding levels but maybe that encourages you to not go there. We are talking about last bit of refinement and performance not being there.

I am going to recommend the Moondrop Blessing 2 especially if you use it with Equalization.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/

For me, they key here is "Without EQ, the response of Blessing 2 is close enough to our target to beat out performance of vast number of speakers on tonality!...It can't handle ear bleeding levels but maybe that encourages you to not go there."

I have the Arias and they're great. I'm sure they're not perfect, but they're good enough, especially considering usage and budget.

When Amir says "We are talking about last bit of refinement and performance not being there." For me that's more than close enough.
 

Jimbob54

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Question for AMIR: Is there a way you can test (not the full gamut, just one or two) to see how your blessing2 measures with and WITHOUT the mesh nozzle filter please if it is still on load in your possession.

b2d user here..for anyone considering a purchase, be aware...it has a 6.5mm nozzle which makes it NOT a beginner friendly IEM (fit and tip rolling is a must). In my research for better tips, using company nozzle data, and purchases of my own, I've found these fit the nozzle (but you will almost always shred the mesh so buyer beware):

Symbio W - (Very firm...not my favorite)
Spinfit cp155 (long time cp100 user, these are my fav. Thin silicon means less seal vs stock. Tradeoff for better comfort)
Azla xelastic (if you force it, it fits. Doesn't fit well because you have to order 2 sizes down to begin with...so pass on this...also too expensive)
Azla clears (less force than x's...doesn't improve over stock tips or 155s...to expensive)
Stock tip from Venture Electronics "Bonus IE" iem (Surprising comfort. Only comes in 1 size and cant be bought standalone...curious find)

Out of this round up, the best for me is actually the stock blessing tips. However I was in between sizes between S and M...so I found I had to resort to cp155.
Exactly the same - the CP155 for me (think Im medium but cant recall)- its a far pointier/slender tip than even other Spinfit but works a treat with the Blessings as the shell itself holds the 'phones nicely in place, not relying on the tip being overly snug t get grip.
 

autoexec

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You’re at least the second person to complain about a thin sound. You have a particular example track where this is apparent?

One of my sibilance tests, Laura Stevenson/Moving Cars for example sounds warm and rich in the mids to me.

Others have complained about a boring sound. My initial reaction is you probably listen to boring music, but I guess things bass extension and spatial can add some fun. But the B2 are IMHO pretty decent here for IEMs, for example some of my tests here are Saint Etienne/Penlop, Perfume Genius/Otherside, or Max Richter/Cradle to the Grave.
Just so it's clear, I'm not in the camp that consider the B2 boring, heck they're quite "too fun" for me to actually truly enjoy them. The thinness kills engagement in the mids and will probably be suitable for EDM or synthetic music without real instruments that benefit from a more mature tuning like the S8. Although I can fully understand how they are boring to most people and consider them to be their borderline on how neutral they can get while to me it's the most fun I could tolerate. I actually tried several tips just to alleviate this issue, with the stock tips ithey're almost unbearable to me unless I'm in a noisy environment and the extra mid bass slam is welcome and bass quality isn't that cruicial. I appreciate their technical side tho, love the somewhat 3D imaging, instrument separation (although quite forced) and detail retrieval. It's just the tuning and bass quality that ruin the experience for me.

For the sample tracks of what I am talking about, my issue is actualy present with every music that has vocals and real instruments but here are some:

Why We Ever - Hayley Williams:
The bass in this track is quite upfront but will still be enjoyble with gears with a flatter (midbass) tuning and/or better bass quality than B2. With B2 the bass is almost one-notey and masking a lot of the other information in the mix especially in the mids and is actually quite tiring to listen to. With my other gears (ER2SE / ER4SR, S8, SSR, Illumination, etc.) it's actually a great track to listen to.

Take The Power Back - RATM
This is a great example of a track with good electric guitar tone. With the B2 the guitars are less engaging from the thinness issue I have. It has the illusion of a cleaner sound presentation because of this thinness at the expense of accurately reproducing the girth (if you will) of the instruments.

Bad Asteroid - The Aristocrats:
This track is another example of how B2 drowns you with (low resolution) bass putting guitars behind the mix, giving the user the illusion of a detailed, clean sound. In reality, it's lowkey v-shaped and if you care about the lost information, you'll definitely be underwhelmed by it.

I can list more tracks but I guess you'll get the idea when you compare them to more mature sounding IEMs. ER2SE/ER4SR are the extreme examples but even with just an SSR (w/ Xelastec tips) the tuning is way more mature than the B2 and will reproduce instruments more organicly.
 
Last edited:

mrbungle

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Just so it's clear, I'm not in the camp that consider the B2 boring, heck they're quite "too fun" for me to actually truly enjoy them. The thinness kills engagement in the mids and will probably be suitable for EDM or synthetic music without real instruments that benefit from a more mature tuning like the S8. Although I can fully understand how they are boring to most people and consider them to be their borderline on how neutral they can get while to me it's the most fun I could tolerate. I actually tried several tips just to alleviate this issue, with the stock tips ithey're almost unbearable to me unless I'm in a noisy environment and the extra mid bass slam is welcome and bass quality isn't that cruicial. I appreciate their technical side tho, love the somewhat 3D imaging, instrument separation (although quite forced) and detail retrieval. It's just the tuning and bass quality that ruin the experience for me.
Thanks, appreciate it. I think I’m lucky in that the B2’s fit like a glove for me. The small stock silicone tips were fine, the Moondrop Spring tips are more comfortable and durable. All 3 examples are still pretty enjoyable to me, but definitely more fun with my Aryas. Makes me want to try the S8 if they come close(r) here.
 

Art of sound

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Just so it's clear, I'm not in the camp that consider the B2 boring, heck they're quite "too fun" for me to actually truly enjoy them. The thinness kills engagement in the mids and will probably be suitable for EDM or synthetic music without real instruments that benefit from a more mature tuning like the S8. Although I can fully understand how they are boring to most people and consider them to be their borderline on how neutral they can get while to me it's the most fun I could tolerate. I actually tried several tips just to alleviate this issue, with the stock tips ithey're almost unbearable to me unless I'm in a noisy environment and the extra mid bass slam is welcome and bass quality isn't that cruicial. I appreciate their technical side tho, love the somewhat 3D imaging, instrument separation (although quite forced) and detail retrieval. It's just the tuning and bass quality that ruin the experience for me.

For the sample tracks of what I am talking about, my issue is actualy present with every music that has vocals and real instruments but here are some:

Why We Ever - Hayley Williams:
The bass in this track is quite upfront but will still be enjoyble with gears with a flatter (midbass) tuning and/or better bass quality than B2. With B2 the bass is almost one-notey and masking a lot of the other information in the mix especially in the mids and is actually quite tiring to listen to. With my other gears (ER2SE / ER4SR, S8, SSR, Illumination, etc.) it's actually a great track to listen to.

Take The Power Back - RATM
This is a great example of a track with good electric guitar tone. With the B2 the guitars are less engaging from the thinness issue I have. It has the illusion of a cleaner sound presentation because of this thinness at the expense of accurately reproducing the girth (if you will) of the instruments.

Bad Asteroid - The Aristocrats:
This track is another example of how B2 drowns you with (low resolution) bass putting guitars behind the mix, giving the user the illusion of a detailed, clean sound. In reality, it's lowkey v-shaped and if you care about the lost information, you'll definitely be underwhelmed by it.

I can list more tracks but I guess you'll get the idea when you compare them to more mature sounding IEMs. ER2SE/ER4SR are the extreme examples but even with just an SSR (w/ Xelastec tips) the tuning is way more mature than the B2 and will reproduce instruments more organicly.
Did you EQ it to boost the Q2.5-3, f150hz, +3-4db and AB test. i have an issue with drowned out male vocals for my moondrop variations but the auto eq profile fixes it. i presume they have the same dd driver.
 

MerlinGS

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@amirm, if you are interested in testing the AKG N400NC TWS, and no one has sent you a set, I would be willing to purchase them and have them sent to you. You would be able to take your time for testing since I would not need them for some time.
 

autoexec

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Did you EQ it to boost the Q2.5-3, f150hz, +3-4db and AB test. i have an issue with drowned out male vocals for my moondrop variations but the auto eq profile fixes it. i presume they have the same dd driver.
No I did not use any eq. I actually tried EQ-ing them by raising some parts in the mids (definitely not the 150hz region as that will exacerbate my stiff midbass issue and drowned mids) but I didn't like what it did to other stuff so I reverted to no EQ and just use the best tips at hand to alleviate the issue which is the Radius Deep Mount. Previously I was using CP155 and while it lessens my issue with hass it also did something weird in the highs.
 

dib

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Just so it's clear, I'm not in the camp that consider the B2 boring, heck they're quite "too fun" for me to actually truly enjoy them. The thinness kills engagement in the mids and will probably be suitable for EDM or synthetic music without real instruments that benefit from a more mature tuning like the S8. Although I can fully understand how they are boring to most people and consider them to be their borderline on how neutral they can get while to me it's the most fun I could tolerate. I actually tried several tips just to alleviate this issue, with the stock tips ithey're almost unbearable to me unless I'm in a noisy environment and the extra mid bass slam is welcome and bass quality isn't that cruicial. I appreciate their technical side tho, love the somewhat 3D imaging, instrument separation (although quite forced) and detail retrieval. It's just the tuning and bass quality that ruin the experience for me.

For the sample tracks of what I am talking about, my issue is actualy present with every music that has vocals and real instruments but here are some:

Why We Ever - Hayley Williams:
The bass in this track is quite upfront but will still be enjoyble with gears with a flatter (midbass) tuning and/or better bass quality than B2. With B2 the bass is almost one-notey and masking a lot of the other information in the mix especially in the mids and is actually quite tiring to listen to. With my other gears (ER2SE / ER4SR, S8, SSR, Illumination, etc.) it's actually a great track to listen to.

Take The Power Back - RATM
This is a great example of a track with good electric guitar tone. With the B2 the guitars are less engaging from the thinness issue I have. It has the illusion of a cleaner sound presentation because of this thinness at the expense of accurately reproducing the girth (if you will) of the instruments.

Bad Asteroid - The Aristocrats:
This track is another example of how B2 drowns you with (low resolution) bass putting guitars behind the mix, giving the user the illusion of a detailed, clean sound. In reality, it's lowkey v-shaped and if you care about the lost information, you'll definitely be underwhelmed by it.

I can list more tracks but I guess you'll get the idea when you compare them to more mature sounding IEMs. ER2SE/ER4SR are the extreme examples but even with just an SSR (w/ Xelastec tips) the tuning is way more mature than the B2 and will reproduce instruments more organicly.
Which of the Etymotics you prefer, ER4SR or ER2SE and Why?
 

CaseyBill

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I remember an old IEM that was quite infamous for its subwoofer-esque bass; the Fischer Audio Eterna. They were popular in the Berlin DJ scene for a while for their visceral bass slam. This was back in 2010, I think? Something like that.

View attachment 198248
View attachment 198250
I used to really like these - still have an unopened pair from before I got into Chi-Fi.
 

CaseyBill

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If Amir gets really into IEMs this would really be the cherry on top of the cake of ASR for me.

IEMs are such a great way to enjoy the hobby IMO, lots of variability, the possibility of finding hidden gems, and a collection you can keep in one desk drawer.

What I'd like to see measured:
Moondrop Kato (on my to get list)
Monarch Mark II (my current "best" IEM)
Kinera Skald
Dunu SA6 and Titan S (curious about Dunu and would liek to know if the Titan is a new 100$ killer)
Tin T3 plus (need another good under 100 rec to go with the Moondrop Aria)
Tanchjim OLA (lot of hype)
UM Mest Mk II (wondered if I picked the right totl)

And aninteresting thing I'd like to see measured and compared would be tri/multi vs single DD vs multi BA (at various price points)
 
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