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Moondrop Chu II IEM Review

Rate this IEM:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 2 1.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 3 1.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 31 15.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 162 81.8%

  • Total voters
    198
To clarify a bit on the above. You can provide an ostensive example of what a fox sounds like by playing a recording for another person. But try and put into words the tacit differences between how a fox sounds and how a dog or wolf sounds. You can't do it in any "objective" third-party way that everyone will agree upon. Same with analogical terms such as "spacious" or "easy." Tacit knowledge is first-person-objective but third-person-subjective.

From tacit knowledge link above.

The term tacit knowing is attributed to Michael Polanyi's Personal Knowledge (1958).[2] In his later work, The Tacit Dimension (1966), Polanyi made the assertion that "we can know more than we can tell."[3] He states not only that there is knowledge that cannot be adequately articulated by verbal means, but also that all knowledge is rooted in tacit knowledge. While this concept made most of its impact on philosophy of science, education and knowledge management—all fields involving humans—it was also, for Polanyi, a means to show humankind's evolutionary continuity with animals. Polanyi describes that many animals are creative, some even have mental representations, but can only possess tacit knowledge.[4] This excludes humans, however, who developed the capability of articulation and therefore can transmit partially explicit knowledge. This relatively modest difference then turns into a big practical advantage, but there is no unexplained evolutionary gap.
 
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You are oversimplifying.

These cheap IEMs with a single DD don't sound as good as the MP145 with its planar drivers.

I don't know why. I don't know how to measure that sense of spaciousness and ease, but I'm confident that I would be able to distinguish it in any blind test.

The Zero:2s, the Chus, the Nuos, all of them sound too intimate and muddy with complex tracks. They don't offer a "solved" experience yet.

More expensive multidrivers do seem senseless compared to the MP145, though.
That's probably just differences in frequency responses of the IEM's you mention.
 
Don't know about you, but I like to wear ear jewelry, and my extremely extravagant $90 Simgot EA 500 LM's are all metal black chrome and definitely make me a babe magnet. Sound really good with my EQ , though it's not Harman (which is not to my taste, personally)-- better in fact than anything else I've heard to date.
Ha, babe magnet! :D
 
Sorry to intervene but this went so out of topic for this review thread, it basically makes one interested in the subject (reviewed IEM) just quit the thread entirely. Thanks for understanding.
To clarify a bit on the above. You can provide an ostensive example of what a fox sounds like by playing a recording for another person. But try and put into words the tacit differences between how a fox sounds and how a dog or wolf sounds. You can't do it in any "objective" third-party way that everyone will agree upon. Same with analogical terms such as "spacious" or "easy." Tacit knowledge is first-person-objective but third-person-subjective.

From tacit knowledge link above.

The term tacit knowing is attributed to Michael Polanyi's Personal Knowledge (1958).[2] In his later work, The Tacit Dimension (1966), Polanyi made the assertion that "we can know more than we can tell."[3] He states not only that there is knowledge that cannot be adequately articulated by verbal means, but also that all knowledge is rooted in tacit knowledge. While this concept made most of its impact on philosophy of science, education and knowledge management—all fields involving humans—it was also, for Polanyi, a means to show humankind's evolutionary continuity with animals. Polanyi describes that many animals are creative, some even have mental representations, but can only possess tacit knowledge.[4] This excludes humans, however, who developed the capability of articulation and therefore can transmit partially explicit knowledge. This relatively modest difference then turns into a big practical advantage, but there is no unexplained evolutionary gap.
 
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Once China starts to apply ChiFi performance to speakers that outperform Genelec, Neumann, KEF, Revel with lower prices, then it's going to get wild. Imagine performance of a Genelec 8361 for 1/3 of the price.

just a kind reminder that we don't use the term Chi** here. I suppose you meant well, and I have no problem with that, but the term can be offending to some
Don't forget that Chinese brands are making more and more expensive stuffs as well, as we have seen $1000+ DAC (north of 1300 IIRC). I really doubt we will see anything that can rival Genelec 8361 for that cheap, and is built/supported well enough to make sense. When you buy Genelec you not only buy the hardware, but also warranty and support, and also the GLM software system which is said to make a day and night difference
 
Once China starts to apply ChiFi performance to speakers that outperform Genelec, Neumann, KEF, Revel with lower prices, then it's going to get wild. Imagine performance of a Genelec 8361 for 1/3 of the price.
This post getting quite a lot of likes considering that it has broken one of the forum rules.
 
This post getting quite a lot of likes considering that it has broken one of the forum rules.

While I respect the forum rules and I don't use that term, I believe that it is fair to say that, at least in my experience, Chinese people, of which I know plenty, are pretty comfortable employing it, and don't think of it as derogative in any way or form, and that Chinese corporations don't shy away from using it either for marketing reasons.

I wonder whether this is a real problem for Chinese people or it is just a foreigner's interpretation with little basis on reality.

For example, many Americans think that calling me a "Med" for being from Spain is some kind of slur, which I don't think it is, I'm proud of being a "Med"; but, at the same time, they call me "Latinx", which is the most insulting and denigrating thing ever; and, although I respect their right to say whatever they want, even if I don't like it, it kind of boils my blood to hear someone call me "Latinx", although Americans think that it is a polite way to refer to people who speak Spanish.
 
This post getting quite a lot of likes considering that it has broken one of the forum rules.
It just means people want affordable hifi made with scientific focus
 
Chinese people, of which I know plenty, are pretty comfortable employing it, and don't think…
Same boring argument I read all the time about audio: knowing that “plenty” are comfortable with IEM X, or like Chu II, but prefer IEM Z… does not make it objectively true. I don’t know what “plenty” is for you, but considering China’s population, I doubt your sample size is statistically significant (I could be wrong!).

calling me a "Med" for being from Spain is some kind of slur, which I don't think it is, I'm proud of being a "Med"; but, at the same time, they call me "Latinx”, which is the most…
I didn’t know that until you wrote it… So, since it has been written many times that the “term”, as you call it, can be offensive, let’s keep the rules as they are. After all, I know plenty of people who are not offended to be called “Latinx” ;)
 
Oh I did not know that ChiFi is considered bad, sorry then. It's just synonymous for me for "great, affordable, scientific high end audio made in China".
 
Moondrop is a fascinating company. Few IEM manufacturers offer models ranging in price from $13 to $2700. Most brands that offer a wide price range purposely neuter their lower price offerings so that each step up has obvious value added benefits. Often their inexpensive models have similarly neutered cosmetics and boring packaging/design. In looking at their website, the high price stuff looks great, but a lot of the sub $100 offerings do to.

The $23 wireless Space Travel is one the best reviewed and ANC TWS buds released in the last year. You can love or hate the look and case design, but you have to admit it is bold/innovative and the anime packaging is quite premium. I have a pair and for me they sound and feel great, the ANC works, and they have full app support which many companies only feature on their higher priced buds. Sure there is a lot of plastic but it seems solid and looks nice.

Then I see they are offering a $25 USB-C version of the Chu as well as a $26 USB-C DAC Cable that offers DSP with Parametric EQ/App support. I am not aware of other cables with this valuable feature and would not have been surprised if the offering price was 3-5 times as much. I see they make a smart phone and keyboard.

Moondrop is certainly a brand to watch.
 
Same boring argument I read all the time about audio: knowing that “plenty” are comfortable with IEM X, or like Chu II, but prefer IEM Z… does not make it objectively true. I don’t know what “plenty” is for you, but considering China’s population, I doubt your sample size is statistically significant (I could be wrong!).


I didn’t know that until you wrote it… So, since it has been written many times that the “term”, as you call it, can be offensive, let’s keep the rules as they are. After all, I know plenty of people who are not offended to be called “Latinx” ;)

I find hard to believe that you know people from South America or Spain that don't think that "Latinx" is terrible, but if you say so...

Still, again, even if I deeply dislike the term, I do think that your right to use the words that you like is stronger than my right to no read the words that I don't like.

But don't think that we are going to be great friends if you call me "Latinx". :p
 
- they cost next to nothing so I got them for fun
- what can I say, save your money, they are tiny
- the sound is also tiny
- the soundstage is very narrow and almost only in the head everything is very close and annoying
- everything sounds very boring and dull
- the cable that comes with it is rubbish, unfortunately it broke when I took it off, the zero2 are better and don't need EQ

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Then I see they are offering a $25 USB-C version of the Chu as well as a $26 USB-C DAC Cable that offers DSP with Parametric EQ/App support. I am not aware of other cables with this valuable feature and would not have been surprised if the offering price was 3-5 times as much. I see they make a smart phone and keyboard.
Moondrop is selling the FreeDSP and CDSP aftermarket cables with PEQ support. JIU, the Chu-II-DSP predecessor, was a version of the OG Chu with a (non removable) USB-C / DSP cable. Variants of the FreeDSP cable are used on Moondrop MAY and DUSK/Crinacle IEMs.

Besides Moondrop, Tanchjim has had USB-C / PEQ versions of their Zero, One, and Tanya IEMs for quite some time.
Not a cable, but Fiio has recently introduced their Jade-Audio JA11, a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter with 5x PEQ (wonder if it's the same KTmicro chip as Moondrop CHU-II, CDSP, JIU and Tanchjim's ???).

These cables/adapters definitely have limitations and their measurements may not be TOTL. But they make a lot of sense for entry-level IEMs: either to "correct" a less-than-perfect FR or, like Chu-II, to change its FR to whatever "target" you desire if Harman is not your thing. With Chu-II-DSP, you get 5x available PEQs through the app., then it carries over to whatever source supporting UAC-1/2... pretty much everything.:)
 
- they cost next to nothing so I got them for fun
- what can I say, save your money, they are tiny
- the sound is also tiny
- the soundstage is very narrow and almost only in the head everything is very close and annoying
- everything sounds very boring and dull
- the cable that comes with it is rubbish, unfortunately it broke when I took it off, the zero2 are better and don't need EQ

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I already mentioned that, they sound really inside your head. And I don't think that you can EQ them to improve soundstage. I think that the opinion that FR is everything and you can create large soundstage in any IEM with just that is wrong. I have tried. DSP always help, but you need a good baseline to achieve a satisfying experience.
 
I already mentioned that, they sound really inside your head. And I don't think that you can EQ them to improve soundstage. I think that the opinion that FR is everything and you can create large soundstage in any IEM with just that is wrong. I have tried. DSP always help, but you need a good baseline to achieve a satisfying experience.
Musical tones are never spooky. They never make me think about the meyersound horn room the song was mastered on, or too much about instrument mics. The z300 (women and men were interested by the gold shell) had this quality actually.

Elbows and knees lightly impacting tables and support legs, or any recordings not highpassed are somewhat disturbing. Mic self noise alone is not liable to be distracting.
 
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Imagine performance of a Genelec 8361 for 1/3 of the price.
As long as it doesn't have 1/10 the warranty...

I think the comparison between IEMs and speakers is somewhat superficial. Of course China has all the expertise and manufacturing capacity they need to make something like a high-end Genelec.

However, I think doing something like that requires getting more processes / experts under one roof to maintain quality, and more investment in design (klippel, etc) so it's less likely for any given factory to take the lead and make such a big investment. IMO Chinese factories are excellent in terms of honing in on a single specialty or process, it's less common to see generalist firms there, where you have TOTL amp, DSP, cabinet, driver, and acoustic work going on under one roof.

This isn't really an explanation as to why they can't or won't do it. Maybe just a theory as to why it hasn't happened already.
 
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I already mentioned that, they sound really inside your head. And I don't think that you can EQ them to improve soundstage. I think that the opinion that FR is everything and you can create large soundstage in any IEM with just that is wrong. I have tried. DSP always help, but you need a good baseline to achieve a satisfying experience.
I agree with you, you can certainly do a little more with an EQ but if the basis is already like that it becomes difficult. I don't have much time to listen and compare at the moment because I'm 24-hour on-call standby.
 
Chinese In Ears really changed the game in the last decade.

I got into the headphones hobby in late 2013 and, back then, you had to spend at least several hundred dollars to get a remotely neutral and detailed sounding pair of In Ears, usually a multi-BA setup. The market for such items was tiny and mostly dominated by pro brands like Shure, Westone or Ultimate Ears.

Then, around 2015, brands like Vsonic (GR07 etc.), Xiaomi (Piston V2, V3 etc.), KZ (ATE etc.), Fidue (A83 etc.) and Dunu (DN-1000 etc.) delivered great performance for much less money and started a new craze, culminating in brands like Moondrop. People would have paid kilobucks for IEMs sounding like the Chus (II) back around 2015.
 
I already mentioned that, they sound really inside your head. And I don't think that you can EQ them to improve soundstage. I think that the opinion that FR is everything and you can create large soundstage in any IEM with just that is wrong. I have tried. DSP always help, but you need a good baseline to achieve a satisfying experience.
The Zero Twos were a real eye-opener for me, where the measurements shined through on tracks that were slow or simple, but the sound completely fell apart for stuff that was fast and complex. I'm not a true believer in measurements anymore when it comes to IEMs. The small drivers just aren't as flexible as the ones you get on speakers and full-sized headphones.
 
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