Moondrop A8 Review

When it comes to Moondrop, there are so many selections you can choose from within a variety of price ranges. Although they make all of our lives a bit easier producing a number of affordable IEM, it’s time to dive into some of their more mid-tier options. I talked about the Variations, which I enjoyed very much and I wanted to see what Moondrop can deliver for a few hundred dollars more. Is the A8 worth the $666.65 price point?

Moondrop items

What You Get

  • A8 IEMs
  • Carrying case
  • 6x silicone ear tips
  • 3.5mm 2-pin connector cable

Moondrop size

Look and Feel

Similar to the Blessing 2 and Variations in design, the A8 features a solid mold that is structured in an ergonomic fashion. It’s a completely clear housing with all of its inner components revealed to you for a more mechanical aesthetic. The fit isn’t going to satisfy everybody but I never found it uncomfortable. While the size of the nozzle in relation to the larger ear tips might take some getting used to, I ended up feeling they were very secure and tight. They will feel big at first, but over time, I didn’t feel like they were significantly stretching out my ear or making them feel fatigued.

Moondrop cable

Design

The A8 uses a system of 8 balanced armatures. Two are from Knowles and help ouput low-frequency information with a large diaphragm and low distortion. Four armatures are dedicated to midrange output and the final two for highs.

  • Frequency Response Range: 10-40kHz
  • Sensitivity: 110dB
  • Line Length: 1.2m
  • Plug Type: Line Type
  • ​Jacks: 3.5 mm
  • Style: In-Ear
  • Communication: Wired

Moondrop front

Soundstage

I’ve been a fan of what Moondrop has to offer in this specific area, offering worthy soundstages throughout their library. This time around, Moondrop goes for something different with the A8. While still providing suitable width and identifiable layers, its spatial imaging is given a closer headspace. Sound elements are positioned in a more forward space, offering a close, intimate immersion rather than a spatial one. The A8 serves that purpose extremely well, granting well-articulated layers and separation for a more meaty image. Instruments and vocals feel like they’re easily localized while performing their details in a way where nothing about its sound signature is missed.

Low End

You get a good helping of bass tones within this response. It’s well-controlled while offering a warmth that feels properly punchy and with a bolstered sub-bass. The resonance goes deep while extending its details with clarity and clean textures. Mid-bass frequencies are well-balanced with this timbre and showcase a tight extension that both give coloration and transparency to the sound signature.

Mids

I found the midrange to be pretty consistent in its detail and resolution, even when displaying a flatter timbre. Tonally, the midrange frequencies don’t offer a ton of extension but feel accurate and detailed enough for instrumentals and vocals to properly communicate their fidelity. They complete a sense of fullness that fives the frequency response some meaty heft, all while presenting a more critical idea of the mids instead of a textured one.

Highs

The meat of this response all goes to the treble. This region operates in a vastly more complex light than the bass and mids, featuring sometimes overwhelming extension for a heavily textured response. The high frequencies immediately overshadow the rest of the sound signature with its rich presentation and sometimes glistening detail. However, this sheen of resonance is incredibly uneven to me, with heavier tracks being overly harsh in some instances. Punk and Metal tracks become overbearing with their treble, and can sometimes make the highs distorted and noisy, but with acoustic and orchestral tracks, the highs behave more steady and present more of the tonality that I’m looking for. It plays both extreme ends of the sound spectrum, displaying harshness or sparkle depending on the track.

Summary

While I enjoyed some of my experience with the Moondrop A8, the sound signature didn’t go down as smoothly as consistently as I had hoped. Those high frequencies go a long way and will make or break it for you when it comes to certain genres of music. What works in the A8 is even more enjoyable without the treble taking up all the spotlight. A bit of tuning and the A8 would be almost perfect for me, containing the perfect amount of texture and transparency to engulf me in its image. For the price, I might choose a few options over the A8, but they’re absolutely worth listening to if you’re curious.

Pros  Cons
  • Build quality
  • 8 armature system
  • Separation 
  • Dynamic bass
  • Full midrange
  • Sometimes harsh highs
  • Big initial fit 

The Moondrop A8 is available at Audio46.

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