Mondrop Aria Review: Dolce with a Pinch of Grazioso

Pros: Pleasant tuning, Wide Soundstage, Competent technical ability, Build quality

Cons: Sound can get a little plain/dry, but that’d be asking for too much for what you’re paying

Driver Setup: 10mm LCP Diaphragm Dynamic Driver

Price: $79.99

Intro

Disclaimer: I reached out to Shenzhenaudio with interest in reviewing the Aria, and received a review unit in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions written here are my own.

Moondrop continues its “if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it” motto with the Aria. Featuring the same shell as the Starfield and KXXS, the Aria features a single Liquid Crystal Diaphragm 10mm Diameter Dynamic Driver. Coming in at US$79.99, it is cheaper than the highly-esteemed Starfield ($109.99) and can safely be considered a direct competitor.

Accessories and Build Quality (Score: 8.0/10)

Packaging is really gorgeous, especially considering the barebones packaging of the Moondrop Starfield. The shell is fully metal and coated with a rough matte finish. The earbuds have a nice weight to them and the pictures can attest to the beauty of the IEMs.

Included is a hard zip case similar to the one that comes with the Starfield. The included cable is a cloth-sleeved cable that goes well with the black aesthetic. It looks much sleeker and durable than the stock cable of the Starfield. However, the cable is quite thin and has many kinks above the Y-split.

Fit (Score: 8.0/10)

Fit is alright with the Aria. It’s not the most ergonomic shape and the metal shells are rather weighty. Nevertheless, they stayed snugly in my ears even while walking and I never had any issues in achieving a sustained seal. Isolation is quite good as well.

Sound (Score: 8.3/10)

Frequency Response Graph of the Aria

Sources Used

  • Hiby R5
  • Lotoo Paw S1 

Albums and Tracks tested with

  • Mumford and Sons – Delta
  • NEEDTOBREATHE
  • Andy Gibb – The Very Best Of
  • 10cm – 4.0
  • James Bay
  • AJR

Bass (Score: 8.0/10)

Very well-controlled bass with a very deep extension. On Mumford & Sons’ “Woman” the bassline was kind of thrown back with a very mellow and textured rumble. In terms of the overall bass quantity of the Aria, they are slightly elevated but nowhere near basshead levels. The lower end feels much tighter and punchier than the Starfield and thinner note thickness.

Mids (Score: 8.5/10)

Mids are very broad and fluid. Vocals are especially expressive and usually take centre stage. Upper mids are quite present and forward. Unfortunately, it was a little too much in certain female vocal tracks or higher-pitched male singers like 10cm. What I enjoyed in the Mids was that it has its own space to shine on the Aria. There is minimal bleeding from the bass and hence the vocals can really power through clearly.

Treble (Score: 8.0/10)

Just like the Moondrop Starfield, the Aria adopts a more subdued treble, with sufficient technicalities and extension without any harshness or sibilance. We should be used to Moondrop’s house sound by now. Nevertheless, there is enough extension in the upper region that gives these a greater sense of breadth in the overall sound and an added dimension in instruments like cymbals and Hi-hats.

Overall

Another thing I really enjoyed on the Aria was the soundstage. I have a soft spot for broader sounding IEMs and the Aria does a pretty good job at that. Overall, I would say the tuning of the Aria is quite versatile for many genres and in terms of detail retrieval, it’s not perfect but still pretty decent for its price and definitely exceeds expectations.

Comparison

VS Moondrop Starfield

Full review of the Moondrop Starfield

They are very similar earphones and share a lot of similarities. Some of the more notable differences are that the Starfield sounds much more intimate and have a thicker “thump” in the lower regions. This is probably due to a slower decay on the Starfield. The Starfield can also be said to be a more soulful and engaging presentation as it is more “in your face” as compared to the laid-back presentation on the Aria.

Conclusion

The Aria is another polished product put out by Moondrop. It is well-priced and is a very competent IEM in its price range. Technical ability is pretty decent at its price and the tuning is very coherent. Perhaps the only thing I can nitpick at is that perhaps the sound may get a little dry and plain during longer listening sessions. Aria as a musical term refers to an expressive vocal passage. Though Aria does a good at presenting crystal clear vocal performances, it loses out a bit on the expressive portion. Nevertheless, the Aria already gives much more than expected and I would have no difficulty recommending it as a starting IEM.

Overall Grade: A-

83%
Sound
90%
Value
80%
Design

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

PERRIVAN AUDIO