Pros: Tuning, Value, Build Quality
Cons: Cable, Detail, Soundstage
Driver Setup: Single Dynamic Driver
Disclaimer: This IEM was borrowed and this review is written of my own accord and all thoughts here are my own. The Moondrop Chu is available for purchase here should you find yourself interested in a pair, or feel free to use your own links.
Moondrop isn’t done. It has shone at various price points with the Blessing 2, Aria, and Kato, but it now attempts to truly conquer the budget realm with the Moondrop Chu. To be upfront about it, I have heard countless raves about the Chu prior to this so expectations will be high.
Accessories (Score: 9/10)
Packaging is minimal but exceeds expectations with the inclusion of a cloth pouch, a pair of ear guides and Moondrop’s very own Spring Tips. The Spring Tips cost about 4usd a pair and you are given 3 pairs in S/M/L sizes. The spring tips are of really high quality and offer superb comfort. There is supposedly a lot of engineering that went into the design of the tips, which I shan’t delve into here. In short, you can already see the value the Moondrop Chu promises.
Build Quality and Fit (Score: 7/10)
Moondrop never really disappoints in the build quality. The earbud shells are made of metal with a matte black finish, a combination that gives off an understated yet premium vibe. It shares the same design DNA as the Aria, which I quite fancied.
My only complaint would be the undetachable cable. The problem lies in how springy the cable is and sometimes leaps over the ear when walking. I would personally have preferred a softer, more well-behaved one. Nevertheless, the inclusion of ear guides alleviates this issue for those intending to take the Chu’s on the go.
Sound (Score: 7.3/10)
Frequency Response Graph of the Moondrop Chu
- Apple Dongle
- Lotoo Paw S1
Music listened to
- BORNS – Blue Madonna
- Grouplove – Never Trust a Happy Song
- Michael Buble – To Be Loved
- Mumford & Sons
- The Lumineers
Bass lacks a crisper sound that I would prefer, it does perform well to avoid muddiness. It is also very much on the leaner side so those hoping for a punchier, stronger bass response would be sorely disappointed with the Chu. It is also essential to get a good seal with the Chu, otherwise, they can sound anaemic in this area.
There is a trademark Moondrop tuning evident in the upper mids. I quite like their house sound so this bodes well for me. I particularly enjoy male vocals on this and wouldn’t find my playlist to be shouty or harsh, however, your experience may vary depending on your preferred playlist and tuning.
Treble is rolled off as expected from an earphone at this price point. However, timbre and tonality are very pleasant, lending themselves to the versatile nature of the Chu across genres. You wouldn’t really experience sibilance and tonality is rather decent.
The Chu’s biggest strengths are it’s tuning. It sounds enjoyable and versatile pairing it with the Lotoo Paw S1. It’s a little overkill yes. However, the Chu is very easy to drive. It runs perfectly fine with the iPhone dongle, which I would assume many would be using them with.
The Chu’s biggest weakness is its detail and claustrophobic one-dimensional sound.
The Moondrop Chu is not an audiophile’s IEM. Considering value for money, the Chu is amazing, but I wouldn’t say everyone should run out there to get one now. So who would I recommend the Chu to?
If you’re looking for a beater wired earphone for use at work, or you’re curious about what your fellow “audiophile” friends are on about, the Chu could be the perfect recommendation. It’s so inexpensive but covers all your needs and surpasses all expectations at its price.
However, if you already have your audio gear, the Chu is not going to blow your mind, but then again, it’s so inexpensive you could just go get it for fun and won’t feel half bad.
Overall Grade: B+
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