Moondrop x Crinacle Blessing 2: Dusk Review

Just over a year ago, I bought and reviewed the Moondrop Blessing 2 in-ear monitor and found it to be an outstanding value at $320 with a few small quirks: it was a tad large with an angled nozzle that did not fit with my ear shape well, and it was just slightly bright-tilting that can be fatiguing with some music. Now, a year later, I am getting an opportunity to listen to and review a new variant of the Blessing 2, called the "Dusk." 

The Blessing 2 Dusk is a collaborative effort from Moondrop and community-reviewer Crinacle from In-Ear Fidelity fame. The new set features the same basic shell design and accessory package, but with a re-tuned internal to produce a sound more closely resembling Crinacle's preference target.

This set is on-loan to me from Crinacle himself as part of a North American review tour. I do converse with Crinacle online often, however his presence did not influence my review at all, and I did not discuss the contents of the review or the experience for that matter with him prior to this article release.

I won't dive too much into the unboxing and package suite as it is pretty much the same as the original Blessing 2 set except with a few graphical changes. First off, the box features a new animated female mascot featuring a similar designed character but with a face resembling Crinacle's face logo. The shell branding now also features the words "Dusk" on it, just below the Blessing 2 standard print.

As a quick refresher, the Dusk and Blessing 2 are multi-driver hybrids. They both feature a single dynamic driver to carry the low-end, and 4 balanced armature drivers to provide the mid-range and treble. As far as I know, the driver configurations are identical, however the tuning has changed.

Sound Impressions

My initial day of listening to these was a very pleasant one. As some may know already, I do a bit of listening just prior to measuring if at all possible. For the case of the Dusk, I already had seen many graphs of it in the past, but withheld measuring this particular set until I spent a bit of time on it first.

Unfortunately, I no longer have the original Blessing 2, but I have listened to it enough to, as well as taken a lot of notes on it, that I have a pretty good understanding of how it sounds and behaves. My primary listening device with the Dusk has been the Lotoo PAW 6000 digital audio player, and I've been limited to that as my main desktop amplifier is out of commission for repairs at the moment.

The Dusk, right off the bat, sounds very well-tuned and engaging. The bass shelf sounds more elevated and bolder with more lingering decay and a punchier attack. The mid-range sounds more filled-in and the lower treble area is no longer bright, but now falls more in-line with how I want a treble response to sound like, with a good balance of clarity, but without over-exaggeration that could lead to tizzies. 

I spent several hours listening to an eclectic mix of music, but was very impressed with how non-fatiguing Nickel Creek sounded, despite their forward mix of mandolins, guitars and fiddle. I was also impressed with the low end kick and smoothness of the presentation when I listened to Triosence, a modern jazz-trio band.

The bass hits well with good definition and the additional lift in the bass shelf that Crinacle added seems to really improve the overall lushness of the Blessing 2, which originally felt a tad lean and more in-line with a reference tuning than one that is musical in nature. This addition is welcome for most genres, and the added elevation doesn't seem to bring into effect any lingering issues with distortion or loss of detail. It's good, because I was a little worried if it would cause smearing of details or added bloat.

Luckily, this isn't the case, and this little bump has an additional bonus of adding a little more meat on the bones of the mid-range, and in particular the lower-mids, which seemed a tad lean in the previous offering. 

The real benefit for me personally, however, is the tamed-down presentation of the upper-midrange and low-treble. In the previous effort, Moondrop's tuning choice was just over the line for my personal preferences in this area, with some of the high notes having a little too much focus and making certain instruments like strings and cymbals a bit too splashy. 

The Dusk's tuning reduces this and puts it more in-line with my preferences, and it seems to go very well with my musical preferences currently, showing off my jazz tracks with great depth and clarity. 

If there was one knock I have on this new tuning, it is that I feel the Blessing 2 Dusk is a little more closed-in than the original. It isn't a big surprise I guess, as bumping up the bass and reducing the treble can make my perceived level of width and openness feel more intimate, which it does. That said, instrument separation and detail don't seem to be hindered by it all, which is good news.

Another small knock on this model is that when I took the Blessing 2 Dusk out of my ears and then slipped in my custom Hidition Viento-B unit, I immediately noticed a bit more openness and a cleaner and more detailed low-end. The bass region's extra boost along with its average dynamic driver are probably at fault here, as it does make it sound just a tad more blunted and less defined. That said, the Viento-B is a 4-driver balanced armature only IEM and doesn't necessarily suffer from resolution and attack, but some may find it lacking a totally organic experience. The Viento also cost nearly three-times more than the Dusk.


While the Blessing 2 was one of my solid picks for an under $500, and perhaps even more, IEM, I did always preface it with a couple caveats: the larger shell design, and the slightly bright treble. The Dusk reduces the treble to a much more enjoyable level, while also boosting the low-end which should appeal to many. I think this unit will be very well-enjoyed for both its tuning and its technical capabilities at the asking price. There's very few others in this price category that pack this dual punch, and I say that despite preferring the lower bass quantities of the original Blessing 2 more. 

Ideally for me, it'd be a mix of the two sets -- Blessing 2 from 0 to 1000Hz, and Dusk from 1000Hz onward. But, beggars can't be choosers, and I'd be happy with either one of these, with perhaps a slight nod to the Dusk because it's easier on the ears and more fun.

This is a really nice package if you can wear it comfortably and if you want a slightly more fun than reference sound signature. It gets an easy recommendation from me!

View the product ratings on Antdroid's IEM Ranking List and/or Antdroid's Headphone Ranking List


  1. Another Great Review! How do you compare the Dusk to the Dunu SA6?

  2. Would love to hear your thoughts on this compared to the Dunu 2001 and Mangird Tea

  3. "There's very few others in this price category that pack this dual punch...": names? more confortable wear?


Post a Comment