Moondrop Starfield 2 Review

The first Moondrop I listened to and also fell in love with was the Moondrop Kanas Pro. It was a single dynamic driver product encased in a chrome-finished aluminum shell that looked and sounded great for its time, and priced at $179. It was one of my go-to IEMs and it featured a very well balanced tonality that was less V-shaped and less bright than other products in the Chi-Fi arena at the time.

Fast forward several years and several generations of products and Moondrop is now one of the most well-known brands in the scene, making success product launch after successful product launch. It's mostly due to their tuning chops which don't stray too far from their internal house target curve, and (possibly) their use of anime-inspired mascots on box covers. 

One of the reasons they have been so successful is because they've been able to make products at all price ranges with the same/similar house tuning and gain a large audience. The updated Starfield 2 is an example of this. 

The Starfield 2 is $109 and can be purchased by APOS Audio:

This product was sent on loan by APOS for this review.

Moondrop chose to use a 10mm driver made with a Lithium-Magnesium alloy dome. This IEM has a 122db/Vrms rating making is very easy to drive with practically any source. I had no issues with any sources ranging from dongles to full-blown DAPs and amplifiers.

The Starfield 2 has its signature blue spacey designed shells with gold galaxy rings on the faces. There is also a gold round disc vent on each faceplate that makes it look premium and eye catching. The shells are metallic to add to the luxury look.

The 4-wire braided cable is also blue with gold-colored aluminum connectors and hardware. Terminations end in 3.5mm stereo jack and 2-pin connectors. The cable is lightweight and easy to handle. It can be a little springy but not annoying.

Moondrop also includes a matching blue magnetic flapped case that I really like. It's small and portable, and fits the IEMs without any issues. You'll have room for a few small accessories too, such as a USB-C Dongle DAC.

Sound Impressions

If you've heard one Moondrop, you'll likely know what the Starfield 2 sounds like as the majority of the Moondrop products follow closely to their house target sound, with just slight variations in bass and treble with each model. The Starfield is a very well-balanced IEM with a slightly elevated low-end bass response, even mid-range, and slightly forward upper-midrange presence, and a neutral treble range that does have decent extension. It is overall, a very well-tuned product.

6 or so years ago when the Kanas Pro hit the market, I loved the tuning, and the only real downside of the product was that the bass range was a tad slow and one-noted, and it lacked high treble extension. This latest generation of Moondrop's tuning and dynamic driver has vastly improved both areas.

The bass range is no longer slow and muddy, but is more refined and has better attack. It's faster-sounding, and this leads to better intricate detail resolution, and improved agility around more bass focused notes and passages where sometimes drums and bass get smeared into one. It's less one-noted, although it still doesn't compare with my favorite dynamic driver, the Dunu Zen in this realm. At $109, however, the Starfield does a great job.

The midrange is steady and predictable and that's not a bad thing. In terms of quantity, it keeps a balance around neutrality and linearity, and that's something I appreciate, although some may want a little more liquid lush here, as it can sometimes come across as a little lean with its more forward upper-midrange presentation that pushes vocals more forward, but also a tinge brighter.

The treble is sparkly and leans a tad bright, but nothing that bothers me at all. For my tastes, it is just about right most of the time. The Starfield 2 pairs better with a warmer source. I did not have any issues with the Fiio M15S but I did find it leaner on the Hiby R3-II digital audio player -- that is until I re-enabled my MSEB settings to increase warmth, note thickness and musicality to make the overall tuning slightly darker and thicker.

Starfield 2's technical performance is quite decent. It has pretty solid imaging and crisp edges for a dynamic driver. In a complex passage, it can be overwhelmed slightly, mainly in the lower midrange, but it's a vast improvement over previous generations. It's not a huge upgrade over the Aria though in this aspect. 

Final Thoughts

The Starfield 2 is a continuation of Moondrop's line of lower-end dynamic drivers and it is a safe release. I don't quite know if it's worth upgrading if you already own the previous Starfield or Aria, or even the KXXS or Kanas Pro. The changes are subtle in nature, but there are definite improved technical performance with the driver, while retaining similar tuning.

That said, I really dig the color and accessories and that makes the relatively small price tag of $109 worth an upgrade for users in this realm. If you're new to Moondrop or IEMs, this is a great starter set. If you are veteran IEM user, this may not necessarily be worthwhile of an investment unless you're a collector or what the latest new thing.