Moondrop Golden Ages True-Wireless Review

The Golden Ages is Moondrop's Sony Walkman-inspired truly-wireless earphones that looks very cute and modern retro, but also has some very strange and odd design choices too. This TWS set retails for $80 and can be found on APOS Audio's website [direct link].

Moondrop's full name for this is the Golden Ages: 1979. This was the year the Sony TP-LS2 Walkman came out and hence the name. 1979 also reminds me of songs from The Smashing Pumpkins (1979), and The Ataris (Summer '79), and so it does bring some nostalgia there, although I wasn't alive then. I was born 3 years later.

But this set is going for the retro nostalgia look, and its case is painted to resemble an artsy-cute Walkman design, and the actual earbuds  have the volume dial look on them. I will say that it's very cool looking and I wish they kept this awesome theme throughout the design.

Instead, Moondrop does Moondrop things, and it makes me 100% totally accept that I am not the target audience for their products anymore. While the box art is a relatively tasteful anime-inspired girl (waifu) singing and listening to the Golden Ages TWS, the voice prompts when using the TWS touch buttons are annoyingly a "WTF" moment to me. 

It's truly bizzare, but I have heard that other Moondrop TWS sets use the same "cute-girl" voice for notification prompts. When I tapped or held my finger on the touch areas of the IEMs, there would be a female voice saying stuff like "seeeeeeeeeeeeee", or "huh?" or "hey!"

Without reading the manual, I was utterly confused with what I was doing. Even after reading the manual, it doesn't even align with what is being spoken to me, but eventually I figured out that "Sheeee" means SHHHH which means, Noise canceling, and "Hey!" means transparency mode, and "huh?" means normal mode (not ANC and no passive ambient modes).

Also touch one side will, for some reason, lower the volume of that one side only. Pressing it again, will make it go back to normal. I'm not sure what is going on there either.

In another annoying area, the Android version of the Moondrop app is not on the Google Play Store. Instead, you have to download it from Moondrop's site and sideload it onto your phone. It'll then prompt you to give it access to all your files, contact, and other information. The fact that it isn't on the Play Store and asking you for all these permissions can be a bit sketchy and some may not be comfortable with this. Even after installing it, I couldn't actually get it to work and find the Golden Ages IEM anyway, so it felt like a waste of time. But, from what I hear, it just allows users to use the various equalizer settings, so it's not critical.

Besides those quirks and annoyances, the actual earbuds are pretty comfortable to wear and are lightweight. They do not feel as premium as Apple Airpods, or Sony or Samsung buds, but they still feel durable enough. They have a mini-boom mic appearance like the Airpods that also act as the charging pins for the case.

Sound Impressions

The Golden Ages has a balanced-neutral sound signature with a fairly forgiveable and easy mid-range and treble. It does follow my neutral target curve fairly well, though lacks a little bit of mid-bass and does have some treble dips that keep the product controlled and perhaps a little tame.

Since I couldn't get the app working, I only tested it in the original stock configuration without EQ.

The bass range is subbass focused, and it does have a bit of slam in music with deep bass frequencies, and it's impact levels are very moderate at best. It is not the most dynamic sounding earphone at this price, but dynamics are typically not part of the equation when we assess bluetooth options. I find that the area that gets most compressed and lost is the dynamics with bluetooth, and this is another example of that.

The midrange is very even and smooth and the treble is surprisingly a tad darker than other Moondrop products I've heard, which can have some sharper treble that borders on sibilance. In the case of the Golden Ages, I never experienced issues here, as long as I got a good seal with the tips.

In terms of general listening, I enjoyed listening to singer-songwriter music the most with this. Since this IEM didn't have a lot of mid-bass, the more down to the basics music, where fast-paced melodies and mid-bass thickness don't really matter as much and its more focused on vocals and lyrics.

Overall though, like most of Moondrop's products, this product works well across any genre since its tuning is well-balanced, neutral-ish, and doesn't have any significant peaks or valleys that will alter music listening too much. It's very even in its presentation.

The resolution and detail retrieval here can be considered average to mediocre. I always felt like something was missing when doing very serious controlled listening, but for on-the-go or multi-tasking activities like one would normally use TWS for, it's perfectly acceptable.

Final Thoughts

If you take away my anime-theme inspired dislike-bias, then this Moondrop product is actually a pretty good product. It has all the features to compete with the big boys like Samsung, Sony and Apple, and a very easy-to-listen-to sound signature that works across all genres, and its comfortable to wear. 

In addition, the nostalgic-themed design choices are fun and well done, so there's not a lot to complain about besides the personal-choice of voice prompts messaging, and the lack of Google Play store app availability.

Unfortunately, I don't have the Space Travel or Kato TWS from Moondrop to compare to, but these do compare fairly well to my own collection. I still prefer the products from Samsung (Galaxy Buds Pro 2), Sony (WF-1000MX4) and Apple (Airpods/Pro), but all three of these are 3-4 times more money, so you are getting great value here.

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


  1. Useful review, for the most part; however, for those of us still forced to communicate using voices, it would be helpful if you were to spend a few minutes checking out the quality of the microphones on a voice call or zoom or whatever (in both quiet and windy environs).


Post a Comment