disclaimer: Moondrop sent me the Spaceship to review as I had previously purchased the Kanas, Kanas Pro, Nameless, and was given a KXXS as part of a contest. I have reviewed and liked most of their models so far and was interested in the budget friendly Spaceship. These can be purchased through AliExpress, Amazon, most of the usual outlets. I have no financial interest in Moondrop, nor have I been compensated for this review.
If you have an interest in the Spaceship, it can be purchased directly from Moondrop here.
Unboxing / Packaging:
Packaging is decidedly western big-box store with a clear plastic box with the artwork printed on the exterior The earpieces rest in an internal plastic tray with the rest of the kit hiding behind the graphics at the bottom of the package. I about destroyed the box opening it as the corners are not particularly reinforced so one probably shouldn’t plan on using the original package for storage of the earphones after purchase. The kit consists of the earphones themselves, 3 sets of tips, a cloth carry bag, a warranty card and the user manual. This may seem like a fairly small kit, but remember the $30 price tag and it makes a bit more sense as most at this price point don’t include a case.
The Spaceship can best be described as a micro-driver model with a bullet shape with cable exiting the nose of the bullet on the lower side and the base of the bullet operating as the nozzle. With the tips off, SWMBO refers to these as the ones that should say Conair on the side as they do bear more than a passing resemblance to a hair dryer in shape. Shells are two pieces and while not a conventional faceplate and inner shell do have the seam between inner and outer portions of the shell. Seams are easily seen in the pictures but less so in reality as the highly reflective surfaces do mask them to some degree. Two small vents exist on the underside of the shell, one immediately ahead of the cable exit point and the other just ahead of the junction between the front and rear shell and partially hidden by the tip when in place. Nozzles do not have a lip to hold tips on but with their long straight sides, I had no issues with tips staying in place. These are tiny, so fit is easy and with proper tip selection they are very comfortable. Due to the fact that basically the only thing obstructing the canal is the tip, isolation is fairly limited.
The spaceship uses a 6 mm micro-dynamic driver with a nominal impedance of 16Ω and a listed sensitivity of 104 dB/mW. These are designed with cell phone users in mind and I had no trouble running them from both phone and tablet. While come scaling does occur with better sources, the overall ceiling is fairly low so those using phones to listen to the Spaceship are getting the full capability of the drivers without the need for external amplification.
The cable on the spaceship is non-removable but is solidly constructed and should last well if not abused. From the south end, the jack is a 3.5 mm in a straight housing with a polished steel shell and a proper strain relief. From the jack to the splitter, the cable is a 4N Litz oxygen free copper in a rubberized single strand housing and breaks into two similarly constructed cables of smaller diameter above the splitter. Long strain reliefs protect the last inch of so of cable where it enters the earpieces. No chin slider is provided. These are designed for tip-down wear and I had no problem with keeping them in place while working around the office or using the treadmill. There simply isn’t enough weight in the capsules to cause any pull.
I found that as long as tips didn’t obstruct the nozzle or constrict airflow, they had little impact on the signature. For that reason tip selection is more about fit and comfort than adjusting the signature. I did find that foams altered the signature considerably, but that is a well known phenomenon and certainly isnt unique to the Spaceship.
Sub-bass is better than expected on a micro-driver with roll-off becoming pronounced only below 55Hz or so. Mid-bass is boosted and falls as it moves toward the mids. Bass tuning in general seems fairly close to the Sony MH755 or KB Opal although a bit more detailed and nuanced than either and a bit less boosted than the MH755. Having said that, neither of the two competitors mentioned has much of any bass detail so saying it has more isn’t exactly putting it in elite company. Bass texture is minimal compared to things like the KXXS or other models farther up the Moondrop foodchain, but is acceptable at the price point. There is pronounced mid-bass bleed into the mids that gives the Spaceship a warm signature. There is some obstruction of the lower mids as a result.
As previously mentioned, the mid-bass does bleed a bit and colors the lower mids as a result. Once you get above the overshadowing, mids come into their own. mids and upper mids have good detail, more so than expected at the price. There is a big push in the upper-mids/lower treble that brings higher vocals forward and places them well in front of their lower counterparts as a result and can make female vocals feel a bit too “in your face” for my liking. This is a case of a driver that can do mids fairly well, but is overshadowed on both sides by bleed and spikes and really never gets a chance to show-off as a result.
Treble is absolutely dominated by the lower-treble push at around 3-4kHz but drops back in line with the rest of the signature by 5kHz or so. There is a lesser push between 9 and 10 kHz that introduces a bit fo top end and allows cymbals to sound a bit more natural than some at this price point (I mentioned the 755 earlier). Treble detail is above average for the price, and overall once you get past that lower-treble push, the Spaceship can be quite enjoyable. Luckily, I did find the spaceship reacted fairly well to EQ and that one big spike can be EQ’d back to near linear with a little tweaking. Once cleaned up a bit with EQ, they do have a cleaner more airy treble than I thought possible at the price.
Soundstage / Imaging:
Soundstage is reasonably good for a micro-driver in a sealed unit and is larger than anticipated although most of that size is coming from width as they don’t have the depth to match. Height is minimal so the dimensions of the stage are a little off, but instrument separation is good and very little overlap occurs while seating the orchestra. Imaging is thrown a bit at times by the stage shape as sounds that should be behind come more from the sides, but movement around the stage is still quite obvious and easily trackable. Layering is reasonably good with no congestion until tracks become particularly complex and fast. I wasn’t expecting miracles in that department, but what I got was above average as most in the price range fall down quickly as things become overly busy.
Thoughts / Conclusion:
Well, lets get this out of the way up front, this isn’t my favorite Moondrop. The tuning with its boost in the upper-mids/lower-treble just is not my thing. Even in the Moondrop budget models, I find the Crescent a bit more natural sounding as it has a bit better bass, and less treble boost, but I do like the fact that the Spaceship is not quite as warm as I found the Crescent a bit overly so. The Good news for the spaceship is the fundamentals are there to make a good in-ear. The driver reacts well to EQ, soundstage is reasonably good, it handles busy tracks well considering the price, and has acceptable detail levels. For those that like its default signature, it represents good value, for those that don’t, a bit of tweaking can improve it dramatically. Having now reviewed products at both ends of Moondrop’s price range, I can say that I think they have done some good things across the entire product range, but the higher end models have definitely had a bit more time and energy spent on tuning. The Spaceship falls a bit short a greatness, but for the price is a solid offering and with a few EQ tweaks can be quite good.
- Bass - 6/106/10
- Mids - 6/106/10
- Treble - 7/107/10
- Soundstage - 5/105/10
- Imaging - 5/105/10
Pros: very comfortable, driver responds well to EQ
Cons: Big upper-mid / lower treble spike, non-detachable cable