Review - Moondrop Blessing 2: Dusk

English | Español

Also available on YouTube in Spanish: Acho Reviews YouTube 


Intro…

I remember that, back when I did the review of the Moondrop Starfield, one of the first reviews on the Acho Reviews channel, I mentioned that 100€ was my limit for a set of IEMs due to the fact that I much prefer headphones and I only use IEMs when it is absolutely necessary.

Fast forwards a year and things have changed for me, at least slightly. I still much prefer headphones over IEMs, however, I have come to realize that I use IEMs far more than I actually use headphones, at least for 6 or 7 months of the year. The main reason is that I am someone who sweats a lot, added to the fact that I live in a place that is hot for the majority of the year, IEMs are just a lot cooler to wear than headphones.

If you would like to see my review of the Starfield, you can find it here: Review - Moondrop Starfield. Just to put this in perspective, I am still a big fan of the Starfield and together with the Moondrop Aria, they are still my favourite sets of IEMs  for 100€. The Moondrop Blessing 2 Dusk is a set of IEMs that comes in at around 300€ and is a model that took me a while to actually decide to purchase but finally pulled the trigger after many positive reviews by people whose opinion I trust.

In case anyone is unfamiliar with the B2 Dusk (as I will refer to it from this point on), it is a revision of the Blessing 2 which has been re-tuned by Crinacle, someone who is well known for his work in measuring IEMs and headphones (crinacle.com), having already collaborated in the tuning of the Fearless Audio x Crinacle Dawn in the past.

I am not going to go into more details about Crinacle’s input, you can find that information both on his site and in many reviews already online, but let’s just say that he increased the bass slightly and touched the mids a little, mostly the higher mids, in comparison to the original Blessing 2.

Part of the reason it took me so long to actually decide to purchase the B2 Dusk is due to that extra bass. As anyone who follows my reviews will already know, I am not someone who likes exaggerated bass and it took me a while to decide if I should go for the original Blessing 2 or the Dusk version, as is obvious, I finally opted for the Dusk.


Presentation…

The B2 Dusk arrives in a grey cardboard box that has a white sleeve showing an Anime girl based (as far as I am told) on the Crinacle logo that many will be familiar with if they have visited his site. On the back of the sleeve there is a pencil style drawing of the IEM components with the phrase “True Fidelity Sounds Magnificent”.

Inside the grey box we find the IEMs, the cable, various sets of silicone tips, a user manual (completely in Chinese), a card showing the frequency response (measured by Crinacle), a few other QC cards (also in Chinese), a case, some replacement filters and a set of tweezers.

The replacement filters and tweezers were something that were also included with a couple of other models and I said they were appreciated, in the case of the B2 Dusk, they are appreciated even more but we will get to that in a moment.



Build and aesthetics…

As with all the Moondrop IEMs I have had in my possession so far, the B2 Dusk seems to be very well built. With a clear shell sporting a metal faceplate, everything is nicely put together and looks like a set of IEMs that are in the price bracket that it sits in. There is nothing really special about the looks and build but there is also nothing to complain about, it is simple and looks good. My version just has the model on one side of the IEMs, however, there is also a version that has the same Anime girl on the IEM as on the cover of the box, if that is something that interests you.

The included cable is nothing spectacular but it does its job and is not a bad cable. There are many other cables that I would prefer but I would rather they include a decent cable and keep the price as it is, rather than include an amazing cable that may not be for everyone and drives the price up.

As far as comfort, these IEMs are on the large side, both in overall size and in the size of the nozzle. If you are someone with small ear openings, then you will probably find that you don’t get on well with the B2 Dusk. Personally I find them ok but they are far from being the most comfortable IEM I own. I can put up with them for longer stints (4 or 5 hours) but after a couple of hours I start to feel irritated. The Starfield (or Aria), for example, are much more comfortable and would be my pick if I was planning on wearing them for many hours straight

Now, usually I would just comment on my preferred tips, either here or under sound, and move on. In the case of the B2 Dusk, I feel that it deserves its own section as it is something that has really affected my use of them. I will move on to that next but before doing so, just to wrap up the build and aesthetics section, I have no complaints about build quality or aesthetics, I just have a bit of an issue with sound and with what I am going to mention next.



Tips and filters…

Now, in my recent review of the Aria, I said that I had been listening to the B2 Dusk for a while but hadn’t reviewed it yet due to “reasons”. Those reasons are the tips and filters.

The nozzle of the B2 Dusk is large, so large that the majority of tips that I have will not fit and the ones that do need massaging to get them on. The main problem with this is that the end of the nozzle has an almost transparent stick on filter, with replacement filters included in the package (as mentioned above). These filters do not stick well and each time they are touched by removing or inserting a set of tips, they either move or completely fall off. Because most of the tips that fit need massaging on/off, it is almost certain that a tip change will also mean a replacement filter will be needed (2 actually, one on each IEM).

As with all IEMs, I need to do some experimenting with tips to find the ones that work best for me with the IEMs in question. In the case of the B2 Dusk, after trying the included tips (good sound but not very comfortable for me), foam tips (comfortable but doesn’t give the best sound quality with the B2 Dusk), multiple other silicone tips (I didn’t find ones that were very comfortable and gave the best sound quality) and the the Xelastec tips, these last ones were the most comfortable and also the best sounding, in my opinion.

Although I love the Xelastec tips, on the B2 Dusk and many other IEMs, they are not the easiest tips to deal with. Due to the materials used in their construction, they are very comfortable (and usually sound great) but are also very delicate. They pick up all kinds of dust and debris, are not easy to clean and easily deform if they are left unused without storing them in their case (the tips case). If I was planning on spending a long listening period with the B2 Dusk, then I would have no doubt about choosing the Xelastec tips, however, I am usually either trying something out for review or inserting and removing IEMs throughout the day due to my work and other things happening around me. 

If the filters coming off with each tip change is already an issue, with the Xelastec tips it is multiplied due to the stickiness and tight fit of these particular tips. So, removing the Xelastec tips each time they are not going to be in use is not only a pain to do, it also means replacing the filters each time.

I have continued to try out different tips and after trying multiple options (and replacing multiple filters), I seem to have found an answer with the Spinfit CP155. These tips have a larger opening (making them easier to install) and offer almost the same sound quality as the Xelastec and are not quite as comfortable but are a clear second place in regards to comfort.

I say “almost the same sound quality” as I think I prefer the sound with the Xelastec tips but the differences are subtle enough for it to be possible expectation bias due to the fact that I prefer the Xelastec tips. The comfort is good with both (Spinfit and Xelastec) but after an hour or two, I start getting tired of the Spinfits whereas the Xelastec just seem to disappear.

Another option, which seems to be chosen by many, is to leave the filters off the B2 Dusk. I am not a fan of this idea as, over time, particles of (wet and dry) ear way will start to build up inside the tubes and will have a negative effect on the IEMs. I also live in a depressingly dusty place, so leaving the filters off is not something I am willing to do.

My apologies for the long rant about tips and filters but it has really been my only despair with the B2 Dusk and I feel that it is something worth mentioning (in detail) as it may or may not be relevant to you.



Sound...

So, finally, on to the sound!

Let me get straight to the point, the B2 Dusk are the best IEMs I have heard until now. 

That is obviously something that is relative to only myself and the fact that these are also the most expensive IEMs I have heard (except for some Shure versions that I am not going to discuss). This doesn’t necessarily mean they are better because they are more expensive, and also doesn’t mean they will be the best IEMs you will have heard, so I will work my way through my usual points and descriptions.

In the subbass there is good extension and presence down to the lowest registers. The detail and speed in these lowest registries are very good and don’t seem to suffer even when a recording is already overly boosted in these lower frequencies. Songs that have need a good representation of subbass, such as “Royals” by Lorde or even my usual test track “No Mercy”, are presented in a way that does the subbass justice. Even when trying out some fast moving metal tracks in dropped tuning, the B2 Dusk dealt with these easily and didn’t seem to blur anything out.

As far as the mid and higher bass regions, these are again very good. I was doubtful about choosing the B2 Dusk over the regular B2 mostly due to the tuning in these lower regions. As you may be aware, I am not a great fan of the Harman curve and the sub bass and bass of the B2 Dusk is very similar to Harman whereas the normal B2 is much more reduced in these areas. It turns out that I had no need to worry as I find the bass regions of the B2 Dusk very enjoyable.

I think most of this is due to the quality of the drivers used in the Dusk. Usually I will be testing IEMs that are more economical and this usually results in lack of cleanliness when the lowest regions are boosted as per Harman but the detail and speed of the driver used for the lows in this case does not make me feel that there is too much bass.

As I have been listening to them for a while now, I have had chance to listen to all kinds of music, from low hitting bass drops in electronic music through to simple vocal based tracks, and have not found the B2 Dusk to be overly exaggerated with anything except the most V shaped recordings, which are not usually my preference in music anyway.

The transition from the bass into the lower mids is clean and detailed, without any sensation of the bass muddying the lower mids. It is easy to differentiate between instruments such as bass guitars and normal guitars in these ranges, without them seeming to interfere with each other at all. Even with songs that have effects that dirty the low end, such as “Bombtrack” by Rage Against The Machine, are still well defined and make it easy to appreciate bothe the instruments and their effects.

Songs such as “No Sanctuary Here” or “Sun is Shining” have great power in both the bass and lower mids, with non electric instruments, such as the double bass in “Back it Up” by Caro Emerald sounding natural in the lower mid range without the lows overpowering the tone of the instrument.

There is no real dip throughout the center of the mids, keeping a good presence in the fundamental tones of vocals and acoustic guitars, making tracks like “All Your Love (Turned to Passion)” come across as enjoyable and natural. I don’t know at what point the crossover happens between the dynamic driver and the multiple BA drivers but wherever it happens, the transition is smooth and does not stick out.

The higher part of the mids climbs towards a peak around 3kHz and presents the higher part of vocals in a very balanced manner. They do not come across as shouty or nasal and the transition into the lower treble is implemented as well (or better) than the transition from bass to lower mids.

Moving into the treble, sibilance is not added to tracks, although it is not reduced either. If a track is sibilant in its recording, the B2 Dusk will not hide the fact but it doesn’t make things like “Code Cool” become overpowering. I have listened to “Code Cool” on many set ups (IEMs, Speakers, Headphones) and the B2 Dusk are a set that is verging on the hot side but does not reach into the uncomfortable territory, at least for me personally.

The extension in the highest ranges is not amazing but is decent enough to not feel that there is a huge roll off (like in the case of a single DD set of IEMs). There is enough air for them to sound clean and articulated but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the highest ranges are excellent. As I said, these are the best IEMs I have heard up until now and I know it is not fair to compare these to over ear headphones, but I do get the sensation that they could be a little better in the highest ranges. This is not to say they are not good, I just think they could be better.

In regards to speed and detail, they have absolutely no issue here. They keep up with busy tracks and do not give a blurred sensation no matter where the instruments are stacking up in the frequency range. Details such as echos, reverbs, background effects, etc. are all clearly defined and are easy to locate and appreciate. Again, in comparison to other IEMs that I have tried, these are above them all in this respect, while I have heard better from overear headphones, this is neither a fair comparison nor are they even in a similar price bracket.

The soundstage is not the strongest point of the B2 Dusk. It is about average, maybe slightly better, in comparison to other IEMs I have tried. It is not terrible but it does not give the sensation of a wide open space. The placement of images in the soundstage is very good though, allowing both correct placement of the main details and the smaller details behind them. I am not complaining about soundstage, it is large enough to be enjoyable, and the placement of images makes up for the lack of space.



Conclusion…

Going back to what I said at the beginning, or rather, what I said during my review of the Starfield almost a year ago, about not spending more than 100€ on a set of IEMs, I definitely need to eat my words in that regard. At a price of 300€, the B2 Dusk is by far the most expensive set of IEMs I have purchased but I don’t regret doing so.

I wouldn’t say that the Dusk are a set of IEMs that are perfectly neutral and great for analyzing music, they are more of a set that are meant to be enjoyed and I certainly do enjoy them.

They are not the most comfortable set of IEMs I own, as I already explained, but they are the set of IEMs I reach for when wanting to enjoy good sound quality while using IEMs. They work well with almost all of my usual music choices and even with the ones that aren’t their strong point, they still resolve them well enough for me not to complain.

I would like to say that they are good enough for me not to want anything better in the IEM world, however, I already had to retract that statement once, so I am not going to make it again. I will say that they are more than enough for me to use as my main set when travelling or when being mobile, as I don’t dissect music during those times, but I may find myself wanting something a little more capable and comfortable if I am to use them for 8 hours a day every day.

I would be interested in comparing the original B2 to the Dusk, however, I am not going to spend another 250€ to do so as I am already pretty convinced that I made the correct choice (based on various discussions with people who’s ears and tastes I trust and have heard both).

At the end of the day, I have no regrets spending 300€ on these IEMs and I think that is the most important part. There is always going to be something better out there but the main thing is to be happy with what you have and not worry about what you don’t, in my case, I am happy with the Moondrop Blessing 2 Dusk.

SenyorC