Review - HZSound Heart Mirror Pro

Review - Moondrop Chu (sub 50€)

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Also available on YouTube in Spanish: Acho Reviews YouTube 

The Moondrop Chu have been sent to me by HifiGo in exchange for my review. The only request has been the usual inclusion of links to the product via there store, which you can find below. Therefore, my review will aim to be as honest and free of bias as possible, although you should always consider the fact that it hasn’t cost me anything.

The Moondrop Chu can be purchased via HifiGo here: https://hifigo.com/products/moondrop-chu

(non-affiliate link)


Intro…

It has been a while since I last posted a review of a sub 50€, a price range that I have always liked to focus on here. The Moondrop Chu is not only less than 50€, it is less than half of that, coming in at around 20€.

I have always been a bit of a Moondrop fan, enjoying most of their IEMs and still using the Aria as my main bluetooth IEMs (connected to an MW200), therefore I am always happy to try out new models from them and if they are models that come in this cheap, even more so.

If any of you follow the budget IEM sector, you may have already seen the Chu get quite a bit of praise, at least from the majority of users, so let’s see if they get more praise (or not) from myself.


Presentation…

This is a set of 20€ IEMs, therefore anything more than the IEMs, a cheap cable and a couple of silicone tips is probably already a bonus.

In the case of the Chu, the cable is fixed, which is a let down for many but it needn't always be a bad thing (more on that in a second). We also get, as expected, 3 sets of silicone tips. However, the tips included are not normal generic cheap silicone that end up in a big box of tips (in my case at least), they are Moondrop Spring tips which actually cost over 12€ for a set of three sizes like the ones included.

We also get a small felt pouch for storage, which while not exactly a high class case, it still does its job and keeps them free of dust, dirt and scratches while not in use. Finally, apart from the usual documentation, we get a set of rubber ear hooks (which I will discuss with the cable in a moment) and a wooden decoration piece which has the anime girl engraved on it (I have no idea what this is to be used for, but anyways, it is included).

All of this is presented in a simple black box with a transparent cover that shows the same anime girl and the IEMs sitting in their respective cut outs.


Build and aesthetics…

Starting with the IEMs, they are not the usual shape commonly found on IEMs, nor are they the small button type found on things like the Quarks, they are sort of in between. The shape is actually just a small oval that the (fixed) cable comes out of near the top front, angling slightly downwards. The decoration is black with a gold leaf type symbol (well, it looks like a leaf when the IEMs are held upside down), which is not exactly stunning but doesn’t look too bad. The IEM shells are metal and look as though they are well assembled, although only time will tell in this regard (Moondrop don’t always have the best rep for paint durability).

The cable, as I said, is fixed and I said that this is not always a bad idea. The thing with fixed cables is that it stops worries about which cable to buy, will I notice an upgrade, etc. Here, you get what you are given, for better or for worse. In the case of the Chu, the cable is not actually bad, especially if we consider the price point. It is a simple rubber coated not braided cable, it’s not microphonic, it's not a bad length and, well, it just works. As with most people, I do prefer a detachable cable but at least this cable is decent enough to not hate it.

Finally the tips, I think they are great. I hadn’t actually tried these tips before (I’m not sure how long they have been available) and was genuinely impressed when I used them on the Chu. I also tried them on the S12 (as I mentioned in my S12 review) and found them to be great, enough for them to be my tips of choice for those IEMs.

With the Chu, I find that I use a medium set (they seem to be slightly smaller than other brand tips) as I get a seal quite deep inside my ear (due to the shape and size of the Chu), while on the S12, the large set works better for me. Another win as 1 set of tips has served 2 IEMs. Many times I only end up using one, or none, of the included tips and the others end up lost in a big box of tips somewhere.

Before wrapping up this section, I just want to mention fit and comfort. There are rubber ear hooks included with the Chu, something that I very rarely use as I prefer not to have the preformed hook over my ears. However, in the case of the Chu, I found that the cable had the habit of springing off my ears so I gave the hooks a try and they work very well. The cable does pop out of the hook sometimes when removing them but that is a minor gripe and overall I must say that I find the Moondrop Chu to be very comfortable in my ears. The deepish fit allows me to lay on my side (something that I usually use the Quarks for but will probably replace them with the Chu) and the tips are just very comfortable.


Sound…

That was quite a lengthy build and aesthetics section for a set of 20€ IEMs, so lets get on with the most important part, the sound.

In the subbass there is quite an impressive extension. It is not the most rumble you are going to find in a set of IEMs but it has enough to do it’s job and present those low notes with enough authority to find them enjoyable. In comparison to the Quarks, I find the subbass to be easier to appreciate, even though measurements show that it is not really that different down in those regions, but it is the midbass that makes it seem more likeable (to me).

The thing that I like about the midbass is the fact that there is no midbass bump like there is on the Quarks, or on many other budget models (all the ones I have tried) from the brand. In fact, I think the Chu is the closest tuning to my preference target that I have heard from them. The lower end is actually tuned similar to the Dusk, although at a slightly reduced level of presence.

Here is a graph of the Chu compared to my personal preference target:

(all of my measurements can be found and compared on achoreviews.squig.link)


This obviously puts the Chu off to a good start as far as its tuning in the lower ranges, giving me the impression of being clean and well balanced.

Taking some songs from my test track list, things like “Long After You’re Gone” are presented very well in the mid bass range, or “No Sanctuary Here”, which is more midbass focused, has plenty of clean and articulate bass, without giving the feeling that it is lacking (at least to me).

There are obviously some tracks that can benefit from a little bit more of a midbass presence than found on the Chu, such as “Jack Of Speed”, but I found that the Gryphon (or Go Blu)  gave me that little bit extra when needed and that the Chu take it quite well.

Moving into the mids, they are well balanced and I have no complaints throughout the whole range. Vocals are present, instruments are easily separated and in general they do a pretty good job for a set of 20€ IEMs.

My first, and possibly only major, complaint comes when we hit the 5kHz mark. AS I have said plenty of times in the past, I seem to have a bit of sensitivity to 5kHz peaks and that is where the main peak in the upper ranges is on the Moondrop Chu. This can make certain instruments come across to me as harsh. There are certain upper guitar notes, percussion hits, and other things that just have too much presence in that region and can make me wince a little, depending on the track.

This is something that I think affects me more than others, as everyone's a little more sensitive to different things, so it probably won’t even be an issue for most people, but for me it does detract a little from the enjoyability of these IEMs, especially over longer listening sessions as I can find them tiring. 

The upper treble has a decent extension to it, with a nice sensation of air and I really can't complain much about these higher ranges. It is not the smoothest of treble’s but it is acceptable, especially if we go back to considering the price.

Details are not the greatest but are acceptable. Background details can be a little hazy, seeming to be a little out of focus at times, but again, we are talking about a set of IEMs at 20€, at this price I feel they are adequate, although not amazing.

Soundstage is about on a par for a set of IEMs in this realm, with enough space and enough imaging to appreciate things like binaural recordings, but don’t expect a huge space outside your head.


Conclusion…

The Moondrop Chu are a very good set of IEMs for their price. As far as sound, my only real complaint is that 5kHz peak that I mentioned, but as I also said, this probably affects me much more than it does other people. Other than that, I find that the sound is very good for the price bracket that these sit in.

In fact, on a sound level, these could easily be placed much higher, although I think that things like detachable cables would start to be a little more important if we start scaling the price ranges.

The contents included are also satisfactory for the price, except for the tips, which are worth the purchase almost by themselves. Maybe this is actually a good marketing move by Moondrop, they have a set of cheap IEMs with good sound that is receiving praise and will get many people to try them who may not have considered Moondrop in the past. At the same time, they include a set of tips that they sell separately for more than half the price of these IEMs, which are very good tips (in my opinion) and this may increase the sales of those tips by quite a bit also.

Whichever way we look at it, there is no way I can say that the Moondrop Chu are not worth their price, they are more than worthy. At a price of 20€, I don’t see them as anything other than a win.


All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on achoreviews.squig.link
 
All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on achoreviews.squig.link/isolation

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