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Review - Moondrop Space Travel

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Recently I reviewed the iFi Go Link and said that they were the best Bluetooth portable source I had heard but they cost around 400€. Today I looking at something that is completely at the other extreme of the price range, coming in at around 25€.

I already said that I am not a huge fan of TWS but I had heard good things about the Moondrop Space Travel and decided to purchase a set to see if they are just another set of TWS IEMs that work for others but just don’t work for me.

Well, I am glad I did pick them up!

As I purchased these IEMs, there are no companies asking for me to share links. I purchased them from Shenzen Audio but they are also available on Linsoul, AliExpress and probably a few other sites also.


Intro…

It has been a while since I reviewed anything from Moondrop. Funnily enough, I think that the last set was actually the Nekocake, a set of TWS IEMs that are very similar to these, or rather these are very similar to the Nekocake.

I didn’t mind the Nekocake but, as soon as the review was over, I gave them to a family member that was looking for some TWS IEMs. This is a positive thing because if I thought they were terrible, I would have never given them to her, but on the other hand, if I thought they were great, I would have probably kept them.

Now, before I continue, this review is not going to say that the Space Travel are the best TWS IEMs in the world because they aren’t, yet I have found myself reaching for them a lot and enjoying using them, these will probably stick around in my bag for the foreseeable future.

I definitely think they are worthy of a review, even if it is a brief one (famous last words, as it is never brief by the time I get to the end of it!).

So, let me share my experience with the Space Travel and why I think that, for 25€, these little IEMs are a great buy.


Presentation…

You really can’t get simpler than the presentation of the Moondrop Space Travel. They arrive inside their charging case, in a clear plastic cover (I can’t bring myself to call it a box) with a space in the bottom for the charging cable, a couple of extra sets of tips and the usual manual/docs.

That is it, not much to review here.


Build and aesthetics…

The IEMs themselves are identical to the Nekocake, which is basically just another one of those “Apple Airpods Inspired” designs (not to say copy). This time the cat logo has been replaced with some simple yellow and grey design, with “Space Travel” written on one side.

What has changed is the charging case. Where the Nekocake came with a white case with a flip up lid, the Space Travel use clear plastic with no lid at all. I know that this is something that people have complained about but in my use case, I actually don’t mind it. The IEM case has lived in my bag since I got them (except for removing it to charge) and it fits great in one of the little front pockets. I just unzip the pocket and grab the IEMs and just drop them back in when I have finished.

I understand that this is not something that  works for everybody but I’m sure there will be some kind of silicone cover available soon enough and, in case you have the Nekocake, it seems they also fit and work in the Nekocake case.

My only personal complaint is something that I find over and over again with TWS charging cases, the USB-C charging port is on the bottom, meaning you have to lay the case down to charge it. This is a minor gripe but I would still prefer to see the charging port on the back of the case.


Functionality…

The touch controls on the stems of the IEMs are responsive and seem to work well. A simple touch on either side will play or pause the music (or answer/end a call), a double tap on the left is previous track and on the right is next track, with a triple being to summon the assistant.

The Space Travel also have three different modes which you can cycle through by pressing and holding the left or right IEM for 1 second. The modes are Normal, Transparency and Active Noise Cancelling. Rather than a voice telling you what mode you are in, a chinese girl makes a sound, which is “Ummm” for normal, “Shhhh” for ANC and “Heh!” for transparency mode. It’s certainly something original.

Bluetooth pairing mode is entered by holding both sides for 3 seconds and is very quick to both pair and to reconnect each time, although only SBC and AAC codecs are available. Moondrop states 4 hours playback with the IEMs fully charged, with an additional 12 hours available with the use of the case (which takes around an hour to fully recharge the IEMs).

Things are obviously not perfect and I would have liked to have seen LDAC and of course, my pet peeve, volume control on the IEMs. But for 25€, I really can’t bring myself to complain.


Sound…

As mentioned in functionality, the Space Travel have three modes, Normal, Transparency and ANC. Due to the way the ANC is implemented (the location of the mics) I have not been able to measure the frequency response but when comparing Normal & Transparency, the response is identical (except for the extra background noise of course) and I can’t hear any difference in response with ANC on, so the mode does not influence the frequency response of the IEMs. 

While on the subject of ANC, it is fairly decent. It is not the best ANC I have used but the noise reduction is useful. I haven’t travelled with them yet (i.e: I haven’t flown) but with the A/C drone in my office it is effective.

There is also an app that can be installed (at least on Android, I don’t have any iOS devices) and allows the user to select between three different tunings. The app is far from great but once the tuning is selected, it saves to the IEMs, so you can pick it and then not worry about the app.

The three tunings are “Reference”, “Monitor” and “Basshead”. Here is a graph of the three in comparison to my personal preference target for reference as always:

After spending some time trying each of the tunings, I found that I preferred the “Reference” tuning and that is what I have been using since then.

Now, don’t expect these IEMs to be amazing, they are not the best in terms of audiophile performance, yet they still have a very enjoyable performance.

To be totally honest, I haven’t really sat down to have a dedicated in depth listening session with the Space Travel. Usually, when I review something, I spend time with it and then sit down with my list of test tracks to have a focused listen where I pinpoint certain responses to certain tracks. In this case, all I have done is use the Space Travel as and when I wanted to, without really focusing on minute details.

This may make this review null and void for some people but, in my opinion, these IEMs are not really something that I would expect people to choose for dissecting music. These are more of a set to have handy, being able to grab them at any time, without having to worry about them too much. And in those terms, they perform really well.

The “Reference” sound signature has a bit of a boost in the lower ranges, which does a nice job of keeping things smooth but clear, with a boost around the 2.5 to 3kHz mark that works to give things presence. Add those to a very neutral mid range and a decent extension in the upper ranges, and you have a very pleasurable set of IEMs for easy listening.

Not once, in the various weeks that I have been using these IEMs, have I felt that they sounded awful. I haven’t found myself focusing on them and thinking, “damn, that sounds bad on these”, they just played music as I went about my daily routines. And I really think that is the strong point of these IEMs.

They have a pleasurable sound signature, with decent enough detail and performance that is more than satisfactory for 25€. They even have decent sound stage for a set of IEMs.


Conclusion…

I know I haven’t gone into depth on the sound of these IEMs, which sort of defeats the purpose of reviewing a set of IEMs, but honestly, they are a decent sounding set of TWS for a very cheap price.

I wouldn’t recommend these to someone who is looking for specific strong point in IEMs, in other words, I wouldn’t put them as the “best bass” or “most detailed” or anything like that. I would simply put them as a 25€ set of TWS that provide a good and enjoyable experience.

And before the question gets asked, yes, I prefer them to the Nekocake which are twice the price. In fact, as someone who really doesn´t like TWS IEMs all that much, I think these are the set that I have spent most time listening to and intend to keep on doing so. They are certainly one of the few sets that I have reviewed as most of the budget TWS sets that come my way end up getting a couple of hours listening and then either returned or thrown in a drawer never to see a battery charger ever again.


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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