• Perry

Moondrop SSP Review

Updated: Jan 12

Super Spaceship Pulse | Overall Score: 8.5/10

Pros: Well-Tuned Signature, Decent Technical ability for its price, Comfortable small shell

Cons: Bass definition, Hard to drive, Lacking in body in lower mids.

Driver Setup: Beryllium-Coated Dome+PU Suspension Ring

Price: US$40

Intro

Disclaimer: I reached out to Shenzhenaudio with the interest of reviewing the SSP and received a review unit in exchange for an honest review and all thoughts and opinions written here are my own.

This is a review on the Moondrop Super Spaceship Pulse earphones. I would be referring to these as the SSPs, as they are also known. These have been released as a variant from the Super Spaceship Reference (SSR) earphones released a few months ago. Some have found the SSRs a tad too energetic in the upper mids and Moondrop has released the SSP to suit a greater range of tastes.

Accessories and Build Quality (Score: 8.5/10)

Coming in at the same price as the Moondrop SSR, they share the same accessories and cable. In terms of build quality, I lead a little in favour of the matte finish of the SSPs. It looks a little less industrial and the dark blue and gold contrast really gives off a premium vibe. I do wish the SSR does have a matte colourway, though it may become a nightmare telling them apart. Unfortunately, the SSP only comes in 1 colour currently.

Fit (Score: 8.5/10)

In terms of fit, just like the SSR, the SSP is tiny and fits super snugly and securely in my rather small ears. These things are almost weightless and are a pleasure to carry around as a beater earphone for my commutes.

Sound (Score: 8.0/10)

Frequency Response of the SSP

Sources Used

  • Hiby R5

  • Lotoo Paw S1

  • Modi 3>Schiit Heresy/Schiit Vali

Albums and Tracks tested with

  • Gryffin

  • Conan Grey

  • The Vamps

  • Carmen Fantasy

  • Ragtime

  • BORNS

Bass (Score: 8/10)

The bass region is where the SSP differs most from the SSR. There is a warmer tilt in the sound signature, with a boost from the sub-bass to the lower midrange. However, this is only a very slight change, though a very welcome one. This bass boost doesn't change the sound signature very much but rather shifts the balance a little and hence I would still say that it is still rather lean in the bass.

The quantity is just right, and the only thing I would say can be improved would be the overall resolution and detail retrieval in the bass. It can sound a little rough on the edges at times, but still understandable at the SSP's price point.

Mids(Score: 8/10)

The mids still preserve that distinct flavour that the SSRs had. The same peak in the upper mids means that once again, vocals and instruments like violins and trumpets would take centre stage. However, unlike the SSRs, I didn't find it as overpowering and was rather enjoyable.

The warm tilt in tuning helped make the glare much less noticeable that the SSRs and I only really felt this when the volume was turned up too high on certain tracks.

One major gripe I have with the mids is how it seems a little empty and lacking in body in the lower mids. This was especially apparent on orchestra tracks, where the timbre of certain instruments and the overall orchestral balance is a little warped.

Overall, the upper mids really sings quite sweetly and melodiously, and the detail retrieval in the mids section is rather impressive for a sub-$50 IEM. I would also say the overall presentation of mids is noticeably more laid back and relaxed than the SSRs.

Treble (Score: 8.5/10)

Treble response does not deviate from the SSR. It preserves its airy texture and sense of space, especially with the cymbal crashes. This is likely due to its pretty impressive speed and extension, especially for its price tag. I didn't experience any fatigue throughout long listening sessions and strikes a good balance.

Overall

Another big difference we noticed was how the SSP was significantly harder to drive. Driving it direct from the mobile phone gave the SSPs a rather muted and soft response and only opened up when powered by more powerful sources such as my Hiby DAP or Lotoo Paw S1 Dongle DAC.

Those considering between the SSR/SSP may have to consider the power-hungry nature of the SSPs and if they are able to sufficiently power these to bring out their best.

Conclusion

The SSP/SSR is something like what Etymotic has done with the SE vs XR versions of their ER- series. They do have the same flavour and signature, with just enough difference to suit peoples' preferences. If you find you find yourself wishing a little more lows from your SSR or wanting a less energetic upper midrange, the SSP may be the solution for you. I enjoyed the SSP's tamer sound signature more than the SSR but it's difficulty to drive may make it hard for people to drive it from sources like mobile phones.


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