Moondrop has quickly become one of the most respected brands in the audiophile hobby. This is mostly due to the success of the IEMs that they have released in the midrange market. However, they have expanded and are now incredibly dominant in both the budget and in the high-end market.
The two IEMs that we have reviewed in the past, the Moondrop SSP and SSR, were very daring IEMs. They presented a different kind of tuning, which opened new doors for entry-level IEMs.
This time around, Moondrop is setting its sights on the TWS market with the release of the Moondrop Sparks. The main pitch of the Moondrop Sparks is that it offers the same high-quality sound that the rest of their IEMs have while having excellent wireless performance and being an overall excellent daily driver.
However, TWS earbuds aren’t only about sound quality. There are lots of other things that should be considered, such as features, wireless performance, and comfort. Can the Moondrop Sparks accomplish all of these, or does it fall flat? Keep on reading for our full thoughts.
The review unit was provided by Shenzhenaudio. We would like to thank them for their support and for making this review possible. However, this does not influence our review in any way. Everything written here is my honest opinion.
Moondrop Sparks Review
Packaging and Accessories
The Moondrop Sparks comes in very elegant packaging. In the front, you will find Moondrop’s signature anime artwork, and in the back, you will find the spec sheet as well as its frequency response graph.
What makes the Moondrop Sparks special is that the box art and the overall aesthetics of the box are based on the color of the Sparks. This means that the packaging will have three variants. I did not expect this level of attention to detail for a product at this price point, so kudos to Moondrop.
Once you remove the outer layer of the box, you are treated with another box that has the Moondrop logo. It can be opened via the magnetic flap and gives you access to the earbuds, charging case, and the rest of the accessories.
The Moondrop Sparks doesn’t come with a lot of accessories. Aside from the three pairs of silicone ear tips, there aren’t any extras. It does, however, come with a surprising amount of paperwork which should be good, especially since you may need to troubleshoot the Sparks.
The Moondrop Sparks comes with three pairs of silicone ear tips. There are no foam ear tips that are included. The Sparks can also be bought with an optional leather case.
The quality of the leather case is very good. The texture feels great, and it feels durable enough for daily use. The only issue that I had with the leather case is that the case was too tight, and it was very difficult to remove it from the charging case.
But aside from that, the leather case is a worthy add-on. I personally won’t be using it since I enjoy the aesthetics of the Moondrop Sparks.
Design and Build Quality
Moondrop has done an excellent job of designing the Moondrop Sparks. Both the charging case and the earbuds look unique and are very easy to differentiate from competing for TWS earbuds in the same price range.
Additionally, the Moondrop Sparks come in three colors: black, pink, and purple. The unit that is featured in this review is the purple variant of the Sparks.
What makes the Moondrop Sparks look unique is its charging case. The Moondrop Sparks is the first TWS pair that I have tried that comes with a translucent case. This not only gives it a one-of-a-kind look but also allows you to easily the battery meter without opening the case.
The charging case of the Sparks also has a pretty minimalistic-looking design. The only branding that you will see is the Moondrop logo at the top and the Sparks logo on the front.
The build quality of the charging case is also pretty good. It has a soft-touch finish that doesn’t seem easy to scratch. You can also use the leather case if you are afraid of having scratches on the Sparks.
The hinge design is also pretty good. I do not see any points of failure when opening or closing the case. I can’t say the same for other competing TWS earbuds. Some of the TWS earbuds that I have tried, such as the Lypertek Tevi, had a pretty flimsy feeling hinge which I almost broke.
In terms of its size, the Moondrop Sparks’ charging case isn’t the smallest. However, it is still pocketable and relatively light.
The earbuds also follow the purple theme of the charging case. Its aesthetics also look very clean. The faceplates have the Sparks logo, which is translucent, allowing you to see when the earbuds are charging inside the case.
The earbuds also have a rubbery soft-touch texture that makes them feel very pleasant to hold. There are no buttons to be found here. This is because the Sparks use a touch-based control scheme which we will be talking more about later.
What I truly love about the Sparks’ earbuds is their nozzle size. They are pretty long, which allows them to accommodate aftermarket silicone and foam ear tips.
We have tried most of the popular ear tips, such as the Azla Xelastec, JVC Spiral Dots, Final E-Type, and Spinfits CP100, and they all worked very well. Changing the ear tips also did not have any effect on closing the charging case.
In terms of its driver configuration, the Moondrop Sparks is equipped with a 6 mm beryllium-coated dynamic driver. We will see how this performs later in the sound quality section of the review.
Fit and Comfort
The Moondrop Sparks have a shape that should be familiar to IEM owners. It is a relatively safe shape that should not cause any issues with most ears.
Additionally, since you can use aftermarket ear tips with the Sparks, you can choose one that perfectly fits your ears. For this review, I decided to pair the Moondrop Sparks with the Azla Xelastec.
The only potential issue for some users is that the earpieces can stick out of your ear. This doesn’t affect comfort, but they won’t look as low profile as other TWS earbuds.
The Moondrop Sparks feature touch-sensitive controls.
The touch-based controls worked very well. Most of my taps registered. There were a few misses, but it was pretty tolerable, and it beats having clunky buttons on the earbuds.
The only issue I have with the Sparks is that there is no volume up or down. This is generally not an issue for me, but it meant that the volume on the Sparks would be lower.
Overall, I am very happy with the implementation of the controls on the Moondrop Sparks.
The Moondrop Sparks isn’t the most feature-packed TWS in the market. You won’t find fancy features such as ANC. Moondrops knows its target audience and has spent more time refinding the sound quality rather than adding consumer-related features. But with that said, the Moondrop Sparks do have most of the essential TWS features.
In terms of codec support, the Moondrop Sparks has APTX, SBC, and AAC. It is also equipped with the latest Bluetooth 5.0 chip that ensures the best wireless performance possible. The Moondrop Sparks also has NFC, which makes pairing very easy.
You can also use the Sparks with one earbud. However, you will have to take both of the earbuds first before returning the one that you will not use to its charging case.
One thing to note is that there is no IPX rating here. It should be fine for workout sessions but be careful when using it in the rain as there is no guarantee that the Sparks will survive.
The wireless performance of the Moondrop Sparks is pretty much on par with the other earbuds that we have tested, such as the Lypertek Tevi. The Sparks worked as advertised and gave a reliable connection within 10 meters without any dropouts.
The only time that I had interruptions was when I left my smartphone on the second floor of my test area. This was pretty normal as my other TWS earbuds also had the same issue. But aside from that, the Moondrop Sparks performed pretty well.
Now that the Moondrop Sparks has covered all of the basics, it needs to prove itself with its sound quality. Luckily, Moondrop knows what they are doing here, and the Sparks do not disappoint.
The Moondrop Sparks has a lively and enjoyable sound signature that still manages to capture the essence of a good audiophile pair of IEMs. It has good detail across the board and manages to have good high-frequency extension without having any harsh peaks.
Unlike the Moondrop SSP and SSR, the sound signature of the Moondrop Sparks should appeal to a wider audience. Its bass response is done pretty tastefully. It manages to add power and impact to the bass hits without making the low-end bloated.
I tested the Moondrop Sparks with different genres such as rock, J-Pop, and K-Pop, and its bass response handles all of them perfectly. Some users might find the bass quantity to be a bit lacking, but it is fairly thick enough for my tastes.
In terms of the mids, vocals on the Sparks are also handled pretty well. As its graph suggests, there is more focus on the upper mids compared to the lower mids. It does favor female vocals over male vocals. But overall, the mids are very satisfying with the Moondrop Sparks.
As for the treble, it is pretty much laidback with the Moondrop Sparks. Cymbal hits and other essential instruments in this region can be clearly heard. However, they may lack the crisp and sparkle that you might come to expect with more expensive wired IEMs.
Of course, the Sparks has its limitations. Its resolution and technical performance aren’t the best. It does have a decent soundstage but is overall bound by the limitations of its price.
But overall, the sound quality of the Moondrop Sparks should appeal to both casual listeners and more discerning audiophiles. It handled my library well and should not have any issues with most songs.
One of the things that most manufacturers overlook is the microphone quality. Fortunately, the Moondrop Sparks doesn’t share the same fate.
Most of my phone calls with the Moondro Sparks worked well. Most did not even notice that I was using a pair of TWS earbuds. And while I could not test the limits of this microphone, it worked well even in areas with a fair bit of ambient noise.
Aside from the portability and sound quality, another important aspect of any TWS is its battery life. Moondrop advertises that the Sparks can last up to seven hours, and the charging case has 35 hours worth of battery.
These numbers are certainly lower than comparing options such as the Lypertek Tevi. However, the battery life of the Moondrops Sparks is more than good enough for daily use. You will just have to recharge the case more frequently.
One thing that I would have loved to see with the charging case is wireless charging. Other budget TWS models such as the Earfun Free Pro have this feature. Maybe this is something that we will see in a future Moondrop TWS.
One of the biggest weaknesses of budget TWS is their companion app. Most models come with a barebones app or no app at all. And unfortunately, the Moondrop Sparks is no different.
Moondrop initially advertised the Moondrop Sparks with a smartphone App. The initial units that were sold in China were compatible with the Hiby Blue app. However, the newer international models are utilizing different internal components and use the dedicated Moondrop Link App.
The Moondrop Sparks comes with a companion app. However, there are two apps depending on which version of the Moondrop Sparks you have. The Chinese release utilizes the Hiby Blue App. However, the international release uses its own Moondrop Link App.
At the time of writing this review, the Moondrop Link App is pretty barebones. It is not available in the Google Play Store and can only be acquired from Shenzenaudio’s website.
Moondrop advertises features such as control remapping and EQ. But with the current version of the Moondrop Link, only control remapping and firmware updates are available.
While this is pretty disappointing, the Moondrop Sparks does work well even without a companion app. But, of course, you won’t be able to tap the full potential of the Moondrop Sparks.
The Lypertek Tevi has been my daily driver for almost two years now. And for a very long time, I haven’t found a worthy contender at the same price point. But after testing the Sparks, I can confidently say that the Sparks gives the Tevi a run for its money.
In terms of design and aesthetics, the Moondrop Sparks is certainly the better-looking product. You get more color options, a better-designed case, and more unique-looking earbuds.
As for wireless performance and the tech inside these earphones, both are very similar. What truly separates the two is the sound quality.
Both TWS earbuds are comparable in terms of their technical performance. However, the Tevi has a flatter tuning compared to the Sparks. The Moondrop Sparks has more exciting bass and more elevated upper mids.
One clear advantage that the Tevi has over the Sparks is that it has IPX 7 waterproof rating. This gives you the confidence to use the Tevi outdoors.
Overall, with the Sparks, you are getting a great product at a lower price point. However, the Tevi is still a very competent TWS pair that has proven to be a giant slayer. Read our full review of the Lypertek Tevi to find out more.
Moondrop has succeeded with creating a great-sounding pair that will satisfy both audiophiles and casual listeners. It manages to sound good without sacrificing any of the core TWS features, such as battery life and wireless performance. Considering that this is Moondrop’s first foray into the TWS world, they have done a very good job.
There are still some issues that need to be ironed out. Hopefully, Moondrop finishes the Moondrop Link to unlock the Sparks’ full potential. And also, I hope that Moondrop adds volume controls on the earbuds since Sparks’ volume is pretty low.
But even at its current state, the Moondrop Sparks is an easy recommendation for those looking for a great-sounding daily driver that can serve as a great alternative to their wired IEMs or even someone’s main listening device.
- Frequency Response: 20- 20000Hz (IEC60318-4)
- Driver Unit: 6mm Dynamic Driver
- Housing Material: ABS/PC
- Diaphragm: Beryllium-Coated Dome + PU Suspension Ring
- Driver Coil: 0.035mm-CCAW
- Magnetic Circuit: (HEMC)improved High Efficiency Magnetic Circuit+N52 Neodymium magnet
- Acoustic Filter: Patented Anti Clogging Filter
- Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.2
- Audio Transmission Formats: aptX Adaptive/aptX/AAC/SBC
- Battery Capacity: Earphone 50mAh I Charging Case 700mAh
- Playback time: 8 hours on earphone + 48 hours on charging case
- Charging rating: 5V-500mA
- Operation: Touch, Light + Voice prompt
- Bluetooth Range: 10 meters
- Supplier of Bluetooth PCBA: Self-developed
Albums Used For Testing
- Milet – Who I am
- Babymetal – Legend Metal Galaxy
- Mamamoo – Travel
- Periphery- Periphery 3 and 4
- Blackpink – The Album
- Final Fantasy VII Acoustic Arrangements
- Square Enix Jazz- Final Fantasy VII At Billboard Live Tokyo
- Sawano Hiroyuki – Best of Vocal Works
- Hiroyuki Sawano – Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn OST and Attack on Titan OST
Aubrey has been a longtime fan of music. She plays arcade music games such as Pump It Up and Dance Dance Revolution. She also loves different genres such as KPOP. Ever since she discovered IEMs and Headphones, her love and appreciation for music have been taken to the next level. And as a writer, she wishes to share her audiophile journey with you.
Favorite IEM: Moondrop SSP, KBear Believe, Noble Katana