Moondrop SSP Review (Super Spaceship Pulse IEMs)


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Moondrop SSP shells

The Moondrop SSR has been one of our favorite IEMs in its price range thanks to its excellent performance with vocal-based tracks, excellent build quality, and overall value (you can check out our full review in case you missed it). However, not everyone was happy with the SSR’s tuning. For some, it was too bright and unbearable for long listening sessions. 

But now, Moondrop is back with another model. This is the long-awaited Moondrop SSP (Super Spaceship Pulse). It features a similar design but with a revamped sound signature that aims to fix some of the issues of the SSR.

With the improvements to the SSP, some questions naturally arise. Does the Moondrop SSP fix the issues of the SSR? Or does it introduce more issues to what we consider an already excellent product? Keep on scrolling to find out.  

Disclaimer

We would like to thank Moondrop for providing the review unit and for making this review possible. However, this does not influence our review in any way. Everything written here is my honest opinion.  

Packaging and Accessories 

Moondrop SSP Packaging and Accessories

The Moondrop SSR’s packaging was easily one of my favorites. It had gorgeous anime-inspired box art and managed to keep things inside the box simple and organized. The SSP uses the same approach but adds its own twist to keep things interesting. 

The SSP still has anime-inspired box art with the same character featured in the SSR. However, she is now dressed differently to reflect the changes made to the SSP’s sound signature. She has ditched the dress and is now rocking a more modern outfit similar to the ones that you would see on modern pop artists. 

SSP vs SSR Packaging

The whole box also now has a purple color that closely resembles the color of the SSP’s shells. At the back, you will find the frequency response graph of the SSP. We will talk more about it in the sound quality section of the review. 

The inside of the box is the same as the SSR. The IEMs are neatly presented with the rest of the cable and other accessories neatly hidden through the use of cardboard. You also get a soft pouch and spare ear tips similar to the SSR. Overall, Moondrop did a great job of keeping the packaging fresh without changing too many things. 

Design and Build Quality

Shells 

ssp shells alternate shot

The Moondrop SSP uses the same shell design as the SSR. This isn’t a bad thing since we mostly had a positive experience with this unique form factor. 

Just like the SSR, the SSP has small and lightweight shells. They are made of liquid metal alloy, which makes them feel more solid than the plastic material used with most IEMs in this price range. 

There is a golden screw located on the faceplates, which indicates that the shells can be disassembled. However, there shouldn’t be any concerns with the shells falling apart. I have used the SSR for a few months, and there haven’t been any issues concerning the build.  

ssp vs ssr shell

In terms of comfort, the shells pretty much disappear inside your ears once you start using them. This is largely thanks to their size and lightweight design. The nozzles are also pretty standard, so you can safely experiment with aftermarket ear tips to further increase the comfort. 

One thing that immediately separates the two models is the SSP’s color scheme. It is currently only available in blue, while the SSR is available in a bunch of different colors. 

Cable

Moondrop SSP stock cable

The SSP is also using the same cable found on the Moondrop SSR. This stock cable is a Silver-Plated 4N-Litz OFC. It is one of the better stock cables that we have tried, and we highly prefer it to the SPC braided cables that are commonly found in this price range.  

The cable is soft and is pretty easy to handle. Additionally, it has several design elements that further add to its appeal. Some of these include the Moondrop branding on the Y-splitter.

The overall aesthetics can be a bit too basic, looking for some. So if you plan on using the SSP on balanced mode, we highly suggest getting upgrade cables. 

Power Requirements 

Moondrop SSP with the AK380 + Amp

One of the things that we did not like about the Moondrop SSR was its power requirements. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be fixed with the SSP. Again, almost any source can run the SSP. 

But if you are using the SSP with dongles such as the ddHiFi TC35B, then you would likely need to increase your volume. During my testing, I had to turn my smartphone to almost its maximum volume. 

The same was true with my DAC/Amps and DAPs. I needed to run the high gain setting on my Fiio M11, Astell & Kern AK380, and iFi Nano iDSD Black Label to get the best results. 

If you want to get the best results with the SSP and SSR, we highly recommend pairing it with a more powerful source such as a DAP, DAC/Amp, or headphone amplifier

Sound Quality

Tested with: ddHiFi TC35B, Fiio M11, Astell & Kern AK380, iFi Nano iDSD Black Label

Presentation 

ssp with m11
Moondrop SSP with the Fiio M11

One of the major complaints of some users with the Moondrop SSR is its exaggerated upper mids that made its signature sound too bright. The Moondrop SSP has addressed some of these issues while maintaining some of the key characteristics of the SSR’s signature. 

The Moondrop SSP is still utilizing the same single dynamic driver found on the SSR. This allows it to have a coherent sound that is hard to match by balanced armature and hybrid configurations in this price range. There are, however, some pretty significant changes to the tuning. 

One of the major ones can be found in the SSP’s bass response. The SSR’s bass was pretty satisfactory in terms of its accuracy. It was punchy but never overextended into the mids. 

However, the issue with the SSR’s bass response is that it sounded thin compared to the rest of the competition. But with the SSP’s tuning, the bass is now more extended and has more impact.  

Compared to the SSR, the SSP performs a lot better with modern pop tracks, electronic tracks, and other bassy genres. The bass is still very well controlled and does not bleed into the mids. Also, the better-extended bass response helps the SSP achieve a more full-bodied and complete sound. 

The other change with the SSP is in the upper midrange. The SSP has significantly toned down the exaggerated upper mids of the SSR, making the overall signature sound more even. However, this does not mean that vocals aren’t as good as the SSR.  

ssp and tc35b
Moondrop SSP with the ddHiFi TC35B

Both female and male vocals still perform excellent with the SSP. Vocals still tend to be forward in the mix. However, they are a lot smoother compared to the SSR and have no signs of sibilance. Orchestral tracks and other vocal-based music with high vocal registers do not sound as intense or as harsh as the SSR. 

Additionally, the upper mids are no longer emphasized all the time. The SSR’s upper mids tend to be the focus even on tracks where it isn’t supposed to be the highlight. 

There were, however, times where we preferred the SSR’s upper midrange. Some Japanese tracks with lots of vocals seemed to lack the charm that the SSR had when comparing to the SSP. Of course, this is a matter of personal taste since both units performed well. 

The SSP and SSR’s performance in the high frequencies is pretty similar. They are both well extended but start rolling off a bit earlier to avoid any unwanted brightness. 

Instruments found in this area, such as hi-hats and other cymbals, are well presented. They are well detailed but are well controlled and are never harsh sounding. 

Imaging and Soundstage

The SSP’s imaging and soundstage is pretty similar to the SSR. Imaging on the SSP is very good. Pinpointing the different elements in the mix with this pair becomes seamless. 

The soundstage, on the other hand, is not the widest that I have heard. It does a decent job of giving each instrument enough room to breathe. It also does a good job of simulating the spacious sound of live venues in live recordings. 

However, its limitations can be easily seen when compared to higher-end IEMs. Of course, this is to be expected given the driver used and the relatively small form factor of the SSP. 

Verdict 

ssp with ak380 + amp

Check on AliExpress | Check on Amazon 

Overall, I am quite happy with how the Moondrop SSP turned out. It managed to tame the harshness of the SSR while making sure that the qualities that made the SSR a great IEM is still kept intact. 

While it isn’t a direct replacement to the SSR, I imagine a lot of people who had slight issues with the SSR’s harshness will find this to be a better IEM. But of course, if you didn’t like the SSR’s overall signature, then this will still not be your cup of tea.  

Now in terms of recommendations, if you prefer a tuning with more upper mids and more forward vocals, then the Moondrop SSR is still the better IEM. However, if you prefer more bass and a more even tuning, then the Moondrop SSP will suit you better.  

The Moondrop SSP is available on Moondrop’s Official AliExpress Store as well as on Amazon

Specifications 

  • Impedance: 16Ω
  • Frequency response: 20-40kHz
  • Sensitivity: 112 dB/V (94 dB/mW)
  • THD: <=1%
  • Housing material: liquid metal alloy housing
  • Coil: 0.035mm-CCAW (daikoku)
  • Magnet: N52-high density magnetic circuit
  • Acoustic filter: patented anti-blocking filter
  • Cable: silver-plated 4N Litz ofc
  • Connectors: 2Pin 0.78mm
  • Diaphragm: beryllium-coated dome+PU suspension ring

Albums Used For Testing 

  • Milet – Who I am 
  • Babymetal – Legend Metal Galaxy 
  • Mamamoo – Travel
  • Blackpink – The Album 
  • Final Fantasy VII Acoustic Arrangements 
  • Moe Shop – Moe Moe 
  • Yorushika – Plagiarism 
  • Sayuri – Me 
  • Intervals – Circadian 

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