For better clarity and detailed sound, audiophiles tend to choose IEM over earbuds now. Earphones’ all-plastic design and outer earfit don’t seem to match the standard nowadays.
However, with all the different features and performance in hand, it’s not easy to choose an IEM at a reasonable price.
So, under $150 which one will you choose between fiio fh3 vs moondrop starfield?
Moondrop Starfield is basically good for a calm and relaxed experience. On the other hand, if you want a concert-like experience then nothing can beat the fh3. Moreover, fh3 comes with more durable cables than starfield. Also, starfield is a single-drive iem and fh3 is a multi-drive iem.
This isn’t the entire picture of the whole issue. We still have a lot to offer to make your finding easier.
So keep continuing with us.
To make things easier for you we’ve illustrated a quick glimpse of all the feature differences between the two iems. Hope you’ll have a clear initial idea from it.
Let’s get into it-
|Features||Fiio fh3||Moondrop starfield|
|Bass||Slightly boomy yet non-weighty bass||Smoother bass|
|Isolation||Nice isolation with good insertion depth||Mediocre isolation because of vented design|
|Cable||More durable||Flimsy and weak|
|Genre||Plays all genres pretty good||Indie, Jazz, classical|
|Price||$129 – $145||$105|
|Where to Buy||Grab it from Linsoul |
Grab it from Amazon
|Grab it from Amazon|
That’s the sneak peek. Now, let’s look at a graph comparing different features of these two:
We understand there are still tons of things to talk about to satisfy your mind. So what are you waiting for? Let’s move toward the detailed discussion.
However, don’t expect to find many similarities between these two. Which we did find while comparing Moondrop Starfield against Moondrop Kxxs.
Packaging & Accessories
Moondrop comes with somewhat basic packaging, yet not staying behind in quality in any way. Their basic attitude still holds up a distinctly classy mood.
The black zipper box, even so, limited on the minor side, appears to be extremely strong and reliable.
It also comes with a black gold color palette with a neat gold etched branding on it. This basically appears like a brand-name item.
Supporting it a bit, the remaining of the package includes a small clamshell case. You can find the remaining accessories in that case.
In all you earn:
- Starfield earphones
- 0.78mm 2-pin 24AWG Litz 4N OFC 1.2M cable
- Carrying case
- 3 spare pairs of metal nozzle filters
- Single flange silicone tips (s/m/l x2)
All around, nothing to flex about but nothing much to complain about.
Now, if we look at the packaging of fiio fh3, it’s slick and well-done too. The carrying case is a lovely design and a delight at this price point.
Also, after comparing fiio fh3 vs starfield, we noticed the cable here is way better than the one we found in Starfield.
It’s an upgraded 4-wire cable. Here, each wire is constructed from strands of 96 Litz braided monocrystalline silver-plated copper.
A standard fh3 retail unit box contains:
- FiiO LC-3.5B cable
- Hard plastic storage case
- Soft storage pouch
- 9 pairs of various silicone ear tips
- 2 pairs of foam ear tips
- Nozzle cleaning tool
What contrasts fh3 from the moondrop starfield is the silicone tips. The ear tips of fh3 make a slight difference.
Especially the vocal tips which drastically reduce bass. The tips are excellent and there’s no need to purchase others.
Winner: Fiio fh3
The build quality of moondrop starfield and fh3 have some major boons and banes at the same time. Let’s have a look on both sides, shall we?
Out of the box, you’ll encounter the shiny glittering drivers of Starfield. Looks alone in this IEM is the best that we have ever seen.
It has a metal shell which makes it quite hefty. And the outer coating is very starry.
Even though the Starfield looks so gorgeous, gotta thank its extraordinary sparkling paint job, it doesn’t come across to be solid.
The talk is on the market that they can flake from barely the IEMs hitting against each other. That’s a real shame!
The FH3 is a hybrid IEM made of an aluminum-magnesium composite material.
Fiio fh3 vs fh5 vs fh7, all three of them have the same design, but still, retain a fairly lightweight feel than moondrop.
Fh3 is also corrosion-resistant and incredibly durable compared to Starfield’s acrylic materials.
The shells have gone through a 5-axis CNC milling process to give them an ergonomic shape.
Then finally finished with a zircon sand 260 sandblasting for a smooth finish.
In short, the design of the starfield and fh3 are compared below for your better understanding. Take a look at it!
|Features||Fiio fh3||Moondrop Starfield|
|Soothing design||Very soothing to the eyes with a minimalistic design.||This one got a heavy starry design but is very pretty.|
|Design durability||More durable than Moondrop and cross-resistant||Less durable than fh3 with its acrylic paint|
|Exclusive design||Not going to attract children much compared to moondrop. So, it won’t matter much to colorblind people.||A bit flashy to the eyes and that’s why might attract children which can result in misuse of the iem. However, it’s popular among teenagers. But, the color combo might be futile to colorblind people.|
Hope this one would help you to find out which one is more fitting as per your conditions.
The cable that arrives with the moondrop starfield box is a 3.5mm unbalanced cable. It’s a 2 pin (0.78) which is purple to complement the Starfields.
It’s not a terrible cable in general, however, if we compare moondrop starfield vs fiio fh3, we’ve seen flawless cables at this price point.
So in this case, you can use any of the following cable recommendations.
|Linsoul TRIPOWIN C8 8-Core Silver Copper Foil Braided Earphone Replacement Cable||Check Price|
|Yinyoo Upgraded Replacement Headphones Cable 8 Core||Check Price|
Sonically, the fiio fh3 cable appears to be clear, along with the silver covering on the monocrystalline copper. It lends it an across-the-board lower level of resistance.
That says that the cable can lessen the amount of loss of information on the higher frequencies.
Also, it’ll deliver a bit more energy on the treble. This particular cable is no slouch, especially considering the price point of the FH3.
The cable also uses angle MMCX connections. We prefer it over the 0.78mm 2-pin connection of Moondrop.
Because the MMCX connector can be more robust. It also removes the possibility of pins being bent or left inside the IEM.
Winner: Fiio Fh3
Fit & Separation
Once you’ll be able to select the right tips, the Starfield is conveniently a terrific IEM.
Also, they don’t inflict any discomfort or itchy spots with a well-rounded structure for the ears.
Isolation is good, not excellent. They’re an emitted dynamic driver. So it’s decent, almost the same as other comparable types.
However, more than eligible for everyday use and public commuting.
If you’re traveling by train or motorcycle and come to a somewhat quiet portion in your song then it can be confusing.
If you’re a fan of thrash metal or techno then you won’t remember the outer world while listening anyway.
On the other hand, fh3 is very lightweight but it has a great fit in the ears as well. You can wear it for hours without any significant discomfort.
That aluminum housing might look heavier than Starfield but it certainly doesn’t feel that way.
By default, it comes with a section of clear plastic at the point that goes around your ears. That has a serious curve baked into it, which was absent in Starfield.
It was good at holding the IEMs in place, but it’s a bit much to get them on and in quickly.
The medium and large bore tips of fh3 gradually boosted the bass volume like Starfield. However, it diminishes the bass detail and texture a little simultaneously.
So, Is iems safe for people who have hearing issues?
IEMs might actually be better for your hearing compared to earbuds or headphones. Since they isolate outside noise, you won’t have to raise the volume as much. So you can stay at lower listening levels. But then again if you’re always listening to loud volumes with any headphone/iem, it won’t make a difference.
Whether you’re choosing between different ranges of speakers or IEMs, in this case, performance is always the main concern.
So, let’s find out which one is better between fh3 and starfield performance-wise.
If you’re looking for something to take with you to both listen to music and game, Starfield could be your endgame for the price.
They have a quality of audio that punches well above their price. It can easily provide the cinematic experience you crave in single-player games.
But, is fiio fh3 good for gaming?
The quality of the FH3’s stage is a tier above most IEMs at this price point as well. It just sounds especially natural and lifelike. It has a very fun tuning and pretty decent technicalities overall. Furthermore, great soundstage and imaging with decent bass performance for gaming.
When choosing an iem, the sound signature plays a very important role. Because it needs to match the kind of music you listen to.
This makes sure that you experience an enjoyable listening experience.
So let’s discuss the sound signature in fiio fh3 and moondrop starfield in the next section.
Like it’s big brother’s kxxs, kanas pro, Starfield packs a bass that a Single DD IEM would have. But we noticed the bass on starfield has a smoother presentation.
According to the majority of people, Starfield is Harman-tuned, and we can also notice the similarity.
The fundamental variation would be in the bass that slips away further. It lends some further note-weight to male vocals that are certainly amazing.
The Harman target is a nice deal, relatively extra sharp at about 200hZ.
Speaking of which, the bass on the starfield is almost half sub-bass and mid-bass. It’s extensively above tepid and frankly, it’s not relatively decent.
At least, not in line with the benchmark with which decent bass generally qualifies.
The calm attack is moderately soft, there’s no way around it.
However, the strong blow is quite lackluster with a frequently cited “pillowy-ness” to the direction hits are conveyed.
On the other hand, the beryllium-coated bass of fh3 is no marketing gimmick. The bass here is truly superb and more punchy than starfield.
It’s notably sub-bass biased, which is a very wise choice. Because it allows the FH3 to be extremely versatile in its capabilities.
The bass extension is very good, as is tightness, speed, and texture.
The sub-bass emphasis means that there is practically no bloat or bleeds into the lower mids which is slightly missing in starfield.
The excellent speed of the beryllium driver also means that the bass has a great slam. However, it doesn’t disturb when not called upon.
Winner: Fiio fh3
The midrange of the starfield takes a bit of a back seat with regards to the low end.
Not to say that it isn’t good sounding, just that the midrange is not quite as pronounced.
Voices remain natural and clear on the Starfield. Overall the midrange is transparent and uncolored without excessive warmth or thickness.
There’s nothing unnatural sounding going on here.
It peaks at somewhere 3kHz and with a bit too much intensity at somewhere 4kHz. So, some people might uncover it sharp initially.
On the other hand, though not linear, the FH3 delivers an outstanding experience here.
Also, provides a very desirable collection of qualities in the ear. The tone is highly clean and the definition is strong as a result.
There’s no chestiness or veil at play due to the clean upper bass. It aids separation and prevents bass spills.
As emphasis quickly picks back up into the lower-midrange, vocals have a natural voicing. Continuing to 2.5kHz, it gives accurate positioning.
Besides it never lacks body, despite the absence of bolstered bass warmth.
Winner: Fiio fh3
This treble in starfield is extremely pleasant to the ears, without worrying about treble peaks.
The treble reproduction on instruments is well executed as it presents itself realistic and very natural. Though we would say the treble is a little bit too safe, we wish for it to have a little bit more sparkle.
You see, the treble here is somewhat milquetoast, rolling off moderately straight post-5kHz. It continues with a bit lump in the mid-treble at approximately 8kHz and in the lowest air frequencies.
With the rather rolled-treble and extensive bass rack in hand, the Starfield is, thus, a significantly warm IEM.
It thrives to cancel out crowding on more complicated tracks.
So, apart from the badass bass, Fiio Fh3 doesn’t have a weighty dynamic. Its attack lacks a bit of snap than starfield even if speedy.
The upper treble seems a bit faster and crisper than the rest of the spectrum leading to some rare uneven highs.
So those with a preference for brighter sounding IEMs should prefer starfield.
Treble doesn’t have any sign of dryness, it’s even gently sweetened. Comparing fiio fh3 vs fhs1, fh3 is more delicate and detailed than FH1s.
It doesn’t sibilate and isn’t overly bright on the stock cable. We noticed that the fiio LC-C cable is spot-on for a more visible treble.
Nevertheless, the treble isn’t missing here, it’s just delicate to listen to.
Soundstage, Separation, and Imaging
We found Starfield’s soundstage is medium to large. It’s very impressive for a single DD IEM .
Though fh3 as a multi-setup/hybrid has a better soundstage than the Starfield, nevertheless the Starfield is still surprising with its soundstage.
The separation in starfield is as clear as having an image of where the instruments and vocals are located. A
s for the separation, again it is very impressive for a single DD.
In the same way as the 64 Audio U12t, the Starfield keeps in step between being abstractly amusing and a bit cleaning resolution. Also, with its low, calm passing attack; decay is equally oh-so-real.
On the other hand, the imaging and layering of the fh3 are just as brilliant as starfield along with its resolution.
Moreover, all of these are class-leading in this price range.
Also, fh3 is pretty forgiving of the poorly mastered/recorded tracks, making them sound as great as possible.
The soundstage is wide & deep enough but not to the point where it will create that spacious “out of your head” feeling.
It got great detail yet not fatiguing Instrument separation or distinctness. In this case, it’s better than other fh3 upgrades.
The details on Starfield really overshadowed the BL-03. Surprisingly it’s better than some hybrids despite it being a single DD IEM.
For the detail retrieval, it’s again incredible, because it’s fast. So songs with a fast-paced tempo and vocals will not sound rushed with Starfield.
Instead, it delivers it fast without losing details. And that’s definitely a “Woah” moment.
Similarly, the level of detail retrieval of fh3 is pretty high, which isn’t at all the case with typical chi-fi V-shape tuned IEM’s.
Fh3 delivers an ample amount of detail & micro details even though it’s a warm tuned IEM.
It’s very competent and has sound layers, precise yet constrained in imaging. Also, like starfield, it’s fast in attack apart from the bass part.
So you can feel its snappy speed better with instrumental or bass-less light music tracks.
The basic functions of your iem should be compatible with whatever source you’re using it with.
That’s why we need to learn about the drivability of the moondrop starfield and the fh3 as well.
Let’s get into it-
How’s the Driver Setup?
Starfield is an effortless iem to run with a 122dB acuity and 32-ohm impedance. It means that it’s both creative and moderately immune to hiss.
Having a solo energetic driver, starfield is relatively source skeptic as well.
It sounds almost indistinguishable in the matter of the signature from the 10-ohm Hiby R6 as the JDS Labs Atom desktop setup.
Now if we look at the fiio fh3, it’s a triple driver hybrid IEM. You can find a single beryllium-coated dynamic driver and 2 balanced armature drivers in it.
It’s easy to drive with an impedance of 24 ohms and a sensitivity rating of 114dB@1mW.
In addition to the dynamic driver, Fiio has implemented their patented “S.Turbo” acoustic design technology.
Basically, what this does is, get rid of any undesirable high-frequency tunes that might be unintentionally created by the dynamic driver.
In short, as fh3 is a multi-driver iem, it has higher output with less risk of saturation and therefore discretion than starfield.
Winner: fiio fh3
Can it Be Used with DAC/Amp?
Does your starfield perform better with a DAC and an amp combo? Is it really worth it to spend some more bucks to pair it with a DAC or amplifier?
To find this out we’ve tried several references in testing the Starfield. Such as-
|Topping DSD Audio Decoder||Check Price|
|EarStudio ES100 MK2-24bit Portable High-Resolution USB DAC||Check Price|
|Cayin N3 Fully Balanced Dual Timbre Portable Digital Audio Player||Check Price|
|iFi Hip-dac Portable Balanced DAC Headphone Amplifier||Check Price|
We think it pairs really nicely with the N3 Pro and better with topping d30 than schiit DACs.
However, it just slightly boosts the iem’s treble response. So, we think it’s not that necessary to spend more on starfield, which doesn’t make enough difference.
Also, the hip DAC and UP4 further slightly intensified its bass and deeper mid-range. This might be favorable for some people.
Now, the fiio fh3 scales nicely with upper-range DAC/Amp. Actually, the little DAP like the M3 Pro is quite enough most of the time. There’s a clear difference once hooked with a DAC like
|Click to Edit||Click to Edit||Click to Edit||Check the Latest Price|
For dragonfly black, you’ll just need to add a few bucks with your $100 budget and your fiio will give out its best performance.
On the latter, we strongly suggest using the 2.5mm output. Because that one gave much better results on this IEM.
Furthermore, we’ve tested the following combos with the fh3. Let’s have a look-
- Fiio fh3 + fiio M3 Pro: If you’re on a budget but don’t want to go cheap, the M3+FH3 is a sure choice. Sure you don’t get streaming and all the fancy options. But for less than an FH5, you get real middle-range performances.
- FiiO FH3 + EarMen Sparrow: If you want to get a wide soundstage, with a lot of details, this is our top reasonable choice at the moment. This pairing provides beefy bass, powerful vocals, and sweet highs on the go, or your computer. Of course, that’s if you use a 2.5mm balanced cable.
Overall, both the starfield and fh3 work better with a DAC/amp combo. But the choice depends on your budget.
By adding 100 or so bucks you can customize your own soundstage.
Can you Use an Adapter With it?
The Starfield lifts nicely with a bit of additional power and drives from an attached source.
Varying the pixel 4 dongles vs earmen TR-AMP, it generated incredible driver restraint with cleaner transients with the pixel 4 dongle.
With the dongle, the midrange in starfield came to be a tone smoother and the highs more perfected.
That being said, the Starfield is certainly extra lenient for the source than maximum earphones.
Hence, it embodies a promising option for listeners who might not have a high-end source. Or barely need an earphone to attend their phones on the go.
Similarly, the fiio fh3 is fairly easy to drive, which is another one of its plus points. You can drive it easily from your 3.5mm headphone jack off your phone.
Although amping is always advisable, a fairly inexpensive dongle like Cplus 3.5mm Audio or CX-Pro Audio CX31993 should do the trick.
You’ll notice a small amount of scaling while moving from a phone to a dedicated dongle.
But moving from a dedicated dongle to a fairly expensive portable DAC or dap there is definitely an absence of scaling compared to the Starfield.
So, Which One Caught your Attention?
We would recommend fiio fh3 if you like more bass, better soundstage and imaging in your music.
On the other hand, Starfield provides well-rounded tonal balance and smooth sounding.
To help you with your decision we’ve included a quick preview of the two products. Take a look at it below.
So, choose the one that matches your music taste or the experience you want to have with your iem.
Does the fh3 require additional power or only a decent DAC to match?
Technically, the fh3 doesn’t require a lot of capacity. Usually, a phone can make it screamingly audible. However, maximum in-built DACs in mobiles will be reasonable. A decent upstream source will support you to boost its power.
Are IEMs better than earbuds?
IEMs actually provide more transparency, feature, profundity, and significance than most earbuds. Also, as they deliver sufficient sound isolation, they are louder too. On the other hand, earbuds aren’t prone to noise cancellation.
Hope we’ve presented a heated head-to-head debate between fiio fh3 vs moondrop starfield.
However, if not considering the other features, always try to select the iem that fits your ear. Also, don’t try to insert or remove your iem too quickly from your ear.
See you soon!