Moondrop KXXS vs Starfield

Moondrop KXXS vs Starfield: Does Great Meet Affordable?

If you see, the Starfield is relatively identical to the Kxxs except in a purple-blue paint job. Thus with the two being so similar, it’s no surprise that audiophiles got a little confused on the reason for Starfield’s existence.

So, is there actually any difference when it comes to moondrop kxxs vs starfield?

The vibe of the Kxxs is more akin to accurate studio playback. Whereas Starfield is quite similar but a tad friendlier and more forgiving. However, Kxxs’ design is more durable than starfield. Nonetheless, from the price point, Starfield offers more value and satisfying performance than Kxxs. 

There are still a lot more surprises to unfold. So keep moving with us to know more about Moondrop IEMs. 

Short Preview 

Source:crinacle.com

I’ve already compared fiio fh3 to starfield and noticed some features play a very extensive role for better performance. That’s why we’re going to compare the same features here as well between Kxxs and Starfield. 

Oh hold on..you don’t need to rush already! You can take a look at our rating to make a quick conclusion here.

Interested to discover more about the features? Great! We’ve sketched out this whole writing so that you don’t have any further doubt at the end.

Let’s do some scavenging together!

Here’s a Catch!

Well, when it comes to Moondrop IEMs I start to scratch my head. Why? To find the answer, let’s look into the Kxxs and the starfield first. 

Yes, I admit there are some differences between these two IEMs. Such as the Kxxs has a slightly more upper-midrange-forward. As a result, it sounds a bit louder than Starfield. 

However, ultimately, you wouldn’t find any significant differences as they possibly have some with the Kanas Pro. Therefore, for me, Kxxs and Starfield are ‘functionally similar’. 

Yes, you got that right! Not so much to your surprise, the $190 Kxxs is practically sound-wise identical to the $110 Starfield. However, it doesn’t end here. 

When I compared moondrop aria to starfield, I’ve noticed the same thing here as well. There aren’t enough variations in these two IEMs. 

Thus if particularly the unique designs don’t matter for you, there’s no point in considering the expensive one over a reasonable model. 

Most importantly, you could actually buy an under 100 bucks aria and add a few other things to make the overall experience better. Long story short, you could spend some extra $90 or so to upgrade the aria. In the end, you could indeed have a better experience than any of the two here.

Here are some upgrade recommendations that you can try to make your aria experience more amazing. Take a look!

So no need for any more suspense, let’s get straight into the whole matter. To back up this statement, up next we’ve thoroughly discussed the features of kxxs and starfield side-by-side.

Let’s have a look!

Packaging & Accessories

Source: www.head-fi.org

If we start with the Moondrop packaging then inarguably they’re something of a connoisseur here. That’s why Kxxs is no different in this case and vibes out as a premium IEM.

Kxxs also comes with a uniquely amusing anime-inspired illustration. Besides, the package will welcome you with a generous amount of accessories.

Inside the box, you’re offered:

  • a fine semi-rigid storage case
  • a selection of silicone tips
  • a braided cable
  • replacement filters
  • tweezers 
  • a stereo adapter, and 
  • a second velvet bag to carry it all in 

Letting it out typically, nevertheless, I assume $189 to be relatively costly for a band of earphones. Because if you look at the Starfield packaging, it also comes with the same accessories but at a cheaper price.

So normally users will often think of a tad more things like new upgraded accessories to excuse the expense. Fresh tinges, like the exceptional handbag, exchangeable filters, and additional cables always pay off. 

Winner: Tie

Design

As the successor of Kanas Pro, the Kxxs did show up with other substantial modifications except for the auditory features.

Firstly, the outer sleeve improved just to be a little more decorated. This looks incredible from a classy outlook. Secondly, it also glorified the inception of Moondrop’s lately celebrated “anime-oriented marketing”. 

On the other hand, the Starfield just comes off a downscale to the KXXS. You see the top-end covering of its forerunner was only tossed out here. That was all for a basic and reasonable case including simply the bare minimum. 

Besides, the polished outer shell is now wrapped in a blue-purple layer. However, it has its fair share of objections from users considering all the flakes and scratch issues.

Winner: Kxxs

Build Quality

Source: crinacle.com

Both Kxxs and Starfield have significant differences when it comes to their design. However, will you only consider the look before getting a new IEM? Or you’d want some more fresh and unique qualities and features as well?

Well, we can guess the answer here. Thus, we tried to find out if Kxxs offer more build-quality wise. Because they cost around $80 more than the starfield. So it should be much more exclusive than the Starfield here.

Let’s find out now, shall we?

Cable Durability

Kxxs actually comes with a nicely braided cable. However, a bit on the limited side, the 2 pin connector looks a little ordinary just like Starfield. Although, maximum other companies out there adapted metal shell in this case. 

However, if you’re looking for top-end and more durable cables we have some suggestions for you.

Fair warning! Try not to keep your IEMs under your pillow or in reach of your pets or children. Each of these cases often resulted in tearing the cables apart. 

Winner: None

Fit & Separation

Kxxs built looks like a tank or so because its weight inflated some questions among users. However, the weight didn’t affect the fit or comfort much. It was well settled in my ear and there was hardly any clatter due to the good seal. Moreover, it also does offer a tight fit for daily use and public commute.

Similarly, with the right tips, Starfield also offers a good fit and isolation. However, the shell of the Starfield is tighter than that of the Kxxs. That’s why you’ll be able to wear it for hours without any difficulty. All the more with this advantage in hand, the tonality is so amazing in the starfield. You’ll hardly care much about your surroundings with this IEM on.

However, if you want to EQ the bass back of your IEM you can go with a couple of memory foam eartips. In this case, we got some recommendations for you. Have a look!

Other than that, I would suggest you stick with the stock tips of Moondrop. Because with foam tips you’ll notice the bass is lacking in your IEM as it gets reduced significantly.

Winner: Tie

Performance

Now we’re heading towards a very important discussion. Performance-wise both Kxxs and Starfield are good but they resemble each other as well. How? Let’s find out one-by-one.

Gaming Performance

The precision of the Kxxs along with the wonderful tuning and stereo isolation make it an excellent IEM for gaming. It gets very easy to recognize the location of audio signals, for instance, gunshots.

You’ll be surprised if you use Kxxs with the game like Call of duty. The evident and neat audio of car bushings and scattering glass sounds so real.

But the thing is when it comes to Starfield it doesn’t fall behind as well. This one is also a good treat for the competitive players who also crave the cinematic audio experience. With this very reasonable price point, Starfield really comes off a cracker here.

Winner: Starfield 

Sound Signature

At this point, I find the Kxxs is plainly the inheritor of the Kanas Pro. The signature is now just around the Harman target here. I might actually assume it as Harman-neutral. However, the transients of kxxs are more rigid. 

So given its high-end build, for $190 it was nearly a default suggestion for maximum audiophiles in the sub-$200 range.

But in return, the Starfields came at a whopping 40+% discount over the KXXS. That places it at a new price bracket entirely and makes a favorable choice among users.

Now the big question is, even if the Starfield is a budget downgrade from the KXXS, is it also the case for its sound?

Bass

If you consider the bass of Kxxs it’s a little elevated, which lends it a full sound with moderate sub-bass responses. That being said, this isn’t a bass-centric IEM. 

However, users who prefer planer-like bass feedback will definitely enjoy Kxxs. 

Kxxs offers decent Sub-bass, with a bit of pressure on sustain and pause for extra heat. So with kxxs, you wouldn’t have to go through excessively clinical and plain sound signatures. 

This feature, on the other hand, actually lacks in Starfield as it gives out a smoother bass presentation. 

However, the bass’ attack in both Kxxs and Starfield isn’t very pristine. Especially in the midbass, the drive starts to faint. Also, just in general, the deep end needs some more power.

Winner: Tie

Midrange

The mids on the Kxxs are open and translucent. I found it rightly placed inside the mix. Interestingly enough, the midrange remains totally distinct and tonally realistic here. At the same time, it scoops out to make space for both the highs and lows. 

This is something you don’t get to hear in most v-shaped sound signatures. 

However, Starfield, in this case, falls a little behind. But that doesn’t mean it affects the tonality extensively. 

Besides, both Kxxs and Starfield offer considerable lower-mid range heat. This furthermore, helps to precisely recreate the sonic timbre of both vocals and instrumentals. These aren’t the star of the show, but it is nevertheless, an imperative technical feat in both the IEMs.

Winner: Tie

Treble

The Kxxs successfully knocks a delightful balance between preciseness and satisfaction in the treble area. It always drives off quickly enough. Especially with badly mastered music with a flashy treble segment. 

However, it brings plenty of audible elements. You’ll notice some clear forwardness in your ear.

Nonetheless, there’s one judgment to be brought about- its weird brittle tonality. On different songs, the treble feels artificial at times. Particularly with songs starring bold snare drums.

On the other hand, the treble in starfield is exceptionally delightful to the ears in comparison to kxxs. You wouldn’t even need to be worried about treble peaks here. 

The treble generation on instruments is adequately enforced as it introduces itself practically and quite naturally. Though I would say the treble is a little bit too safe, I wish for it to have a little bit more sparkle. 

Winner: Starfield

Soundstage & Imaging

Honestly, initially, I felt Kxxs was a deadlock from a technical position. I haven’t listened to this clear music before. But the KXXS is…actually not so extraordinary here if you compare it with its budget-cut IEM, Starfield. 

Kxxs’ strike transients are of generous speed. However, I encounter that it fights to keep up on more fast tracks. 

To this outcome, it too frequently congests. Also, there’s a broad absence of micro-dynamic detail. On the other hand, Starfield is as clear as having an image of where the instruments and vocals are located.

Imaging of Kxxs also comes across as decidedly average than Starfield. That’s why the soundstage of Kxxs is nothing to write home about considering its price value.

Winner: Starfield

Compatibility

Source: mmorpg.com

Moondrop IEM’s are generally quite easy to drive. However, here we’re going to find out if Kxxs offers more compatibility than Starfield as its expensive predecessor. 

Ready to explore more? Let’s get into it!

How’s the Driver Setup?

Like the Starfield, the KXXS uses a single dynamic transducer in each IEM. 

Having a solo carbon nanotube driver, Starfield is somewhat source sceptic. It almost gives out the identical 10-ohm Hiby R6 signature with the JDS Labs Atom desktop setup. 

Likewise, the KXXS uses diamond-like carbon to form its diaphragm. This is the same material found in some of the other best over-ear headphones like BeyerdynamicDT 1990 Pro or SennheiserHD 800. 

The stiffness of diamond-like carbon allows for an improved high-frequency response, which is also slightly noticeable in Starfield. Hence, the KXXS is particularly good at resolving high-end detail. I’m quite impressed to see that level of material in-use here.

Winner: Kxxs

How Does It Perform with Different Sources?

You can easily drive the Kxxs out of all the streams due to its low impedance and high acuity. Without any loud whizz or disturbance in the forefront, Kxxs is somewhat compatible with different sources. 

With DAC or amps modifications were very minor in both the Kxxs and Starfield. You’ll feel a touch of amplified width in the soundstage and an extra noticeable mid-bass bump. Particularly with streams that demand high output power. 

Although the Aune X1s has high impedance, there weren’t any hints of whizz that felt in the Kxxs.

Similarly, I paired the Starfield with iFi Hip Dac. And it performed really well without any added warmth but slightly improved treble. 

However, if you wish to make your IEM’s Bluetooth capable, you can easily get an adapter. You can use the Trn bluetooth enabled cable with 2 Pin.

Afterward, for optimum sound quality, you can pair these with the Redstone EarStudio. It’s small and allows your iem’s or headphones to sound like they were intended to!

Winner: Tie

So, Which One Cracked the Deal?

As you already noticed, the differences are very minor between Kxxs and Starfield. However, when the lower price of the Starfield is factored in, it makes them the better of the two.

It’s because of this similarity that I don’t like to recommend the KXXS in the presence of the Starfield. Starfield’s own value proposition has essentially made the KXXS quite obsolete.

FAQs

What kind of cable does Moondrop Starfield come with?

Starfield comes with a 24 AWG OFC Litz copper cable. It successfully preserves the detail and dynamic of the signal. However, the cable might turn out to be a little flimsy.

Does Kxxs need to burn-in before you use it?

Kxxs actually performs better after proper burn-in than other IEMs in this level. Normally it needs 47-48 hours of breaking in. After that it starts to sound as it should.

Last Lines

That was everything I had on moondrop kxxs vs starfield.

Apart from design, I personally didn’t find much differences between them. However, the distinctions between them might get elevated with different DAC or amps.

Good day!

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