Review by: Mhark Jhoshua Q. Torres
“Personal made earbuds made by Moon. Each model offers unique and remarkable sound that will suit your taste.”. This are the description that will welcome you as you visit the moonbuds Facebook page. Moonbuds has been a fast growing DIY buds creator last 2018, his work catches the eye (aesthetically pleasing) and will surely please your ears (at least for every moonbuds that I’ve tried).
The Moonbuds Bunting
The Moonbuds line up are obviously named from different kind of birds, the bunting is claimed (by Moon Harvester) to be the Nightingale Jr. which simply implies that it should be close to the flagship Nightingale in terms of tonality. For me based on what I’ve heard from the first gen Nightingale, it is indeed close to bunting it’s just that the Nightingale is less bright and more linear in presentation it also packs better details. The shell used is a Yuin shell which is more comfortable than the MX500 shell (for me). The plug, splitter and slider feels elegant and premium as I’ve been using this as my daily driver it doesn’t show any signs of breakage. To wrap it up, the build quality of bunting is top notch and considering the original package of moonbuds, it comes with a wooden box and a leather pouch with lots of earfoams inside.
- 16 Ohms Dynamic Driver
- Imported 7n OCC cable
- Yuin Pk shell
I love IEMs and earbuds with midcentric to flat sound signature as I really love listening to vocals rather than instruments. My genre ranges from heavy rock, alternative rock, pop rock, acoustic, pop, jazz and folk. Majority of my test tracks are in 16 bit – 44 khz and 24 bit – 48 khz FLAC file and here is the list of my commom test tracks.
- Reese Lansangan – For the Fickle (background, female vocals and upper mids)
- Foo Fighters – Bridge Burning (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
- LANY – Thick And Thin (Mid Bass, Mids)
- Ed Sheeran – Dive (Mid bass, Lower Mids)
- Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why (Upper Mids and Instruments)
- Paramore – Hard Times (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
- Radiohead – Life in a Glasshouse (Imaging Layering, Bass, Instruments, Lower mids, Treble)
- Passenger – Coins in a Fountain (Mid bass, Layering, Imaging, Instruments, Lower mids, Treble)
- Tori Kelly – Hollow (Background, Upper mids)
- Ariana Grande – Raindrops (Background, Upper mids)
Sub bass is there with very good quality and texture, the rumbles at the beginning of “Bridge Burning” is deep and enjoyable but the placement and quantity is not bass head level. Mid bass is linear just like the sub bass, it is there when needed, fast and tight but the weight is just enough not upfront and heavy. The decay speed is pretty fast which is very good for any genres, pacey tracks never sounded congested.
Lower mids sound transparent and may sound a bit thin for those who love lush and thick vocals but it doesn’t sound dry nor hollow. Guitar strumms sound euphoric, upper mids must be the strength of this guy, well layered, nice dynamics and sweet presentation. Hearing Reese Lansangan’s Island (Acoustic version) and For the Fickle with the bunting was the most enjoyable thing I experienced using earbuds. No signs of being sibilant even at higher pitched artists such as Adele, the mids is slightly forward compared to the bass giving the bunting a sweet overall character.
Treble is also nice here, good extension and sense of being airy. No noticeable harshness and it never sounded aggressive, the treble is pronounced nicely with great resolution (even using FIIO X7i which is warm). It almost share the same placement as the mids, the decay is also quick just like the bass, it never sounded piercing or screechy. Overall I love the treble of the bunting, clear and crisp without being metallic sounding.
Sound Stage and Resolution
The width, height and depth of bunting are equally good, definitely not the widest but it is open and airy enough to give a great sense of layering and imaging, it never sounded congested or boxy at all even with tracks that sounds really narrow with some of my IEMs. The resolution of bunting is top notch, definitely above Penon BS1 and if not better, on par with the Rose Mojito, mids and treble packs a lot of details.
Synergy and Sound Signature
The Moonbuds Bunting’s sound signature ranges from neutral to slightly bright which means it will synergize nicely with warm DAPs. With Fiio X7i, the bass is lifted slightly giving a better punch to it but resulted to a bit sluggish presentation. Mids gained body and lushness without losing its upper mids’ sweet timbre, it sounded smoother but less detailed and transparent. Treble is still crisp and well extended, it sounded a bit smoother but not too much. Pairing the Bunting with my smartphone (Huawei Mate 10), it sounds lean and transparent with less bass quantity and weight while the treble became slightly more forward.
Penon BS1 (3.5mm, 100 USD+) and Rose Mojito (200 USD+)
All of this buds are known for having a near neutral sound signature, the BS1 is slightly leaning to warm as it has good sub bass extension, the mojito is the most neutral, and the bunting leaning to bright. All of these three earbuds are pretty easy to drive, in terms of build quality I’d choose the BS1, I love the shell used here as it looks good and very comfortable. Bunting is well built as well with nice looking cable, the mojito may be made out of metal but the connector and the cable itself doesn’t feel reliable. In terms of resolution I’d choose the bunting over the 2, the bunting revealed some details that I never heard before with my other gears. The staging ang layering definitely goes to the mojito, wide and accurate it never sounded distant even though it has airy presentation. The fight between the mojito and bunting is really close, the presentation of mids in the bunting is much more sweeter and transparent while the mojito sounds more coherent and linear.
The Moonbuds bunting is definitely a beast within its class, I never heard a buds as sweet and as transparent as the bunting under 200USD, it presents everything in detailed manner. Deep and quick enough bass that packs a lot of texture and details with decent punch. Sweet, transparent and airy mids to give justice with both female and male vocals, string instruments sounds really nice too. Treble is crisp and decays fast to avoid congested feeling with complex tracks. Resolving and above decent coherence, I can’t ask for more, the bunting is well crafted given it’s price tag.