Moondrop CHU Review - Featured image

Moondrop Chu Review | Spring Eartips, Super Bright For $20

This might be my first review on an IEM (in-ear monitors) on The Phone Talks, yet this isn’t the first audiophile I’m testing. I have written many earbuds TWS reviews in the past. Moreover, I have personally tested some famous IEMs including Blon BL03, KZ ZSN X Pro, TinHifi T2, Xiaomi Hybrid Pro HD, and the list goes on.

Moondrop Chu (translates to ‘You’) is my very first IEM from the Chinese company named ‘Moondrop’. So, this Moondrop Chu review will be from a person who is using a Moondrop product for the first time and much suitable for the audience who are just testing their first Moondrop IEMs.9

Moondrop Chu Review | Metal Design, Lots of Accessories, VDSF Tuned For $20?

Moondrop Chu Review | The Specs Sheet

ProductMoondrop Chu
Earbud size1.5cm x 1cm (perfect for small ears)
Driver size10nm
Driver MaterialNano-crystal coating composite Titanium-Coated Diaphragm
CircuitN52 Neodymium Magnetic CIrcuit
BuiltMetal
CableNon-removable, over the ear, rubber coated
Impedance18Ω
Sensitivity120dB/Vrms@1kHz
THD≤1%@1kHz
Frequency Response Range10Hz-35kHz
Effective Frequency20Hz-20kHz (IEC60318-4, -3dB).
TuningMoondrop VDSF Target Response
Price$19.99
Accessories1. Pouch
2. Moondrop Spring Eartips
3. Ear hooks
4. Warranty Card
5. Customer service card
6. Manual

Moondrop Chu Review | The Unboxing | Generosity At Its Best

Moondrop Chu comes inside a black-colored, square-shaped box. On the top, we have the transparent lid beneath which we see a glimpse of the IEMs as well as an anime girl on the left (I think all IEMs by Moondrop are represented with an anime character on them), Moondrop logo, IEM name ‘CHU’, and ‘High-performance dynamic in-ear monitors’ on the right side.

Moondrop CHU Review - Front box

On the back of the box, we have the SLP graph to give a quick idea of how the IEMs will sound, along with the specifications.

Moondrop CHU Review - back box

Talking about the first impression, we see the Chu embedded in foam by opening the top lid and removing the cardboard sheet.

Moondrop CHU Review - first impression

Moondrop Chu IEMs don’t come with the eartips already attached. I think the company wants the user to know what eartips they are giving away with the IEMs.

Moondrop CHU Review - without eartip

Removing the foam, we have the accessories. Oh, and don’t forget that the eartips are in the left side box with the Chu logo.

To be honest, I have never seen any IEM or earbuds company give this many accessories, especially in the $20 price range. This signifies how much the manufacturer is generous. The accessories include:

  1. Moondrop spring eartips (3 sizes; S, M, and L)
  2. Rubber ear hooks
  3. PU leather pouch
  4. Warranty card
  5. Customer support card
  6. User Manual
Moondrop CHU Review - accessories

From the accessories, two things impressed me the most which include ‘the eartips and ‘the PU leather pouch’. The pouch isn’t that big to keep the extra silicone eartips and ear hooks. With the ear hooks and the IEMs, I was barely able to close it.

Moondrop CHU Review - PU leather bag

About Moondrop Spring Eartips Vs Stock Eartips

Moondrop CHU Review - eartips

These eartips aren’t your stock eartips that come with cheap IEMs, but instead, they are Moondrop’s Spring eartips. These eartips provide three improvements:

  1. A double mold injection molding for a perfectly tight grip with the IEMs and preventing bass and sound leaking.
  2. A high-frequency waveguide structure that decreases the treble resonance (the best eartips to reduce that sharp sound in IEMs with high treble resonance. ).
  3. Radial support structure for a better wearing experience.
Moondrop spring eartips

The company usually sells them separately for $13, but with Moondrop Chu they are giving them for free.

Moondrop Chu Review | Design & Appearance | Cold Metal

The Moondrop Chu IEMs are made of metal which adds much weight to them. For $20, one does love the smooth cold metal finishing on these IEMs.

Moondrop CHU Review - spring eartip

In terms of size, Moondrop products including the earbuds have a small size and are the most suited Chinese brand for people with small ears. In fact, the CHU is sized just 1.5 cm (l) x 1 cm (w), making them ideal for small ears.

Moving to the aesthetic, these metallic black IEMs have a golden-colored leaf design. I have seen this art somewhere but don’t remember. Maybe, there’s a symbolic meaning in using this design by Moondrop.

Moondrop CHU Review - design

The cable isn’t removable and I do feel that the cable and IEM chassis junction is a bit weird, although rubberized for better durability.

Highlights:

  • Metal built
  • The golden leaf design looks symbolic
  • Designed for small ears
  • The cable and IEMs junction looks a bit weird

Moondrop Chu Review | Cable | Long, Rubberized, But Not Removable

Diving further into this Moondrop Chu review, the cable of these IEMs is not detachable. If it gets damaged, you might have to change the entire IEMs, which is somewhat reasonable since the price is around $20.

Moondrop CHU Review - IEMs length

Anyways, the cable is rubberized and super long (around 1.2 meters). On the cable, we have a metal chassis on which the volume rocker and the microphone are present which are optional.

There’s this round-shaped plastic casing on which the company’s name is written both in Chinese and English.

Moondrop CHU Review - logo on cable

In the end, we see a three-step, L-shaped, gold-plated 3.5mm audio connector. The connector easily attaches to my smartphone, however, these 3-step connectors are notorious for connecting to a laptop’s 3.5mm audio jack by applying force. First, you might connect them and hear no sound and then notice that you haven’t completely inserted the 3.5mm audio pin. Removing the cable from the jack requires a bit of muscle.

Highlights:

  • 1.2 meters cable
  • Non-removable
  • Volume rocker and microphone optional
  • Branding is done on cable
  • L-shaped gold-plated 3.5mm audio connector
  • The connector requires some muscle to attach and remove from the laptop’s audio jack
  • Strap with branding to fold the cable

Moondrop Chu Review | Wearing Experience | A Perfect Fit

As previously said, Moondrop Chu is particularly made for small ears thanks to their small size. Since they are over-the-ear IEMs, you won’t feel them heavy despite being metal. To be honest, I love the smooth surface of the Chu and the softness of spring eartips, I can easily wear these for hours.

Moondrop CHU Review - Wearing experience

It’s somewhat a struggle to add the given ear hooks to them, however, once they are attached, these IEMs are really for sports activities. I did a brisk walk wearing them and these IEMs didn’t get loose even a little.

In terms of sound insulation, despite using silicon eartips, the spring eartips, thanks to the double molding, don’t allow any sound to leak at all.

Highlights:

  • IEMs are slightly heavy because of the metal built
  • The over-the-ear design allows the weight to be distributed equally, so no ear fatigue at all
  • Earhooks are a pain in the a$% to attach to the cable
  • With a suitable eartip size, these IEMs are super fixed in ears
  • Can be used while walking/running etc.

Moondrop Chu Review | Sound Quality | Shallower Bass, Clear Upper Mids, High Treble

Note: I’m testing these on my Zenbook Q408 and Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G which has an ES9218 32Bit Quad-Dac.

Moondrop chu frequency graph
Credits: Precog.squid.link

Moondrop’s earbuds and IEMs are tuned to the VDSF target response.

To define the Moondrop Chu sound in one sentence, it’s super bright, has slight bass (controlled), boosted mid-treble, and has a well-defined upper mid-range. Overall a balanced approach.

Clarity is the highlight of these IEMs especially when there are vocals, male or female. Literally, I can hear the breath of the singers. The ‘sss’ is also dominant. Even if two or multiple singers sing at the same time, each voice can be differentiated easily.

After clarity, we witness how well the musical instruments are defined. Cymbals and guitar dominate the sound and even the SLP graph illustrate this as 5 to 7 kHz.

Now the problem with a boosted mid-treble and super bright IEMs is that at higher volume, they hit harder (a splash) and it might be uncomfortable for some sense to this frequency. High treble resonance (at 12kHz) is seen despite the spring eartips already designed to decrease it. I think without them, the mid-treble would get even more boost and the result would be a disaster. However, this is where the equalizers come to action. Just try lower the mid-treble a little and the job’s done.

In terms of bass, we do see a slight boost at 1kHz in the graph. However, despite this, these IEMs have a much shallower bass and sub-bass. I would say that the bass is there just to be felt but not to enjoy. Sorry if I’m a bit biased, but it would have been better if the bass and sub-bass were richer, deeper, and darker with some airiness in the thumps as heard in Blon-BL03 and my favorite FIIL T1 Lite earbuds.

At some points, I do find the Chu too thin and desperately in need of a warmer sound. I wished it would have been a little dense, especially the bass and sub-bass. Anyways, I think it’s alright under this price tag.

Overall, I would say that in the end, the Moondrop the Chu represents a super bright, well-balanced sound.

  • Volume: 8 out of 10
  • Clarity: 9 out of 10
  • Vocals: 9 out of 10
  • Bass: 5 out of 10
  • Details: 8 out of 10
  • High-Frequency Response: 7 out of 10
  • Mid-Frequency Response: 9 out of 10
  • Low-Frequency Response: 5 out of 10
  • Soundstage: 8 out of 10
  • Treble: 6 out of 10

Total Sound Performance: 7.4 out of 10

Highlights

  • You’ll love the Chu if you love a splashy treble hitting harder at high volume, wide soundstage, great musical instrument separation super clarity, and a swallower bass.
  • You’ll hate the Chu if you are sensitive to boosted treble, love a darker and deeper bass and sub-bass, and look for a warmer sound.

Songs Played On Moondrop Chu

Warning: I prefer warm and deeper bass earphones like Blon BL03 and FIIL T1 Lite. So I might become a bit biased since the IEMs are bright, slightly cold, and high treble.

Future – Mask Off | Love the slight rumbling at the start (0:00). Super clear vocals. Slight bass (perfectly controlled) but not deeper and darker. Overall, a bright approach.

Hootie & The Blowfish – Hold My Hand (PC Principal :D)| Again, clear vocals (the ‘sss’ are heard clearly). The guitar strings and cymbal are overwhelming. Drum thumps are not deeper and only slight bass is heard. The maracas dominate most of the song even over other instruments. Due to this, the treble (get a higher volume) gets quite harsh.

Imagine Dragons – Natural | Clear and detailed vocals (especially the male ones get deeper) at 0:11. The vocal hits harder on the ear when it increases at 0:29 and overall in the song, which might be uncomfortable for some. It even suppresses the piano in the background. Misses the thump and rumble at 0:49. Bleeding is witnessed at higher levels, a common issue in bright, boosted treble IEMs.

I think these songs will much suit this type of IEM:

  • DJ Snake – Magenta Riddim | Literally gets the best out of these IEMs.
  • Lil Nas X – Old Town Road ft. Billy Ray Cyrus | Just to get an idea of how clear the sound and vocals are.
  • The Chainsmokers – Closer ft. Halsey | Hard-hitting and well define beats mostly dominate the song along with the clear vocals. Play this if you are looking for a thumping and rattling demonstration.

Moondrop Chu vs Other IEMs

Moondrop Chu ($21) vs Blon Bl-03 ($26)

Moondrop CHU vs Blon Bl-03
  • The sound difference between both these IEMs is as opposite as water and fire. Moondrop Chu notes are on a brighter side with shallow bass and sub-bass and boosted mid-treble. Meanwhile, Blon Bl-03 has a much warmer and funky sound because of deeper bass and sub-bass, and boosted lows.
Moondrop chu vs Blon bl 03 frequency graph
Credit: precog.squig.link
  • Personally, I prefer the silver metal design of Blon Bl-03. However, Blon Bl-03 are not a perfect fit for most ear types but the Moondrop Chu is perfect for almost every ear type especially the audience with tiny ears.
  • Blon Bl-03 has a detachable cable while Moondrop Chu has a non-detachable cable.

Moondrop Chu ($21) vs KZ ZSN Pro X ($19)

  • Both IEMs have boosted higher frequency (upper mid-range and mid-treble). However, KZ ZSN Pro X has that classic ‘V-shaped tunning. There’s too much similarity in both of these IEMs (both are bright, super clear, and crisp vocals, but get sharp at higher volume). The major difference can be seen in the bass and sub-bass. In KZ it’s slightly boosted and much thumping than the Chu.
Moondrop chu vs KZ ZSN Pro X frequency graph
  • The drivers response of KZ ZSN Pro X is much faster than Moondrop Chu.
  • Though the design of KZ ZSN is quite unique, it can get a bit uncomfortable in small ears since the body is large and almost square-shaped. This is totally the opposite of Chu’s design language.
  • KZ ZSN has a detachable cable while Moondrop Chu has a non-detachable cable.

The Verdict

For a price under $25, Moondrop Chu stands out in this price tag. There are tons of accessories ($13 spring eartips for free, PU leather pouch, ear hooks), smooth metal built, perfect for small ears, and a balanced bright sound with vocal clarity, high and splashy treble.

However, Moondrop Chu is far from perfect. The cable is non-removable. More importantly, the mid-treble boost might get a bit uncomfortable, especially at high volume.

Moondrop CHU Review - Featured image

Audiences who love punchy bright IEMs may love it. Audiences who love a much warmer and deeper bass and sub-bass might hate it. However, improvements can be done by using an equalizer and reducing that mid-treble.

In short, these IEMs are one of the brightest yet most balanced IEMs under this price category.

Price & Availability

You can grab these on Aliexpress and Amazon for a price of around 19.99 to 23 USD.

Moondrop CHU Review - Featured image
Moondrop Chu Review | Spring Eartips, Super Bright For $20
Summary
For a price under $25, Moondrop Chu stands out in this price tag. There are tons of accessories ($13 spring eartips for free, PU leather pouch, ear hooks), the built is smooth metal, perfect for small ears, and a balanced bright sound with vocal clarity, high and splashy treble. However, Moondrop Chu is far from perfect. The cable is non-removable. More importantly, the mid- treble boost might get a bit uncomfortable, especially at high volume. Audiences who love punchy bright IEMs may love it. Audiences who love a much warmer and deeper bass and sub-bass might hate it.
Design & Appearance
7.5
Comfort & Wearing Experience
9
Sound Quality
7.4
Cable
6
Price
9
Price/Performance Ratio
9
Reader Rating4 Votes
8.5
Pros
Super Budget Friendly
Tons of accessories ($13 spring eartips given free)
One of the brightest sounds and boosted treble under $25
Sturdy Metal built
Perfect for people with small ear canal
Cons
Cable not detachable
Mid-treble can get harsh at higher volume
7.8
Total Rating
  1. 7.8
    Best under $20, but above that go for Aria

    I think Moondrop aria is a better option if you have some more bucks to spend.
    Otherwise Moondrop Chu are the best under $20 and considering one like bright sound. Oh and not just forget about the spring eartips. I have memory foams and they do help in optimizing the sound with slight increased bass and a lower treble.

    The design is the selling point. Love cold metal in my tiny ears.

    Breakdown
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    Design & Appearance
    10
    Comfort & Wearing Experience
    8
    Sound Quality
    7
    Cable
    5
    Price
    9
    Price/Performance Ratio
    7.5
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