Going back to basics this time with a budget IEM from Moondrop. Let’s see if this little sub-£10 in-ear can hold it’s own against more expensive options…
The thoughts and opinions in this review are my own unbiased and honest views.
I have not been sponsored for this publication.
Thank you to Cloris and Moondrop for sending these out to The Audiophile Cafe.
The Quarks retail at￡9.89 / $12.99 ( Aliexpress )
And can be found here or on Aliexpress:
Astell & Kern AK70.
Various high res FLAC files.
What’s in the box:
1x Moondrop Quarks IEMs.
1x Bag of various ear tips.
1x Velour drawstring carry pouch.
Frequency Response : 4Hz-43kHz (IEC61094, Free Field)
Effective frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz (IEC60318-4, -3dB)
Sensitivity: 116dB/Nrms (@1khz)
Impedance: 16Ω+ 15% (@1khz)
THD: <1% (@1kHz)
Configuration: High performance 6mm micro-dynamic driver
Build & finish:
The build and finish of these IEMs is simply, well done.
You won’t find a detachable cable here, just the basics.
But they are done very well.
The housings have a good finish with no burs or sharp edges to be found.
Actually I found zero defects with this pair which is not something other cheap in-ears can attest to!
The cable is pretty well made and feels quite robust. The housing of the stereo jack and the y-split feels solid and the cable is just as good as cable used by far more expensive IEMs.
The pouch is simple, yet it’s been professionally put together and it’s so lovely and soft.
And finally the ear tips are good, nicely formed items and the silicone is very smooth, showing no evidence of badly finished molds.
I’ve got to hand it to Moondrop, they’ve made a stellar pair of IEMs for next to nothing!
The first thing the Quarks have going for them, they’re so light, almost featherweight. And they’re compact. Real compact!
Combine this with a light but well made cable and some surprisingly comfy ear tips and you have a pair of IEMs that can be worn for long listening sessions and you’ll hardly notice them.
Moondrop have created an IEM that punches well above it’s weight with a tight and punchy bass, slightly fading away in the lower end.
Mids are flat and neutral with good accuracy and clarity.
And the highs are crisp and detailed, if a touch rolled off in the higher frequencies.
The soundstage is focused with some depth of field.
Isolation/separation is good, though gets a little confused in noisier sections of music.
I found they performed best with EDM, Jazz and Rock, sounding full bodied, yet forgiving. Classical was enjoyable but lacked some of the super fine detail that I’m used to. But then I/you have to realise these are a $12.99 pair of IEMs!
Final thoughts and recommendation:
Yet they feel and sound like something more akin to a $50 – $60 IEM.
Their design is basic yet funky looking.
Build quality is on par with far more expensive in-ears.
I mean, if you’re on a really tight budget, you could do far worse than the Quarks!
If you’re a reader with a fatter wallet, give them a whirl. You may well be surprised at how well they perform.
Thanks as always to my readers and *sponsors!
*As a note moving forward, sponsors and partners of the blog can be found in the sidebar.
Thank you again for taking the time to read my reviews from this little corner of a vast and competitive industry!