FYI, I review keeping the price of the IEM in mind. My opinion, appreciation and critique are all price range specific yet always keeping my version of an ideal sound signature and balance as a reference.
Moving on, right off the bat, I feel that KXXS keeps the loveable Kanas Pro’s core identity following the Harman Target curve, but refines the sound tastefully and as a result makes it more interesting and enjoyable.
In simple words, if you love impactful, refined and quality bass, KXXS is a must have! The sub-bass extends low down to the low end of human hearing and you can hear the rumble in songs where the bass goes low and deep. The mid-bass is well done and right on point. The note definition is quite good especially for me as a musician to figure bass lines out especially if they go down deep. Kicks have good slam and attack too. KXXS has good punch when the song demands it and especially shines with bass driven songs like Muse’s Panic Station, Kanivool’s Simple Boy & Goliath and EDM albums like Zedd’s Clarity and The Chainsmokers’ Sick Boy.
The mids are pretty good too. They are similar to Kanas Pro but have slightly more resolution and clarity. They sound natural, timbre presentation is good and tonality of instruments is on point. I’m a sucker for a good kick and snare sound. Snares have good tone, depth and smack as per the song. Vocals sound natural, upfront and well defined in the songs. The KXXS stays very comfortable and musical at low and high volumes both. I don’t want to seem like I’m exaggerating but cracking the volume and listening to Chris Cornell’s Long Gone, Coldplay’s Everglow, Gavin James’ Always and Linkin Park’s Talking to Myself are a joy on the KXXS and sometimes gives me goosebumps.
The treble is where KXXS and Kanas Pro are more different. KXXS has more clarity in the treble and more snap in the 2-4kHz region. The treble is quite comfortable as it follows the Harman Target curve. There aren’t any intrusive frequency boosts and the treble as a whole extends well, giving you a better sense of airiness. Vocals and cymbals never get sibilant or harsh.
Soundstage, Imaging and Separation.
KXXS has good width and instruments panned left and right are well defined and placed wide apart. It has good depth too as you can hear the depth of effects like reverb trails and delays. Imaging is on point too and the resolution and separation between instruments from a single dynamic driver is quite impressive.
Moondrop Kxxs vs Kanas Pro
- KXXS has more clarity and snap in the 2-4kHz which gives acoustic guitars and vocals the crispness I like. They sound more realistic and lifelike.
- Vocals have more individual clarity in KXXS than KP.
- Drum tones sound equally good on both.
- I think, with the added clarity, KXXS has a slightly wider soundstage.
- Overall KXXS has better separation between instruments.
- KXXS has a more realistic feeling of bass impact.
- When the songs get chaotic with lots of layers all over the sound field, KXXS handles it a bit better than KP.
- Kanas Pro has * very slightly* more warmth in the lower mids. KXXS has better resolution and clarity in that region.
Moondrop KXXS does everything right. The bass is good, mids are natural, drums and vocals are a joy to listen to and treble is crisp and clear yet smooth. KXXS at its price is quite accessible and I think it is one dynamic driver IEM that everyone should have. It’ll work very well as a daily driver because of its robust and solid build as well as its extremely well-tuned sound signature. Highly Recommended!
Gear used for testing and review.
- Logic Pro X session with hi-res test tracks played through Universal Audio Apollo or Focusrite Clarett Pre X audio interface headphone out.
- Hiby R6 Pro
- Oneplus 7 Pro
Reference Songs list.
- Foo Fighters- The Pretender, Best of you & Everlong
- Coldplay- Paradise, Up in flames & Everglow
- Ed Sheeran- Thinking out loud, Bloodstream & Galway Girl
- Chainsmokers – Somebody, Sickboy, This Feeling & Closer
- John Mayer- Slow dancing in a burning room, Stop this Train & Say
- Gavin James- Always & Hearts on fire
- Switchfoot- Meant to live & Dare you to move
- Linkin Park- Papercut, Somewhere I belong & Talking to myself
- Maroon 5- She will be loved, Payphone & Lost stars
- Lifehouse- All in all & Come back down
- Karnivool- Simple boy & Goliath
- Dead Letter Circus- Real you
- I Am Giant- Purple heart, City limits & Transmission
- Muse – Panic station
- James Bay – Hold back the river