Over the course of 2021, MOONDROP has probably made the biggest impact when it comes to the wacky world of in-ear monitors. Their products are often recommended as the best in class at various budgets by reviewers far and wide, and both the Aria (2021) and KATO did impress me enough to consider anything the brand puts out, at least to where it's given more consideration than others, including when HiFiGo inquired whether I'd like to take a look at MOONDROP's first set of TWS earphones. Here we are examining the MOONDROP Sparks as such, and thanks again to the company, over HiFiGo, for providing a review sample!
As I write this, MOONDROP has gone ahead and released an even newer set of TWS earphones, the Nekocake. It costs ~$40 and features Bluetooth 5.2 as well as hybrid ANC. How could the more expensive Sparks compete against that? For one, the MOONDROP Sparks is more mature. When a company suddenly makes TWS sets, it's safe to assume there will be plenty of firmware updates. The Sparks underwent multiple tuning changes and bug fixes over the weeks of international release and had first been released in China in the two other colors seen above. What I have here is the International version in black, a new color released at said launch which also differs in mobile app support. So while this review is still fairly representative of both versions of the MOONDROP Sparks, be aware of this distinction as we begin with a look at the product specifications in the table below.
MOONDROP Sparks TWS Earphones
Black, Pink, or Purple
Wireless over Bluetooth 5.2
SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptX Adaptive
6 mm dynamic driver with beryllium-coated dome with PU surround and 0.035 mm CCAW (Daikoku) voice coil
20 Hz–20 kHz
5 g each earphone, 45 g case
8 hours, 56 hours total including charging case
50 mAh each earphone, 700 mAh case
Packaging and Accessories
Packaging for the MOONDROP Sparks should not surprise anyone familiar with the brand, but what will perhaps surprise is knowing that the three available color options—purple, pink, and black—have different ear bud designs, and different associated characters. This international version gets blessed by a witch, it being Halloween as I write up this review, and the box comes wrapped in plastic to begin with. It is on the larger size for TWS earphones, with the back having a frequency response graph in addition to technical specifications and MOONDROP's contact information. MOONDROP is using a two-piece packaging, with the outer sleeve simply sliding off the inner box from the side.
The inner box is far more subtle and all white; there is the logo on front, with an arrow on the side indicating that this is where you lift it up to access the contents inside. Open the box and you see a QC card with the full name of the company listed in case you forgot where these came from. There is also a handy quick start guide in both English and Mandarin that goes over charging, pairing, and the pre-programmed touch controls. I did like the illustration clearly showing the extent of the touch sensor, which can be a plague of confusion and frustration if left unoptimized. Below these cards is a foam sheet with cutouts that snugly hold and protect the earphones and charging/carry case. Small notches help remove them without any tools or undue force.
We'll get to those components on the next page, but there is more to see here first. The rest of the contents are found in the bottom layer, including more paperwork in multiple languages. There is a reminder to use the mobile app developed for the international version too, with the Chinese version supported by HiBy's Music app instead. There are yet more cards—the amount of included paperwork is more than for many high-end headphones. But we also get more useful accessories—namely, four sets of individually packed ear tips in a mix of silicone and foam of different sizes and the expected USB Type-C to Type-A charging cable. I do like that the MOONDROP logo is present on the connector housing, and purple accents used for the plastic inside add further to the personalized touch.
HiFiGo had chosen the color for me, thinking I might better appreciate the black set. The company was also kind enough to include an optional protective leather case, which can be had for an additional $5 when purchased with the Sparks. This add-on ships in a thin plastic box with a seal all that keeps you from it. It's a lot more substantial and heavier in duty than expected, especially for the price, to where it seems more of a faux leather in a rougher, tougher composition. The MOONDROP logo is present on the top, surrounded by yellow stitching, with an elastic hinge on the back to lift the lid up and around to easier fit the Sparks case inside.