Moondrop May Review

Moondrop May review featured

In this article, I’m reviewing the Moondrop May IEM. May features 1 dynamic driver + 1 planar magnetic driver plus a USB-C termination with an audio chip and Digital Sound Processing (DSP). It’s priced at $65.

Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Shenzhen Audio for an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own, based on my experience with the product.

Moondrop May Review
Verdict
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Pros
Good midrange body
Non-fatiguing treble
May can be used with any compatible 2-pin cable
The DSP cable can be used with any compatible IEMs
Cons
Middling technical performance
App could be improved
4
Our Score

Moondrop May

Specifications

Driver: 10mm Sapphire Plated Diaphragm Dynamic Driver + 6mm Annular Planar Magnetic Driver
Impedance: 30Ω+15% (@1kHz)
Sensitivity: 120dB/Vrms (@1kHz)
THD: THD@1kHz≤0.05%
Frequency Response: 7Hz-39kHz
Effective Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz (IEC60318-4, 3dB)
EarphoneJack: 0.78-2pin
Cable Plug: USB-C

Box front
In the Box
  • Moondrop May IEMs
  • Moondrop FreeDSP cable
  • 3x pairs of silicone eartips
  • Zipper faux leather carrying case
Moondrop May design

Design

Moondrop May is a great-looking IEM (in my opinion). The faceplates have an intricate pattern of 3 and 4-leaf clovers and the resin IEM shells have a classy, dark smoky hue with a subtle translucency.

There are two small vents, one on the bottom edge and another near the base of the nozzle. The nozzle has a prominent lip that holds eartips on securely and a metal mesh cover.

May is exceptionally comfortable (for my ears) while offering excellent passive noise isolation. I could happily wear them all day long.

The provided 2-pin silver-plated copper cable is excellent. Despite its substantial thickness, it’s supple and lightweight. Moreover, all components, including the 3-button inline remote, are crafted from matching aluminium, ensuring both durability and aesthetic cohesiveness. The best thing about this cable is that it’s detachable so you can use it with any compatible IEMs of your choosing.

FreeDSP USB-C cable

A big part of May’s appeal is, of course, the USB-C termination and associated DSP. Using the Moondrop Link app, you can switch between preset EQ settings or create your own profile with the 9-band PEQ. In addition, you can download and apply EQ presets that other users have added.

Any EQ changes are saved on the device, even after you unplug it. Through this mechanism, the DSP stays on the device, even if the app isn’t accessible.

Sound

I tested May with my Windows laptop and Android smartphone. I also listened to May using a standard 2-pin cable and tried the DSP cable with other IEMs.

The general tuning is reminiscent of Moodrop’s VDSF target with enhanced bass. If you’ve heard any other Moondrop IEMs, you can make a fair guess as to how May sounds. To make a vague comparison, I’d put May’s sound signature somewhere in between the Starfield 2 and Aria 2.

Moondrop May frequency response graph
Bass

May has a sub-bass emphasis, giving the lows plenty of body, weight and dimension. The transition to the mid-bass is smooth and cohesive, however, the bass in this range lacks the same level of emphasis as the sub-bass. Although this isn’t a basshead IEM, most listeners should be satisfied with the amount of slam and impact.

The mid-bass is tight and punchy but there are some lingering shadows cast by the sub-bass that veil some of the midrange nuances.

Midrange

The midrange is lively, showcasing forwardness and note density. It avoids being overly assertive, a credit to the robust bass foundation that underpins it. Vocals have an organic warmth and are delivered with a pleasant intimacy that isn’t overly sweet.

May’s midrange has an organic warmth, offering a balance of richness and clarity. While it may not be the epitome of transparency, its natural tonality and engaging presentation are pleasing and inoffensive.

Treble

The treble tuning is smooth and non-fatiguing. It’s crisp enough to aid in creating snappy attacks and providing clarity. However, like the midrange, finer details can be covered by the underlying weight of the sub-bass.

The treble isn’t particularly sparkling or airy, yet it has enough vibrancy to ward off an overly dark tonal character. While it may not dazzle with brilliance, its presence injects just the right amount of liveliness into the sound to maintain an overall balance.

Soundstage & Technicalities

The soundstage has a naturally rounded shape but fairly average dimensions. Instrument separation is pretty good for an IEM in this price range and May can keep pace with busy tracks quite well.

Comparison

Moondrop Aria 2 ($80)
May vs Aria 2

The Moondrop Aria 2 is another single DD IEM with a sound signature based on the Moondrop VDSF target.

Aria 2 has considerably less bass quantity than May, particularly in the sub-bass area. As a result, it has less warmth throughout the spectrum which means leaner notes and a drier presentation. Aria 2’s bass is more nimble and cleaner but it lacks the depth of May’s lows.

Apart from the bass, both IEMs follow a similar tuning throughout. Aria 2’s midrange is more forward and brighter which some people will find shouty or fatiguing. It’s more spacious than May’s mids but lacks the natural warmth.

Aria 2’s treble is also similar to May but the May has better treble extension to counterbalance some of the weight in the low frequencies. Detail retrieval is slightly better on Aria 2 and it has a wider but shallower stage.

Moondrop May faceplates

Verdict

In summary, the Moondrop May proves to be a capable sub-$100 IEM with some standout features. Subjectively speaking, its design is fantastic, and the cable quality is top-notch.

What sets the May apart is its detachable cable, offering versatility: it functions as a standard IEM with any compatible cable, while the included DSP cable can be used with other compatible 2-pin IEMs. Essentially, you’re getting two products for the price of one, which makes it pretty good value.

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