When you’re on stage and especially performing as a musician or a speaker, you need to be able to hear what’s going on. You need the levels of other audio to be perfectly balanced with your own sound so that you can perform perfectly. And in-ear monitors are probably the best way to bring you that ideal sound.
In my in-depth Moondrop Aria Snow Edition Review, I’ll take you deep into the details of these affordable IEMs. You be able to see how they stack up against others, what their limitations are, and whether they’re the right choice for you. Overall, they are a very affordable pair of IEMs that perform a whole lot better than you may have expected!
Moondrop is a relatively new brand owned by Chengdu Shuiyueyu Technologies, a Chinese company based in Chengdu. They produce low to very-low-priced audio equipment, including earbuds and in-ear monitors, as well as software and even graphic novels and comic book products. They’re very diverse. All of their products are designed and constructed in China and then shipped out to the global marketplace.
Moondrop Aria Snow Edition Overview
For the low price of about $80, the Moondrop Aria get you into the in-ear monitor market at a bargain. Most other starter IEMs cost upwards of $150, and really high-end pairs are sold for many hundreds of dollars.
But is what you get for this low price actually worth it?
The Snow Edition of the Aria IEMs is the same on the inside as the regular Aria IEMs, and they sell for exactly the same price. The only difference is the exterior finish and design. The originals are black with a gold swirl etching on them and black cables. With the Snow Edition, of course, you’re looking at a white design. The cables are white, and the earbuds themselves are white painted metal with an attractive snowflake design etched into them.
The replaceable cables they come with can be swapped out for Bluetooth cables, a wire with an in-line mic, or just new cables if the old ones get damaged. The connection here is a 2-pin 0.78mm connection with each earbud and a standard 3.5mm audio jack at the other end. These cables, as with most IEMs, are designed to run up over the backs of your ears to better hold the earbuds in place.
They also come with six differently-sized pairs of silicone eartips to help you get just the exact fit you need. This helps keep the sound in your ears in, while keeping outside sounds out.
The Harman Curve…
The Arias were designed with the Harman curve in mind. Following this curve aims to give the listener a neutral, natural listening experience, which is especially important for musicians using IEMs. The bass isn’t big, but there’s a slight bump in the mid-bass to add volume to your mix. Instruments and vocals generally sound very natural, though the high treble does fall off a lot, and that takes away some brightness.
The Aria Snow Edition IEMS are designed primarily as in-ear monitors. However, they can, of course, be used as regular wired earphones for most applications. They stay in place well, but aren’t waterproof, so that can limit their use for sports. And for gaming, they lack a mic, but generally do well enough for sound if you don’t need one.
So that’s the overview of this product. Next, I’ll dive into the deep end of the special features that make this product worth considering.
Top Features of the Moondrop Aria Snow Edition
No matter how cheap they are, if your headphones don’t sound good, they’re simply not worth using. And for musicians and performers, that’s especially true in the IEM market. You need to be able to reliably and clearly hear everything that’s going on so that you can bring your best performances to the table.
The Moondrp Aria IEMs use 10mm drivers for a big sound. These drivers are made from diamond-like carbon (DLC) and have a frequency response from 10 to 50,000 Hz, though functionally, you only use 20-20,000 Hz. Their response curve is generally neutral, which leads to a very natural listening experience.
Across the frequencies…
In the low end, the bass response is very accurate. There is a slight boost in the mid-to-high bass, and this gives mixes more power and oomph without being at all overpowering. There is no bass distortion to speak of, even when turned up loud.
The middle range is also excellent. The response curve here is really flat and natural once again, with only a slight dip in the middle. This means that some vocals will be slightly reduced, but in general, voices and instruments sound really true to life.
In the high end, things aren’t quite as superb. From about 10,000 Hz, the response starts to drop off sharply, and this limits the brightness of high voices and instruments. So if your professional needs require you to listen carefully to really high sounds, this isn’t the IEM for you. But for musicians and performers in general, the sound here is clear and accurate.
As for noise isolation…
The Aria IEMs keep most of what you’re listening to in your ears. With the right choice of earbuds for a good fit, others won’t be able to hear what you’re listening to.
But for blocking out other noise, they don’t fare quite as well. While they can block out about -16 dB just with their passive noise isolation, this is mostly concentrated in the treble ranges. Deeper, bassier rumbles can still get through these buds easily and bother your ears. So if you need to block out low-end noise, they’re not your best option.
Design and Comfort
Both the original and Snow Edition Aria IEMs look sharp. Moondrop is very focused on a sort of fantasy aesthetic influenced by manga, and they’ve succeeded here. The clean white color and the digital snowflake design on each bud really make these earbuds look more expensive than they are.
How comfortable are they to wear?
Surprisingly comfortable! As mentioned, you get six pairs of silicone tips that you can swap out until you find the right size for a perfect fit. If you don’t like silicone, you can easily swap them out for foam tips like these which also sit very firmly in the ears.
The cables are designed to come up from behind and go over the backs of your ears. This is standard for IEMs to keep the cables out of your way, but for general use, it may take some getting used to. However, this helps keep the buds really firmly in place, even when you’re moving around a lot.
At 0.08 pounds (36g), the whole IEM is quite lightweight. However, divided in half, this gives you 0.64 ounces in each ear, which can actually feel a little bit heavy after a while. Still, the fit is generally great, even for quite small ears.
Construction and Durability
The bodies of the earbuds are made from plastic and lathed aluminum alloy. This creates a relatively lightweight and durable body to protect the components inside. However, the metal is painted white, and this paint can be scratched fairly easily or even flake off over time. It’s not the end of the world and has no effect on the sound, but they won’t look as pretty.
The cable provided here is a factory standard 3.5mm AUX to 0.78mm 2-pin cable. In this case, the cable is a 6N silver-plated oxygen-free copper cable that’s protected with braided nylon and coated in rubber. This cable protects you well from line noise and gives a pure sound. However, the thin and round-in-profile cables can get twisted up and knotted easily.
This cable is replaceable – all you have to do is disconnect the buds from the 2-pin connectors and swap in a new cable if the old one is damaged. If you want something more durable, you can look at aftermarket wire braided cables.
However, this easy replacement also creates a slight issue. These wires can get snagged and then pull out of the 2-pin connectors when in use. Of course, you could always tape the connections until you need to change them, but this is far from ideal.
Still, the general shape and design of the Moondrop Aria is comfortable and stays in place when you need it to.
Moondrop Aria Snow Edition Review – Pros and Cons
- Comfortable and a very good fit.
- Excellent balanced tonality.
- Beautiful shells.
- Sublime midrange.
- Accurate sound reproduction.
- Lacks clear high-end frequencies.
- Not for bassheads
Looking for more quality In-Ear Monitors?
Then check out our reviews of the Best In-Ear Monitors for Singers that you can buy in 2023.
As for other earbuds, take a look at our reviews of the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Most Comfortable Earbuds, the Best Bass Earbuds, the Best Skullcandy Earbuds, the Best Neckband Headphones, or the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds currently on the market.
Or, if you’re still not sure what type of earbud to buy, our In-Ear vs On-Ear vs Over-Ear Headphones Guide is well worth a look.
Moondrop Aria Snow Edition Review – Conclusion
If you’re a musician, dancer, or other type of stage performer, you probably need a good in-ear monitor. And at a very low price, the Moondrop Aria Snow Edition could well be it! The design is attractive enough to be used as your go-to, day-to-day earbuds as well. This might not be the most durable pair of IEMs on the market, but the price is great. The sound quality is surprisingly good, with a clear, neutral response to give you a natural listening experience.
Personally, I love that the cable is replaceable since this is what normally fails first on any IEMs I’ve ever used. And the Snow Edition is really pretty, in my opinion. That might not be your main reason for buying IEMs, but when they’re affordable and sound great, pretty is a nice bonus!