I have over the years met people who just don’t believe wireless earphones will ever be able to sound as good as wired ones. I am one of those who have made the transition to accepting that some wireless earphones now sound as good, especially after the advent of lossless music files. But there are still enough earphones that cater to the first segment, the Moondrop-Chu now available with Headphone zone.
The Moondrop-Chu is the kind of product that sends the kind of signals even in design to make audiophiles happy. The earphones come with large buds that suggest the drivers inside are larger than usual — in this case, 10mm ones — and silicone tips don’t come pre-fitted, telling you this one does not take anything for granted.
The ear hook design — you actually have to weave in the chord to the silicone hooks — also makes this a design that works with an active lifestyle. They do stay in place while you are running or walking but provided you have the right silicone tip also. There is a mic unit too on the chord with volume controls and a play pause button.
I have always seen a correction between the price of audio products and their sound quality. But once in a while, there comes a product that offers you a sound signature better than what you were expecting given the price. For its Rs 1,999 pricing, the China-made Moondrop-Chu has the audio quality of a product from Europe that sounds many times better.
My FLAC playlist on Spotify, started with Don’t Know Why by Norah Jones where the Chu gave the vocals the importance it needed, sprinkled with the Piano notes that stepped up when required. And as I switched to a more complex composition like La Vie en Rose, the flutter in Edith Piaf’s throat when she croons her most loved composition becomes clear even though the recording is decades old. And then something exploded around my ears as the playlist ticked out to an acoustic guitar headphone test recording, with the Chu showing what it could do with the bass.
All these songs I played underlined how balanced the Chu earphones are, only pushing the bass when the song requires it. I played Big Daddy Wilson’s 10-minute-long Walk a Mile in My Shoes because it sounded much richer than it had sounded in most of my earlier encounters with the song. Soon I was playing one favourite after the other. As the rich audio pushed me on a nostalgia trip, I was reminded how this experience has happened before when an audio product has wowed me in more ways than one. The Moondrop-Chu is that kind of product.
Interestingly, I did not have many expectations from the Moondrop-Chu, especially after seeing an anime design on the cover, giving me the impression that this was something aimed at listeners much younger than me. I could not have been more wrong. The Moondrop-Chu is a product for the purists, one that lets you enjoy music in all its glory, without having to hear the hollow sound coming from your bank account. It is a must-buy if you ask me.