Moondrop CHU 2 Review – CHU Retuned For The Masses
Meet the all-new Moondrop CHU 2, as we all know this is a successor to the highly-acclaimed Moondrop CHU. It’s a single dynamic driver IEM designed with an upgraded aluminum-magnesium alloy composite diaphragm. Moondrop has featured a replaceable acoustic nozzle mouth design, the mouth of the Brass nozzle can be opened up and switched whenever required. The pair adopts swappable cable with universal 0.78mm 2-pin connectors. Enjoy impressive sound with full freedom to swap the cables with the Moondrop CHU 2.
Moondrop has reworked the driver used on the OG Chu IEMs, the new CHU 2 comes equipped with a high-quality aluminum-magnesium alloy composite diaphragm dome and ultra-thin CCAW voice coil. With the high-rigidity and lightweight characteristics of the Al-Mg diaphragm, the pair achieves better treble extensions and punchier bass response in the output signal. Moondrop CHU 2 is the first budget IEM to incorporate AL-Mg alloy composite diaphragm.
Moondrop has designed the ear shells of the new CHU 2 in an identical design to the OG model. The cavity structure is manufactured using Moondrop’s mature alloy casting technology. It ensures a rigid, solid, robust build structure with a finely textured finish. The pair looks spectacular and its ergonomic shape ensures a comfortable fit.
Moondrop CHU 2 features a CNC machined Brass material ear nozzle. It offers highly-precise sound with a beautiful and rich tone. The filter at the mouth of the nozzle is replaceable, in case of damage or blockage, one can simply swap the mouth of the nozzle.
Moondrop CHU 2 is tuned by senior acoustic engineers and audiophiles with rich knowledge and exotic experience in the audio industry. The pair is tuned in line with the VDSF target response just like the OG model, but with a newer higher-quality dome diaphragm, the resulting sound is refined and richer than the OG model.
Moondrop CHU 2 offers non-linear full-frequency distortion below 0.05% promising quality output with rich tone and clear separation.
This time Moondrop CHU 2 allows users to swap the cable whenever necessary, one of the biggest complaints on the first version was the fixed cable. The pair adopts standard 0.78mm two-pin connectors.
I would like to thank Shenzhenaudio for providing me with the review sample of Moondrop CHU 2.
Out of the box, the CHU 2 has a warm and smooth sound signature emphasized by a community-requested bass extension and a full-bodied overall presentation. The treble area was also reduced by a margin compared to the original CHU, again, as requested by the community.
The low-end maintains a fairly balanced presentation with an organic timbre. Decay, meanwhile, is relatively pacey allowing uptempo music to shine without losing any detail. One thing I find noteworthy is how good the bass texture is on the CHU 2. You could definitely hear the separation of the bass guitar and the kick drums even on intricate tracks.
There’s a satisfying rumble in the low end. Rumble comes through well-articulated while percussive beats are clean and well-defined with almost zero smearing despite its emphasis. While there is an obvious boost in the low end, its rumble and punch are well-controlled without sounding boomy.
The dip starting in the midbass is sustained through the lower midrange of the CHU 2. Despite the mildly recessed lower mids, there is a smooth transition in the frequencies thus avoiding any odd and unnatural harmonics. With the upper midrange bias, stringed instruments, as well as vocals on higher octaves, get more emphasis. The lower midrange, however, is neither overly recessed nor thin-sounding due to the power from the boosted sub-bass region. While there is top-notch clarity and a fairly transparent midrange, its lower registers lack the presence which in turn takes away just a little of body and weight on snares and other percussions.
Nonetheless, the midrange of CHU 2 remains transparent and open-sounding while providing a good level of attack. The lower midrange is tuned with a recession, increasing clarity and definition though not as strong with male vocals as it is with female vocals. Strengths include percussion, woodwinds, and plucked strings, not as strong with male vocals, bowed strings, and brass but still enough to at least be considered a general all-rounder. The CHU 2 is able to achieve superb separation on the vocals, the upper midrange spike provides more clarity and presence on high-pitched vocals compared to the low-pitched ones which are pushed back just a little bit. Listening to the acoustic guitars, high notes on the chords are more highlighted but the low-pitched strings still manage to maintain satisfactory weight and body even with the slight lower-midrange roll-off.
Moondrop CHU 2 has a pleasing sparkle that manages to keep harshness at bay while there’s also some ample air which contributes to an open sound as well as a wide headroom. The mild boost in the brilliance region provides an added resolution and clarity to the overall presentation and despite the slight lift, there is no tinge of metallic timbre to the sound. The treble is well-extended and smooth, whilst conveying enough energy for sparkle. Transients are extremely snappy, resulting in zero splashiness or overlap. The treble boasts fair extension adding clarity and air to the overall presentation. The overall timbre of CHU 2 keeps everything fairly natural even with the boost in its bass and treble.
Detail retrieval, meanwhile, is above average as it is able to produce micro details with no effort. Decay is relatively fast which contributes to an organic timbre even with the minor dips and spikes across the treble region. Guitar effects and synths were performed with excellent detail and attack. Guitar solos where you’d get an energetic and lively treble presentation, also a satiating treble bite with no hint of harshness in its cymbals and high-pitched guitar riffs.
The CHU 2 boasts a very expansive soundstage out of the box. The extended treble improves instrument separation. The staging provides a fairly out-of-your-head experience with an enjoyable 3D feel to it. Overall, I’d say this is one of the best instrument separations and layering in this ultra-low-budget price range.
As the headline states, the Moondrop CHU 2 is the retuned version of the original CHU requested by the community, with more bass and less treble (bright). It’s obvious that this tuning will be welcomed by the masses as it represents one of the best V-Shape tuning IEMs on the market in this price range.