Moondrop Quarks - budget earbuds


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David Morris

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Feb 23, 2022
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Recently Linsoul had a sale and I wanted a pair of the Moondrop Kato but with Linsoul you need to order over a threshold to get free shipping by courier. I added the Quarks to my cart as they were cheap and cheerful, plus I had seen another YouTuber rate them as a good neutral reference point from which to compare other equipment.

I am a great believer in having a point from which to compare like the temperature of water example - Cold or Warm, Can We Really Tell?

When they arrived, CD Fourie tested them first and he had few words to say about them but what he did say was something akin to they are awful.

A few days later I decided to give them a go, so I plugged them into my iPhone with the lightning to 3,5mm dongle. CDF was right and I could not believe how bad they sounded after the YouTube - No theme reviews had given them a decent rating. Clearly there must be something wrong with my pair as there was absolutely no bass and they sounded worse than the bundled earphones you used to get with a smartphone. I went back to the review, but soon realised he had tested the DSP version and not the 3,5mm version I had. Ah well can't be so different, right?

There must be a solution I thought, what about burn-in?

In my humble collection of gear is an old iPod classic 160gb with some mp3's at 256kbps loaded, so I connected the iPod to a battery pack on the one end and the Quarks on the other and left the Quarks playing at full volume until the iPod got to the end of it's playlist, I would then do a quick listen, then start the playlist over leaving the iPod in another part of the house.

After probably two days of playing I must say that the burn-in thing is real in instances like this, the Quarks now deliver bass to my ears and while it is not going to win any awards, it gives me a place to start to compare other acquisitions without getting too scientific.

Having regard to burn-in, I cannot comment on other equipment but it worked this time and made a significant difference. This I know because I did not listen to the earbuds continually and brainwash myself, but rather checked them at different intervals hours apart.

I have the AKG earbuds that were bundled with my old Samsung and I will do a comparison later and work through other "earbuds and beyond"
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