We review the Moondrop Alice, a flagship TWS or True Wireless System with a single dynamic driver and up to aptX Adaptive decoding. It costs $189.99
Disclaimer: This sample was sent to us in exchange for our honest opinion. Headfonics is an independent website with no affiliate links or status. we thank Moon drop and Shenzhen audio for their support.
Click here to read more about Moondrop products we’ve previously featured on Headfonics.
Please note that this article follows our latest scoring guidelines which you can read here.
At the $189 price point, it’s very hard to recommend the Moondrop Alice, although sound-wise I’d have to say Alice is better than the competition.
Performance and features
Long battery life
Moondrop makes IEMs at every price point and has done so consistently for years. This model has worked, constantly selling to their fan bases. The Moondrop Alice is no different as it targets the premium category when it comes to TWS.
Moondrop Alice is the latest flagship TWS in their range after reviewing the cheaper Nekocake last year. It is said to use similar drivers from the popular Moondrop KATO and made it in TWS form.
It was disappointing to know this doesn’t have an ANC feature, but from the surface it ticks all the boxes, such as long battery life, BT 5.2, an ULT Dynamic driver and Moondrop’s VDSF tuning.
The real question is does it justify the hefty $189 price tag?
The Moondrop Alice packs a lot. It uses Qualcomm’s latest QCC515 Bluetooth processor chip with Bluetooth V5.2 connectivity that ensures stable, lag-free wireless performance. It also supports AptX adaptive and AAC protocol for best performance.
Inside is a 10mm ULT superlinear dynamic driver and a high-performance DLC composite diaphragm, which was also used in Moondrop’s flagship dynamic driver UIEM KATO.
Alice houses the same technical and acoustic cavity of the KATO, with only the signal output connector modified, which sets Alice apart from other TWS in the competition.
It also has a new generation of VDSF+ (Virtual Diffusion Sound Field Technology) that simulates the acoustic transmission path, improving the soundstage performance. This function can be easily switched by means of a touch control on the earbud.
It also has a companion app, with 10 types of tuning adapted from well-known classic headphone models. They’re named after the cities where the headphones are made, so it’s pretty easy to guess the reference models.
When it comes to battery life, the Alice offers 8 hours of play time and an additional 40 hours via the charging case.
The Moondrop Alice is only available in one colour, matte white. It looks very clean all around with a snowflake like design on the front panel. The shape is also unique, it is shaped like a pill, unlike traditional IEMs.
Despite the unusual shape, it fits well and is very comfortable to use. Although it looks a bit chunky compared to other TWS. It also has small vents around the shell, which I assume are for the microphone and acoustic vents. It’s seamless and can barely tell its location.
The front panel contains all responsive touch controls. The controls are very intuitive: tap to pause, double tap to skip tracks or rewind.
The unique setting is to enable and disable the VDSF+. A long press activates this setting, along with a voice prompt telling you if it’s on or off. To turn off the earbuds, simply put them back in the crib. Pairing is very seamless, once you set them up it will pair automatically the next time you use it.
Comfort & Insulation
While there’s no ANC feature, the Alice has universal-sized earbuds, meaning you can change it to your favourite. Using the Moondrop Spring tips, it fits my ears perfectly, allowing medium sound isolation with a comfortable fit.
Despite the sturdy size, they are very comfortable to use. The shape doesn’t touch any side of my ear, which thankfully doesn’t cause hot spots when worn for a long time.
The fit is also perfect and the walking is quite seamless. Despite not having an IP rating, I still used it at the gym and had no issues.
Holder and battery life
Moondrop has a long battery life with the Alice, 8 hours with the earbuds and 40 hours in the case. There were no details on battery capacity, but judging by the size of the case and estimated hours, it’s likely to be slightly larger than the competition.
The cradle is matt white, matching the buds. It has a clamshell design, which reminds me so much of Spark’s cradle, with almost the same form factor, if not the same. It also comes with a white cover, with gray patterns printed around it. I really like this look and protects the crib itself from dirt and dust.
The clasp hinge feels plasticky when opening and closing, not quite as seamless as an Apple AirPod case, though the magnetic clasp adds to the overall feel of the case.
Opening the case reveals the battery indicator, which flashes a bright white LED, which I think is a perfect choice given the overall theme of the pack.
The back of the holder shows a single USB-C port for charging the holder.
Packaging & Accessories
Alice has the same premium experience unwrapping a Moondrop product. I’d say the packaging is a bit over the top considering how small the device is, but it does give a sense of excitement when opening a Moondrop product.
In the box, the cradle and buttons are immediately visible. Opening the extra layer reveals the accessories that come with the box: holder, manuals, USB cable and 2 pairs of S, M and L tips.
The Alice comes with companion software called Moondrop Link that allows the user to configure the sound signature. Make sure to update Alice’s firmware. There are 10 tuning configurations tuned to classic famous headphones.
Trying out the different sound signatures really changed the sound of the IEM, but there are only 1 or 2 filters that I personally liked.
VDSF+ is also a software filter that is activated on the earbuds themselves. Honestly, I don’t find anything different between the two.
One problem with Moondrop Alice’s software is that when you turn the volume down to the lowest setting, it makes a loud beeping sound. It’s loud that it hurts my ears when I accidentally activate it.
Bass isn’t much to be found in the Alice, which was actually surprising as the KATO can deliver good bass when needed. It lacks a sub-bass or a deep rumble. It has enough presence in the mid-bass, but lacks the body to be appreciated.
The midrange region in Alice is emphasized, especially on the vocals. Vocals are crisp and sharp, which is impressive for a TWS. Male and female vocals both show clarity, though it lacks the richness if I were to say anything about the quality.
Instrumentals are also well present. With Alice’s clean midtones, details are clearly audible and present. Even with busy tracks, details are still audible, with enough separation to please instruments.
Alice’s treble extends well, with exceptional clarity. It’s on the raised side, clear if you ask me. When listening to several tracks, an airy and sharp top was noticed.
Overall, it has a good amount of sparkle and fluffiness to it. High frequencies have a good amount of breathing room where small details like breaths are heard.
Cymbal crashes are also executed relatively well, adding height to the overall sound. Guitar strums are also projected naturally, with no overemphasis on strums.
Honestly, for a TWS, Alice has impressive soundstage and imaging. While it lacks depth, I sometimes feel like I’m using a wired TWS based on the sound presentation.
Imaging is above average. Layering is heard and well presented. Especially now that tracks are usually recorded with multiple layers, good monitors can display at least part of those layers, which makes the track richer and more enjoyable. Alice does just that and there is little to complain about in this department.
Click page 2 below for wireless performance and our select comparisons.
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