To buy or not to buy: my indecision at it’s best (ft. Moondrop Aria Snow Edition & Moondrop MoonRiver 2)

Sooooooo. I have made a somewhat impulsive purchase. If you haven’t yet read the previous blog post, I have rather recently purchased the Moondrop Aria (2021 Ver.). It was all going great. I was enjoying it with the Samsung Dongle I got when I had upgraded to my Note 20 in 2019. It was a good time with me testing the new item I had recently got. I was exploring the city where I was staying at in Taiwan, and I was going around downtown and there was some interesting sights I stumbled upon. There was a bit of back and forth of where I was heading to, with my indecision on where I wanted to explore. And I also decided that I wanted to go back to this tech area where I had bought my laptop and the Moondrop Aria. I was going to kill some time before I possibly could have dinner with a friend nearby. And lo and behold, I ended up back that audio store. Next thing you know, I figured out there were a few more things I wanted to consider.

I actually wanted a better dongle. Although I was in the middle of testing the Sony WF-1000XM4, I realized phone battery was degrading, and bluetooth was taking quite a bit more of power in certain situations than I would like. The Samsung dongle was doing very well for what it is, but I also wanted more. It was something that is a “would be nice to have” rather than something I need since I did have the dongle, but it was something I also somewhat craved. I wanted to hear something more since I knew what it was. I was spoilt for the what could be. And so, there I was in the store, also deciding whether I was going to just get a dongle, or get something else, or get another set of IEMs just to test out. I had landed on a few I was considering to take back home just to broaden my own experience with IEMs, a few final considerations being Final Audio E3000 (those were surprisingly small), the Final Audio E5000 (quickly dropped for now since this wasn’t something on the wall I could try), the Moondrop Aria Snow edition, and Tanchjim OLA. I was actually loaned a usb-c to headphone jack dongle (which wasn’t very very good) to try out the IEMs.

Now, where was the initial decision to get the dongle? Yea, I diverged and seriously started considering IEMs instead. This is also when my indecision started to also kick in. I tried all of them where possible. The Final Audio E3000 was very good, and the Tanchjim OLA was quickly dropped because it didn’t meet my expectations, but there was also the Moondrop Aria (2021) and Moondrop Aria Snow edition on the rack to try. I decided to use the Aria 2021 as reference. But I did find I liked the Snow edition as a tie to the Final audio E3000 with that piece of dongle. Now I was questioning a lot of things. Do I really want to get another Aria? They were very similar, but I did hear little differences between them. Or do I want this Final Audio E3000? Try something new that is a little cheaper, seems flimsier because it was super small, and try it out? Or go for the Aria that looks really good, but has a flimsier jack (because it wasn’t metal like on the 2021), but it was cooler overall with the cable with a transparent outer sleeve where you can see the inside of the cable and has a more compact cable setting than the Aria 2021? I was really debating between the two. And for a long while.

At this point, I thought, that was it high time to finish on spending time in this small store (I had been there for at least an hour at this point), and decided to go with my gut. As the title gives away, I had grabbed the Moondrop Aria Snow Edition. And in the meanwhile, I came back to take one last look, and went back to look at the DAC/Amp section. There were FiiO stuff, Astell&Kern stuff, Audio-technica stuff, and- wait, Moondrop has the MoonRiver2, a dongle style DAC/AMP? At this point I was committed to Moondrop having the 2021 Aria and now the Snow Edition Aria in my hand, and decided, well, F* it, I’ll get the whole package. I picked up the Moondrop MoonRiver2 that was in front of me. Ofc this was something that was more than a pretty penny. But I had other uses for the MoonRiver2 other than just the IEMS. It was going to be worth it. And so, I now have, in my hand, 2 things based on impulse purchases. I didn’t really plan on getting them this very day. I was out on an innocent exploring plan. But now I had something to look forwards to go back home to, other than the fact that I was also very tired from walking the whole day to explore.

My friend didn’t end up replying and I had dinner back at home.

That’s all for the impulse purchase decision story, I now have more things on the project list since I did find further interesting results between the 2021 Aria and the Snow Edition Aria. Not to mention the MoonRiver2. But until then, I guess I shall wait a little longer before any further purchases are made. Or maybe, I was thinking about maybe picking up the E3000 while writing this. Who’s to say I can’t have one more? Maybe… we shall see.

Until then, stay passionate, stay healthy, stay safe. J (overloading himself with projects that don’t have a deadline so who knows when they release), out.

P.S., it definitely wasn’t the box designs that got me sold on them 😉

Will take better pictures later for full review 🙂

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