PROS: natural detailed full-bodied sound tuning, beautifully crafted shells, compact ergonomic design and very comfortable fit, quality removable SPC cable, premium selection of accessories.
CONS: laidback sound presentation (depending on your preference).
The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion.
Call me shallow, but when Meze Audio RAI Penta flagship IEMs arrived at my doorstep for review, I wasn’t in a rush to put them in my ears. Instead, I spent a good 10-15 minutes just looking at these little Romanian beauties and then continued while examining the custom case and the cable. And we are not talking about some exotic shell material or fancy custom finish. What caught my attention from the get-go was the design details of Penta’s uniquely shaped shells.
Of course, it should always be about the sound first, with everything else coming in second as the icing on the cake. But when it comes to Meze Audio earphone and headphones, you can’t help but notice how hard they try to stand out both in the design looks and the sound quality. But looks can only get you so far before it is time to hear what’s behind the shells. That is exactly what I did after spending the last month testing and analyzing RAI Penta. Here is more about it.
Unboxing and Accessories.
Considering how much thought goes into the design of Meze products, you should expect as much when it comes to the unboxing presentation. Starting with a packaging box, it has a textured wavy pattern surrounding the company logo and the model name on the top cover. Inside you have a foam inlay with custom cutouts to hold securely RAI Penta, all the eartips, and a custom shaped protective travel case. Yes, I’m a sucker when it comes to unboxing and I do enjoy accessories, especially when it’s something unique and custom.
Here, you will find a ton of eartip pairs, such as soft black XS/S/M/L, a pair of regular double flanged and a two pairs of deep insertion double flange tips, plus a pair of Comply eartips. Considering a stock cable 3.5mm termination, included was also 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter which can come in handy when dealing with desktop equipment. You also get a cleaning tool with a brush and a long flexible cleaning whisker, a 2pin airplane adapter (that one is antique), stickers, and instruction manual.
My favorite accessory has to be a custom shaped protective EVA hard case. It’s not a real leather, this is EVA material, but it looks like a real leather and has a protective hard shell with a soft inner lining and a mesh pocket. On the outside, you have a metal Meze Audio logo and even a little loop to clip the case. Meze is always trying to stand out from the crowd with their unique designs, even if it’s just a case.
The included removable cable also looks nice. According to Meze, this is higher purity silver plated copper (SPC), 4 twisted wire conductors with each having 20 litz strands. The IEM connector is MMCX plug inside of clear transparent housing with a color mark for right side, and seem to be good quality. The cable has a flexible heat-shrink pre-shaped earhook, custom y-split with Meze audio symbol, plastic chin-slider, and a matching custom Meze audio branded connector plug. The stock cable comes with 3.5mm rhodium plated plug, and Meze also offers optional 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced terminated SPC cables.