Penon BS1 Official Version <br /> <ul> <li>Metal shell, metal mesh</li> <li>Black carbon fiber alloy splitter, alloy slider</li> <li>Sound signature: Impactful Bass ,Sweet Vocals ,Extended Treble, Wide Soundstage</li> <li>Driver: 15mm dynamic...

Penon BS1 Official Version

Rating:
4.625/5,
  • Penon BS1 Official Version
    • Metal shell, metal mesh
    • Black carbon fiber alloy splitter, alloy slider
    • Sound signature: Impactful Bass ,Sweet Vocals ,Extended Treble, Wide Soundstage
    • Driver: 15mm dynamic driver
    • Impedance: 32ohm
    • Frequency response: 14Hz – 28 kHz
    • Sensitivity: 120dB
    • Cable: 8 shares 19-core copper & silver-plated mixed cable
    • Plug: 3.5mm copper gold-plated plug
    • Cable length: 1.2m
HiFiChris likes this.

Recent Reviews

  1. Moonstar
    Rich Sound in a Luxurious Package…
    Written by Moonstar
    Published Mar 20, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Nice balanced sound with good detail level,
    Decent build quality,
    Wonderful packaging and accessories,
    Great Price to Performance Ratio,
    Easy to drive
    Cons - None for this price
    PENON BS1 Official Version
    Rich Sound in a Luxurious Package…



    About Penon Audio:

    Penon Audio is a well known Hong Kong based online store that is selling portable Hi-Fi equipments, desktop type Dac’s and Amplifiers.


    20180319_235556 (1226 x 698).jpg



    Disclaimer:

    This free sample was provided to me for the purpose of an honest review. I’m not affiliated with the company and all observations and opinions here are my own that are based on my experience with the product.

    The Price:

    The Penon BS1 Official is available on penon-official.com. There are 2 (two) different variants, one with 3.5mm audio plug that is sold for 99 USD and one with 2.5mm balanced plug that costs 109 USD.

    Introduction:

    The Penon BS1 Official earbud is the upgraded successor of the previous Experience version.

    Package and Accessories:

    The Penon BS1 comes in a blue and burgundy colored premium looking card box with a Golden Penon Logo on the top, which includes the following items;

    • Penon BS1 Official earbud
    • Wood case
    • 1 pair of Hiegi foam donut eartips
    • 1 pair of Hiegi foam solid eatrips
    • 4 pairs of donut foam eatips
    • 4 pairs of solid foam eartips
    • Soft Velvet Pouch
    • Shirt Clip

    20180320_110507.jpg 20180319_235844.jpg


    The Penon BS1 Official is a premium earbud and you can feel that in every detail. The wooden case and the soft velvet pouch, looks & feels very expensive and luxurious.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]



    Design, Fit and Build Quality:

    The BS1 Official is a very well made earbud with a rounded black metal shell, which has a PENON written engraving on the top. On the front is a fine metal grill that looks also of high quality.

    There is a metal piece on each monitor that protects the cable like a strain relief and works also as left / right marking. This metal piece is in red for the right monitor and in blue for the left monitor.

    The Penon BS1 Official sits well on my ears and the isolation is one of the best right after some earbuds with mx500 housing. You can wear it over ear and straight down and I think that the over ear method will give you the most comfortable result. There is also a bass vent on the side.


    20180319_235727.jpg


    Cable:

    The cable of the BS1 Official is the most premium looking cable model I have ever seen on an earbud. I remember that I was very surprised when I first saw the cable that came with the NiceHCK EBX, but this one is even superior with its wonderful looking, 8 core braided design.

    This has a hybrid material construction that is made of 19 strands per core in combination of SPC (Silver Plated Copper) and Copper. It has a transparent TPU coating that feels soft but sturdy.

    20180319_235158.jpg

    The chin slider is made of a circular shaped metal material that has a black painted smooth surface. The Y splitter is also made of the same material and has a carbon fiber design that has a white BS1 printing.

    20180319_235439.jpg 20180319_235245.jpg

    The 3.5mm gold plated headphone jack has a straight profile and is made of metal that shares the same carbon fiber design, which looks and feels premium. There is also a 2.5mm Balanced (TRRS) plug version of the Penon BS1 Official available that is compatible for devices like AK100II, AK120II, AK240, AK300, AK320, AK380, Cayin N5II, Lotoo PAW5000 and other sources with 2.5mm balanced output.

    [​IMG]



    Specifications:

    The Penon BS1 Official is a single dynamic driver earbud, that is relative efficient with it's relative low impedance of 32 ohm, which makes this earbud ideal for the usage with portable audio players or smartphones.



    Technical Details:

    • Driver : 15mm Single Dynamic Driver
    • Impedance : 32ohm
    • Frequency response : 14Hz – 28 kHz
    • Sensitivity : 120dB
    • Cable : 8 shares 19-core copper & silver-plated mixed cable
    • Plug : 2.5mm or 3.5mm copper gold-plated plug
    • Cable length : 1.2m
    20180319_235923.jpg

    Albums & tracks used for this review:

    • Saskia Bruin – The Look of Love (DSF)
    • Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (Apple Music)
    • Diana Krall - So Wonderful (DSF)
    • LP (Laura Pergolizzi) – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Dire Straits – Money For Nothing (DSF)
    • Geroge Michael – Older “Album” (Appel Music)
    • Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (DSF)
    • Emmanuel Pahud (Claude Debussy) – Syrinx (Apple Music)
    • Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – Up Close “Album” (DSF) – Binaural Recording
    • Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Lazarus A.D. – The Onslaught (ALAC)
    • Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Daft Punk – Get Lucky (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
    • Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (DSF)
    • Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Flac 16bit/44kHz)

    20180320_000635.jpg

    Sources used for this review:


    • Erabud : Penon BS1 Official, NiceHCK EBX, K’S 300 Samsara Version,
    • DAP/DAC : HiBy R6, Cayin N5II, Chord Mojo, Aune M2, Hifiman HM602s


    20180315_220801.jpg


    The Sound:

    I am the sort of people who believes in burn-in and the Penon BS1 Official review is written after a burn-in process of 140 - 150 hours. I have used the stock full foams due this review.

    PS: The sound performance of earbuds is very fit dependent; even more than with In-Ear Monitors (IME’s). This can be result to different experiences with the same product.



    [​IMG]



    Sound Signature:

    The Penon BS1 Official has a quite balanced sound signature with nice impactful bass response clear and transparent vocal presentation and nicely extended top end.

    Frequencies:

    The BS1 Offical has a quick and controlled sub-bass presentation, which is good in quantity and rumble. It reaches also surprisingly low for an earbud. The sub-bass of the BS1 Official extends very well and is providing a good sense of power that is rarely found on earbuds.

    The bass doesn’t sound overpowered or too thin and it has the right amount at 100Hz region that gives the BS1 Official a nice hint of warmth without any loss of definition. Guitar strings in Otto Liebert’s - Up Close Album sounding quite realistic and have a nice fullness.

    The midrange sounds clear and clean and there is small amount of warmness that gives instruments and vocals a nice touch of fullness, which adds additional emotion to the sound.

    The level of resolution is very good for this price range and one of the best in my earbud collection.

    Female vocals like Norah Johns or Saskia Bruin sounding quite natural, only some male voices like George Michael or Brian Adams sounding a hint more bold then normal.

    The upper midrange has a slightly boast, but without any considerable result of harshness. Instruments sounding crisp and quite controlled and have a pretty natural presentation. The overall definition is in a high level.

    The treble range sounds smooth and balanced without any loose of control. Instruments like cymbal’s in Lazarus A.D. - The Onslaught performance sounding controlled and fatigue free with all of my sources. There is a nice rendering of air that makes space for instruments.

    The treble extension is in a pretty good level and the upper treble range between 10 – 12 kHz gives the overall sound a nice amount sparkle and an airy presentation.

    The Soundstage and Imaging:

    The Penon BS1 Official has a nice expansive soundstage presentation with a pretty good sense of space, which is especially good for songs with lots of instrument. The placement and the air between instruments are well done and the overall imaging is quite accurate in presentation. The instrument separation is great and Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti shows how well this erabud can perform.



    Comparison with other Earbuds:

    [​IMG]



    Vs. NiceHCK EBX :

    The NiceHCK EBX is a very easy to drive (32 Ohm) earbud, same as BS1 Official with a nice build quality. The NiceHCK EBX earbud has a quite different tonality, which sounds brighter and less warm than BS1 Official.

    The Penon BS1 Official sound fuller due the more present bass department. The sub-bass quantity is nearly the same but the BS1 Official goes lover in this register. The speed and control is quite identical on both, but the NiceHCK EBX has less extension in a small margin.

    The main difference starts in the bass quantity, especially in the mid-bass department that makes the BS1 Official sounds fuller with more body. The EBX is missing some midbass that make the presentation a bit dry. The overall texture and resolution in this bass department is quite similar and there is no clear winner.

    The Penon BS1 Official sounds warmer and fuller in the midrange, which makes female vocals and string instruments like guitars or violins sounding more emotional and intimate compared to the dryer and a bit colder sounding NiceHCK EBX. Both earbuds have a nice clarity and definition level, but I have notice that the BS1 Official has a touch more micro detail.

    The Penon BS1 Official has better control in the upper midrange department, because it is handling female vocals and instrument that are prone to sibilance and harshness without any problem. The NiceHCK EBX has some sibilance especially with some instrument like violin, piano, etc.

    The NiceHCK EBX and the Penon BS1 Official have the same level of treble clarity, but again the BS1 Official has the upper hand with additional micro detail and overall control in the upper treble range.

    The NiceHCK EBX sounds quite spacious, but Penon BS1 Official is more natural and realistic in soundstage presentation. Bothe share the nearly the same level of imaging but the Penon BS1 Official is slightly more accurate.



    [​IMG]



    Vs. K’S 300 Samsara Version:

    The K’S 300 Samsara Version is one of my favorite earbuds together with the NiceHCK EBX and its the warmest sounding of these three erabuds.

    The K'S Samsra sounds warmer then BS1 Official and needs a lot of power two show its potential due the high impedance of 300ohm.

    The K’S Samsara has more sub-bass quantity, compared to the more balanced sounding presentation of the BS1 Official. The BS1 official has the better texture and control in the sub-bass department. The mid-bass of the K’S Samsara have more slam and presence compared to the more natural sounding BS1 Official.

    The Penon BS1 Official sounds more transparent and clean in the midrange compared to the K’S Samsara that has an overall darker and warmer midrange presentation. The male and female vocal presentation of the Penon BS1 Official sounds more life like and has a better detail retrieval.

    The Penon BS1 Official sounds more realistic with string instruments. It also performs slightly better in instrument placement and separation. The midrange resolution of this earbuds is on par, maybe little bit better wit BS1 Official that has additional clearness and transparency.

    [​IMG]

    The K’S Samsara sounds softer and more controlled in the upper midrange, while the Penon BS1 Official has the better definition.

    The treble presentation of the Penon BS1 Official is on the transparent and vivid side, while the K’S Samsara sounds a bit softer and darker in this department. Both earbuds sharing great control and doesn’t sound harsh.

    The upper treble range of the Penon BS1 Official has more presence and sounds crisper and with slightly more definition. The BS1 Official has more resolution in the upper treble range. The differences are very small and in a micro detail level, but noticeable anyway.

    Both earbuds share a decent soundstage, but there is a small difference. The Peonon BS1 Official has more width and the K’S Samsara more depth. The instrument placement and imaging on both earbuds performs wide above this price range and i think there is no clear winner.


    20180320_105913.jpg 20180320_105949.jpg


    Conclusion:

    The Penon BS1 Official is one of the best or maybe the best earbud available in this price range. It has a wonderful balanced sound signature, great luxurious packaging and a decent build quality that is quite impressive for this price.



    Summary (plus and minus):

    + Nice balanced sound with good detail level,
    + Decent build quality,
    + Wonderful packaging and accessories,
    + Great Price to Performance Ratio,
    + Easy to drive

    - None for this price


    20180317_143431.jpg


    This review was originally posted on "Moonstar Reviews" :
    https://moonstarreviews.net
      jaekyll, karanehir35 and endia like this.
    1. noknok23
      Can you compare with hifiboy dream? Thanks
      noknok23, Mar 21, 2018
    2. Moonstar
      The HiFi BOY Dream sounds warmer and has a laid back vocal presentation. The BS1 Official sounds brighter and vivid, compared to the darker sound signature of the Dream. Both are good Earbuds but I would prefer the BS1 Official due the sound signature and better packaging :)
      Moonstar, Mar 25, 2018
      noknok23 likes this.
  2. B9Scrambler
    Penon BS1 Official: An Experience, Fully Realized
    Written by B9Scrambler
    Published Feb 28, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Great build quality, especially that cable - Accessories - Mature, competent signature
    Cons - Cable is too much for such a small product; thick, heavy, tiring to wear for long periods
    Greetings!

    Today we're checking out the BS1 Official, Penon Audio's new, flagship earbud.

    Last year Penon gave me the opportunity to check out their first earbuds, the BS1 Experience. It is still one of my favorite earbuds to this day as a result of it's rock solid build quality, amazing cable, and crisp, detailed sound. Add to that a reasonable price and the excellent after purchase support Penon Audio is known for, and it was kind of a no-brainer purchase in my eyes.

    Now that the BS1 Official is on the market, my precious BS1 Experience is no more having been discontinued in favor of it's final form. While this news saddened me so, listening to the BS1 Official made the loss more manageable. It costs more than twice as much as the Experience, but you are also getting a lot more ear bud. Let's check it out in greater detail, shall we?

    Disclaimer:

    The BS1 Official was sent over by Penon free of charge for the purposes of review. As always, the thoughts within are my own and do not represent Penon or any other entity. No financial incentive was provided to give these positive feedback or otherwise.

    The BS1 Official retailed for 99 USD at the time of this review: https://penon-official.com/product/bs1-official-version/

    Source:

    For at home use the BS1 was powered by a TEAC HA-501 desktop amp or straight out of my Asus FX53V laptop. For portable use it was paired with an LG G5, HiFi E.T. MA8, F.Audio S1, or Shanling M1, all of which brought it up to listening volume without any effort. It's easy to drive.

    Personal Preferences:

    I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. While I enjoy a variety of signatures in my headphones I generally lean towards slightly warm with elevated treble and sub-bass, an even and natural mid-range response, with reduced mid-bass. The HiFiMan RE800, MacaW GT600s, and thinksound On2 offer examples of signatures I enjoy.

    Specifications:
    • Sensitivity: 120dB
    • Impedance: 32 ohm
    • Frequency response: 14-28kHz
    20180118_152435.jpg 20180118_152442.jpg 20180118_152518.jpg

    Packaging and Accessories:

    The BS1 Official arrives to you fingertips in a compact blue and red box with Penon and their logo printed in gorl writing on the lid. The right side is imbued with a stick showing the earphones and the termination choice; 3.5mm in my case. The rear contains a company statement;

    “We are a Hi-Fi company and specialized in producing high quality audio products for audiophiles”

    Here is what that should say;

    “We are a Hi-Fi company specializing in producing high quality audio products for audiophiles.”

    It's amazing what some basic grammar and punctuation edits can do to improve overall statement coherency. You're welcome Penon.

    Removing the lid of this nice little box you are greeted by a gorgeous, round wooden carrying case inset within some dense foam insert. Lift it out and underneath you find a plastic bag containing the included accessories, of which there are many. In all you get;
    • BS1 Official earbuds
    • Wooden storage case
    • Cloth carrying case
    • 1 pair of Hiegi foam donut eartips
    • 1 pair of Hiegi foam solid eatrips
    • 4 pairs of donut foam eatips
    • 4 pairs of solid foam eartips
    • Shirt clip
    A few things to note. My set actually came with more than the listed number of foams, so be aware that you might get more than you bargained for. In total I received 13 sets. The shirt clip is an absolute beast and is solid metal, probably steel or some alloy. That's great because the cable is very heavy and would more than likely shatter a standard cable clip into a billion tiny chunklettes.

    Overall I am very pleased with the accessory kit. The quality is quite good and you get a lot, meaning you're unlikely to need to buy more foams or others bits and bobbles down the road. My only issue is that the fabric case is too small to hold the BS1 and it's monster cable. It's really only suitable for carrying accessories.

    20180118_152725.jpg 20180118_152743.jpg 20180118_152806.jpg

    Build and Comfort:

    I would go so far as to say the BS1 Official is overbuilt. Why? Well, it shares the same durable metal shells as the original BS1 Experience, replacing the plastic driver grill with a fine metal one. Instead of being plain and brand-less, they now feature Penon laser etched into the rear of ear earpiece. They could have just printed it, but no, it's gotta be etched. The single rubber strain relief has been replaced with metal shafts colored red and blue to denote channel, thereby addressing the difficult many had determining channel on the original BS1.

    Going down the cable you find it is a beast; 8 strands, 19 cores with a mix of copper and silver-plating. The splitter and straight jack are black metal alloy imbued carbon fiber. The chin cinch is a heavy hunk of alloy too. The strain relief on the jack is an inch long section of shrink wrap giving the cable tons of protection from bends and wear. All together this is a gorgeous looking and wonderfully constructed piece of kit, but damn is it ever HEAVY, bringing us to our next point; comfort.

    The BS1 Experience was super comfortable as a result of it's light weight and shapely housing. Throw on a cable that weighs more than a 1979 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale and you can kiss that comfort goodbye. For me at least. Even taking advantage of that beefy shirt clip to take up much of the weight, my ears would get tired after 30 to 45 minutes of use. It was never unbearable, but I know this housing when saddled with an appropriate cable can nearly disappear giving you hours of fatigue free wear. That's not the case with the BS1 Official, sorry. If you can wear them with the cable over-ear, I envy you, because that would surely resolve this issue. Over ear earbuds, unless they've got memory wire to hold them in place like the OURART Ti7, just aren't compatible with my ears.

    The BS1 Official is an amazingly well-built earbud, but that cable is too much, belonging on something larger and more appropriate, like a headphone. Too bad because it is easily one of, if not the nicest cable I've come across on a portable audio product.

    20180226_162218.jpg 20180118_153539.jpg 20180118_153617.jpg

    Sound:

    The BS1 Official gave me a bit of a shock on first listen. I went in looking for a snazzier BS1 Experience. The last thing I expected to hear was something so capable and comparable to those TOTL buds I had been listening to prior, those being the venerable Rose Mojito and relative newcomer Lyra Collection 32 ohm from Astrotec. The BS1 is truthfully that darn impressive and should be on any ear bud lovers “to buy” list.

    The BS1 is one heck of an all-rounder with a very even, full, and lush signature. It's treble presentation is very lively and accurate with zero harshness or noticeable distortion. Detail retrieval is quite impressive which is supported by a well-controlled decay that keeps rapid cymbal notes and notes from other instruments or effects clear and well-separated. This is a very ear-friendly presentation that remains listenable for long periods.

    I would have expected nothing less than near perfection from the BS1's mid-range. It's an ear bud which seem to specialize in quality mid-range presentations, and the BS1 Experience was already darn nice there. The BS1 Official does not disappoint, presenting it's mid-range with a relentless confidence. Both male and female vocals sound natural and realistic with just the right amount of forwardness. I never found myself struggling to decipher lyrics, or line to fine and rapid notes changes. Overall timbre here seems spot on.

    The BS1's low end doesn't embarrass either. Like the Rose Mojito and HE 150Pro, the BS1 has a proper low end with none of the early rolloff that often plagues the format. It's bass is quick and punchy and able to hit those rumbly low notes just fine. It is very textured too, giving grungy bass notes a gritty abrasiveness you just don't get from a lot of products. All it really lacks is some visceral feedback, obvious when listening to some other buds in my collection. In the end, I have no qualms using the BS1 with EDM and bass reliant tracks because I'm getting the important low end feedback needed to carry the track.

    The BS1's sound stage rolls in the same camp I put the Brainwavz B400 in; spacious but not necessarily huge (in this case by earbuds standards, not iem standard). It instead places it's talent into a few other pools, imaging, layering, and separation, which are all above average and very engaging.

    20180118_153704.jpg 20180118_153734.jpg 20180118_153800.jpg

    Select Comparisons:

    (Volumes matched as best as possible using a Dayton Audio iMM-6)

    Rose Masya (109.00 USD): The BS1 dominates the Masya when it comes to build quality and overall premium feel. Metal shells vs. 3D printed plastic. Beefy copper and silver-plated cable vs. a standard black rubber cable (though it is a really nice cable). I personally find the Masya's shape more comfortable. The Masya lighter cable doesn't hurt either.

    BS1 has a fuller, more balanced sound as a result of greater mid-bass presence, but falls short of the excellent end-to-end extension of the Masya. Masya's mid-range is more crisp and prominent with a slightly cooler tonality. Treble detail is similar with the Masya pulling slightly ahead. Bass on the BS1 has a mid-bass focus while the Masya has a more sub-bass tilted response. Masya has a wider and deeper stage with a more visceral presentation. The BS1 sounds smoother and more refined.

    Rose Mojito (259.00 USD): Everything I said about the Masya vs. the BS1 in terms of build and comfort hold true here since they're also crafted from 3D printed plastics and identical in dimensions. The Mojito's stock cable is even worse though. We're not going to talk about it. Rose's upgraded cable I've got on mine is much lighter and more flexible than the BS1's, and therefore much more suitable to a portable product in this class.

    The Mojito presents itself like a headphone while the BS1 comes across as a very good earbud. Mojito has deeper, more impactful and physical bass. Like the Masya, it has a larger, more open and spacious soundstage, though I found the BS1 slightly more accurate in terms of imaging. Treble is more prominent and detailed on the Mojito. Rose's mid-range is more forward and dynamic.

    Astrotec Lyra Classic (139.00 USD): The Lyra Classic shares the same gorgeous shell with the Lyra Collection, therefore it is wonderfully crafted aluminum with more style than you can shake a stick at. It's about equal in comfort and ergonomics to the BS1, but pulls ahead once again due to use of a lighter cable. The Classic's cable is pretty mediocre though, being that it is pretty much identical to what you find on a 10 USD Knowledge Zenith. Great for 10 bucks, not enough for 140.

    Like the Masya, the Classic is more treble and mid-range focused than the BS1. Along with a thinner presentation, it is more detailed and has a more spacious stage. Bass again has a more visceral feel to it than what you get from the BS1, yet it remains quite lean. BS1 is the better all-rounder whereas the Classic excels with vocals.

    Final Thoughts:

    If you've been on the fence about getting the BS1 Official, just go for it. This is a top of the line earbud in build and sound for a fraction of the price of similarly performing products. It's a no-brainer really. Just be prepared to deal with that gorgeous, heavy cable. If you start exercising your ears via pull ups and crunches at the time of ordering, they should be plenty buff enough to handle the weight of any ol' cable by the time the BS1 arrives on your doorstep.

    ear-training-exercises.jpg
    image idea courtesy of @waynes world; originally found here

    Thanks to you for reading, and thanks to Penon for the chance to check out this lovely earbud.

    - B9Scrambler

    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****​

    Some Test Tunes:

    Aesop Rock - Skelethon (Album)
    Daft Punk - Random Access Memories (Album)
    Elton John - Yellow Golden Brick Road (Album)
    King Crimson - Lark's Tongues in Aspic (Album)
    King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black (Track)
    Supertramp - Crime of the Century (Album)
    Infected Mushroom - Converting Vegetarians (Album)
    Infected Mushroom - Legend of the Black Shawarma (Album)
    Gorillaz - Plastic Beach (Album)
    Massive Attack - Mezzanine (Album)
    Fleetwood Mac - Rumors (Album)
    Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels (Album)
    The Prodigy - The Day is My Enemy (Album)
    Tobacco - F****d Up Friends (Album)
    Felt - Felt 2 (A Tribute to Lisa Bone) (Album)
      jaekyll, noknok23, ballog and 3 others like this.
  3. HiFiChris
    Luxury
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published Feb 5, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - •super even, harmonious and smooth frequency response
    •higher evenness and tonal realism compared to the BS1 Experience Version make the BS1 Official already the more mature and superior model
    •truly awesome cable
    •plenty of premium accessories
    •great bass control
    Cons - •slight lower midrange bleed
    •a little more resolution in the highs at the price point would be nice
    •the awesome cable is, unavoidably, heavy, which is something potentially interested people should be aware of
    Vorwort:
    Es gibt noch immer Audio-Enthusiasten, die die klassischen Earbuds In-Ears und kompakten Bügelkopfhörern vorziehen. Anders als das „nicht-audiophile Fußvolk“ nutzt der enthusiastische Earbud-Hörer aber keine Modelle vom 10€-Grabbeltisch des Elektro-Discounters, sondern ist bereit, für einen guten Ohrhörer durchaus auch mehr Geld in die Hand zu nehmen – manchmal sogar wesentlich mehr Geld, denn auch bei Earbuds gibt es Modelle, die preislich jenseits der 200€-Grenze liegen.

    Ganz so teuer sind die Penon BS1 Official Earbuds nicht, liegen mit einem Preis von 99$ allerdings auch definitiv und unverkennbar im Enthusiasten-Bereich und sind für den uninformierten Casual-Listener damit wohl eher uninteressant, wobei auch der Durchschnittshörer nicht abgeneigt zu sein scheint, einen dreistelligen Betrag für Earbuds (nicht In-Ears!) auszugeben, wenn diese kabellos sind und mit smarten Health-Monitoring Features ausgestattet sind.

    Anyway, nachdem die Penon BS1 Experience Version Earbuds im Review in ihrem Preisbereich überzeugen konnten, kläre ich in dieser nun folgenden englischsprachigen Rezension unter anderem, in wieweit sich die teureren BS1 Official Earbuds von diesen unterscheiden. Auch müssen die teureren Earbuds gegen andere, sehr starke Earbud-Gegner im Direktvergleich antreten.
    So here we go:



    Introduction:


    In 2017, I reviewed the Penon Audio BS1 Experience Version earbuds, and they definitely convinced me with good tonal balance as well as harmony and a more “meaty” tonal approach along with good technical performance for earbud levels and their price point. They even won a golden Lounge Award (2017) in the category of earbuds.
    That the BS1 Experience Version earbuds would be just a teaser for, and more affordable option to the actual BS1 was however also rather publically known.

    DSC05024-small.JPG

    And so it came – besides their new “Penon Official” website where Penon Audio sell some of their Penon-branded products besides their regular web shop where they resell audio products from a wide range of manufacturers and categories, they also released the BS1 Official earbuds that are, no doubt, definitely geared towards earbud enthusiasts with their luxurious, braided copper & silver cable as well as a price tag of $99.

    How do the BS1 Official earbuds sound like? How do they perform? And in what areas do they differ from the regular BS1 Experience Version? This is what I will find out in this very review.


    Technical Specifications:

    https://penon-official.com/product/bs1-official-version/
    Price: $99.00
    Type: Earbuds
    Driver: dynamic, 15 mm
    Impedance: 32 Ohms
    Sensitivity: 120 dB
    Frequency Range: 14 Hz – 28 kHz
    Cable: 1.2 m, 8 conductor 19-core silver-plated & copper cable


    Delivery Content:

    The BS1 Official earbuds arrive with a lot of accessories that are pictured below:

    DSC05023-small.JPG

    The earbuds, one wooden storage box, one soft storage pouch, one large shirt clip, a Penon-branded Velcro cable tie, and no less than 13 pairs of different foam covers.


    Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

    Got wood?
    The BS1 Official earbuds come with a wooden storage case that is made of dark brown walnut wood and looks very beautiful. Those who don’t want to use it can use the other included storage solution, a cream-coloured and very soft pouch (that is however a tad too small for the earbuds including their cable).

    DSC05025-small.JPG

    The earbuds’ cable is simply gorgeous, very premium and flat-out bonkers! It is a hybrid, beautifully braided 8-conductor silver & copper cable with fairly high flexibility (although not as high as twisted or braided three- or four-conductor cables).
    The large y-splitter and 3.5 mm plug have got beautiful, built-in carbon fibre elements. And the chin-slider (that is by the way also made of metal) is large, too.
    Yeah, that cable’s appearance and quality is simply gorgeous.

    DSC05026-small.JPG

    I also really like that the included Penon Velcro cable tie is green, since I love this colour.

    DSC05028-small.JPG

    About the BS1 Experience Version, I complained that the side-markers on the metal shells were way too simple (just a small white dot on one side). Thanks to the red and blue side indicators on the BS1 Official earbuds’ cable, I cannot report the same and am happy that distinguishing the correct side is super easy.
    The design of the buds themselves is mostly similar, however unlike the BS1 Experience Version that had acoustic screens made of plastic in front of the driver, the BS1 Official earbuds’ are made of metal (let’s just hope that no rust will build up over time).
    The pure buds’ shell shape and design is still a tad boring, at least to my perception, but not anywhere as much as the BS1 Experience Versions’, since the Official earbuds have etched Penon logos on the outside that give them a less stealthy look, which is an outcome I personally prefer, just like the coloured side-markers.

    DSC05027-small.JPG


    Comfort, Isolation:

    The comfort will of course highly depend on your individual ear anatomy.
    For my large ears, comfort is quite good and the earbuds also seal rather well (within their limits of course).

    DSC05031-small.JPG

    Due to the good cable, microphonics are reduced to a minimum and can be even lowered when inserting the earbuds regularly but guiding the cables around the ears. However, since the cable is rather heavy as well and also undeniably on the thicker side, the earbuds might be pulled out unintentionally if you don’t support them using the included shirt clip or guide the cables around the ears.

    Exterior noise isolation is, which is not that much surprising given these are earbuds, pretty much not present at all.


    Sound:

    My main sources for listening were the Cowon Plenue 2, my Apple iPod Nano 7G, the Hidizs AP200 as well as the iBasso DX200 (AMP1 module) although that’s mostly irrelevant for the BS1 as long as the source outputs a flat frequency response under a low impedance load and doesn’t perform too bad in general.

    DSC05034-small.JPG

    As usual with earbuds, the sound one will hear is strongly dependant on one’s personal ear anatomy and especially how well the earbuds seal and how tight they fit.

    I didn’t use any foam covers for listening.

    Tonality:

    Foam covers versus no foam covers – that is the question… that you will have to answer for yourself. Speaking for myself, I generally prefer to use earbuds without any foam covers, and that’s also how I evaluated the BS1 Official.

    The BS1 Official earbuds head into a smooth, somewhat warm direction that can be described as quite inoffensive and even in the treble. So it’s a natural, harmonious frequency response that the BS1 Official earbuds convey.

    Starting with the bass, the BS1 Official have quite surprising sub-bass extension for earbud levels and manage to still reproduce a bit of that rumble around 40 Hz.
    Bass elevation starts around 800 Hz and reaches its climax around 150 Hz. It can be kept upright until about 60 Hz and rolls off below that.
    As a result of the warmth-driven tuning, lows and deep male voices gain some warmth and fullness, however bloating and unnaturalness are fortunately avoided and the midrange is not overshadowed by much, although I wouldn’t mind a bit less fundamental range bleed into the lower midrange for this price. The bass has got a nice punch and impact to it without being really overdone or omnipresent (lows are elevated by ca. 7 dB compared to an in-ear that is diffuse-field flat in the lows, such as the Etymotic ER4SR/S).

    Voices are on the smoother, warmer side but sound mostly natural. Still, the lower midrange can be a touch too full at times.

    The treble in general takes a slight step back and is overall minimally more on the inoffensive and smoother side. What’s quite remarkable about it is that it is mostly quite even, without any sudden dips or peaks.
    Extension past 10 kHz is really good.

    Resolution:

    Bass is a bit more on the softer, looser side, but has got good control and texture – in this regard, the BS1 Official are a bit better than the BS1 Experience Version, even though sounding a bit softer.

    Midrange resolution, definition and speech intelligibility are on a good level as well, however this area is ultimately slightly behind the Shozy Cygnus.

    Treble details are certainly there and also rather precise, although one should definitely not expect better in-ear performance – but that’s what most earbud lovers are aware of anyway, and other good earbuds aren’t significantly better in this area either.

    Coherency between the lows, mids and highs is good and no area seems to really fall behind the others.

    Soundstage:

    What you might notice is that the BS1 Official don’t have the most prominent forward projection. While there is some spatial depth, layering and real depth are somewhat less present. Instead, the BS1 Official concentrate more on the lateral presentation, presenting a rather wide but not super wide soundstage that will never appear congested and that slightly leaves the base between my ears wherefore it is not the most immersive soundstage for earbud standards, however not the smallest either and presents a good median (maybe even a bit more than just that).

    Separation and placement of instruments don’t reach the same level as similarly priced in-ears or the Shozy Cygnus and appear a little smudgy in comparison, but judged by earbud-standards, the BS1 Officials’ spatial presentation is still solid.

    DSC05032-small.JPG

    ---------

    In Comparison with other Earbuds:

    Shozy Cygnus (no foam covers):

    If you already thought that the Cygnus had a very gorgeous and premium cable, then you probably haven’t seen the BS1 Official yet – their cable is a lot more luxurious in comparison to the Cygnus’ already awesome cable. On the other hand, the Cygnus’ cable has got the higher flexibility since it isn’t as thick as the Penons’, and I find that the Cygnus’ buds appear more premium and beautiful with their silky smooth white finish and curved design.

    The BS1 extend deeper into the sub-bass. Bass in general is ever so slightly more forward on the Penon as well, but the Penon earbuds are overall also audibly warmer than the Cygnus. However, while the BS1s’ fullness is pleasant, their fundamental range bleeds a little too much into the midrange.
    Mids are, as a result, more neutral on the Cygnus, with a more correct timbre.
    The Cygnus are closer to neutral in the highs and even slightly on the brighter side around 10 kHz, and also minimally around 6 kHz wherefore treble evenness is where the BS1 Official are a bit ahead.
    So the BS1 are smoother and a bit warmer as well as fuller sounding whereas the Cygnus have more of a tastefully balanced v-shape with more neutral mids.

    Bass is tighter, faster and better controlled on the Shozy.
    Midrange resolution and speech intelligibility are slightly higher on the Cygnus as well.
    Treble separation is also a bit sharper and cleaner on the Cygnus.

    The Cygnus sound a bit more open and separate single notes and instruments more precisely in comparison.

    Penon BS1 Experience Version (no foam covers):

    The BS1 Official have got a far more premium cable with the slightly higher flexibility and come with far more accessories that definitely match the price and are high-class as well.

    The BS1 Official extend somewhat deeper into the sub-bass.
    Midbass is slightly more present on the BS1 Experience Version while the BS1 Official have got a bit more warmth and fullness in the fundamental range and low mids.
    The BS1 Experience Version have got a bit more upper midrange presence and sound therefore slightly more metallic in comparison.
    The BS1 Official are more even in the highs in comparison and also extend further.

    The bass is where we have the biggest difference between the two earbuds – control and texture are higher on the BS1 Official while the BS1 Experience Version shave got a bit more tightness and speed.
    Due to the higher evenness in the highs, the BS1 Official sound more focused, even and natural in the mids and highs in direct comparison while actual detail retrieval and speech intelligibility are quite similar.

    Soundstage is, to my ears, quite similar in terms of size, openness and spatial precision/imaging between both earbuds.


    Conclusion:

    The Penon BS1 Official earbuds are a product dedicated to earbud lovers who want luxury. They don’t only come with a plethora of accessories and a really premium wooden storage case, but also with a truly impressive, braided 8-contuctor with silver and copper wires and carbon fibre elements incorporated into the 3.5 mm plug and y-splitter.

    DSC05033-small.JPG

    Sound-wise, they present a quite smooth, even tonality that heads into the somewhat warmer, fuller direction, but also comes with a bit of lower midrange bleed that could be lowered a bit. So all in all, they appear like an overall somewhat more refined, more even sounding version of the BS1 Experience Version earbuds with somewhat more warmth and fullness, along with an impressively luxurious cable and really nice amount of luxurious accessories.
    While they are good earbuds and worth their money as generally quite well-tuned, luxurious earbuds, a slightly higher resolution along with slightly improved separation and a lesser lower midrange bleed are however things that could have been improved somewhat.
      groucho69 and golov17 like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. kjewula
      Thanks for your reply, HiFi Chris. I don’t quite know why my query didn’t go into Audio123’s field, but was grateful to find more details on the iBasso from your Amazon.de review before you gave this confirmation. Tell me, have you tried my DAP at all, the Echobox Explorer? I was amazed to hear the synergy of some cheapo Sony EX-82s with it compared to the dedicated and purportedly superior Finders. Experimental synergy is worth far more than technical specs or even a single review IMO.
      kjewula, Feb 20, 2018
    3. HiFiChris
      @kjewula

      "Tell me, have you tried my DAP at all, the Echobox Explorer?" - No, I haven't.
      HiFiChris, Feb 20, 2018
    4. jrazmar
      Thank you Chris! It's very helpful. I might go with the BK instead if that's the case.
      jrazmar, Feb 20, 2018
  4. audio123
    Penon BS1 Official Version - Immersive Experience
    Written by audio123
    Published Jan 16, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Full-bodied, Soundstage, Build Quality
    Cons - May be slightly heavy for some
    Introduction

    Penon is a Hong Kong company that produces iems, earbuds and cables. They started out with their first earbud in the Penon BS1 Experience Version. Recently, they have released the Penon OS849 cable which I have reviewed earlier. In this review, I will be reviewing their latest earbud in the Penon BS1 Official Version. At the moment, you can purchase the Penon BS1 Official Version from https://penon-official.com/product/bs1-official-version/ .

    [​IMG]

    Specifications

    • Driver: 15mm dynamic driver
    • Impedance: 32ohm
    • Frequency response: 14Hz – 28 kHz
    • Sensitivity: 120dB
    Unboxing & Accessories

    The BS1 Official comes in a red and blue package with Penon printed on the front cover in gold colour. After opening the package, there is a wooden circular case that contains the BS1 Official. Beneath the case is a soft carrying pouch that contains 2 packs of foams, cable wrap and shirt clip.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Earbud Build & Design

    The BS1 Official has the Penon brand name printed on it in grey colour. The shell has a smooth matte black finish to it. It has a circular shape. The housing is made of aluminium. The strain relief has a blue and red housing to differentiate between left and right respectively. There are 3 vents at the bottom of the housing. The earbud is constructed well.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cable Build & Design

    The cable has a 8 core design and it is braided well. It consists of 19 strands per core and the material is a combination of copper and silver-plated copper. Moving down to the chin slider, it is black and circular in shape. The y-splitter has carbon fibre design and sports the model name in white colour. Lastly, there is a gold plated copper straight jack and the housing has carbon fibre on it with strain relief. There is the brand name printed on the housing. The overall cable design gives a premium feel and I find it aesthetically pleasing. The cable is quite soft and supple for a 8 core.

    [​IMG]

    Sound Analysis

    Lows

    The BS1 Official has good sub-bass quantity and there is a nice boost. The sub-bass is being extended with a nice depth and there is a speedy rumble. The agility helps to inject excitement into the sound. There is a good display of technicality and the decay is pacey. The mid-bass on the BS1 Official has a moderate amount of quantity and the slam has enough weight for an impact. There is a strong control in its bass presentation. The combination of quantity and agility is able to produce a harmonious performance. Bass texture is smooth. The articulation is quite accurate. The approach the BS1 Official operates on presents the bass with speed and body.

    Mids

    The BS1 Official has a gorgeous midrange and it is displayed with excellent finesse. The midrange is able to tackle vocals with ease be it male vocals or female vocals. There is richness in the mids due to the body. Vocals are presented in a very intimate manner and the body helps to improve the realism of it. The lower mids has a great quantity to it and male vocals are being expressed without sounding hollow. It is able to convey emotions well. For the upper mids, there is body to it and it is presented with forwardness. Along with the crisp, there is a nice organic presentation. Female vocals are being displayed with intimacy and the definition is excellent. There is a high standard of details retrieval.

    Highs

    The treble is extended with a good depth. It packs details and there is clarity. There is no sibilance and harshness. The treble takes on a full-bodied approach with accurate articulation. The amount of air rendered has a great amount and this helps to allow the lighten the presentation which complements the overall full-bodied sound. There is a great definition to it. The treble has a smooth nature to it and packs energy.

    Soundstage

    Due to the full-bodied approach, the expansion of the soundstage is very natural and it makes the overall sound realistic. There is a great width and the depth has good space to it. The Penon BS1 Official can keep up with busier tracks and there is minimal congestion.

    [​IMG]

    Comparisons

    Penon BS1 Official vs Rose Masya

    The BS1 Official has more sub-bass quantity and extension than the Masya. The mid-bass of the Masya is more agile and there is a quicker slam. However, the BS1 Official presents its mid-bass slam with more weight which results in a more impactful hit. The bass of the BS1 Official provides an extra punch to improve the overall dynamics. Bass decay on the Masya is slightly faster and the bass texture on the BS1 Official is rendered much more smoothly with great finesse. The lower mids on the BS1 Official has more body and it is able to tackle male vocals better. Likewise, the upper mids on the BS1 has similar forwardness as the Masya but it has the edge due to its body. The quantity helps to increase the organic level. Next, for the treble section, both have similar extension and with the extra body in the treble, BS1 Official has a more complete presentation. The air rendered on the BS1 Official has more amount with better details retrieval. Lastly, the BS1 Official has a more natural expansion in its stage width and the width is further. The depth has more space. The positioning of instruments and vocals is better on the BS1 Official. Resolution of BS1 Official is better.

    Penon BS1 Official vs Astrotec Lyra Collection

    The BS1 Official has more sub-bass quantity and extension than the Lyra Collection. The depth the Lyra Collection reaches is not too far from the BS1 Official. The mid-bass on the BS1 Official has more body and the slam is more impactful. It is being presented with heavier weight. Bass decay on the BS1 Official is more pacey and bass texture on both is very similar. The lower mids on the BS1 Official has more quantity and male vocals are better expressed without sounding hollow or dry. The upper mids on both have similar forwardness but I feel due to the extra body, the BS1 Official presents female vocals with more intimacy. BS1 Official is more capable than the Lyra Collection to showcase an organic vocals performance. For the treble section, the Lyra Collection has slightly more extension and there is more body on the BS1 Official. The crisp on the Lyra Collection is better with slightly more definition. Lastly, for the soundstage, the stage expansion is more natural on the BS1 Official and the magnitude is similar on both. The depth has more space on the BS1 Official. BS1 Official has a more realistic feel to its stage. Resolution is similar.

    Penon BS1 Official vs Penon BS1 Experience

    The BS1 Official has more sub-bass quantity and extension than the BS1 Experience. The mid-bass on the BS1 Official has the edge due to the extra quantity. The slam it presents has more weight to it. There is more musicality in the BS1 Official. Bass texture on the BS1 Official is rendered more smoothly with finesse. The lower mids on the BS1 Official has more quantity to it which aids in male vocals delivering a greater impact. The upper mids on the BS1 Official has more forwardness and body. The midrange takes on a full-bodied approach with intimacy. The treble on the BS1 Official has slightly more extension and the extra body it has creates an organic performance. BS1 Official packs more details and there is more control. For the soundstage, BS1 Official expands naturally with greater width. There is better depth. Resolution of BS1 Official is better.

    Conclusion

    The BS1 Official is a full-bodied sounding earbud that packs a high level of details retrieval with a smooth approach. It is able to provide an intimate and detailed sound. The stage is very immersive and gives a surround feel. The build quality of the earbud is constructed well. Furthermore, the 8 core hybrid cable is braided nicely with beautiful parts being used and it is aesthetically pleasing. The Penon BS1 Official is easily one of the finest earbud I have come across.

    [​IMG]

    For more reviews, visit https://audio123blog.wordpress.com/ .

Comments

To view comments, simply sign up and become a member!