Penon Globe 2BA + Dynamic Driver Hybrid 2Pin 0.78mm HiFi Audiophile IEM

Asakurai

Head-Fier
Penon Globe - Just enjoy the music!
Pros: ● Solid Build Quality
● Fit and Comfort
● Musical and Engaging
Cons: ● Slight BA Timbre at high frequency
● Need wide bore eartips which not provided in default accessories
Penon Globe can be bought from Penon Audio (https://penonaudio.com/penon-globe.html). Big thanks to Penon Audio for great service and fast delivery. Review 100% based on my experience using Penon Globe for ± 100 hours..

Sneak-Peek Penon Globe
MSRP: $339
Tuning Style : U-shaped, warm, musical, Poison Female Vocal, Lifelike String Performance
Frequency Distribution (Total 10): Low (3.6) – Mid (3.2) – High (3.2)
Suitable Genre : All-rounder with Female vocal as its strongest point
Wear Comfort : Excellent / Good / Normal / Poor
Build Quality : Excellent / Good / Normal / Poor
Isolation. : Excellent / Good / Normal / Poor
Microphonic : None / Minor / Normal / Poor
Analytic Level : Excellent / Good / Normal / Poor
Mic : None
Balanced Cable : 2.5 TRRS (Optional
Detachable : 2-Pin 0.78mm

Frequency Graph (Provided by Penon):
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Brief Introduction to Penon Globe
Penon Audio, one of the well-known audio retailer based on Hong Kong, also known as retailer that brings “unknown” brand to international market.
Penon Globe should be the fourth IEM i tried(after Penon Sphere, Fan and Orb) from Penon Audio, using 10mm Dynamic Driver handles low frequency, 1 Sonion BA handles midrange and 1 Knowles BA handles high frequency with impedance 10 Ω so it’s supposed to be easy to drive using your phone. Globe using dark shell with colourfull marble pattern faceplate.
Penon Globe equipped with lot of accessories such as 7 pairs eartips (3 pairs S-M-L green silicone eartips and 3 pairs S-M-L orange silicon eartips and 1 pair double flange eartips), 2 Velour Pouch and Big Blue case and lastly 8-core SPC silver cable.
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Sound Quality Evaluation
This Review using Quloos QA390, YinLuMei A1S and F.Audio FA2 as source and make sure use wide bore eartips!

High Frequency
Sparkling, airy, good detail, non-fatigue, there is slight BA timbre which some instrument can sound a bit plasticky at some track, has good enough energy to make the treble engaging

Mid Frequency
Should be the main star for Penon Globe, Poisonous Female Vocal which has good weight and imaging, Male vocal has nice weight not as charming as Female vocal but still good one. Detail is good in midrange, life-like string instrument presentation

Low Frequency
Deep bass, impactfull mid-bass, well-controlled, really good atmospheric presentation, authority bass.

Separation, Soundstage & Resolution:
Soundstage width is good, while the depth and height is excellent in Penon Globe. Instrument separation is good enough. For resolution it lacks a bit in micro-detail compared to the competitor.

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Comparison (vs Blessing 1 and Reecho Insect Awaken)
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Build Quality
Penon Globe has the smallest faceplate, for the body it's the second biggest. Blessing don't have stopper so it's quite picky at eartips (not all eartips can be used at Blessing). Reecho definitely has the nicest design since it's not only the faceplate but also the shell has nice glittery pattern but it's the biggest form factor

Design: Reecho Insect Awaken > Penon Globe > Moondrop Blessing
Fitting: Penon Globe > Moondrop Blessing = Reecho Insect Awaken

Low Frequency
Globe obviously has the proper DD bass, which speak a lot in quantity and quality, has the best impact and rumble which obviously at the cost of speed, Globe bass is not slow but between the three IEMs it's the slowest. It's the most atmospheric.
Blessing using DD but almost the same as BA sound, it has weak impact but still better than BA, it's fast
Insect Awaken using BA in low Frequency, while it definitely fast, it lacks authority compared to the others.

Low Frequency Quality : Penon Globe > Moondrop Blessing > Reecho Insect Awaken
Low Frequency Quantity : Penon Globe > Reecho Insect Awaken > Moondrop Blessing

Mid Frequency
Globe midrange is charming especially for Female Vocal and String instrument, has really good weight
Blessing is the thinnest and boasting lot of clarity, it's the cleanest at the cost instrument can sound weightless
Insect Awaken is the most V-shaped in this comparison, while it's clean but the vocal can sound very recessed

Mid Frequency Quality : Moondrop Blessing = Penon Globe > Reecho Insect Awaken
Mid Frequency Quantity : Penon Globe > Moondrop Blessing = Reecho Insect Awaken

High Frequency
Globe surprisingly has the most pronounced treble out of three IEMs, it's also the most aggresive treble, both the three has nice extension with Insect Awaken should be the first one to roll-off
Blessing Treble could be said more laidback compared to globe and works well with lack of note weight of blessing, it does the most airy and clean sounding
Insect Awaken the first one to roll-off and it's the darkest compared to others

High Frequency Quality : Penon Globe = Moondrop Blessing > Reecho Insect Awaken
High Frequency Quantity : Penon Globe = Moondrop Blessing > Reecho Insect Awaken

Separation, Soundstage & Resolution
Globe has the best height and depth compared to the three, but has the least width (only slight differences)
for the resolution Moondrop Blessing has the upper hand here, followed by Insect Awaken just a bit better than Penon Globe. Separation should be the same, it just globe has more note weight which can be perceived it's the worst, but after listening thoroughly i didn't find it lack any separation compared to others.

Personal Comment
Penon Globe definitely surprises me, it's not following the Harman-Neutral Target trend which pretty much hyped now, yet it's the most successfull IEM sub $400 that I spend lot of time. FYI i have around 20+ IEMs with around 10+ is more expensive than Globe, and i also borrow some IEMs from local seller (including UM Mest Mk2), in the end I spend more time listening to Penon Globe over everything else.

Sure, other cans can perform better in almost every area, but Penon Globe puts the music together in a way that lets you ignore those performance lossess. It definitely the one which let you to enjoy your music.
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Should I buy Penon Globe?
Definitely it's one of top my recommendation list for IEMs sub $500 for musical, don't go for Globe if you like analytical with sheer of detail, but if you looking for IEM to connect to the music, I think this Globe will sufficient for long run.

That’s all my review of Penon Globe, hope it helps, Cheers~
AmericanSpirit
AmericanSpirit
thanks for the FR chart, looks like Dusk's 3khz tuning with Yume's 6khz dip and 2BA+1DD composition.
KickAssChewGum
KickAssChewGum
Great review! I love the Globe. Definitely the best sub $500 IEM I’ve listened to yet.
alexandros a
alexandros a
Great efforts man.!!
I ve been puzzled between this and Dunu EST112, finally purchased the Dunus..
But... Owning also the ORBS I will certainly give the globes a chance.....

Dsnuts

Headphoneus Supremus
Penon Globe
Pros: A well made, solid ergonomic universal design utilizing 3 premium drivers. 1 Sonion+ 1 Knowles and 1 10mm dynamic in an all resign semi custom shell in 2 pin. One of the most musical, rich, organic and spacious dynamic presentations for earphones at any price. Smallish medium shell design means they are very comfortable to use for hours with excellent above average isolation on the go. Penon tuning in full effect. Easy to drive and plays well across all my sources tested.
Cons: Not the most detailed or technical in the price range. Comes with an average thinner 8 cored SPC cable that is prone to tangle. Neutral heads may not apply.
Penon Globe
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I am sure by now folks reading this will know who Penon is. Penon has built a reputation among enthusiasts around the world for their goods be it their boutique cables to their earphones. Penon is not a company that makes a lot of earphones under the Penon brand in fact counting the FAN they only have 6 models and a few earbuds under their belt but they certainly are not new to a well designed earphone. Their newest hybrid called the Globe being sold at $339 mark HERE.,represents the lower budget spectrum of mid fi category of earphones and the one thing the consumer should know about Penon products. These are all made with a “Penon tuning.” In mind.

Penon house sound does not tune for neutrality nore on the other spectrum, bombastic sounding earphones. If that is the type of sound you're looking for, then it will be advisable to look elsewhere. However for the enthusiast that actually listens to their music vs analyzing parts of it. This is what Penon achieves with their house tuning a certain type of musicality to the point where there is a connection to the music you're listening to. The Globe represents yet another earphone that is a prime example of their tuning philosophy. Sound that is always presented with a spacious dynamism, fluid richness in tone with cohesion, well balanced and always dimensional.
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The sole reason why we spend our hard earned cash is so we hear the best renditions of our favorites and here the Globe has all the hallmarks of what makes a Penon made earphone unique and engaging for the serious music listener.
I have had the opportunity to review most of Penons earphones and in that time I have gotten to know the progression of Penon sound through their earphones. This review represents their newest creation, the Penon Globes.

The Globes was purchased and was not a review sample this time. I did get in on the early purchasers discount which Penon graciously gives out to folks that pay attention to their work. I am all about what Penon does for earphones and naturally I had to have their newest. The smaller mid sized box you get includes their standard zip up square blue case. 2 pouches. 2 pin SPC 8 core cable that was also included with their Orbs in any termination you want when ordering. 2 sets of symbio like silicones in green and orange. A set of foams and a set of medium double flange tips. A cleaning tool and a clip.
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The cable that is included with the Globe is for Penon, standard fare a thinner 8 cored silver plated copper variety. The included cable is a bit on the thin for an 8 core SPC cable and is a bit prone to tangle but is very much in line with the sound tuning of the Globe. If you plan on upgrading your cable, get yourself an upgraded SPC or silver plated copper variety of cables which retain that house tuning and what Penon has in mind for the sound.
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The Globe is a continuation of their Orbs all resin design but this time it is housing an extra Knowles BA that does the treble duties. Just based on tonality the mids BA seems to be the same Sonion BA that was used for the Orbs and the dynamic while no mention of what it is as there is no mention of the type of dynamic I will also assume it is using the same dynamic driver as used in the Orb and the Volts, a graphite fiber silk paper dome 10mm driver. I did get confirmation that the Globe is using the same two drivers that are in the Orbs.

The Globe is a semi custom all resin solid design with a small 2mm vent out back for the dynamic to breathe. The housing is roughly smaller medium in size with a very good ergonomic universal shape. Due to the all resin design, the Globes have above average isolation. While the contact side of the housing is almost a smaller design the girth of the housing is thicker than average protruding out of your ears a touch but this design adds to the spacious nature of the sound. The color scheme this time is not all clear like the Orbs but is using a dark resin with what looks like a marble type faceplate with speckles in them. They have an understated elegant look to them.Just like the added BA that adds some sparkle so does the face plate. One thing I have discovered about a Penon designed earphone is everything is done for a reason. So far as comfort and usability goes, I have yet to have an uncomfortable experience with a Penon made iem. Comfort level of the earphones are very high and with that excellent ability to isolate on the go. You're getting a true personal audio experience.
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Sound analysis was done using my DAPs Fiio M15, Shanling M6pro, M5s, M3s,Ibasso DX160, ZX300, Pioneer DXP30R, AMPs IFI Black Label, Ibasso PB3, Fiio E12a

First impressions is always important when listening to a new IEM and the takeaway from my first time hearing the Globe is an immediate recognition of a rich tone presented in a spacious sound. It is an unmistakable Penon trait as their earphones use high quality Sonion BAs for the very important mid bands. All of them that use BAs actually. I am hearing some qualities of their flagship Volts, the richness of the Orbs and even the sound balancing of the spheres. It is all there. A natural next level of the Orbs design, the sound tuning is likewise how one would expect after adding a Knowles BA to do the treble. I was not the only person asking for a bit more treble extension and presence hence we get that with the Globe. But the greater part of the whole design sees more than just added treble. The Sound has entered a new level.

Space for your sonics.
Globe now incorporates a Knowles driver to do the important treble duties but all incorporated within a housing that gives out a spacious dimensional sound. This spacious sound presentation is another key aspect of Penon tuning and here you can clearly make out layers of your music in a large dimensional sound field. All of Penons earphones have a spacious tuning, some more than others and the Globe is only 2nd to the Volts in this regard. In fact this aspect of the spacious sound is so prevalent on all Penon earphones. This seems to be yet another house sound trait. Soundstage is wide, deep and fairly tall. Sound design takes full advantage of the roomy portrait of sound the Globe throws out and your gonna hear layers of sound much better than most earphones.
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The balanced tuning.
In doing my share of earphone reviews. I have seen other manufacturers tune differently with each model they make. Not so much Penon. Penon tunes with the best ability of each driver that is used in an earphone and with balance in mind. Generally sound balancing for each of their earphones are identical with the real changes to the sound coming from added drivers to that tuning. Sound balancing also is a house sound trait and is expertly crafted in the Globe with dynamism in mind. All parts of the sound is equally present here and when called on, treble mids and bass ends all come to life in a larger spacious headstage for earphones. These are clearly colored and more of a W shaped sound design with a slight uplift toward the lower bass region.

We aren’t talking about neutrally balanced here. There is nothing neutral about a Penon earphone but if you actually listen to music. Bass infused music for example needs a good 10dbs plus of bass boost to sound natural in my opinion. My point is when have you gone to your large church, a theatre or a concert and actually heard neutral amounts of bass? Without bass boost your music is lifeless. Don't take offence if this goes against what you believe is a proper balance but go listen to some live music to figure this one out. Mids if it is the mainstay of your tune. Vocals and instrumental tracks for example. You want that focus to be upfront and center. Globes has a natural warmth to the tuning due to the slight forward mid ranges. Vocals comes in clear and detailed but also has very good depth. Instruments has its own space to work with and layers of your music are clearly defined.
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And now with that added Knowles BA. We have a treble presence that was somewhat reserved from the previous Orbs. Orb treble quality I felt was very good for a single full range BA to do but it was lacking a bit of presence and extension a dedicated driver could perform and that is what we got with this added BA. Never heard a harsh sounding, peaky treble infused Penon IEM and the Globes treble maintains excellent quality with a tonality that leans more toward crisp clear and accurate more than being overly exaggerated for the sake of fidelity. Treble is focused more on lower and upper treble frequencies with an anti silblance dip at 7Khz. Trebles was tuned to add to the mid bands and not to be too much of a stand out. Yet at the same time has plenty of sparkle and shimmer when called for. There are some BA treble timbral tendencies but nothing that distracts from the overall euphoric rich sound presentation of the Globes.

You're not getting a deep V shaped sound tuning or an overly treble or bass focussed tuning here. If your music has all parts of the sound spectrum that need to be equal in presence and ability. You get that with the Globe. If your tracks call for bass infused Trance, accurate jazz renditions to slower RnB tracks Globes will more than accommodate, it will excel. The best aspect of a well balanced sound tuning is its versatility. Sound design bodes well with any source you plug the Globe to. Some earphones are more finicky than others when it comes to source matching. Not so much the Globes. Though with higher end DAPs and amplification the Globes take on yet another level of sonics.
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Bold, rich, smooth, dynamic, full bodied and euphoric is a good sound descriptor of the Globes sound. There are certainly other in ears that do detail with speedier transients and better timbral accuracy to a greater extent, however the trade off is one of the most engaging roomy sounds you will hear for earphones. A bit unique to the imaging of the Globes is that due to its larger dimensional sound presentation you get imaging that can float in mid air from the far left to the far right, behind or forward in space that seems outside of the headspace. That my friends is musical immersion.

Globes has all the Penon traits including a full on bass end. It is a distinctly colored sound but one that is made for enjoying your music. Nothing on the sound is dry, not the treble not the bass and certainly not the lush mid bands.

Bass has a rich boldness and is well defined when called upon. Here the bass end is very similar to the Orbs and even somewhat close to their Volts. The quality of the bass end is superb using this 10mm dynamic driver. Punchy and tight with decent speed but it is the detailed rich tone of the bass that is a hallmark of Penon bass. These things have a realistic rumble and a deep low hitting sub bass that no BA can match. Bass decay is very natural and lingers a touch and here is where the sub bass tonality is ideal. With the right tip, you can get the bass to be more frontal in balancing or lesser for how you like your bass. Tip rolling is highly recommended for best results for you.
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In the end the Globe is yet another success. This is a case where less is more as each driver is clearly taking a role in the sound design. Your uncle may be rich but the Globe sound is richer. With the driver wars that are rampant on the interwebs. Penon tuning and their meticulous sound design is what makes the Globe sounds so engaging and not because it is housing more drivers than the next guy. I own earphones with 14 drivers in them and cost 3X more and those might have the detail won over the Globes but it can’t match the one aspect the Globes clearly has and that is musicality for days. Many folks have said the Globe sounds more analogue. And I ask you what the heck is wrong with that? Listen to your well recorded older tracks with these and your gonna be struck by how holographic and dynamic they sound. Penon house sound is in full force and if you have never heard a Penon made earphone before. At less than half the price of their flagship the Volts. These are going to be worth every penny you spend on a set. They get you into your music with an engaging sound presentation and isn’t that what personal audio should be about?

Comparos, cus curious minds want to know.
Orbs vs Globes.
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Orbs is what can be achieved with one quality full range BA and one excellent 10mm dynamic. Orbs have that classic Penon smooth warm full bodied sound with ample bass performance. The best of the Orbs is with a pure silver cable. If you thought the treble was a touch reserved here try a pure silver cable which brings better balance as the treble will come out more so with a silver cable. Against the Globes. Ironically the Orbs with a pure silver cable mimics what the Globe sounds like however it is missing that last bit of treble detail and presence of a dedicated treble driver that the Globes now has. You can’t just throw in an added driver and call it good. I can tell the mind focus of the mids BA is now strutting what it was clearly made for and dedicates itself for that lush smooth rich sound of the Globes. Better stage, better imaging and better expansion of sonic is the advancement from the Orbs. If you loved the Orbs sound the natural step up would be the Globes.

H40 vs Globes
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A few folks was asking what would be an upgrade on one of ISNs best seller the H40. The ISN H40 is still to this day one of the best bang for buck hybrids in the market and again the H40 gets better with a cable upgrade but based on stock sound the Globe is a straight upgrade on what you love about the H40. Think H40 but more refined. I can tell the drivers used on the Globes are of a higher grade meaning your getting more than the standard drivers that are in the H40. Sound pedigree/ DNA is similar. That large warm smooth dimensional presentation is a descriptor for both IEMs but here the Globe takes that sound into another tier in quality. Bass has better definition, overall better quality for bass. The single BA being used on the Globe takes that smooth tonality of the H40 into a richness the H40 is not able to quite do. Globe sounds even more dimensional than the H40. Treble on the Globe is tuned better as it is cleaner sounding with similar extension and is less peaky vs the H40 treble. For folks that enjoyed your H40 and are wondering if the Globe will be a step up. I am telling you it is a step up.

Fiio FD5 vs Globe.
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Here we have two juggernauts in the price range. Both having some very good dynamics with impactful sounds. Both these earphones can go toe to toe in the stage department. Quite the feat for the Fiio FD5 to pull off one of the best realized sound stages for a single dynamic earphone but that is where the similarities ends. Well both having some outstanding emphasized bass as well. The FD5 has more of a neutral lower mids emphasis with plenty of bass and treble so you get a more distinct V shaped sound signature vs Globes more W shaped signature. As you can guess it is the mids and the treble where these two separate ways. Technicalities of the FD5 are actually superb but again with the right cable and sources. Much more finicky of source pairings the FD5 needs just the right synergy to truly shine. Globes are more consistent in how it performs across all sources. FD5 dynamics is what makes them sound engaging. The Globes not only matches the FD5 for dynamics but has lush full bodied mids on top of them dynamics. Treble also gets the nod to the Globe, FD5 has more presence and is a bit peaky for treble for some folks a bit much at times again depending on your sources. Both earphones are very good in their price bracket but I would consider what type of sound you're going for before choosing which one to go with. Rock and metal goes to the FD5 while vocals instrumentals goes to the Globes. Both do bass genres excellently. The advantage of the FD5 is that it does have a 2ndary nozzle that allows for more tuning options for the FD5.

Moondrop Blessing 2 vs Globe.
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Now this is an interesting comparison. Blessing 2 has been well regarded among enthusiasts and have been popular here at headfi ever since their introduction. So much so it garnered a newer version with some sound tweaks in the dusk version. The one I have is the old B2. B2 has some really good stage for in ears but it should as the phones use one of the larger housings for hybrids that I own. It actually might be the largest housing for hybrids. No question comfort will go to the Globes. Globes don’t feel like your ears are being probed. It is tough to hear the B2 after using the Globes because you have to adjust to moondrops version of the Harmon tuning which is all bout the upper mids with treble emphasis a fairly linear smooth mid range and for the blessing 2 a very weak almost neutral bass end. This was supposedly fixed on the dusk version. Bass end of the B2 is not terrible; it does have some deep extension with decent rumble but is nowhere close to the authority of the Globes in the region. Mids is another aspect that you have to adjust to. Blessing 2 don't sound flat per se but after the Globes it don’t come near the dimensional layering of the Globes mid bands.To my ears the B2 has more upper mids emphasis and treble making it have a cool tonality overall. The Globe has more of a natural warmth with ample bass and more forward lower mids with less upper mid range in comparison. Instrument separation, detail is slightly better on the Blessing2 but that is due to the wide open mid bands of the B2 with not much bass coloration. As far as dynamism. Forgetabout it. B2 looses miserably there. B2 is more closer to a neural presentation and therefore it will come down to how you like your tunings. These two are actually complimentary sound signatures as they are completely different sounding. B2 also benefits from upgraded cables with higher end DAPs.

Sony Z5 vs the Globe.
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Ya now we are talking dual dynamo. Sony Z5 was Sony's flagship hybrid that has been replaced with the newer IER Z1R but it had its place in Sony's royalty as it garnered huge fan fare around the Globe. These two actually has some commonalities. The Z5 was Sony's house sound to a T back in the days and the Globe is very much representative of the Penon house tuning. I feel this is a fair comparo since it is common to see an old used Z5 for around the same price. Z5 has a large stage one of the largest in the industry and has some outstanding dynamics with fairly laid back mid range and a smooth treble end. The problem with the Z5 is that their fitment isn’t great for a universal design. It has a very musical smooth refined sound and still has one of the all time great bass presentations in the industry. However you need a proper source for the Z5 to truly make them sound spectacular. Balanced with some juice. Globes sound like the best of what the Z5 can do out of a weak source. If you're using the Globe in balance on the same source I think the old Z5 has met its match for musicality. The mids are not as dimensional nor forward sounding for the Z5. It is the mids and treble which sound a bit reserved at times which gives the Z5 its trademark darker tonality vs the frontal forward more natural sounding Globes. Z5 wins the bass department with a bit more authority and overall bass definition but what will surprise Z5 fans is how good the quality of the Globes bass end is even though it is using a smaller driver. Globes bass end can hang easily with Sony's former flagship. Treble is smoother and a bit more organic in tone vs the slightly more crisp and sparky treble of the Globes.
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Dsnuts
Dsnuts
Just for you Ace. Treble is a bit more peaky for the FD5 and has a cooler tone overall due to more treble emphasis the Globes sounds more natural in tone with more body of sound. Sound stage like I wrote on the review is very similar in expansion. Globes has the more forward taller and slightly deeper sound. The Globes mids vs the FD5 has more presence sounds more dimensional. Instrument separation is presented in a similar manor again not too much different here but since the FD5 has a bit more mid treble energy has a touch more presence for stringed instruments and sharper vocal tones- here is where Fiio should have toned this portion down a touch imo. Globes has a fairly large anti siblance dip around the area and vocals however sounds more smoother and much richer in tone, especially male vocals. These two earphones are actually complimentary as the FD5 just cant do vocals like the Globes but as you know has some excellent instrument timbre.
Ace Bee
Ace Bee
Thank you. I am using UM 3DT, and compared to that I found FD5's midrange tonality slightly warmer. It wasn't offensive, but noticeable. What I wanted to know is whether Globe has a warmer tonality than FD5.
Dsnuts
Dsnuts
It shares a similar rich tone vs the Orbs but with more treble presence, extension and a grander stage. That sound presentation works better on the Globes as the added treble BA balances out the tonality even better than the Orbs. The warmer tonality is due to the more dimensional frontal mid range of the Globes yet at the same time has just a wide yet deeper and taller sound vs the FD5s. It is quite the accomplishment. Sound is very engaging and musical more than being outright technical. Which a lot of phones can have highly technical tunings now a days but the opposite end can lack musicality.

KutuzovGambit

500+ Head-Fier
The Globe Pulls Us Into Its Atmosphere…
Pros: Uniquely rich and atmospheric tonality, complementing and enhancing a wide variety of genres
Superbly expansive and well-proportioned soundstage
Solid technicalities across the board
Powerful, well-controlled bass
Lush and detailed midrange with absolutely outstanding timbre
Perfectly tuned treble with just the right amount of sparkle and clarity
Very comfortable
Very good isolation
Available with balanced cable at no additional cost
Cons: Bass note weight can be a little thick with most tips
Colored sound is not for tonal purists, and may not suit every track or genre
Quality of included accessories is merely adequate
Typography on the shells is inexplicably bad, distracting the OCD audiophile whilst he puts on these beautiful-sounding IEMs
Introduction: Penon Audio, having only recently begun producing IEMs of their own, has already received widespread accolades for their mid-fi efforts. The highest praise has been heaped on their flagship the Volt, but enthusiasm for their Orb has no lagged far behind. The Orb is a unique example of hybrid engineering in that its single BA is full-frequency, working in parallel with the dynamic driver rather than being divided by a crossover. Now for an approximately $100 premium over the Orb, Penon is bringing us the Globe (MSRP $339 USD), a more traditional hybrid design with a 10mm dynamic driver for the bass, a Sonion BA for the midrange, and a Knowles BA for the treble. Will this more traditional setup bring an improvement in its ability to present for our listening pleasure Penon’s unique house sound?

Please note that Penon kindly offered a modest discount in exchange for an honest review.

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Accessories: The Globe comes with a fair number of accessories, as expected for the price point. There is a zippered hard case (spacious, with slots sewn into both sides of the interior to hold accessories), as well as a felt pouch for the IEMs and a smaller felt pouch presumably for tips. Speaking of the tips, Penon includes two sets of standard silicon tips in three sizes, one pair of double-flanged tips, and one pair of foam tips. Also in the package is a cleaning brush with clip. The 2-pin cable is 8-core SPC, and is remarkably light, soft and supple with no microphonics and very comfortable ear guides. However it is fairly thin for an 8-core cable, and surprisingly is also on the short side as well. Nevertheless it is perfectly serviceable, even if nothing particularly special.

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Build & Comfort: Penon continues to employ medical-grade resin for the housing of the IEMs, resulting in shells that are extremely light and comfortable. Though beautiful, they are sadly marred by various inexplicable typography choices which, shall we say, leave something to be desired.

The connectors are flush 2-pins. Nozzles are on the short side, resulting in my use of larger tip sizes than on most of my other IEMs in order to achieve good seal. I experienced no driver flex whatsoever, no matter what tips I rolled. Though the DD is vented, isolation is quite good due to the IEM fitting my medium-small ear cavity almost perfectly. A substantial portion of the IEMS protrude outwards however, meaning side sleeping is not an option here.

The Globes stayed securely in my ears without causing fatigue even over long listening sessions (which is good news, since the Globe is quite likely to induce long listening sessions!).

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Initial Impressions: The Globe represents my introduction to Penon’s house sound, which beyond any doubt is unique in today’s ChiFi landscape. Immediately I was struck by the richness expressed throughout the entire tonal range: the Globe is one of the most exquisitely musical IEMs I have yet had the pleasure of experiencing. It has a dynamic and expansive signature, with an unmistakeable euphonic coloration to the midrange — especially the lower mids. What is remarkable, however, is that this coloration is accomplished with a restraint, balance and maturity that enables the Globe’s atmospheric quality to enhance (rather than obscure) the innate qualities of a wide variety of music. This is due in no small part to the large, well-proportioned soundstage, as well as to the Globe’s other ample technical abilities. Nevertheless, this is by no means an analytical IEM; the technicalities exist solely to support the rich musicality on offer here. The summation of this is that the Globe has the power to effortlessly draw me, as if by gravity, into the heart of the music.

It must be said that during my initial hours of listening, it at first seemed to me that this rich and atmospheric tonality did not suit absolutely every track, especially if the mix was busy and/or was heavily weighted towards the low end; in such cases the Globe could sometimes sound a bit too thick or the layering a bit too congested. However, burn-in (whether of the DD or the brain) made quite a noticeable improvement in this area, and the overall presentation gradually became much more balanced and versatile (though certainly not neutral). Tip selection is also important with this IEM, as I found the Globe to be fairly tip-sensitive (wide bore worked best for me). Synergistic considerations should likewise not be neglected: the Globe is like a great vintage tube amp, and if the source also skews warm and analog the combined effect may be too much. In my opinion the Globe is best suited for neutral sources (or analytical ones, though I do not possess any of those myself).


Signature: The Globe is quite difficult to pigeonhole in terms of a standard sound signature. I consider it to have a clearly mid-centric tuning, although the bass is undoubtedly boosted and the treble also is not exactly shy. It could possibly be called a warm mild U-shape, though the bass is definitely favored more than the treble. By alphabetic and linguistic contortion it might perhaps be most accurately called a warm reverse mild J-shape.

Dubious attempts at classification aside, the Penon house sound has been spoken of by others as being defined by the musical warmth breathed into the lower mids, and I certainly found that the be the case here. This warmth proceeds organically from the powerful and authoritative bass, and is accentuated by the crystal-clear shimmering of the treble. Note weight starts out on the thick side in the lower regions, and gradually returns to neutrality by the upper mids and lower treble. The overall package is surprisingly coherent and exquisitely unique, and the only caveat to its tuning success is that it is far enough from neutrality to perhaps not be truly universal in its suitability.


Bass: Though the bass has a significant boost and would perhaps even come close to satisfying bassheads (I am not at all one myself), the low end is not in my opinion meant to be the star of the show. Rather, its powerful weight and authority serves as the foundation of the Globe’s rich tonality, the gravity by which it draws one into its atmosphere.

It has convincing physicality and reaches extremely deep, being just ever so slightly biased toward the sub-bass to my ear. I would describe it as neither tight nor loose, but instead as having a firmly-defined roundness to it. Despite its heft, it is also fairly agile and for the most part remains well-controlled (though prior to burn-in it did have the tendency to sound boomy). Texture out of box was likewise relatively lacking (especially as compared to the rich timbre of the midrange), but after burn-in it has become quite good as well.

My main complaint is that note weight in the mid-bass is at times a little too thick for my taste, and combined with its strong presence and slower decay this means that there are still certain tracks where the bass does come across as more heavy-handed than is my preference. Edit: ePro Horn tips basically completely solve this issue for me, though the at the cost of a bit of physicality.


Mids: Rich yet clear. Smooth yet detailed. Full yet open. Forward yet balanced. This midrange is absolutely splendid in every way. Instrumentation as well as both male and female vocals are an absolutely joy. The midrange (especially the lower midrange) is certainly colored with warmth, but it is done with a maturity and refinement that adds an atmosphere rather than obscures the character and qualities of the music itself. Again, it is very much like a vintage tube amp in that way.

I especially enjoy the Globe for sparser arrangements, especially minimalist composers and singer-songwriters. It is extremely adept at bringing out all the depths of the musical nuances of each voice and instrument, and this ability is at its best when fewer elements vie for our attention. Nevertheless, do not understand this to mean that the Globe is not also quite adept at portraying vaster soundscapes in a properly grand and eloquent manner — it most certainly is. My preference for sparser arrangements with this IEM is, as so many things in this hobby, merely a matter of my personal preference.


Highs: Although the Globe’s treble is the least jealous of our attention, nevertheless I believe that it is absolutely essential to Penon’s success with this IEM. There is plenty of sparkle, air and detail in the treble, and the upper treble in particular is perhaps just ever so slightly bright (though never harsh or peaky), thus providing much-needed counterbalance to the gravitational pull of the low end.

This is in marked contrast to the Orb, whose one common criticism was an overly polite or rolled-off treble region - clearly Penon has been listening, because this accusation holds absolutely no water against the Globe. There is definitely a good amount of bite and energy when such is called for — yet it always shies away from the point of being piercing or fatiguing.

I believe that Penon has tuned the highs in an absolutely masterful fashion for the task at hand, with the shimmering and vibrant treble providing the perfect companionship for the full, weighty low end and the real star of the show: the rich and musical midrange. I have absolutely no complaints here.


Soundstage & Technicalities: Being such a musical IEM, the Globe never comes close to presenting itself as a technicality monster. Nevertheless, upon closer examination it is indeed highly capable in almost every area. The stage in particular is extremely expansive and well-proportioned for an IEM, having tremendous width, quite a bit of height, and even a decent amount of depth. Imaging is well-defined, and though the tonal choices mean that layering and separation can be an inherent challenge on busier tracks, the Globe nevertheless acquits itself well in nearly every instance, weaving an organic, cohesive tapestry out of the various musical voices.

Straight out of the box I detected some BA timbre in the upper registers, though as my listening time went on this largely disappeared and I was afterward rarely bothered by it — even though timbre is one of my most prized characteristics in an earphone and so I am perhaps more sensitive to it than others. As for the midrange timbre, it is simply outstanding; the Sonion BA in the hands of Penon’s tuning yields a truly impressive result here even compared to good DDs. Horns, strings, and pianos all sound outstanding to my ear.

Again, while this is by no means an analytical IEM, nevertheless it clearly has the considerable technical chops needed to pull off Penon’s ambitious tonal goal of achieving warmth and richness without sacrificing detail or clarity.


Conclusion: The Globe is beyond doubt aptly named. It has a large and expansive sound, well-rounded in every respect, and pulls those who enter its orbit into a rich euphonic atmosphere — and let me tell you, it is quite difficult to pull oneself away from its gravitational pull, and these IEMs have been in my ears almost continuously since they arrived. The superb tonality layered on top of a solid technical foundation will add a certain Je ne sais quoi to almost anyone’s collection, and the maturity of this effort has certainly cemented my interest in Penon as one of the most unique voices of the ChiFi revolution.

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KutuzovGambit
KutuzovGambit
@szore Funny you mentioned it, I had tried a lot of tips before writing the review but just yesterday put on the ePro Horn tips and it madeca huge positive difference, bass is now full rather than thick, extremely cohesive with the mids and much better overall tonal balance. Texture is now more apparent as well.
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shampoosuicide
shampoosuicide
This is a stunning review. Articulate, eloquent, and astute. Thank you!
pr0b3r
pr0b3r
An excellent review! Mine is on the way and the descriptions here got me excited even more. Thanks!
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