Penon PAC480 IEM Cable

General Information

OCC & silver-plated Mixed Braided IEM cable

2 shares, 480 cores per share

480 core coaxial , outer 340 cores , inner 140 cores

Single crystal Copper, silver carbon fiber, copper-plated brass accessories

Outer shield 170 cores silver + 170 cores copper mixed

Gold-plated copper Plug

Cable length: 1.2M

Latest reviews


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Read review
Offers a delicate yet substantial up-grade from stock
Big and heavy
Looks cool
Great price while supply lasts
Get a set while you can
Cons: Big and heavy
Brand: Penon Audio Custom
Product Code: PAC480
Availability: In Stock

PAC480 OCC & Silver-plated Mixed Braided HiFi Audiophile IEM Cable


PAC 14.jpeg

Was $99.00 now $49.50

OCC & silver-plated Mixed Braided IEM cable
2 shares, 480 cores per share
480 core coaxial , outer 340 cores , inner 140 cores
Single crystal Copper, silver carbon fiber, copper-plated brass accessories
Outer shield 170 cores silver + 170 cores copper mixed
Gold-plated copper Plug

Cable length: 1.2M

No one told me this review would be so fun. Though if they did I would not have believed them anyway. Please……a simple cable? Really? The facts are that Penon made the PAC480 and sold them for $99.00. Then they got a crazy idea to sell them for $49.50 and they have been rolling out the door like hotcakes! Now the thing is, the cable works for me, meaning I like what it does! Though to be transparent and up-front, it’s really a beast. I mean it’s bigger than it looks in the pictures here. Also it’s a single crystal copper with 170 cores silver and 170 copper cores mixed. What that means is that it’s possibly slightly brighter than the OCC cables you may have laying around.

So there is that? The cable is great, but I’m a big guy, and the IEMs are big that I join it with. So any chance of the weight of the cable going and pulling the IEM out of my ears is next to none. It is very ergonomic in my use and feels great. I don’t have a problem with it not going where I want it to go either. I did hear talk about a few members going through an adjustment period. It’s big………in fact it’s the biggest cable I’ve ever used. Also though, it’s one of the best sounding. Imagine that? Though I don’t have that much experience with silver copper mixed cables? No experience before like this one? I have roughly ten copper silver mixed cables, but none of them are pricy?

Cables in general:

“Cables are a hot topic especially for enthusiasts. The IEM cable market nowadays has seen so many varieties and styles to choose, when it comes to cables. The big debate is do they actually help shape sonic qualities? On one side of the fence the objectivist enthusiasts do not believe in cables making any difference at all. I understand that notion but on the other hand there are people like myself that write cable reviews and talk about their finer qualities and how they affect sound for your earphones. I suppose my review here will help the folks that do like a good sound shaping cable to help with their IEM sonic profile more so than the science guys. My honest take on that is. Believe your own ears”

End quote:

So simply believe your ears. Truly it should not get in the way of hobby enjoyment, simply do what works for you.

I am going to simply explain my experience with using the PAC480 and you can make of it what you want. Though you would probably do that anyways………:)


The Noble Encore Universal IEM + PAC480 + Walkman 1Z and Walkman 1A:
This was the ultimate blast. I’m putting it first as I’m excited to tell this story. Truly I would not have believed a $49.50 (PAC480 cost) addition would have made such a big difference. I am incredibly well versed in the Encore performance as it has been one of my favorites for years and years. I purchased it in 2018 after reading Pinky Powers review here at Head-Fi. In the four years or so of use I have put in 3000 hours of listening. I have used the HanSound 4 wire Zen as well as the OCC ZENTOO in 4.4mm balanced the most. There is a wild difference between the three cables. Really of course the ZEN and ZENTOO sound almost identical, but the silver additive to the PAC480 really changes things up. My favorite way to use it is with the Walkman 1Z. The Walkman 1Z actually has a slightly more involved treble response, where it is expanded out and imaged out further in the soundstage than the WM1A. The PAC480 works with this treble and utilizes the energy to form an even wider soundstage than either of the HanSounds did. Now, it is brighter, and noticeably more energetic, but it’s also smooth and has plateaus to what it does with the treble. Meaning it takes the character of the music, and musical elements and delineates them by both positioning and a subtle variation of tone. I’m a guitar player so more often than not I will clue-in on both the texture/timbre and positioning of guitar replay. The joy here is that the guitars were brighter, and I always know there tone, but they were lifted (naturally) out slightly in the mix and given more relief. Such a spectacle may come off too bright for some, and it is definitely brighter, but also there was a nice limit. Such a limit was my own limit too. It’s slightly hard to explain this but cables offer individual instrument tone. It’s this tone that we are drawn to which is slightly different cable to cable. That and there is a repositioning of imaging which forms inside the soundstage. Some cables have a slightly bigger soundstage, some smaller. At times it’s only the character of a particular part of the frequency range which has been affected. With the PAC480 I was also gifted with complete utilization of the highest treble imaging, it seems, which forced components like chimes or shakers to go further out. Also they were perceived with noticeable clarity. More clear and separated than I have ever heard them. I could go on and on……but I won’t as we have more to cover.


The Walkman 1A being thrown in showed a slightly brighter midrange, faster bass and slightly subdued treble. Probably it was the bass speed difference, that was the biggest thrill. Though something about the Walkman 1Z kept pulling on my heart strings….wanting a second session.


The ISN EST50 Universal IEM + PAC480 + Walkman 1Z and Walkman 1A:
This was also a great combination. Truly the two, Noble Encore IEM and ISN EST50 could not be more different. While the PAC480 made the relatively mid-centric Noble Encore more upper mid-centric, the ISN EST50 became more normalized. Meaning it took the heaviness it’s known for and brought about a style of alignment. Still both IEMs retained their individualistic character, being both the Encore and EST50 were still deep down inside themselves. For me it was like using a higher resolution playback system. The energies of both IEMs were modified, yet the Encore was itself, yet brighter......only being slightly more mid-forward. The PAC480 addition from the stock ISN S8 cable made the ISN EST50 simply a better more well rounded IEM. IMO

I found greater separation and bigger soundstage than the ISN S8 cable. Also changed was the normally big-big bass found, itself existing in a more defined area of the soundstage. At first I though maybe all the bass was attenuated……… normal IEM levels. But later the bass hit to remind me the ISN EST50 bass is simply unstoppable. So being true, that it both left a part of the IEMs character alone, and brought about improvement way beyond the simple price point. Though remember here, the end sound is the result of everything involved…the song file, the DAP, the IEM and the cable. Those four things also come together to be mixed with the listeners personal sound profile signature. Such a signature encompasses our individual threshold for treble tolerance as well as an entire sound preference grocery cart.

If the PAC480 fits with your gear as well as your personal diet, it depends on you. I’m fairly resilient to treble but often like deep bass. I’m probably closer to an L signature, so it’s surprising to get involved with “the trebles”. If anything it goes to show how maybe all of us are much more tolerant of new signatures than we think. The other aspect that helps has to do with moderation. Moderation to me, has to do with how the PAC480 is dealing with all the tonality that is expressed by the IEM. The only way I can express this is to think multiple variations of midrange. Meaning the reason this grouping works so well with both the Encore and the EST50 is it’s midrange modification. Thus there is more room when dealing with only a tonal change and repositioning of musical elements inside the midrange. That’s the only way I can go to explain it. There was obviously extreme frequency alterations due to the PAC480 in-place, but such areas of the Encore and EST50 response seemed less. This was more of a midrange affect, compared to what I was expecting?

And finally we talk about the Sands. The TANSIO MIRAI SANDS is our special guest IEM today. Reason being is there is a way to get the PAC480 at an even further discounted price. Meaning if you do buy the Sands you can purchase it with the included cable, or with the PAC480, or get both cables for only $30 more! So in a strange twist of fate you could (in-a-way) get the PAC480 for $30.00. You would of course need to pick-up the SANDS while you’re at it to get the deal.


The TANSIO MIRAI SANDS with the PAC480 with Walkman 1Z and Walkman 1A:
Why am I even reiterating on such a playback personality? This is not suppose to be my sonic profile? But somehow it is. And many are following suite and joining the HYPE TRAIN. All aboard, we are boarding at this very minute.

I will let you know that the TANSIO MIRAI SANDS is a special paradise, a piece of audiophile mana.

What is mana in English?
Definition of mana:

1 : the power of the elemental forces of nature embodied in an object or person.

Literally I have never heard anything like the Sands. And while the best way to describe it is the polar opposite of the EST50, it’s the brightest IEM we have looked into so far today. But the PAC480 does not make it brighter. No, we maybe wouldn’t want such brightness. What the PAC480 does is offer a style of added detail from the included cable, but kind of smooths out the treble and upper midrange. So every cable make-up goes ahead and infuses it’s own personality with the IEM. It’s like a mixed drink. We try and keep it tasting great as well as get you high. But not too high, we know you will be driving later. Such pulling on the shirttails of emotion are the very reason you’re here, the very reason you’re curious about IEM cables. The Sands works its magic by addition of a treble peak, one that’s rarely used, if ever.

“Sands have a treble shelf from 7Khz to 9Khz the most sensitive portion for trebles. A shelf. Most IEMS have a mild spike in the region for treble presence, mostly focused at 8 to 9 Khz. A shelf that covers that entire range is uncommon. This is the reason why every single treble note will be heard easily.”

End of quote:

So…..are you with me still? I hope so? The PAC480 is taking that treble energy and sanding in down. Sorry. The PAC480 is using the same alterations that it used on all the above IEMs, nothing has changed. Except one thing changed. The IEM frequency response personality in conjunction with the DAP playback character and the listeners subjective sound profile. But in comparison with the normal included cable this “toning-down” also resulted in more definition due to the “Wall-Effect “ of the included cable. There is this boost in the treble with the included cable that is like a treble shelf. Such items of curiosity can be worked-out and over come. So the PAC480 IS the better synergy with the Sands than the included cable. I could write pages about this subject, but it would put you to sleep. Better to concentrate on the good stuff.

The Good Stuff

We are now near the close of the PAC480 review. Now is the time to reveal the best part.

Simple involvement is why we upgrade cables. When the music becomes more real and accessible due to tonality..............involvement takes place. Nothing more nothing less. Often cables will go to show a quantifiable improvement with perception of the music being real. Clarity? I mean what else would you call it? Such a musical connection can happen with how a cable goes to highlight a particular sound character. These character improvements are not only tone, but 3D imaging thus realism of playback inside the soundstage. This connection arrives as a kind of recognition of instruments. We recognize the instrument or vocal playback as more true to reality, thus moving. Where due to realism, the instrument is brought into special focus (clarity). It’s as if the instrument is somehow closer and of better relief to behold its true tonal-timbral character. Such examples of cable improvement are possible…….and that to an extent took place here.

Is there the possibility we can have a nice cable at a nice price? Can it perform nicely?


Here it is.

Buy it now while it’s $49.50. After they sell a bunch they can............with a brush of a key-stroke, reverse it back to the original retail price of $99.00. It’s worth $99.00. It’s actually worth way way more than that……but I’ve said enough today.

PAC480 OCC & Silver-plated Mixed Braided HiFi Audiophile IEMs Cable

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PAC 7.jpeg

PAC 13.jpg


OCC & silver-plated Mixed Braided IEM cable
2 shares, 480 cores per share
480 core coaxial , outer 340 cores , inner 140 cores
Single crystal Copper, silver carbon fiber, copper-plated brass accessories
Outer shield 170 cores silver + 170 cores copper mixed
Gold-plated copper Plug
Cable length: 1.2M



Equipment Used:

PAC480 OCC & Silver-plated Mixed Braided HiFi Audiophile IEM Cable 2 pin + 4.4mm
DUNU DUW 03 2Pin 0.78mm 8 Shares OCC Silver-plated HiFI Audiophile Earphone Cable + 4.4mm
Han Sound Audio Zen 4 Wire OCC Litz Copper Cable Terminated Furutech 2Pin 0.78mm + 4.4mm
ISN S8 Single Crystal Copper Silver Plated Audiophile Cable 2Pin 0.78mm + 4.4mm
ISN S8 Single Crystal Copper Silver Plated Audiophile Cable MMCX + 4.4mm
Penon OS133 OFC Silver-plated HiFi Audiophile Cable 2Pin 0.78mm + 4.4mm
Penon OS133 OFC Silver-plated HiFi Audiophile Cable MMCX + 4.4mm
Sony WM1Z Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 4.4mm
Sony WM1A Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 4.4mm
Sony TA-ZH1ES DAC/AMP Firmware 1.03
Electra Glide Audio Reference Glide-Reference Standard "Fatboy" Power Cord
Sony Walkman Cradle BCR-NWH10
AudioQuest Carbon USB

Disclaimer: The information you are reading is one individuals thoughts and ideas, your personal results may vary.

Disclaimer: I really want to thank Penon Audio for suppling the PAC480 in 2 pin + 4.4mm for review.



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1000+ Head-Fier
Pros: Excellent build quality
Fairly ergonomic for such thick cores
Produces balanced, homogenous sound
Aesthetically pleasing
Cons: Not the most supple due to thick cores
Chin slider not terribly effective
Introduction: Penon Audio has traditionally been known for its excellent custom IEM cables, and the PAC480 is their latest effort in bringing their skill and expertise to a somewhat more affordable price bracket. With an MSRP of $99 it is perhaps not exactly cheap, but it is of a vastly higher quality than the usual $20-$30 budget cables or the stock cables that come with most non-boutique IEMs. It is available in either a 2-pin 0.78mm or an MMCX version, and can be terminated with 2.5mm, 3.5mm, or 4.4mm plugs according to customer preference. It is currently on sale for $49.50 from an MSRP of $99.

I would like to thank Penon for supplying the PAC480 for the purpose of this honest review. The cable can be purchased here.


Construction: The PAC480 is extremely well-constructed, and consists of two thick cores of 480 strands each. It is of mixed single crystal copper and silver-plated strands. The fittings are copper-plated brass, and the plug is gold-plated. I found the build quality to be absolutely top-notch, and the MMCX version I received connects extremely tightly to IEM sockets and gives me no cause for concern regarding longevity or durability.

Ergonomics: The PAC480, being a rather thick 2-core cable is not the most supple, but is much more so than I would have expected given the thick gauge. It would not be my first choice for on-the-go use, but while at home I never found it troublesome or unwieldy at all. It is quite comfortable, and the formed earhooks are gentle yet effective. The only small downside is that the chin slider is not terribly effective due to the smooth finish of the cable.


Sound: The thick cores of single crystal copper yield a very smooth and homogenous sound with good solid note weight. The mixed silver-plated strands also give a bit of extra sparkle at the top end as compared to pure copper cables. I think the PAC480 would synergize well with most IEMs, especially those that could use a little more body and note weight to them without sacrificing detail and sparkle at the top.

Conclusion: The PAC480 is a well-built and aesthetically pleasing cable with good sound quality, and would prove a direct upgrade to almost any budget or stock throw-in cable. At its current sale price of $49.50 especially, it is easy to recommend for those looking for a nice and substantial upgrade without breaking the bank.

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I ordered two! (3,5 and 4,4) with the actual 50% discount this is a no brainer


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