‘’ A more premium hand-built audio solution for your daily commute''
It all started when we notice there is a gap between our collaboration product line with Advanced Acousticwerkes (AAW), renowned for their custom IEMs crafting qualities. We have released a few Hibikis Single DD iems, POLA electrostatic (upcoming) and there hasn't been hand crafted, balanced armature based designs. Therefore we come up with Pentacle, our rendition of ''enjoyable sound on the go''. AAW has always been known for strong bass quality reproduction, thus and so we hope to embed such audio excellence into Pentacle - specifically designed for daily commuters travelling with low powered device i.e. phones, small daps. Fusing premium hand crafting goodness, premium wood faceplates and good isolation, we hope you could enjoy your daily travels with relaxing sound.
Punchy, dynamic sound with strong vocal texture combines into an immersive listening experience on the go. Sensitive driver config coming with 2-pin sockets allows fine tweaks fitting your personal preference!
Sensitivity 117 dB
THD <1 %
Impedance 36 ohm
Frequency response 20Hz-20000Hz
Pros: Very good bass depth and bass details, spectrum wide smoothness, good fit and build quality, good cable.
Cons: Could have had more details across the spectrum.
Shozy has been very busy with their products releases. They have released a handful of earphones in a short period of time and all of them are of very good for their price Bracket. They had released the Neo BG 5 with collaboration with NEO, the BG5 a 5ba earphone and is priced very competitively at $270.
But shozy wanted something which is ‘’ A more premium hand-built audio solution for your daily commute''.
Bettering the Neo BG 5 the come up with the Pentacle, with same number of drivers (different drivers) the pentacle has a different tuning compared to the BG 5. Made with collaboration of Shozy and AAW, the Pentacle lives up to the reputation of bass power delivered by all of the AAW earphone. Priced $450 the Pentacle goes head-on against plenty of competition in the same price range. But the unique tuning of the Pentacle lifts it above the rest.
There is only one color option of the Pentacle. Wood faceplate with smoke black shell.
You can get one for yourself from here, or just get in touch with Shozy on Facebook.
The Pentacle box has all the accessories packed in a good looking carry case. It contains 6 pairs of tips, 3 pairs of foam tips, 3 pairs of rubber tips in S/M/L sizes. There is a 6.5mm and airplane adapter below the cable box. No cable clip in the box.
Build of the Pentacle is on par with other earphones in this price range. The 64audio U3 feels more sturdy but the Pentacle is not slouch either. The Plastic shell is not the best but it keeps the weight low making it feel effortless in the ears. The semi custom type wing on the inner shell gives it a good grip inside the ear. The Build quality is average but sturdy enough. The Nozzle is made of metal.
The back plate is fused nicely into the shell. The recessed 2pin in the shell is slightly tricky, it took me a moments to put it in. once you got it, it's easy. I would have liked it at the same level as the body if not protruding.
It clearly has a 3 bore design inside, there are no vents, not that it needs one.
The Cable is one of the best in the price range. The funny thing is, cheaper earphones have better cables compared to the like of Fibae 3 and Lime ears Model X which is okay, they clearly mean that get yourself a good cable. The Pentacle cable on the hand is very good and one doesn’t need another cable unless it wants to go balanced. There is no microphone option.
It is a 4 core cable with unspecified composition, it sounds like pure copper as the bass feels meatier when compared to the Nocturnal SPC cable. It is slightly on the stiffer side thanks to the not so rubbery coating, its not bouncy but has good amount of memory.
there is no microphonics and the cable guide is without any wire insert and is supple enough to give no headache at all.
COMFORT, ERGONOMICS AND SEAL :-
The Pentacle is a totally universal model, there are no custom versions and it comes in a single color too.
It is aptly comfortable for a 5ba earphone, it is of the same size as the Pola and is comfortable inside the ear thanks to the small wing to hold on to the inner ear giving it a nicely ergonomically feeling. The Pentacle has nicely deep nozzle and its not very wide either, making it comfortable with all type of tips. It fits nicely in my ear without any discomfort even after hours of usage.
Seal of the Pentacle is above average with silicone tips and slightly better with foam, it cant stop very loud outer noise but will do for the average commute.
CAUTION:- don’t use earphones where you have to be aware of your surroundings like driving and walking on the road, stay home and enjoy your music or at gym.
In Shozy's words pentacle has :- "Punchy, dynamic sound with strong vocal texture combines into an immersive listening experience on the go. Sensitive driver config coming with 2-pin sockets allows fine tweaks fitting your personal preference!"
The Pentacle is not an orthodox sounding BA based earphone. Where other based on BA drivers tend to aim for flatter bass, forward or equally leveled mid range and sparkly treble, the pentacle delivers very good amount of bass, slightly V shaped mid range and smoother treble.
The tonality is warm and slightly dark. The tonality and timber are pretty natural and the notes have very good depth and feel to them. There is a bit of coloration.
Burned for more than 150hrs, I am using the Plenue R and D for this review, the Pentacle doesn’t need much power and can be driven easily out of mobile devices.
TECHNICALITY AND MATCHABILITY:-
The Pentacle with its 117db sensitivity and 36ohm impedance is very easy to drive out of any portable DAP without much problem, even when using some capable mobile phones, you will still be able to get most out of it. Amping is not necessary but if you have one, you can use it to get a bit more energy up top.
It matches pretty well with all type of devices, it is not much choosy.
It’s the lower end where the Pentacle differs the most from its peers, other BA based earphones. It delivers a wholesome amount of bass instead of being flat or reserved.
My first impression was like " Man this is something I was not expecting". I have good amount of exposure to earphones in this price range who have very good bass response even with BA drivers, ES3 and 64audio U3 to name a couple. Before getting the Pentacle I read into the product page and Shozy had mentioned that they will not let the bass of the Pentacle lie flat, indeed they didn’t, it feels like a dynamic driver bass. The ES3 has this much of sub-bass but lacked with mid-bass body and was slower with decay.
It has good amount of rumble to it, there is very good amount of air too. The extension is as good as other BA driver earphones but has far better sub-bass presence. If the fibae 3 has 6/10 sub bass rumble and body, the pentacle has 7.5/10. It gets more meaty and impactful with the mid-bass, its slightly more active and energetic giving the lower region a full bodied feeling. This much of mid-bass with this amount of decay speed makes the experience enjoyable. The slam, the air and the rumble makes the pentacle's bass enjoyable.
Will I call this most accurate? maybe not, mostly because earphones like EM-5H and even the lower Neo BG 5 delivers better accuracy and details, but do they have this much of sub-bass and bass body? not by a long shot. What the Pentacle brings to the table is the enjoyable characters. The slightly slower decay makes the notes precipitate better, giving a nice poise. It doesn’t want you to analyze the music, it wants you to enjoy it.
When it comes to technical ability I find the Pentacle in the middle of the mix, above the Earsonics ES3, 64audio U3 & DUNU DK3001 and under the likes of EM-5H, Shozy Pola.
MID RANGE :-
The first thing that catches ones attention is the smoothness the Pentacle delivers with its mid range. Its very similar to the EE Bravado except the Pentacle has better notes depth. It is nicely paced without being a bit dull like the Fibae 3. Instrumental distribution and density is as good as anything else but the stage size could have been a bit bigger.
The Mid range slightly lacks energy when compared to the forwardness of the bass region. One can call it mildly V shaped, just a bit. Compared to the Earsonics ES3 the Pentacle mid range is plenty forward. Just to make things clear, the Pentacle is far superior to the ES3 when it comes to mid range, it's just the stage size where the ES3 has slightly more dimension and better projection.
The transition from bass to lower mid range has a small drop in energy, very similar to the ES3.
Vocals on the Pentacle is very lush and loveable with accurate notes depth, they don’t bite, they don’t try hard but they leave an impression. Both male and female vocals sound equally impressive. None of them have an edge over another, just like the Shozy Pola. Male vocals retain good amount of throaty feel to them and female vocals maintain good amount of depth and sharpness with them.
Instruments have good amount of transparency and details to them, they have good precise amount of sharpness to them. Its not as dull as the Fibae 3 and not as sharp and dry as the NOC Avalon. Upper mid range is nicely balanced with the vocals and rest of the mid range with very good weight to notes. There is no sibilance to worry about. Both the vocals and instruments have better transparency than the ES3, the Pentacle feels more lively in comparison.
The level of layering, instrument accuracy and separation is up to the class, the only thing that holds the Pentacle back compared to the Fibae 3 and NOC Avalon is its slightly smaller stage size and a bit lack of micro details transparency and clarity.
Treble region of the Pentacle has good amount of energy and spark to it, it has good levels of transparency and details. There is no sibilance to worry about at all. Sadly the extension is not exactly up to the mark for the price range, in comparison the NOC Avalon and even the ES3 has slightly better extension.
The transition from upper mid to lower treble region is very good. It delivers very good amount of details and transparency with smoother notes presentation. The energy starts decreasing after 11k and vanishes into thin air at around 14-15k. It is good, but the competition delivers better.
Let it be pianos, trumpets or cymbals, they have the good amount of sharpness and the finishing of the note along with the presentation is good. Let it be the resolution or imaging, the pentacle does well.
Needless to say that separation and layering is up to the mark with acceptable amount of air and space between instruments, a bigger stage would have done more justice to this but it is what it is.
It would have triumphed the Fibae 3 if it had slightly better treble extension.
VS Earsonis ES3:-
The pentacle has similar sub-bass impact, more air, better mid bass body, is technically more capable. Pentacle has better vocals energy, instruments sound sharper, less V shaped, has better details and transparency.
The ES3 triumphs the Pentacle with slightly bigger stage size.
Vs Shozy Neo BG 5:-
VS Custom Art Fibae 3, Nocturnal Avalon, EE Bravado and Eternal Melody:-
After my impression video I instantly I got questions about the ability of the Pentacle. To be very clear, Pentacle differs with tuning and approach to music, it delivers a more musical sound and makes the listener enjoy the music rather than being very technical or analytical. In the pursuit for that it loses some micro detail pop and transparency.
If you are coming from a bass dominated sub $200-300 earphone and looking to keep the similar signature the pentacle fits perfectly, heck it even betters the ES3 in most of the aspects.
Fit is above average, no need refit it every now and then, the size is not very big, and the fatigue free signature makes the pentacle a good upgrade to slightly V shaped signature loving listeners.
Will I recommend it over the likes of Fibae 3 or NOC Avalon? Never, but the Pentacle shines where no one else does.
Will pay 300-450$ depends what condition.