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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 with other sources with 2.5mm balanced output.
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.
- 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
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)
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
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.
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.
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 Jones 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:
Vs. NiceHCK EBX :
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.
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 that there is no clear winner.
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