The Penon CS819 Review
The Penon CS819 Upgrade Cable;
Attention to Detail!
About Penon Co.:
Penon Co. is a Hong Kong based Company specialized in production of IEM’s, earbuds and cables for the audiophile community.
This sample was provided to me by Penon Co. for the purpose of an honest review. I am not affiliated with Penon Co. or any third person beyond this review and all these words reflect my true and unaltered, opinions about the product.
The MSRP price for the Penon CS819 with standard 3.5mm headphone jack is $49.90 USD, while the variant with 2.5mm Balanced headphone jack cost $55,00 USD, which can be purchased under the following link;
Purchase Link: https://penon-official.com/product/penon-cs819/
Package and Accessories:
The Penon CS819 upgrade cable came in a blue cardboard box that sports the company logo and brand name on the top. This box is containing the following items;
- 1 pcs x Penon CS819 Upgrade Cable
- 1 pcs x Wood Case
- 1 pcs x Shirt Clip
- 1 pcs x Cable wrap
- 2 pairs x Velvet Fabrics
The round wooden box has a luxurious appearance and is very well made.
The cable is extra protected from scratches with two velvet fabrics, which can be found inside the wooden case.
There is also a metal shirt clip and a cable wrapper with Penon logo, which are a nice addition.
- OCC & silver-plated Mixed Braided IEM cable
- 8 shares, single share is 19 cores, a total of 8 × 19
- Silver carbon fiber alloy splitter, CNC integrated alloy slider
- The solder joints is silver–contained tin
- Copper Gold-plated plug
- Cable length: 1.2M
Design and Build Quality:
The Penon CS819 is made of high purity copper (OCC) and silver plated cooper (SPC) wire material, which has 8 cores with 19 strands per core. This combination is explaining the why Penon was choosing this model number (8 core and 19 strands = CS819).
The Penon CS819 has two connector options, which are the 0.78mm 2 Pin and the MMCX (Micro Miniature Coaxial) variants.
The cable has a transparent TPU coating, which feels nice in your hands and that has very low microphonic effect.
The silver colored metal housing of the MMCX connectors has a carbon fiber pattern with red & blue indicators, which represent an eye-catching design.
The cable has a straight profiled 2.5mm balanced headphone jack (a 3.5mm single ended variant is also available), which has this nice looking metal housing with a carbon fiber pattern and the brand name/logo printed on the surface.
The cable sports a circular, plain metal chin slitter and a Y-Splitter that shares the same material and design language like the rest of the cable, with its carbon fiber pattern. The cable model information “CS819” is printed on the surface of this y splitter.
My only complain could come to the y splitter which makes the cable slightly heavy.
Equipments used for this review:
- Cable and IEM’s : Penon CS891, Campfire Audio Comet , iBasso IT01, Semkarch SKN-CNT1, Final E4000
- Digital Sources : Cayin N5II, Xduuo XD10 Poke, Audirect Beam, Samsung Galaxy S9
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Minor Empire – Bulbulum Altin Kafeste (Spotify)
- London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Steve Srauss – Mr. Bones (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
- GoGo Penguin – Fanfares (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Adam Taylor – Colour to the Moon (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Casey Abrams – Robot Lover (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Liqid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Metallica – Sad bu True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Future Heroes – Another World (Tidal Hi-fi)
- Lorde – Team (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Deeperise feat. Jabbar – Move On (Spotify)
The main sound attraction of the Penon CS819 upgrade cable is that it is adding the source a nice warmth, sweat and natural vocal presentation and additional musicality.
The following impressions about all sound improvements are based to comparisons with the stock cables of the Campfire Audio Comet, iBasso IT01, Final Audio E4000 and the Semkarch SKN-CNT1.
This review is written after a burn-in period of approx. 100 hours.
The sub-bass area is one of the strengths of the Penon CS819, because it is adding the source additional sub-bass depth and extension. Maybe it can’t compete with 200 / 300 USD cables, but performs ways above its price point.
The bass of the CS819 has also additional speed and control compared to the stock cables of each IEM I have used during this review. The rendering of detail and resolution is on a pretty good level due the increase in bass speed.
The mid-bass area is represented with additional speed, extension and emphasis without any noticeable slowdown and muddiness. Instruments like drums, contrabass, bass guitar and other similar accented instruments sounding pretty musical and controlled.
The midrange of the Penon CS819 is slightly warm, musical, a bit thick and sweet sounding. Female vocals sounding soft and lush, while male vocals have a nice depth. Male vocals sounding more detailed and pronounced than female voices due the lower midrange extension.
The midrange transparency of the CS819 is above average and is improving the definition of instruments. The midrange sounds pretty controlled, avoiding any sibilance and harshness during the presentation of the vocal and instruments.
The upper midrange of the CS819 has a soft character and a controlled presentation, while presenting some instruments like violins, without any remarkable annoying sparkle or harshness.
The treble presentation of the Penon CS819 is ideal for those who are sensitive to the treble range. The Treble range has not the same emphasis like the lower frequency area (sub-bass, bass, mid-bass) and has shares less extension, but is otherwise successful in terms of quantity and detail.
The treble character is on the ticker side and sound pretty musical. The treble tonality is not very bright or too hot, which makes a longer listening period possible.
The airiness of the treble range is above average, which makes the Penon CS819 fairly successful in this regarding.
The Penon CS819 has a soundstage, which is pretty suitable for the placement for lots of instruments. The soundstage of the CS819 has a moderate expansion, while it shows slightly more wideness than depth.
The improvement in sound quality, especially in the bass department and in terms of overall detail and resolution over the stock cables I have tested is very noticeable. I can recommend the CS819 those who want an improving in the sound quality, but also expect good workmanship and aesthetics for a relative reasonable price.
Pros and Cons:
- + Noticeable improvement in sound quality
- + Aesthetics,
- + Great build quality
- + Attention to detail
- + Price
- – The y splitter looks grate but is a bit heavy