I would like to thank Penon Audio for providing me the Penon OS849 cable for a review. The cable material is made of 6N single crystal copper silver-plated with 8% silver purity. Its thickness is 10 μm and its length is 1.2m. There are 8 cores to this cable with 49 strands per core which result in its name, 849. The solder used is a combination of silver and tin. The jack contains 68% copper. The Penon OS849 I received comes with MMCX connectors and 3.5mm single ended jack. At the moment, you can buy this cable from https://penon-official.com .
The cable is wrapped up nicely and sit in a soft carrying pouch customised by Penon. The pouch has a nice silky feel to it and is light grey in colour. On the case, the “Penon” logo is printed on it. I find the case to be well built and the size is great for portable use.
Cable Design & Build
The MMCX connectors on the cable has a black housing. There is indication of left and right through the blue and red stripe on the surface of the housing respectively. On the connector, there is a grip so you can pull out the connector from your iem. This is a good design as most connectors these days do not have grip on the housing and detaching the cable can be a difficulty. There is no memory wire section. Moving down to the chin slider, it is black and circular in shape. The y-splitter has carbon fibre design and it looks classy. Lastly, the jack has a carbon fibre on it too with strain relief. The overall cable design gives a premium feel and I find it aesthetically pleasing. The cable is quite soft and supple for a 8 core.
Sound Analysis (Compared to Stock Cable)
The sub-bass is slighted extended with an increase in quantity. The rumble is kept at the same pace and the depth is improved. The mid-bass has similar slam but there is more weight to it. The overall bass operates more authoritatively. Decay is quicker and bass is as clean. Bass note takes on a heavier approach and this makes the sound more impactful. Transition from the lows to mids is improved. The bass texture rendered is similar.
The midrange still maintains its transparency. The lowers mids have slightly more body and the upper mids are controlled smoothly with a high level of control. The cable is good for iems with shouty upper mids as it helps to tame it down. The midrange operates in a smoother manner. The details retrieval slightly improves together with the resolution.
The treble extension is maintained and smoothened out. Air and sparkle is retained but the cable adds more body to the treble. I find it very textured. There is no sibilance and harshness. The amount of air is around the same. Treble articulation and definition is being kept and overall, treble sounds more matured with a very tight control.
There is slightly more width in the stage and the depth is maintained. The increase in width helps to improve the positioning of vocals and instruments to avoid congestion. Imaging increases a little bit.
Campfire Audio Andromeda
The sub-bass is extended with more body and there is noticeable change in its depth. The mid-bass is quite similar. Bass texture is being rendered more smoothly. The lower mids on the Andromeda is boosted by the cable as there is more body, thus providing a more full performance. The upper mids become more controlled and it is slightly less forward. The treble becomes smooth and there is less sparkle at the top end. The mastery on the top end is well done with the cable. There is slight increase in the width and depth is maintained. Resolution improves slightly.
The sub-bass is slightly more extended and there is more punch. This results in more impact which improves the dynamics significantly. There is a good mid-bass slam. The lower mids is maintained nicely and the upper mids take a step back yet still retaining the intimacy of vocals. The smoothness helps to give a relaxed feeling when listening to the music and it showcases the control. The treble is less aggressive and sparkle is still retained. There is definition with a high level of details retrieval. The width expands nicely and depth is being kept the same. Resolution is slightly better.
The sub-bass has more quantity and this helps to add more weight to the overall sound. The bass note takes on a heavier approach and this leads to a slower decay. There is still punch but the pace is slower. Mid-bass slam is very impactful. The lower mids has a good amount of body to it and it is very full. The thickness helps male vocals to excel. There is mastery on the upper mids as it is being kept in control. A91 has a smooth treble already and the cable takes the smooth nature of it to another level. The details are still there. In terms of stage, there is a noticeable improvement in the width but depth is maintained. Resolution is quite similar.
The Penon OS849 is a flagship cable from Penon and it is able to deliver with a smooth and organic performance. The lows is particularly boosted and the top end is being controlled with finesse. This cable suits brighter sounding iems as it is able to add smoothness to the highs. The suppleness of the cable provides good usability to the user. Coupled with the craftsmanship, the OS849 is easily one of the recommended cables below 100 USD.