Before starting this review, I would like to share technical aspects and package details.
Also, I would like to thanks to Penon Audio for this great opportunity. Here is the link of the Neo cable; https://penon-official.com/product/penon-neo/
Pure Silver Series
4 shares pure silver braided cable
Carbon fiber material plug and splitter
Lotoo Paw Gold
Tansio Mirai TSMR-3PRO
Package & Design;
Penon Neo cable comes with typical red and blue Penon cartoon box. The contents are almost same as the other Penon cables. It has velvet pouch, wooden case, metal clip and nylon strip inside of the box. This is more than enough for a cable content. When open the box, rounded wooden case says hi to you and like other Penon box, it feels premium with this presentation.
Neo cable is one of the most ergonomic cable I’ve ever seen. Some of you guys know Linum Bax cable, and Neo’s softness is similar with Linum cable. It is like a wool strand and it is pretty light, you can wear it but can’t feel it. Cable itself is 4 braided pure silver and color is also silver like as material. It has black carbon fiber material plug and splitter on the cable. As far as I know, there is no customization option for y splitter or jack, but it already looks gorgeous with black and silver combination. My cable has 2.5mm jack and 2pin sockets but you may select MMCX, 4.4mm, 3.5mm or some other options as well. Overall, I am very pleased with the package content, ergonomic of the cable and material quality of the Neo.
Neo’s most improved part on the earphones are definitely the top frequencies. As expected from the silver cable, the upper frequencies are very detailed and prominent. Neo drastically improved my Fibae-2’s top frequencies, and clearly extended. I think I’m going to use Neo with my Fibae 2. I also need to say that it improves resolution and detail level of the earphone. Micro details are more pronounced and easily audible. I’ve also tried the Neo cable with the other 3 earphones in my hand, and certainly all of them have made significant progress in the higher frequencies. Also, the coherence of the cable with the earphone is extremely successful. It is not overwhelming or splashy, and does not have harshness on the upper trebles. It has nice sparkle and control.
Mid frequencies are slightly behind and in a linear pattern. It’s definitely making progress in detail and resolution. In this region, I expected some notes would play from thinner side, but Neo has a pretty good body and weight. There is enough weight on the lower mids, and mid basses can provide satisfying level of hits and rumble. Nevertheless, I would like to mention that there is not a hard hit like copper cable as I thought. It pushes the vocals back a bit and positions them in the center of the stage. Both male and female vocals are clean clear. Tonality is not cold or clinic, but there is no sweet and warm presentation like copper as well. Neo’s transparency level is also extremely good. Clarity and separation are pretty impressive at this price.
The bass is the most surprising area at in Neo. I thought it will be a little light and stay behind of the other frequencies, but it has quite authoritarian and clear bass hits. I like the cable in this sense. The extension of the bass is good and it has a better extension and body than some SPC and copper cable. It is tight and controlled which doesn’t make the sound wobbly. Again, I would like to point out that it is not as meaty and warmth as like copper cable, but is not as a typical silver too. It is not bass light or weak in body. Overall, I like its tight and controlled character that improves the musicality.
Another good feature of the Silver Cable is its positive effect on the stage. Unlike the copper wire, it opens the stage wideness and in depth. The scene is quite spacious and has a very wide and deep. Again, Fibae2 doesn’t have super spacious soundstage but Neo opens the stage and spreads the instruments to a wider area.
Neo vs BTG Starlight:
BTG Starlight is one of my favorite budget friendly cable and I found some similarities with Neo. Both cables are 4 braided and they look similar but Neo is much more comfortable and it has better feeling in the hand. BTG is silver plated cable and Neo is pure silver. They are differing in material but they have some similarities in sound. Both cables upper frequencies are extended well and they both airy, but Neo has better resolution and detail retrieval which creates spacious presentation. Mids are more forward on BTG and a little bit smoother and warmer than the Neo. Neo is more laid back in vocals and a little bit colder in this area. Vocals are more forward, organic and smooth with BTG, while Neo is more centered on the stage with laid back presentation. Bass is similar in tonality but BTG has more weight and punch on this area, but there is not a big difference. Neo has better control and is tighter than BTG. Soundstage is similar but Neo is a bit wider and airier than BTG. Both cables are great in terms of sound performance, but Neo has better details and resolution in overall.
Neo vs Rhapsodio Sakura:
Like BTG Starlight, Rhapsodio Sakura is also silver-plated copper cable and it has similar price with Neo. Sakura is stiffer than Neo and it is slightly tangling sometimes, while Neo has a great ergonomic and is better in material feeling. Sound wise, Sakura is warmer and its sound profile showing a tendency to a copper cable while Neo is brighter and colder when I compare side by side. Neo’s upper frequencies are better in every aspect. It has better resolution, extends better and has more sparkle. Sakura also extends well but its warmer tonality feels more compressed on this area. Mid presentation is way different than each other. Sakura has meaty and forward presentation while Neo has laid back placed middle of the upper and lower frequencies. Sakura sounds more organic and natural, while Neo is neutral with more technical. Bass is absolutely more authoritative with Sakura. It’s reaches deeper and has better rumble. Neo is also going deep but doesn’t match with Sakura in this regard. Neo has wider and deeper soundstage. Sakura has more limited and narrower soundstage than the Neo. Both cables are great and they are addressing different types of sound, so it’s up to you to chose for your best.
Market price is going up in every new cable release and now good silver cable price is starting from 300USD to endless. Neo’s sound performance is great for its price and it has proved that you don’t have to spend lots of money for a silver cable. Of course, there are better silver cables out there but they are way expensive I’ve some serious question about their retail prices. If you want to upgrade your stock cable and looking for a good sound quality with reasonable price, just add the Neo in your list. Sounds great, looking great, price great. Also, its ergonomic material is super easy to wear it.