Shozy was initially known to be such incredible designer of digital audio players and for some time, they have had quite a success with their works, with the Alien being the most popular among their works. No wonder there, they seem to have a knack on how to properly tune their DAPs. For a few years, they have had success until recently when they started designing their in-ear monitors and earbuds.
Great thing about Shozy is their proclivity to details, as their works has pretty much been as detailed as you can get if you compare the product to its relevant price point. Having tried the Alien, Alien+, Cygnus and the Zero, I kind of expected that any releases from the brand would normally carry its typical approach especially for the IEMs and earbuds, that is, typically plays along the trebles in such details while ensuring that lows and mids will not fall behind albeit a little bit conservative on such.
Having been given a chance to try out one of Shozy’s recent releases, the Pentacle, kind of threw me off. Upon trying it, it didn’t carry the usual tonality Shozy use to play with their IEMs or earbuds. Much as the Pentacle might have been a bit different, I still think that Shozy played with their tradition of making sure that their customers enjoy what they hear of a Shozy earbud or IEM.
Given that, let’s take the Pentacle for a spin.
Build & Packaging
Given the price point, I expect no less than an excellent packaging off the Pentacle. Sure, there are some models and brands who would prefer to be stingy with the packaging in terms of cost even if those are within the same price point as the Pentacle, but part of the fun is opening a freshly delivered toy in any case, and Pentacle did quite some justice when it comes to that. While stored in a nice, decent box, the Pentacle also comes with a faux leather storage huge enough to have quite an ample space for the IEM together with the accessories. We had a bit of fun opening the packaging.
Upon opening the box, we found the accessories to be somewhat decent; not really bad but we thought it would have been a plus if it did include several more tips. Sure the ones included are nice, but I would have preferred longer ones to sit nicely on my ears.
The included cable is an SPC type of cable terminated with a nice 0.78mm 2-pin terminals which is quite easier to identify since one is marked as red for the right one while the left one is marked as black. Pretty intuitive, I must say, something that other IEM manufacturers tend to miss. It would have been better if the cable has sort of tangle-proof capability as I find it easily tangles up on my pocket, thus the need for a smaller, for compact case to avoid such.
The packaging also includes a 6.3mm adapter, which is nice, and an airplane adapter, something I don’t see much use these days. Might be useful someday, but for now I really don’t see much sense adding one.
What was truly mesmerizing were the earpieces as you open the box. Shozy clear kept in mind to use a really elegant design for something truly amazing, and they did some numbers with the Pentacle. While the design and pattern of the plate isn’t really uncommon, but the polished finished indeed add some premium to the overall look of the Pentacle.
I liked how well built the shells are, what that nice acrylic material with a clear inner shell that proudly brags about the 5 BA drivers used for the IEM. I also liked the Pentacle sporting metallic nozzle that fits a fine mesh that protects the IEM from debris to accumulate inside the earpieces. Fit may be subjective to the user, but to me it kind of worked well, thankfully enough.
The faux leather case is indeed a welcome inclusion to the packaging, but being on-the-go, it might have been useful if a smaller, sturdier storage case was included in the thing. Not much of a complaint, but it really is more of a want than a need for me.
Overall, Shozy indeed put on a show when unboxing the Pentacle. It was classy, it was fun, and the experience alone when unboxing is already worth a lot for the price you paid for it.
A Very Unusual Sound
While talking to Shozy, I was informed that the Pentacle shies away from the usual Shozy house sound. I was curious and asked him to elaborate only to be met with the statement that I should try it out to see for myself. I had to wait for a few days to figure out what he meant, and once the Pentacle arrived, it was pretty clear what he was saying. While Shozy’s house sound would lean to somewhat a brighter spectrum, the Pentacle did carry a heavier emphasis on the lower frequencies.
Overall, the most prominent thing you will notice is definitely the bass. While it carries quite an excellent quality of bass, I find it to be too bassy to my liking. Then again, as I have said, it may been bassy but the quality it offers is quite unusual from typical bass-oriented IEMs. While it comes as something a bit powerful, it still manages to carry a very good detail as to how it defined the said frequency. Sub-bass is very easy to discern against the mid-bass, and is interesting to see how it is presented in such way.
While bass is the most noticeable thing here, I really liked how mid-range is done for the Pentacle. You see, some IEMs go overboard by keeping the mids too forward. Not the case for Pentacle, as it allowed a certain level of mids quantity in such a controlled manner that it easily harmonizes with the rest of the frequencies. It does present some emphasis, but is not overbearing.
Treble is very smooth with the Pentacle. I felt such a level of richness enough to be tolerated even by those who has low tolerance to treble yet it allows impressive quality off the high end.
Soundstage isn’t exactly the best there is in comparison to other IEMs, but I must say that while the Pentacle is more of an intimate sounding IEM, it still allows enough staging for my test tracks.
Imaging is also excellent for my taste. I liked how well defined the positioning of the sound off the Pentacle, adding to that enjoyable sense of realism off the IEM. Best to try orchestral tracks with the Pentacle (I tried John Williams in this case) to understand what I am trying to say here.
Overall, for something priced below $500, I think the Pentacle is an exceptional buy, at least if speaking about the sound alone. Add the fact that the Pentacle is built so well makes it an IEM quite tough to beat in the said price point.
- Baby Can I Hold You – Tracy Chapman (Tracy Chapman)
- Self Esteem – The Offspring (Greatest Hits)
- Stormy Monday – Eva Cassidy (Live At Blues Alley)
While I have observed a few opportunities, I still find the Pentacle a great catch for $500. It details pretty well, offers an enjoyable musical experience, and looks as if it can withstand punishment for a few years. If you happen to be someone who likes a hefty low frequency off your IEM and is planning to invest on a good one, the Pentacle should be a serious choice. I would even daresay that should Pentacle’s tonality appeals you, then you may have find yourself a keeper at least in the next few years. And with the option to go custom, Pentacles makes an even better choice.