Meze RAI Solo Receives StereoNET Applause Award
The RAI Solo is Meze’s affordable offering aimed at an already popular entry-level in-ear market. With this in mind, StereoNET set out to decide whether the new earphone has what it take to shake up the status quo.
Prior to penning the article Jens was already a self-confessed Meze fan, having sampled the 99 Classics and later the Empyrean planar magnetic headphones at StereoNET’s 2019 Hi-Fi Show in Australia and dubbing them the "best pair of headphones [he'd] listened to."
In his review, Jens takes us on a tour of the RAI series heritage, describing the origins of the RAI Penta, plus the trickle-down of technology and insight culminating in Meze’s RAI Solo model.
In particular Jens pays close attention to the hand-finished, injection moulded metal enclosures which have been specially crafted by Meze for precision durability and finesse, and how each MMCX connector is also furnished with matched colour rings to determine left and right channel stereo flow.
Details like these are expected in a flagship four-figured product, but not in an entry-level release. Each of the hand-finished enclosures looks and feel like no other IEM I’ve ever experienced…
Build, fit and finish are remarkable at the price
Jens runs through some of the key differences between the RAI Solo and Penta variations – unlike the hybrid driver configuration employed in the Penta model, the RAI Solo features a new dynamic driver featuring Meze’s unique 'Pistonic Motion' technology. He also notes that the Solo’s ergonomics have clearly been tuned up for long listening sessions, exquisite comfort and impressive isolation...
The ergonomics deserve applause here – these are some of the most comfortable and well crafted IEM enclosures on the market today.
On test, our reviewer pairs the RAI Solos with a number of different signal chain options before settling on a Chord DAC and musical material from artists such as Beck and Lucoricoris.
Below is a short excerpt from Jens’ description of the RAI Solos’ performance during playback –
The main emphasis is on natural, clean sound; which is worthy of acclaim when many competitors in this price bracket are addicted to midbass humps that are overwhelming and difficult to escape.
The delicate and sweet midrange is dripping with detail, and the top end shines with an energetic, focused and sparkly presence that helps bring vocals right to the front of the mix.
While Jens notes that the RAI Solo stops short of offering ‘mountains’ of bass, he notes the IEM’s uncanny ability to translate emotion and feeling from the music - particularly evident in Beck’s Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime from Sea Change:
There is no hint of congestion, muddiness or smearing, and the orchestral moments are ones that will cause the hair on the back of your neck to stand up.
SCV were delighted to read that, powered by Jens’ experience with these rather fetching in-ears, the Meze Audio RAI Solos have been awarded an official StereoNET Applause Award.
Summing up, Jens words on the earphones’ talents and budget friendliness speak for themselves –
If you’re in the market for an IEM that’s a little bit fancy – yet you don’t want to break the bank – then this superb value design could well be the candidate for you.