Meze Rai Solo is an IEM equipped with one dynamic driver. It is basically a younger brother of Meze Rai Penta. Rai Solo is priced at 249USD.
Sound quality for the price
Meze always cares about the handcrafting quality and the overall design of their products.
It’s the same this time, Rai Solo is packed inside the black box with the window on the front where you can see the earphones themselves. The box is opened from the right side and is locked with magnets. When opened, the leather case and the earphone themselves appear. Inside one of the best looking earphone cases I’ve ever seen you’ll find 13 pairs of silicon eartips.
I felt in love with Rai Solo when I saw it for the very first time. Pretty big metal shells made of two pieces with tooled and black painted Meze logo. The icing on the cake are coloured in red and blue (depends on the channel) nozzles and MMCX connectors. For me, it’s a masterpiece of design.
The earphone is very well made, with the highest precision. MMCX connectors are stiff enough to not rotate by themselves.
The cable is terminated with 3,5mm jack folded at more than 90 degrees. Unfortunately, the cable gets tangled very easily.
Each earbud is medium sized, but they are very flat so they don’t stick out of your ears. That’s nice, but their shape can be a bad choice for people with huge ears. I have a hole between the earphone and some parts of the ear so with bad matched tips they were easy to fall out, especially when I was smiling.
In my opinion, the cable’s standoffs are too stiff, but it can be helpful if Rai Solo would try to fall out of your ear. It is irritating for me in the mask times, especially when I’m wearing glasses. It’s great for long sessions, but if you have to take an iem out from time to time, it can be amusing.
Meze Rai Solo are one of the most tips dependent earphones I’ve ever used. With stock tips that have very wide nozzles, they sound neutral with higher midrange stepping at front. With spinfits they began to be way brighter, with very recessed bass and vocals. On the other hand, Dekoni foam tips changed Solo playstyle to something maybe not dark but set really close to that. Also, the scene depends on the tips, but these aren’t such big differences. Anyway it’s playing inside the head, but imaging and separation are great.
Sound description below is written using bi-flange stock tips.
The bass is kinda lacking, without such a great strike, so it is not providing much fun in its playstyle. It is exact, fast as a full frequency range dynamic driver, and in overall it is neutral. It doesn’t beat the beat at all, it’s not the main part of the sound, it just exists. It’s weaker than Rai Penta’s bass, weaker even than FiiO FH5, but I can’t tell there are no low frequencies. They show up when there are only a few instruments playing.
The midrange is recessed, male vocals are covered by the rest of the sound. It is also muddy and detailed in one moment, starts without much enthusiasm, but ends each musical note fast to let the next one sound out from the beginning. That’s weird behaviour, but for me, it’s kinda comfy to listen to. The higher midrange is faster compared to the lower part. It stands on the front for the most time, because of that Rai Solo sometimes sounds brightened. On the other hand, the higher part has very good detail reproduction, it’s very precious in all piano themes.
The treble is smooth, but not delicate at all. It can cut through the rest of the sound without watching out for the bass and midrange, but it also can sing in the background without bothering the others frequencies. It’s very neutral, I wouldn’t call it natural because it’s too digital. As an advantage, details are on a very high level, slightly better than Ikko OH10.
The soundstage is poor when it comes to its width. It’s playing only to the right and left, but with great imaging and distance distinction. It delicately opens with quiet music, but as the number of details increases, it returns to one line, although the separation is still at a good level. The main sound source is placed in the middle of the head, it’s sometimes running further, but not as far as FiiO FH5 or even FH3.
I love Meze products, I love them all – even Rai Solo which isn’t their best. It’s decent. It sounds neutral with narrow soundstage, the cable gets tied easily, but they look wonderful and are pretty comfortable. Sound signature goes well with iBasso DX160 which is loading some fun inside Meze Rai Solo, but I would discuss if it is worth 249$.
Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
- Headphones – Meze Rai Penta, Noble Audio Sage, Fiio FH5, FiiO FH3, Ikko OH10,
- Sources– iBasso DX160, Earman TR-Amp, iFi iDSD Micro Black Label, Topping NX4DSD, iFi Hip Dac