Driving and pairing:
At 16 ohms nominal impedance and 105dB sensitivity at 1mW, the Rai Solo are extremely easy to power and deliver decent performance from most mobile sources. My Samsung Galaxy S9 drove them easily, using about 60% volume at my preferred listening levels.
The sound quality didn’t seem to be noticeably affected for better or worse when switching-over to Earstudio’s ES100 mobile DAC/amp, playing FLAC files via Bluetooth over Sony’s LDAC codec. I used Chord’s Mojo for the bulk of the review period, as the Chord tended to sweetly smooth-out the highest register, for a slightly less brittle, ‘digital’ sound and overall better refinement.
The Rai Solo also performed-well with Apple’s USB-C to 3.5mm ‘dongle’, providing more-than-comfortable volume at around 30% on my source’s digital volume control.
Net-net: you’ll be able to eke-out a true performance from the Rai Solo from most sources with the need for huge amounts of power or exotic digital sources.
The Rai Solo is another piece of refined, yet eye-catching industrial design from Meze Audio that feels premium beyond its price-point. Underneath that subtly polished steel lies a forward, energetic sonic signature that will ultimately prove controversial for some, yet may feel like ‘nirvana’ for others. Particularly lovers of energetic rock and instrumental music will appreciate the lashings of energy in the presence region.
At their $249 price-point, the Rai Solo feels like a veritable bargain in terms of the trickle-down design, manufacturing learning and premium presentation of their bigger brother. The more forward, treble energetic presentation for me personally makes it harder to consider it as a daily driver. But, for some of you, they might sound like just the ticket – depending on how spicy you like your music served.
One thing is for certain – the Rai Solo certainly isn’t dull.