I purchased these earphones specifically for my pocket rig, I was looking for something that could be used every day and my buying requirements were simple. First they needed to cost less than £30, and second they needed to sound as good as the stock set from Sony which, as stock earphones go, sound pretty impressive. I was reluctant to pay more than £30 as they were going to be used solely for my pocket rig and would therefore take quite a battering.
I had never tried Sound Magic earphones before and the E10's had only just been released so there were no reviews to guide my decision. Despite being a little over my budget I decided to take a chance and I purchased them from HiFiHeadphones for £34.99 they arrived the next day well packed and with a free Chupa Chups!
Inside the box were three sets of single flange black eartips; small, medium and large, one set of double flange eartips, a nice black draw-string pouch and the earphones. The colour scheme also factored into my decision to purchase these earphones. I really like the red cable and aluminium housing, they look great and I can find them easily in low light, which saves me using starglow paint.
In the image below you can see how well made these earphones are, the aluminium casings are machined and finished to a very high standard. The body of the driver casing measures just 12 mm excluding the eartip stem, and they are 10 mm wide. Inside the earpiece there is an interwoven grille to protect the membrane and located on the outside are two airflow ports. The cable is good quality, almost impossible to tangle and transmits very little noise.
I decided to test the E10's with a track called Magic Sunset Street from the album Housego Remixes by Yoshinori Sunahara using a flat equaliser. The first thing that hit me was how detailed the E10's are. The best way I can describe the sound quality is like this. Imagine you are going to a night club, as you approach the building you can hear the dampened bass resonating through the walls but nothing more (my iPod stock earbuds), then as you enter the building and walk down the corridor the bass becomes much more tighter and you can hear the mids and treble clearly (the Sony stock earbuds), finally at the end of the corridor you reach the door to the club, you open it and... boom, the bass hits you, thump thump thump thump, very tight and controlled, everything is clear and detailed, you feel as though you are in the music.
From what I have heard so far, straight out the box, I would have to say these earphones are excellent value for money and they have far surpassed my expectations. Based on my buying requirements alone; a good sounding budget set of earphones costing less than £30, I would give them 10/10 for sound quality and 10/10 for design and build quality. For a more technical description of the sound quality and photos of the packaging please read ClieOS review here, and visit Sound Magic using the link on the right.