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SoundMAGIC ES18 In-Ear Headphones (Black/Red)

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #109 in Universal Fit


Pros: Great Lows and Mids

Cons: Highs


I bought this pair of earphones as a cheap alternative for my broken phone earphones. Once I bought it, I never heard of the brand SoundMagic before yet, and doubted the sound quality and build quality of these things, since this was the first time I heard of the brand. Upon trying it out, it did not sound like a 15$ pair, rather priced more than 15$. Bass is clear, albeit a little bit muddy in some songs, but the mid-range frequencies sound the best. Highs were a little bit shrill, but for it's price, it is really a great bang for the buck. One disadvantage would be that there would be that the stock earbuds did not have that much isolation, so a quick fix by upgrading the ear tips with triple-flange earbuds did the trick. Overall, this pair of earphones is an excellent replacement for your phone's earbuds, or a solid entry-level earphone, that would sound very well for it's price range.


Pros: sound, good mids, price, value

Cons: not that solid build quality, highs

So this is my first ever review. Enjoy!

        I got my es18's for about $15 in my local store on December last year and I've been enjoying them since. SO let's start!




  Packaging is pretty decent for a $15 IEM. It includes 3 eartip sizes(small, medium and large) and a leather-ish carrying pouch that's a little bit too large. Overall, 10/10. Pretty good value for $15! :D




  I got the orange and grey color scheme. It looks quite simple, and cheap. But for $15 what do you expect? 8/10 I guess




  Build quality is average. The earpiece split open after 4 months of use but what do you expect with its price? Cable is a little stiff and cheap too. The Y-splitter is tiny but does its job and the jack is solidly built. Maybe 7/10 for build quality


Now for the SOUND QUALITY:


 After burn-in. these sound absolutely great for $15! First of is the bass. The bass is quite good. Warm sounding but a little bit more than my taste. Mids are the best point of this IEM. Mids are a little forward, smooth and sweet sounding. Highs are the weakest point of this IEM. Highs are recessed, and not very good. Imaging and soundstage is average. I would say... 8/10 for sq




So that's it. Thanks for reading! :) P.S sorry that I don't have pics


Pros: Price is the main factor; did great on mids and lows

Cons: Soundstage, recessed highs


SoundMAGIC ES18- Magic Sound, Magic Price


In this world, there are people who are willing to spend a lot to make sure they enjoy the incredible details and natural vocals drove by their high-end audio equipments. On the other hand, there are also people who just want to listen to music with a decent earphone that cost affordably. No doubt, the SoundMAGIC ES18 falls on this category.


First of all, I would like to thank Li Yan for providing a sample of SoundMAGIC ES18. It is my 2nd SoundMAGIC IEM since I broke my PL11. If you guys notice, the SoundMAGIC company did a great job on their IEMs; the PL11, PL30 and the PL50, are the big three of SoundMAGIC that won them bunch of awards and recommendation from Audiophiles. And now, they came up with their brand new model, ES18, so let's see if it's standard is up to their 'brothers' one.



Image of the SoundMAGIC ES18



The SoundMAGIC ES18 makes a bold statement about making great sound affordable. Thanks to its upgraded 10mm Neodymium drivers and careful sound chamber tuning, the ES18 has a dynamic and refined sound signature that compares favorably to headphones many times its cost. The ES18 exhibits excellent accuracy and strong bass performance, delivering a deliciously full bodied listening experience.

The ES18 is well made with a bonded plastic housing, extended flexible strain relief, and tangle-free cord terminated with a right angle gold plated 3.5mm jack. It is available in three exciting colors of red, green, and orange, and comes with a storage pouch and three pairs of silicone ear tips in small, medium and large sizes.


Transducers: Dynamic 10mm Neodymium Driver

Frequency range: 15Hz22KHz
DC resistance: 16Ω (±10%)
Sensitivity: 100dB/mW @ 1KHz (±2dB)
Cable length: 1.2m (3.5ft)
Connector: 3.5mm gold plated plug
Weight: 11g



After unboxing the small box of ES18 madly (over-excited), I found out that the ES18 came with a rather large (which I believe can insert two RoCoo P and an ES18 at the same time) black synthetic leather pouch with drawstrings. Next it has the silicon eartips of different sizes provided (S/M/L pair). However, I felt that the smallest size fitted me well and isolated most of the outside noise, so I decided to use the smallest pair of Silicon tips throughout this review. (ps. Tips may change the sound you listen). And lastly, I have to always press the IEM into my ear as time passes to make sure it stuck nicely in my ear canal and thus to maximize isolation. My advice, choose a pair of eartip that suit the best of you.


Build Quality:

The first thing that popped out in my mind when I held the ES18 in my hand was the word 'cheap'. The housing is made of plastic and nothing is special about the build quality. Design is just basic and since I got the red/black version, it does look a bit like the Monster Beats Tour if I place it far from me. Well, look is not so important after all, isn't it? However, I guess I have really underestimated it. I used it as my jogging rig and after withstanding all my sweats and impacts, it still serve me well. Loyalty IEM :)


Sound Quality:

I was shocked when I saw some people claimed that it delivers HI-FI standard sounds. And this was the reason why I was so eager to try them out until a point where I unbox it like a mad person. Initial expression was just so-so. However, after 50 hours of burning in, I do hear some significant improvement in ES18.


The SoundMAGIC ES18 is actually a dynamic IEM. It delivers sweet and well balanced sound. It is fast, it is smooth, it is detailed. Thus, I believe this IEM will be working great on pop and rock music.


Lows- The lows/bass of ES18 is well-controlled though at optimum level. Neither too much nor too shy. It feels as if it will always be there when it is needed to be. However, in some songs, I do notice that the bass covers/affects the vocal, making the whole song muddy.


Mids- The sound signature of ES18 is more to upper-mid in my opinion. Full and smooth.


High- Since the ES18 is a low and mid-focused IEM, the high of this IEM tends to be slightly recessed. And this leads to the lack of clarity. The good thing about this is you will not hear any piercing, harshness and maybe slight sparkling from this IEM.  


Soundstage- Soundstage is just about average. Separation and positioning is not obvious.


Conclusion- Do you believe in the quote "You get what you pay for" ? In my opinion, this may be applicable in some cases in ES18. 1. To cut down the cost in order to offer a better price for the casual audiophiles, SoundMAGIC has to sacrifice the build quality and use lower quality cable which produces a lot of unwanted noises when you walk etc. Clip is not provided on ES18. 2. At an asking price of around $15, the ES18 is producing the sound quality of IEMs which are a few times more expensive than it. No doubt, it is following the footstep of the big three of SoundMAGIC. 


So, do you think you get what you pay for, or even more? Your call.



Pros: Price, audio quality

Cons: None at this price point. Sacrificed cord/housing quality for better drivers at a cheaper price point.

This is my first review in the past year of getting in to audio as a hobby. My roots started last year around April when I purchased the SoundMAGIC PL11. I heard my father's various Bose products, which introduced me to the world of high(er)-end audio equipment. Directly comparing The PL11 to the Bose Triport made me realize that my $16 PL11 were nearly as good as my father's $130 Triport, and it lead me to Head-Fi.


The SoundMAGIC ES18 use the same drivers used in the higher end E10. This is a budget-minded 'phone, sacrificing build quality to bring a higher quality sound to the lower income crowd, and they did a marvelous job of doing so. The 'phones aren't as machine-perfect as their higher-end models, but it's still far better than american bang/buck contenders such as Skullcandy, and other cheap low-end in ears saturating the consumer market. Mine shipped with some of the wire insulation stripped at the L plug, but not wire was exposed. No biggie.


The sound is identical to that of the E10. It's perfect for long-term listening. Gently emphasized Low-end, and Mids, slightly recessed highs. I notice a dip around 8khz, and it rolls off gently as it gets higher. Little sparkle, but absolutely no piercing, harshness, or sibilance.


Overall it sounds better than other Head-Fi favorites, such as the PL30/PL50, being newer, better technology, but it lacks the wow-factor that the PL30/50 have with their INCREDIBLE airyness and treble extension.


Comfort is above average, but don't take my word for it. My ears are weird. I owned a pair of Klipsch Image X10 that caused me unnatural amounts of pain, and I'm probably the only person on the planet that had that issue. Fit is just like any other straight-barrel in-ear around the same size as it.


A quick summary of the sound:


well-extended bass with great impact, and attack/decay, and well controlled. Full-bodied mids. Recessed highs around 8khz, and 16khz.

Soundstage is average.

Lacks the clarity, positioning, and treble extension of the older PL models, specifically PL30/PL50, but overall sounds technically superior due to using newer/better drivers.


Music used:


320kbps MP3s using Voodoo mod SGS. Genres include Progressive Metal, Power Metal, Freeform Hardcore, Hard Trance, DNB, Hard Trance, Classical (Baroque concertos, 19th, 20th, and 21st century Minimalist)

SoundMAGIC ES18 In-Ear Headphones (Black/Red)

The SoundMAGIC ES18 makes great sound affordable. Featuring upgraded 10mm Neodymium drivers and a carefully tuned sound chamber, audio performance is equal to earphones several times its cost. The ES18 has excellent clarity and strong bass performance with a dynamic and refined sound signature. An obvious alternative to the bundled earbuds that come with mobile phones and tablets, the ES18 is a perfect partner for portable devices. Features Excellent accuracy and strong bass performance Ideal for portable music players Upgraded 10mm Neodymium drivers Dynamic and refined sound signature Bonded plastic housing, extended flexible strain relief and tangle-free cord What's In The Box? SoundMAGIC ES18 Earphones Silicone eartips in three different sizes (S/M/L)

FeatureComfortable fit and distinctive design
Height6.5 inches
Length2.95 inches
Weight0.02 pounds
Width1.38 inches
List Price$24.95
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
TitleSoundMAGIC ES18 In-Ear Headphones (Black/Red)
Part NumberES18R
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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