New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

[REVIEW] SoundMAGIC PL21

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 


Spec
Driver: 9mm Dynamic
Impedance: 12 Ω
Sensitivity: 97dB±2 dB / mW @ 1kHz
Frequency Response: 15Hz~22kHz
Plug: Gold-plated L-shaped mini plug
Weight: 8g
Cable: 1.2m



Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality
PL21 comes in a similar style packaging as PL50, differentiating both from the older generation of SoundMAGIC's IEM. If anything, they do look more upscale than their price tags suggested. Inside, there are four pair of silicone single flange eartips (S, M, L, XL) and three pair of foam tips (S, M, L), warranty card, shirt clip, soft pouch and a pair of ear hook.



Build quality wise, PL21 is almost on par with PL50: the Y-splitter design is identical, but PL50 does have a slightly thicker cable and a similar but stronger mini plug. PL21's earpieces are similar to PL20, but smaller, prettier and have a slight angled nozzle.



Microphonics is about average on PL21, but the inclusion of shirt clip, ear hook and the angled nozzle make it easier to wear it over-the-ear which should ground any microphonics problem. Isolation is a tiny bit below average on the stock eartips, but better on the foam tips. I end up using Sony Hybrid clone (sourced from eBay) which gives a slightly better seal and isolation compared to the stock eartips. Overall, PL21 has one of the best build quality on all the $20-ish IEM I have seen.



Sound Quality
As usual, a minimum of 50 hours burn-in was carried out before the audition. As mentioned above, I used the Sony Hybrid clone eartips for the review. Though they are clone, the sonic signature is actually almost identical, which tend to absorb a tiny bit on the top end while gives a more solid bass, turning the sound slightly warmer and smoother. For PL21, it doesn't sound slightly less airy than the stock tips, but the gain on a more solid mid and bass performance due to a better seal is still an overall improvement IMO.

The overall sound signature is warm to slight dark, musical, smooth, and has a small emphasis on the mid. Bass extends very deep, does rumbling sub-bass better than any IEM of its class while retaining very good control. Quantitatively not a bass monster but it does show a good bass impact and body. Mid is full, a little forward and vocal is sweet, no sibilance to speak of. Treble has a decent extension but lacks sparkle to show fine detail. Soundstage is about average.



Conclusion
Well priced, well built, and a good sound - PL21 is one very solid IEM in the $20 range. As an overall package, perhaps it even rivals most of the sub-$40 options out there as one of the best all-arounder.

A quick sum up can be found here.

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 13
maybe can grab this iem for sleeping use :P lolx
post #3 of 13
thanks for review ^^
post #4 of 13
Great review as always ClieOS !

Even I've got a PL-21 as well as MP-21 review samples lying around ,all I need to do is find some time now.(hooked to the Quattro's and PL-50 right now )

For the brief period i tried them I loved the PL-21, the sound is amazing compared to any other under 40$ earphone and in my opinion comes pretty close to the PL-30 , the bass infact better For 20$ they are a total steal . I am planning to keep them as my backup /gym IEMs .Wouldn't want to risk a 100-200$ IEM while working out .
post #5 of 13
I like the PL21 with Jays black silicone tips which restore some sparkle in the highs and have a good soundstage. Nice imaging and a fun presentation down low. Like Faheem, I think the bass is a bit better than the PL30. Wonder what Soundmagic has coming in the new year?
post #6 of 13
^ seconded. Used the PL21 with J-Jays tips for most of my run with them and they sounded great. Thanks for the review, ClieOS.
post #7 of 13

So which has better bass the PL/MP21s or the PL11's? 

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Quantitative wise, PL11 has more bass; qualitatively wise, PL21 has better control. It really depends how you define 'better'. Personally I will go for PL21, but if you want a little more bass, PL11 is probably more fitting.

post #9 of 13

are they considered upgrade to vsonic GR99 in terms of overall sound quality?

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by airomjosh View Post

are they considered upgrade to vsonic GR99 in terms of overall sound quality?

 

No, I'll consider PL21 a step down from GR99/

post #11 of 13

I find these to be overly warm, with too much veil, a real lack of clarity, and a real lack of articulate bass. Likewise the pl30s (though with these I had a far better fit). I honestly think these are overpriced, as they don't compete with phones half the price.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JVineaux View Post

I find these to be overly warm, with too much veil, a real lack of clarity, and a real lack of articulate bass. Likewise the pl30s (though with these I had a far better fit). I honestly think these are overpriced, as they don't compete with phones half the price.

 

To be fair, these are old phones and the thread was resurrected form the middle of 2010. More fair, and interesting, to talk about the ES20 which at least is a current model and representative of the current crop. Hopefully a solid $20 range phone in 2009 doesn't compete well in 2013 or we aren't advancing :)

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jant71 View Post

 

To be fair, these are old phones and the thread was resurrected form the middle of 2010. More fair, and interesting, to talk about the ES20 which at least is a current model and representative of the current crop. Hopefully a solid $20 range phone in 2009 doesn't compete well in 2013 or we aren't advancing :)

Fair enough. I'm just a little bit annoyed with these (well, the pl30 specifically) because I bought them for £30  after the hype a few years ago, and they were my only usable iems for about 6 months. I never really liked them, and ditched them as soon as I could. Even then, their sound was nothing special and there were better alternatives.

 

Though I completely agree cheap phones can compete well with older ones now.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Gear mentioned in this thread: