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Review | SoundMAGIC E10

post #1 of 98
Thread Starter 

 

SoundMAGIC E10

 

Soundmagic is building up quite a reputation for budget-fi products.  Their latest entry into the fray is the E10.  It is a barrel styled dynamic driver offering at just $35.  Is it a giant killer?  How good can a $35 phone be?  Let’s find out…

 

smpouch.jpg

 

Soundmagic seems to have phased out the hard case they used to include and instead offer a pleather pouch with drawstring.  While I know many prefer hard cases, I really like nice pouches for toting in a jacket or jean pocket.  This pouch is very nice but a little larger than necessary, so I plan on using it with my new custom Merlins when they finally arrive.  Also included is a nice selection of various tips.  For most IEM’s I’ve found larges to give me the best seal but with both the new E10 and my old PL30, the mediums work best to give me a deeper fit and better bass response.  I’ve yet to try any different tips.  The cable is the standard SM offering.  It is pretty stiff and rubbery feeling and tangles fairly easily but at this price and with the kind of sound quality the E10 offers, I’m not complaining.

 

Bass is nothing short of spectacular for its class.  It’s the perfect blend of mid bass punch and sub bass rumble.  Kicks sound off with authority and bass guitars thump their driving beats.  The bass is tight and extended, if a bit on the soft side with respectable speed and nice decay; which works really well with the overall sound signature.  I find it just right for my preferences.

 

The midrange is pushed forward of neutral.  Bass does not bleed into the midrange, leaving you with a nice and clean vocal.  Distortion guitars have nice forward bite (nowhere as good as the GR07 or FXT90 but good in their own right).  Pianos sound very good and are placed forward in the mix.

 

Treble has very nice sparkle but does take a slight backseat to the bass and midrange.   However it isn’t what I’d call recessed or laid back.  I’d say its presence is somewhere between the Atrio MG7 and GR07, leaning much closer to the Atrios.  Perhaps slightly relaxed with sparkle is good descriptor for the treble.

 

Soundstage is pretty wide and depth is good.  Dynamics are very good and the E10 sounds great for low level listening as well as ‘rocking out’ levels.  Instrument realism isn’t on the level of my favorite JVC offerings but it is no slouch considering its class bracket.  Clarity is great for such an inexpensive, bass oriented phone.

 

The E10 just sounds great with any recordings I throw at it, from classic rock, metal, pop and country.  It has a fun, punchy and clear sound that is certainly better than anything at $35 has a right to be!  I cannot recommend the E10 enough.  This one is a keeper.

 

smblur.jpg

 

Tip recommendations:

Meelectronics extra long single flange.  They come in Meelec's M11+ 10 pack but if you contact Meelec, they will sell them in 4 packs.

See link for a picuture: http://www.meelec.com/MEElectronics_Original_Eartips_for_M11_Earphones_p/tipset10-m11-bk-mee.htm

I get a deeper fit and better seal, resulting in better sub bass response while maintaining maximum clarity.


Edited by shotgunshane - 1/15/12 at 11:46am
post #2 of 98

I do own a pair of Soundmagic e10 in the process of being burnt-n. These tiny barrel-shaped phones are amazing for the price. I could not recommend them more so I totally agree with the review. Mine are red althought they look like cheap toys , they deliver a very decent soundstage, Perhaps their weakest point is isolation. I have to raise the volume of my 5th and 4th gen ipods almost to the limit to keep the ambient sounds out while commuting but it's way different while walking. You can probably fix the issue buying hi-quality foam adapters such as comply foam tips which aren't available in my country (Chile)

 

EDIT: They stopped working after 2 years due to cable breaking below the metal 104 "Y" cable junction. I will consider recabling perhaps buying a lesser Soundmagic model to use the cable to fix it or a crappy set of phones with a good cable to do a more intelligent sacrifice. That shows how much I love them


Edited by egosumlux - 8/23/13 at 12:03am
post #3 of 98

I have the PL30 and I'm not so impressed with them:(

 

I might get the E10 since they are not too expensive anyway.

post #4 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by egosumlux View Post

I do own a pair of Soundmagic e 10 in thye process of being burnt-n. These tiny barrel-shaped phones are mazing for the price. I could not recommend them more so I totally agree with the review. Mine are red althought they look like cheap toys , they deliver a very decent soundstage, Perhaps their weakest point is isolation. I have to raise the volume of my 5th and 4th gen ipods almost to the limit to keep the ambient sounds out while commuting but it's way different while walking. You can probably fix the issue buying hi-quality foam adapters such as comply foam tips which aren't available in my country (Chile)


Isolation is average for vented dynamic drivers, which is to say not a strong point.  I need to test a variety of tips to see if it can be improved.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by yliu View Post

I have the PL30 and I'm not so impressed with them:(

 

I might get the E10 since they are not too expensive anyway.


The E10 is a good step or two above the PL30 in every aspect.  The PL30 is decent for its $23 asking price but the E10 punches way above its $35 asking price.

 

post #5 of 98
post #6 of 98

Which one is better : E10 or E30?

post #7 of 98
Thread Starter 

It's not a matter of which is better but which sound signature you want. The E10 has more bass presence and more forward mids and the E30 will have a little more treble and sound more balanced and leaner/clearer over all. 

post #8 of 98

Okay, then which ones has larger soundstage?

post #9 of 98
Thread Starter 

According to DFKT, who has a/b'd them, the E10 but nothing night and day.

 

The E30 is only worn over the ear and the E10 can be worn either way, if that's something that matters to you. I don't think you can go wrong with either. 

post #10 of 98

Ordered Xears Ultraphille.I'll have to send my fxt90 back, because of the right earphone. It is playing at noticibly lower volume.

post #11 of 98

After weeks of checking tests and reading reviews, I've decided to get a pair of these. My only concern right now is the color. According to their website and also other websites, they're available in 4 different colors. Black + gold, black + red, purple + black and silver + black.

 

E10optioncolors.jpg

 

My question is, what color did you get these in? Because I've seen several photographs/renders of these kind of brownish E10's, but I'm wondering if that is an actual color available for sale?

 

The reason I'm asking this is because I want to use these outdoors and I don't want the to be too conspicuous, hehe. biggrin.gif The gold and purple one are not even an option. The red one, perhaps.


Edited by deefit - 1/12/12 at 4:32pm
post #12 of 98
Thread Starter 

I have the gunmetal and black. I prefer the understated look. I haven't seen the brownish renders. 

post #13 of 98

E10SMALL1.jpg

 

These are the ones. They look kinda brownish/copperish. I've seen them on various websites, but they're not an actual colorscheme I believe.

post #14 of 98
Thread Starter 

Huh, that's not bad.  Certainly better than gold or purple.  I'll still stick with black and gunmetal.

 

BTW, SoundMagic is scheduled to release the microphone/iphone control version at the end of month (E10m) for $5.

post #15 of 98

You can find the brown version for sure.. From a quick search i found them from an EU shop. The thing about EU shops is that for some reason they equate the $ for the pound. Probably soundmagic tries to control the retail price same way vsonic tried with the gr07

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