Now that the ES18s are available in US via MiccaStore directly or via Amazon, I picked these up in red @ $11.99.
I do not have the E10s to compare to, only my old MP21s (PL21s with mic).
I wholeheartedly agree with pretty much everyone here. These headphones are fantastic for the price and have the same SoundMagic-y sound found in their MP21/PL21s, meaning great bass, dynamic, and NO sibilance or harshness (allowing for fatigue free listening). In comparison to the MP21s, the ES18s have a slightly more dynamic response and allow for more of the high end treble to come through (I wouldn't quite call it sparkle, its still subtle and has no sibilance).
Tip selection is of course really important. I never find that the included tips to do the job. I used my trusty Sony Hybrids and they did a fantastic job of sealing/isolation and bass response. However, their small opening really impacted treble. After browsing around here for a while, I discovered Radio Shack's Auvio silicone tips. The Auvio tips are even better than the Sony as they have an even thicker stable middle core and a much bigger bore allowing all treble to come through. By far and away the best tips I have used and they make the ES18s even that much better. Can't recommend this combo any more :D
The ES18s build quality is average, but very functional. The cord is thin, but 'dual cord' design throughout (even before the split) and it has a really nice mix of memory and flexibility. It doesn't tangle at all for me and I REALLY like the sliding secondary y split adjustment (after the y split a slider allows to keep the separate cords together for a bit longer). This feature is fantastic for reducing microphonics and keep the cord nice and neat. SoundMagic inexplicably did not include a shirt clip, but I had an extra one laying around and now these ES18s have been transformed into my ultimate workout headphones (light, no microphonics with shirt clip and worn over the ear combo'd with sliding y adjustment, cheap so I don't have to worry about losing them or breaking them, and fantastic sound when Auvio tips used).
FYI, SoundMagic also just released the ES10s on Amazon/Micca which are an updated to the PL10s. However, they seem to use the same driver as the ES18s and I'm guessing they will be very similar with just a different visual design and are $2 less. I'll report back when I get 'em.
P.S. if anyone wants to trade Auvio hybrid tips PM me as I need all blues (2nd to largest) and at the current $14.99 price I'm not buying anymore :P
Edited by ChoppedBroccoli - 5/10/12 at 10:04am