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SoundMagic ES18 - Page 3

post #31 of 49

I took the plunge and bought a pair of Soundmagic ES18 through Taobao. From the initial impressions, I must say great value sound for the price, however low cost compromises the build quality. Flimsy cable (though microphonic is not an issue) and I can see a wee bit of dried glue at the nozzle. SQ - comparable to Soundmagic E30 that I have. Well balanced sound with slight emphasis on the low end when compared to E30. Fast, smooth and detailed sound. Those who want a Hi-Fi sound and are on tight budget should really consider ES18 but availability may be an issue.  


Edited by Jyoof - 4/1/12 at 7:28am
post #32 of 49
Thread Starter 

As i said es18 is low budget version of e10, to save costs. in china e10 cost 229 yuan, but es18 only 80.

post #33 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvrhs View Post

As i said es18 is low budget version of e10, to save costs. in china e10 cost 229 yuan, but es18 only 80.



Do u have E10? Have u actually compared both? unfortunately only E10M is available in India :( which is not compatible with android phones. ES18 seems a very good cheaper option if it really has the same drivers!

post #34 of 49
Thread Starter 
I will have e10 next week, but es18 is on par with e30, and better than pl21 and pl30. Sound is like e30 only bit more musical with more bass.
post #35 of 49

Stuck between E10 and ProAlphas...definitely getting one of them. Also plan to buy a cheaper iem  as a backup...ES18 or Philips SHE3580. Gonna pull the trigger after some more reviews for ES18...not many reviews that I can find!

post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jyoof View Post

I took the plunge and bought a pair of Soundmagic ES18 through Taobao. From the initial impressions, I must say great value sound for the price, however low cost compromises the build quality. Flimsy cable (though microphonic is not an issue) and I can see a wee bit of dried glue at the nozzle. SQ - comparable to Soundmagic E30 that I have. Well balanced sound with slight emphasis on the low end when compared to E30. Fast, smooth and detailed sound. Those who want a Hi-Fi sound and are on tight budget should really consider ES18 but availability may be an issue.  



After nearly 40 hours of burn-in, I find that ES18's sound is brighter, more energetic, and more dynamic when compared to E30. I would say E30's sound is more controlled and more refined probably due to the softer bass impact.

post #37 of 49
Thread Starter 

i today at last got e10, yup, sound the same.

post #38 of 49

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).

 

Bravo SoundMagic!!!

 

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
post #39 of 49

The ES10s do use a driver that's similar to the one in the ES18, though I am not sure if it's the same one.

 

The difference between the ES10 and the ES18, I would describe as the following:

 

The ES10 is more neutral than the ES18. I believe the extension is about the same, just "more" with the ES18. The ES18 does seem to extend more in the treble area, but I am not sure if this is just my well aged hearing. I've attached a photo of the two headphones driven with a FiiO E17:

 

es18-vs-es10-audible-levels-comparison.png

 

Quality wise, the ES18 is smoother in the upper midrange and treble. The ES10 reminds me of older Panasonic earbuds I had that were lean sounding but still provided good quality sound. The ES18 should be a better fit for those who wants a more exciting sound signature and generally better audio quality.

 

Getting a good seal is really key with both of these headphones. It pays to experiment in this regard.

post #40 of 49

The ES18 is a ridiculous value for the price - to my ears they sound like 90% of the E10 yet much much cheaper. Build quality is probably a concern as the housings look they could break easily, but they're very light. Very enjoyable and dynamic sound that never gets peaky or shouty, i'll be using these as my primary gym IEM's.

 

I agree with the comment about the shoddy glue finish on the nozzle, as I had to make the store where I bought it open more of them that had no excess glue on the metal mesh, the first two had very noticeable glue splotches.

post #41 of 49

My Impresssion biggrin.gif

 

Build quality : so-so,cant compain for this price (3/5)

Accessories : The usual 3 pair of tips,but soundMAGIC were generous enough to provide a soft pouch (3/5)

Comfort/Isolation : Decent Comfort.With better tips they'll feel more comfortable.These phones provide good isolation,save for louder noises like car horns you wont hear any other noise. (3.5/5)

Sound Quality : These phones have a warm signature and an engaging sound.Mids are where these gems shine,has a natural sound with lush vocals.Bass has good body and texture,ample quantity but might get overpowering sometimes.Treble falls little short for that sparkle but its excellent none the less.Excellent detail for its price.Throw any genre of music and these would play effortlessly.(4/5)

Conclusion : If you listen to bollywood and pop music then These phones are excellent for you.Don't get me wrong these are excellent phones,but if you listen to rock or metal then these wont provide that guitar crunch and might get overwhelmed by some complex songs .But these phones provide good SQ for its price.Overall i'll give it a solid 4/5 atsmile.gif


Edited by sujan - 8/17/12 at 10:50am
post #42 of 49
I have had ES18 too. They sounded realy good, but time has passed and there are better options now-
Sony mh1c, awei es800m, monoprice 8320, philips she3590/9700 and so on.
I used rarely them for 2 weeks, then they stayed in box 3 months, then i give away to my friend who used it for 4 months until it broken.
Poor build quality wire.
post #43 of 49

Just got my brand new replacement es18 :) my vomit green colored es18 is now bright green, then the cables now feel sturdier its not rubbery anymore instead it feels plasticky and less microphonic and now it seems like the color of the cables won't fade easily unlike the older version of the es18 To my ears the sq improved also its on par with my old e10/e30 and feels a little bass light and balanced compared to the old one, out of the box and definitely better than the old es18 (I compared it last night with my friends older version of es18). :))

 

The new one:

 

 

 

The old one with my e30 (got this photo when my old es18 is a day old only) the cables seems to be very different now.

 

 

post #44 of 49
I just made a video review of this. Hope it helps the folks who are curious on how it sounds like.
post #45 of 49
Btw, i think it's worth mentioning that i had almost no trace of driver flex on the es18.
Edited by touji666 - 2/23/14 at 4:37am
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