AFUL MagicOne

littlenezt

100+ Head-Fier
It's NOT a gimmick
Pros: +Tonality
+Technicalities
+Comfort
+Build Quality
+Timbre
Cons: -Slight Vacuum Effect
AFUL MagicOne
1BA
$99 - $139

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Before I begin this review, let me thank HiFiGO for sending the AFUL MagicOne in for review.
Rest assured, my review will always be 100% my own personal opinion.

Just in case you're interested on getting the MagicOne, you can get it on HiFiGO websites.
https://hifigo.com/products/aful-magicone

Not only that, HiFiGO now are currently on a Spring Sale, there are lots of good items that are on a discount check it out for yourself.

Unboxing
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Build Quality
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The shell made from full resin, not a hollowed one, It is very clear and free of bubbles / imperfection.
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The faceplate is also inspired from a snowflakes.
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One thing that are very eye catching is the Nautilus Inspired Resonator.

By the way the MagicOne is a vented BA, BUT it still has some kind of vacuum sensation when you wear the MagicOne in you ears.
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Cable is very good, It has options to select, a standard 3.5mm or 4.4mm balanced.

Comfort
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is very good despite the slight vacuum effects.


Sound
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Tested using : FIIO M23, Kiwi Ears Allegro, Stock Cable, Stock Eartips
Music is mostly from Apple Music (J-POP, J-Rock, K-POP, Anisong, EDM, Metal, Rap, Jazz)
Tonality in General : Bass Boosted Neutral

Bass :
The MagicOne bass presentation is somewhat mind blowing for a single BA design, probably thanks to its proprietary “Nautilus Resonator” tested on EDM music, the MagicOne has a full bodied bass punch not like your typical BA bass.
If I must describe the bass, it sounds almost like a planar bass rather than BA / DD bass, it is snappy, speedy, but has physicallity and body.


The bass quantity is not that boosted though, definitely won't satisfy bass heads.
The bass itself is boosted from sub bass to near mid bass, but it has a really clean transition to the midrange.

Midrange : Midrange is somewhat presented in a bit leaner manner. Not much but at least for my ears it's noticeable.
The midrange itself is very nice in terms of resolving capabilities and very musical.

Vocal sounds very detailed without getting too intense and shouty. Not only that, vocal is free from sibilance.
While instruments sounds intense and lively.

Overall timbre of the MagicOne is very spectacular for a BA IEM. It does not sound like a BA IEM at all.

Treble : is smooth and extended, it hasdecent micro details and resolving capabilities, again very good fora single BA IEM.

Usually for a single BA IEM, you must compromise either you want to focus on bass, midrange, or treble, but with the MagicOne, you can have it all, good bass, musical midrange, and extended treble.
I'm genuinely impressed by the MagicOne Tonality.

Technicalities
For a $139 USD Single BA IEM, I can say the MagicOne have a “Good” technicalities.
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Stage : Medium sized
it has very good layering and object placement.
The shape of the stage is also symmetrical in terms of width and depth.

Imaging : Good
With the M23, the MagicOne has a unique imaging presentation, it sounds like sounds are popping out of void.
With the Kiwi Ears Allegro, theMagicOne sounds 2.5D to my ears.

Detail Retrieval : Good
The MagicOne is a very resolving IEM, it has textures on its bass, midrange, and treble.
Though if I must nitpick, the layering of the treble is just average, not like your more expensive IEMs with multiple driver OR a premium single DD.

Separation and Positioning : Good
It sounds well separated and the positioning is also very good, I have 0 issues using the MagicOne searching an object position both in music and games.

Comparison

Moondrop Starfield 2


More or less same bass boost, but Starfield 2 has more forward and intense and shouty midrange, the Starfield 2 also has that lean-ness to its sound.
Technicality wise, it is comparable or close.
Though I must give the edge to the MagicOne due to its more resolving capabilities.

Build wise, the MagicOne also better IMO compared to the Starfield 2 due to its full resin compared to the Moondrop painted metal (if you know, you know).

Conclusion

Is the AFUL MagicOne recommended?

YES.

I can easily recommends the MagicOne as a single driver options for sub $150 market.

At first to be honest with you, I was skeptical because it only has single BA, and usually single BA is just meh, both tonality and technicalities.
But not with the MagicOne, it just act like your typical standard single driver IEMs probably thanks to its Nautilus Resonator with a good technicalities and very good build quality.

Though one thing I must remind you, the MagicOne has some kind of vacuum effect while you wear it in your ears. Not the most annoying and intense vacuum effect but its still noticeable.


Thanks for reaching this far.

Just in case you're Indonesian or understand Bahasa Indonesia, you can watch the review of MagicOne here


-littlenezt.
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SherryLion

New Head-Fier
Can A Single BA Be This Good? The Aful MagicOne
Pros: 1. Smooth and consistent response
2. Sounds warm and tonally pleasant
Cons: 1. Does lack the quality of details

Review Of The Aful MagicOne


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Introduction


The Performer5, a multi driver IEM from the freshly established AFUL business, made a big impression on the market last year because to its excellent sound quality and tuning, which many audiophiles, including myself, loved. Not to be outdone, this Chinese business also created an IEM called the Performer 8, which was warmly appreciated by audiophiles. I trust their creativity and new ideas because they clearly took their time implementing the real technologies they worked on and eventually succeeded. This is especially true of their recent release, Magic One, a single BA IEM with a comparable price to other IEMs on the market. Because of this, I had the good fortune to be able to evaluate it and determine whether or not they truly added value to an IEM. However, there are a few things I'd want to clarify before continuing.

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Disclaimer


*Since this unit tour was organised by the lovely people at HiFiGo, I am grateful to them. And as I've said in all of my evaluations, the same is true for this one: all of the concepts I've expressed below are entirely my own, original ideas that haven't been influenced by anyone else. If interested, go to this link.
*I am not associated with the connection, and I receive no financial assistance from anyone.
*For the remainder of the review, I will refer to these IEMs as “One.”
*I am using different Ear-tips for convenience and better versatility.
*Finally, I will only evaluate the One based on their performance, even though I will explain how it feels and seems physically and aesthetically.

Specification


One full range balancing armature driver, specifically designed by Aful and utilizing cutting edge technology, is housed inside The One. By using a sophisticated acoustic structure and an RLC electro-acoustic network to compensate for the disparity between the driver and pure sound, the driver's SE-Math enables for superior high-frequency extension. Better bass is produced not just by technology but also by the manufacturing process of the shells, which include an acoustic tube that is incredibly thin and lengthy. In terms of how the shell feels and appears, it is entirely composed of medical resin, which has a stronger construction and a more upscale feel than that of its more mature brothers, the Performer 5 and Performer 8. The brand name is on one side and the IEM name is on the other in a polished patterned design on the shell plate. Thanks to the air pressure release port, all of the eartips I tried were able to create a flawless seal, thus the fit and comfort of a BA configuration are happily excellent. However, I have experienced some issues with most BA setups. The high quality OFC copper + copper-silver plated, 32+37 core wire arrangement cable that comes with the IEM is distinguished by its Litz type 4 coaxial shielded construction. A straight 3.5mm plug and two pin connectors are used to terminate the ends. The accessories consist of a metal case, three different size pairs of two different types of eartips, and the cord and hem. Regarding the technical details, the sensitivity is 103dB and the impedance is 38 Ohms. The range of the frequency response is 5 Hz to 35 kHz.

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Sound


A single BA IEM with full spectrum reproducing capability? feels kind of plausible because the idea itself isn't novel, but the manner it's done is. Various businesses like as Moondrop, Etymotic, Kbear, and so on, each have distinct sounds and appeal to different types of audiophiles. Similar reasoning applies to the One, which will appeal to a different subset of audiophiles who could enjoy this tuning but won't offer a distinctive sound or an enhancement over existing IEMs. Whether the price is justified or justifies the continuous hype is a difficult question to answer, but when I witness an IEM that can produce sound above its weight—that is, when the treble extends more than other IEMs and has a smooth texture that is not what I would expect from a BA—it does seem justified. The timbre is affected by the sharp tones produced by the majority of IEMs that I have encountered. For the One, there is no such thing as a variable. Additionally, the bass and mid range have been expertly adjusted to provide a more relaxed and smooth sound, making it easier to listen to. The bass was the first thing I needed to search for since, in my opinion, BA bass is not as authentic or organic as dynamic drivers. However, based on my evaluation, the bass quality is more than it appears. To shed more light on the matter and improve understanding, let me delve deeper into the sound of a single BA IEM that produces sound that is closer to a warm and genuine tone.

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Treble


The One establishes itself with excellent control over the treble range and smoothes the response by delivering rounder, cleaner notes instead of harsh, detailed ones, which aids in creating the impression of space and air. Enough coherence and expressiveness exists in the extension and energy to encourage a safer tuning. In order to keep the high notes active without detracting from the overall response and to eliminate any sibilance or peakiness in the mix, the upper treble sounds very expansive and well-preserved with air. The voices seem to lack depth overall, although they do extend out beautifully and seem bigger. Some find them light and somewhat slender, but generally the experience is superior. The voices are able to provide additional information, albeit not as much as you might anticipate because the reaction is neither forceful or proactive. The lower treble adds more energy that resonates with the upper treble and upper mid range. The smoother and more coherent response that the cleaner notes of the instruments and voices bring to the mix gives the vocals and instruments a feeling of linear approach while yet sounding sufficiently expansive and vibrant. It's comparable, in my opinion, to other IEMs with similar or greater texture and details when set with multiple or a single driver. Although I won't claim that these sound the greatest, I must admit that the driver's ability is impressive given the work it takes to elicit such a response. In my opinion, the planar provides a sound with greater clarity and detail, but it also contributes a peakiness similar to that of the S12 or timeless. In this case, however, the DD or multi-driver, such as the EML6 or ARIA 2, manages the element that sounds much more compelling and transient while settling in the middle. Thus, the treble area is presented generally in a smooth, clear, and expansive sounding manner.

Mid Range


The mid-range is a mixed bag here, as most IEMs in this price range bring a forward presentation with a lively and open sound, whereas the One allows for the same presentation but the response is not as forward as one might expect, as if the vocals are far too smooth for it to sound as presentable as it should. As someone who likes a neutral sound with a sub bass increase, I would have rather heard a more forward-looking vocal performance. The overall mix of the voices and instruments seems to have no layering between them, with both elements existing in a straightforward yet deliberately separated manner.The upper mid range has a more realistic sound by emphasizing the note weight more than the lower treble, which sounds essentially the same. The vocals are in the middle of the stage, creating a roomy reaction that reverberates with the instruments and aids in distancing. In addition to sounding safe and devoid of any unpleasant undertones, the notes have a more organic, warm character. The depth in the lower notes, which give the impression that the notes are warm but not heavy enough to sound more full, still bothers me even if it sounds warm and communal. While it does contribute to a nice and serene approach in the higher frequencies, the lower mid range sounds hazy and has less definition, which is acceptable. Although the notes have good note weight as predicted, they don't meet the desired level of quality, such as a rich and organic response. In this case, I found that any IEMs that use DD have better control and yield better results. As a result, the mid range sounds dead yet is presented in a warm, roomy, and serene manner overall.

Bass


I was very careful with the bass since, unless it's utilized to create the bass texture and subtleties, the puffy, arterial-like sounding bass of BA bass worries me the most. But in this instance, I think the bass—particularly the smashes and thumps—sounds more dynamic than in any other BA. Since the One is a full range BA, it provides some great bass that sounds thicker and more natural than any other BA IEM, which is new to me. Generally, IEMs with a BA sound more puffy and distorted, and to some extent this is true with the One as well. Given more time, I didn't find it to have a particularly distinctive sound, nor did I find it to be my favorite, but it performed its function superior to that of any other single BA IEM. The sub bass range, where it stretches smoothly and generates decent punches that feel forceful, is where the emphasis is greater. Around 100–300 Hz is when the bass produces clearer notes, and the mid bass sounds slamming and thundering. Although the notes don't sound as well as those of other BA IEMs, they seem more lively and resonant. Although they sound a little forced or incomplete, the guitar's bottom notes and percussion nonetheless accomplish their intended purpose. To put it simply, I find it remarkable that a single BA was able to get such a reaction, but not to the extent that I would prefer the quality of it. As a result, the bass area is presented in a warm, subtle, and effective manner overall.

Technical Performance


Regarding the One's technical capabilities, I think it performs averagely and seems less technical than previous BA IEMs or other IEMs in that regard. However, in other areas, such as separation and staging, it sounds superior to all other IEMs. Let's talk more about it.

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Soundstage, Sound Imaging & Separation


The soundstage is vast and broad, allowing for a large sound, and it is more stereo expanded than fully 360 surround. The imaging is crisp and clean, although I had anticipated more distinct and crisper notes. However, the average spacing between the notes makes it easier to distinguish where the music is originating from since it makes it straightforward to identify its source.

Speed & Resolution


While the resolution is sufficient to bring out nice details, both macro and micro, when compared to other IEMs in the same price range, I find that the details on other BA sets are much more expressive and crisp. The notes' assault and fade are metered fairly, enabling a prompt reaction without rushing or losing your cool.

Sound Impressions


Sources


Sony WM1A - The One never quite lived up to my expectations when paired with the WM1A; instead, it sounded more spacious and had a gentler response in the upper frequencies, creating a more balanced profile that highlighted the warm response. The voices had the biggest impact since they seemed relaxed throughout the entire answer, but when they were meant to be upfront, they were instead, and they sounded convincing enough to come across as authentic. The bass response seemed heavier and more distinct, resonating with that large area.

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Tempotec V6 - The One seemed more upfront and clear when paired with the V6, especially in the midrange. The details were better, the bass was more in control and crisp, and the notes had more punch. In contrast to the pairing of WM1A, the response's expansive sound was overall richer and more rounded out.

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Tracks


Luna Haruna - Glory days
Luna Haruna - Overfly
Rokudenashi - The Flame of Love
LMYK - 0 (zero)
ORESKABAND - Jitensya
Marina Horiuchi - Mizukagami no Sekai
RADWIMPS - Suzume
Indila - Love Story
Indila - Tourner dans le vide
Earth, Wind & Fire - September
Tom Petty - Free Fallin'
Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere
Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Blue Oyester Cult - (Don't Fear) The Reaper
Guns 'N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine
The Police - Every Breath You Take
Gojira - Amazonia
TV on the radio - Wolf Like Me
Bring Me To The Horizon - Can You Feel My Heart
Bring Me To The Horizon - sTraNgeR
Avril Lavigne - Dare To Love Me
Travis - Love Will Come Through
Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know
DJ Shadows - Six Days (Remix) [feat. Mos Def]
Lady Gaga - Just Dance
Lil Wayne - Lollipop
Flo Rida - Low
Sebastian Lopez & Flug - Electronic Measures
Federico Mecozzi - Blue (Da Ba Dee)
Wayve - Not Enough
Kai Wachi & TeZATalks - Ghost
NGHTMRE, Zeds Dead & Tori Levett - Shady Intentions
Zeds Dead, DNMO & GG Magree - Save My Grave
Skrillex, Noisia, josh pan & Dylan Brady - Supersonic
Skrillex & Nai Barghouti - Xena
Skrillex, Missy Elliott & Mr. Oizo - RATATA
Kaifi Khalil, Eva B & Wahab Bugti - Kana Yaari
A.R. Rahman, Javed Ali & Mohit Chauhan - Kun Faya Kun

Conclusion


To conclude this review, I would like to draw two conclusions. I understand that paying $150 for a single BA IEM is highly questionable when the sound is not very technically or tonally advanced but still satisfying, but I also understand that the technology used and how it is used is very interesting and respectable, as this could be the first single BA IEM to achieve a unique response. Second, I believe the business published it to see how well it was accepted by audiophiles. To be honest, it is entirely up to you whether or not you want to see technical growth and innovation in electro-acoustic products. However, I would suggest this IEM not just for its nice tone and solid specifications, but also for how intelligently and technically it is constructed.

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thaslaya

500+ Head-Fier
Magic Indeed!
Pros: Smooth!, intoxicating vocals, stock cable, attractive design, warm tuning is my personal preference
Cons: Even though the bass is quite good for a BA it's still BA bass, power hungry, price could be more competitive, occasional pressure build up, musicality over resolve
Thaslaya's star rating system:
☆☆☆☆☆ - Best in class/buy it now
☆☆☆☆ - Highly recommended
☆☆☆ - Sound for thee, not for me
☆☆ - Can't see the appeal
☆ - Product is a failure

Disclaimer:
This product was purchased by me and all opinions are my own.

Gear used:
●LG v30+
●Samsung Galaxy s22 Ultra
●Hiby FC4

Source:
●Listening was done through Amazon Music HD or Ultra HD. Due to the limitations of volume with 3.5mm connection, all listening was done with stock 4.4mm cable through Hiby FC4.
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Introduction:
Aful has been doing well with their release of the Performer 5 and Performer 8, both receiving tons of praise. Here we have the MagicOne which sports a single balanced armature driver and a unique acoustic tube design. The MSRP is $139.99 which seems pricey for an iem in 2024 that consists of just a single BA driver. Let's break them down and see if it's worth the price of entry.
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Build, fit, ergonomics:
The MagicOne comes with your choice of 3.5mm or 4.4mm termination. After reading other users mentioning these needing power, I opted for 4.4mm. The cable is great quality and the aestetics match very well with the shell design. Just like other Aful products, they come with silicone tips, a nice cable, and the puck style case. I don't personally care for this style of case but to each their own. I did get some occasional pressure build up with deep insertion but it usually resolved itself.
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Sound impressions:
The first word that comes to mind when listening to the MagicOne: smooth. Velvety smooth. Actually shocked that Aful was able to create this sound with just a single BA. The technicalities are average to above average for the price range. The soundstage is neither narrow nor wide. I'd say it's positioned well in the middle where instruments can be heard well without competing too much for attention. The tuning is a touch on the warmer side but there is plenty of sparkle in the treble. The highs do roll off a bit early and I wish there was just a little more air up top.

Lows - BA drivers have a reputation for poorer quality and quantity of bass compared to other drivers and deservedly so. However, I feel the bass is adequate here. Definitely not bass anemic whereas i can actually hear the sub rumble on certain tracks. Other all BA iems I've had were lacking there. The sub and mid bass will satisfy most listeners but not those looking for v-shaped or bassheads.

Mid - This is where things get magical. The vocals are pushed to the front of the stage but not overly so. Both male and female voices sound so good. They are a bit warmed over which plays right into my personal preference. No shoutiness anywhere in sight. I found the best vocal performance when paired with soft pop like Adele and John Mayor - could listen for hours and hours like a warm blanket.

Highs - There is plenty to like about the treble. It sparkles and shimmers but never gets sibilant. I would have liked a bit more air in the top end but that's pretty nitpicky.

Balanced:
As I stated earlier, the MagicOne really need a bit of power to bring out full enjoyment. I was able to get to a respectable volume with the 3.5mm on my LGv30 and S22 Ultra but I do enjoy cranking my music from time to time. I would recommend getting an amp to anyone who plans to purchase these. A dongle DAC should supply enough to let the MagicOne shine.
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Summary:
Aful back at it again with an excellent iem. The MagicOne's tuning is very smooth and enjoyable. It may not appeal to those who prefer a brighter and more energetic sound signature. The bass is the best I've heard from an all BA set let alone one with just a single BA. Treble has plenty of sparkle and sounds great but it does roll off just a tad early. The power requirements and price may be the biggest limiting factors especially when there are no shortage of options in the $150 range. For me personally, these sounded best with pop, soft rock, country, and vocal centric genres. The MagicOne is aptly named because Aful pulled a fantastic set out of their proverbial hat!
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ctjacks336
ctjacks336
Congrats brother! Great review and beautiful photos. Look forward to the next🤙
R
rogeriobrandi
Great review... looking forward to mine arriving.
thaslaya
thaslaya
Thanks! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Duggu

New Head-Fier
This accepts EQ like a shapeshifter & will amaze you for sure
Pros: Very safe and generic sound signature
Cons: Very hard to drive and might need some tweaking
AFUL and @gadgetgod, thanks for providing me with the unit. No one paid/influenced me to write this review.
This IEM changes drastically with EQ. And without EQ, you will miss a lot of what this IEM have to offer. I can't export all the features I had with DSP, so tweak it as per your preference. The review below is done with my applied EQ and vanilla form.

✍️ This review is written ignoring the fact that this is a One BA IEM, with the only thing in mind that it costs $140. I will talk about its configuration at the end.

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Pros -

✅ Very Satisfying Bass:

w/ EQ:
The subbass and midbass combination is wonderful. There is not even a single time when I complained about its bass performance. The subbass is rumbly enough to give you a wholesome experience, not enough to make mid-bass feel separated. The midbass is full of thump, and enough to a point that one might think there's a separate dynamic driver for bass only. There are zero complaints for me in the bass region, and that says a lot because 8 out of 10 IEMs I review have something to complain about. For example, it demolishes Sennheiser IE200 out of the water.

w/o EQ: There is not enough sub-bass to call it a fulfilling experience, and there is enough quantity if you're a neutral listener. Of course, you can hear the details in the range, but not enough thump/slam is there by default. I know a few people who would like this sub-bass a lot, because it is clean, and the cleanliness it provides with the rest of the range is quite good while giving some definition to the male vocals.

It's somewhat clear why they chose this tuning with bass because there is a certain limit in the BA too, sometimes with EQ/massive bass it feels low-res. Ultimately, you won't be disappointed in any way. It impressed me the most in the bass region.

🎵 Dreams - 2004 Remaster by Fleetwood Mac
🎵 Nobody Knows by Autograff & WYNNE

✅ Textural Information:

w/ EQ: This IEM can extract textures from primary 3 Instruments easily from the mix. (Vocal/Guitar/Violin everything sounds textured) Which is very good for the price. You won't feel any smoothing, and the vocals will feel detailed enough to give you an organic feel and provide realism to an extent which is very good for the price.

w/o EQ: They lose some textures and sound very relaxed in general.

🎵 Stand By Me - Music Travel Love
🎵 Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)

✅ Treble is just as sweet as honey -

w/o EQ: This was what I was worried about the most and AFUL nailed it out of the park. The treble is just right in quality and quantity. I like a bit more treble, but that's just my preference and the way it produces treble with such ease is commendable. Do I think IE200's treble is better? Yes, but it is better than Aful Performer 5 Treble in terms of quantity. The only problem is that I could tell that the BA was in action, that too sometimes, very few times.

w/ EQ - The treble gets even better, it becomes so polished that it easily increases its value by multiples.

🎵 Thriller - Michael Jackson
🎵 Cornfield Chase - Hans Zimmer

✅ Imaging and Layering is above average for the price range -

w/o EQ :
Not much to talk about, you can trust it for its imaging and layering capabilities. Unless you throw very complex mixes where instruments overlap each other's frequency, like London Symphony Orchestra recordings.
In terms of resolution, I was satisfied. Didn't get the micro details, but I wouldn't reject it based on its revealing nature for the price.

w/ EQ - They lose their spatial abilities but gain very good soundstage.

🎵 Bubbles - Yoshi Horikawa
🎵 Robots in Motion - Philter

Cons -

❌ The IEM is very power-hungry and shouldn't be played on Apple Dongle/Ultra Budget Dongles. Given proper power, everything improves, from bass to midrange details, from treble refinement to soundstage.

❌ This IEM is very dependent on Insertion depth. If I insert it very deeply, somehow the bass gets fuzzy & and the proportions in lower registers are unbalanced. I have very small earholes for reference (Can't fit Softears RSV or Blessing 2).

❌ Can build up air pressure if not inserted correctly.

Point to be noted for further development

💡 Midrange Timber:

I don't know how, but they are sounding very pleasing to me. I use HD600 as my primary gear, so I can notice off timbers very easily. They sound very close to the instruments. The guitars have a bite I look for in every audio gear. Although the drums sound a bit off, the snare hits are a bit exaggerated at the low end of their spectrum. And trumpets could've used a bit more top-end elevation. But according to the price they are perfect and drums and trumpets are the only instruments where I felt they could've done a better job. (I am nit-picking at this point, but the Violin needs low-end, top-end refinement too).

🎵 Caravan - Whiplash
🎵 Vivaldi Four Seasons - Avi Avital

💡Sounstage:

Although the soundstage feels good and spacious enough in most songs, although it is uneven. It is very stretched LR and squeezed in Front and back, giving some congestion in a few mixes, especially complex mixes. So some songs sound great, some songs miss the front positioning. The vocals are very focused and isolated in the head, a larger and more spacious feeling would be better.

With my EQ: The soundstage expanded drastically since I tuned the pinna gain ever so slightly and made it more steep. Now the vocals are fuller in the head and the soundstage is very even, filled and expanded.

🎵 Movement - Hozier
🎵 Tundra - Amber Ruberth

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👂 Tuning Analysis based on my ears -

Lows : Subbass requires an elevation, and it is not enough to satisfy midbass. Midbass is enough in quantity and quality, everything that you can expect from a mid-bass is there. The thumps and slams are real and feel dynamic.

Mids : It is a bit too forward. The upper mids & female vocals are good but the male vocals require a tone down approach to feel connected with the bass. It lacks a bit of openness. Good texturing, mostly good Timbre and tonality, is there through the midrange.

Treble : The treble is very sweet and refined. It is enough for the price. However, I would like to hear some trailing edges in the instruments, which are a bit missing. The air felt real and spaced out.

👂 Tuning Analysis Based on Genre -

🎤 Pop - Again, I would've liked more sub-bass. Female singers sound better than male singers. It is very OK with this genre.

🎵 Apple Music - POP Hot Tracks

🎤 Rock - This IEM is very, very good for the Rock. The mid-bass gave it a very proper feeling of body. Elevated midrange beautifully balanced the recessed vocals on some tracks. The treble is sweet as honey. The LR soundstage expansion fits the recordings like a glove. The resolution is enough to reveal most of the complex tracks.

🎵 Spotify - Customized Classic Rock Playlist

🎤 Electronic - It was a very OK experience. There were no faults that I could notice but still, it can be improved a lot. The problem I faced mainly lies between both extremes of the FR. The extra upper treble was needed for a sizzling feeling and there was a need for sub-bass elevation too.

🎵 Spotify - Customized Classic Electronic/Dance Playlist

🎤 Hip-hop - This genre is above average. The mids gave the vocals a stage to shine, where the mid-bass was enough for a powerful impact. Although still missing a bit of sub-bass.

🎵 Apple Music/Spotify - Own Playlists (Mostly Desi Hip Hop)

🎤 Orchestra (My most listened-to genre) - Very soothing experience, missing a bit of >10Khz treble extension but very articulate. Would've liked a bit of bite too.

🎵 My Classical Music Playlist

🧬 Ratings (This is very different from the HeadFi rating because it doesn't include the price in the equation and the range of the sample size is from $20 to $4000)

Sub Bass - 4/10
Bass - 5.25/10
Lower Mid - 5.25/10
Upper Mid - 5.5/10
Lower Treble - 5.5/10
Upper Treble - 6/10
Timber - 6/10
Resolution - 5/10
Imaging - 5.5/10
Soundstage - 5/10

Overall Rating : 4.70/10
(Very High For A $140 IEM)


Tonality = B
Technicality = B

🤯 Thoughts on the technology they used -

I reviewed this product without taking the Single BA configuration into my bias/consideration. How on earth AFUL made this is ? It is still blowing my mind. After EQ how, this thing can produce bass like a DD, and it can still maintain details and mid-tonality. This is out of my mind. They created a monster.

The Engineering Department of AFUL: I salute you. You guys did an outstanding job.
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pradiptacr7

100+ Head-Fier
AFUL MagicOne Review
Pros: Tonal Balance is Good, Vocals performance is Nice, Good isolation, Top Build Quality
Cons: Soundstage & imaging are average, Lack air, Feels congested, Needs power (Maybe not a con)

AFUL MagicOne: Finding the magic



Introduction: -

AFUL’s journey began in 2018 with a dedicated acoustic team that focused on developing cutting-edge acoustic technology. In 2019, a breakthrough was achieved with the first engineering prototypes that featured a novel circuit topology and acoustic structure. This enabled a single BA driver to deliver stunning HiFi performance. Cut to 2023, AFUL has brought us the all-new MagicOne. They have designed a customized balanced armature driver for the MagicOne. AFUL has also implemented its newly developed technologies including SE-Math Electro-Acoustic Intermodulation, and Nautilus Acoustic Maze. These help the pair achieve true high-resolution sound performance. This is not the first time we’ve seen a Single BA IEM. Let’s see how they have tuned their customised BA. The AFUL MagicOne comes with a price tag of US$ 139.99.

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Specifications: -

  • Driver Configuration: 1 Customized Balanced Armature
  • Impedance: 38Ω ± 10%
  • Freq Response: 5Hz-35Khz
  • Sensitivity: 103dB/mW
  • Noise Isolation: -26dB
  • Connectors: 2-pin 0.78mm
  • Termination: 3.5mm/4.4mm
Disclaimer: -

AFUL and @gadgetgod arranged the review tour for AFUL MagicOne in India. We are thankful to them for the opportunity. However, the review reflects our honest opinion.

Packaging & Accessories: -

The AFUL MagicOne comes in a smaller-sized box with the IEMs and all the accessories. Removing the box reveals the IEMs and a beautiful black Metal Case. Inside the case, there were stock Cable and supplied ear-tips of two types. The cable is high-purity oxygen-free copper and oxygen-free copper silver-plated cable with a 32+37 core wire configuration.

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IEM Fit & Design: -

The MagicOne comes in a transparent resin shell with a faceplate decorated with a silver accent. The design looks like falling snowflakes as AFUL also mentioned the same. The inside of the IEMs is fully visible. The design is ergonomic, and we found no problem using it for longer sessions. The balanced armature driver is placed directly on the nozzle. AFUL has equipped the MagicOne with a uniquely designed rear-cavity structure. This structure includes a specially designed long and ultra-thin acoustic tube named 'Nautilus Acoustic Maze Technology'. They’ve claimed that enhances the Bass performance.

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Sound Analysis: -
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Credit: @aftersound
  • Tonality: - The tonality of AFUL MagicOne leans towards the warm neutral and musical. AFUL surprisingly achieved very good tonal balance across the frequency. It’s a musical and foot-tapping sound signature. It seems that it can be used for longer listening sessions not only because of its design but for tonality as well. Vocals and acoustic instruments sound natural but with a cost of technicalities.

  • Lows: - The MagicOne offers a well-textured bass. It’s quite surprising for a Single-BA set. It is nowhere near the dynamic driver level of Bass, but it gets the job done. Mid-bass is a bit forward with decent thump while the subbass has less extension making the mids remain clear and detailed. The decay is faster hence the speed of the bass is easily handled by the set. In our cases, pairing with sources like Dethonray DTR1+ or iFi Hip DAC 3 improves the thump and mid-bass extension.

  • Mids: - The AFUL MagicOne offers a dynamic and smooth mids across the frequency which is not so forward. Vocals especially female vocals are very nice and have a soul. The male vocals are also not far behind. We feel that the mid-bass played the role where it gave the vocals a bit more weight. However, it’s not the airiest or resolving to be called special. In fact, the micro detail retrievals are not that great hence it made the mids congested with the busy instrumental tracks.

  • Highs: - The overall tonal balance made the highs of the MagicOne smooth and not ear-piercing. Cymbals have a nice, natural, decay to them. There is a lack of air felt in every way, but it doesn’t disappoint. This also shows while listening to saxophone-based tracks such as In Your Eyes by the Weekend where the timbre of saxophone is organic and less airy. The single BAs just often can’t manage separation so well, which is particularly evident in the upper ranges.

  • Soundstage & Imaging: - The MagicOne manages to deliver an okayish soundstage for the category. It is a compact stage, but it has come with a good layering being formed in this spectrum. Making the stage height increase. But in no way is the most open, and extended imaging. The transient response is surprisingly above average when we consider similar-priced items. We would have loved it if the imaging had been a bit better and there would have been more openness across the frequency.

  • Synergy: - After trying it with different sources (Astell and Kern SP1000m, Dethonray DTR1, DTR1+, Pegasus SG1 Gold, iFi Hip DAC 3, Aune M1p and Tanchjim Space and Space lite dongles) we can confidently say that it synergises well with analytical daps like Dethonray DTR1+. Also, we would like to add that Dethonray SG1 Gold and iFi Hip DAC 3 help in making the bass more thumpy and hard-hitting. Surprisingly the IEM needs much more power for a Balanced Armature Driver system. It may sound dull with comparatively weaker sources. For dongles, Tanchjim Space paired well with this.

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Conclusion: -

The AFUL MagicOne is a unique offering from AFUL. This is our first interaction with AFUL audio. They surprised us with the tonality they have achieved with a single BA driver. Although it has its flaws, but the best thing about MagicOne lies in its versatile tonality which allows you to enjoy all kinds of music. It is good for longer listening as there is no harshness and can be enjoyed at low volume thus showing the calibre of the IEM. The thing we didn’t like about the is its average staging and less air between the instruments. Although female vocal lovers can easily enjoy the unit very much as it’s the highlight of this IEMs.

Non-Affiliated Link: -
- https://hifigo.com/products/aful-magicone
- https://www.amazon.com/HiFiGo-MagicOne-Earphones-Revolutionary-Technology/dp/B0CM5PMWGY?th=1

Attachments

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William Apollo

New Head-Fier
Acoustic design does not always mean a dynamic driver.
Pros: +Technical performance
+Beautiful, natural tone
+Soundstage
+Surprisingly successful low frequencies
+Rich and detailed sound
Cons: -Slight lack of extension at the lowest and highest frequencies
-Distortion at very high volumes
***Aful magic one is a single BA iem that sells for $140. I bought the product myself for an independent review.


Specs


-->Impedance: 38Ω.

-->Sensitivity: 103dB/mW.

-->Frequency Response: 5Hz-25kHz.

-->Passive Isolation: 26dB.

-->Connectors: 2-pin 0.78mm.

-->Termination: 3.5mm/4.4mm.

-->Cable Length: 1.2m.

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Foreword

A good audiophile device makes us reviewers eager to write reviews. Before I start this review, I want you to know that this iem got me eager. Audiophiles often listen to the "equipment", not the "music". This is both a blessing and a curse, sometimes you forget to listen to music because you are chasing equipment. Magic One made me "listen to music" after a long time. Even though I listen to much more expensive devices on a daily use. Not because it's the best iem in the world or anything like that, it just felt good for me in this uproar.

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Build

One thing I should mention at the beginning is that I think this is the best fit I've ever experienced in the thousands of iems I've listened to.

It's a simple box, a case, (that I will never use) tips, the cable, some paper and the product itself. The packed case is relatively small and looks sturdy. Cosmetically it's very good. The fact that the cable comes in 4.4 is great for me. (yes, this is very ordinary :)) The cable looks very nice, no microphonics and soft.

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Sound

I'm going to enjoy this part a lot.

First of all, given the price, there is nothing to say, bring this man an award! This iem is a beast of detail. Although the vocals are in the front, no instrument is squashed and everything is clear. Instrument separation is above average for the price band. In very rare moments when too many instruments are involved, it can lose a bit of texture. The soundstage is wide and the positioning is consistent. Resolution is well above its price point and microdetail reproduction is good. As a result instrument separation and soundstage are very good, for a single ba it's amazing.

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Bass

This part is both the most ordinary and the most unexpected. The lower frequencies are as expected for an iem in a similar price band, but incredible for an iem with a single ba. The surprising part is that a tiny balanced armature can produce such controlled and powerful low frequencies. There is nothing missing from a dynamic driver. Only the sub bass extension may not be enough for some. Also the resolution and detail is very good. The volume, of course, is not too much. Not for bassheads, but not lacking either.

Mid

The mids are very natural. The lower mids are a bit jagged, but that's not a problem because the resolution saves it. The vocals are in the foreground but none of the instruments damage it. You can hear every instrument clearly. Even though the vocal is in the front, it is smooth. Detail reproduction and microdetail reproduction in the mid frequencies are very successful. Resolution is excellent all over the mid frequencies. There is a great guitar timbre in this iem as in Tanchjim Kara. By the way, if you like listening to violin, you will love this iem.

Treble

The lower treble is quite lively and slightly bright. The upper treble is soft and centrally positioned. The treble is generally detailed, with good resolution in line with the rest of the sound. Microdetail reproduction is not as good as in the mids, but not bad. Air frequencies are okay. The only weak point here is the lack of extension in the upper treble. Obviously this is in line with my understanding of natural sound, but extended highs are generally liked and the amount of extension in the upper treble is low on this iem.


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Comparison

Aful Magic One (140usd) vs Tanchjim Kara (180usd)


Tanchjim Kara comes with a more showy box. Both iems look fantastic.

First of all, Kara is a much, much more difficult iem to drive. Kara's background silence is awesome. Magic One is dominated in technical performance. Details and resolution are better on Magic One. Soundstage and separation are similar but Magic One has more wider soundstage. Kara's timbre is better. Both iem's upper highs are soft, the Kara has better air frequencies. The Magic One shows better resolution in this area, while the Kara's bass is more controlled. The Magic One plays more naturally and has better microdetail feedback. Kara does better on guitar and Magic One does better on violin.


The vocal is in the foreground in both iems. Kara has a better feel while Magic One is smoother. You hear more instruments with Magic One. With Kara you feel the music inside you. Magic One provides a more realistic sound experience overall.

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Last Words

Honestly, I like this iem very much. It would be something like this if Kara played it in detail and it was more natural.

SilicaGel

New Head-Fier
Magical One
Pros: Truely 'Full-Range' sounding, well-balanced Single BA IEM
Excellent build-quality from the inside to the outside
Comfortable fit and small unit size
Cons: Not for those who want 'Fun-Sounding', or 'V-Shaped' IEM
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AFUL MagicOne :: $139.99 :: 1BA

After the success of AFUL's 'Performer Series', they shifted away from the Hybrid configuration utilizing multiple drivers.

AFUL’s latest IEM features Single BA configuration, which is quite unique these days. As I will discuss later, the 'MagicOne' is a true testament to the company's acoustic engineering skill.

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Driver Configuration : 1 Balanced Armature
Sensitivity : 103dB/mW
Impedence : 38 ohms
Frequency Response Range : 5Hz - 35kHz
Cable Length : 1.2m
Interface : 0.78 2-PIN

Huge thanks to HiFiGo for providing a sample unit for this review.
However, this review fully reflects the my honest opinion without anyone else's interference.


Btw, are you more familiar with Korean?
So am I, and If that's the case, I think you'd be better off reading my review written in Korean here.

This entire review was translated from Korean article using DeepL Translator with some refinement by myself.

-

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Opening the package, the warranty card and manual are the first things you'll see.

Inside the package, there is an iron case and a MagicOne unit.

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With a metal top and bottom lid held together by a silicone structure in the middle, it looks as much like a macaron as it feels like one.

The inside of the case is lined with fabric, so you don't have to worry about scratching or damaging the unit.

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Inside the case, there are 0.78 2-pin cable and eartips.

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You get a 32+37 core hybrid cable that's made of 'Oxygen-Free Copper' and 'Silver-Plated Oxygen-Free Copper' woven together in a 'Litz Type 4 method'. It's quite flexible, and the quality is decent.

When purchasing the product, you can choose either 3.5mm or 4.4mm connector, depending on your preference.

The cable used in the review is a 3.5mm cable.

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You also get two different types of eartip, which are nearly identical in shape and other characteristics - except for the difference in material.

The white ear tips are slightly firmer and the black ear tips are slightly softer, so it's a matter of comfort and preference.

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The faceplate is quite attractive, with a silver decoration that repeats a snowflake pattern against a backdrop of fluffy white particles.

This is paired with a transparent resin shell that is fully visible on the inside, creating a design that is reminiscent of cold snowflakes and ice.

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Nevertheless, the eye is naturally drawn to the internal structure of the unit.

It contains a single balanced armature driver, which is tiny, measuring less than 5 mm long and 2.5 mm thick, but the sheer complexity of the acoustic engineering that fills the rest of the unit never ceases to amaze the eye.

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To ensure the straightness of the sound, the balanced armature driver is placed in a straight line directly to the nozzle.

The eye is natually guided to a maze of winding passages around the driver.

Named the 'Nautilus Acoustic Maze technology', the design utilizes AFUL's high-performance 3D printing technology to create a large resonator box connected to the BA driver, which is then connected to an external hole via a long resonator tube.

The vast resonator box, housed in a space as small as a fingernail, is connected to a series of very thin resonator tubes, as thin as 0.91mm, and the total length of these tubes is a whopping 7.7cm.

This creates an effect similar to a low-pass filter, and goes a long way to improving the bass reproduction, which is one of the weak points of single BA earphones.

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Above the resonator structure, which takes up more than half of the unit, is a complex circuit of large capacitors arranged in rows.

Unlike most IEM earphones that use only resistors and capacitors to tune the sound, AFUL has been using crossovers based on its in-house developed RLC circuit since its first product - the Performer 5.

Designed with additional inductors as well as resistors and capacitors, the RLC circuit has more favorable characteristics for controlling the dip and peak of the sound from the driver.

The circuit with this design, is combined with AFUL's core acoustic technology - 'SE-Math', which compensates the difference between the driver's inherent sound and the sound that has gone through a complex acoustic design structure, is said to further improve the sound characteristics of the MagicOne's Treble.

-

Measured with IEC 60318-4 (711) while maintaining 94dB@500hz.
The sample used for the measurement does not represent the characteristics of the entire product.

Following Measurements are available at
dchpgall.squig.link - a collective 711 measurement database by Korean audiophile community users.

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Measured with included black tip.

Not to be outdone by the Harman in-ear targets, the MagicOne has a nice, smooth tonal balance across the entire frequency from sub-bass to treble despite being a single BA IEM.

the MagicOne's bass - Completed with a resonator design that takes up more than half of the unit's internal space - is hard to believe it's coming from a single BA. With the decent amount of body-ness, the bass still has a slight resemblance of a balanced armature with a fast responsiveness, resulting in a clean and natural sounding bass.

This is followed by a smooth midrange, and a wide bandwidth that stretches all the way to the top end, completing the crisp and clean sound.

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Measured with the included white tip.

You won't see much difference from the black tip measurement.

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Here's a direct comparison of the two measurements.

We can safely assume that there is no significant difference.

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I remember when AFUL's first product, the 'Performer Series' first landed, it created quite a sensation, not only because of the ‘unique’ company name, but also because of the quality of the product. I hadn't personally had the opportunity to own any AFUL products, but their presence was enough to make an impression on my mind.

So when I came across the news that AFUL was releasing a new pair of single BA earphones, I have to admit I was a little bit intrigued.

Because a Single BA design - As you might already know, is a form factor that's not often explored these days, as hybrid designs that mix new types of drivers to differentiate themselves have become more mainstream.

What's more, the 1BA structure has clear limitations if approached casually, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that AFUL took on the challenge and delivered a very high level of achievement.

The use of a high-performance balanced armature driver, coupled with a clear recognition of its limitations and the acoustic engineering design to overcome them - the ‘MagicOne’ - is a testament to AFUL’s technical understanding and mass production skills.

With ‘MagicOne’, following on from the 'Performer Series', I believe that AFUL has once again demonstrated their acoustic engineering design capabilities.

The design of the unit, showing off the interior, almost makes you wonder if the choice was partly a reflection of its character as a 'technology showpiece’ to demonstrate their skills.

Thank you for reading!

-

Non-Affiliated Link (if you're interested)

HiFiGo Official Store:
https://hifigo.com/products/aful-magicone

HiFiGo Aliexpress Store:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005006184207746.html
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dosec

New Head-Fier
ONEbeliveable
Pros: - There`s magic in it, and everyone will say the same.
- Unbeliveable bass and treble extension for a single BA.
- Amazing midrange clarity, presence and resolution.
- Great technicalities.
- Very comfortable fit and nice seal.
- Treble is fantastic, especially for a single BA.
- Did I said the resolution is amazing?
Cons: - Complicated to drive.
- Not so good on very complex tracks.
Originally posted at avaliasom.com

Presentation

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Hello, friends of AvaliaSom, I'm Marcelo Dosec, and this one I bring you is the Aful MagicOne , a unit that was sold to me by HiFiGo with a 20% discount in exchange for this review. Thank you very much, HiFiGo. As usual, I will only give my personal opinions about the phone, without any obligation to say good or bad.

This headphone costs 140 USD (or around 268 USD with 92% Brazilian taxes in current legislation), and if you are interested in adding it to your collection after reading the review, you can choose to buy directly through HiFiGo (no affiliate links). Thanks in advance.

Aful is a recent brand, which arrived kicking the market with the P5, an IEM that I had and really liked. Then they brought the P8, one that I tested and considered the best up to 400 USD for some time (until I discovered the Yanyin Canon II ). Therefore, considering the quality of previous models, and taking into account the “embedded technology” that Aful planned for the MagicOne, as soon as this guy was announced, I was already looking forward to get it.

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Anyone who knows me knows how much I appreciate single BA earphones. I find it very curious how a driver the size of a grain of rice manages to deliver good music to my ears. On my YouTube channel, I tested the Floaudio Lily , the Audiosense DT100 and the Cutbox Kina. Although these full range BAs can do a lot, there are no miracles, and a particularity among earphones with this configuration is a lack of breath at one end, whether in the bass range or the treble range.

And it was precisely based on this limitation that Aful worked its magic on the MagicOne, pardoning the word used by 10 out of 10 reviewers to talk about this earphone. But we will talk about these details later. First, let's mention the unboxing, whose black glove-shaped box features the beautiful rendering of the earphone on the front, as well as the details about its particularities. On the back, the usual technical details about the earphone.

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The bottom box is rigid and only bears the brand name. Inside, we have a foam cradle for the earphones and the case, which is the same metal case common to other Aful units (and some SeeAudio too), very spacious and resistant. I can even attest to its resistance, as unfortunately I let my MagicOne fall and roll down some stairs, and the case didn't even open, although I was slightly injured in the process of keeping the earphone intact.

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The unit comes with a beautiful silver-plated oxygen-free copper (OFC) cable, with connectors, chin slider and splitter made of metal. On my model, the connections are 0.78 mm 2-pin for the earphone and 3.5 mm for the source, however Aful offers the option of the same cable with a 4.4 mm connector at the time of purchase.

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Furthermore, Aful offers two types of silicone tips: a kit of black tips with a blue or red mouthpiece and a kit of white tips. Basically they have the same nozzle diameter, and only differ in firmness, with the white ones being softer. I preferred the black tips with colored mouthpieces, which make it easier to see the earphones on the left or right side.

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The IEM itself is gorgeous: entirely made of resin, with a faceplate that has a silver mosaic whose design looks like small flowers, with a white background, as well as the name of the unit on one side and the name of the brand on the other. The shell is completely transparent and allows you to see the unusual interior of the earphone, while its nozzle features a very restrictive metal filter. The two-pin connector is flush with the phone.

And speaking of the most intriguing, the sound of the earphone is generated by a single full range balanced armature (BA) (which covers all frequencies), developed by Aful, and we can see that it delivers its sound through an acoustic tube shaped horn (narrower near the driver), which ends in a damper before meeting the nozzle. But it doesn't end there.

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Looking at the IEM closely, just above the BA we see an empty space, with a square window that connects this space to a resonator box. At the bottom of this resonator box comes a 77 mm long tube, which makes eight U-bends before finding an open hole in the phone shell. This system was named by Aful as Nautilus Structure (due to the similarity with the look of the nautilus), and serves to improve the low frequency responses generated by the BA. Remembering that the Aful P8 also uses a very long tube (62.5 mm) for low frequencies.

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And in the part opposite to the BA location, we see the complex frequency division system (RLC) patented by Aful, also used in the P5 and P8. But unlike its bigger brothers, where the frequency divider helps to better distribute the sound between the multiple drivers, in the case of the MagicOne it works to improve the treble extension. This was possible due to the use of another technology patented by Aful, called “SE-Math”, which consists of the software analysis of the driver's responses in combination with the acoustic structure of the phone, thus allowing the ideal development of the RLC configuration.

Comfort

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The comfort of an IEM is a personal matter, and for me at least the fit of the MagicOne is perfect. Its body is ergonomic and simulates the inner shape of the ear. The nozzle is narrow, 0.5 cm in diameter (0.1 cm less than a Simgot EM6L, for example), and allows a medium to deep fit, which allowed me to use the black tips in size S. And so Being a closed earphone, the seal is excellent and there is also considerable pressure generated in the ear canal.

Musical Sound

I tried the IEM on my sources, which are: iPhone SE (my “DAP”), Dell Laptop, Apple Dongle, Truthear Shio, iFi Uno, Cayin RU6 and Topping DX3 Pro+.

Additionally, I used the Tempotec Sonata BHD and Tempotec V3 sources that I am currently testing.

Note that I always listen to the earphones at low volume levels, around 55 to 65 dB according to the measurement made by the Apple AirPods Pro 2 in the “Health” App on the iPhone, so my impressions may differ from those who listen at higher volumes.

By the way, I invite you to check out my headphone test playlist on Spotify. This is a dynamic playlist, and the songs can change at any time, but they will always follow the purpose of presenting all the points I mention in my musical evaluation of the headphones.

Regarding sources, the Aful MagicOne did not prove to be an easy earphone to play. On a cell phone, the sound is very weak, lifeless, a bit clumsy. On the Sonata BHD or Truthear Shio, it improves a little, but the ideal is to make more power available for the MagicOne to show what it's capable of. Just for reference, I used volume 39 on the Cayin RU6 (low gain) to hear the MagicOne properly.

  • Tone
To my ears, the MagicOne's tonality is neutral with a little warmth, proving to be well balanced in frequency delivery.

NOTE: The following notes serve as a comparison parameter only in the price range in which the phone falls.

  • Bass: Level 4/5, Extension 3/5, Speed 5/5, Texture 5/5, Depth 3.5/5
I repeat: 10 out of 10 reviews will say that there is magic in the MagicOne, and I won't do any different. In fact, what this little BA delivers here seems magical. The bass is very present, it brings a great texture and a good sense of depth, but even though it has a greater extension than any Single BA I've ever heard in my life, it still doesn't deliver the cavernous subs of a dynamic driver or a BA dedicated to bass.

This means that the more subterranean beats of “Ambitions Az a Ridah” may be insufficient, on the other hand, the bass line of “Como Tudo Deve Se” sounds tasty and very textured. Cellos and double basses are also well presented, and unless you're passionate about subs, the MagicOne will please you a lot.

In terms of speed, I don't even need to mention that the BA can handle the most insane kickdrums of a “Valhalla”, a characteristic inherent to this type of driver.

  • Midrange: Level 3.5/5, Presence 5/5, Clarity 5/5, Voices 5/5, Transparency 5/5
A point in common with all the Single BAs I've heard is the good midrange delivery, and the MagicOne is no different. It delivers very prominent midrange in the spectrum, with a lot of presence and clarity, as well as a delicious sound of voices and excellent transparency.

And I'll go further, the MagicOne proved to be my favorite earphone up to 200 USD for listening to female vocals, no matter if they are silkier voices like Andrea Grauzas or more powerful like Adele. And it goes well with male voices, especially in the warmth he brings to Charlez Aznavour 's voice in “La Bohème” .

There is also a beautiful presentation of instruments that use the midrange, with honorable mentions to the body of the lowest guitar notes. The piano in “Hello” is also enchanting, and it is worth mentioning that there is no trace of sibilance in this track.

  • Treble: Level 4/5, Brightness 4/5, Airiness 4.5/5, Extension 5/5, Timbre 4/5
Although the bass is impressive for a Single BA, I confess that I was more impressed with the treble. There is a very good level of brightness, with excellent airiness and a timbre that borders on ideal, even comparing the MagicOne to exponents in this price range, such as the Simgot EM6L and the Truthear Nova. There are no noticeable peaks or valleys when listening, and the treble presentation is very cohesive.

Furthermore, the range of cymbals in “The Well” is excellent, and it impresses me how the MagicOne manages to deliver the highest notes of the violins with so much life. I am obliged to give a standing ovation to the Aful engineers who achieved this level of technical excellence with such a limited driver.

Listening to a forró (brazilian genre), like “Frevo Mulher”, it is very pleasant to notice how the triangle stands out among the other sounds. It's a really great set.

  • Technicalities: Sound Stage 3/5, Image 5/5, Layering 3.5/5, Separation 2.5/5, Details 4/5, Resolution 5/5
When it comes to technicalities, we begin to understand some of the limitations of simple BA. Still, the MagicOne manages to deliver a good soundstage for the category, because although it is a compact stage, it is very three-dimensional, with an excellent image being formed in this spectrum. With this there is also a good layering, with an interesting and very coherent cut.

Its level of detail is also pleasing, even bringing out some microdetails, and its resolution is excellent, perhaps the most impressive feature of the MagicOne for me. I would venture to say that the perceived quality of the sound delivered by this IEM is comparable even to that of much more expensive headphones, perhaps even comparable to the Aful P5 and P8 .

The only point where the MagicOne leaves something to be desired is in the separation of instruments, as this is a physical limitation of a simple BA. On complex tracks, congestion is very noticeable, and can be annoying on tracks like “Headbangeeeeerrrrr!!!!!!” , for example.

Sound in Games

In battle royale games, such as PUBG, the MagicOne delivers the position of opponents across the spectrum very well, but lacks in terms of distance, as the sound emitters always seem to be closer than they really are. Rating 3.5/5.

In FPS games like CS2 ( without changing the sound settings), the MagicOne has a sublime performance. Its tuning favors the sound of opponents moving around the map very well, and I just don't place it as the best for CS2 under 200 USD due to its need for amplification. Rating 5/5.

In casual games, like Hogwarts Legacy, the feeling of an open world is somewhat compressed, and the immersion ends up being harmed in this detail. However, indoors the immersion is excellent, including the spectacular naturalness of the surrounding sounds. Rating 4/5.

And finally, in simulation games like Asetto Corsa, the bass is not enough to deliver the necessary strength to the sound of the engines, in compensation there is a beautiful sound of everything around. Immersion may suffer, but it's not bad. Rating 3/5.

Sound in Films, Series and Productivity


The MagicOne's sound definitely doesn't suit action films, on the other hand it is excellent for dialogue and musical parts, and watching “La La Land” again was excellent in the company of this Aful.

And for watching podcasts, the MagicOne is very good, but it can sound a bit congested if there are a lot of people talking at the same time. It is valid for work meetings where there are many voices in parallel. On the other hand, the MagicOne is a fantastic study companion, especially due to its excellent passive isolation.

Aful MagicOne (140 USD) vs Audiosense DT100 (109 USD) vs Floaudio Lily (40 USD) vs Cutbox Kina (300 BRL)

4fones.jpg

I decided to compare the MagicOne to other Single BAs that I have at home, and I must say that it's cowardly, firstly due to the price: the MagicOne is significantly more expensive than all of them. Next, due to the onboard technology, given that the other Single BAs I have here only have the full-range BA and nothing else. Still, let's talk about them:

The Floaudio Lily is the cheapest and simplest of them, including in terms of sound. Although it has a beautiful resin body, its fit is not perfect like the MagicOne, and the occlusion effect ends up being greater. In terms of sound, the Lily lacks bass and treble extension, but its biggest weakness is in the resolution, which seems to be light years away from what the MagicOne delivers.

The Audiosense DT100 has a very similar fit to the MagicOne, being similar even in the sealing and pressure caused in the ears. Something to highlight is that the DT100 uses a Knowles BA with side output, which I've never seen on other earphones. In terms of sound, the DT100 is far superior to the Lily, and even comes close to the MagicOne in terms of resolution and midrange quality, in addition to delivering good technicalities. However, it lacks a lot in the extension and quality of the treble, given that its tuning seems to have been done to try to deliver a good bass and midrange footprint, including a duct and opening in the shell to improve the BA's bass, but nothing compared to the Aful's Nautilus system.

Finally, the Cutbox Kina is a national project inspired by the Kbear F1, which features a BA Knowles full range in a peculiar body. And Fabrício (Cut Box BR channel) did a great job on this headphone, as it achieves a very interesting extension for a Single BA, both in the bass and treble. And in terms of resolution and technicalities, it is closer to the MagicOne than I could imagine, with a very holographic stage, very good image and a beautiful delivery of details. However, the MagicOne sounds much more refined, mainly due to its fantastic resolution. And as good as the Kina's treble extension is, the MagicOne can go much further.

Conclusion

Come on: there's magic in this phone. Ok, in fact the “magic” is just technology, the result of a lot of investment in R&D. Aful impresses with the refinement and innovations in each of its earphones, with the MagicOne being the most incredible of the projects, as good as the P5 and P8 are. The technological excellence of this unit makes me wonder: what will Aful bring in the future?

Being able to extract what Aful extracted from a Single BA is comparable to a car manufacturer being able to extract 300 hp from a 1.0 production engine. It may even raise doubts about durability, but what matters is doing 0-60 in 5 seconds. And drawing the parallel with what we have in MagicOne, this is a headphone capable of playing at the same level as (or above) some of the best hybrids, planar or single DD in this category.

It's not the best buy up to 200 USD. A Truthear Nova and a Simgot EM6L deliver something more, and in the case of the Simgot, it delivers more and costs less. In other words, if you just want an earphone to listen to good music, there are better options. However, this is a product for enthusiasts. It's a headset for those who have already tried various things in their hobby and are curious about an incredible project like this. So, if you are a collector, a geek or an audiophile at the forefront of technology, this IEM needs to be in your collection.

Big hug!
Ceeluh7
Ceeluh7
Hey, nice review! Not just because I agree whole heartedly with you either. Lol. Really nice job. I quite literally had the MagicOne in my ears as I read your review..ha. Anyways, it is a fantastic set. Give it some power and listen to the Magic.
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dosec
Thank you very much! :)

ShabtabQ

100+ Head-Fier
Not too flashy, not too dull, just right in the middle. It's like the Goldilocks of earphones
Pros: Accuracy: Excels in delivering accurate and precise sound reproduction, catering to critical listeners and audio professionals.
Comfort: The IEM is designed for a secure and comfortable fit, contributing to a fatigue-free experience during extended listening sessions.
Build Quality: AFUL maintains its reputation for robust build quality, ensuring durability with high-quality materials and thoughtful design elements.
Isolation: The design provides top-notch isolation, effectively blocking out external noise for an immersive listening experience.
Detail and Clarity: Excellent detail and clarity across the frequency range, allowing listeners to discern subtleties in their music.
Cons: Bass Impact: The bass response, while precise, lacks the pronounced sub-bass impact desired by some users.
Drivability: Demands a substantial amount of power for optimal performance, which may limit compatibility with certain audio sources.
Introduction
AFUL MagicOne, a single balanced armature (BA) in-ear monitor (IEM) priced at $139.99, aiming to redefine audio fidelity with its resonator chamber technology. As part of AFUL's innovative lineup, known for previous successes like the Performer 8 and Performer 5, the MagicOne stands out with its single BA setup.
Special thanks to HiFiGo for graciously providing the MagicOne for review, which can be found here.
Disclaimer: By no means is this review biased or influenced by anyone, the impressions are solely based on person experience.

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Build
The MagicOne is a solidly built IEM with a durable resin shell that is both functional and visually appealing. One interesting feature is the integration of resonator technology, aimed at enhancing the sound signature. While this innovation may vary in its impact for individual users, it shows AFUL's willingness to explore unconventional avenues in audio design.
The accompanying cable is also of excellent quality, with a soft and durable texture that adds to the IEM's overall aesthetic appeal. Its flexibility and sturdiness contribute to the user's day-to-day experience, aligning with expectations for a product in this price range. Overall, the MagicOne demonstrates the brand's attention to both form and function in their design philosophy.

Comfort
MagicOne offers a fantastic fit with its compact shell design, making it perfect for users with smaller ears. Compared to similar styles like the Blessing 2, the MagicOne's smaller shell fits like a glove and should accommodate most people easily. The resonator chamber gives off a vented vibe, but some users might find it feels more closed, potentially leading to a sensation of pressure for sensitive individuals. However, the IEM has a very nice small nozzle diameter that enhances overall comfort, making it wearable for a broader audience.

Sound
LowsMidsHighs
The MagicOne offer impressive precision and control in their bass quality. However, I find them lacking in the dynamic sub-bass punch and impact. The bass here is the right amount of bass, not less not more, would, similar to that of Blessing 2 but with less impact proabably due to BA bass. Nevertheless, those who prefer a more controlled and articulate bass response will appreciate the MagicOne's restrained approach.The MagicOne truly shines here with its very good presentation. The midrange is characterised by its cleanliness and analytical clarity, with a subtle warmth that adds a layer of richness to the timbre, resulting in a compelling and engaging midrange that is well-suited for a variety of genres. Vocal texture, in particular, is noteworthy and contributes to an overall pleasant listening experience.The MagicOne doesn't quite reach the level of multi-BA drivers, but it excels in presenting a smooth and clean treble. While the highs might not boast the same sparkle and brilliance, they offer good resolution without any issues of sibilance or excessive brightness. The treble is characterised by its smoothness, contributing to an overall enjoyable listening experience.

Overview
The MagicOne offers an analytical taste, that sounds very pleasing and soothing to the ears, it surely will not offend a lot of people and will mostly be liked by most of the people, except the bassheads for sure...
In other words, the MagicOne is like that friend who always brings the perfect amount of snacks to a movie night. It may not have the biggest bag of chips, but it knows how to deliver the right amount of crunch and flavour. So if you're looking for a smooth and controlled audio experience with just the right touch of warmth, the MagicOne might just be your snacking soulmate. Just don't expect it to bring the party-sized bag of bass!

Drivability
So, it turns out the MagicOne are like the divas of in-ear monitors they require ample amount of power to drive, 80% volume on Questyle M15 on single ended cable.They're like, "Oh no, we need high-quality audio sources and powerful amplifiers to really show off our potential." I mean, I get it, everyone wants to feel special, but come on, MagicOne, don't be so demanding! Maybe they just need a little extra love and attention to really shine.

Ratings
Sound Quality:

Low (Bass): 3/5
Mid (Vocals): 4/5
High (Treble): 3/5
Comfort:
Fit and Ergonomics: 5/5 (Sweet and small shell design fits me perfectly)
Prolonged Wear Comfort: 4/5 (Due to the pressure buildup that people experience)
Overall Rating: 4/5

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koyawmohabal

New Head-Fier
Realize
Pros: -a good basshelf for a single BA
-clean and natural sounding vocals
-good strings and percussion timbre
Cons: -bass isnt as dynamic as a DD for obvious reasons
-cymbal timbre is a bit glassy for my taste
-a bit expensive for the sound and overall package
‼️DISCLAIMER:

Hi. This is Practiphile. I was not paid for this review. Thanks to Aful and Hifigo.



⚜️WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
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Watch my unboxing here:






The box is pretty standard with all the essentials included. Tips, IEM case cable and paper stuff. Nothing much to talk about really.



⚜️BUILD and COMFORT
received_1655053138352251.jpg


As for the build, the transparent shell kills it. They look stunning with all those intricate tubes and that small full range BA.


You know Aful, I have never had any problems with fit from the brand. In fact, they might even be one of the best when it comes to fit. Feels like a condom, No really haha.




⚜️SETUP:

-Shanling M3X using UAPP, Hiby ang stock player and apple music

-stock cable

-divinus velvet eartips



⚜️SOUND PROFILE


Watch my final review here:





As I mentioned. These are mildly balanced.


It is quite surprising how they managed to pull off the bassshelf with a single BA. Not only that, the treble seems fairly controlled, albeit not that tonally correct. The treble is a bit glassy for my taste. But hey, a single BA doing that all the work needs a praise rather than a criticism.


Mids sound smooth and almost natural. They actually sound very pleasing with no annoying peaks. Just clean sounding mids that make vocals pop.



💥Where is the Magic?


I had high hopes before giving them a listen. I saw raving reviews about them on how good they are for a single BA. But I remained skeptical and thought there was no way a single BA could pull this off, but the graph says otherwise.


I was on a Japan trip and scheduled to meet Timmy, yeah the famous youtuber haha. I was actually more excited meeting him again than trying out new stuff. Who wouldnt?


Relationships > hobbies


I guess we can all agree with that yes?haha.. So much for that, when I tried the Magic one. There seems to be no magic at all. They sounded normal. And for a single BA, they actually are quite pricey for the sound it offers.


The next day, I thought about my first impressions and realized that I was listening to more expensive stuff (softears studio 4 and letshuoer cadenza 12) before I heard the magic one. I thought, "for it to sound normal, says a lot for its price."


Normally, I would hear a decline in sound quality when switching from my reference sets, or at least I would find nitpicks.


"That was magical", I thought.


💥The Magic


After my trip, my review unit had been sent to my PH adrress. Quite untimely. I immediately unboxed them, filmed, and gave my second impressions. They didnt sound that much different, but better because I was using a different eartip.


As days passed, I began to see the magic. They sound so smooth and you actually forget it's only a BA doing everything


and when I was reminded by its specs, I just shook my head and told myself "damn, these are good"



❤️PROS

✅a good basshelf for a single BA

✅clean and natural sounding vocals

✅good strings and percussion timbre

✅well controlled and extended treble


💢CONS

❌bass isnt as dynamic as a DD for obvious reasons

❌cymbal timbre is a bit glassy for my taste

❌a bit expensive for the sound and overall package




⚜️SCORING

-Please be reminded that my scoring is always based on its price range.


TONALITY - 2.5

BASS - 2

MIDS - 3

TREBLE - 2.5

TECHS - 2


P.P SCORE = 12


Rank: A-


generally better than other sets. Good for the price but the tonality might not match your preferences



Check my scoring here :


https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15WhgCgiMzWfF3ccgB8SK5-Cg7m87kpIShtxsyg2u-AI/edit?usp=sharing



⚜️GRAB SCORE:

This is easy, I just rate the set whether I would grab them for listening. Very subjective.


0️⃣- I will never touch this again


1️⃣- I grab if I remember


2️⃣- Can be part of my rotation


3️⃣- I break my rotation and grab this one today


4️⃣- *** rotation, I’ll listen to these for the whole week


5️⃣- Im selling everything, I will only listen to these haha.



💥 GRAB SCORE: 2


Surprisngly, it can be part of my rotation because of the fit, looks, and the smooth sound signature.




⚜️COMPARISONS
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⏯️Truthears Nova

-The Nova sounds more balanced especially in the treble, relative to its signature. Nova also has better separation, probably because it's a hybrid. However, I do find the Magic One to be more pleasing to listen to. The Magic One also fits better and more premium looking. Go for the Nova if you want a safer sound signature.


⏯️Simgot EM6L

- both have different sound signatures. If you want more engagement, maybe the EM6L is for you. If you've been in the hobby for quite some time, I'm pretty sure you can appreciate the Magic of Aful.


⏯️Planars

-planars are more resolving in general, but at the cost of the treble being a bit unrefined. Unless you are Micheal Bruce, who controls planar treble like no other, it is best to choose the Magic one for smoothness. If you want more nuance and separation, and can take planar timbre, go pick an S12 pro.


Gizaudio Galileo

- I like the Galileo better because of its overall tonality and timbre. However, for people who chase treble like its the only sound in the frequency, the Magic One would be enough.



⏯️Phoenixcall

-the phoenixcall is just tonally wrong on graphs. But hey, Durian doesnt smell right either. Get my point?


I like how the phoenixcall projects a fake stage. So if you want a different experience, you can pick the phoenix. If you want a safer sound, go pick Magic One.



🤔FINAL THOUGHTS
received_1835824016882545 (1).jpg


As mentioned in my video, you might be paying for the R&D of this set. The engineering behind is such a feat. I mean I wouldnt be surprised if they only increased the bassshelf, its just a damper away. Or if they smoothened the the treble coz etymotics have done it.


But, for a single BA doing a nice basshelf, clean mids and well extended treble, this might leave some engineers scratching their head.


Not only that, but what Aful is trying to prove is, most of the sound signature is from altering frequency magnitude. These are better sounding than some pricier hybrids.


The true magic is when you realize that you dont always get better sound with more drivers.





==========================

WHERE TO BUY: non affiliate links


HiFiGo:https://hifigo.com/products/aful-magicone

Amazon US:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CM5NCGCD/aful+majicone/

Amazon JP:

https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B0CM5SVX5Y/aful+majicone/

Aliexpress:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005006184207746.html


⚜️MY LIBRARY:

I grew up listening to 90’s music. Alternative, punk-rock, screamo, rap, Philippine OPM, Anime songs, JPOP, KPOP, metal, reggae and a lot more.

The artists I regularly listen to are:


⭐Rock-Alternative-Metal

Incubus, 311, BMTH, Matchbox 20, The Goo Goo Dolls, Paramore, Polyphia, The Calling,, Babymetal, Metallica, Slipknot, Bon Jovi, Coheed and Cambria, Deftones, Red Hot, Green day,


⭐OPM(Original Pinoy Music):

E-heads, Slapshock, Parokya, Urbanddub, Up Dharma Down, Bamboo, IV of spade, Kamikazee, Rivermaya


⭐POP:

IU, Yoasobi, Yorushika, Milet, Reona, Maroon 5, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Taylor, Dua Lipa, Oliva Rodrigo, Billie Eilish


⭐OTHERS:

Carpenters, Micheal Learns to Rock, Celine Dion, Bob Marley, Sitti, Daft Punk, Pink Floyed, Earth wind and fire, Amber rubarth, Sia, Yosi Horikawa


I listen to more, but I can’t just list them all here.haha. Just giving you an idea on what I listen.


Thanks for reaching here. Hope you enjoyed reading. :)
Last edited:

Des99

New Head-Fier
AFUL MagicOne: Do Not Misinterpret the Hype!
Pros: Excellent stock cable
High quality and complete accessories
Very good fit and comfort
Surprisingly full bass from single BA
Rich, lush lower midrange
Laid back upper midrange
Good note weight
Very smooth treble
Good treble extension
Decent technicalities
Cons: Very hard to drive
Pressure build up due to ventless design
Bass lacks physicality and rumble
Slightly congested vocals
Price is not competitive
Disclaimer
  • Huge thanks to HiFiGo for providing a discount for me to review the AFUL MagicOne. I really do appreciate it. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own, and are not influenced in any way.
  • Please take this review with only a grain of salt, as everyone's hearing, fit, and gears may differ, so our experience may be different.

Price(MSRP)

  • $139.99

Source(s)

  • One of the hardest to drive IEMs I owned. However, both of my dongles are able to drive it with the 4.4mm output without any issues.
    • FiiO KA13
    • Truthear Shio

Ear tips
  • Tangzu Tang Sancai
Packaging
  • AFUL MagicOne with M sized wide bore silicone ear tips attached
  • Hard metal storage case
  • Good selection of ear tips.
    • 2 pairs of generic wide bore silicone ear tips (S, L)
    • 3 pairs of generic narrow bore silicone ear tips (S, M, L)
  • Oxygen-free Copper Multi-conductor Cable with 192 Ultra-small Wires
    • Feels quite premium and soft, doesn't tangle often at all.
    • Ear hooks are very comfortable as well.
    • Only the connectors feel a little plasticky but this is just me nitpicking.






Build Quality
  • Good build quality, shell is made out of resin.
Fit
  • Nozzle length and width are about average.
  • One of the most comfortable IEMs I have tried in a while, very lightweight and sits very well in my ear.
  • However, pressure does get built up easily due to the ventless design. Personally, I use the Sancai tips to solve this problem for me.

Tonality


  • Warm neutral.


Bass
  • Mid bass is more prominent than sub bass.
  • Bass sounds surprisingly full, with good texture and thump.
  • However, it still lacks the physicality, slam and rumble from a DD.
  • The bass is also not the most well controlled, and decay is slightly slower.
  • Overall, despite the cons, the bass is still impressive to me considering that this is only a single BA IEM, where even multiple BA IEMs tend to not do well in this section.

Midrange
  • Midrange is quite warm and rich, and is not really recessed at all.
  • Lower midrange sounds full, which makes male vocals sound forward and lush without being bloated or
  • Upper midrange on the other hand sounds smooth and laid back. Female vocals barely pop out from the mix, which is perfect if you want a more relaxed presentation but I prefer a little more energy here based on my preference. Female vocals also have a slightly huskiness sometimes from the extra warmth in the lower end but it doesn't affect my overall listening experience too much.
  • Timbre is great, everything including vocals and instruments sounded quite natural most of the time.
  • Note weight and density is thick and heavy throughout the midrange, which honestly is surprising again for the single BA configuration.

Treble
  • Treble is very smooth throughout the low and mid treble, with enough sparkle to shine through without being fatiguing or harsh even after long listening sessions.
  • Treble extension is also good, which adds some airiness to it.
  • Details can be perceived fine, doesn't sound like the details are presented too "in your face". It sounds just about right, not too boosted and not too hidden.


Technicalities

Resolution

  • Resolution and detail retrieval is decent for an IEM in this range, nothing groundbreaking but not bad either. Definitely went above my expectation for a single BA IEM by a little though.

Soundstage
  • Soundstage is decent in terms of width and depth but nothing outstanding. At least it doesn't sound narrow and cramped.

Imaging
  • Imaging and accuracy is good, I am able to pinpoint positions quite easily and accurately.
Separation
  • Separation and layering is overall quite decent, but vocals may sound a little congested at times and not as well separated.
  • This may be because of the warmer low end and lack of upper midrange energy for the vocals to pop out sometimes.


Conclusion

  • Overall, the AFUL MagicOne exceeded a lot of my expectations for a single BA IEM. However, given the price tag of $140, it doesn't compete too well against other competitors in this price bracket. But again, if you're a fan of new tech and wanted to collect something that has a unique driver configuration, then I would say that this is a worthy IEM to collect, considering that the accessories are very complete and good.
  • I am still very impressed by what AFUL has pulled off in the MagicOne, and I am looking forward to how they are able to implement this technology on their future products



Non Affiliated Link
  • If you are interested after reading the article, feel free to check out the non affiliated link below.




Thanks for reading!

o0genesis0o

Headphoneus Supremus
AFUL Magic One - The R&D Magic
Pros: + Precise and 3D stereo imaging
+ Excellent instrument definition and separation
+ Excellent tonal balance and timbre
+ Small and comfortable shells
+ Tactile and snappy base response
+ Quite difficult to drive (so I can use my powerful DAP and DAC/amp)
Cons: - The subbass extension is predictably not good
- Pressure build up
- Quite difficult to drive (so my go-to portable gears do not drive these to full potential)
Besides ”audio boutique”, few keywords command as much respect and prestige as “Research and Development” and its closely related cousin, the four-letter abbreviations of cutting edge IEM technologies. But in a market where everyone from mom-and-pop shops to big players claim that they do cutting edge “R&D” in their new IEMs, it’s perhaps necessary to sit back and ask ourselves: what is IEM R&D, really?

In this context, let’s talk about AFUL Magic One, a daring release carrying only one Balanced Armature (BA) driver.

Forewords​

  • What I look for in an IEM is immersion. I want to feel the orchestra around me, track individual instruments, and hear all of their textures and details. I’m not picky about tonality, as long as it does not get in the way of immersion.
  • I rate IEMs within with a consistent scale from 1 (poor) to 3 (Adequate) to 5 (outstanding). Ratings are assigned by A/B tests against benchmark IEMs, regardless of the retail price.
  • Ranking list and measurement database are on my IEM review blog.
  • Terms used in my reviews are consistent with the glossary by Headphonesty
  • This review is based on a review sample from Hifigo (Thank you!). I have no affiliation with or financial interest in Hifigo and AFUL.
  • The unit retails for $140 at the time this review was published. Unaffiliated link: https://hifigo.com/products/aful-magicone
Testing setup: Local FLAC files -> iBasso DX300 (stock player app) -> stock cable (4.4mm) -> IEM -> SpinFit W1 (Small)

Unboxing​

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magicone_00011.jpg


What is Magic One?​

AFUL Magic One is a single BA IEM that retails for $140. Yup, just one BA driver. No fancy Beryllium or DLC membrane. No passive radiator. No hidden bone conduction driver. Just one full range BA driver custom-made by AFUL.

Well, that description mostly, but not entirely captures the internals of Magic One. The BA driver is aided by two innovations:

The first one is an complex electronic circuit that shapes the frequency response of the driver.

magicone_00005.jpg


The second one is a resonance chamber and elongated resonator tubes (which a fellow audio geek compared to a digestive organ) that strengthen the bass response of the BA driver.

magicone_00004.jpg
magicone_00014.jpg


Together, these components transform the response of the BA driver from this:

magicone_graph_4.png
(Credit: AFUL)

To this:

magicone_graph_5.png
(Credit: AFUL)

At this point, you might be asking: why spending all of that effort to make a single BA IEM? After all, it is well known that full range BA drivers have the short straw when it comes to extensions at both ends of the frequency spectrums, which are crucial for an “audiophile” sound quality. That’s the question that I kept asking myself ever since I saw a post on social media announcing the existence of Magic One.

magicone_00019.jpg


The official answer from AFUL is as follows:

“many high-end HiFi in-ear monitors at the premium level adopt multiple drivers with precise crossovers to achieve excellent performance in each frequency band. However, this approach comes with certain problems:

  1. The different driver units lack accuracy in connecting and blending their sounds.
  2. They can cause vibrations and interferences with each other.
  3. Each unit can have slight variations in timbre.
These issues often lead to a degradation in sound quality. On the other hand, using a single balanced armature (BA) driver unit can overcome these problems by offering excellent performance in each frequency band without any connection or interference issues.”

Has AFUL been successful with this vision? Let’s read on.

Subjective Experience​

The experience with any IEM starts with fit and comfort. In my experience, the comfort of an IEM relies on three factors: the size of the shells, the shape of the nozzles, and the pressure release mechanism. Magic One does a great job with the first two factors. Thanks to the one-driver design, the shells of Magic One are quite small so it does not stretch or create any hot spot in the concha area of my ears. The nozzles are relatively thin with a medium length, allowing me to wear the IEMs at a proper depth without putting any pressure on the ear canals.

magicone_00002.jpg


The area where Magic One falters is the pressure release. The superb seal it provides can, over time, lead to a gradual pressure build-up in the ear canals. It reaches a point where I have to give my ears a breather and pull out the IEMs to let the pressure equalize. This hiccup is a common woe with IEMs rocking balanced armature drivers, something you might not have encountered if you’ve stuck to the dynamic driver camp.

magicone_00001.jpg


Because an IEM does not has a sound of its own, its sound can only be described indirectly through the musics it reproduces. Therefore, in this part of the review, I’m going to paint of a picture of the sonic performance of Magic One by describing how I hear some of my favourite tracks when using Magic One.

Before we move on, let’s have a look at the tuning vision of AFUL with Magic One: “… a touch of warmth, the overall quality of the pair can be compared to that of a 4 BA driver IEM or even a dynamic driver IEM. … a powerful and elastic bass response, similar to what you would expect from a dynamic driver. However, it still maintains the high-density sound quality typically associated with a Balanced Armature (BA) driver … excellent extension in the treble range, reaching up to 18KHz before gradually tapering off. While the treble may be slightly bright, it is not harsh or fatiguing, creating accurate sound reproduction for various instruments”

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The first piece I want to discuss is the first movement of the Sibelius violin concerto performed by Heifetz. “Precision” would be the keyword that I use to describe the performance of both Heifetz and the Magic One. The way Magic One presents the music reminds me of a properly focused camera lens. Every instrument has a sharp outline and pin point positioning, accurate to the spatial information embedded in the music. In this violin concerto, Magic One places me right at the conductor’s podium with the orchestra around me. The string section can appear outside, slightly behind my ears. The wood wind section seems to sit in front of me, but at a higher position than the string section at the front. The only difference from a real world orchestra is that the violin of Heifetz seems to come from the front, slightly above my head, rather than behind the conductor from the left, where a soloist usually stands.

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Dynamics are conveyed with finesse. Loud segments are appropriately impactful without any uncomfortable brightness. Noteworthy is the tactile richness in lower frequencies, capturing the nuances of string plucks and contrabass notes. There is also a satisfying sense of tactility in the lower frequencies of Magic One, evidenced by the snapping sensation of string plucks by the cello section. The notes played by contrabass also has texture and a rumbling sensation.

The detail, the imaging, and the dynamic together create a sense of magnetism with this recording. I found myself losing track of time in dissecting and following every small things going on the orchestra. When the violin is the star, I focused on the nuances of the violin. When the main violin fades away, the details of the orchestra took over.

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Shifting to the “A Way of Life” soundtrack from The Last Samurai, the Magic One showcases a different sonic landscape, emphasizing ambience and spatial diffusion. Different from the the previous violin concerto, this soundtrack is mixed to convey a misty, slightly hazy ambience. The Magic One successfully reproduces that the misty ambience, creating a pleasing, hazy dome of sound. Sounds unfold into the mist at a distance, avoiding an overly forward presentation.

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The next sonic aspect of Magic One that I focus on is the bass. Of course, there are many ways to analyse and describe the bass response, but at the end of the day, to me, the only thing that matters is that whether an IEM can make me tap my toes and bob my head. Doing so requires the bass to be just right to convey a sense of energy and rhythm. Too much bass, and the presentation feels muddy and lack the sense of musical pulses. Too little, and there is no energy.

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In order to test the bass response of Magic One, I listen to the Gundam 00 The Movie OSTs. I found that Magic One has just enough bass to convey the necessary energy and rhythm of these tracks. It achieves this through precise bass delivery rather than sheer loudness and extension of the bass. The best way to imagine the bass response of Magic One is to think about plucking a tightly stretched string. All of the bass energy of Magic One is focused tightly at the attack end of bass notes, making them stand out. And because they stand out, the beats become emphasised, and thus the music has a strong sense of rhythm. Still, the Magic One still lacks the subbass extension of its siblings carrying DD woofers, thus the amount of energy convey is still day-and-night different.

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Let’s wrap up by delving into how the Magic One handles vocal music, with a focus on Pentatonix’s Volume 4.

Firstly, all vocals take the center stage, deliberately placed forward in the soundstage, aligning with the recording’s intent. This distinguishes the Magic One from some of my other preferred IEMs, which tend to artificially downplay certain frequency ranges, creating a more distant overall sound regardless of the intended positioning of a track.

The precision in the Magic One’s presentation continues to stand out. It adeptly weaves Pentatonix’s tight harmonies into a cohesive whole, capturing the resonant ringing when the notes harmonize perfectly. At the same time, it also excels at distinguishing individual voices, from Kirstin’s soaring soprano to Avi’s deep bass line. The clarity and texture of bass line by Avi and Kevin were highlights for me.

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Fortunately, the precision of Magic One doesn’t translate into sharpness or unnatural timbre. All voices sound accurate, avoiding the thinness often associated with “well-tuned IEMs.” A subtle warmth permeates the tonal presentation without adding a distinct color to the midrange. For me, the tonality of the Magic One represents an improved version of “neutrality.”

Finally, the Magic One showcases robust detail retrieval. In tracks like the penultimate “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” it captures subtle nuances, like the echo effect in quiet moments between musical phrases.

Frequency Response Analysis​

Frequency response of Magic One against the Harman in-ear target. Measurements were done with an IEC-711-compliant coupler and might only be compared with other measurements from this same coupler. Visit my graph database for more comparisons.

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It is helpful to think of an IEM as a filter that highlights or subdues different parts of the incoming audio signal. This effect can be measured objectively by the squiggly lines above, called Frequency Response (FR) graphs, which measure how loud an IEM is at different frequencies from 20Hz (bass) to 20kHz (upper treble). Subjectivity is how your ears and brain interpret the effect of that filter on your music and decide whether it is “enjoyable.” There are some “rules of thumb” when it comes to tonality, but most interesting IEMs usually bend the rules masterfully.

The frequency response of Magic One exhibits characteristics of many new IEMs that I consider “well-tuned”, such as the 7th Acoustics Supernova.

Essentially, Magic One takes the main ideas of the Harman target, such as the need for an upper midrange boost (a.k.a., ”ear gain”), the need for treble to gradually rolls off comparing to the upper midrange to avoid harshness, and the need for a bass boost.

At the same time, it reduces the amount of upper midrange and increases the amount of lower midrange and midbass to create a richer, more pleasing, and arguably more realistic, than the Harman target.

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As you can see, Magic One traces the frequency response of Supernova, an IEM whose tonality I absolutely adore, very closely.

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Graph’s credit: Super* Review

Interestingly, Magic One also traces the -10dB target, which is essentially a diffuse field measurement with a -10dB tilt (more lower frequencies, less upper frequencies) using the more accurate B&K 5128 system. If all of these sounds like alien language to you, don’t worry. The gist of it is Magic One closely follows an promising new target that sounds more pleasant and arguably more “correct” than the current version of Harman in ear target.

Resolution​

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Resolution is a fascinating subject due to the difficulty of pinning down what it really is. To me, “resolution” can be broken down into three components: (1) Sharpness, incisiveness, or “definition” of note attacks (see the figure above). (2) The separation of instruments and vocals, especially when they overlap on the soundstage. (3) The texture and details in the decay side of the notes. The first two give music clarity and make it easy to track individual elements of a mix. The last provides music details and nuances. Smooth and well extended treble response plays a crucial role.

As you have seen in the subjective impressions, the resolution of Magic One is rather good. The strength of this IEM lies in the way it presents the tack sharp boundary between instruments and and very well defined note attacks across the frequency spectrum. You might have also noticed that I didn‘t provide many positive remarks about the the micro detail retrieval of Magic One, about the nuances and textures.

So, how good is the resolution of Magic One in the grand scheme?

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To answer this question, I rely a series of A/B tests against some of my trustworthy benchmarks.

For the first test, I listened to the third movement (Gavotte en Rondeau) of the Violin Partita No. 3 by Bach, performed by Leonidas Kavakos. As you know, violin solos such as the Partita No. 3 are very sparse music with only two “instruments”: the violin itself, and the reverberation of the recording hall. Therefore, these recordings are excellent for dissecting the “true resolution” of IEMs, meaning their ability to distinguish and present the minute, fine-grained details and textures in the music.

Since I have a high expectation of Magic One, I conducted the first test directly against a “heavy weight”, the venerable Andromeda 2020, my “gatekeeper” of the high-end resolution. The first challenge for me in this test was to overcome the “shock” due to the contrasting tonality of these two IEMs. But I digress, so let’s talk about resolution. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), the Magic One is still a solid step behind. Whilst Magic One manages to extract all the surface details, I can hear more micro details, such as the sympathetic resonance of the violin or the subtle scratchiness of the bow against the strings, with the Andromeda 2020. Even when I turn up the volume higher than a safe level, I still had a hard time picking those details with Magic One. The refinement of the reverberation sound (a.k.a., the “air”) is also higher with the Andromeda 2020.

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For the second test, I lowered my expectation and pitch the Magic One against the Moondrop Blessing 2, my benchmark of “good” resolution. Interestingly, I found the Blessing 2 to be ever-so-slightly harsher in the upper frequencies and thicker in the lower frequencies than Magic One. Ignoring the tonal difference, I found that Magic One presents details with better clarity and definition. For example, when Kavakos plays chords, the notes sound cleaner on Magic One. Still, I don’t find the difference between these two IEMs to be practically significant. Thus, I would rate Magic One’s resolution as “good.”

Soundstage Imaging​

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Stereo imaging or “soundstage” is a psychoacoustic illusion that different recording elements appear at various locations inside and around your head. Your brain creates based on the cues in the recording, which are enhanced or diminushed by your IEMs, your DAC, and your amplifier. Some IEMs present a wide but flat soundstage. Some present a “3D” soundstage with layering, depth, and height. In rare cases, with some specific songs, some IEMs can trick you into thinking that the sound comes from the environment (a.k.a., “holographic”)

As I alluded to in the subjective experience, Magic One has an excellent soundstage imaging capability. It can sit an orchestra with pin point precision in a 3D space. At the same time, it can convey a hazy, misty ambience as a dome of sound around the head should the music is mixed that way.

The key question at this point would be “how good?” Again, we rely on a series of A/B tests.

For the first test, I compare the Sibelius violin concerto between Magic One and the venerable Moondrop Blessing 2. To me, it was not a difficult comparison as the difference was clear from the first music phrase. Magic One puts the violin solo and the string section of the orchestra on two different planes, one closer, one further. The Blessing 2, on the other hand, was never able to create that depth illusion as it puts everything on the same flat plane. On the plus side, Blessing 2 has a wide and more open perception of soundstage, likely thanks to the air vents on the faceplates. Still, I would put Magic One ahead of Blessing 2 in soundstage imaging. It provides a more immersive experience.

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The next test was between Magic One and the venerable Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020 was much more difficult for me. Magic One trades blow with Andromeda in terms of the 3D illusion of the soundstage and the positioning of instruments within that stage. That said, these IEMs present the stereo image of the Sibelius violin concerto in very different ways. The soundstage of Magic One is more “logical” and realistic, placing me at the conductor’s podium with the orchestra sitting in an 180 degree arch around me. The soundstage of the Andromeda, on the other hand, is all over the place. The cellos and contrabass seem to come from behind my ears rather than right next to them. Some instruments are right in the middle of my head, some floating slightly front left or front right. It’s entertaining and unique for sure, but not realistic. At the end of the day, I would put both Magic One and Andromeda at the same level, and favour one or another depending on my mood.

Comparisons​

Compare against Performer5 and Performer8

Vs P5 (NiceHck Black Cat cable, FiiO HS18 medium ear tips)

  • The midrange of P5 is denser and pushed forward toward my head more. This is likely the result of the hump at 1.5kHz. This presentation reminds me of the Elysian Acoustic DIVA 2023. It is not my favourite sonic presentation.
  • When I listen to the Sibelius violin concerto recording by Heifetz, I found P5 do not provide the sharp boundary and precise instrument placement that I heard from Magic One. I would also say the inner details of each instruments are slightly better with Magic One, though the gap is practically negligible.
  • Where P5 excels is the bass response. Whilst the bass of P5 does not have the same clean attack as the Magic One, it has better body and physical impact, likely due to better subbass extension. As a result, when I listen to “Final Mission - Quantum Burst” in the Gundam 00 Movie OST, the sense of energy that P5 conveys is simply higher.
  • P5 is also more comfortable due to having proper pressure release mechanism.
Vs P8 (Stock cable, SpinFit CP100 Medium ear tips)

  • Magic One is significantly more difficult to drive than P8
  • The tonality and soundstage presentation of two IEMs are quite different, mostly due to their divergence in the 1kHz to 4kHz region. For example, when I listen to the Sibelius violin concerto by Heifetz, I found both the violin and the orchestra are pushed forward more, with less gaps between instruments. I personally find the violin to be unnaturally forward, yet the briliance “shine” in the upper midrange of the violin is not there with the P8, whilst it is there with the Magic One.
  • Both IEMs have similarly precise instrument placements. However, due to the midrange quirks above, I find the soundstage of Magic One more spacious and ultimately more interesting.
  • P8 is one step ahead of Magic One in terms of the inner details of each instruments. Simply put, I hear a bit more details, and those details are more sharply defined with P8. However, the gap is not large and might not be practically significant for some listeners.
  • The bass of P8 is like a combination of Magic One and P5. It has the tactility and precision of Magic One but with proper subbass extension of P5. It might not be as indulgent as the bass of P5, but more energetic than Magic One.

Rating and ConclusionPermalink

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Let’s go back to the original question at the top of this review: “what is IEM R&D?”

To me, R&D means surpassing the state-of-the-art in a way that benefits the end users. Being the first one to use an exotic driver technology or the first one to jam an insane number of drivers into an IEM means little unless those innovations lead to a new height in sonic quality or make the existing high-end sounds more accessible. In the case of Magic One, the innovations of AFUL push the single BA configuration to the new height, matching or exceeding the previous multi-BA releases one some key aspects. By pursuing the single BA configuration, AFUL also managed to create a smaller, more comfortable, and likely more cost-effective IEM.

So, yeah. To me, Magic One is one of the more impressive R&D outcomes in our little hobby. High recommendation and seal of approval.

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What I like about this IEM:

  • Precise and 3D stereo imaging
  • Excellent instrument definition and separation
  • Excellent tonal balance and timbre
  • Small and comfortable shells
  • Tactile and snappy base response
  • Quite difficult to drive (so I can use my powerful DAP and DAC/amp)
What could be improved:

  • The subbass extension is predictably not good
  • Pressure build up
  • Quite difficult to drive (so my go-to portable gears do not drive these to full potential)
Absolute Sonic Quality Rating: 4/5 - Great (Tonality 5 - Bass 3 - Resolution 3 - Staging - 4)

Bias Score: 5/5 - I love this IEM.

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Updated: December 9, 2023
DaveStarWalker
DaveStarWalker
Very nice and comprehensive review 😎👍
J
Japz77
Great and detailed review 👌 agree with most of your points. Gave an extra 0.5 star for my review though due to the tech they squeezed in, sound impression wise pretty much spot on.

Sonic Sleuth

New Head-Fier
Pros: Extremely comfortable to wear
Shell design
Warm and musical tuning
Vocals
Tonality and surprisingly good timbre for a BA driver
No peaky treble
For relaxing listening sessions
Aful’s effort in designing this single full range BA driver
Cons: Unfair to mention but bass impact
Needs good amplification for 01 BA driver
I had an opportunity to listen to Aful's previous releases Performer 5 (purchased) and Performer 8 (borrowed from a friend for few days). I was thoroughly impressed with the performance of both of the IEMs. They do truly live up to their name 'performer'. Perhaps, the new entrant into the IEM space, Aful knew that their first releases are going to be bangers and named them accordingly. Performer 8 was definitely an IEM that had everything I need and little extra. I still do think about the detail retrieval prowess of Performer 8 at it's price bracket.

No particular reason why I didn't purchase P8 despite my admiration for it. Just didn't have the time/budget/mindset to add another IEM to the exisiting collection I had. Not that I didn't try.

I did read a few articles here and there that Aful was in the process of developing a single BA IEM and I asked myself,"what's so ground breaking about that?". I thought that their next unnamed at the time single BA IEM was going to be alright and I was midly disappointed that their next IEM was not going to be the one I would want to desperately have in my collection or daily rotation at the least.

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Life took over and I forgot all about it until I started seeing posts on the social media about 'Magic One' and I was not excited. I didn't bother to see what it was or what the reviews had to say about it. The hype train started as it usually does frequently in this hobby and I didn't pay much heed to it until folks around started talking about it and insisted that I give it a try. They were all praises about it.

I had an opportunity to audition it as part of the review tour (Thanks to Pulkit and HiFiGo) (You can purchase Magic one at the following link : https://hifigo.com/products/aful-magicone) (I wish this was an affiliate link but it is not) and I said yes because the following weekend was going to be relatively free for me and I thougt I would listen to the 03rd release of Aful.

Some areas of this review might sound like Magic one is not a good IEM but it is when compared to other 01 or even 02 BA IEMs. However, it cannot compete toe to toe in all the areas with DD/multi-BA/hybrid set ups. So it is very important that you look at it from the point of what Aful was trying to achieve from a single BA driver. Magic one tries to do a lot with 01 BA and to a lot of extent it does perform well but it does not compete with multi BA IEMs. But if you compare the Magic one to other 01 BA IEMs, it's huge step up. It does set some precedent to what we can expect with BA designs in future if the remaining manufacturers take notes and put effort. I think Aful just showed that design and implementation counts more than adding multiple drivers.

At the time of writing this Magic one was retailing at $139.99. Would I buy this IEM at this price? No. But is it justified to price it at $139.99? Yes. The cost they're asking I believe is not just for bill of materials but also for the expense in R&D in designing this 01 BA. A normal consumer like me would always go for for what best we can get for as lowest price as possible. Magic one is more of an enthusiast's purchase. Folks who know and appreciate the effort Aful put into making an actually good sounding full range BA driver.

Design, Comfort and quality:

Magic One is absolutely comfortable to wear and it did not bother my ears at all. It does sit slightly flush with my ears. I did however feel a bit of pressure inside my ear due to lack of vents and honestly this bothered me after about 30mins. So I did not use Magic one for more than 40-45mins at a stretch in all of my listening sessions. The cable was really good. Supple to touch and no memory or microphonics and did not tangle. The stock tips are decent and nothing noteworthy. I did however like the snowfall and abstract design on the faceplate.

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Let's talk sound :

Leans warm, doesn't steal the show, but nails everything for a single BA. It sounded absolutely musical and enjoyable.

Bass:

The bass was midly adequate and lean but it honestly was not bothersome at all in majority of the tracks that I listened to. I actually was suprised at the quantity and quality of bass (not to sound redundant) for a 01 BA IEM. I expected Magic one to sound tinny but it didn't. It was close full sounding.

Mids :

There was a certain level of thinness in the vocal region but it was not like to listening to the radio in 1990's. Male vocals for the most part had adequate heft (borderline) and the note weight was good.

Female vocals on the other hand definitely sounded better. the peaks were well rounded and sounded richer in my opinion.

Treble :

I'm sensitive to treble and Magic one was an absolute please to listen to. It sounded very natural with no peaks or sibilance and yet it delivered some sense of lightness that I wanted.

Soundstage:

Soundstage was surpisingly (decently) wide and had good sense of depth. It did not sound strictly left and right.

Details:

Decent – strikes a balance between musicality and not drowning in details. Again, I went in to be disappointed and came out with a smile. It had decent detail retrieval and as I was sying before, it sounds absolutely musical with adequate amount of details but nothing too distracting.


Lastly, why does 01 BA driver need so much power? I put the volume of the amp all the way down to about 10% before plugging in Magic One expecting it to blow my ears out at 30-40% and I had to go to 40-50% on medium gain to bring it to decent listening levels.

Magic One vs. other BAs? Holds its own against 01 or 02 BAs but not quite up there with DD/multi-BA/hybrids but it would be an unfair expectation and an insult to the amount of the effort Aful put into developing such a 'Performer' 'Magic One' BA. Still, a solid leap from other 01 BAs. Sets the bar for BAs – design and implementation wise over multiple drivers.


So, in a nutshell, Magic One's a pleasant surprise and at one point, I spent good 10 minutes looking at the shell trying to figure out if there is really only 01 BA driver or if Aful's just pulling a joke on us. I think Aful intentionally kept the shells transparent to show the driver design inside the Magic One. Show off!
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lightshedder

New Head-Fier
Aful Magic One: A magic too far, or a truly *pleasant!* sounding iem?
Pros: wonderful clear sound
sufficient high quality bass
better than average sense of space and instrument placement
does lovely things with my music :)
Cons: requires above average power for best performance
requires deep insertion and exactly the right tips
design amplifies pulse noise in my ears
This has been a really hard iem to review! I will admit that I went into it already fascinated by the technology of the new Aful Magic One…this is an iem from the company that has pretty much made its name, and practically overnight, with it’s technical innovations that allow hybrid iems to reach full potential and a more coherent sound signature through the use of sophisticated crossovers and physical tuning tubes in a 3D printed housing…first in the Performer 5 with a dynamic driver and 4 BAs, and then in the Performer 8 with a dynamic driver and 7 BAs distributed across the sound spectrum, and an even more complex set of tuning tubes. And now we find that, apparently, all the time they were developing those sophisticated, ground breaking hybrids, they were working, in some back room or obscure corner of the lab, on a completely different solution for producing a coherent sound signature. If the problem is balancing and blending different drivers and types of drivers into a unified sound, one solution, obviously, is to only use a single driver. There are lots of single dynamic driver iems, from entry level to kilobuck, and some of them are very well respected. So that’s been done. What about a single BA? Nope, no one has done that yet, at least not in a way that satisfies music lovers, and the problems are so huge that it seems totally unlikely. So of course Aful, being Aful, had to give it a try. According to a document they are circulating to reviewers and interested audiophiles, they spent 3 years redesigning your standard BA, improving its physical structure, to allow it to faithfully reproduce all of the frequencies that make up our music, and then, just because they could, having already developed the tuning tube technology for their hybrids, they designed a back side acoustic chamber and long tube resonance structure and coiled it up so that it would fit inside an average sized iem housing, to reinforce the bass to something close to what a dynamic driver produces. Still they were not happy with the treble extension of their new BA, so they developed what amounts to a analog signal processing array, which they call SE Math, to extend the treble performance of the Magic One. Really fascinating stuff…cutting edge…fun if you are into that kind of thing, and I suspect more music lovers are, than are not.

So then, give it smaller than average, transparent, semi-custom shell, that shows off that single BA, and an eye-catching minimalistic, frost patterns on ice faceplate, package it with a very nice cable (your choice of 3.5 single ended or 4.4 balanced) the same metal hockey puck case as the Performer 5, and a decent selection of eartips, box it up in a nice box, and price it at $140, and see how it goes. I always wonder how these pricing decisions are made.

My first difficulty in reviewing the Magic One was that my first unit was defective. Out of the box it sounded terrible…like listening to the neighbors’ cheap kitchen countertop radio through an open window across the yard. And then it would suddenly improve…and then it would go back to thin and awful. And then it would seem to work again. After a few days of that I took advantage of HifiGo’s Amazon store to request a replacement. To their credit, I had my replacement, no questions asked, within two days. And it was a whole different iem…well obviously it looked the same…had the same excellent accessories, but it sounded completely different.

Then too, I had a lot of trouble with eartip selection. The two styles included, both narrow bore, likely intended to reinforce the bass even more, caused the iem to interact strongly with the pulse in my ear (or head) to reinforce the sound of my own heartbeat…so I had the sound an ultrasound makes to represent the heartbeat of an unborn infant in my ears constantly, even without music playing, and running behind the music while I listened. I went through what I thought was every eartip in my collection, from Spinfits and Spiral Dots, to K7s, to Danu S&S, and even those green and grey ones from Penon, as well as a lot of unnamed eartips that came with other iems. Some reduced the pulse sound but none eliminated it. Finally, only a few days ago, I tried the medium sized TRI Clarions which I ordered for my particularly difficult to fit Penon Fan2s. The Fan2s are an iem that sound best when deep in the ear, but with a shell shape that makes that difficult with all but a very few tips. What a difference the TRI Clarions made to the Magic Ones! The pulse sound was greatly reduced though I lost no bass, in fact the bass became more defined and refined, while the top end really opened up, improving both the sense of space and precision of instrument placement, making the Magic Ones sound considerably different. Now this may be something to do with my ears and my ears alone, or the placement of the arteries near my ear, but that pulse sound certainly inspired me to work harder at tip selection than I normally do. For me at least, the key was getting the inner side of the shell right back against the wall of the concha, and the tips inserted as deeply as they would go, while still maintaining a good seal. I have said right along that your ear canal is as much a part of the transducer as the drivers and shell, and that it needs tuning too…especially the right insertion depth…to realize the best performance from any iem. Some iems are more forgiving…tips and insertion depth make a difference, but not a big one…and some, like the Magic One, the insertion depth and shell fit make an almost unbelievable difference in the sound of the iem. After seeing what the Tri Clarions did for the sound of the Magic Ones I tried the Danu S&S one more time. They also cut down on the pulse noise and provide the same improvement in sound on the Magic Ones. Wide bore tips then!

Now, finally, with the right tips, I understand the Magic! The bass! Not regular BA bass. This bass is solid…maybe not as solid as a 10, or even an exceptional 8mm dynamic, but so close that when listening to music you would never believe it is BA bass, let alone from a single BA driver. In fact, when listening to most tracks you are not thinking about the driver configuration at all…you can just relax and enjoy the music. Even on truly bass heavy tracks, like Bass Drops from Niead Vasilic, or From a Standstill by Bella Sonus, you are not, honestly, going to be looking for any more bass. True, the bass does not have quite the same physical impact as dynamic driver bass, but, again, that is not something you notice unless you are doing intentional comparisons between iems. While the music is playing the bass is completely satisfying. The sub-bass is there…not, certainly passing train rumbly as on some iems, but nicely textured and detailed, and the mid bass has a strong drive and push…and enough punch to satisfy any but the true bass heads among us. If you don’t believe me, get a Magic One, find the right eartips, and listen to Poem of the Chinese Drum by Hok-man Yim. The drums and other percussion are so enjoyable, so natural sounding, that I, personally, do not need or want many more bass.

Vocals and instruments are smooth and pleasant. Pleasant can be a wishy washy word, but I mean it in the best sense here, with no wishy washy implied. Pleasant with bells on…or, if was writing it, I might write it with stars and an exclamation point, like this *pleasant!*. I might even call the vocals and instruments on the Magic One luminous. Solid bodied but with enough air to make you tingle when Alison Krausse or Diana Krall sings. and to draw out every subtile inflection of folk voices like Clara Dillon or the women from I’m with Her. Male vocals are rich and smooth without being smothery, and still have a bit of rasp when needed. Robert Plant, Geoff Castiluchi, Ave Kaplan, the men from Home Free, or Perly I Lotry, or, again the folk voices captured on Nothing but Green Willow. All clear as a tea colored mountain stream, or rich as dark roast, hand ground, single bean coffee. Both male and female vocals have a nice heft to them…always a *pleasing!* presence. Guitars, pianos, cellos, violins are all rendered faithfully, with good detail, as natural sounding as any iem I have yet heard, and more natural than most, leaving nothing to be desired as you listen, no matter the genera or the track. And the midrange is slightly more forward in the mix, which can be refreshing. This extends from the conversing acoustic guitars on Nothing but Green Willow, to the cellos on Fishman’s Vivaldi concertos, and the violins on Ullen’s reimagined Bach or Keith Garret’s Explosive, the piano of the Brookline Duo’s Vivaldi’s Summer, and even to Erik Tingstadt’s electric guitars. This is a real accomplishment. A silky smooth but still spicy midrange.

Again to really appreciate what the Magic One can do, listen to Adele’s Someone Like You. Such a voice! Or crank up Geoff Castiluchi’s I See Fire.

Treble? Cymbals, high hats, chimes, bells, claps are all there where they belong in the mix, crisp, but again, somehow smooth and *lovely!*. And you can turn the music up as loud as you like. The Magic Ones never become shrill or unpleasant.

Before trying the TRI Clarion and S&S tips I would have said the sense of space provided by the Magic Ones is about average for iems in this price range…not spectacular…but not closed in or disappointing in any way, and instrument placement, again, without comparison to any other iem, is pleasing (without the stars), if not pinpoint sharp. With the wide bore tips and deep insertion, however, everything opens out, and the stage is noticeably wider and deeper…almost as spacious as I have heard. And instrument placement becomes considerably more crisp and sharp. Impressive indeed.

An orchestral piece like De Feldermuse by Daniel Barenboim and the Vienna Philharmonic really brings out everything the Magic One has to offer. If you have the right volume level for the opening bars, then it is spectacular.

And I should say, right here, before I forget it, that the Magic One is not easy to drive. I have to turn it up about 6 clicks on a 60 step volume control, 10 clicks out of a hundred on my desktop dacs, to match the volume of any of my more efficient iems. And it is not just a matter of loudness. The Magic One only really comes alive at higher volumes. The bass gains presence, the treble and the stage open out, and the whole experience just gets more *enjoyable!* It definitely prefers the high gain setting when it is available, no matter what your listening level is. At the same time, you can turn it up louder than you might listen to other iems, since it never shows any signs of harshness for distortion. In my experience I found that adjusting the volume until the bass is satisfying, brings the best sound from the rest of the spectrum, even though it is louder than I might normally listen.

Overall the Magic One seems to be just exactly what Aful was working toward, and what they are advertising. A smooth, rich, highly coherent sound that makes music *enjoyable!* to listen to. Many, I would suspect, will find this iem as enjoyable, and maybe, depending on what you value and what you listen to, more enjoyable than either the Performer 5 or the 8. I certainly do. I respect and admire what both the P5 and the P8 do, but for extended listening sessions, if given the choice, I will listen to the Magic One. And that is saying a lot for a $140 single BA iem. It is maybe less suited to super bass heavy generas, and those who love having their brains tenderized by their music, but other than that, great job on the technical innovation front Aful!

However, the Magic One does not exist in a vacuum. It has to be compared to other iems that have come before it, and to other more conventional designs in its price range. At $140, Aful has priced it to fall near the top of one of the most competitive segments of the iem market…and, in my opinion (which I have shared before, see my $150 end game video) the segment where you currently get the most value, the best sound, the most enjoyment from your music, at a price almost many of us can still feel good about spending on an iem.

I mean, the whole point of magic is to do something impossible. To be really magical, the Magic One has to do more than provide a seemingly impossible amount of bass and a smooth treble from a single BA. More than any technical trick, no matter how impressive, it has to reproduce music in such a *satisfying!* way that it can hold its own, or even stand out, at $140 in a sea of competitive iems.

Is that a magic too far, even for Aful?

Lets take three current, more conventional iems for comparison. We will begin with the Kinera Celest PhoenixCall, since it is closest in price, at $130. The PhoenixCall also has a unusual driver configuration which includes an 8mm dynamic, 2 BAs and 2 micro-planars. Compared, using the same sources and the same tracks, with the Magic One, the PhoenixCall is much edgier, perhaps somewhat more detailed and precise, and maybe somehow a tiny bit more dynamic. It has, as I described it in my review, a little rim of light at the leading edge of every note, like a light saber, but I have also come to appreciate the swoosh of light trailing every note. It is brilliant without being brittle. The bass is physical…you not only hear it…you feel it…every note pulsing your eardrums and resonating in your head. In comparison the Magic One is smooth, considerably more coherent, and less demanding to listen to…guitar and violin strings in particular, have sharper edge and can sound clearer and crisper on some tracks on the PhoenixCall than on the Magic One, but only in direct comparison. Which is better? Only you can say. And I will admit, that I often prefer the slightly smoother version of the Magic One.

So lets move on to something a bit more ordinary, at least in design. The Simgot EM6L Phoenix, is what is becoming, since the Aful Perfermer 5 broke the ground, a pretty standard high performance hybrid design with one dynamic and 4 BAs, priced at $30 less then the Magic One. The Phoenix has some of the smoothness of the Magic One when compared to the PhoenixCall. I described the difference between the Phoenix and the PhoenixCall as the difference between medium roast coffee and light roast coffee. The Phoenix is fuller bodied and richer than the PhoenixCall, but that fullness masks at least some of the finest nuisances and more subtle flavor notes that the lighter roast brings to the palette. Both are very satisfying iems, but the Phoenix might be more suitable for everyday listening…the cup that just satisfies every time. Not too dark not too light…just right. Maybe not the most exciting, but never out of place with any meal, or between meals if it comes to that. When compared to the Magic One with the right tips, at least the right tips for me, the Phoenix still as a more physical bass, but it somehow less textured. And no, the Phoenix is not quite as smooth, and again, not quite as coherent as the Magic One, but it is not far off either. To my ear the Magic One and the Phoenix are both provide a pleasant, satisfying, listening experience, but the Magic One has just a smidgin of extra enjoyment. *pleasant*. Does that justify the extra $30 for the Magic One? Again it is your wallet. Of course, you can order the Magic One with an excellent 4.4mm balanced cable, and, if you want balanced on the Phoenix you have to buy an aftermarket cable, so there goes at least part of your $30 savings.

Finally lets take a look at another single driver iem…the $90 planar magnetic Melody from KiwiEars. The more I listen to the Melody the more I appreciate what KiwiEars has been able to do. Their own brand of magic brings a bass as deep and as loud and almost as impactful as the best dynamic drivers, way louder than many, and maintains the technical abilities of the planar driver in the mids and highs. It does not have a spectacular sense of space, but it equals either the Phoenix or PhoenixCall and is, maybe, sometimes, on some tracks, the equal of the Magic One. And it has the same crisp instrument placement as the PhoenixCall. For $90. True its accessory package is pitiful compared to the Magic One, but should that make a $50 difference? Yes, well, that is something only you, and your ears and your wallet, can answer.

To extend the coffee metaphor, we would have to switch from roasts to include coffee blends. The Melody is not only dark roast, it is a lava blend…intentionally emphasizing the dark flavor notes, while the lighter flavor notes float above. The Simgot EM6L is still your single bean medium roast, rich and balanced, and the PhoenixCall is still a single bean light roast, giving full expression to the more subtle flavor notes that distinguish that particular bean. And that makes the Magic One, in coffee terms, a fine medium roast blend created specifically to bring out the smoothness, to emphasize the interplay of all the flavor notes, light and dark, deep and subtle, into one *satisfying!* taste experience with no harsh edges.

My feeling is that the special effort needed to produce the impressive bass in the Magic One, and especially the SE Math signal processing needed to smooth out the treble, ends up giving the Magic One a slightly processed sound. Not a bad thing. Smooth and coherent is just the top priority. I notice it most when comparing the edges on guitar and violin string notes, or the rasp in a male voice or the cracked glass edge on some female voices when they reach high. Those edges are still there in the Magic One but they do not call attention to themselves as they tend to do in, say, the PhoenixCall. Aful assures me that their SE Math is different and better than conventional digital signal processing. They say that DSP adjusts the digital signal before it reaches the iem, before it is converted to analog, while SE Math adjusts the analog sound of the BA itself by responding to the music signal in real time, allowing for better compensation and a closer reproduction of the actual musical source. I am paraphrasing, but I think that gets the gist of what they told me. Still, processing is processing and it might be expected to leave some kind of a mark, even if the end result is so *pleasing!* to the ear.

The songs I used for primary comparison between these four iems are Across Light and Time by Assia Ahhatt and David Arkenstone for instrumental, and Quattro, the World Drifts In, the duet by Robert Plant and Allison Krusse, from Raise the Roof for vocals.These tracks are exceptionally well recorded and put any iem to a real test.

I should say that the difference in performance between these four iems is very subtle, and at least partly a matter of preference. When I am not switching back and forth, listing to the same track over and over trying to hear the differences, I can be happy listening to any one of them for hours, through a varied playlist, or album by album. If I had to pick just one of them for an extended listening session, or forever, as in the I can only keep one, or as in I can only afford to buy one in the first place, then it would have to be either the Simgot EM6L Phoenix or the Aful Magic One. I can not emphasize enough how important tip selection is to the Magic One. Without the right tips I would say the Magic One is no more than equal in performance to the Simgot, but with the right tips and the right insertion depth, the Magic comes alive, and it is just at least to my ear, slightly more *enjoyable!* to listen to…making it my clear choice at its price point, and, I would also, as I said, for extended or every very day listing, choose it over either the Performer 5 or the Performer 8.

The iem market is intensely, some might say *insanely!*, competitive right now, and seems to get more competitive every day. The sound, the musical enjoyment that used to be only available in iems at the $500 and above price point…well that level of enjoyment is now, in my opinion, readily available at under $150, and even in several iems around the $100 price point. This is good!

But it makes magic harder and harder to pull off. The Magic One is huge technical achievement and Aful deserves all the credit that will undoubtedly come to them…if there are technical innovation awards in the iem world, Aful and the Magic One deserves maybe a couple of them….but as a iem in a competitive market, the Magic One has to stand on its merits as a *pleasant!* sounding, smooth, highly coherent iem, with enough spice to justify the Magic name…I will not say “another” smooth, highly coherent iem, because that particular combination is the “magic” the the Magic One brings…but does it break new ground for musical enjoyment at its price point? My ears say yes, just, but just yes. It is magically *pleasant!*, magically *enjoyable!*. Not, apparently, a magic too far for Aful after all. Worth every penny and maybe more. So, yes, I will have a helping of magic for one, thank you Aful. *Pleasant!* indeed!

SenyorC

100+ Head-Fier
Sometimes, simple just works!
Pros: Good performance, good build, good looks...
Cons: Bass may not be for everyone, 6k masks a smooth treble, pressure build up over longer sessions...
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TLDR version on YouTube: TDLR - Aful MagicOne

The Aful MagicOne have been sent to me by HifiGo in exchange for the publication of this review. They have not made any specific requests and I will do my usual best to be as unbiased as humanly possible.

The MagicOne can be found on HifiGo here: https://hifigo.com/products/aful-magicone

As always, this is a non-affiliate link.

To avoid being repetetive in my reviews, you can find all the info about how I create the reviews, equipment used, how I receive the products and how to interpret my reviews by visiting: About my reviews

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Intro…

While I personally haven’t had the chance to hear it, the Aful Performer made quite an impression when it was released in late 2022 / early 2023. I think that the name also worked in favour of people taking notice, which, although I am told it is pronounced A-Fu (meaning blessing in Chinese), I think we all remember what was the first thing that sprung to mind when reading the name. I will refrain from any jokes, as they have already been done, but I actually think it was quite a smart name from marketing terms. It was certainly less forgettable than many of the other brands and models out there.

Looking at the Aful site, it seems that there are 2 versions of the Performer available, the 5 and the 8, while the model I am reviewing today is a more budget oriented set, coming in at just under 130€ on HifiGo (at the time of writing this review).

Where the Performer series are based on hybrid technology with multiple drivers, the MagicOne is as simple as it gets, a single balanced armature driver. There is plenty of mention of it being a special custom design BA, with innovative SE-Math Electro-Acoustic Intermodulation Technology (I have no idea what that means) and Nautilius Acoustic Maze (which sounds difficult), but at the end of the day, we want to know what it does when we plug it into the device of our choice and hit play!

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Presentation…

A black sleeve featuring the IEMs on the cover and specifications on the back, slides away to reveal a simple black box with AFUL shown in small letters on the top. Inside this box we find two cutouts for the IEMs and a larger cutout for the storage/travel case.

The case is round, black, and made of what feels to be aluminium, with AFUL on the top in white letters. These round cases do offer quite a bit more protection but are more difficult to carry around in a pocket.

Opening the case reveals the included cable, along with two packets of additional tips. One packet contains 3 sizes of simple white silicone tips and the other contains 3 sets of black silicone tips with a slightly smaller, and more robust, core.

A nice touch is that the black tips have one blue core and one red core for each size, this means that you can easily identify the left and right IEM when using these tips. I actually found the black tips to be comfortable and to grip and seal very well, being my choice for this reviews.

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Build and aesthetics…

Starting with the cable, it is quite a nice cable although it does feel a little plasticky on the outside. A quadruple weave in gray and silver, featuring all metal hardware, including the chin slider for those who prefer it. The cable terminates in a 4.4mm balanced connector (also available in 3.5mm) that sports AFUL on it, leading to the two pin connectors at the other end that sit flush with the IEMs. The cable matches the IEMs and gives a quality aesthetic to the package.

The IEMs themselves are of clear resin with a faceplate that is white but is not just a simple white plate. It is more of a sprayed finish under the clear layer, along with a silver design that has been “inspired by snowflakes” sporting matching silver letters underneath that read AFUL on one IEM and MagicOne on the other.

The shape is rather generic and on the smaller side with longer nozzles, which I think will work well for many people. However, one thing to note is that there is no vent on these IEMs, meaning that those who suffer from pressure build up will notice it with the MagicOne. I personally noticed it after some longer sessions.

As the shells are clear, we can see what is going on inside and, although this is a single BA driver set, there is quite a bit in there. The HifiGo page refers to an RLC Computning Network, along with an Acoustic Computing System, so it is more than just 2 wires to a BA driver.

I have to say that I like the looks of the MagicOne, they are clean and smart (in my opinion), with the comfort only being an issue when suffering from pressure build up due to the lack of vents.

Edit: After putting this review together, I realized that the MagicOne is actually vented. This does not change the fact that I suffered from pressure build up after longer listening sessions, which may or may not affect others. It does mean that my comment about the being unvented is totally wrong though. I apologize for the misinformation!

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Sound…

All tracks mentioned are clickable links that allow you to open the reference track in the streaming service of your choice (YouTube, Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, etc.)

It has been a long time since I have had a single BA driver come across my desk, at least that I can remember. I have had plenty of multi BA sets, along with even more hybrid sets containing BA’s, but no single BA. There may be a model (or models) that I am forgetting but when thinking of a single BA, I have memories of IEMs from a couple of years ago that were not that impressive. Yes, some of them could be decent as far as details but usually came with an unimpressive bass and a sort of metallic shine in the upper ranges.

Therefore, when sitting down to listen to the MagicOne, I wasn’t exactly expecting much. This is one of those cases where we prove once again that preconceived opinions are not much use until we actually get to listen to an IEM, they are not always what we expect.

As usual, let’s first take a look at the frequency response in relation to my usual personal preference:

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Now this is not one of those cases where I am going to say that the IEMs sound nothing like the graph, as I find the graph to be very representative of what I am hearing. However, the performance of the BA driver, along with whatever magic that is that Aful jargon I mentioned earlier, gives for a very good outcome, even if it is not my favourite tuning.

Starting off at the lowest notes, as I always do, with my usual subbass test, there is a noticeable lack of rumble in these ranges, even if there isn’t a noticeable lack of presence. Let me explain… there is extension down into the lowest sub notes on “Chameleon”, with them being reproduced, yet there is no sensation of vibration or rumble from those notes.

This gives the sensation of a lack of subbass, which I guess is true but not because it isn’t there, it is because it is not reproduced in the usual rumbling low note way. A frequency sweep proves that there is extension down to the 25Hz mark, yet it is more of a polite tone than it is what we would normally associate with subbass. Listening to “Royals”, due to the politeness and cleanliness of these tones, it does make the track seem to not have subbass at all.

While the midbass is more boosted in comparison to my usual preference, again that cleanliness and politeness of the single BA makes things lack punch in this area. For example, with “Shot Me Down”, there is no real bass presence, with a focus more on clarity than reproduction of EDM.

If we move over to things that are more based on instrument, such as the electric guitar of Tracy Chapman in “Give Me One Reason”, there is not much warmth in the lower end of the guitar notes. The same could be said with the guitar in “Crazy”, where the midbass is noticeably reduced, leaving more of a clean tone than a warm tone that is usual with this track.

As we move into the mid range and even to the upper mids, the clarity and definition is excellent, with vocals and instruments being the center of attention, allowing us to pay attention to things like nuances in the playing of said instruments. “Dreamin’” is presented in a way that it is much easier to appreciate that the the guitar playing is not quite as simple as it may seem on so many other sets.

With “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes”, the fretless bass guitar may not have the body that other sets would give it but at the same time, it allows me to focus on some of the amazing things that Bakithi Kumala pulls off on this track.

The upper mids really do add clarity into the equation, at the expense of some tracks becoming slightly harsh on occasions, yet things like the brass section in the track I just mentioned are not painful like they can be on many sets. In fact, even the voice of Paul Simon manages to avoid sibilance and harshness in comparison to many other IEMs.

On the subject of sibilance, my usual test track “Code Cool” is not actually that sibilant, I would place Patricia Barber around a +1 or +2 (on my -12 to +12, totally unscientific, sibilance ranking), whereas some other vocals that I dont usually find sibilant, or very rarely, can present sibilance on the MagicOne. One of those cases would actually be Daniella Andrade in the track “Crazy” that I mentioned a moment ago.

I think this is very much due to that slight boost around 6kHz which, although it does avoid my dreaded 5kHz pain point, it can react to certain vocals in a sibilant way. This is by no means terrible but it is noticeable.

Moving into the treble areas, there is a bit of a lack of air and shine, although, that 6kHz boost does sort of take control of that upper range, masking the treble that is found above it. Reducing that 6kHz area (playing with EQ) reveals a treble that may not be the most extended or present but is smooth and pleasurable.

I have already mentioned details throughout the review and they are rather impressive. Added to this, I find that the MagicOne have a very good sense of separation between layers and good placement of those details. The soundstage may not be huge but Aful have done a very good job of using the space, with everything well located and easily distinguished from the surrounding details.

Isolation is also very good due to the non vented shells and the great seal that these IEMs offer. As always, you can see the isolation and compare it with other models here: achoreviews.squig.link/isolation

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Conclusion…

The Aful MagicOne are quite a pleasant surprise, even if they do still inherit some of the usual issues with single BA set ups. There is a noticeable lack of bass which will not suit many and that boost just above 6kHz does hide what would otherwise be a rather smooth and elegant treble, even if slightly rolled off.

Other than that, they are a well built, good looking and very well performing set of IEMs. They do a great job of revealing and separating detail and layers, making it very easy to appreciate the nuances in the playing of many great musicians.

If you are in the market for a simple set of single BA IEMs, then I think you can do far worse than the MagicOne, in fact, I think they are a very competent set in a segment that is not really full of options nowadays.

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As with all my reviews, this review can also be found in Spanish both on my blog (www.achoreviews.com) and on YouTube (www.youtube.com/achoreviews)

All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on achoreviews.squig.link

All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on
achoreviews.squig.link/isolation

baskingshark

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Decent accessories
Robust build
Good ergonomics and comfort
Top-notch passive isolation
Packs novel technology to allow a single BA to overcome driver limitations
Well-balanced warm neutral soundscape
Very coherent
Fast and clean bass
Transparent midrange
Smooth treble with good resolution, yet without sibilance
Technicalities are solid for a single BA, especially for imaging and clarity
Will be a great option as a stage monitor or for audio work
Cons: Quite hard to drive - needs amplification
Sounds close to DD bass, but still has a slight lack of sub-bass extension/decay of BA bass
On the pricier side for a proof-of-concept technology
Not for bassheads
DISCLAIMER

I would like to thank HIFIGO for providing the AFUL MagicOne.
It can be gotten here: https://hifigo.com/products/aful-magicone (no affiliate links).

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SPECIFICATIONS
  • Driver configuration: Single balanced armature
  • Impedance: 38 Ω
  • Frequency response: 5 Hz - 35 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 103 dB
  • Cable: 2-pin, 0.78 mm; oxygen-free copper silver-plated Litz cable; 3.5 mm and 4.4 mm termination available
  • Tested at $139.99 USD

ACCESSORIES

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Other than the IEM, these are included:
- 3 pairs of soft silicone eartips (S/M/L)
- 3 pairs of stiff silicone eartips (S/M/L)
- Cable
- Hard carrying case

For something retailing above $100 USD, the accessories are quite decent, other than perhaps the lack of a modular cable and foam tips.


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Speaking about tips, we have 2 variations of silicone tips on offer. Both tips are similar in bore size, but the white ones are softer to the touch, whereas the dark grey ones (with a blue-bore for left side, and red-bore for right side) are stiffer. Do explore to see what suits your preferences.


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The stock cable is an oxygen-free copper silver-plated Litz cable, with a 2-pin termination, which is my preference over MMCX in terms of durability. It is well-braided and of good heft. Tangling and microphonics are minimal. During ordering, one can opt for a 4.4 mm or 3.5 mm termination.


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Last but not least, we have a round hard case, which should protect its contents very well. The innards are lined with a soft material, while the exterior is of solid metal.

The rest of this review was done with the stock cable and stock white silicone tips. No aftermarket accessories were used, so as not to add any confounders to the sound.


BUILD/COMFORT

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The MagicOne is made from transparent resin, allowing one to visualize the goodies inside (we will dive into the special tech below). The faceplates feature a falling snowflake motif.

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The shells are very solid, yet light. The inner aspect has a concha protrusion for grip, with no poky edges. Ergonomics are excellent, and this IEM can be used for long listening sessions without discomfort.

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Despite being a vented BA set, passive isolation is marketed to hit up to 26 dB. Indeed, the MagicOne is one of the better isolating IEMs that is not a custom IEM, and it can hold its own in noisy environments.


INTERNALS

The MagicOne utilizes a single balanced armature driver. This configuration is rarely seen nowadays, as it is arguably the weakest driver setup; single BAs combine the worst traits of a single driver (namely weaker technicalities and poorer sub-bass/treble extension), and a BA driver (namely BA timbre), and hence IEMs nowadays usually use multi BAs, or even hybrids to overcome these shortcomings.

Personally, I'm not a fan of single BA sets as such. I didn't have high expectations for the MagicOne, but was pleasantly surprised after putting it in my ears. If I didn't know that it was a single BA, I would have thought that this was actually a multi-driver pair.

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How did AFUL manage this? Well, 2 novel technological marvels are incorporated within these puppies, to prevail over the single BA limitation.

Firstly, we have “SE-Math” - this furnishes better treble extension - by incorporating an RLC electric-acoustic array within a unique acoustic design.

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Secondly, AFUL's "Nautilus Acoustic Maze Technology" features a special rear cavity acoustic tube. This 3D-printed ultra-thin (77 mm x 0.91 mm) acoustic tube is inspired by the nautilus snail shell, and is deliberately extended in a maze-like design for tuning purposes. Think of it as an acoustic damper via air pressure to down-throttle certain frequencies, and essentially it results in an increased bass resonance, much more than what a standard single BA can execute.

As such, via these 2 innovations, the deficiencies of a single BA are handily mitigated, as we will read below.


DRIVABILITY

I tested the MagicOne with the following sources:
- Apple dongle
- Cayin RU7
- Fiio K11 DAC/amp
- Fiio KA13 dongle
- Hiby R3 Pro Saber 2022 DAP
- Khadas Tone Board -> Schiit Asgard 3 amp
- Questyle M15 DAC/AMP dongle
- Sony Walkman NW A-55 DAP (Walkman One WM1Z Plus v2 Mod)
- Sony Walkman NW A-55 DAP (Walkman One Neutral Mod)
- Sony Walkman NW WM1A DAP (Walkman One WM1Z Plus v2 Mod)
- Smartphone

With an impedance of 38 Ω, and sensitivity of 103 dB, the MagicOne is quite difficult to drive for an IEM. It is not a matter of volume, but amplification is recommended to improve dynamics, soundstage and bass tightness. It may sound meh from a weak source with insufficient juice.


SOUND & TECHNICALITIES

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Graph of the AFUL MagicOne via IEC711 coupler.

Tonally, this set sports a well-balanced warm neutral signature.

Incorporating the best of a BA bass, this region is textured, fast and clean, with no mid-bass bleed. Quantity is just north of neutral, but not at basshead levels. Compared to pure DD bass, the MagicOne still has a slight lack of movement of air/decay and sub-bass extension, but the MagicOne does this area way better than other BA bass counterparts that are not vented, in view of the Nautilus concept.

The lower midrange is very transparent, with not much recession. Instruments and vocals are nicely layered on a dark background, allowing them to be pinpointed with ease. Mid-lovers will have a field day. The upper mids are sedate, with just a 6 dB ear gain, translating to some forwardness in vocals without shoutiness.

The treble is very well-dosed, in being smooth, yet with decent extension and resolution, courtesy of the aforementioned “SE-Math” implementation. The sonics are quite sibilant-free, and the MagicOne retains good clarity without resorting to the usual CHIFI cheat code of a boosted treble to give "fake resolution".

Timbral accuracy is quite decent for a pure BA setup. There is minute BA timbre heard (can't get away totally from it with a BA driver embedded inside after all), with a tinge of hollowness to notes, but it is probably the least offensive of the single BA sets I've heard.

Coherency is superb, which is a benefit of a single driver. We do not hear a disjointed slower bass driver for example, or differences in timbre and technicalities in the various frequency bands. None of the three frequencies overshadow or eat into the other ranges.

Technical chops are well-done for a single BA set. When well amped, soundstage is above average in all 3 dimensions, and imaging and layering are class-leading for this driver configuration. Instrument separation is spacious without any compression, and micro-details are showcased without needing to veer to a brighter soundscape.

Verily, I think the MagicOne might even make for a good stage monitor, in view of the neutralish profile, top-notch comfort and isolation, and commendable technicalities.


COMPARISONS

Comparisons were made with other single BA IEMs. Multi-BAs, single DDs, hybrids and planars were left out of the comparisons as the different driver types have their pros and cons.

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Westone UM1

The UM1 is a bean-shaped IEM which also has great isolation and ergonomics.

This Westone model is tuned warm-neutral, but it has a thinner note weight and a markedly more metallic timbre. Bass is also much weaker in extension, decay and texturing, which is a perennial issue with single BAs.

The UM1 is many leagues behind in technicalities, losing to the MagicOne in soundstage, micro-details, imaging and layering.


Etymotic ER4XR

The contentious point of most Etymotic gear, is the requirement for deep insertion, which can be rather uncomfortable for the uninitiated. There is an argument to be made that no matter how heavenly an IEM sounds, if one cannot tolerate the fitting, then the sonics are a moot point, which is the case with the ER4XR (personally, I can't wear it for more than a couple of minutes).

Fit aside, the ER4XR is inferior in technicalities (imaging, soundstage and micro-details). The ER4XR is warmer overall, and darker in the treble, with less treble extension. This set is also way more expensive than the MagicOne, and is probably obsolete with the advent of the MagicOne, perhaps other than having classleading passive isolation for a non-custom IEM.


KBEAR Neon

The Neon is another bullet-shaped IEM, which requires deep-insertion for optimal sonics (comfort is hence less pleasant than that of the MagicOne).

The Neon is midcentric, with a noticeable roll-off in the sub-bass and treble. It also has a more plasticky BA timbre.

In terms of technicalities, the Neon is a few steps behind, with weaker soundstage, imaging and micro-details.


CONCLUSIONS

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As written above, I was a detractor of single BAs, due to their inherent weaknesses of BA timbre, sub-par end-to-end extension and second-rate technicalities. However, in the MagicOne, AFUL has done a convincing job in addressing these limitations with impressive cutting-edge technology, literally changing my viewpoint overnight!

Sub-bass and treble extension are more than decently portrayed with the “SE-Math” and Nautilus concepts, with a fast and clean bass, clear midrange and smooth yet resolving treble. Technicalities are nothing to sniff at - with imaging and layering the star of the show - and the MagicOne bestows a smooth warm-neutral tone, which is very well-balanced and coherent, with not an ounce of sibilance.

The MagicOne easily stomps on other single BA competitors - some maybe costing even more - and actually sounds more like a multi-driver transducer due to these special innovations. It can even be used for stage monitoring or audio work due to the solid technical chops, great comfort, splendid isolation and neutralish profile.

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Nothing is perfect though. The MagicOne requires amplification to do the sonics justice, and I'm afraid driving it off a weak source will result in a meh sound. Despite packing the most creative of designs, the bass still does not sound 100% as natural as a DD bass in terms of extension and decay, though it comes pretty close.

Some might argue that the pricing is a bit prohibitive for a single BA (though some Etymotic single BAs are actually pricier!). Truth be told, at $100ish, we can't deny that there may be established hybrid or planar tech out there which are more technical.

Ultimately, the MagicOne is a proof-of-concept of what a single BA can achieve, with proper tuning and implementation. The magical one - or the magic that can be pulled off with one BA - is an apt namesake, and we now have a revolutionary formulae that may spur manufacturers to refine on. For example, planar IEMs were for a long time thought to be exotic and costly, but in the span of just 1 year, we have seen its proliferation evolve to a planar craze. Nowadays, we routinely see sub-$100 planar IEMs that are respectable sounding! What AFUL has done here is literally ground-breaking, and I do hope these advancements will filter down to future (cheaper) releases, such that all consumers can benefit!
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NAER

New Head-Fier
This is truly magic!
Pros: Great technical capabilities

Very natural and detailed sound, with an incredible neutrality focused in the middle region, natural timbre despite being a ba.

Top quality cable

Very well detailed treble

Not sibilant

Beautiful design

Supreme build quality

Great fit and comfort
Cons: It is not that easy to drive, you will need at least a dongle dac.

Sub and mid bass despite being present feels a bit thin.

Poor unboxing experience and accessories for its price range.
DISCLAIMER:
This set was sent to me by HiFiGo in exchange for an honest review, this agreement in no way includes any monetary or material incentive or compesantion before, during and after this review, and in no way influences my opinion, everything I express in this review are my own thoughts after extensive analysis of this set.

I send a big thank you to HiFiGo for trusting me to do this review.

PACKAGING AND CONTENTS:

The magic one comes in a very simple box

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Inside the box we find:

-Capsules
-A high purity oxygen free copper and silver plated oxygen free copper wire with a 32+37 4 core wire.
-A good sized round case where the iem can be safely stored.
-3 pairs of transparent eartips (S,M,L)
-3 pairs of left blue and right red eartips (S,M,L)
-QC approved certificate of quality control
-User manual

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SPECIFICATIONS:

-Impedance: 38Ω.
-Sensitivity: 103dB/mW.
-Frequency Response: 5Hz-35kHz.
-Passive Isolation: 26dB.
-Connectors: 2-pin 0.78mm.
-Termination: 3.5mm/4.4mm.
-Cable Length: 1.2m.

FIT AND ISOLATION:

Having a semi-custom shape the insertion can be quite deep, with the right tips you can get an incredible external sound isolation, as well as an impressive comfort, in my case I have a small ear canal I can use them all day without any problem, the tips that includes the magic one, are very standard, in my case I did some tip rollin to find the best ones, the guys at HiFiGo sent me the new DIVINUS Velvet, excellent choice for this pair, super comfortable and being so light is like not using anything, the cable is chonky, in my personal case is a feature that I love, it gives me a feeling of higher quality and durability, although yes, on the external ear does not go unnoticed.

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SOUND

SOURCES:


MEGATRON
FIIO KA3
HIBY R3 PRO SABER
AVANI
ABIGAIL
IKKOLOT MAGIC ARC

DRIVABILITY:

They do not require too much power, a good dongle like the fiio ka3 can handle it without any problem, as they have a relatively high impedance and low sensitivity, although AFUL states that it is very easy to move, it is not so easy, being a single BA, I really expected the same but I was surprised, do not be alarmed, you do not need so much, but if it is something to mention, a dongle of the simplest may not be enough.


TUNNING:

Incredible, a very neutral tone, charging to the midrange, where the female voices stand out and the treble offers too much information and detail without being sibilant or fatiguing, what is true is that the bass is present, with good punch but, it feels a little thin.

BASS:

Ok, let's get this straight, a single BA IEM offering a powerful bass as promised by Aful thanks to their custom BA and Nautilus resonance design, sounded like an impossibility.

And partly this is true, partly not, let me make it clear.
Although BA's are almost always used to support mid and treble frequencies in hybrid IEMS the magic one is not the first to offer the full frequency range.

But without a doubt this unique design of AFUL offers a great quality in the bass, I was surprised that it reaches a level equal to a DD in terms of quality, of course I put as a drawback that the bass feels somewhat thin, it is a matter of taste, the truth is that this bass is very fast and resolute, I was very surprised with the quality it can offer, this sound signature asks little in the bass, so I think it is very good, the only thing I have to highlight is that perhaps it is not the deep bass that many might expect.

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MID RANGE:

Wow, the midrange is insane, very well accomplished, super clean and detailed, energetic but not aggressive, very smooth, and up front, the vocals are the best thing about this iem in my view, they jump out at you with wonderful clarity, presence and authority.

This is a great set for listening to female vocals, classical, and acoustic music, and although I think that might be its forte, this iem is very versatile and will solve any genre well.


TREBLE:

As for this region, the trebel BA has always had a very bad reputation of being "harsh", uncomfortable to listen to if not achieved well and unnatural, really the treble that can offer the MagicOne is very good, detailed, aereado and very tolerant to the sibilance, I usually use a lot the albums of Dr. Dre as a test of Dr. Dre's production. Dre albums as a treble test, since Dre's production is usually very sibilant, not only in vocals, even in percussions, this set solves very well, it offers a sound full of microdetail and very aereated, I really thought it would not be able to solve these extreme scenarios, but in tracks like "Gospel" where the vocal sibilances are so notorious and even uncomfortable, the MagicOne knows how to dominate them very well.

TECHNICALITIES:

SOUNSTAGE AND IMAGE:


A surprisingly wide soundstage and with a very accurate image, I think for video games and multimedia content is incredible, I do not doubt that for live monitoring are a good choice, there is a holographic feeling of sound that will help you a lot to position yourself.

The layering that this set achieves is very good, nothing overstacks with each other, you can perfectly differentiate the origin of each instrument.

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WHERE TO BUY?:

Here are all the official HiFiGo links where you can buy the AFUL MagicOne

Aliexpress

Amazon US

Amazon JP

HiFiGo Web


(NON-AFFILIATED LINKS)

CONCLUSION:

A wonderful IEM and unique in its kind, AFUL has taken a very big step in terms of development, I really feel very surprised of the results with this single BA IEM, definitely AFUL's proprietary technology has years of development and it shows that it has given results, if you are looking for a beautiful IEM, with a brutal build quality, a cable that you will never have to upgrade as it is certainly top, with a very neutral, detailed, mid frequency loaded signature to enjoy your music focused on vocals and analog instruments, these should be without a doubt one of the best options on the market, AFUL knows how to do their job, and I can't wait to see the result of their next iem that implements this technology, for the price of 140 USD, I think what you get is of too much quality.


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H
Hacke
First of all, thank you very much for your review. I also ordered the Aful Magic One and received them yesterday. I can only agree with your review. The Aful "sound" just like you wrote. I also have the Audiosense t800 here. They're also very good in my eyes, but they've just been lying in their box since yesterday. I'm currently listening to the new Peter Gabriel album with the Magic One. Driven by a Questyle m12 and played with an iPhone 14 Pro!!! What can I say, I'm flashed...... buy this IEM…..:L3000:

Ceeluh7

500+ Head-Fier
Aful MagicOne Review "Do You Believe in Magic?"
Pros: -Beautiful Shell Design
-Built very well
-Unboxing
-The cable is very nice
-Ergonomically friendly fit & comfortable
-Organic sounding, neutrality with a splash of warmth & completely musical
-Note weight across the mix is wonderful
-Great bass for a single BA, truly special (also a con)
-Warm/Neutral engaging mids, vocals are exquisite!
-Detailed and vibrant treble
-Great tone & timbre
-Non-fatiguing sound
-Imaging
-Soundstage surprised me, it is rather large
Cons: -Not DD bass
-Extension into the sub-bass is merely adequate
-This one wants output power
-Those who want a crisp and airy sound won’t exactly find that here
-Extension into the upper-highs is not that great

Aful MagicOne Review

"Do You Believe in Magic?"


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Aful MagicOne

Intro

Hello, today I am reviewing one of Aful Audio‘s latest iems, the Aful MagicOne ($139). Folks I am very pleased to be able to present this set of earphones to you and I do hope it helps you in making a purchasing decision. I’d like to first thank the good people of HiFiGo for providing this set-in exchange for a feature at Mobileaudiophile.com. You can find the Aful MagicOne HERE, or at the links below. So, thank you very much Hifigo and thank you even more for only demanding that I speak my truth on this or any other set. Anyways, Aful has been doing special things friends and it really shows with their three releases to date. I am so intrigued by this company folks and I think I’m slowly converting into a low-key fan boy. Okay, let’s pretend I didn’t say that.

Aful

Aful was not a name that we in the west were very familiar with. Well at least I certainly hadn’t heard of them. Not until the Aful Performer 5 (Mahir’s Review) was released to the public anyways. Shortly after Aful also released the Aful Performer 8 (Review coming soon) (Pavan’s Review) and I gotta tell you folks, both of those sets are very well tuned and hold a nice spot in their respected price points. Aful actually began their journey back in 2018 when they quickly began setting up their lab and by 2020, they had procured three patents! That’s saying something folks! By 2022 the Performer series was off the ground with the release of the Performer 5, followed shortly thereafter by the Performer 8, which brings us to the set I am reviewing today, the MagicOne. Talk about a startup. This company went from complete obscurity to one of the big players very quickly.

MagicOne

I am such a huge fan of this hobby. I don’t proclaim to be the most knowledgeable or most understanding of the inner workings of some of these sets. However, I could not help but be just ridiculously impressed and curious about this set. Any fan of the hobby should be at least mildly curious. I would think anyway. My hats go off to the people who had the craftiness and know-how to engineer a set like the MagicOne. This is not just a niche set, because it covers the whole mix and does so well. To the point that the MagicOne is an actual contender in the price point. Obviously, it has some issues that other driver configurations may be able to handle a bit better but at the end of the day this one BA set sounds very nice. However, I didn’t always feel this way.

Wild Ride

I’ve been on sort of a “wild ride” getting to know MagicOne over the course of the last week or two. I went from dissatisfied and disappointed to overly joyous, and everything in between. Of course, this was my fault, the MagicOne didn’t change. However, here I am, and I have a lot to say about this set which consists of one Balanced Armature Driver which covers the whole of the frequency. Also, it does it well. To be completely honest, I’ve only ever heard a couple one BA iems and I’ve never been impressed. I would have also told you that there’s no way only a single BA can cover the entire mix satisfactorily. No chance! Well, based on what I’ve heard over the course of about a week, I’d say I’m pretty much floored about how well Aful was able to make this set sound. Now I know. You can do a lot with a single BA, so long as good ole’ school ingenuity and a willingness to create something special are the top priority. With that, the Aful MagicOne…

Non-Affiliated, non-compensated purchase links:

HiFiGo

Amazon US

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The iBasso DX240 and the Aful MagicOne is a great combo.


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Ifi Go Blu / Moondrop Dawn 4.4 / iBasso SX240 / Shanling M6 Ultra / Hidizs S9 Pro Plus

Gear used for testing

Ifi Go Blu
Moondrop Dawn 4.4
Hidizs S9 Pro Plus
iBasso DX240 with Amp8 MK2
Shanling M6 Ultra

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Packaging / Accessories

Unboxing

Finally, here we are at the onset of my review, and I have to report that I thought Aful gives out a great first impression. The MagicOne comes packaged in a small rectangular black box with a picture of the MagicOne on the front and some specs on back. As per usual. Open the box and you’ll see the gorgeous MagicOne earphones lookin’ all pretty staring back at you. Next to the earphones is the hockey Puck style case that we’ve seen before. Inside the case you’ll find the cable and you’ll also see the six pairs of eartips. Honestly, for $139 I feel the unboxing was decent. Not crazy luxurious but also, who really cares. They give out some quality accessories and cable so I’m more than happy.

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Eartips

AM1 Tips

Okay, the eartips that Aful provides are six pairs in total or two sets of three (S, M, L). I find that they are quality type tips. You get three pairs of the dark gray tips that are colored red (right side) and blue (left side). These tips are more of a narrow bore, pretty firm flange, decently long. We’ve seen these tips for quite a while, and they are great tips for when you need them. The next pair are darn near identical to the last pair in feel, structure, bore size except they are all white. Now, I went instead with my two of my favorite tips, the KBear 07 large sized tips and the TRN Clarion tips. Both help in slightly the same ways with a semi-wide bore and firmer stem. I feel they help just a little with the bringing out the upper-mids and add a bit of punch to the mid-bass. To be quite honest, I’m sure the provided tips would be just fine.

Carrying Case

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The case that Aful gives out is the same hockey Puck style case that we’ve seen in previous Aful iems. Perfectly usable, great to throw in a pocket, it’ll keep your iems from getting trashed and is a decently attractive case. Granted, I never use cases but I could see myself using this one just because it is not fat and so it’ll fit in a front pocket easily. Now, you probably won’t get anything else in the case besides the earphones and cable but a good size, nonetheless. I usually carry my iems in a slightly larger case and throw them into a bag with me. I already have a set or two of tws as well with my pockets pretty much filled so adding this guy to my pockets just won’t usually happen. Nice case though, nothing to complain about.






Cable

AM1 Cable

The included cable is a beautiful wire that is a high purity oxygen free copper and oxygen free copper that is silver plated braided cable that is really nice and beefy. I love it. This is a Litz type-4 style with a coaxial shielded structure. The cable can be ordered with either a 3.5 single ended jack or a 4.4 balanced jack. I think this cable is great because it fits the colorway of the MagicOne perfectly too. Just a gorgeous add on to this set. Thankfully Aful understands how important it is to get the cable right. Also, thankfully they understand how important the cable is to the entire experience.

Now I did swap out the cable for balanced sources being that I was provided the 3.5 single ended jack and I do think that the MagicOne scales with more output power. My devices all have a bunch more power under the balanced configuration and so I went with the KBear Chord 4.4 for these purposes. I think it is a nice and aesthetically pleasing cable as well and looks great attached.

AM1 Cable
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Build / Design / Internals / Fit

Build Quality

Aful provides a solid build in the MagicOne with a chassis built entirely of resin by way of 3D printing. I especially like the feel of this set when in hand. It is very solid and almost has the feel of glass. Nothing even remotely cheap about the MagicOne. The MagicOne is an average sized iem and built in a very ergonomic way. I found the protrusion (wing) on the outside of the shell helps tremendously to seat in my ear perfectly. The nozzles are also pretty much average. If I were to guess without trying to find my micrometer, I would say the nozzles are roughly 5-6 mm and are medium length. About average. This bodes well for folks who simply wants a set that will provide comfort. This is your set friends. So, the build is very solid and perfectly warranted at the $139 price point.

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AM1 Build Quality
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Design

This is where the MagicOne “may” or “may not” lose some people. The look is beautiful, let’s just get that out of the way. Gorgeous. To me anyways. The MagicOne are completely transparent (as you can see from my pics) and you can easily see the inner workings inside the shell. You can see the long and curly tubes, the tech, the driver and it is all so neatly laid out. It just looks so cool folks. Now the divisive part comes from the faceplates. I don’t know if everyone will dig the snowflake design theme. At any rate, the faceplates have a snowflake type design with silver outlining the snowflake contours in a nice pattern. Under this patterned snowflake design you’ll notice what looks like foam, which also sort-of resembles snow. So, the theme is nice. I have zero issues with it. However, I’m sure there are those folks who may think it isn’t manly enough for them. Again, I think it is so inventive, creative and even artsy and I applaud the design team who envisioned this set.

Solid Sound & Outstanding Looks: –
Not only does the MagicOne offer exceptional sound, but it also boasts an outstanding visual design. The pair features a stunning clear white finish, inspired by the beauty of falling snowflakes. The Face Covers are artistically designed with the theme of “纷雪” (Snowflakes Fall) in Chinese. We are confident that you will love the look and feel of the MagicOne. Additionally, the pair is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort during longer listening sessions.
Aful Promotional

Internals

This is the nitty gritty of this review. The entire mystique or novelty of this set is centered around the fact that Aful chose to use a single “Balanced Armature Driver” to craft this set. It’s a bold choice folks! Aful actually went with a customized balanced armature driver that sits right under the nozzle but a bit back with a wide tube running from the driver to the nozzle. Aful uses what they refer to as “SE-Math Electro-Acoustic Intermodulation, Nautilus Acoustic Maze”. Basically, this is the windy tube behind the armature driver. The theory behind this tech is fascinating folks. I will not go into crazy detail, but I will share a link to a video from Akros (with whom I greatly respect) to further explain much better than I can write it exactly how this tech works. His video is HERE. Thank you Antonio! I hope you don’t mind my share.

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Technology: –
AFUL has developed a core technology called “SE-Math”, this tech allows better extensions at the high-frequency region by compensating the difference between the driver and the pure sound through RLC electro-acoustic network and complex acoustic structure. It basically improves the high-frequency response and makes the MagicOne sound clearer and crispier than the initial response.

Enhanced Bass Response: –
To further enhance the bass response, AFUL has equipped the MagicOne with a uniquely designed rear-cavity structure. This structure includes a specially designed long and ultra-thin acoustic tube, inspired by the design of Nautilus. This complex tube design enables the balanced armature driver to deliver precise, powerful, and accurate lower-end responses.
Aful Promotional

Fit / Isolation

I’ve already partially covered how the MagicOne fits me but let me reiterate just how nice this set seats in my ears. Perfectly! I’m not joking, I think this set was made to my exact ear anatomy. It sits perfectly. I have no idea how it will fit you but I’m assuming the MagicOne will fit more than most people very well. Passive Isolation is wonderful too. The MagicOne provides a silent environment where only the faintest of sounds squeak through. Sound leakage is also not a problem so you can listen right next to anyone else and not bother them.

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iBasso DX240 & Aful MagicOne


Drivability

Mobile Listening

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The Aful MagicOne is rated at an impedance of 38 ohms and a sensitivity of 103 db’s which by all measures should be easy to drive. However, I found this to not exactly be the case. Listening with something like the IFi Go Blu sounds nice but I had to be using the 4.4 port for the MagicOne to really come out of its shell. It just likes more juice folks. In fact, all mobile listening that really sounded great was done using the 4.4 port. The same was true for my dongle-dacs like the Moondrop Dawn 4.4 and the Hidizs S9 Pro Plus. So long as I gave it good and strong power the MagicOne would open up and sound beautiful. Of my dongle-dacs I definitely liked the pairing of the Moondrop Dawn 4.4 the best. They just created a nice synergy that was satisfying for me. Perhaps the slight warmth of the MagicOne reacted well to the more neutral Dawn 4.4.

Daps

I used both the iBasso DX240 as well as the Shanling M6 Ultra for much of my listening. I also made sure to set my gain on both devices to medium and high gain. Each device gets up close to 1 watt of power and I think I was rewarded for using the most of it. I enjoyed both daps as they both have their own flavor to the sound. The DX240 is a bit closer to neutral and the M6 Ultra is a bit more velvet and warm. Both sound fantastic and impressed me a lot. I couldn’t tell you which I like better.

In the end

At the end of the day just make sure you have a good and strong dongle-dac at least. Something with some good output and you will like what you hear. Without that added juice the sound is pretty unspectacular and closer to flat for me. Dynamics increased substantially and the sound seemed to open up. The bass tightens and is rewarded with some additional oomph.

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The Aful MagicOne attached to the Shanling M6 Ultra is pure bliss.


Sound Impressions

One thing I wasn’t expecting was such a full sound to come from a one-BA set but alas, this is what I’m hearing. However, when I first put this set in my ears I was not impressed. I felt the sound was dull, bland, not exciting and simply didn’t come across as very energetic. So, as I do, I went away for about an hour and then came back and added a bit more juice, and the sound spruced up a bit. Still, I would say that I wasn’t really high on this set. I even made a Facebook post describing as much. However, I could kick myself because the very next morning it was like the skies parting friends. I’m telling you that it was like I was hearing this for the first time, and it was truly a different experience. This just goes to show you that so many things can affect how we hear our music. I had to share that little experience because it really threw me for a loop!

Between the 20’s

Anyways, the sound comes across as neutral with shades of warmth in the low-end which helps to add a nice sense of note weight to my library of music. The sound is what I would call a U-shaped sound with a forward and prominent low-end but not very robust as a dynamic driver comes across. The midrange is also relatively forward with a hint of warmth to hug the neutrality of the tonal coloration. The treble has just enough emphasis to lift up the spectrum and comes across smooth and coherent to the rest of the mix and nicely detailed.

Everything just sounds so smooth and so musical to my ears. I hear great macro-dynamic fullness and expression with very lithe and supple micro-dynamic movement for lower volume sounds and undertones. It’s limber, it catches the tiny intonations of a tracks and keeps control. It doesn’t get sloppy…ever. Imaging is fantastic and so is the layering I’m getting from this single BA. Friends I’m truly at a loss for what this set can do and I’m having to rewrite my understanding of what a single BA can do. The soundstage is above average and good in all directions making my music feel alive and realistic and nicely detailed. However, perhaps the most awesome is the timbre. Again, I’m dumbfounded folks. Truly a great sound.

Nice work Aful!

If this passage is the furthest you read just know that the sound is great, but it does have its slight subjective quirks. I will try to outline those issues in the next few sections of this review when I go through the Bass, Mids, and Treble. Nothing is perfect in “all ways” and nothing will ever be, but I find the pluses outweigh and tower over the negatives by a monumental degree. Nice work Aful!

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Graph courtesy of “Super Review”, Thank you so much!


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Bass Region

The low-end definitely has some well-defined prominence in the mix. It isn’t the type of bass that will provide anything close to a big DD rumble but… There’s definitely a rumble. It’s concise, accurate, and it’s clean too. I hear a more natural and well-defined bass that keeps some tight reigns on the lower half of the mix. I’d also say that between the sub & mid-bass they operate on almost equal parts to my ears. Possibly a bit more skewed towards the sub-bass. However, the extension in the lowest of lows isn’t very great. It isn’t that bad either. Great for a single-BA and I’m not really missing much here. In fact, just because this bass is not ultra boomy doesn’t mean it isn’t robust. There is a fullness to the bass amongst the tighter delivery. This isn’t a thin and anemic BA Bass. It just isn’t!

Good BA Bass

I hear a mostly neutral bass with a splash of engrossing warmth. Transients are perceptively pretty quick with a very astute and nimble note agility down low. I find this bass to be very precise in its undulations and modulations within a bassline, bass drop, drumline etc. with sufficient quantity. Not enough for even slight Bass-Bois but plenty for fans of good bass. Very nice for a single-BA bass in my opinion. Perhaps I need to rewrite my expectations going forward. I truly didn’t think you’d get as much body as you can on this set.

I find the quantity to be good for many genres and even good for maneuvering around complicated passages of music in the low-end. It’s a nimble bass. Of course, so many folks only want to know, “Does it BANG?” and the answer is, sort of, I guess. My question would be “How much BANG is good for you?” I’d also say it can, but more-so in a naturally occurring way. I’d usually say it rises to the occasion and I think I’d be right with that assessment on the MagicOne. It can handle a fairly deep reverberant rumble and decent slam that sounds great to me. Will it be great for you?

Sub-bass

The sub-bass has a somewhat limited extension due to the make-up and driver configuration or the limitations of the BA driver. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. The sub-bass still has some grumble & growl when needed. “Cadillac” by Victoria Monet is a song which reaches low and the MagicOne is able to reciprocate with a natural but also pretty damn sonorous vibration. There’s some haptic and palpable texture and tactility to the sub-bass too. Also, it can get fairly resonant and deep but please keep your expectations in check. Most certainly not even hinting at basshead levels, but very good. This is quality, it’s clean, it’s dexterous and yet it can still get pretty guttural too. I’m impressed. This was actually the first area that I wanted to pay attention to and I’m not disappointed. It’s much rumblier than I would’ve thought or better said… than what I prepared myself for.

Sub-bass cont

Another track is “2040” by Lil Durk and Lil Baby. In this song it literally begins with a thundering bass drop. Now, just about any set can sound at least moderately bulbous & bangin’ here, but the MagicOne’s single BA actually hits with decent haptics. There’s some reverberant vibrational energy folks. Obviously, this is not anything like some real and raw DD sets. In fact, straight up… this is not a DD bass, so please remember my position on this. I don’t want DMs of any of you complaining that I told you it’s the same. For a single BA I am quite happy. The sub-bass is one area where we weren’t supposed to have those rumbly feels with a single-BA, or so I thought. The best part of the sub-bass though, to me, is the fact that it’s quick enough for faster bass tracks and equally impressive is the punch at attack. It’s a compact and concrete note edge at attack/decay that isn’t softened, hollow, or pillowy at all to my ears. This all carries over into the mid-bass…

Mid-bass

The enjoyment I get from the mid-bass is not because I’m overjoyed by the visceral power behind the bodacious slam and boom. No sir. I enjoy this mid-bass because it comes across naturally punchy. To my ears it has the right amount of weight afforded stuff like bass guitars, kick drums and has the right kind of elasticity and ductility. What do I mean by ductility you ask? The sound is ductile, it’s malleable, flexible, it keeps a tight rein on the note outline and is almost rubbery in its ability to maneuver around complicated bass tracks. There’s some bounce to the sound. It isn’t the type that booms like a typical DD. To my ears anyways. The MagicOne’s tuning isn’t meant to rumble, but it’s the type that’s meant to replicate what a track actually is. It’s natural and organic. The resonant harmonics don’t have that long ambient decay, but they do have some lingering presence and atmosphere to them on some tracks.

Got some meat to it

Take this next track, one I always use for review purposes, “Billie Jean” by Weezer (Michael Jackson cover). The song starts with booming successive kick drums which will very quickly tell you a ton about the sound of any set in the low-end. With the MagicOne I hear a very clean bass hit. The sound is hollow right after attack, with almost a slightly scaled down boom with a nicely tacky edge to it. It’s a natural sounding kick-drum. You can also hear the bounce to the kick drum. The note edge is a clean hit and isn’t caked in softness like so many sets. It doesn’t sound like a hammer blow wrapped in a sock. It sounds like a hammer. Concrete, rigid, defined, mildly resonant and unsullied. But it isn’t super boomy to please bass heads. Listening to “911” by Teddy Swims is another track that has a deep and heavy bass drop in which the MagicOne really comes alive to. It’s got some meat to it folks. It simply isn’t overly and overtly colored and isn’t super meaty.

Bass guitar sounds nice as well. I feel there is enough presence in the mid-bass and plumpness to give gravelly fullness to most bass guitar tracks. Now I don’t know if it will fulfill everyone’s standards as it’s a more neutral and controlled mid-bass. “Feelin’ the Miles” by The Wilder Blue simply jams with the MagicOne. I can’t get over how authentic to life this set makes this track sound. The snares simply pang so nicely, and I can feel or hear the rebound to it. The bass guitar has some drone to it too. Is it perfect? C’mon…Nothing is perfect. But it does so much to satisfy.

Bass/Baritone

Bass singers like Avi Kaplan in “First Place I Go“. His voice is so crisp, but bodied-up. There’s a knife edge to his voice at the crest of attack when he sings. It isn’t the deepest and sonorously low-pitched sound, and a hair more warmth would’ve been more natural to me. But it’s really nice folks. His voice should pierce through everything like butter with his resonant groan. Possibly a bit restrained on the MagicOne but completely satisfying. Other deep bass singers like Josh Turner have the same exact affect. Look at the track “Would You Go with Me“. Again, his voice could use a deeper tone, but it’s so well composed and has such a nice weight to it.

My thoughts

I find the bass region to be a highlight. I’m positive that there will be folks who will disagree with that statement. However, I love the natural feel to the sound. The natural depth to any track is great; it’s layered, textured, and isn’t even close to one-noted or muddy.

Downsides to the Bass Region

Of course, this bass is not even close to basshead levels. That’ll be a huge con right away for many people I know. To be honest I don’t even know why any bassheads would be reading this. It’s a one-BA iem for crying out loud! This is about quality friends. Still, it has its shortcomings to a slight degree. It doesn’t get that deep pitched resonant growl that many DD sets can get. Yes, it’s natural and more organic but I do still favor Dynamic Drivers. Always will. Still, that doesn’t take away from what Aful has done. Also, extension down low is not something to write home about. Again, it still extends deeper than what I was imagining a single-BA would be able to do. The bass is well detailed and very agile with enough oomph for most any genre and is very satisfying as it makes up for its lack of beef with dexterity and good timbre.

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Midrange

Oh, the midrange. I promise, this is the area that hooked me in and ultimately hasn’t let me go. I find the midrange to be sensational, in the way that it’s holographic and with fantastic musicality. It has good body and note weight across the midrange. The MagicOne has a clean and clear and fully emotional midrange. I really do enjoy what this set can do. It’s this neutral-ish sound that grabs warmth when it needs it, and it’s a region that seems “put on a pedestal” against the other frequencies between the 20’s. It’s smooth in body with silk overtones. Yet, this set can also manage to be crisp enough when a track asks it to. The mids are very lissome… graceful even. The timbre is great, like… Really Great! There’s a more organic approach (my definition of organic) and an altogether wholesome sound. But the vocals… The vocals hit me in the heart friends. Such a seductive and honeyed sound. It’s a forward, euphoric, and smoothly pronounced sound. Pardon the descriptors as I can get pretty cheesy, but I cannot help but lavish some respect to this tuning and to the midrange vocals as well. Perhaps they are the best vocals of any within the price point for me. Maybe I’m a “prisoner of the moment” but I think it ranks right up there. To this reviewer anyways. I find the midrange to be well balanced in the mix and occupies a great place in the setup for the staging. Layering is great, Imaging is spot on, and I hear a nicely detailed midrange as well.

Lower-midrange

Males’ vocals come across with a nicely authoritative sound that is backed by a lean-lush note weight and comes basking in some shades of warmth. Listening to “Sand in My Boots” by Morgan Wallen is very nice with the MagicOne. His voice is not sharp like on other sets, yet it isn’t veiled like other sets too. Instead, it is kind of edgy and syrupy at the same time. There is such a nice presence. It has just enough note weight, but yet it presents some crispness on this track as well. Underlying everything is this pervasive and utterly smooth sound that permeates the whole of the midrange. I enjoy the fact that when his voice climbs in register that the MagicOne is not phased and keeps its control without turning artificial or too edged in grain. The MagicOne stays clean, transparent and refined.

I could also point to Zach Bryan in “I Remember Everything“. His voice is raspy, breathy at times, even bold too. Zach is all emotions as the MagicOne props up his voice without going overboard and doesn’t lose any of the emotions. The instruments surrounding him are clean and separated with easily discernible layers. I find his voice to come across really nice.

Upper-Midrange

Females with the MagicOne “generally” hang around the upper-mids. Females are forward in presence with a neutral vibrance, they’re also sweet and prominent. They’re everything from softly subtle, velvet and sweet, to resounding and ballad raising, and yet, I never hear them lose control. Never peaky, never glaring, never sibilant and not harsh. Caitlyn Smith in “High” is a perfect example of this as her voice actually does go from softly velvet and sweet in the song’s buildup to powerful in her inflections during the chorus. Her voice is natural in its tone & timbre with the MagicOne while staying resolute and transparent with crystalline note definition. I feel the slight warmth against the neutrality and vibrance of the upper midrange causes a very lifelike sound. Depending on the recording of course. However, I feel the MagicOne simply comes across how “Organic” should be. The only thing missing is a slightly longer decay on some instruments, but I am utterly impressed by what Aful is offering at $139.

More females

Another track is “More Hearts Than Mine” by Ingrid Andress. She has a voice that goes from slightly raspy, to soft and edgy, to epic and ballad-like. What I love about the MagicOne is how it doesn’t double down on the sharp edge to her voice and sound even more digital or metallic. The MagicOne keeps its composure folks. This single BA is very well able to render her voice forward, clean and separated while not sounding papery and dry. At the same time this single BA is able to render instruments like the muted drums, the strumming guitar, or even the slight tambourine at the back end of each beat very well on this track. I enjoy that they all sound distinct and still fun and musical. Please understand, there are plenty of other sets which can do such a thing. For the most part, I say all of this because I’m blown away, and I’ll keep harping the fact that the MagicOne is a single BA. However, I go further with it because not only does this single BA do it all… It also sounds better than most other sets too. If you were me that is. I think many would agree with me.

Instruments

I love piano while listening with the MagicOne as there is this smooth and tuneful sound from a piano key with great resulting harmonics. It sounds pitch-perfect to me. This is a $139 set folks! Acoustic guitar has that sharpness on attack and has enough good bite as well with nice details shining through. Guitars in general can have that tangy and textured sound which is realistic and enjoyable. In fact, all strings seem to sound good depending on the track. Percussion isn’t too softened or attenuated but instead has an energetic snap, pang, chisk, and pap, emphasized by the upper portions of the frequency with sprightliness and charm. Violin is so melodic on many tracks with a good body and what I would call an unalloyed and genuine sound. I won’t go down a long list of instruments giving you simple and broad descriptions though. Just know, most instruments sound close to correct and have nice energy. I haven’t heard anything that disproves this.

Downsides to the Midrange

If I were to collect some issues with this midrange and lay them on a platter, I would have a close to empty platter folks. I mean, possibly those who want a drier and more detailed, analytical and nimble midrange would maybe not prefer what the MagicOne can do. Also, maybe, ultra warm and dark lovers may feel the tone & timbre doesn’t work for them. Eh, who am I kidding, this midrange is wonderful folks. It really is. The forward vocals are so enticing and there is such great depth to every element of the stage. There is an all-encompassing and engaging quality to the sound with the perfect emphasis of vocals in the sound field while at the same time coming across organic, manicured, and distinct. It’s just nice!

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Treble Region

When thinking of the highs on the MagicOne I think of it like a natural glide through the upper regions. Naturally progressing and naturally extending. You won’t hear any undue and forced over saturation or forced resolution up top. However, the treble still remains relatively airy, without being “airy” per se. Does that ridiculous statement that I just made make any sense to you? Well, It does to me. The treble is one that strays from any ear-piercing fatigue or shout and issues its treble with just the right amount of brilliance, to sound balanced with the rest of the mix. Surely, it’s enough to lift up female vocals, percussion, etc. and basically lift up the whole of the mix for that matter. There’s a good level of detail retrieval that I find fairly easy to pick up on without much issue. Especially for a single BA set. The treble is pretty nuanced, finely tuned and has a penchant for transparency. It’s a good supporting actor. A good part to a great whole.

It’s smooth up top

However, the best quality of the treble in my opinion is its smoothness. No artificial jagged edges (for the most part), no real grain, no obvious sibilance, no odd peaks, no weird timbre moments. It’s not metallic or splashy either. It’s a smooth, glass lined, “ride the wave” type of softer treble, without the coarseness that so many upper regions have these days. I say all that, but I will also state that the MagicOne still has a small amount of bite. A lil pepper on the steak. There’s also some shimmer and shine helping to accentuate by adding some ebullient buoyancy to my music, and simply makes the MagicOne more engaging and even… fun. However, it’s like I’ve tried to get across, nothing is so one sided or over saturated that the balance tilts off-kilter. Everything fits! And the same is true up top… this treble simply fits!

Listening to the Old Crow Medicine Show track, “Keel Over and Die” there is an onslaught of breakneck speed treble activity. There’s a bunch of guitars, ukulele, mandolin, and piano all mishmashed to form a melody. Folks, the MagicOne has absolutely no issues keeping up. This group is praised for their instrumentation and many of their tracks follow this same style. Truly the MagicOne creates space while making distinct, definite, compartmentalized separation between the instruments in this track. Now, certainly I have sets that can perform this better. However, those sets also aren’t the most smooth and musical either. The MagicOne is a nice blend of both attributes in my humble opinion.

Downsides to the treble region

I could see treble heads or those who really enjoy good treble not liking the emphasis that Aful has tuned this set with. The MagicOne is not the airiest sounding, and you don’t have that blatant openness of some iems. Also, details are good (especially for a single BA) but the MagicOne is not a detail monster. I feel the MagicOne’s treble is “smooth & musical over crisp & technical” and so those who enjoy a drier performance may not be a fan. I could also say that extension into the highest of highs isn’t the best I’ve heard. However, at the end of the day it is very hard for me to complain about any one frequency, let alone a very nice treble region. Friends, this set has no sibilance, none. Yet it has some brilliance to it. There’s no peaky areas of shout and treble sheen either. I hear a smooth treble that seeks not to offend and suits the rest of the mix and the overall balance beautifully.

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Technicalities

Soundstage

The stage size is an area that gave me a good surprise. I really wasn’t expecting such a technically savvy soundstage. It isn’t just the grandeur of the stage size. It’s also the layering, depth of field, and the realistic experience the MagicOne affords the listener. I find width to be above average, it’s outside my ears and stretches the psycho-acoustic stage. The crazy part is I don’t hear super amazing extensions either way in the frequency. I mean there is decent extension but nothing super deep down low or super airy up top. It still fills the soundscape very well. This stage is one of those that relies on the fullness and macro-dynamic swelling of the stage. The mids are closer to the listener but the sound field stretches out wide. It’s a fuller stage. Not at all congested or cramped. The height is fantastic and so is the depth I’m hearing which gives way to great layering of sounds. Did I mention this is a single BA?

Separation / Imaging

I can quite easily hear very distinct and separated instruments and vocalists. Honestly, I am very impressed by the MagicOne’s ability to parse out space to each element of the stage. There is a caveat though; on ridiculously congested tracks with a million instruments fighting for prominence, things may slightly mash together. Or in really poorly recorded tracks. Of course, those tracks will likely sound horrible on most any set so, really this is not much of a caveat. For the most part the MagicOne impresses. The same goes for the tremendous imaging capabilities of the MagicOne. It is so easy to place every instrument in my mind space whether it be left to right or even forward and backward.

Detail Retrieval

Another surprise is the nice detail retrieval that the MagicOne has. It is much better than I would have thought. That said, folks, I don’t want to lead you astray, the detail retrieval is good, especially for what the MagicOne is, but it isn’t a detail monster. No doubt it is very good and I’m missing nothing in my music. Still, the MagicOne is not a dry, thin, and analytical style earphone that’s built for detail retrieval and analytical listening. Listen, this set is a warmer, a slightly lusher earphone and as good as it is… it works off of one BA. So, expectations!

It’s good though…

I just wanted to say that so that I can say this… the MagicOne is absolutely bonkers good in this department… for what it is. I would think the MagicOne would struggle in the details arena. The sound is tinted warm and it’s smooth, but also resolute and transparent. Friends, I’m really not missing anything as far as details are concerned. Is there better out there in the Audioverse? Yes, there is. But how much better? And also, what are those sets lacking that the MagicOne doesn’t lack? It’s still very musical folks! It’s melodious to the core! Each area of the spectrum is represented well. You have all this and still have a refined sound and good details. C’mon friends! As far as what type of details; you’ll hear great secondary harmonics, even for a BA. You’ll hear the finger slides, the plucks, the breath in mics, the cough from the drummer in your favorite live track. You’ll hear the little nuances in your music. So long as the track isn’t ultra-crazy congested that is. Everything has a caveat or two. This is a special set.

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AM1 Comparisons
Tanchjim Hana 21′ / Aful MagicOne / Letshuoer X-Gizaudio Galileo

Comparisons

Note: I will keep these comparisons brief folks. Basically, I will give a very quick take on some differences and that’s about it. I am already running long in this review. However, these comparisons are not meant to crown one set over the other. These are meant to highlight differences so that you may get a better understanding of the iem I’m reviewing. I’ll speak in general terms and won’t go too deep into them.

Letshuoer X-Gizaudio Galileo ($109)

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What a nicely done iem the Galileo is. The Galileo is actually a collaboration with Letshuoer and Gizaudio and more pointedly “Timmy Vangtan” of Gizaudio. This set is a Hybrid 1+1 DD & BA iem with a 10mm Liquid Silicone Dynamic Driver and a Sonion Balanced Armature. Truly a fantastic set at its price. Built decently but absolutely gorgeous shells & faceplates. I would’ve loved to review it but it simply didn’t pan out and so I use the Galileo for many comparisons in the price point. This one seemed to make sense to me. Just a wonderfully neutral sound that is pleasant across the board and also has a smoother replay. Every area of the mix is accounted for.

Differences
The differences begin with the build quality. The MagicOne is much better built with more sturdy resin, it just feels more durable. Both sets look really striking and are very artsy in their design language. Design is a draw for me, but I’d have to give the edge to the Aful MagicOne because it is just a bit more creative and unique. As far as accessories, the MagicOne is more premium as far as the cable, case, tips are concerned. The MagicOne certainly feels more upscale, and I say that not to take anything away from the Galileo. The Galileo is a little bit larger and the MagicOne is probably the better fit generally but neither set is a drawback in this area. The Galileo is around $109 depending on if they are having a sale or not. I’ve seen it as low as $87. The MagicOne is almost $140 and so there is a price difference to take into account.

Sound Differences

Now to the sound and the reason I chose the Galileo to compare. I compared because both of these sets have prominent and focused vocal ranges that come off very nice. The Galileo is a bit closer to neutral and a pinch brighter whereas the MagicOne has that warmth with a spritz of neutrality. Transient attack & decay are tidier on the MagicOne with a better technical display almost across the board. Note weight is a bit lusher on the MagicOne and note definition sounds a pinch more resolute. Between the two the MagicOne is definitely harder to drive, and in my opinion requires much more output from your source. So, there’s that. Something to consider.

Bass Region

The bass region on the Galileo provides more thump and slam, especially in the mid-bass. The sub-bass also shows more rumble and deep pitched growl on the Galileo too. However, I find the MagicOne certainly has a cleaner, more precise, nimbler low-end while still owning enough low-end oomph. The MagicOne’s bass has better textures and details. The Galileo is not really emphasized all that much more; it’s simply the difference in driver configuration.

Midrange

Both sets involved have a more forward sounding midrange. Beginning in the low-mids, the MagicOne has just a hair less body to notes while the Galileo has more spill over from the low-end into the midrange giving slightly warmer vocals for males. Still, the MagicOne has this speckless delivery that still has nice weight and fullness but also it sounds cleaner here. Females are more shimmery on the Galileo as well as a touch brighter. The MagicOne on the other hand is very enriched in this region with forward females that sound slightly less uplifted but smoother and butterier with better detail retrieval.

Treble Region

These two both have very similar treble responses. They really do. However, I still find the Galileo has less in note weight and doesn’t have the MagicOne’s tangible treble punch and contoured control. Now, the Galileo does have an airier and leaner treble region to the MagicOne’s more musical treble. I find the MagicOne to better illuminate details up top and with better note density.

Technicalities

The stage size is very similar in the width and height department, but the MagicOne has much better depth and a more holographic sounding stage. For the most part anyways. Imaging is also good on both sets, but the MagicOne simply do so in a more precise and definitive way. Separation too. The MagicOne is truly a special iem and it’s in these areas that it shines next to a great set in the Galileo. Detail retrieval is simply better on the MagicOne. Perhaps in less complicated tracks both sets run parallel but once things get a bit more congested the MagicOne will step out in front.

My thoughts

Folks, I truly adore the Galileo and feel it is a fantastic iem at the price it’s being sold for. However, for me, I cannot get over the 3d richness of the MagicOne and those creamy yet precise vocals. The Galileo is nice, with its nicely tight and textured bass region, silky mids and airy treble (to a degree). However, the MagicOne is simply that “Unicorn” wonder of an iem that I’ve grown to adore. I think these are both two titans at the price, but the only one that should cost more is… the MagicOne. Still, at the end of the day of these two are sitting in front of you and your wallet you’ll have to decide if you want fantastic vocals with a bit more energy and an airier presentation or a rich, more detailed, precise, and more musical sound. It’s a question of preference folks and I love them both.

AM1 & Galileo Graph
Graph courtesy of “Super Reviews”, Thank you so much!


Tanchjim Hana 21′ ($169)

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This is one set that somehow went under almost all radars. I mean, it had its moment of fanfare but that quickly fell off and what was left was one of the best Harman tuned sets under $200. Also, it still sits pretty at this price. Just a wonderfully musical iem folks. The Hana 21 uses an LCP single Dynamic Driver with absolutely beautiful stainless-steel shells that look more like jewelry than they do earphones. I still stare at this set, and I’ve had them forever. The baby sibling to the Tanchjim Oxygen is darn near on the same scale as the Oxygen for over half the price and would be a steal for anyone who could find it for cheaper than MSRP.

Differences
The first glaring difference is the build. The Hana is made entirely of stainless steel while the MagicOne is all resin. Both well built. The Hana is a gorgeous gold color with one of the best contrasting colors I’ve ever seen. It has very nice white faceplates with their logo on one and the name Hana on the other. The MagicOne is also simply gorgeous too. Both are designed in a premium way. The Hana is much smaller and is great for those with smaller ears whereas the MagicOne isn’t exactly huge but there’s more real estate there. I find the Hana accessorized a bit more luxurious, but the MagicOne has the better cable, like… a lot better. Obviously, the Hana will require a few more dollars to own but both are well worth the price tag.

Sound Differences

To start, the Hana has a slightly warmer sound, especially down low, coming across leaner up top with a very nice Harman signature that toes that Harman line almost perfectly. The MagicOne has better resolution and tighter transients with a more clinical sound that produces a higher level of detail retrieval and honestly better technicalities throughout. The Hana is much easier to drive and better for lower powered sources.

Bass Region

The Hana has a much deeper and more guttural sub-bass which sounds more weighted and truer. Yes, it’s more emphasized, but it’s also less astute, precise, separated, and the Hana is less equipped to tackle quicker bass passages. Don’t get me wrong, the Hana’s bass can rumble very well and sounds very nice within the mix. So, if you are after a little bit more authentic boom and organically textured bass than the Hana will be the one to go with. The Hana cannot replicate the bass speed and technical chops of the MagicOne though. The MagicOne seems to take anything you throw at it with a smile, like a good BA Bass. While the softer and weightier Hana has the more atmospheric DD type bass.

Midrange

Starting off with the Hana. It sounds more recessed for male vocals with a more subdued note definition. The MagicOne sounds more contoured, more crystalline and just as weighty in note body. I feel both sets have very nice male vocals but for my money I’d take the MagicOne folks. Females sound thinner in the Harman tuned Hana with a bit more emphasized upper-mids and less wetted than the lusher MagicOne. The MagicOne has no chance of shout or glare whereas the Hana can get a bit hot on the right tracks. All in all, I think this is another preference thing. The Hana has a bit more air to the sound whereas the MagicOne prefers a more controlled but also richer environment. I hate comparing sets I love and no doubt my words can be skewed by prisoner of the moment listening. However, I just find the MagicOne far too “Magical” and I would go with it any day of the week for straight up vocal sessions.

Treble Region

Both sets offer a nice treble replay, but the Hana is a bit sharper at note peaks, yet not to the point of shout or sibilance. Just a bit crisper. It’s also less bodied, slightly more open sounding, but less punchy. The Hana has a bit more bite while the MagicOne is better separated and has better detail retrieval. I find extension is a bit better on the Hana up top too. Despite this, the MagicOne has a more realistic note structure and better cadence. It handles the more complicated stuff better and does so with a fuller sound.

Technicalities

When looking at the stage of both sets, I hear nothing that jumps out at me as bad. Both have great stage sizes. Both are wide, though the MagicOne has more macro-dynamic expressive ess which sounds fuller and fills the sound scape better. Also, the MagicOne certainly has a more 3D presentation with better depth. Both sets are good for spot in imaging and both sets offer good separation of elements within a stage. Detail retrieval goes to the MagicOne between the two.

My thoughts

What can I say folks, I once again love both of these iems. Both offer up a different sound signature for my music. The audio game is one of hairline differences but these two are different enough from each other to warrant a preference battle. They actually contrast each other very well. Honestly, I do think more people would enjoy the Hana 21′ more. I would think. The MagicOne is more of a niche earphone while the Hana toes that Harman line like I said earlier. The Hana stays true to a sound that works while the MagicOne is simply “engaging” to the fullest extent of that word’s meaning. Both are fine sets for any collection folks.

AM1 & Hana Graph
Graph courtesy of “Super Reviews”, Thank you very much!


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Is it worth the asking price?

lways the most important question to ask is if a product is even worth what the company is asking. I don’t even want to dignify this question with a response because my word, yes, the MagicOne is worth the asking price. Heck, I’m wondering how it doesn’t cost more. Folks, this set will very likely not be like any other that you have in your collection. This is such a unique set in so many ways. Now, I’m not 100% sure that everyone will love the sound. This will not be for everyone, though I feel everyone should have at least some time alone with it trying to figure that out. It’s a set everyone should at least try, if the opportunity arises. It’s a set to chill with and just… soak in. I told you all that I went on a slight roller coaster getting to know the MagicOne and I’m quite positive that there will be others that endure the same progressive roller coaster ride that I did. There is no way this set isn’t worth the $139 asking price.

The Why

To begin, this is a single BA set that is very rare and a huge gamble on the part of Aful. You have to be overly confident that this setup will pay off. People see “single BA” and run for the hills. However, I think their marketing paid off. Like a dangling fruit in front of the hobby masses. The lone full frequency BA housed within the acoustic cavity is truly wonderful. Also, this set is built extremely well with a beautiful design that’s also rather unique as well. It has nice accessories with a good unboxing (to some that means something). It’s all about the sound though friends. This sound is so engulfing, musical, technical, clean, and rich with a holographic display of the stage which adds such a nice realistic flare to my library of music. The reason why the MagicOne is worth the $139 is because it is simply one of the best sets within the price point.

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Ratings (0-10)

Note: all ratings are based upon my subjective judgment. These ratings are garnered against either similarly priced sets or with similar driver implementations or styles with the unique parameters of my choosing. In the case of the Aful MagicOne ratings below, that would be $100-$150 iems of any driver configuration. Please remember that “ratings” don’t tell the whole story. This leaves out nuance and a number of other qualities which make an iem what it is. A “5” is exactly average and please take into consideration the “lot” of iems these ratings are gathered against. $100-$150 US is a decent sized scope of iems and so seeing a 9 should probably be pretty special. My ratings are never the same and each set of ratings tells a different story. Each time you read one of my ratings it will be unique to that review. Basically, I create a Rating that makes sense to me.

Aesthetic

-Build Quality: 9.3 Built very well.

-Look: 9.3 This set looks dope!

-Accessories: 9.4 It’s hard to beat these accessories at this price

Overall: 9.3

Sound Rating

-Timbre: 9.1 The timbre and tonality are very good.

-Bass: 9.0 Mature bass that is quality over quantity.

-Midrange: 9.9 The mids are exceptionally good on this set.

-Treble: 9.2 The treble has good body & has great control

-Technicalities: 9.4 Overall, technicalities are very well done.

Overall: 9.4🔥🔥🔥

Ratings Summary:

Okay, some of these ratings will be a hard sell to some folks. I guess. Anywhoo, I gave the MagicOne a “9.0” in “Bass”, which honestly… could go either way. It’s a mature, clean, and controlled low-end, with just enough oomph down low to not feel as though I’m missing all that much. It’s a “quality over quantity” bass for me. Others may wholly disagree, and I’d get it. Bass is a black or white subject most of the time. Either good or… Not. I am a little more nuanced in my appreciation for different tunings but, I’m not you.

Timbre is another area that I could get some flack. However, I simply find the timbre to be organically tuneful with all the intangibles that help the overall sound to come across relatively naturally and altogether sublime to my ears. I really feel a lofty “9.1” is warranted, but I could see some folks either adding some points or subtracting some too.

The last questionable rating is the “Treble”. You’d think that a “9.2” in this area would make this set a treble heads paradise. Ya, I don’t think it’s that. I do think it’s such a well rendered and more physical treble keeping a good balance with the rest of the mix. It also does everything it does so very well. It isn’t the most energized treble but it’s concise, has good note body, and has nice physical feedback while not skimping on the finer stuff (details).

AM1



Conclusion

To conclude my full review of the Aful MagicOne I want to thank the good people of HiFiGo for providing the MagicOne in exchange for a full review. I must say that I received no compensation and was not asked to skew my words in any way. I simply want transparency with you all. So, thank you HiFiGo! I also want to thank you, the reader for taking the time to read any words that I write, and my hope is that it helps you with a purchasing decision.

Please take in some other thoughts about the MagicOne as we all have different ideas about what “Good” or “Bad” is. We are all different, each and every one of us and so it makes complete sense that you don’t simply read my words and hit the “buy now” button. Check out other perspectives. It’ll help you to make an educated decision. What I think is great I can promise there will be folks who think I’m nuts and don’t think that same thing is great. Turns out we are all unique and wonderfully made. With that, please take good care and stay as safe as you can my friends, and always God Bless!

AM1
GoneToPlaid
GoneToPlaid
I generally agree with everything which you said in your review. I find that the MagicOne adds a somewhat ethereal quality to music since the overall sound signature is inviting and engaging yet relaxing at the same time. I also agree that the Hana 2021 or V2 is an IEM which did glide under the radar.
Ceeluh7
Ceeluh7
@GoneToPlaid thank you for that. It's nice hearing some others reflect the same thoughts as you. Ya the MagicOne is such a polarizing set and so many feel strongly either one way or the other and writing a review about it is going to be met with some push back no matter what. So, it's nice that you were kind enough to message that. I appreciate it. I've had a few people message me telling me that I'm nuts when they haven't even listened to the MagicOne. No joke. Also, yes the Hana 21 is a set which I would've thought would get more attraction from the masses. Thanks again

dialogue

100+ Head-Fier
Aful MagicOne - Winter is Coming
Pros: - resin shell is solid, smooth, beautiful.
- The bass is very unique. Close to single DD bass.
- Sub Bass is deep, reverb nice.
- bass extension is good, doesnt bleed into mid
-Timbre is natural,
- Tonal is smooth, well balance
- Mid are details and clean.
- Treble extension is good, not too long, smooth, Free from harsh, fatique, shouty, sibilance.
- Micro details is excellent. Details retrieval can extract many info above average iems under 200 usd.
- Soundstage is not the biggest, but Width, depth and height are good, spacious enough.
Cons: - Not easy to drive, need power source
- the slam and thump just a lil behind the Dynamics Driver
- bass need more rumble, and lack dynamic like DD
Aful MagicOne
(AWESOME FULL)
WINTER IS COMING..
YESSS the magic in a snow vibe season..
Resin shell build quality is solid, smooth and beautiful.
VERY GOOD SEAL, Isolation, AND VERY COMFY FIT.. BUT SOMETIME IT CAN BE TOO TIGHT TO MY EARS.. ( this subjective )
The bass is very unique. Close to single DD bass. Nice texture, speed, details, and body bass.
But still the slam and thump just a lil behind the single DD, it means the dynamics bass quality, it still 1 step behind from DD.
but for BA driver, its one of the best bass that I ever heard from BA driver, very close to DD.
And, surprises me, the sub bass is DEEP.
And bass extension is good.
Good reverb, but tailed not too long.
Im using this song from Vanessa Carlton – A Thousand Miles, at the the 30 seconds, im surprise when magicone can provide deep sub bass..
WoW this is one of magic from this iem as a single BA driver. Very Close to DD.
Bass is well controlled, doesn't bleed into the mids..
Timbre is Natural.
Tonal is smooth well balance.
Tuning neutral with hint warm. Make it more musical, so it's still fun & enjoyable to listen.
Mid are details and clean.
Vocals not too intimate, and not too far. Proper positition. Body of male and female vocals is not lack. The texture and definition of the vocals is good too.
Treble extension is good, not too long, smooth, Free from harsh, fatique, shouty, sibilance. Not so energetic typical treble (at least for my personal preference, which is my sound signature is a treble lover), but not so relax too. Smooth.
Airy, and sparkle. But still controlled.
I prefer using roll tips from stock to bright eartips like : Latex H570, TRN T, Tri Clarion…
Tbh, This very unique tuning.
Micro details is excellent. Details retrieval can extract many info above average iems under 200 usd.
Soundstage is not the biggest, but Width depth and height are good, spacious enough.
Resolution is great,
Separation and layering is good.
Imaging is good at its price.
All genre from edm , electro, rock till classical orchestra, its easy listening from this.
Not the easiest to drive, better source with power to drive this iem. But not very hard like planar PR2 level
This iem is one of the best iem at its price..
El-Fantastico Sound Quality, very impressive…
This is a demo unit that i borrowed
-Credit to Audion Store & Omega Audio Store
-Credit to Aful.

link to buy :

https://www.tokopedia.com/omegaaudi...mance-single-ba-driver-in-ear-iem-3-5mm-9cfad

https://www.tokopedia.com/audionsto...mance-single-ba-driver-in-ear-iem-3-5mm-31bcb

https://shopee.co.id/product/185060318/18486228665/

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RemedyMusic

100+ Head-Fier
The Lone BA
Pros: beautifully designed shells
new eartips inclusions
impressive single BA performance
natural and organic timbre
balance and neutral sound
decent technical chops
affordable price
very engaging vocals
neutral heads will enjoy these
technical chops
Cons: very hard to drive, might need amplification to fully unlock potential
not for bassheads, if you are one
not for trebleheads
lacking in texture
treble might be too safe

INTRODUCTION:​

Aful, a company frequently teased for its name's resemblance to "awful," stands as a relatively recent entrant in the audio realm. Their initial offering, the P5, garnered mixed reviews from both critics and users. Enter the P8, a fortuitous addition to my collection. This intricately detailed and technically proficient IEM has become my go-to for various musical needs—whether on stage, in the studio for recording, or during the critical phases of referencing and mixing.

In my third evaluation of Aful's products, a discernible pattern in their house sound signature is emerging. While undeniably impressive in technical aspects, the P5 and P8 lean toward a less musical and organic sound, leaving me desiring a heightened sense of engagement. Despite their prowess, I find myself reserving these IEMs exclusively for professional purposes, aligning with my role as a musician, rather than indulging in them for leisurely listening.

Now, onto the latest release, the MagicOne. This newcomer has swiftly become a focal point in the audio community, drawing both praise and criticism. Some reviewers laud it, while others face backlash for what's perceived as undue hype. Frankly, I couldn't care less about the ongoing debate. Today, I'll share my unfiltered impressions of the MagicOne and offer insights into how it stacks up against some of my preferred IEMs. Ready to dive in?

FOREWORD:​


  • The gear on hand has undergone at least 10-15 hours of use before it was assessed.
  • No EQ is ever applied in my reviews.
  • For the sake of convenience, I try my best to use a stock setup. Not everyone has access to personal ear tips or cables. If personal ear tips, cables, or accessories are used, you will be notified.
  • As I try to be objective, my claims inevitably will be subjective and biased to my personal preference. I cannot stress more that you should take this with a grain of salt for we have different perceptions to sound and what we hear.



SPECIFICATIONS:​

Maker: Aful
Model: MagicOne
Drivers: 1 x BA
Impedance: 38 ohms
Sensitivity: 103db
Frequency response: 5hz to 35khz

PACKAGING & DETAILS:​

For a $140 item, the packaging is straightforward, albeit a tad underwhelming when juxtaposed with the likes of my cherished Kinera Idun. Housed in a relatively diminutive box, roughly the size of a palm, the MagicOne's packaging features a front-facing photo of the IEM and standard details on the back. Sliding off the box sleeve reveals the inner box.
EDZ02539.jpg

Now, let's delve into the inclusions, addressing each element briefly.

CASE:​

EDZ02541.jpg

The case is a familiar sight, having come across similar iterations in several review units that have crossed my path. It sports a metallic, round, pop-up design, albeit on the slimmer side. While lacking in extravagance, it efficiently fulfills its primary function of safeguarding your IEMs.

EAR TIPS:​

Eartips, a pivotal aspect of any purchase, pleasantly surprised me with two variants included, a departure from the offerings with the P5 and P8.
EDZ02540.jpg

The familiar ones, hued in blue and red, boast a regular bore and a notably rigid composition. A newcomer to the ensemble is the white, semi-transparent counterpart, also featuring a regular bore but exhibiting a softer texture. Opting for a change, I stuck with the new tips throughout this review, steering clear of the older, stiffer ones that Aful traditionally provides.

CABLE:​

The cable proves to be quite commendable given the price point. Gleaming in a silvery sheen, it boasts a substantial thickness that imparts a sense of durability and solid construction.
EDZ02544.jpg

Notably, there were no issues with microphonics during my usage, contributing to an overall positive impression. The inclusion of the 3.5mm plug, coupled with the conventional 0.78 2-pin connection, aligns with standard expectations. So far, I'm quite pleased with it.

DOCUMENTATIONS:​

EDZ02542.jpg

Included in the package is a straightforward instruction manual along with a diamond-shaped cardboard serving as a certificate of eligibility—standard fare. I won't delve into the specifics here.

APPEARANCE:​

The aesthetic appeal of the MagicOne is quite distinctive, particularly for someone with a fondness for transparent designs like myself. The IEM's visual allure resonates with me, and I appreciate the transparency, almost as if Aful is declaring, "we've got nothing to hide." In the audio community, there's a subset of individuals who enjoy tearing down IEMs, exposing any gimmicks or inconsistencies. Aful's transparent design appears to be a bold statement, asserting their commitment to authenticity.
EDZ02545.jpg

But let's move on from the verbosity; I believe a few photos can convey this sentiment more effectively than a lengthy paragraph.

INTERNALS:​

The MagicOne boasts a configuration that stands out as a rarity in the realm of IEMs—utilizing a single Balanced Armature (BA). This marks my initial encounter with such a setup. Ordinarily, IEMs feature at least two BAs, each handling specific portions of the frequency spectrum, while Dynamic Drivers (DD) often tackle the entire spectrum solo. However, Aful takes a distinctive approach here, entrusting a single BA to manage the entire field.
EDZ02546.jpg

The company emphasizes that their in-house developed BA ensures a broad frequency response. Incorporating their Acoustic Maze of Nautilus structure and a SEM acoustic structure, the technical details delve into territories beyond my expertise. Admittedly, I'm a musician, not an engineer. For those seeking more technical insights, I'd recommend checking out reviews from fellow enthusiasts who delve into the geekier aspects.

COMFORT:​

The wearability and comfort of the MagicOne bring to mind the experience with KZ IEMs, known for their comfort prowess. While not snug per se, the grip is commendable, ensuring a secure fit without any risk of slipping from the ears. The IEMs sit comfortably without inducing pain or soreness, and their lightweight nature almost makes them disappear once worn. Though I've encountered better fits with some other IEMs, the MagicOne holds its own in the comfort department, with no notable complaints.

SOUND IMPRESSIONS:​

The MagicOne took center stage alongside my trusted dongles – the Centrance Dacport HD, Ovidius B1, and the Cayin RU6, with the Fiio M11 plus LTD orchestrating the ensemble. Offline FLACs and tunes from my Apple Music subscription set the rhythm.

Upon plugging in the MagicOne, the initial revelation is its demanding nature when it comes to power. For the casual listener eyeing a direct phone connection, the full sonic potential remains elusive. Even with the formidable Fiio M11 plus LTD DAP, I found myself cranking up the volume by an additional 10 steps. To truly unlock the intended symphony of the MagicOne, I had to turn to my trusty dongles. It's clear – this IEM calls for a robust DAP or, better yet, a high-powered dongle for the ultimate auditory voyage. This quirk, however, somewhat narrows the audience to seasoned audiophiles armed with an arsenal of dac/amps, be it in the desktop or mobile domain.
EDZ02547.jpg

The soundstage of the MagicOne earns commendation, providing additional headroom compared to the standard IEM offering. While it doesn't blow the mind, it sits comfortably in the realm of the average. When I'm craving that special spatiality and a grand stage, I find myself reaching for other IEMs in my collection, leaving the MagicOne in the realm of the everyday.

The MagicOne flaunts an impressive prowess in layering and separation. It's so remarkable that each instrument in my music exists in its own pristine space, rarely overlapping. This particular attribute is a critical factor for me as a musician, significantly easing my professional life. Even in the face of complex tracks, the MagicOne handles them with apparent ease, showcasing a level of clarity and distinction that resonates well with my musical needs.

The timbre of the MagicOne, boasting a single BA, approaches the realm of disbelief. Acoustic instruments resonate with an uncanny realism. Granted, a BA will always be a BA, and in the timbre arena, a DD driver tends to take the spotlight. However, the MagicOne managed to forge a connection with me in an emotionally profound way—a feat that even the P8 (Performer 8) couldn't replicate. The enigma behind this allure leaves me in awe, compelling me to consider acquiring my own unit simply for the unique emotional resonance that the MagicOne elicits.

Likewise, the MagicOne mirrors its excellence in imaging, achieving pinpoint accuracy within the soundstage. While it doesn't quite reach the level of mind-blowing, it consistently retains an impressive quality. The meticulous precision in the placement of auditory elements adds to the overall allure of the MagicOne's sonic experience.

BASS:​

The bass of the MagicOne takes a subtle approach, leaning towards neutrality. While maintaining a presence of punch, thump, and slam, it refrains from an excessive emphasis that, personally, I find more natural. The bass responds adeptly, making its entrance when summoned. This versatility is particularly notable when traversing through diverse tracks, from the electronic beats of Daft Punk, where the bass shines with enjoyment, to the lighter bass tones of Stevie Wonder, where it seamlessly edges towards a near-neutral quality. In this regard, the MagicOne reveals itself as a highly versatile and almost all-around player in the bass spectrum.
EDZ02548.jpg

MIDRANGE:​

The midrange of the MagicOne is remarkably transparent and clear, carrying a slight lightness in weight. It strikes a delicate balance, avoiding an overly thin profile that could be deemed lifeless or dull. While texture might be on the smoother side, the true essence lies in the timbre—natural and realistic. Vocals, on the other hand, emerge unexpectedly as a standout feature. They take a prominent and forward position, catching me off guard with their engaging presence. This quality positions the MagicOne as an excellent player for vocal-centric tracks, offering a delightful treat for those with a library primarily dominated by vocals.

TREBLE:​

The treble, at my initial encounter, struck me as somewhat conservative, and that perception holds steady. It's undoubtedly not tailored for the treble enthusiasts seeking bite and grit. However, from my perspective, everything in this domain unfolds in a deliciously smooth manner. Similar to the midrange, the texture may not be top-notch, but it possesses just enough sparkle to prevent any veiling of the sound. This particular attribute is a boon for musicians like myself, relying on IEMs for on-stage performances. The warmer signature and safe treble ensure a safeguard against potential hearing damage, recognizing the distinct demands of live monitoring on stage compared to the nuances of listening to a meticulously mastered track.

COMPARISONS:​

Aful Performer 8​

While it may appear somewhat unfair to draw comparisons, especially given the P8's higher price and premium tier status, let's delve into some key points for the sake of analysis.

  • The P8 exhibits a more neutral, dry, and cold sound profile, which, for many, might make it less appealing for the sheer enjoyment of music.
  • The P8, while less engaging, benefits from pairing with an analog source or R2R to achieve a more natural sound. Surprisingly, there are instances where I find myself opting for the MagicOne over the P8.
  • Although the P8 is easier to drive, it still strongly benefits from additional amping to extract its full potential.
  • The P8 exhibits less note weight, making it somewhat challenging to fully appreciate. Despite both leaning toward a neutral sound, the P8 falls short in conveying emotion compared to the MagicOne. However, the P8 emerges victorious in the realm of technicalities.

Simgot EA500​

  • The EA500 leans towards brightness and is susceptible to sibilance. While this imparts an abundance of details to the listener, it does come at the expense of being somewhat fatiguing to listen to over extended periods.
  • The EA500 boasts punchier and more impactful bass, delivering a superior thump and punch. While the agility is comparable between the two, the EA500 takes the lead if you're seeking a more pronounced and forceful low-end experience.
  • The EA500 excels in attack and note definition, maintaining a more natural timbre. However, it's worth noting that the treble might introduce a hint of sheen, and there's a presence of grit and bite on the top end, a quality that can occasionally be lacking in the MagicOne.
  • One might assume that the MagicOne, running on a BA, would triumph in technical aspects. While it does hold its ground admirably, the EA500, with its overall speed, keeps pace closely, and the difference between the two is not considerable.
  • In the grand scheme, the EA500 comes across as more aggressive, whereas the MagicOne exhibits a somewhat tamer demeanor.
EDZ02549.jpg

Kinera Idun​

  • The Idun ventures much closer to a neutral sound profile, almost approaching a dead-flat response. This characteristic, while occasionally bordering on dryness and boredom for casual listening, positions the Idun as an unrivaled choice for monitoring purposes. Its sound signature serves as a pure reference for stage monitoring, setting it apart in the realm of professional audio.
  • The MagicOne steps into the scene with more pronounced and smoother bass, while the Idun, on the other hand, might leave you wondering, "where the heck is the bass?" It's a distinct contrast in the low-end presentation between the two.
  • Both the Idun and MagicOne excel in rendering vocals with a forward presentation, but the MagicOne takes it a step further by providing a more engaging and captivating tonal quality.
  • In the grand picture, the Idun stands as the go-to choice for monitoring and referencing, meeting the demands of sound producers in search of a flat sound. Meanwhile, the MagicOne, while equally capable for monitoring, introduces a touch of color to the sound compared to the Idun. In terms of technicalities, the two are closely matched. The Idun can occasionally come across as flatter and sterile, while the MagicOne injects a bit of magic, soul, and emotion into the listening experience.

TEST TRACKS:​

Here are some tracks I usually listen to when reviewing:

That’s the way of the World by EWF
Africa by TOTO
The Girl in the Other Room by Diana Kral
Balmorhea album All is wild, All is Silent
Sila by Sud
Smooth Escape by D’Sound
Never too Much by Luther Vandross
P.Y.T by Michael Jackson
Ain’t no Sunshine by Eva Cassidy
Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC
Another one bites the Dust by Queen
Good times bad times by Edie Brickell
Alice in Wonderland by Bill Evans
Ain’t it Fun by Paramore
Redefine by Incubus
Far Away by Nickelback
Lovesong by Adele
Lingus by Snarky Puppy
Harvest for the World by Vanessa Williams
Love Bites by Def Leppard
No Such Thing by John Mayer
As by Stevie Wonder
Whip Appeal by Babyface
Ain’t Nobody by Chaka Khan
Futures by Prep
Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
Every Summertime by NIKI
SADE tracks
AC/DC tracks
Queen tracks


And many more… I always listen to High resolution format, being the least quality 16bit/44khz FLACS be it offline or online.
EDZ02550.jpg

VERDICT:​

The MagicOne undeniably lives up to its name by conjuring a unique magic that has left the community in a state of bewilderment. Some prominent YouTubers have labeled it as a "normal" sounding IEM, a sentiment I cannot somewhat agree with. For those accustomed to a more energetic sound profile, the MagicOne might indeed come off as too normal or safe. However, from my perspective, I can appreciate its capabilities and conceptual design.

The standout traits that have etched themselves into my audio experience include the forward and engaging vocals, a commendable neutrality, the visually stunning design of the shells, the impressive technical prowess, a natural timbre, and all of this at a price point of $140. Aful is making a bold statement with the MagicOne, and in my opinion, they are on the right path. The sound signature might not be everyone's cup of tea, but for those seeking a mature-tuned IEM with a balanced frequency spectrum or musicians in pursuit of a highly capable monitoring gear for stage performances, the MagicOne emerges as a compelling choice. While it's not without its nuances, it managed to tickle my fancy, earning my high recommendation.

I extend my sincere gratitude once again to my friend and co-reviewer, Eiji Romero, for graciously lending me his unit, allowing me to delve into the intricacies of this IEM. A heartfelt thanks also goes out to Aful and Hifigo for making this review tour possible. Their generosity is genuinely appreciated, and it's through collaborative efforts like these that the audio community continues to thrive.
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Redcarmoose
Redcarmoose
Great review!
o0genesis0o
o0genesis0o
There has been a debate around this IEM? I thought no one besides AFUL's followers know its existence.

Great review as usual! It's always lovely to hear opinions of a working musician.
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