AFUL MagicOne

arifgraphy

New Head-Fier
Aful Magic One: Magic of single BA
Pros: • Rich and detailed sound for a single BA driver
• Lively & tight mid bass
• Excellent clarity across the upper mids and treble
• Comfortable and secure fit with perfect ear tips
• Compact and lightweight design
• One of a kind with patented acoustic tube design
Cons: • Sub-bass presence could be fuller for some bass lovers
• Requires a good source (powerful DAC or dedicated music player) to unleash its full potential
• Non practical stock tips that doesn’t do any justice to the IEM
• Included carrying case feels a bit cheap (nitpicking)
• May build some uncomfortable pressure in some ears
ARIF6264-Enhanced-NR.jpg


Intro:

First thing first. If you have source with warm neutral or analog type of sound signature, then AFUL MagicOne is truly for you. People with bright or analytical sound sources might find a lots of nail pocking in the ear!

In photo: Someone with bright source :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

ARIF6095-Enhanced-NR.jpg



Context:

I was a bit curious to test this IEM since it’s announcement as it is with a single BA, which is not in my comfort zone. But their advertisement and some reviews made me super curious to give it a try. In my first audition, I was blown away by its clarity and detailed sound reproduction. Surfed through my classic country collection and oh man, MagicOne did its magic and I took it home for longer & in-depth listening. After 4 months or so, the BA drivers are burnt well and become smooth like butter.

All of my listening I’ve done with Cowon Planue R2, ifi Hip Dac 2, Moondrop Dawn Pro & Hiby R3 (occasionally) using silver mix copper cable & pure copper cable. I find a very good synergy with Hip DAC 2 as this DAC is well known for its’ warm sound signature with draatic ‘X-Bass’ function. Planue R2 also get the job done so very well. And with Dawn Pro, I find the mids are bit fuller are open wide. Sound stage & instrument separation become precious with the price of a bit less bass warmth (but it’s OK!).

In my listening experience, pure copper cable makes the sound comparatively a bit thicker, so it’s my go-to preference as I personally love warm and thicker sound. I used Spinfit 100+, W1, Omni, Divinus Velvel, Pinon Liqueur Orange with the IEM and find that W1 is a perfect tip to choose from for its seal & comfort.

I will explain a bit more on this later.

ARIF6390.jpg



Disclaimer:

I bought this IEM with my own money and for my personal interest. This is not a review unit nor any monitory understanding/ transaction between me and the respective company. The whole review is my unbiased experience and honest opinion with the sound I listened to.

[Grab you copy from Geek Mart if you are in Bangladesh.
For international buying, you can grab it from Hifigo]

----------------------------------------------------------------

Technical Specification:
 Driver: Aful’s self-developed wide frequency response Single BA Driver
 Frequency response: 5Hz – 25kHZ
 Impedance: 32Ω
 Sensitivity: 103dB
 Pin Type: 0.78mm 2-pin
 Cable Length: 1.2m
 Plug Type: 3.5mm/ 4.4mm

What’s in the box:
 Aful Magic One IEMs
 6 pairs of silicon tips (almost non-usable)
 Very nicely braided high purity OF Copper & OF Copper Silver plated cable
 IEM storage box with AFUL branding
 Some official papers

ARIF6041-Enhanced-NR.jpg



ARIF6052-Enhanced-NR.jpg






ARIF6061-Enhanced-NR.jpg



ARIF6063-Enhanced-NR.jpg



Unboxing Experience:
Unboxing the MagicOne is a fuss-free affair. Everything you need to get started is neatly packed and easy to find. The braided cable feels sturdy and connects to the IEMs with a satisfying snap. Though my experience is, you should swap cables if you have any pure copper cable with you, which I do have. You will find a selection of ear tips which you may or may not use (I personally don’t think they are usable).

ARIF6077-Enhanced-NR.jpg



ARIF6088-Enhanced-NR.jpg



Build Quality:
Crafted from a lightweight resin, these IEMs feel well-built and sturdy without being bulky. They're comfortable to hold and inspire confidence that they can handle everyday wear and tear. The included braided cable feels reassuringly secure with a satisfying snap when connecting to the two-pin connectors. While not the most luxurious materials, the finish is impressive for the price.

ARIF6111-Enhanced-NR.jpg


ARIF6249-Enhanced-NR.jpg



Fit & Comfort:
The Aful Magic One shines in terms of fit and comfort. Their lightweight design with the perfect choice of ear tips (to me, it’s Spinfit W1) ensures a secure and comfortable fit for even the longest listening sessions. Though the fit of this IEM seems to be a bit of a double-edged sword in the audiophile community. While some users praise the snug, secure fit (thanks to the protruding wing) and deepish insertion, others find it uncomfortable or even irritating for extended listening sessions. This could be due to ear shape variations, and non-proper selection of ear tips might not offer a perfect seal for everyone.

Another thing is, it creates air pressure due to lack of ‘breath hole’ to prevent any air leak from the acoustic chamber. Some may feel it uncomfortable, but to me, this seal makes me disconnected from outside and let me enjoy my music with ease. And for your kind information, I don’t use any IEM while I walk on a busy road or while driving.

ARIF6231.jpg



Sound impressions:
Before explaining a single thing about the sound, lets state the official statement about their patented 3D printed acoustic tube structure, which plays the vital role in sonic performance of this IEM. As per AFUL “This technology uses physical frequency division to adjust the sound frequency response of MagicOne. This helps in having a physical crossover on the set. MagicOne has a long and ultra-thin acoustic design in a 77mmX0.91mm compact resonator tube that helps the pair produce a deep-hitting, thick lower-end response.” And they named the invention as “Special-shaped Sound Channel Physical Frequency Division Structure of an Earphone.”


Patented acoustic tube design -

ARIF6148-Enhanced-NR-Edit.jpg


Clear view of AFUL's "ZWX-BA-100" Driver-
ARIF6369-Enhanced-NR-Edit.jpg



Now let’s dive deep into the sound details to see what MAGIC that acoustic chamber can bring throughout the frequency range from low to high.


Sub-Bass:
The sub-bass presence on the Aful MagicOne is a topic of some debate, as it’s a single BA driver unit. Bass lovers accustomed to earth-shattering lows might find it a touch lean. There's definitely some sub-bass presence there, but it takes a more subtle approach. Think of it as a tight kick drum foundation rather than a booming explosion. However, for genres like EDM or hip-hop heavy on sub-bass, the impact might not be as visceral. On tracks like "Bass Canon" by Matoma, the deepest low frequencies aren't as prominent as on some bassier IEMs. But for genres like rock where a tight kick drum is desired, like in "Here I go again" by White Snake or in “Hysteria” by Def Lappered, the MagicOne delivers a satisfying punch without bleeding into the guitar work or the vocals. Ultimately, whether the sub-bass is enough depends on your personal preference.

If you crave the deepest of lows, the MagicOne might not be your perfect match. But for most listeners who appreciate a balanced sound with a controlled sub-bass presence, the Aful MagicOne performs admirably.


Mid-Bass:
The Aful MagicOne shines in the mid-bass department, delivering a tight and punchy performance that elevates genres like rock and pop. This isn't loose, boomy bass – it's a precise response that adds a satisfying kick to drums and bass guitars without muddying up the mix. Imagine the difference between a punchy kick drum and a loose, sluggish one on a track like "Basket Case" by Green Day. The MagicOne delivers the former, ensuring the drums retain their attack and energy. This translates well to bass guitar lines as well. In "Under Pressure" by Queen, the iconic bassline comes through with clarity and definition, adding a powerful foundation to the song without overpowering the vocals or guitars.

While some audiophiles might prefer a slightly warmer mid-bass, the overall response here is tight, controlled, and perfect for those who appreciate a clear and dynamic listening experience.


Male vocal:
The Aful MagicOne excels at reproducing male vocals with exceptional clarity and a touch of natural warmth. Every nuance, from the subtle inflections to the power behind the notes, is faithfully presented. While listening to Deep Purple's "Soldier of fortune" – the MagicOne allows the richness and depth of David Coverdale's voice to resonate with a smooth presence, filling the soundstage and conveying every ounce of emotion. This detailed presentation extends to more powerful vocals as well. Take, for instance, David Draiman's distinct voice in Disturbed's "The Sound of Silence." The MagicOne captures both the raw power and the subtle emotional shifts in his delivery, making the listening experience truly captivating. It even don’t miss the textures in vocals like Mark Knopfler, Bruce Springsteen or Rod Stewart.

Overall, the Aful MagicOne's handling of male vocals is a definite highlight, offering a clear, nuanced, and emotionally engaging performance. And it lets you feel the emotional up-down of the male artist’s voice so well, you can clearly feel it, not only hear it.


Female vocal:
Get ready to be impressed by female vocals on the Aful MagicOne! These IEMs are a delight for fans of singers with sparkling clarity and a touch of sweetness in the upper mids. This combination allows you to appreciate the airiness and subtle details in a singer's voice without any harshness. Listening to Cinéad O Connor’s "Nothing compares to you" – the MagicOne beautifully captures the breathy quality and delicate inflections in her voice. The upper midrange emphasis adds a touch of shimmer, making her vocals sound clear and captivating. This translates well to powerhouse female vocalists as well. Take, for instance, Whitney Houston’s iconic performance "I will always love you" or Laura Branigan’s “The power of love” or Mariah Carey’s “Without you.” The MagicOne delivers both the power and the nuance in their voice, allowing you to hear the subtle control and emotion behind each note.

Overall, the Aful MagicOne's handling of female vocals is a clear winner, offering a detailed, airy, and emotionally engaging performance.


Instruments:
The Aful MagicOne excels at presenting a clear and well-separated soundscape for a wide range of instruments. Guitars are a particular highlight, with a satisfying body and fullness that allows you to appreciate the intricacies of picking and strumming techniques. Listen to the opening riff of Dire Straits' "Sultans of Swing" – the MagicOne reproduces the distinctive twang and bite of the guitar with accuracy. Violins and cymbals also benefit from the clear presentation, with violins shimmering with a touch of sparkle (like the versatile violin lines in Mozart’s "Violin Concerto No. 3") and cymbals delivering crisp crashes without any harshness (like the impactful cymbal work in Hans Zimmer's "Time" from the Inception soundtrack). Live arrangements like Pink Floyd’s ground breaking concert “PULSE”, where different instruments plays in different tunes, this IEM will let you hear everything clearly and soulfully from the deepest bass stroke to soft piano notes.

This clean separation of instruments ensures a detailed and engaging listening experience, allowing you to follow individual musical lines within complex arrangements.


Treble:
The Aful MagicOne walks a tightrope with its treble performance, striking a balance between detail and fatigue. It delivers a well-balanced treble that adds a touch of detail and sparkle to your music without becoming harsh or sibilant. This allows high notes from instruments like flutes and piccolos to shine through with clarity, without any piercing or artificial brightness. While listening to Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" – the delicate melody of the flute is reproduced with a crisp and airy presence. However, cymbals retain a natural character, avoiding any overly harsh s sounds. While I’m hearing the energetic drumming in Rush's "Tom Sawyer" – the cymbal crashes are clear and defined without becoming fatiguing.

Overall, the treble on the Aful MagicOne is well-tuned, adding a touch of brilliance to the sound without sacrificing listening comfort.


Soundstage & Instruments separation:
Expectations for soundstage with in-ear monitors (IEMs) need to be managed, and the Aful MagicOne is no exception. While it won't compete with open-back headphones in terms of spaciousness, it delivers a surprisingly decent soundstage for a single BA driver IEM. The emphasis here is on clarity and separation rather than vast width. Instruments are well-defined within their own space, making it easy to follow individual lines in complex arrangements. Listening to Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" – the distinct placement of Gilmour's guitar on the left and Wright's keyboard on the right allows you to appreciate the interplay between the instruments. This separation extends to subtle details as well. For instance, in Phil Collins' "One more night," the subtle backing vocals and percussion flourishes are easily discernible within the overall mix.

While the soundstage might not be expansive, the Aful MagicOne's focus on precision and separation creates an engaging and detailed listening experience.

ARIF6188-Enhanced-NR.jpg


ARIF6115-Enhanced-NR.jpg



Cable & Tip:

I’m a huge fan of cable swapping & tip rolling and fortunately, I have good collection of those. This IEM can deliver a good sound with the stock cable, which they clarify as “high purity OF Copper & OF Copper Silver plated cable”. And it is OK to use this. But if you have some copper cables in your collection, you may swap it to experience some thicker note all over the frequency. I always love to swap cables and with AFUL MagicOne, I settled with a hand braided pure copper cable.

Now about tip rolling. As I mention earlier, I tried Spinfit 100+, W1, Omni, Divinus Velvel, Pinon Liqueur Orange with this IEM and find that W1 is perfect. It seals well and give you the ultimate sonic experience of Aful MagicOne. Unfortunately, Pinon didn’t give me the comfort but it boosted the bass a bit extra. Omni is also good in delivering sound, specially it opens up mids a little bit. But the same problem here as Pinon, the comfort was not that good as W1. I’m a marathoner and to me, comfort comes first. So, Spinfit W1 is a clear winner here.

ARIF6399-Enhanced-NR.jpg



Tracks used:

Offcourse a lodas of Pink Floyed, Deep Purple, Led Zepelin, Queen, Eagles, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Rush, Rainbow, White Snake, Guns N’ Roses, Green Day, BB King, Mark Knopfler, Brian Adams, Richard Marks, Bruce Springsteen, Ros Stewart, Phill Collins, Alan Jackson, John Denver, Randi Travis, George Jones, Whitney Houston, Barbara Streisand, Laura Branigan, Gloria Estefan etc.


Conclusion:

The Aful MagicOne carves a niche for itself in the budget-friendly IEM market. Don't be fooled by the single BA driver – these IEMs impress with their detailed and clear sound, exceeding expectations for their price point. They shine in terms of comfort that making them ideal for everyday listening. Male and female vocals take center stage with exceptional clarity, while instruments are well-separated and defined within a clear, albeit not expansive, soundstage. Sure, bass lovers like me might crave a stronger low-end presence.

And a good quality source is recommended to unlock their full potential. But for audiophiles seeking a neutral, accurate listening experience with a slight touch of warmth, the Aful MagicOne delivers exceptional value. If you prioritize detail, clarity, and a comfortable fit at a budget-friendly price, the Aful MagicOne is definitely worth an audition.

ARIF6412-Enhanced-NR.jpg


ARIF6420-Enhanced-NR-Edit.jpg


ARIF6402-Enhanced-NR.jpg



Who Should Get the Aful MagicOne?

The Aful MagicOne caters to a specific set of audiophiles, making them a great choice for:

Budget-Minded Audiophiles: Looking for exceptional sound quality without breaking the bank? The Aful MagicOne delivers impressive detail and clarity at a very attractive price point (at the time of writing the review, it is on sale at USD 99.39). You'd be hard-pressed to find many other IEMs offering this level of performance for the money.

Vocal Enthusiasts: Want to hear every nuance in your favorite singers' voices? The MagicOne excels at reproducing both male and female vocals with exceptional clarity and a touch of natural warmth. Prepare to be captivated by the details and emotion conveyed through your music.

Comfort Seekers: If long listening sessions are your thing, the Aful MagicOne won't disappoint you. Their lightweight design ensures a secure and comfortable fit for hours of fatigue-free listening.

Those with Good Source: To truly unleash the full potential of the MagicOne, consider using a good quality source like a powerful DAC or DAC-Amp or dedicated music player with neutral or warm neutral sound signature. A weak source might limit their sonic capabilities.



Who Might Want to Look Elsewhere?

Bass Heads: Craving earth-shattering, sub-bass heavy sound? The Aful MagicOne leans towards a neutral sound signature with a controlled sub-bass presence. While it's there, it might not be enough for those who prioritize deep, booming bass.

Wide Soundstage Seekers: If a spacious, expansive soundstage is your top priority, there might be better options like DUNU SA6 Mii (with five times price of MagicOne). The MagicOne delivers a decent soundstage for a single BA driver IEM, but it focuses more on clarity and separation within a focused space.

Luxury Material Enthusiasts: While the build quality of the MagicOne is good, the materials used might not feel as luxurious as some higher-end IEMs. If premium aesthetics are a major factor for you, there might be other options to consider.

Bright Sound source Owners: If you have any DAC or Audio player with bright sound signature, for example, Hidizs AP80/Pro/Pro-X, Fiio M11S, Questyle M15, Fiio KA3 etc., you shouldn’t think of the MagicOne. This IEM act differently with bright sources and may create disturbance in your listening sessions.

Attachments

  • ARIF6058-Enhanced-NR.jpg
    ARIF6058-Enhanced-NR.jpg
    429.7 KB · Views: 0
RK Turan
RK Turan
Those close-up shots!! can't get enough of them!!
MotherX1
MotherX1
Fire fire fire 🔥
o0genesis0o
o0genesis0o
Your photos are so good

Chaotic

New Head-Fier
Aful MagicOne Review: Truly Magical!
Pros: Beautiful design and great fit
Great quality cable, much better than most at this price point
Good tip assortment, most should find some that fit
Good separation
Clean smooth highs
Non-fatiguing compared to other sets
Great bass quality considering its a Ba
Great timbre
Smooth warm mids
Cons: Some may find the bass to be lacking
Bass isn't as dynamic as I'd like (BA bass)
Some female vocals sound ever so slightly unnatural
Sub bass lacks emphasis
I've had my eyes on this set since around when they first came out after hearing raving reviews and seeing the graph but never had a reason to pick up a pair until recently when they went on sale on Amazon for Prime members for $89.59 USD. I got them as soon as I saw the deal and while I waited for them to arrive I dug deeper into them and what makes them "magical."

These are some of the first single balanced armature IEMs (or at least some of the first good ones) and since it is a single BA, usually not much is expected. One thing that caught my eye was that AFUL made the driver themselves, another thing that caught my eye was how AFUL went about tuning these. Through the use of an RLC electro-acoustic network, AFUL has created technology known as "SE-Math," which enables better extensions at the high-frequency area by compensating for the difference between the driver and the pure sound. The IEM also uses a massive and complex acoustic chamber AFUL is calling the "Acoustic Chamber of Nautilus Structure" which helps the BA push out more and better quality bass.

Screenshot 2024-06-04 at 4.56.18 PM.png
Screenshot 2024-06-04 at 4.56.24 PM.png


Build, design, and Comfort
Screenshot 2024-06-04 at 4.56.09 PM.png


Design + Fit

The MagicOne features a beautiful clear resin shell and a white and silver faceplate. The clear resin shows off the beautiful internals such as the custom BA driver, the Acoustic Chamber of Nautilus Structure, wires, and RLC circuit. I really enjoy the snowy design of the faceplate and how the white looks like snow. These IEMs are some of the most comfortable I've ever used, they are smooth, shaped very naturally and are a good size for my ears.

Sound

Overall, these are warm IEMs with plenty of sparkle, extension and treble clarity you would expect with multi-driver IEMs, they have great bass, while it is not as punchy and deep as a dynamic driver, it covers all bass spectrums and has good sub extension, but lacks sub emphasis. The mids are buttery smooth with natural warmth and timbre. The treble is smooth and does not have any BA "glassiness" or " tinniness", also great extension on the upper treble giving them good air.


Screenshot 2024-06-04 at 8.02.43 PM.png


And to dig in a bit deeper:

Bass
I've never had a problem with BA bass, but compared to other BA sets these have more dynamic and punchy bass than a lot I've tried. The bass is controlled and has good sub extension and instead of pounding your ears with deep punchy bass, the bass kind of just adds color to the mix with a controlled impact. The sub may have extension, but it lacks emphasis. The midbass is smooth and elevated compared to the sub, the midbass doesn't bleed into the mids.

Mids
The MagicOnes are tuned to be mid-focused, so the mids are pushed forward in the mix, but not intimate, they create a good sense of space and separation. The mids have a bit of warm coloration, but not muddy or letting the bass bleed into the mids. The timbre and clarity produced by these custom drivers by AFUL is really amazing, vocals and instruments sound very natural and rich. Male vocals, cellos, trombones and pianos are warm and smooth due to the boost in the low mids and female vocals, violins, trumpets and guitars are sparkly, sweet and clean.

Treble
These IEMs use a new technology that pretty much just enhances the treble response and gives it some extra shine, sparkle and detail. Just like the mids, the treble has great timbre and sounds natural without being tinny or glassy. The treble is very smooth and clear with the best imaging and detail I've heard in an IEM. These create a great sense of openness and clarity in the treble while still being non-fatiguing and smooth.

Techs
The MagicOne creates a great sense of openness and separation between sounds. I would not say these have the best imaging overall but It's the best I've tried so far. It's easy to pick apart different sounds even in a complex song and hear what direction the sounds are coming from, but not exactly pinpointable. I really enjoy the soundstaging on these, nothing sounds stuffed or narrow.

What's in the box
  • AFUL MagicOne
  • Braided cable
    • This is by far the best stock cable any IEM I've owned. It's pretty, soft, strong, and clearly high quality
  • Pack of 3 sizes of black silicone tips
    • Sizes seem a bit limited but work for me
  • Pack of 3 sizes of white silicone tips
    • No apparent acoustic difference from the black tips
  • Aluminum puck case
    • My favorite IEM case for daily use, stong, easy to open, pocketable
  • Paper stuff
    • (Didn't read)
  • Certificate of authenticity
Screenshot 2024-06-04 at 4.55.59 PM.pngScreenshot 2024-06-04 at 4.55.25 PM.pngScreenshot 2024-06-04 at 4.56.35 PM.png
Screenshot 2024-06-04 at 6.52.41 PM.png


Comparisons:
AFUL MagicOne ($140 USD) VS Audiosense DT200 ($150 USD) (DISCONTINUED)


IMG_6631.JPG
Screenshot 2024-06-04 at 8.34.15 PM.png

(THE GRAPH DOES NOT SHOW THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THESE TWO)

These two IEMs are compared a lot due to their similar(ish) tuning and the fact they are all BA setups.
The Audiosense DT200 features a dual Knowles BA driver setup with a warm tuning. The DT200 also has amazing timbre and smoothness, everything sounds clear, though the lower treble can be overpowered by the mids at times. They are very non-fatiguing and I can listen to them for hours without fatigue. The DT200 has a smaller shell also made out of smokey clear-grey 3D printed resin.

The bass on these two IEMs is very comparable but I find the MagicOne to have the superior quality and texture but due to the DT200s having less treble the bass is more emphasized on them

The mids are also comparable but the MagicOne has leaner low mids and more spacious upper mids. The DT200 has slightly superior timbre, it sounds fuller and more natural.

The treble is the biggest difference between these two, the MagicOne definitely has more treble overall, and much better coherency. I find I can analyze high sounds much better on the MagicOnes, but the MagicOnes are much more fatiguing due to the analytical treble. This is another area where the DT200 timbre quality is apparent, the DT200 is more natural sounding, but also duller.

The techs on these two is another much different area, the MagicOne has far wider staging and much more accurate imaging, especially in the treble region. Due to the DT200s more recessed treble, the bass is louder overall and you can feel it more than the MagicOnes, which can make it easier to analyze than the MagicOnes.


Overall comparing these two is much like the Sennheiser HD600 (MagicOne vs the Sennheiser HD 6XX/650 (DT200), one is warmer one is brighter, some prefer one and some might prefer the other. These are two amazing IEMs and are my two daily drivers so if you like one you will most likely like the other.

AFUL MagicOne ($140 USD) VS AFUL Performer 5 ($220 USD)

Screenshot 2024-06-05 at 9.39.31 AM.png


These two IEMs are compared quite a bit as well because the P5 (Performer 5) is another one of AFUL's cheaper IEMs.
The AFUL P5 uses a 1DD + 4BA driver setup and has a pretty common and pretty safe tuning. Emphasis on sub bass and upper mids with sometimes peaky treble.

I did not enjoy the P5 as much as the MagicOnes due to their sub-par timbre. On EDM tracks the glassy timbre is very obvious and can be too harsh for me at times. Sibilance can also be sharp at times making me have to turn down my volume.

While these are lacking in treble performance, they make up for it with the best bass dynamics out of any of the sets I compared the MagicOne to, it's deep, punchy and clean. I prefer bass tuning closer to the MagicOne so sometimes there was more bass than I'd like, but a basshead would be satisfied with it.

The P5 also has smooth lower mids with far better timbre than the upper mids and treble. Male vocals have a warm body but aren't intimate such as the DT200. The upper mids have worse timbre making female vocals and violins sound digital or synthetic but are more forward in the mix and more intimate than male vocals.

The techs are pretty close on these two sets, but the P5 beats the MagicOne's bass texture and mids imaging, while the MagicOne takes over with it's superior treble detail and imaging.

Overall I much prefer the MagicOne's tuning and sound but the P5 is not a bad IEM by any means. I think most people would prefer the P5s more generic tuning vs the MagicOne's more "niche" tuning, especially if you want something more "analytical" than the MagicOne's colored tuning. These are both great sets from AFUL and I think they are both decent choice, though the P5 is a bit overpriced I feel.



Gear Used + Songs Tested

Gear Used
All gear was tested on an Apple Dongle, M2 MacBook Pro output and an Apogee Duet 2

Songs Tested

White Owl - Josh Garrels
WILDFLOWER - Billie Eilish
i love you - Billie Eilish
THE GREATEST - Billie Eilish
BLUE - Billie Eilish
when the party's over - Billie Eilish
Flight - Hannah Parrot
A Time For Love - Jamie Cullum
Oh Rosy - Milena
Smokeless Fire - Octave Lissner
Long After You Are Gone - Chris Jones
Love is In Love - Geggy Tah
Lovely - Billie Eilish
Ocean Eyes - Billie Eilish
Somebody That I Used To Know - Gotye
From The Start - Laufey
Flow - Bernth
海色 - AKINO from bless4
why my love? - Aja Monet
into your eyes - Alex Tyché
That's What I Like - Bruno Mars
Passing Through - Gabe Dixon
THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND - Bad Omens

Attachments

  • Screenshot 2024-06-04 at 4.56.14 PM.png
    Screenshot 2024-06-04 at 4.56.14 PM.png
    2.9 MB · Views: 0
  • Screenshot 2024-06-04 at 4.56.04 PM.png
    Screenshot 2024-06-04 at 4.56.04 PM.png
    1.5 MB · Views: 0
  • Screenshot 2024-06-04 at 4.55.12 PM.png
    Screenshot 2024-06-04 at 4.55.12 PM.png
    2.9 MB · Views: 0
Last edited:
GoneToPlaid
GoneToPlaid
The MagicOne is my favorite chill pill IEM to listen to when I am tired.
C
Chaotic
Funnily enough, these are my more exciting IEMs, the DT200s are my chill pills

torpid

New Head-Fier
BA Magic or BA Flop?
Pros: Great tonality and timbre
Clean and impactful midbass
Both male and female vocals shine on this set
Good resolution and imaging
Beautiful translucent resin shell
Great stock cable
Great passive isolation
Cons: Power hungry - this IEM needs proper amplification to shine
Hard to get good seal with stock tips
Lackluster sub bass
MSRP is not competitive in 2024

Intro/Disclaimer​

The AFUL MagicOne has garnered a lot of attention towards the end of 2023 but does this single BA set still compete in 2024? Read on to find out.

I purchased this set of IEMs with my own money and all opinions are my own. My review is solely based on what I hear with my own two ears as this is a very subjective hobby. My ratings are also based on how I think this IEM fares against other IEMs in its price range.

My primary litmus test when it comes to audio gear is whether or not vocals and instruments sound natural/organic. Regardless if the IEM has the biggest bass or the most technical treble. If it doesn’t sound natural to my ears then it’s a red flag. SPOILER: The Aful MagicOne definitely delivers on this front.

Packaging and accessories​

Standard cardboard sleeve packaging that you see with all other IEMs around this price range but it’s what’s inside that matters. Along with the IEMs, you get six pairs of tips and one of the best stock cables I’ve handled around this price range. The cable is made with high-purity oxygen-free copper and oxygen-free copper silver plated in a 32+37 core configuration. It is well braided and has a decent amount of heft.

IMG_9303.jpeg

Build, Comfort and Fit​

I really liked the build of this IEM, from the snowy faceplate to the full translucent resin shell that puts everything on full display. Originally, I had some troubles with the fit in my right ear but once I did some tip swapping I was able to get an excellent seal in both ears (very important with this IEM). Some people have expressed discomfort from a suction effect but I did not experience this phenomenon. This IEM is vented.
IMG_9306.jpeg


IMG_9304.jpeg

Sound​

Sources Used
AFUL MagicOne <- Questyle M15 <- MacMini M1 <- Apple Music Lossless

Songs played

Initial impressions (before brain burn in)
I usually like to jot down my first impressions when it comes to listening to new gear. Because whether you believe it or not, brain burn-in is a real thing.

Upon listening to the first few songs in my library, I was immediately impressed with the lush midrange and impactful bass. You won’t get a rumbling subbass from this set but the mid-bass does hit hard when you have a proper seal. Also, this single BA IEM needs Power to really shine. Once you meet the requirements, you are presented with a wonderful mid range focused set with excellent vocals and instrument clarity. The timbre and tonality AFUL produced from this single custom BA is truly amazing.

Bass
  • Clean, controlled and impactful
  • Lack of sub bass rumble
  • No mid bass bleed
Mids
  • Top tier timbre and tonality
  • Excellent presentation for both male and female vocals
  • Subtle warmth that adds some nice richness to the mids
Treble
  • Good clarity and natural sounding
  • Smooth and detailed without being sibilant
  • High hats sound extremely natural
Technicalities (Soundstage/Separation/Imaging)
  • Excellent resolution and imaging
  • Good micro-details
  • Soundstage is above average in both directions
  • Great coherency due to single driver
  • Great layering and instrument separation

Comparisons​

Comparisons are a bit tricky as I have not listened to any other one BA sets in this price range. However, compared to other multi-BA sets I’ve listened to like the Dunu SA6, the AFUL MagicOne definitely holds its own. Yes, it doesn’t have quite the same amount of low end grunt but it definitely makes up for it in overall tonality, timbre and resolution.

Conclusion​

The MagicOne is a great example of a proof-of-concept gone right. AFUL did a wonderful job developing this Single-BA IEM and it truly shows when you put it in your ears. The MagicOne is the IEM to reach for when you just want to listen to music without much fanfare or fatigue. You will be extremely happy with this IEM if timbre and tonality are at the top of your requirements list. Just remember that proper amplification is required to get this IEM to perform its best.
GoneToPlaid
GoneToPlaid
The MagicOne's single BA driver can be driven to physical clipping. In other words, the MagicOne is not an IEM to listen to at really high volume levels. What instead makes the MagicOne really special as a very relaxing or chill pill IEM is that the MagicOne has a relaxed BA sound for the bass and that the MagicOne adds a very nice ethereal nature to the sound of whatever music which you are listening to. I used to think of the Truthear Hola as a very relaxing "chill pill" IEM. Yet the MagicOne tops the Hola in this regard since the MagicOne is the first IEM which I actually fell asleep to while listening to it.

MetehanMinatozaki

New Head-Fier
A car crash :D
Pros: -Excellent midrange for price
-Very good instrument seperation
-Resolution is fantastic for the price
-Soundstage is above average
Cons: -Can't handle power
-No bass
-Non-existent note weight
-Sounds boring for me
Disclaimers

I bought this iem with my own money. This review is completely subjective.

HWTKONay_0yw--5p47uvYVnAi4y9aW1U_OJH5ZUTzukeg53bV7SmoCbIbrBIZJEilQJ2EZ1cAGQnFhoh-jX04_sVblaw5CtkUKYXrNGdNRCgAlMCGGFYUbDmQToVvTMTRrnj-cR4WGJ8QByTm1y7uw

ax3-WrotysN84yGSCWG3qsuGOH2R6hVrn1svqD1fFuBugB-sPsTt5vEbQq3gttDZNhjvrkbt0mnycEfPzaM9ymfybiGBw9UKNV4WXinEOJ_2hcaC_97_lW1k22S8Ml1YnIpJt5Sz-Or3WqjiuC3cSQ


Accessories

Aful Magicone comes with a hard plastic carrying case, a bunch of eartips, cable and iem itself. Ok accessories for the price.

Build

Magicone is fully made out of good quality plastic. Comes with a pretty decent cable. Carrying case is hard and feels durable.

Sound-Tonality and Technicalities

Some says this iem have a dynamic-like bass…. Are your ears have some problem!? No note weight, sounds very thin and sterile. Literally no “Real” bass in this iem. But, i have good news too! If you like analytical sound. this set is for you. Midrange have a excellent clarity for the price and treble range is just beautiful… Unique to listen to in this price range. Instrument separation, soundstage and classic,electro guitar presentation is just awesome! But… It has a major issue. This is a single BA pair of IEM’s and it can’t handle much power. This can be a problem for someone like me…

6hYSKwf_PcFGx4RtPbCUq5uX6-jhO9sGx8hgmwAenGRnc0F_LVWDbbs-wPnZ7FCk1xrmfk96OrUnfrA-nh82al57-cbb0ZEDMrpfiMO5zE_jSBbKb9amunURxAJuZT9g-_9n1VSeICdOupC3NrBmrg


Conclusion

Honestly, nothing to say. If you don’t like bass, this thing has no rivals for 140 dollars in terms of sound.
  • Like
Reactions: Colin5619
P
pk4425
Either you're a massive basshead or you didn't have tips with a good seal. The stock tips aren't very good.

The MagicOne is very seal-dependent. If you get the seal, it has adequate bass. It never will crush your eardrums with thump, but to say there's no "real bass" is ludicrous.

Narrow-bore tips will accentuate the bass. Final Audio Type E tips work great with the MagicOne.
C
Chaotic
i dont think these could be considered thin at all especially with the low mid bump, these wont satisfy a major basshead but they definitely have bump to them. also i think it is important to say these scale with power, not that they cant handle power
michaelkevin
michaelkevin
Listening MagicOne right now. Have to say that there is as much bass as one would expected to hear from 1ba driver. Some iems are just not for bassheads. Could you elaborate what sources did you play, please? That is important.
  • Like
Reactions: pk4425

Mesteves77

New Head-Fier
Aful MagicOne - Take That SCIENCE!
Pros: Bold and a Breakthrough Design
Versatile across Music Genres
Benefits Musicality
Energetic Dynamics
Good quality Accessories
Cons: Ear Discomfort - Suction Effect
Challenging Insertion and Alignment
Lean SubBass
Below Average Details & Layering for the Price
Today I bring you the MagicOne, Aful's dramatic release that got many tongues going. This IEM is a science novel put into practice, aiming for a new breakthrough by maxing out a single BA driver's potencial into a full frequency range, whilst shocking the world in the meanwhile.

I don't find it a warm design, rather a neutral tune with some light boosts on bass, upper mids and treble, almost resembling a soft W-shape (in between U and W shape). I find it versatile across music genres but it has its quirks, especially regarding the IEM insertion, which I suspect is what caused the online controversy.

This set was sent to me by Headfi for my honest review, of wish I honor and thank for the opportunity, and I shall be as transparent as I've always thrived to be.

Onwards to what has brought you here.

20240501_203217.jpg


Fitting and Comfort

This time I'm moving this factor up in priority given how important it is having this IEM set well accommodated in your ear canal.

The MagicOne full experience totally relies on achieving the correct nozzle positioning considering your own ear canal anatomy.

It doesn't rely on deeper insertion but if there is a loss of seal or a nozzle misalignment you start losing access to the full frequency range and it will sound wrong.

The unvented nature of the MagicOne is a challenge to be overcome that adds another level of difficulty, and I reckon this is where people's opinions start diverging. Upon placing the IEMs on you can immediately feel a suction effect that might resemble the pressure build up of a driver flex. For pressure sensitive people this can be quite discomfortable to endure.

To minimize this I always started by decompressing my ears by yawning and thrusting my jaw sideways during it, and then I would insert the set while having my mouth open.
To then correct the nozzle alignment I have to furtherly push the IEM inwards into the ear canal, applying force in the IEM shell's lower third zone (where the shell is pointier, its apex). This final touch proved essential for me to be able to fully grasp the MagicOne's capabilities.

Besides this I'd recommend you on tip rolling, picking ear tips that have a more rugged surface for better traction, so that the IEM stays secure after you find its placement's sweet spot.

The practical end result of all these fitting and comfort hassles is that you may only be able to enjoy this set in a very comfortable non-moving position. For me, laying down with my head slightly tilted back (like at the dentist) yielded the best results. And only then could I finally enjoy and review The MagicOne.

Exercising with this IEM on is not doable, at least for me, performing inconsistently and often having to adjust its positioning inside the ear.



Sub Bass

Lightweight in nature but tidy.

I do miss some more rumble gargling and body on bass lines - on Basses, Double Basses and Synth Basses.
The sub is very short lived, decaying faster than expected, which promotes this feeling of tidiness.

I found myself trying to insert the IEM deeper trying to find a bit more sub, but that's a personal take.

Although lean, it is omnipresent, never shying away when tracks get busier, and you can trust the sub to perform when you expect it to.


Midbass

Impressive given the driver type.

I've never heard a full BA IEM, and ever since the beginning of my ChiFi quest I have been conditioned to DD's being responsible for the sub and midbass.
This subconscious prejudice against BA timbre on Bass lowered my expectations, just then to be blown away by it.

Hear me out, it isn't the most tactile nor snappy midbass, it doesn't even indulge the occasional saturday night basshead, but it sounds natural and just enough intense to become dynamic and lively.

Kickdrum slamming is average and this is where I think it may sound like a "BA".

The sub/midbass ratio is 35/65 I would say, and it sounds timbre correct to me. This means accurate bass response, with some light coloring.

This splash of bass boost brings the MagicOne out of Flathead territory, benefiting dynamics whilst offering a versatile performance across many music genres.



Lower Mids

Moderately dipped, the main setback of this set in my opinion, but I can understand it is a must in order to avoid midbass mudiness and have a tuning cohesion glue at the "middle" of the frequency range. We're talking of a single driver unit here.

Guitars, pianos played around middle C and some synth pads are a bit pushed back, and when they do they become lacking in texture. When the mix benefits these instruments, they are presented at full resolution, appearing a tad more detailed.

Percussion elements (toms, congas) are not shined upon but perform naturally and their dynamics are evident, having their part on the overall musicality factor that is a perk of the MagicOne.

On older recordings that tend to have weaker bass and treble performances when compared to the mids, they sound extra hollow given the dip in this region.



Upper Mids

Balanced, not shouty, comfortable and very well polished.

Higher pitch register pianos, pads, synth and guitar leads come forward in presentation, becoming more evident of its details.

Snares and claps are snappy but not peaky, not making me squint my eyes when very transient rich ones come by, like some rimshots on R&B music are.

This area can sometimes get congested when too many frequency overlapping instruments are at play, but that comes down to a technicality aspect.

It is pinna gain safe (I'm extra sensitive to it).



Treble

Crisp on attacks, a bit slower on decay, but overall sounds natural.

It is non offensive while retaining brightness, so I would say it is safe for treble sensitive people, but it is not by default a tame treble.

Hi-hats are texturized and don't amalgamate into noise. They can sometimes feel intense but I haven't had them distorting. Other metal percussion instruments have that good ringing sound to them.

Trumpets and Violins are textured, intense and they don't pierce, nor distort when played hard.


20240501_203317.jpg

Soundstage

Wider than taller, spacious and slightly holographic when properly inserted. The soundstage is highly affected by the nozzle alignment with the ear canal. When you get it right, it performs slightly above its price bracket.



Technicalities

Not a technical set, rather musical by prioritizing dynamics.

Not strong in details at the bass and lower mids ranges, but way more revealing at the upper mids and treble.

Instrument separation and layering is acceptable and actually impressive for a single BA, however might be underwhelming when compared to hybrids of the same price range.

Harder to Drive (needs amp power).



Design and Aesthetics


The tubing work really squeezes the driver potencial turning it into a design quality statement. It achieves the intended purpose of a breakthrough/novelty IEM that vigorously stamps the seal of quality engineering all over Aful's name. If a listener can spend the time, money and effort getting to understand and use MagicOne properly, I think they are in for an unique experience.

I personally enjoy the shell and how it looks - the transparent shell allows the driver and tubing visualization which are the main selling point of the MagicOne. The decorative triangles can make it look cheaper than it actually is (girlfriend's opinion).



Cable and Accessories

The circular metal case is very welcomed, being rigid and big enough to store the IEM, cable and even a dongle.

The included cable is of above average quality and looks for its price range.

20240412_151144.jpg


Final Words

I can understand the divergence of opinion between listeners, considering the non-vented suction effect and nozzle misalignment upon insertion, that may be a deterrent of a full experience.
Overcoming these, the listening experience is unique and paradigm shifting, reassuring Aful's dominance in the IEM's market.

It is still a novelty IEM, somewhat exotic in design but with a more versatile and fresh sound signature.

I think this is a must have for collectors and a sneak peek into future Aful iterations, and I will definitely be revisiting this IEM to check how it sustains the test of time.

I must congratulate Aful for their bold design move and courage.

Thank you for reading this,
Miguel Esteves

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

IMG_0276 Cropped.jpg
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
IMG_0256.JPGIMG_0258.JPGIMG_0257.JPGIMG_0259.JPGIMG_0260.pngIMG_0261.pngIMG_0263.JPGIMG_0265.pngIMG_0262.JPGIMG_0273.JPG

Build Quality
IMG_0276.JPG
IMG_0266.JPG
The shell made from full resin, not a hollowed one, It is very clear and free of bubbles / imperfection.
IMG_0279.JPG
The faceplate is also inspired from a snowflakes.
IMG_0267.JPGIMG_0270.JPG
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.
IMG_0277.JPG
Cable is very good, It has options to select, a standard 3.5mm or 4.4mm balanced.

Comfort
IMG_0283.jpg

is very good despite the slight vacuum effects.


Sound
IMG_0280.JPG
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.
IMG_0279.JPG

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.
Last edited:

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


IMG_2587.jpeg


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.

IMG_2580.jpeg


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.

IMG_2588.jpeg


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.

IMG_2585.jpeg


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.

IMG_2583.jpeg


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.

IMG_2582.jpeg


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.

IMG_2581.jpeg


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.

IMG_2584.jpeg

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.
1000016555.jpg

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.
1000016541.jpg

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.
1000016544.jpg

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.
1000016549.jpg

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!
Last edited:
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.

Argha

100+ 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.

IMG_20240119_061156-01-01.jpeg


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

IMG_20240119_061355-01.jpeg


👂 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


🤯 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.
Last edited:

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.

ARP_5948.jpg


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.

ARP_5938.jpg

WhatsApp Image 2024-01-13 at 23.39.32_17681ddc.jpg



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.

ARP_5943.jpg


Sound Analysis: -
graph.png

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.

ARP_5958.jpg

ARP_5965.jpg


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

  • ARP_5949.jpg
    ARP_5949.jpg
    3.1 MB · Views: 0

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.

1703528408412.jpg


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.

1703528408367.jpg


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.

1703523293843.jpg


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.

1703523196997.jpg


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.


1703523228846.jpg


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.

1703523228710.jpg


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
PC040123-Enhanced-NR.png


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.

-

PC040002-Enhanced-NR.jpg
PC040006-Enhanced-NR.jpg


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.

-

PC040009-Enhanced-NR.jpg
PC040018-Enhanced-NR.png


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.

PC040020-Enhanced-NR.png
PC040024-Enhanced-NR.jpg


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.

PC040023-Enhanced-NR.png


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

PC040029-Enhanced-NR.png


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.

PC040035-Enhanced-NR.png


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.

PC040044-Enhanced-NR.jpg


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.

PC040063-Enhanced-NR.jpg


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.

PC040053-Enhanced-NR.jpg


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.

PC040060-Enhanced-NR.jpg


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.

스크린샷 2023-12-14 160617.png


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.

스크린샷 2023-12-14 160703.png


Measured with the included white tip.

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

스크린샷 2023-12-14 160807.png


Here's a direct comparison of the two measurements.

We can safely assume that there is no significant difference.

-

PC040076-Enhanced-NR.png


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
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: o0genesis0o

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

img_0566.jpg

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.

singlaba.jpg

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.

img_0505.jpg
img_0506.jpg

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.

img_0510.jpg
img_0515.jpg
img_0520.jpg
img_0524.jpg

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.

img_0526.jpg
img_0533.jpg

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.

img_0538.jpg
img_0551.jpg

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.

img_0575-3.jpg

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.

img_0551-2.jpg

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

img_0585.jpg

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.
  • Like
Reactions: dosec
dosec
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.

PXL_20231212_160601701.jpgPXL_20231212_160706968.jpgPXL_20231212_160732247.jpgPXL_20231212_160744020.jpg

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

Attachments

  • PXL_20231212_160758686.jpg
    PXL_20231212_160758686.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 0
  • PXL_20231212_160652014.jpg
    PXL_20231212_160652014.jpg
    2.4 MB · Views: 0

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?
received_3537712499891293.jpg


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
received_1364074837528578.jpg


⏯️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!
Hark01
Hark01
"nozzle length and width are about average" - don't know about length, but if reports about 5mm width are correct, that is below average (and great news for many)

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​

magicone_00007.jpg
magicone_00008.jpg
magicone_00009.jpg
magicone_00010.jpg
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”

748.jpg


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.

magicone_00003.jpg


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.

the_last_samurai_album.jpg


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.

magicone_00012.jpg


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.

gundam00_movie_album.jpg


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.

pentatonix_vol4_album.jpg


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.

magicone_00013.jpg


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.

magicone_graph_2.png


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.

magicone_graph.png


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

magicone_graph3.png
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​

resolution.jpg


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?

magicone_00006.jpg


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.

magicone_00015.jpg


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​

soundstage.png


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.

magicone_00016.jpg


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

magicone_00017.jpg


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.

magicone_00020.jpg


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.

magicone_summary.jpg


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

100+ 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.

IMG_0520.jpeg


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.

IMG_0521.jpeg


IMG_0522.jpeg


IMG_0526.jpeg


IMG_0527.jpeg

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!
Last edited:

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...
DSC_3785.JPG


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

DSC_3905.JPG


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!

DSC_3869.JPG


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.

DSC_3979.JPG


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!

DSC_3812.JPG


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:

graph.png


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

DSC_3737.JPG


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.

____
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
Back
Top