Soundmagic E80 in-ear monitor headphone

General Information

The E80 is the flagship model of the SoundMAGIC E Series. Featuring refined sound and masses of detail, the E80 is designed with audiophiles in mind. The rigid aluminium exterior contains powerful custom 10mm dynamic drivers, producing high fidelity sound, a wide soundstage and authentic, nuanced bass.

The sleek and streamlined E80 design gives a comfortable fit for prolonged listening sessions and great isolation, for superior sound quality. SoundMAGIC have crafted three attractive colour variations, all with a high quality metallic finish. A strong twisted hi-fi cable, designed to resist tangling, is finished with a metal jack plug. The included semi-rigid carrying case and noise-reducing eartips make the E80 the ideal earphone for the audiophiles on the move.

Latest reviews

Pros: Durable/Well Rounded/Fun/Powerful
Cons: Possible Con: Bass isn't as punchy as it could be. Highs may be slightly emphasized
I've had these for almost a year or so now I think.

If durability is your number one priority look no further. I've washed these by accident twice and they were in the drier once and work perfectly. The first time I washed these without drying, I used them when they were wet, the sound was messed up from the water in the driver, but when they dried they were 100 percent back to normal. The cabling is really, really sturdy, they don't tangle much and they are metal.

When I first got these I felt the high end was harsh and over emphasized. I've gotten used to these over time. I love them now. Its not that I am trying to love them, but I actually love them. I got used to the high end. The mids are super super smooth and clear and organic sounding. The bass is powerful and present without sounding bloated. Its really well controlled and its smooth but not punchy or fast. Yet I think it will satisfy most people. These manage to be somewhere between fun and nuetral. The high end once your adjusted to it, actually makes music more insatiable and more fun. Its not super super over emphasized or siblant, but when you first get these if your used to a darker sound, everything sounds kind of veiled by the high end. Everything sparkles. I would describe these as bright, but the mids and the low end is equally there. Its just the sparkle of the high end sticks out most on first impression. Over time, the sound seems to make sense. I mean I really do like these and after comparing them to some full sized cans, IMO these sound better. In fact, I am currently looking for full-sized cans that have a similar sound.

I just think these are hard to go wrong with if your someone who leans more towards a balanced sound but want something with great soundstage.

I first started using these with an iphone 5 and then switched to an iphone 7 and I definitely noticed a difference in quality. I don't amp them...but source does matter with these. They sounded much smoother on the iphone 7 and a bit more "tame".
Pros: Comfortable for all day use, suitable for most music genre, adequate amount of accessories, above average isolation, excellently balance sound quality
Cons: That 45 degree jack
I still have Soundmagic E10M which I bought many years ago. It still sound phenomenally good and overall it only few notch lower in overall sound quality when compared to my current favourite Audio-Technica CKR9LTD, Onkyo E700M and Audio-Technica CKX9. So it is just natural for me to get this current Soundmagic in-ear flagship the E80. They has 3 variant E80 without volume/mic like I have on this review. The other 2 versions are E80C with volume control/mic and E80S with mic/single button remote control. I prefer one without volume control/mic unless there is only one version like my Onkyo E700M.
IMG_20170307_180552.jpg
 
IMG_20170307_180619.jpg

Brand new in sealed box for 58 USD? Yes with full accessories as shown below.
IMG_20170307_180749.jpg
 
IMG_20170307_180958.jpg
Come with hard case, shirt clip, SML size T400 comply foam ( I use M size) and the usual sets of silicone tip if you prefer that over foam tip. Not so lavish but more than adequate for most user.
 
Built quality;
Somehow the twisted cable and Y splitter on this E80 and other Soundmagic (E10,E50) look exactly like my old Boarseman CX98. Maybe coincidence or maybe they have same manufacturer. It has fully functional cinch/ chin slider. Both Y-splitter and jack are made of silver colored metal. But the 45 degree jack is not my favorite. I prefer it to be completely straight or completely L -shaped.Just personal preference. Other user will find it otherwise. Housing and nozzle are made of metal too and strain relief on housing and jack are made of of firm but still slightly flexible plastic. So full mark for built quality.
IMG_20170310_160014.jpg

Almost completely sit flush in ear. So comfortable for all day use and even to sleep on one side. The 'small' 10mm driver does really help .
IMG_20170310_163909.jpg
Too many? Yes way too many but all earphones here cost 60USD and less each.
IMG_20170310_164145-01.jpg
Direct/ closest competitors. CKR9LTD, E700M and old E10M.
 
Sound quality;
Initial sound out of the box is totally unremarkable, that mean it really need a burn in. Now it has more than 60 hours of burn in period by continuous music playback on my Lenovo A397i.
The most prominent feature in its sound for me is the airiness, and big sound stage. Just below Audio-Technica CKS990 but above Audio-Technica CKX9. The details is very impressive, even better than E700M and CKR9LTD. Not by much but still noticeable. Bass amount rated at 7/10 but it has proper impact and fast enough for even dance/EDM song. Song like 300 Violin Orchestra and Taylor Dayne's Tell It To My Heart did bring out the extra amount in details and really setting it apart from the already excellent E10M. Treble amount at 8/10 with some noticeable coloration but no sibilant at all. So E80 has huge sound stage and airiness of sound, with a lot of details and noticeable instruments separation, above average bass with proper impact and fast response, and some smooth treble. Very much balanced sound indeed.
 
Comparison with Onkyo E700M;
Simply put , I prefer E80 sound quality overall. Just wish that I bought E80 earlier , but I got E700M for a good value so all is not loss here. E700M is more in look and style department. The 1/2 in ear design with oval nozzle make it harder to stay in ear and big driver make big and heavy housing too. Overall soundstage and and bass is on E80 side while other aspect like vocal, treble  and detail are almost equal.
 
Comparison with Soundmagic E10M;
No competition . E80  is better in sound quality and built quality to. E10M has more V-shaped sound to it but still very fun to listen to.
 
Conclusion;
Obviously this E80 is my new best earphone. It is not the best in all frequency/sound quality wise. Soundstage/ bass king is still belong to Audio-Technica CKS990, while details and treble are actually belong to my old Sony EX650 and Audio-Technica CKX9. I pefer vocal on Audio-Technica CKR9LTD. But collectively as 1 package this E80 is unbeatable both in sound quality and built quality. If you can find a BNIB with excellent value please go for it. It is easy to recommend this as compared to other earphones like CKS990, CKX9,CKR9LTD or even E700M.
  • Like
Reactions: Andrzej Cichy
Pros: The mids, low end, build quality, comply tips included
Cons: Springy cable
Cue the Intro:
Soundmagic has created a name for themselves for budget IEM such as the E10 and the PL30s. I was one of the early adopters of the E10 and it was my first step into the quality IEM world. Unfortunately, the E10 broke after a year, and me wanting to try other IEMs, I went on to buy the sennhieser CX300 II, the Fiio ex1/Dunu Titan 1, the Vsonic GR07, and finally the Soundmagic E80.
The CX300 II were great earbuds for bloated bass that bled into the mids and highs. The Fiio EX1 were awesome sounding earbuds that lacked any isolation and was unusable in the office. While the Vsonic GR07 classics provide excellent SQ that is clearly better than the E10 and the CX300 II, it was extremely balanced, which lacked any ability to "wow" me. Enter the E80.
 
 
Build Quality:
Build quality is above average. The headphone jack is a 120 degrees ish, and seems to be quite solid. While the cable is sturdy, however, I feel like it's a bit too springy. It doesn't like to straighten up and tends to coil around by itself. It's also noticeably microphonic, but that's fixable with any wire clip. The housing seems to be metal/aluminum, so it should be able to take a decent beating. 
 
Comfort:
They are relatively comfortable, and these can be used over ear which allow you to use them while exercising. There are plenty of tips included for you to find one that fits. I prefer the included comply tips for maximum comfort. The are relatively light weight, so they don't pop out as long as there's a good seal. Unfortunately, they stick out too much to be used while sleeping. 
 
Sound Quality:
These sound very good to me. The low end reaches well into the sub-bass region, while the mid-bass gives my ears a very nice slam for electronic and EDM tracks. These are nowhere near basshead level though, however they do hit lower and harder than the GR07 and the EX1. The midrange is where these shine. They remind me of an improved version of my E10. Vocals are smooth and organic, but most of all, very natural. The mids are forward sounding, reminding me of my HD598. I would put the mids slightly ahead of the GR07 and quite a bit better than the EX1. The highs are detailed and clear, yet not sharp or piercing to my ears. The imaging is accurate and the soundstage is decent, but losing to the EX1 in terms of wideness. In terms of SQ signature, these are closer to the GR07 rather than the Fiio EX1. I prefer the E80 to my GR07. The E80s are definitely more engaging, yet does not overly present any frequency that makes it fatiguing to my ears. 
 
Value:
The soundmagic E80 can be had for around $50-70, in the same price range as the EX1 and quite a deal cheaper than the GR07. I feel that these are severely underpriced for the performance. Of course, that's not saying much since I only had a few other IEM to compare, but I don't even want to try any other IEM while having the E80. These are a significant upgrade for the E10s, while costing only $10-30 more than it's little brother. 
 
 
TLDR:
Build Quality:
Fiio EX1 > E80 > GR07 = CX300II > the average earbuds

Bass Quantity:
CX300II > E10 > E80 > EX1 = GR07
 
Bass Quality:
GR07 > E80 = EX1 > E10 > CX300II 

Mids:
E80 > GR07 > EX1 > E10 > CX300II

Highs:
EX1 > GR07 > E80 > E10 > CX300II

Soundstage:
EX1 > GR07 = E80 > E10 > CX300II

Isolation:
E10 = CX300II = E80 =  GR07 > EX1
 
Comfort 
E80 = CX300II = E10 > GR07 = EX1

Value (in my opinion):
E80 > EX1 = GR07 > E10 > CX300II

Overall, these E80s are great value for the price, and I can see why many others like them as well.
  • Like
Reactions: Andrzej Cichy
headheadphono
headheadphono
Anyone start an Impression thread for this gem? I can't get enough of the SQ these IEMs delivered. I immediately threw away GR07 after 150 hour burn in on the E80.
Jojaonthebeat
Jojaonthebeat
When it comes to detail, soundstage and instrument separation, is there a lot of difference compared to the e50 or is there only a slight difference? Can someone also please tell me the difference when it comes to bass between the two as well. I want soundstage with good bass because I listen to alternative, edm and electro music. I am a drummist too and prefer to get detail when it comes to the drum instruments.
7keys
7keys
Great Review!
I received the E80 about a week after getting the HIFIMAN RE-00, I was so underwhelmed with the RE-00 and it's weak presentation I was wowed by the E80.   

Comments

There are no comments to display.
Top