SoundMAGIC Vento P55 V3

General Information

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Vento P55-V3 Specifications

  • Color: Gun Black
  • Transducers: Dynamics, 40mm Neodymium
  • Frequency range: 15Hz~22KHz
  • DC resistance: 35±10 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 110±2 dB
  • Maximum input power: 20mW
  • Cable length: 1.2m
  • Connector: stereo 3.5, L style plug gold-plated
  • Weight: 285g
  • Microphone Frequency range: 20Hz~16KHz
  • Microphone Sensitivity: -42±3dB

Latest reviews

Pros: Fantastic build quality, comfortable to wear for long periods of time, good quality mic, comes with fantastic carrying case and good accessory set
Cons: Doesn't fully fold down but the does fold flat and comes with nice carrying case, some recordings can sound harsh due to bright tuning
SoundMAGIC Vento P55 V3 (On Ear Headphone)
Everyday Companion

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Introduction
This is my review of the Vento P55 V3 - a portable on ear headphone from SoundMAGIC and their Vento series. They are a brand that has been around head-fi since my earliest days in this hobby. They make a range of headphones for different applications and formats. Their name has been synonymous with quality offerings at reasonable prices such as the E80 and the HP150 or HP200.

The official product page can be found here

As you might be able to tell from the official site, this model has undergone a number of revisions and has had a lot of time in it's development. Spoiler alert: It paid off!

Disclaimer
Before I begin this review, I want to thank SoundMAGIC for giving me the opportunity to review the Vento P55 V3 and in providing a review sample in exchange for my honest opinion. These thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone and I reserve the right to change my opinion as time goes on. These are my personal findings and should be taken as such.

About me
Before I get into the nitty gritty of things, I want to provide a little background information in the hopes that it can help put my views in perspective and provide some context for the content of this review.

"Music has always been a huge part of my life, whether it was performing music on stage with my band or more recently, involving myself in this masochistic wonderful hobby of ours. I have always enjoyed listening to music but I haven’t always paid attention to the quality of headphones because I was perfectly content with included cellphone earphones or cheap earbuds from department stores. Ignorance is bliss right? This however all changed when I came across head-fi one day, and that’s when things started to go downhill (for my wallet that is :p). It is all too easy to underestimate how large an impact a good pair of headphones can have in the enjoyment of your favorite songs.

After getting my first pair of good headphones, I had felt as if an entirely new world has opened up to me musically and I found myself rediscovering music that I have listened to for many years.

When it comes to musical taste, I can’t say that I have any specific genre that is my absolute favorite, as I like a little bit of everything. But if I had to be specify, I would say that I love mainstream and Pop music and I consider myself to be an average joe in that regard. That is the approach I will be taking in reviewing gear, for people like me who aren’t all that technical and are not audiophiles in the classical sense.

I mostly stream music from the Internet using services such as Spotify and Youtube and like millions of other people, my laptop and cellphone serves as my main media players.
"

Specifications
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Packaging and Accessories
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The P55 V3 comes packaged in a stylish box that encloses a soft shell carrying case. The headphone comes packaged inside said carrying case, along with a whole host of accessories. These include two headphone cables, one is a single 3.5 mm single ended cable and the other with microphone and remote control for mobile devices.

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It also comes with two short adapter cables, one for switching between different smartphones (in case inline features are not supported) and the other for computer use with separate connections for both audio and microphone.

What is it like to use?
When I try to analyze a headphone I try to take into account why it exists. That is to say what did the creators have in mind. The Vento was designed to be a portable/travel friendly and everyday life friendly headphone.

The headphone is comfortable to wear for long periods of time and I did not experience any discomfort after long listening sessions. There is ample padding in both the headbands and the earcups. Though it is branded an on ear headphone, I feel that it sits somewhere between a true on ear headphone and an over ear headphone. I used it throughout the winter and even when it was pressed against my skin it didn't irritate me. The included case will ensure longevity and easy storage when not in use. While I do wish that the P55 folded into a more compact form, it is still easy to package inside the case when the cups are folded flat.

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[The microphone is great for use during phone calls. The people on the other side of the phone call had no trouble hearing me, even while travelling outside and the quality of the voice calls were great overall, no complaints in that regard.
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It provides great passive isolation when music is playing and you won't find yourself turning up music volume to drown out surrounding noise. Noise leakage was minimal to non-existent at normal listening volumes.

Sound
First and foremost, the Vento P55 V3 was designed to be a portable headphone and it has been tuned as such. It sports a refined and tastefully done V-shaped sound that flies in the face of it's contemporaries bass heavy and muddy tunings *cough*beats*cough* Oh boy, I guess my allergies are acting up again lol.

I would like to start off by saying that the vento is detailed and energetic headphone. It has energy in the upper registers and lies on the brighter side of neutral, relatively speaking. While this is no grado, if you are used to warm and bass monsters, you might be in for a surprise, as well as, a treat! Allow me to elaborate on why I think this to be the case!

The bass is plentiful in quantity and quality. It also has the added benefit of drowning out ambient noise when listening to music outside. The bass is of high quality and texture is easily discerned. It is controlled and slams hard when called for. I am happy to report that the bass did not bleed into the midrange.

The midrange, though recessed in comparison to treble and bass, is still detailed enough to make vocals standout and not get lost in the mix. Speaking of which, the layering and spacious representation is impressive for an on-ear portable headphone. Not too detailed and overbearing, but dynamic enough to keep you engaged during listening sessions.

All of these attributes make the Vento a wonderful match for metal (or any guitar centric genres) and contemporary pop music. In fact, I tend to use the Vento for listening to my favorite heavy metal and EDM tracks.

Conclusion
Since getting the SoundMAGIC Vento P55 V3, I have used it as my main portable headphone over a period of several months and so I feel I have a good grasp on what it’s about.

From its sleek all business look, to its durable construction, inline mic controls and removable cable, it offers a convenient package that people from all walks of life can use

What’s more, the sound is great for what a portable on-ear headphone should be - energetic and dynamic and the passive isolation means that you can enjoy your music at lower volumes. It pairs well with any portable audio source but does sound better when paired with a good source. It is easy enough to drive that it will sound great out of any portable device.

All of this makes for a wonderful portable package that is sure to make long commutes more bearable and a wonderful daily driver. It is easy to use and sturdy enough to survive the rigors of daily travel and being stuffed into bags. If you are in the market for a sleek and well built headphone that looks great and sounds even better, while not breaking the bank, I urge you to check out the Vento P55 V3.
B9Scrambler
B9Scrambler
A great read :)
Pros: Build Quality; Comfort; Price; Serious sound quality improvement over the previous versions
Detail; bass quality; stage (for closed-back on-ear)
Best synergy with a warm source
Cons: Large case for portable use; Mids may be cold for some, highs a bit sharp too
Best synergy with a warm source
Preview - SoundMAGIC Vento P55 (V3)

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Overview

Third iteration of the SoundMAGIC higher on-ear model, the Vento P55 V3, featuring a very solid build quality, nice design and, more importantly, a much improved sound quality at a more affordable price. Just below the $100 tag it offers a very detailed and clear sound, with a cool tonality and slight emphasis on the bass and treble, wide stage and airy presentation for the closed on-ear design.

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Vento P55-V3 Specifications
  • Color: Gun Black
  • Transducers: Dynamics, 40mm Neodymium
  • Frequency range: 15Hz~22KHz
  • DC resistance: 35±10 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 110±2 dB
  • Maximum input power: 20mW
  • Cable length: 1.2m
  • Connector: stereo 3.5, L style plug gold-plated
  • Weight: 285g
  • Microphone Frequency range: 20Hz~16KHz
  • Microphone Sensitivity: -42±3dB
Price: U$89

Warranty: 2 years.

More official info @ Vento P55 product page


Note: This Vento P55 V3 unit here was lent by a SoundMAGIC dealer for the review purpose. At the moment the availability is limited to the Chinese region market and should be available worldwide soon; thus the 'preview' title.

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The Vento P55 arrives in simple paperboard box similar design to the In-Ear line of the company if just a bit thicker. There's the usual product image on the front and all the specifications on the back side. Inside there's the large EVA carrying case where the Vento P55 is securely arranged and a small pouch which holds all the accessories. The package includes two headphone cables, one with single 3.5mm termination and the other with microphone and remote control for phone devices. There two extra short adapter cables, one for switching between different smartphones systems, and the other for computer use with separated connections for sound and microphone. The large case is much more comfortable than the oval shaped one that was included with the HP100/200, but still large for outdoors portable use, so a more compact bag would be a nice addition.

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Build Quality & Design

Build quality is very robust on the Vento, mixing solid materials with different metal components and less plastic parts, seems durable enough yet fair for the portable use. The inner headband is made of stainless steel while the outer upper cover looks to be of aluminum (though might still be of the same steel material), very sturdy and well finished. The bottom part of the headband is divided, at the top section the soft foam pad covered by synthetic leather, and towards the sides, plastic with a rubbery kind material coating (very similar to what was used on the HP200 back then).

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The good build quality material continues to the ear cups section where both arcs that connect to the actual cups are also made of metal. The main cup is made of same rubber coated plastic material in order to keep a lighter weight, but the outer cup plate is whole aluminum in a fine and smooth finish. The design is still not completely portable for those who prefer a fully folding system, but the Vento still fold flat if you plan to use the carry case.

The Vento headphones not only are well built but also nicely finished, elegant with a more expensive look on them that gunmetal and black color theme gives.

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The pads are made of same synthetic leather with very soft memory foam pad inside. They are a bit shallow, so do not have much depth, and being too soft might put the drivers very close to the ears. However, they are easy to remove and install again, so trying different pads should be an easy task.

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In terms of comfort and fit, the Vento P55 is very good, even with a weight close to 300g, thanks to the well distributed and soft headband. Despite the on-ear design, the ear cups are large enough and fit close to an over-ear design. For small to medium ears these could be seen as a compact over-ear type (or maybe large on-ear fit for those with bigger ears). Moreover, the headband doesn't provide a very strong and tight clamping force, and together with the soft pads improves the comfort for longer portable use. Even so the isolation is good enough for a sealed on-ear design.

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As can be seen, the cable connection is single-sided right at the bottom of the left cup. Fortunately, SoundMAGIC decided to drop the so proprietary cable and socket found on the previous HP series and just go with a most standard, simple and hassle free connection. The two included audio cables are identical, straight 3.5mm plug on the headphone end and 45º angled plug at the other, both well protected with the metal (aluminum) cover and flexible strain relief. The cable itself is of just decent quality, thick and with a slightly of rubbery outer cover. Not the softest and a bit springy but doesn't hold a strong memory effect; nothing to really complain about. The microphone and control are again well covered by the aluminum part, and while seem to work fine with a couple of smartphones, the buttons are a bit hard to press.

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Lastly, on the short adapters, they do look much plainer than the audio cables, and while I didn't have any use for the computer adapter, the phone adapter was needed depending on the source in use. For instance, the mic' cable worked fine directly with an old Samsung Galaxy phone, but for the iBasso DX120 the adapter was needed. A bit troublesome, especially after the company already implemented a more practical solution with the 'S' versions of the in-ear models with a simple switch in the remote control section.

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Sound Quality

The Vento P55 V3 is not the first SoundMAGIC product I tried. Previously owned the HP200 open-back headphones, and later on the two In-Ear models E50 and E80. I got the chance to demo one of the previous P55 versions (probably the 1st one) and it was quite disappointing in terms of sound quality and presentation. Wasn't sure what to expect from this new V3 version, but definitely was worth the try.

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The Vento is a very different sounding model than previous products from SoundMAGIC I've tried, but still shares some of the good technical characteristic such as clarity, transparency and air on the sound. The presentation is lively in very mild U-shaped signature and where the emphasis is more pronounced from the sub-bass region and upper treble rather than the typical mid-bass lift and brighter lower treble.

Before getting to a more detailed description of the sound, it is worth noting the drivability on the Vento P55. From the specs, and more importantly, from real usage, the P55 V3 is a very easy to drive on-ear set. It gets enough loud and powerful enough from a very standard phone or portable player. The Lotoo PAW Pico ultra small I usually use as the best portable option is able to drive very well the Vento, and moreover offers a very enjoyable synergy too. From the new iBasso DX120 DAP the volume level didn't reach the half amount of steps even on the low-gain option.

Bass has very good quality. It starts from an enhanced sub-bass response with very good extension and depth. The control and speed is high and it's well layered and separated. It strikes with fast attack and natural decay, and sounds quite effortless with no need of extra power. The mid-bass is more reserved quantity-wise, at least next to the sub-bass response; not that it is missing as it is definitely north of neutral, but it is more due the aggressive nature than a the usual mainstream extra lift found on this frequency region. In a quick comparison with the Grado SR80e, the P55 Vento still has more weight and balance through the whole low-end area, and needless to say I prefer them over the ATH-M50x.

At the midrange, the Vento is rather neutral in most aspects with a slightly more distant presence next to the faintly elevated bass and treble. It sounds much uncolored if kind of dry and with a cold overall tonality. Low and upper mids are equally balanced, not really flat but with a liquid texture. It could be called 'transparent' but not at the same degree as the E80 IEM was and not much source dependant either. Instruments separation and air and the whole detail do stand out on the Vento. However, the cool tonality and lack of texture won't be my first pick for vocal oriented tracks, despite the control and very low sibilance thanks to the less pronounced upper midrange. They do carry very good level of detail, just not the enough sweetness and emotion to be most engaging. It is a better match for orchestral or some electronic genres.

The treble is bright yet surprisingly well controlled. Not as the aggressive, peaky hot treble as the HP200 had, as the Vento P55 is more linear and forgiving on the lower treble. It is still not smooth as still shares some aggressive and somewhat sharp character, though it is more elevated at the upper treble. The extension is quite good and with the bit of analytical tuning the micro detail is high for a sub $100 on-ear set.

Stage is fairly wide and gives good depth. The presentation is open, airy and very spacious, and especially considering the closed-back and on-ear design. While easy to drive and not very picky in recording quality, I find it pairs much better with bit warmer source in order to reach the best timbre and richer tonality, without giving up on the details.

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Value

The Vento P55 had to pass through a few iterations to reach the best results. It keeps the same good build quality and ergonomics from the first version, but sounds way much better. While I could prefer a tad of richer and fullness on the midrange, for the stage, clarity and high detail the Vento P55 V3 offer a very good option for the now sub $100 price.
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chaotic_angel
chaotic_angel
is it same bright as Hifiman HE350?
Zelda
Zelda
Sorry, haven't tried the HE350

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