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Fake SoundMagic PL-30s or Factory Defect?

  1. dv8tor
    I just purchased these a few days ago, but I have some major issues.

    While I initially thought there could be no way anyone would want to fake the SoundMagic PL-30s, I have reason to believe the package I purchased is fake. Since SoundMagic is already a Chinese (Shenzhen-local) company that offers affordable products, I was under the impression they were cheap enough to purchase that no one would bother replicating them. Either that, or my IEMs had a factory defect.

    I know the PL-30s have different sorts of packaging. Doing a quick Google search for "SoundMagic PL30 box" will bring up 3 different packaging designs already.

    However, I happened to get the one below. This is also the packaging from the Amazon UK website.
    I was quite satisfied with the packaging and contents for such an affordable product.

    However, my problems started occurring and are listed as follows:

    1. Upon opening the packaging, I noticed there was no User Manual and most PL30 owners on forums actually got one. I would think they needed to put a manual for the bass knob settings. Even basic IEMs without much features have manuals.

    2. Next, I saw un-boxing videos and reviews and everyone got a cable winder in their package. My box contained no cable winder.

    3. Initially testing the IEMs, (of course a lot would argue that burning-in would be proper first), but in my first listen, these IEMs just sounded downright terrible. The sound was so tinny and very mono, not producing the solid sound I had from my Creative EP 630s and newly purchased Klipsch Image S4's. It was like I purchased disposable $5, no-branded headphones. It was so bad that it ruined the music on my D2+. Whatever music I played was just wrong. There seemed to be something missing with the drivers.

    4. Moving on to further testing my new IEMs, I tried tinkering with the bass knob and it wouldn't move at all. It was like as if it were just firmly placed on the earphones to serve an aesthetic, design purpose. There are two small dots indicating the setting of the bass, but the knob is unmovable.

    5. Trying different ways and measures of twisting the knob, I came to one option of actually unscrewing or loosening the knob (since there was no manual, I created my own options). Anyways, I successfully loosened the knob and was able to turn it. However, it loosened up a tad too much and broke right off. I can't even place the knob back into the socket.

    From this experience, I have had two conclusions. First, these may truly be fake due to the missing items in the packaging, substandard quality, and awful sound. However, they also could be a bad batch of factory defective production units. SoundMagic actually has a European website but the PL30s are non-existent on the site. SoundMagic has a Chinese website which even Google can't translate so I don't know what the heck is going on.

    Anyways, from this bad experience I've had with SoundMagic, I will probably never be purchasing another item from them again. I will return these to the store/person I purchased these from and demand a refund.

    If any of you other PL-30 owners have experienced this, please share your insights. I also wanted to post this as a warning for anyone who wants to purchase anything from SoundMagic in the future.
  2. Vloeibaarglas
    If the Chinese can fake rice and eggs, I'm pretty sure they will fake a $30 set of headphones.
    Who did you buy it from?
  3. ClieOS Contributor
    First of, the packaging is real. SoundMAGIC is not big in China as they mainly do oversea business, so no one copies them locally.
    Answered in bold. As far as what I have read so far, what you have experienced are nothing out of the ordinary and they have all been described in multiple occasion in the forum, especially the original PL30 thread.
  4. mudo
    As far as I remember my PL30 came with a plastic cablewinder. It's a bone shaped piece of rubber like this one:
    Anyway I bought them long ago. I guess so, but I don't know if right now they include the same accessories.


  5. shotgunshane Contributor
    No cable winder came with mine; purchased fall last year.  I got mine from mp4nation, which is an authorized dealer.  Everything you've described sounds like the real thing.
  6. dv8tor
    Thanks for the replies guys. I returned it to the vendor and they gave me a brand new unit with a working bass knob. Seems like it was truly a factory defect. And echoing what some of you said, I don't really think anyone would want to make fake versions of this particular IEM since it's already cheap to begin with and doesn't have the brand name to carry it yet (unlike Shure and Sennheiser). 
    Anyways, appreciate the feedback and glad I got mine replaced.
  7. ClieOS Contributor
    Still, try not to turn the bass knob too much or it will get loose in time.

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