Review of the SoundMAGIC E10 – A fantastic budget earphone

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Pros: Price, overall sound quality in relation to price, looks, comfort, lightweight design
Cons: Straight 3.5mm jack, cable cinch

Packaging & Accessories: 8/10
Build Quality: 8.5/10
Design & Look: 9/10
Microphonics (higher ratings means lower cable noise): 9/10
Isolation: 8/10
Comfort: 9.5/10
Sound Quality: 7.5/10
Value: 10/10
My final Rating: 10/10

Review Date: June 2015
Review Price: £35

SoundMAGIC E10 - Looks

First of all I would like to thank Mark from KS Distribution for sending me out the SoundMAGIC E10 for review.
After the E10 being out for quite some time and receiving a lot of hype on the internet I was curious to hear for myself what the E10s could offer.

The E10 can be bought on AmazonUK for around £35 and on AmazonUSA for around $35.
Yet again there’s a variance in prices between UK and US (around £13 difference). As I live in the UK, I will be reviewing this at the £35 price tag.

More information on the SoundMAGIC E10 can be found on their website.

Here’s my video review of the earphones:

 

Let’s get on with the written review!

Packaging & Accessories

Within the standard looking box, the accessories included are simple and effective.
You get the following:

  • Earphones
  • S, M, L hollow silicone tips
  • S, M, L silicone tips
  • M dual flange tips
  • Shirt clip
  • Hard carrying case
  • Manuals

As you’re able to note the accessories aren’t that vast, but nor are they really lacking. In relation to the price, I find the inclusion of the amount of tips and the case really good.
I would have preferred a soft-carrying pouch, which seemed to have been something back in the day and/or in different regions of the world – but you still get a relatively small, yet hard carrying case.

Overall I was content with the overall package contents.

Build Quality

The build quality of the E10s in general is quite good, however there are a few points I would like to draw out.
First of all, the straight 3.5mm gold-plated jack would have been better if it were right-angled. It might not seem like a big point to make, however over time this can prove to become a problem, as the jack is often the weakest point in an earphones’ life.

SoundMAGIC E10 - Jack
Moving up the thin, yet strongly made cable, you’re presented by the Y-split and the cable cinch. For one reason or another the cable cinch is really hard to pull up and down the Y-split. This led to me often not using it, as the time it took to pull towards the earphones’ housing was frustratingly long.

SoundMAGIC E10 - Y-split

 

Moving to the earphones themselves, I really love the fact that SoundMAGIC have added a a red and blue ring around the strain relief that’s on the housing of the earphones. It’s a very small touch to add, but serves as being extremely useful for a quick and easy distinction between left and right channel. Speaking of the channels, a “L” and “R” marking can be found on the inner side of the earphones’ housing, whilst an “E10” marking is found on the back.

SoundMAGIC E10 - Looks

In terms of its housing, I found it to be durable, yet very lightweight, which is great in terms of comfort. Its lightweight nature allows the earphone to be worn for long periods of time without being felt in-ear.

Before moving on, I should also mention cable noise. I’m pleased to say there’s minimal cable noise found on the E10s, whilst being worn straight down. As the earphones can also be worn over-the-ear, the earphones go from having minimal cable noise to none at all.

Overall the build quality is very good, although the cable cinch and the straight 3.5mm jack were two points which I felt could have been improved.

Design, looks, comfort and isolation

Looks:
The looks of the earphones is quite well thought out – as they don’t stick out as being cheap earphones, nor do they give-off the impression of being a boring looking earphone, that might not appeal to younger buyers. The brushed aluminium look, is very well done and the three tones of colour provide that little extra touch of class.

SoundMAGIC E10 - Side indicator

Isolation:
The isolation of the earphones is good, however due to their relatively smaller profile, they don’t block out everything.

DSC01409

Comfort:
As stated in the build quality section, the comfort of the earphones is very good, and this is mainly due to the lightweight design of the earphones. In fact, I found the comfort to be flawless – I couldn’t really think of anything that made it uncomfortable, especially seeing as the earphones could be worn over-the-ear and straight down.

SoundMAGIC E10 - Over-the-ear

Sound Quality

The sound quality was something I was looking forward to, after having read so much about the E10s online, I was really curiours to see how they would compare to my Fischer Audio Consonance and the Sony MDR-EX510s, which both at the time, sat at the £50-60 price mark. With the SoundMagic E10 sitting at £35, I was curious to see if it would better these earphones at a lower price tag.
Interestingly enough, I felt the E10s were absolutely correctly priced with their given sound quality. Their sound was good, but not what I was expecting, after having heard so much about it online. I could happily see myself recommending these earphones even if they were £50, however given that I have experience with the Sony and the FAs, I would desperately try and find a reseller that still stocks to two aforementioned earphones (as both earphones are now hard to find brand new at a reasonable price point).
So where does the E10 sit for me – due to its solid performance in the low end, more specifically the mid-bass slam and the very good highs, which albeit being rolled off sound very good, especially for its price – I can safely say these are V-Shaped earphones which produce a warm and fun sound.
At £35 I can barely think of many earphones that really compete with its level of bang for buck!

SoundMAGIC E10 - Nozzle

Lows:
The low end is well presented – with the mid-bass being the main talking point. The mid-bass has a nice slam to it, however lacks a bit of control, which would have been nice to see.
The sub-bass is present but is quite faint, and therefore doesn’t extend that much.
In comparison to the FA Consonance for example, the low end on the FAs extends well and has good control. The difference is quite apparent and is easily distinguishable.

Mids/highs: 
The mids are pushed back, which is natural seeing as the E10s have a very present mid-bass response. The mids therefore sound recessed and mean that the E10s have a V-shaped sound signature. Unfortunately the mids weren’t that detailed, but whilst putting price into the equation, the mids perform remarkably well – for example, in comparison to some of the Sennheiser CX earphones, the E10s completely blow them out of the water with their mids, but when compared to more expensive earphones the E10s reveal their weakness quite quickly.
The highs on the other hand are very well presented, with it slightly rolling off on the high end, I found the E10s highs to be one of its best assets. Despite it indeed rolling off, it competed with earphones almost 5x its price, where the highs were detailed, had sparkle and weren’t ear piercingly annoying. I was therefore happy with its overall presentation in the high-end frequencies.

Soundstage:
The soundstage was above average, but did sound a little congested. This has mainly to do with the choice of having a light plastic frame which is also quite small in overall size. This means it’s comfortable and lightweight but does mean the soundstage does suffer a little from the chosen material of the housing.
Given its price point I can’t complain too much about its soundstage.

Sound Quality Ratings
Lows: 7.5/10
Mids: 7/10
Highs: 8/10
Soundstage: 7.5/10

Conclusion & Closing Thoughts

SoundMAGIC E10 - Design

Overall, it is easy to see why the E10s are vastly recommended around the internet. Their success is a testament to SoundMagic and what they have achieved at such a low price is fantastic. I was however expecting a little better sound from the give raving reviews I had previously read, however on the whole from an unbiased point of view and one that’s not influenced by others, I must say the E10s are a definite must buy at their given price and/or as a nice backup pair to have.
I should also say that I like the fact that SoundMagic haven’t really compromised that much on the accessories and overall presentation of the earphones – which is absolutely great to see! This is not only a testament to the company’s ethics but also to the overall presentation they are trying to achieve with the E10s – this is a standard, decent sounding earphone. It’s a well packaged, well presented earphone that you can share with your family and friends and where you can be happy and somewhat proud of your purchase! Top marks to SoundMagic, I will definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a good bang for buck earphone that sound great.

Hope you enjoyed my review!
TotallydubbedHD

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