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SoundMagic E10 - Fit, Sound Quality and Verdict

By Edward Chester

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

With a weight of just 11g, these are thoroughly lightweight earphones so you'll hardly notice their burden. They're not quite as effortlessly comfortable to wear as something like the Klipsch X10s but for an earphone of this type and price they're entirely typical. What's more, their simple design has a real boon – you can choose to wear them with the cable dropping straight down or looping over the ear. The former makes them easy to quickly fit while the latter allows for a deeper insertion (resulting in better noise isolation and audio performance) and more secure fit.

SoundMagic E10 4

The overall fit of the phones is reasonable with either fitting option, though it depends greatly on how you wear them and what tips you're using. Used with the standard tips and worn with the cable hanging straight down we found it was difficult to insert them far enough to get a really good seal against our ear canals, resulting in mediocre noise isolation and bass response, though they were reasonably comfortable and allowed for resting against a pillow (and are still a vast improvement over earbuds). Worn with the cable coming over the ear resulted in much more freedom to wedge the tips further into the ear canal, getting better performance and maintaining a comfortable fit.

However, these earphones really come alive when using the Comply Foam Tips (not included). With the standard rubber tips there is next to no noise isolation, with just the slightest muffling of the outside world. With the Complys, though, there is almost complete isolation. It was quite a moment when on one occasion we switched from the rubber to the foam tips while sat in an otherwise empty office and whereas the rubber failed miserably to block out the air conditioning unit, upon fitting the foam ones we could really notice the air conditioning noise slowly disappearing as the foam expanded in our ears.

They also have a significant impact on sound quality. Using the normal silicone tips we found that due to the uneven seal in each ear we got variable sound quality, resulting in a lopsided sound – different tones were stronger in one ear than the other. We didn't seem to be able to rectify this no matter how much we adjusted the fit. However, with the foam tips we got a much more consistent seal and more balanced sound.

SoundMagic E10 1

As for overall sound quality the E10s have plenty of bass and a slightly boosted top end. The result is a fun sound that gives modern pop, rock and dance music a nice driving bass line and a sprinkling of sparkle. More sensitive fare such as jazz, acoustic, rnb or classical does sound a bit muddy, with a narrow sound stage and slightly flat vocals but there's still enjoyment to be had. Clearly, at £34 you're certainly not going to hear every detail either but there's enough to keep you entertained on your commute.

Verdict

The SoundMagic E10 are a good all-round upgrade to your bog standard earbud. They're compact and light, so are comfortable to wear, and the universal design means you can wear them with the cable over or under your ear. They may not reproduce every last detail but they provide a decent bass thump and have a bit of high end sparkle. We'd prefer a little more finesse in their design and accessories but for £34, you really can't go wrong.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Design & Features 7
  • Sound Quality 7
  • Value 8

ALARICUS

July 9, 2013, 9:06 am

I actually find them excellent for all types of Classical Music-with the Comply T400 tips, as you say, improving the sound and isolation, even more. I don't notice any muddiness and they are as near as I have experienced with 'in ear' phones, to a real concert-hall experience.

Yuri Sirotin

July 14, 2014, 3:55 pm

Very good headphones, perfect if you consider the price.
I find them most balanced out of all in-ears that I own(ed):
ue triple.fi10, VSonic GR07 Bass ED (non-bass edition is worse), LG Quadbeat HSS-F420, Sony MH1C, Philips Fidelio S1, RHA MA750
They're also the cheapest! Seriously - they're that good.
The bass is really substantial, and the mid/treble don't feel lacking or elevated. Perfect tonal balance in short. Regarding space/instrument separation etc. I'm not the one to judge, mostly I listen to EDM. But I wouldn't call these basshead IEMs or overly bassy.
Regarding the tips - imho, silicons are best. Foams make them sound muffled - less space (even I feel that) and treble in general.
You can see their FR at innerfidelity, and decide for yourselves. Highly recommended set.

Lstringer1

May 24, 2016, 5:53 pm

what diameter is the bit that the earbuds fit onto??

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