Sport headphones tend to up the bass along with splashing colour around, and it comes as no surprise that the SoundMagic EH11 are bassier than both the E30 and E10. If you're after accuracy and balance, both these sister sets are better options. However, there's a lot to like about these earphones.
From a more technical perspective, the bass is a little overblown, causing resonance in spoken voice recordings - owning male reproductive organs shouldn't make the floorboards shake as soon as you open your mouth. It also diminishes some of the clarity heard in the SoundMagic E10 and E30. However, there was plenty to go around there, and a good level detail can be heard here.
The emphasis is on big, fun-sounding music rather than accuracy and balance all the way, but a fairly smooth transition in frequency response across the range keeps music sounding right.
In context, this means that while rock music sounds powerful and punchy, it's not quite as crisp as a top less-bassy set. However, we took them down to the gym and put on some Led Zeppelin and were completely satisfied. They're not fantastic for critical, close listening, but they know how to show you a good time. And we recommend them over one of their closest rivals, the Ultimate Ears 300vi.
The only small issue we could take with the SoundMagic EH11 is that they don't offer a remote control or handsfree housing on the cable, when the similarly-priced UE 300vi do. Is it a biggie? Not really, given we much prefer the sound of the SoundMagic set, as well as the significantly better build quality.
If you want an everyday set that can double as a sport pair, though, we much prefer the sister SoundMagic E30. The ear loops are less advanced - little more than rubber cable sheaths that snake over your ears - and they feel less high-tech, but the less bassy, more balanced sound seems better to our ears.
The SoundMagic E30 are some of the best sport in-ear headphones around. Their ear clips are well-made and comfortable, the sound is bassy while maintaining decent sonic balance and at the price they're a bit of a bargain. If you want the best sound quality at the price, SoundMagic's non-sport models are a little better, but bass fans will love them.