Review: SoundMAGIC P30s (Best under £100 on-ear headphones)

Firstly I would like to thank Robin at Hifiheadphones for lending me this sample for review, I will write as honest a review possible.



Tech Specs:
Driver - Dynamic, 40mm
Cable Length - 1.2m
Mic - Yes
Detachable Cable - Yes
Frequency Response - 20Hz - 22kHz
Impedance - 32Ω
Sensitivity - 108dB
MSRP - £70

Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality:
Well the packaging is like most other SoundMAGIC products, it is a small box with a picture of the product on the front and information including specs on the sides and back. The box is sleek and eye catching, it is also the perfect size for the headphones in their case to slip inside, no wasted space.


Accessories are good, you get 2 different cables, one with smartphone compatibility, which includes a switch to select between Apple and Android devices. The other cable is just a standard 3.5mm-3.5mm with no buttons or mic, also included is a case and a splitter for use with a computer, it separates the audio and microphone for use with games and skype etc...


Build quality is very good, the plastics are all high quality with a rubber coated finish, all the hinges feel solid and the headband is reinforced with metal. The outside of the cups has a metal plate with a stylish design, the left cup has a small cable coming out of it to which you attach either the normal cable or the mic cable, I cannot see this small section of cable failing any time soon. Overall they are well built yet very light, I am pleased with the build quality of the headphones.


Comfort, Isolation and cable noise:
Comfort is excellent due to the soft pads, equal distribution of weight and the light build. These are perfect commuting and office headphones, you can listen to them for hours with no fatigue or pain.

Isolation is fairly average for an on-ear pair of headphones, they block out most outside noise and are fine for most usage, but IEM's are always going to be better for high noise environments.

Cable noise is present but not a big problem, I do not find it gets in the way of my listening enjoyment.


Sound:

Lows:  The lows are very controlled, they give the P30s body but without adding too much boom, they can keep up with faster passages with no trouble, they extend and rumble, they punch with authority and never overwhelm the mids. In rock they add the kick, without too much power, in jazz they portray double bass with excellent reverberation and tonality, they just stay controlled and composed throughout. I really like the lows, their articulation and body is perfect and the amount is spot on in my opinion.

Mids: The mids have good presentation, they sit right where they should be with good detail retrieval and crisp tonality, without sounding harsh or clinical. Electric guitars have the power and crunch needed, vocal cut through the mix with authority, both male and female vocals sound great, no extra body or sibilance to be heard. I find these headphones suit rock very well due to their portrayal of electric guitar, however they do handle the subtleties of jazz with no problems.

Highs: I don't find the highs lacking in presence however they do sound a little flat sometimes, they don't have the detail or separation that would top off this great headphone. I know that it is very difficult to design a headphone of this size and price with no flaws, and I would not consider the highs to be a major flaw on these, just not quite as good as the rest of the sound. They are audible and present, just the whole sound is quite intimate so they lack that airy extension and finesse some other headphones have.

Soundstage and Instrument Separation:
The soundstage is intimate and this works well for more in your face music like most of the genres I listen to, so for a commuter headphone they work very well.
Instrument separation is good however, with each instrument being easily distinguished in the mix.


Conclusion:
Well as you can tell SoundMAGIC have made another great portable headphone, they are light, well priced, and sound fantastic. The sound lends it hand to any genre, and excels when listening to rock and more in your face music. These are fantastic for commuting as they fold up and fit in their supplied case, are small and lightweight and block outside noise fairly well. I am always critical of the highs the most in any headphone, due to it being a very hard part of the spectrum to get right, these do lack a little but the overall sound is well balanced, with good detail retrieval and no bloat to be heard. Overall I would highly recommend the P30s to anyone who needs a commuting/out and about lightweight headphone, I do not think there is anything better under £100 for that purpose.



Sound Perfection Rating: 9/10 (great sound for a great price)

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