Review: SoundMAGIC E50 (Grown up E10)
Firstly I would like to thank SoundMAGIC for sending me this sample for review, I will try and write as honest a review possible. These received over 50hrs of burn-in, they settled a little so don't judge them straight out the box.
iPod Classic > E50 (S comply)
Dell XPS 15 > JDS Labs C5D > E50 (S comply)
Driver: 10mm Dynamic
Frequency Response: 15Hz - 22kHz
Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality:
Packaging is good, it is small and to the point. You have a windows to see the IEM's on the back, on the front is a picture with a brief description. All specifications can be found on the side of the box, and all accessories are listed on the back. Inside the IEM's are held securely in a foam insert, with the cable neatly behind and the carry case with all accessories underneath. The packaging does its job of selling the product and also protecting it during shipping very well.
Accessories are good, as usual with SoundMAGIC. You get a plethora of tips, Single flange both wide and narrow nozzle (S, M, L) also included is a pair of M bi-flange tips and a pair of M Comply T400 tips. You also get a clamshell carry case to protect them whilst in your bag and a cable clip. Overall a good package of accessories and nothing missing.
Build quality is what you would expect of SoundMAGIC, the metal housing feels strong just like the E10, it is very similar in design to the E10, but a little more understated. The nozzle is plastic but I do not have any worries about these breaking, the cable is the same as used on the E10, it is shiny and flexible, but also feels strong. The jack uses a 45 degree plug, which I find to be stronger than a L shaped jack and less bulky than a straight jack. The cable is well strain relieved all round, and the y-split is slim and never gets in the way. I really like the design and build quality of these IEM's.
Comfort, Isolation, Driver flex and Cable noise:
I nearly always use comply tips now, due to their comfort and these are no different. Comply tips work really well with these, once inserted they don't push their way out of your ear and soon conform to the shape of your inner-ear. The housing is not too angular and never causes pain, they can be worn with the cable straight down or over the ear. I find these to be comfortable and perfect for general usage.
Isolation with comply tips is good, it is more than adequate for most commutes, and you could easily get run over if you're not careful. So no problems here.
Driver flex is not a problem, I didn't experience it at all when using the E50, I think the vent in the housing is doing its job well.
Cable noise is present but the chin slider can minimize this, as can the cable clip. So not a big problem, as there are some quick and easy solutions, also the cable noise is not bad in the first place, and I never found it to be distracting.
Split in to the usual categories, with a conclusion at the end.
The lows are well controlled, with enough depth and punch to keep it fun. I like this amount of presence when commuting as when there is external noise the lows are the first to disappear, but even when using at home I never find the lows to be overpowering. Kick drums have punch but also body, bass guitars are easily separated and articulate. Overall the lows are a little north of neutral but they help give the sound a little fun factor without compromising the rest of the spectrum.
The mids don't suffer a lot of bleed from the lows, they maintain excellent separation and because of this they have great space and also detail. Both male and female vocals fair well on the E50, with no noticeable sibilance or harshness. Guitars have power and everything is in the right place. The mids do sit slightly behind the lows in presentation but do not sound recessed or lacking. They work well with acoustic as well, with the natural reverberation of a guitar being well portrayed.
The highs are not lacking either, you get the full package with these. As stated before there is no hint of sibilance but the highs are not lacking, they are always present but controlled and not overbearing. They don't ever become harsh and in your face, or fatiguing. They are just there to add some shimmer and sparkle to the sound, and at that they succeed.
Soundstage is actually very impressive for IEM's of this price, it is wide and there is plenty of space, instrument separation is equally as impressive with everything being well separated and in its correct space.
Conclusion, well they are a step up from the E10, but definitely share a similar signature. The E50 have more space and better balance, but still have some fun factor. These have great build quality, and a fairly balanced sound with a little extra in the lows to keep everyone happy. These make perfect go-to IEM's, and for those looking for the next step up from the E10, these are a no-brainer. Highly recommended for the price.
Sound Perfection Rating: 9/10 (based on price, these are fantastic everyday IEM's)