SOUNDMAGIC E80 EARPHONE REVIEW
Soundmagic have been around for a long time now. They are one of the most established brands when it comes to producing good sound at a fair price and have made a name for themselves amongst entry level earphone users. Now Soundmagic are back with a new design, something just a little bit more premium yet still not budget breaking, the Soundmagic E80.
Admitedly Soundmagic aren't the sexiest name in portable audio but they still produce excellent earphones for the cost. The companies ethos seems to be to provide you with a good sounding, robust set of headphones capable of taking a beating and keeping on ticking.
The E80 now stand atop of the Soundmagic in-ear headphone lineup as the current flagship. We were big fans of the E10 earphones when they came out a few years ago and even today they still hold up very well against similarly priced competition. So what then, does an extra £35 dollars buy you? Well quite a lot as it turns out.
EXCELLENT BUILD WITH A MORE REFINED FINISH AND STYLING
The E80 a more premium offering in terms of both fit and finish. They opted to stick with the traditional barrel design allowing the Soundmagic E80 to be worn with the cable down or over the ear in preferred (although it is primarily designed to be used cable down it will work both ways).
Whereas the e10 had sharp edges and lots of flare, the E80 is more subdued with its clean lines and smooth corners. This meant that the E80 were much more comfortable over prolonged use but most of all it just gave them a more robust and less tacky feel.
Extra points are gained through the use of all metal earpieces and even metal grills that should see the E80 last for years to come.
Strain reliefs and Jacking points were all found to be excellent and we have no worries about their longevity but it still would have been nice to see a detachable cable system in place for added peacee of mind.
CLEAN AND BALANCED SOUNDING HEADPHONES - YOU DONT SEE A LOT OF THAT AT THIS PRICE POINT.
For some reason I thought that the Soundmagic E80 would come in sounding kind of big and brash. A fun and warm headphone vibe yet that couldn't be further from the truth. These earphones are advertised as reference class and the signature, even if not the performance, is very much true to that tuning.
They are a fairly flat, neutral sounding set of earbuds with a good air to them and a very true to life representation of the sound.
The highs are crisp and detailed, very sparkly. Sometimes they were a little sibilant when paired with the wrong music but thankfully they were very responsive to a spot of EQ customisation on the mids and high.
Mids are clear, concise and plentiful with detail compared to a lot of other in-ear headphones priced under £100.
Soundstage is also really good with equal displays of width and depth. Imaging whilst not quite 3D manages to perform admirably and instruments are clearly spaced.
CONCLUSION - A SOLID IN-EAR HEADPHONE FOR UNDER £65
At one point Soundmagic were one of the only budget manufacturers aiming to please the portable audio community with a promise of excellent sound at a fair price. It seems that Soundmagic have really taken note of the competition and re-staked their claim as the best earphone brand for those not looking to break the bank.