Priced at $52/€40.86, the SoundMAGIC PL50’s are the cheapest in-ear monitors with balanced armature drivers. After my Shure SE120 IEMs died and reading some raving reviews, I decided to put these earphones to the test to see if they live up to the hype and are able to keep up with the more expensive SE120’s. Full review and unboxing video after the break.
I ordered the SoundMAGIC PL50’s from HouseOfDap for $52/€40.46 with free worldwide shipping. The order was shipped the next day and I received the package about a week later. The SoundMAGIC PL50 IEMs are also available at Focalprice for $55.69/€43.33
The PL50’s come with a variety of useful accessories. There are three pairs of foam eartips included, four pairs of soft rubber tips, a pair of earhooks and a nice little case. Too bad a shirt clip isn’t included.
|Frequency range:||15~22000 Hz|
|Sensitivity:||109±2 dB at 1KHz/mW|
Design and build quality
SoundMAGIC could have gone the easy route by simply ripping off the design of a more renowned IEM brand, but instead decided to come up with their own design. Suprisingly enough, the unique look of the PL50’s works very well. The plastic earpieces are very small, solid and look very slick with their glossy dark blue finish. The bLue and Red rings are also more convenient than looking for a small L or R on the earpieces. The cable feest sturdy with a nice rubber texture and is not very prone to tangling. The only downside is that the eartips fit very tighly around the nozzles, so you got to be very careful when removing them, otherwise they can get damaged.
The PL50’s are very comfortable to wear. The small size and light weight make it one of the most comfortable IEMs I ever tried. Another great thing are the earhooks. Usually I hate those, but the basic rubber ear hooks of the SoundMAGIC PL50 are awesome. Even while running, the PL50’s managed to stay comforably inside my ear.
When I received the PL50’s, I immediately plugged them into my ears and my first impressions weren’t that great. However, as soon as I replaced the tips for the bigger ones, the SoundMAGIC PL50’s started to shine. Rule of the thumb with balanced armature IEMs: just use the biggest tips that will fit in your ear for optimal sound quality.
I don’t really believe in those burn-in rituals for armature earphones, but I have already listened to the PL50’s and the more I listen, the more I appreciate them.
The bass is smooth and detailed, but a bit on the weak side, which is especially noticeable with bass-heavy music genres like electronic dance and hip-hop. It’s still enough to get your head nodding and while I personally prefer the quality over quantity, some bass junkies might disagree.
The mids on the SoundMAGIC PL50’s are simply amazing. Very full, smooth, clear and detailed. Especially voices sound great.
Highs are very apparent and clear, but not as smooth as the mids. However, compared to the Shure SE210’s, the highs of the PL50’s are much better.
Isolation is decent, but not on Shure’s level, probably because of the small size of the monitors. Personally, I prefer it this way. When walking around town, it’s nice to hear at least something.
- Great sound quality
- Lots of accessories included
- Great build quality
- Very comfortable
- Very cheap compared to other balanced armature IEMs
- Bass is a bit weak
- No shirt clip included
- Eartips are hard to get off
Priced at $52, the SoundMAGIC PL50’s offer amazing value for money. I don’t there are any better IEMs in the price range up to $100/€100. I loved my Shure SE210, but now I wonder why I spend more than €100 on those in the first place. I prefer the sound signature of the PL50’s and these little fellows cost about three times less than the IEMs from the household brand. The SoundMAGIC PL50’s are great for most types of music, although bass junkies might not be satisfied with the lack of punch in that department. These aren’t IEMs that will blow you away with a big boomy sound, instead they sound more laid-back and allow you to sit back and enjoy the detailed beauty of your favorite songs. Highly recommended.
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