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What a way to headline my review ay? that's just who you want reviewing something you're thinking about purchasing; somebody who ISN'T an expert on said thing (caution: sarcasm may be present)...
Okay, so admittedly no - I am no audiophile (not that!) - I'm not an audio-obsessive so to speak; I don't sweat over treble and bass, and barely know the difference between them... that doesn't however mean that I don't care about music, and how it sounds!
In terms of headphones, I've experienced very few; but the headphones that preceded my purchase of these were a pair of the standard Apple Ipod headphones (as, I have an Ipod, and they come with!) and I have to say - they aren't the greatest. Even with my lack of total obsession with minor detail in this arena, the standard Apple headphones are a little shoddy...
BUT, I'm not reviewing those, I'm reviewing these: the SoundMagic PL30 headphones...
Here's what I think: I think these headphones are of tremendous quality in delivering your favourite music through your eardrums in a particularly crisp and sparkly way. Yes, I did use the word 'sparkly', I could have been using it metaphorically, but no, I just thought it sounded nice there.
Although I have said I am not an audio-obsessive, I do still listen to a lot of music; mainly hip-hop, and so what matters to me most is actually bass and voice clarity and of the very few headphones I have handled over the years, these are by far the best in both departments.
In terms of comfort, these will slot nicely in to most human ears; well they fit mine just fine, and feel nice and snug. And scientists are pretty sure that best estimates lead to the conclusion: I am a human.
Overall I'd say these are well-worth the money, will last you a good while and provide you with a very satisfying listening experience for most genres.
The first question I hear you ask is WHO?! Well SoundMAGIC are a new Chinese manufacturer, offering a multitude of different audio solutions. The SoundMAGIC PL30 were the second set of earphones I had purchased from this manufacturer, after an awesome experience of their E10 variant; and I was pleasantly surprised! With a price tag of around £25, I wasn't expecting much but after testing earphones over the £100 mark, the difference in quality was barely noticeable.
The PL30s stay in your ears regardless of the punishment they are given, and feel like they will not damage as easily as other 'budget' in-ear headphones due to their superior robust-feeling quality. The range isn't half bad too, and I can safely say the music sounds exactly like the artist intended, from metal to classical and then hip-hop! My opinion is to go out and buy these, YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!!
If you're looking for earphones that will actually STAY IN your ears, which also sound great and aren't too expensive... you've found them.
SoundMAGIC are a new-ish Chinese manufacturer who are making a name for themselves by producing great-sounding earphones and headphones for not very much money. Other manufacturers often have to cut corners at this price, but the PL30s seem to do absolutely everything right.
First up, they sound fantastic for something costing £30 or less. Very, very good bass and nice clear highs. These are especially good for bass-heavy music. With rock, guitars have a great edge and punch to them that most other headphones I've tried just can't achieve, even much more expensive ones like Sennheiser HD595s. Your music will come alive if you've never used decent quality headphones before - and if you have, you'll be happy that these actually stay in your ears. The cord isn't yanked out easily, like a lot of others. There are multiple different silicone tips to experiment with until you can get a "seal" (the moment when outside noise is blocked and all the frequencies of the music can be heard properly). If you're not happy with the seal from the provided tips, I'd recommend some double- or triple-flange tips for better sound isolation and all-round sonic bliss.
There's not much to criticise about these 'phones. They're not the most stylish earphones known to man, but they are so small that when they're in your ear they're pretty anonymous, so no-one will think "those blue and red colour-coded cord endings look a bit pound-shoppy". They seem tough... I put a pair through the wash and they still worked. Just.
How do they compare to the similarly priced competition? For me, the massively popular Sennheiser CX300s were clear as mud. SoundMAGIC's own E10s are fine, fine earphones that are even clearer than these, but they don't stay in well. Both these 'phones had cords that tangled easily - again, the PL30 wins out by having a cord that's pretty hard to get in a tangled mess. Overall... unless you have bundles of cash to blow on some Shure 535s or something spectacular, you won't be disappointed with the PL30s.