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-   -   SoundMAGIC PL-30 Review #1 (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=40648)

pros1n 03-02-2009 05:40 PM

SoundMAGIC PL-30 Review #1
 
Hi, well, you may or may not know me but this is my first review on the SoundMAGIC PL-30.
I purposely put 1 in front because samueljesusfreak will love to post his own review of the SoundMAGIC PL-30.

If your interested in purchasing these earphones, here are safe links to where you can get them:
Free International shipping/Cheap/Fastest/: http://www.focalprice.com/Genuine_So...074B_6414.html
Free International shipping/Cheapest/Slow/Bonus Fiio E3: http://mp4nation.net/catalog/index.p...roducts_id=258

Basic specs:
Type: Stereo Ear Plug
Driver Unit: 9mm
Sensitivity:102+/-3dB/mW at 1KHz
Impedance: 12∩
frequency Response: 20Hz~22KHz
Rated Power:2mW
Max Power: 20mW
Plug: Gold plated 3.5mm headphone jack
Weight: 10g
Driver: Dynamic

Accessory List:
Earphones
Winder
Handy Bag
2X L,M,S Ear tips, 1 pair of foamy and a pair of double Flange tips.
Earphone guider (not sure how to say it)
Warranty Card
Manual

Build Quality/Design:
When I first plucked the earphones out of the box, I've noticed that the exterior design on my black soundmagics were quite sturdy. It is covered up with rubber and a metal ring around them. The bass knob is one of the things where the quality isn't so great. It feels as if when turned, it will snap off easily. They seem to have a well built cable though.

The cables were meant for an over the ear design, which really caught my attention into buying them. Over the ear design makes it almost a non microphonic earphone. Left and right is indicated by blue for left and red for right.Come to a think of it, the over ear design isn't "built" that way. I find using the earphone cable guider to be useful.

Sound Quality: *UPDATED*
The SoundMAGIC is not to be commented right out of the box. This IEM needs a good 72 hour burn-in to be really judged at. When I first opened the SoundMAGICs and listened to them, they were on par with my jvc air cushions, but with some burn-in, I find the mids are not recessed like the jvc air cushions are and the highs were a lot more refined. JVC air cushions had more boomy bass than the SoundMAGICs where warm bass was found. Comparing these earphones to my knowledge and experiences from my Marshmallows, Air Cushions and my CX300, I find that my other earphones aren't even close to be on par with the SoundMAGIC PL-30. When I went to my friend's house and listened to his almighty SHURE SE530s I found that my SoundMAGICS had about the same level of mids and bass, but not as much highs. From my perspectives, I find the SoundMAGICs a very comfortable, and a somewhat high quality earphone.

May 10, 09: After 2 months of experience, I have noticed that the soft silicon layers are slowly peeling off leaving the bare plastic underneath the layers, but I can still live with it. For the sound quality, the bass is very warm and smooth. Much improved mids, and good highs. The earphones delivered details that I have never realized before! Will be reordering a Fiio amp in the next week or 2.

June 2, 09: Received the FiiO amp and I must say that it really does not do much. It gives it more juice and texture, but not so much that it makes you go "Wow!" It's more of a "That's alright" amp. When you flick on the bass switch, you will hear a fuller and warmer sound. In conclusion, the amp doesn't really help it unless you need it for other devices that can't drive 12Ohm IEMs (I highly doubt that your MP3 player can not drive this.)
Pros:
- Bliss mids and acceptable highs
- Well packed with accessories (2X L,M,S tips)
- Foam tips and double flange tips comes in handy
- Bass knob
- Extremely comfortable (better than JVC Air Cushion's comfort level)
- 1 year warranty
- Over the ear design
- Good and durable case for my Clip and earphones. (Can be a con)
- No microphonics with over the ear design

Cons:
- Built quality is not at top notch.
- Bass knob feels easy to break
- Even with bass knob, bass is not as boomy like my other IEMs. (Maybe I've experienced too much bass driven earphones. Who knows.)

Bottom Line:
SoundMAGICs are not to be impressed by without any burn-in. After many hours of burn-in, it has almost come to a conclusion with warm Bass, textured midrange and rounded highs. For $20, it truly is a budget-fi. Just don't expect it to be the best.

Tips: Burning-in the earphones with pink noise is highly recommended. It should nicely balance out your earphones/headphones in a matter of time. Here's a pretty good place to download the pink noise: http://www.audiocheck.net/testtones_pinknoise.php Just Click on the circle with green surroundings and it will automatically let you download the file.

Pictures:
This was taken before I listened to it.

http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/i...s1n/sound3.jpg
http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/i...s1n/Sound1.jpg
http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/i...n/DSC00170.jpg

samueljesusfreak 03-02-2009 06:26 PM

Thank you. I can't wait for them even more, now! Haha. And trust me, you guys will be hearing another opinion on these soon.. if mp4nation will stop 'processing' these things.. it's been almost a week now! Does the bass knob come in the 'standard' position? Because that's where I'd like to keep it anyway, and that way I won't risk breaking it, until the 'fate mod' occurs. I personally haven't heard any IEM better than the JVC Marshmallows, so I cannot wait to get these in the mail. Thanks again for the review!

pros1n 03-02-2009 07:04 PM

Your welcome. The soundMAGICS are as "popular" as the fiio e5. I do hope that mp4nation will ship soon! Also the bass knob is not set when you get it. It is on the flat EQ, but you can always check when you get it. There's a guide to where and how to use the bas knob :)

samueljesusfreak 03-02-2009 09:11 PM

Yeah - I'm kinda ticked at mp4nation. haha. I ordered from them on Wednesday. Two days later I ship my D2 out to Cowon, across the country(Wisconsin to California). Mp4nation does nothing and Cowon is already in the process of repairing my player. Haha.

Hopefully by the end of this week they'll be out of the warehouse.

suprman2020 03-02-2009 10:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samueljesusfreak (Post 334099)
Yeah - I'm kinda ticked at mp4nation. haha. I ordered from them on Wednesday. Two days later I ship my D2 out to Cowon, across the country(Wisconsin to California). Mp4nation does nothing and Cowon is already in the process of repairing my player. Haha.

Hopefully by the end of this week they'll be out of the warehouse.

I ordered the PL12 on Friday and it still says they are processing.:mad:

samueljesusfreak 03-02-2009 10:53 PM

People have ordered from them before - so it'll just be a matter of time, I guess. :)

pros1n 03-03-2009 08:39 AM

I ordered from focal price and they got my tracking number by the 3rd day. Than 2 days later, it got shipped and through the whole process, I received it within 10 days!
I edited the bottom line :)

ri_toast 03-03-2009 05:02 PM

nice review, be sure to post a follow up in a few weeks. everyone likes new toys, then it's a question of which headphone you reach for. myself, i always carry the pl30's but end up using the ha-fx66 the most simply because they're the most comfortable and block more noise. i'm sure with the right tips the soundmagic's could block as much as the jvcs which now have triple flanges.
heh, lucky you, you got them in black. i guess the first batch was only silver. enjoy.

samueljesusfreak 03-04-2009 11:50 AM

So, Pros1n, how heavy of a change in sound signature is it from the Kramere'd Marshmallows and the PL-30?

pros1n 03-04-2009 05:40 PM

The bass is nearly as muddy as the marshmallows without any recessed highs and mids. But the bass isn't too muddy that it muffles with the treble and mids.

Marvin the Martian 03-04-2009 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pros1n (Post 334603)
The bass is nearly as muddy as the marshmallows without any recessed highs and mids. But the bass isn't too muddy that it muffles with the treble and mids.

:confused:

pros1n 03-04-2009 06:42 PM

English: Better than Marshmallows. (better highs and mids while having the same quantity of bass)

Marvin the Martian 03-04-2009 07:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pros1n (Post 334620)
English: Better than Marshmallows. (better highs and mids while having the same quantity of bass)

OK, that makes more sense. :)

"Muddy" to me implies bloated upper bass/lower mids that overwhelms the upper mids and highs. I just wanted to make sure I knew what you were saying. Sounds like it was worth the wait then after all. :)

pros1n 03-04-2009 08:11 PM

It was really worth the wait :)

samueljesusfreak 03-05-2009 08:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pros1n (Post 334644)
It was really worth the wait :)

Yay. Shipping out tomorrow/saturday! :) When you said "muddy bass", I got worried. But I see there are slightly different definitions between us. Have you tried EQing the SoundMagics even with the Clip's EQ of death? :p

pros1n 03-05-2009 08:40 AM

Nope, I used my yp-t10's masterful EQ settings to test the bass. It just has enough bass to satisfy me. :)
EDIT: The bass that my yp-t10 produces is about the same quantity of bass produced by a E3.

samueljesusfreak 03-05-2009 09:21 AM

That's awesome. Not a huge fan of the bass put out by my Marshmallows, just kills everything else. Haha. Thanks for the constant updates and comments. I'm so pumped for these. :D

pros1n 03-05-2009 09:26 AM

Remember, they will sound pretty bad when you open up the box and start listening to it. But when your burning-in, I'd recommend you turning the knob to the bass knob for the real burn-in.

samueljesusfreak 03-05-2009 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pros1n (Post 334787)
Remember, they will sound pretty bad when you open up the box and start listening to it. But when your burning-in, I'd recommend you turning the knob to the bass knob for the real burn-in.

I plan on letting the bass burn-in on the normal, like the rest of the driver. I'm not gonna burn in overnight or anything though. Gonna listen to the changes all the way :D

Marvin the Martian 03-05-2009 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pros1n (Post 334769)
Nope, I used my yp-t10's masterful EQ settings to test the bass. It just has enough bass to satisfy me. :)
EDIT: The bass that my yp-t10 produces is about the same quantity of bass produced by a E3.

How do you know? :p


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