First things firsts. I’m sure you’ve already gone to various shopping sites and roughly skimmed through most of the reviews of Sound Magic ES18. On deeper research, you’ll know that Sound Magic is a Chinese Brand. It’s the same with me. I was really happy with all the reviews but on knowing its Chinese origin, I was a little apprehensive. But, so many people can’t be wrong, right? I went ahead and ordered Sound Magic ES18.
Now, this review won’t do the typical unboxing, packaging and extremely technical stuff. Rather, I’ll do a real life review and use shallow technical jargon where ever necessary.
5 months of ES18
Before this, I’ll go back to when I first opened the package. The first look felt very, very nice. Till then, I only used typical black colored earphones so I wanted something funky. I could only find red and green variants; I got the red-black one. Various online reviews suggested the wire is thin and indeed it is. This is nowhere as thick as some earphones you might get with your phone. That was a initial worry when I was holding the earphones for the first time.
Now my experience. If you are in a hurry; I can say it in a sentence. Sound is par with any top class IEM’s under Rs.1000. But, if you are a rough user, you might break the wire soon. If you are an occasional user or someone who would take care of them; these earphones have no competition at all.
Now some technical things. The frequency response is 15 – 22000Hz. For around Rs.500 IEM’s, this is better than most others which offer 20 – 20000Hz. General convention is that more the range, better the ear phones. For example, some higher IEM’s offer frequency response from 5 to 25000Hz.
Lower part (15Hz is the lower end of the bass range) of this range deals with bass and the higher part (22000Hz is the higher end of the treble range) deals with treble. But, there’s a thing to note here; 20 to 20000Hz is generally accepted as the audible frequency to humans. So whether one can recognize or feel 15Hz (or even lower bases in case of other high quality IEM’s) is questionable.
But, keen music lovers seem to enjoy lower base more so the companies are definitely keen to put in more base (or atleast market so). So if you are one of them, you can simple go for a better IEM and feel the lower bases.
As far as ES18 is concerned, 15Hz easily makes up for my hearing habits and the higher treble also covers my songs nicely.
As I said, it’s been 3 months since I bought these earphones. The plastic wire definitely looks cheap (typical chinese) but there hasn’t been any issue with it as yet. But, I am an occasional user, who at most puts on earphones for about an hour every day; mostly while working out in the morning. When not in use, I do not fold the earphones like a bunch and throw them at some place. I keep them safely with care. If you’re a heavy user, or especially someone who doesn’t take care of stuff; the longevity is questionable.
Also a point to note is the 3.5mm pin end. It’s not straight; it’s an L shaped pin. While running with my nano in pocket, I often find the 3.5mm pin rotating and getting squeezed between the outer pocket cloth and my thighs; which makes the wire bend at the joint. I really don’t know what purpose does these L shaped pins serve. All the high end earphones come as a straight pins.