Like most pieces of technology, to truly appreciate all that In ear monitors can give you, you need some of the very best examples. For most people, however, that’s just not possible; either you don’t have the money to buy absolute top-of-the-line models (with prices that range upwards of $900) or simply don’t see yourself using IEMs, whether you’re using them as an audiophile, a musician, or a sound editor.
For both groups, you need a more affordable example that can give you a good idea of what to expect; as an informed buyer, you can buy the pair and either decide you like it and want to buy something more specialized, or you decide you don’t and you haven’t lost much money in the process.
This is where the E30s from SoundMAGIC come in, with a price tag of under $35. This price is the perfect balance for an entry level IEM set; it’s not too expensive that it scares people away, and it’s not too cheap to do everything you expect out of a good pair of IEMs. But what exactly makes the SoundMAGIC E30s such a good deal?
The SoundMAGIC IEMs
Let’s start with the basics on this IEM and, more importantly, why it’s not just another pair of headphones. First off, they actually do a good job blocking out ambient noise, blocking out up to 20 decibels worth with just the standard sets of tips, both single and double flanged silicone models. With ambient noise blocked out, you can more focus on your music and appreciate the highs and lows without having to compete with the outside world.
Speaking of highs and lows, this single dynamic driver produces a very neutral sound spectrum, and the fact that they’re neutrally balanced means that they’ll work with pretty much any musical style. Whether you’ve got bass heavy R&B or music that emphasizes the tweeters, the SoundMAGIC E30s will still give you solid sound quality. It doesn’t try to be anything but a well balanced system, so you don’t have to worry about any kind of sound distortion at all. Of course, if it’s not comfortable, your IEMs may as well be sitting in the trash, for all the use you’ll want to get out of them.
Fortunately, that isn’t the case with the SoundMAGIC E30. In addition to its ergonomic shape, you can also give yourself a bit more stability with the included ear hooks, essentially turning your ear buds into an over-the-ear setup. To round the whole thing out, it’s got aluminum reinforcements down near the cable jack and up at the Y junction, effectively armoring the most likely places that your IEMs can get damaged. It means that not only are your IEMs going to do their job, but they’re going to be able to keep doing their job for as long as humanly possible.
What this all adds up to for you as a consumer is an IEM with options. The multiple tips means that finding a solid seal on your ears (a key component for noise isolation) is taken care of. The ear hooks can cut down on fatigue, and the reinforced joints means you can afford to be a little aggressive with these pieces, using them for stage performance or even workouts. Once again, the price is also a huge factor; if you’re hard on headphones, then you can afford to accidently break a pair of SoundMAGIC E30s without bankrupting yourself, like you would with IEMs in the range of $200 to $400.
Conclusion? A Safe Introduction to IEMs
Good IEMs are pricy, there’s just no way around it. That doesn’t, however, mean that IEMs are all pricy, nor does it mean that only pricy IEMs are good IEMs, but rather that the best examples of what this technology can do tend to be more expensive. As such, gently easing into the best and most expensive IEMs is the smart thing to do, and the SoundMAGIC E30 is a solid first step.
It’s built to cover the middle range of the sound spectrum, it’s affordable, and it’s designed tough, so you can’t break it without trying. With a pair of E30s, you’ll develop a solid understanding of exactly what an IEM can do and, more importantly, if you want to continue with it or not. Striking the right balance of quality and affordability, the E30 is an all-around safe bet for anyone who wants to know the difference between their Ipod buds and a real IEM setup.