SoundMagic E10 C review: These are the best cheap headphones money can buy

A great-sounding pair of in-ear headphones that don't cost the earth; the perfect audio partner for your smartphone

5
Price when reviewed 
40
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The SoundMagic E10 C aren’t anything special to look at, but stick them in your ears and they’ll blow you away. The volume and detail available from a pair of headphones costing a mere £40 on Amazon UK (or under $40 on Amazon US) are simply astonishing, and there’s such a sense of space and dimensionality to the music that, had you told me the price was £150, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid.

You don’t get the attack, clarity and dead-flat frequency response that you do with my favourite in-ear monitors, the Etymotic ER-4PT, but the bass extension and sense of scale are far beyond anything else I’ve ever heard at this sort of price.

They’re more detailed and have better dynamic range than the Sennheiser CX 3.00, there’s more control over deep bass, and the tonal balance is more pleasing to the ear, although the sheer amount of low-end they deliver may not be to everyone’s taste.

It isn’t all about the sound quality with the SoundMagic E10 C, however. They’re also well made, with the earphone housing built out from metal rather than the plastic that most headphones at this price are made from, and the smooth finish on the cables means that when they rub on your clothing they don’t communicate every scrape and tap straight down your ear canal.

SoundMagic has released several different variants of the E10, but the E10 C are the first to sport a three-button inline remote control with integrated microphone. And this is no ordinary inline remote: unusually, the E10 C remote works seamlessly across both iOS and Android devices, with play, pause, skip, voice-control activation and volume all functioning perfectly when I tried them.

The SoundMagic E10C also come supplied with a semi-hard storage case, a generous seven pairs of variously sized silicon fitments, and an adapter that splits the microphone and headphone connection into two so you can use them with older laptops and PCs.

All told, you’re getting a lot for your money with the SoundMagic E10C. They sound wonderful, come with a good spread of accessories and the price is very reasonable. Quite simply, they're the best cheap headphones you can buy.

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