SoundMAGIC E10BT Wireless Earphone Review
For some years now the fine E10 from SoundMAGIC has assaulted our shores and needs no introduction; it has remained a firm favourite everywhere and shows no signs of losing that favour despite being in its 6th year since its release. But given that the SoundMAGIC E10 is now no longer an infant, it’s time to cut the apron strings and allow our little earphone to make its own way in the world, with a knapsack on its back.
So will the SoundMAGIC E10BT become the Mayor of London, or a missing person on milk cartons?
Full video review at the bottom of the page
- Now the E10 is wireless!
- Plenty of eartips
- Carry case
- Battery takes some getting used to
Design and Appearance
SoundMAGIC has gone to the dark side with the colours here; the E10BT is black all over and even the left/right markers from previous models are black now. The mic/controls are on the right with this one, and a battery pack sits in the middle of the cable.
Accessories are plentiful with various eartip types and sizes, along with a carry case for between uses.
Durability and Build quality
The E10BT seems durable enough, with a rubberised coating on the cable and strain reliefs which are small but seem up to the job. The cable seems a bit thinner than the E10, but this is because the lower section of cable (thicker on the E10) is not present on the bluetooth version of course.
Individual pairings can vary of course, but this reviewer gets a very strong connection with a cheap 4 year old Huawei handset, allowing a fair distance of travel from the source before connection problems arise.
This can depend on the manner in which the E10BT is worn, and can require a bit of experimentation. Personally, this reviewer likes to wear the E10 with the cable going over the backs of the ears, with the cable and battery pack hanging loose down at the front like a medallion. Others prefer to clip the battery pack on at the front, or the back of the neck.
With the cable hanging down direct from the ears, the clip is probably required as the battery pack/cable tends to tug a bit more on the earholes.
Suitability for intended application
SoundMAGIC have though about this; with the types of uses the E10BT is likely to be put to, they have included a new type of tip with this model which are vented. These have little notches in them on the outside which allows a certain amount of exterior sound to penetrate, so if you’re out jogging then you’re more aware of the environment.
The battery pack on the SoundMAGIC E10BT sits in the middle of the cable; this can be clipped to a collar if worn at the back of the head, or worn at the front. This reviewer found a good fit with the cable going over the back of the ears, and the battery pack tucked in to clothing at the front. Battery life is good with a 10+ hour playing time which should be alright for a couple of marathons if you’re jogging!
Pairing is easy too; once the earphones are paired with your device initially, the two will connect automatically when turned on. Be aware that this may be tricky if your friend wants to try the E10BT on their own handset – you will have to turn yours off to prevent the automatic pairing from taking place. The connection is strong – at least with my 4 year old Huawei handset
With the standard supplied silicone tips, isolation is average; exterior sounds are reduced by a few decibels, but of course if music is playing then they can be virtually ignored. Total isolation is not ideal though if you wish to remain aware of your environment, so there are some ‘vented’ eartips included which will reduce the isolation a bit further if needed.
Also, for fans of the previous models, the eartips are the same size so any custom, or aftermarket E10 tips need not be disposed of!
So, does the SoundMAGIC E10BT have that classic E10 sound? With a wired E10 in one ear and the E10BT in the other, this reviewer has the same track synched up on his phone and DAP, listening to both at once. It’s hardly scientific, but there are no great departures from the E10 sound but for a slightly warmer-sounding midrange and possibly a smoother treble.
If anything, bass tends to come through more at lower on the E10BT but not by much.
There’s a slight emphasis on bass to give some nice added heft to drums and basslines, without going overboard. It goes low too, with a little added sub where called for. It’s a good level for a wide variety of music styles if you like to mix it up!
The midrange is clean, clear and relatively crisp; reverb trails can be followed right to their disappearance and little seems to get in the way. Vocals are detailed and backing vocals have a nice breadth. Strings sit nicely in the background; harmonics are fairly easy to pick out which makes for some nice imaging too.
The top end is slightly smooth; it’s similar to the E80 model which provides great detail without pushing it at the listener. It’s not a warm or dark-sounding earphone overall, there’s just a little bit of edge taken off which can greatly reduce problems with fatigue over longer listening sessions.
- Soundstage and Separation
Soundstage is about average for an in-ear model, not really creeping out far beyond the confines of the E10BT’s hardware. It makes for an intimate and pleasant presentation but you won’t be swept off your feet.
Separation is pretty good with many instruments vying for attention; pick one out and it’s easy to follow. There’s not much chance of complicated pieces getting cluttered with the E10BT.
Music genres good for and why
As with the original wired E10, the E10BT is a great all-rounder but may be more at home with commercial music such as pop, dance and hip hop. Having said that though, jazz classical and acoustic recordings are still very nice and if you enjoy a wide variety of music genres but just want one earphone, the E10BT is a strong runner.