Soundmagic ES18 is one of my most recommended in ear monitors under 1000 pesos for the past 2 years due to its unprecedented good sound quality, very comfortable fit, isolates really well and has decent durability. Fast forward 2014, the said model received an update where in it is now compatible to almost all smartphone devices. Meet Soundmagic ES18s!


Soundmagic ES18S Review! The Smartphone Version Of The Budget Good Sounding IEM Classic!
Check out ES18S
A little bit of history

Soundmagic ES18S Review! The Smartphone Version Of The Budget Good Sounding IEM Classic!
My old ES18 and E30 circa 2012
It was more than 2 years ago when I'm one of the first to acquire the very 1st version of Soundmagic ES18. It was because it's said to have about 80-90% of the sq of my other much pricier Soundmagic E10m and E30. The rumors were true and es18 became my daily in ear monitor for a year alongside with VSonic VC02.

Specifications

  • Transducers: 10 mm Neodymium Dyanmic Driver
  • Frequency Range: 15Hz - 22KHz
  • DC resistance 10 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 
  • Maximum input power 20mW
  • Cable length: 1.2m
  • Connector: Gold plated L type 3.5 mm jack
  • Weight: 11g
  • Microphone: Frequency Range: 20Hz-16KHz / Sensitivity: -42 at 1KHz
  • Price: PHP 795.00

Packaging / Accessories

Soundmagic ES18S Review! The Smartphone Version Of The Budget Good Sounding IEM Classic!
The accessories
It comes in a simple white box that clearly shows the monitors inside. What I like about the package is aside from the usual s/m/l eartips is it includes a pc adapter and a pleather pouch. It is very rare for an earphones to have that packaging at this price point. Good job Soundmagic!

Features

Soundmagic ES18S Review! The Smartphone Version Of The Budget Good Sounding IEM Classic!
An interesting feature
Soundmagic ES18S has an interesting feature. This is actually the first time I've encountered an IEM with microphone that works for almost any smartphone. I said almost because I tried to use it on an old Cherry Mobile Android phone, but it didn't work unless you use a FiiO LU1 Smart Adapter. ES18S has a special a/b switch in its 3.5mm plug that sets your IEM to work on almost any smartphone.

A Switch: iPhone, Blackberry, HTC, Galaxy Models (The recent ones)

B Switch: Nokia, Samsung, Sony Xperia and Others

Design / Comfort / Isolation


Soundmagic ES18S Review! The Smartphone Version Of The Budget Good Sounding IEM Classic!
A closer look
Overall Soundmagic ES18S is a very comfortable iem to wear, this is actually one of the 1st in ear monitors aside from the VSonic GR99 with barrel design that I love to wear. It is so light that's like you're not wearing anything at all. I could be worn at a conventional straight up wearing style or a more secure over ear that also provides less microphonics. Just make sure that you'll use the eartips most comfortable to you.

Isolation-wise the ES18S isolates on an above average level, it isolates probably better than the Xiaomi Pistons 2.0 (its more comfortable to wear too) and isolates on the same level with the VSonic GR99. Just don't expect this babies to isolate better than an Etymotic IEM or the VC02. Overall, this IEM is still safer to wear in commutes compared to those who isolates really well.

Style-wise, Soundmagic ES18 isn't a head-turner it is just a pretty ordinary looking in ear monitor. Unless you are using the green version which looks like a razer IEM from afar. It's not that important though as this IEM sounds amazing for the price range.

Build Quality

Based on my experience with the old Soundmagic ES18 it is a fairly durable IEM. At first you'll think that it is just a cheaply made IEM that won't last for a while. Fortunately, my 1st ES18 set lasted me a year of abuse. The other friends of mine that also bought the ES18 didn't have problems its durability. Having said that I'm pretty confident that ES18S should last for a while too. I just have one concern with the connectors of the microphone to the cable. Overall I feel that this should last for a while as long as you take care of your unit properly, plus this model have one year of warranty and is also fairly easy to repair.

Sound

Soundmagic ES18S Review! The Smartphone Version Of The Budget Good Sounding IEM Classic!
Should last for a while
Probably one of the cheapest near near high fidelity experience you can get for an earphones under PHP 1,000.00. It used to be the king of all budget in ear monitors 2 years ago, but even up to this date it still maintains the status of one of the best sounding iem in its price.

The new ES18S maintained 90% of Soundmagic E10's sound quality despite having a very low price. The sound quality is very easy to love as it presents a U shaped warm and sweet sound signature. It has an ample amount of bass and sub-bass that which doesn't overwhelm the mids. (Not a bass canon like the pistons) Speaking of the mids, it presents a very full mids that might blow away some users due to it's quality. The highs is good too though I find it lacks sparkle in some tracks. The soundstage is decently wide as you can hear the presentation of music just fine. Overall the sound quality of this IEM provides a WOW factor to most people who loves music!

Note 1: 50 hours burn-in is applied before testing this IEM
Note 2: All music files used are in lossless format
Note 3: ES18S is a very good all rounder that suits most genres very well.

Microphone Test


Verdict

This IEM is still one of the best In Ear Monitors with microphone under PHP 1,000! Xiaomi Pistons is the only competitor I can think of under 1K. The Pistons might be a little better sounding compared to ES18, but this one is more comfortable to wear, have a better accessory pack and is compatible to more devices.


You can get this device at: Click Here
How do you feel?
Share this article :)
Magpress

Geeky Pinas

Geeky Pinas is a Tech News, Reviews and a Lifestyle Site