Great quality canalphones that you can pick up for loose change.
- Very cheap, bass response adjustment dial, replaceable earphone tips, good sound quality
- Hard to keep clean, bass isn't very punchy, noise isolation could be better
Despite the low price tag, the sound quality of these headphones will satisfy all but the most discerning of listeners. They are a bargain.
Price$ 39.90 (AUD)
Sub-$100 in-ear headphones are often of poor quality but SoundMAGIC bucks the trend with the PL30 "professional earphones": a pair of comfortable canalphones that provide excellent sound quality at a bargain price.
SoundMAGIC provides a number of accessories with the headphones, including a cord clip, cord wrapper, zippered case and replaceable earphone tips. Seven pairs of tips are provided to provide optimal comfort for different ear shapes; there are six pairs of single flange tips of differing sizes, and a pair of bi-flange tips for better retention. The company doesn't supply any foam tips, which would have provided a better seal in the ear and consequently better noise isolation, but the range of choice offered to buyers is good.
If these headphones suffer anywhere as a result of their cheap price, it is in their design. There aren't many attractive canalphones on the market — this pair is no exception, and their matte white plastic will be hard to keep clean.
They are quite discreet when worn, though an unwieldy bass adjustment dial on each earphone is somewhat noticeable.
The biggest surprise is the level of comfort they provide. Finding comfortable canalphones can be an arduous task, but the PL30s provided a surprising level of comfort. They remain comfortable even when worn for extended periods.
Like any set of canalphones they provide a reasonable amount of passive noise cancellation. A greater amount ambient noise can be heard in comparison to more expensive canalphones such as Ultimate Ears' Super.Fi 5vi, however.
Users can choose between two different bass settings: clear bass and deep bass. The dials require some effort to turn — fingernails will be required — and cannot be shifted while the earphones are in use. The difference in sound is noticeable. Those who prefer dance music or r'n'b will appreciate the heavier bass setting, though it tends to drown out other frequencies.
Don't expect the same level of sound quality you would hear from premium canalphones, but these headphones are competitive with pairs in the $100+ range. They produce a soundstage that is surprisingly balanced, if a little light on bass. We found the sound to be very clear overall, slightly accentuated by a warm mid-range which complements classical and acoustic music very well. Higher frequencies are apparent without being too shrill but are slightly outweighed by the lower mid-range frequencies.
Bass frequencies are comparatively lacking when using the clear setting on the bass response adjustment dial. This particularly affects lower frequencies found in bass-heavy music like dance, but it can also have some effect on bass guitar in rock music. Bass frequencies are not totally lost, but they definitely take a back seat to mid-range and higher frequencies; this is uncommon for canalphones.
Though the SoundMAGIC PL30 in-ear headphones don't provide professional-level quality, they do offer excellent sound at a bargain price.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Apple's AirPods could deliver audio with multiple wireless protocols
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Astro A38 review: A staggering price to pay for convenience
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCProject ManagerSA
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)NSW
- CCData Centre Design Engineer - Data Centre - TelcoVIC
- FTNodeJS DeveloperNSW
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- TPSQL DeveloperQLD
- CCCA ITCM / ITCA Engineer with some hands-on knowledge of scripting.NSW
- CCMidrange ProvisioningNSW
- CCADABAS Natural DeveloperNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional ConsultantACT
- TPSenior Java Developer / DevOps - ContractQLD
- CCArcSight Security Engineer - Contract - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- TPSAP Helpdesk SupportACT
- TPEnvironment Specialist(DevOps)QLD
- FTERP ConsultantQLD
- TPMaster SchedulerNSW
- TPImplementation Business Partner - Business ModernisationNSW
- CCProject Manager - Adelaide basedVIC
- CCData Analyst - AutoHaulWA
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)NSW
- CCWPF .NET EngineerNSW
- CCLevel 2 IT Service Desk OfficerQLD
- CCIT Solutions ArchitectQLD
- TPSenior Applications Support OfficerQLD