BUDGET
IN-EAR

E11C

SOUNDMAGIC

Rating

Price

8.2

40 €

Review published:

03/2019

Driver

1

per Side

1

Dynamic

0

Balanced

Impedance

42 Ohm

Piezo

0

Sound

8

Bass

8.5

Mids

8

Trebles

Sensitivity

112 dB

8.2

Handling

8

Haptic

A

Value

+

Daily Life

Frequency

15 - 22000 Hz

Intro

HEADTEK regularly provides me with in-ears that I can borrow for review purposes. This time it's the E11 from SoundMagic, which is the direct successor of the E10 and is showered with praise if you include the price. Let's see if there is really something about it!
First of all: At the end of the day the E11 is an audiophile all-rounder, which convinces in sound, but has to improve in handling.

https://headtek.de/de/soundmagic-e11-premium-in-ear-kopfhoerer.html

Handling

Paper packaging, in-ear and three silicone attachments. Finito, that's it. Even if you argue here with a fight price, I can get it for 5 €. Because the E11 wants to be a premium product in its price class, which it proves impressively in terms of sound, but maybe a couple of foramtips would be a nice extra in the process.

The E11 is wired and it is available with microphone, without or even with USB-C connection.
The cable is twisted and covered with a sturdy rubber jacket, but looks a bit fiddly and stiff. You always have a phone line and you'll never be able to unhook it straight. In addition, the remote control is somewhat inappropriate. It takes a while until you catch the right button (3), because these can only be distinguished by small elevations and even then it is not yet guaranteed that the correct function will be executed. With my model, for example, I always made the music louder instead of moving on. This means that I want to press the middle button with a double click, but apparently I catch the upper button, although I'm in the right position with my finger.

The fact that the E11 is wired increases the risk of cable breakage and thus the complete loss of function. The earpiece itself is very solid and has no flaws. Nevertheless I am of the opinion that one saved with the haptic and external impression at the wrong end.

Sound

If you browse the Internet for opinions on the E11, you sometimes have the inevitable feeling of having a purchased review in front of you (the same was already the case with the E10), because so benevolent are some of them. From time to time also comparisons with models up to 1000€ are used. I wouldn't go that far, because as good as the E11 really is and as appealing to consumers, it can't stand up to every comparison.

The bass does almost everything right for my taste. It concentrates more on the subbass, where it has almost a good 6 dB difference compared to the upper bass. This means that we get a good punch and a noticeable rumble, but it doesn't dominate the signature or influence the midrange too much. So the bass is never too thick, but it can really strike with hip-hop or electro. It has a good response, speed and an appealing texture. In addition it sounds damn natural and detailed. I know such behaviour for example from Moondrop Kanas Pro, Fender NINE, or SONY MH775. These are all in-ears that are based on the HARMAN curve, which has been determined by many hearing tests, as well as adapted and thus felt to be particularly good or pleasant for a broad mass. For my taste, the midrange bass kick could stand out a bit more, which for example would produce a bit more punch with rock. But that's really a high level of complaining.

The mids are very linear, with a small elevation at 2kHz. But we don't get the usual continuous rise up to 5 kHz with the following drop, but a further drop and a continuous rise up to 9 kHz. In my perception, this ensures that the mids appear flatter and brighter at the beginning and don't jump directly into your face. However, they sound far away from boring, but it requires a short familiarization. Nevertheless, a few dB more in that range would be good for a little more clarity and presence of voices.
So the mids are very relaxed with a pleasant warmth, but not quite as emotional as they are interpreted by the Kanas Pro, for example. Transparency and separation are outstanding, as well as the resolution. It remains to be said: no ordinary mid-range, but a very interesting tuning, which doesn't sound unnatural.

The highs have already got a good boost around 9 kHz and I'm surprised that there are no unpleasant peaks or sibilants. Of course we "only" have a dynamic driver here and these problems are mostly due to the BA driver, but I find it impressive. Only in the rarest cases is it a bit exhausting in the tweeter. Here, too, you have to say that sound characteristics cannot always be derived directly from the measured graph, because there are many other factors involved. Nevertheless such a graph can give a tendency.
What remains after the hearing sensation is a really level stable high frequency, with very good detail reproduction and extension. They sound airy and bright, probably also due to the somewhat shy mids (this is no devaluation, because the mids really don't miss anything, they just aren't as lively and forward). Depending on the mood of the day, however, I sometimes have slight signs of tiredness, for example when I am exclusively in the rock area, where the highs are a bit too bright for me in the long run.

The stage makes voices seem a bit intimate, but the instrumentalization around it is very well diversified and three-dimensional. Micro details also shine very well. Overlay is also a foreign word for the E11.

Outro

What makes the E11 good? Definitely the bass, the relaxed, but well separated and detailed midrange, as well as the airy highs with great expansion. The E11 also feels at home in every genre and can appeal to a broad mass with its sound characteristics!

What else would I wish for? The mids sometimes seem too well-behaved to me, almost even dull, but here you can add a little more level to ensure clarity and liveliness. The midrange bass could be a bit more crisp.
Of course SoundMagic tries to stay below 50 € with the E11, which makes it an unrestricted buy recommendation in this range, but too much was saved on accessories and cable.

Let's look forward to it, if a possible E12 can improve here again and thus SoundMagic can bring out the perfect in-ear under 50€. The potential is there!

Legend

Haptic:

Here the processing plays a role and the usability of the scope of supply. Additionally the appearance, wearing comfort and robustness.


Value:
Here I evaluate for me subjectively the price/performance ratio - does not flow into the evaluation!

Z: No Brainer

A: money well spent

B: all right, you can do

C: gives better for less money

D: overpriced

E: collector's price

Daily life:
Here, I focus on the long-term audibility and whether I can hear it well out of the box. This is of course very subjective and therefore only a minimal deduction or bonus. 

(-0.1, 0, +0.1)

BL-03.jpg

Rating in Letters

S: 9.5 - 10

A: 9.0 - 9.4​

B: 8.0 - 8.9​

C: 7.0 - 7.9

D: 6.0 - 6.9​
E: 5.0 - 5.9​

F: 0.0 - 4.9​

E11C

E11C

Second Opinion

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CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn

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