"Cheap" IEMs Decision

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by ongy2k3, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. ongy2k3

    ongy2k3 Casual Listener

    Sep 13, 2010
    Hi guys,

    Basicly I'm looking at buying some new headphones before University starts. I'm fed up with cheap, tacky headphones that hurt my ears, produce poor sound and break after a month. It's time I purchase a set of real mens earphones.

    However, I'm having a bit of trouble deciding on which IEMs to buy. You see, I'm certainly no expert when it comes to techincal specifications and what to look out for. The only thing I understand is the price.

    I'm looking to spend no more than £30 (that's actually all I have in my bank) so as you can imagine my selection is limited. After browsing the site these are what I've found:

    - SoundMAGIC PL11
    - SoundMAGIC PL21
    - SoundMAGIC PL30
    - Sennhesier CX300-II

    What are peoples experiences with these earphones?

    The review for the PL11s sounds promising but as a noob I have no idea how they compare to the CX300-IIs. it sounds like (from the Top 10 listings) that the PL11s are as good as the CX300s, so are the Sennheiser's worth it considering they're rivalled by such a low costing alternative?

    I imagine the PL21s are better than the PL11s, as are the PL30s better than the PL21s. If so, how much better? Is it worth investing the couple of extra quid or will I not be able to tell the difference?

    Can somebody please help me? Help is greatly appreaciated!

    EDIT: I think it's between the PL11 & PL21s for me. Reading reviews from around the internet seems to have leaned me towards SoundMAGIC's offerings. The PL30s are apparently not that much different from the PL21 (with some preferring the sound on the cheaper alternative). The PL11s are "as good as the CX300s" but is this in comparison to an earlier revision, rather than the CX300-II?
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Apr 28, 2010
    Hi Ongy2k3,

    All four of these earphones are pretty similar sounding. The PL30's do come with a hardy carry case, several extra sets of tips and ear guides, They also use the over ear fit.

    I prefer the more powerful sound of the PL11 to the PL21, if you like big bass and a smooth warm sound the PL11's have a contemporary flattering sound which suits most modern styles.

    The CX300-II are a very similar affair to the PL11's, some might say a little tighter sounding, some might say not as fun.

    PL30's have the best accessories and only over ear fit
    PL11's have the biggest bass, punchy not flabby (and the most fun sound)
    PL21's are nicely ballanced
    CX300-II have a 2 year warranty

    Hope this helps - there is not really a lot in it - if it is between the PL11 and PL21 then you are really picking between amounts of bass.
  3. ongy2k3

    ongy2k3 Casual Listener

    Sep 13, 2010
    Thanks for the great response Robin.

    I've gone for the PL11's in the end. I do enjoy a wide range of music and the better bass on the PL11s should be better for when I'm listening to R&B/Hip-Hop. I think these looks better than the PL21s, and are much cheaper than the CX300-IIs.

    Thanks again for your help

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