What You GetThe first nice surprise when opening the SoundMAGIC PL30 is that you get lots of accessories included. The following items are included:
- High quality travel case made from high impact fibre material (very similar to Shure supplied earphone cases).
- Many different types of ear tips, including small/medium/large silicone tips, double flange tips and foam tips (harder than Comply Foam, but worth a try).
- 1x pair of silicone over the ear cable guides (for keeping the cable on your ear while running)
- Soft silicone cable wrap for safe storage of the earphone cabling.
Comfort and FitThe PL30 features pro-style over ear cabling (to reduce microphonic cable noise and to provide a secure fit. Initially the SoundMAGIC PL30's over ear fit system can take some getting used to if you'v never worn an earphone with this design before. With the PL30 the cable is designed to run up over the ear and secured at the back of the neck with the sliding cable tensioner. It sounds complicated, but it's dead easy with a bit of practice. I found the fit easier with the PL30 than with earphones like Ultimate Ears Super.fi 3/Super.fi 5 Pro. The PL30's earphone body is much smaller than these other designs and I found it simple to get the earphone snug in the entrance to the ear after just a couple of attempts. Comfort is very good with the PL30. I found the medium sized silicone ear tips worked OK straight out of the box, but the supplied dual flange ear tips gave me a better seal. I also tried a pair of Comply Foam T-400 tips that I normally use with my Sennheiser IE8's and they worked very well with the PL30. As with all in-ear sound isolating earphones, if you do not get a good seal in the ear then the bass will be seriously lacking. Get the seal right with the PL30 and it's unlikely you will be disappointed by the punch of the bass.
Sound QualityThe SoundMAGIC PL30 offers a very well balanced sound, with good kick at the bass end, a forward midrange and good clarity in the higher frequencies. If anything the lower midrange is a little too forward for my liking, but overall the balance is excellent. Bass punch is superb and nicely defined. Much better than the bloated and muddy bass you will find in many entry level earphones. While this earphone is no bass monster it does represent lower frequency sounds very solidly and I found it very enjoyable listening to tracks with big basslines. The bass response can be altered by tweaking the bass control rotating switch - I preferred the flat bass setting over the bass boost setting. Sound stage and separation is something that is immediately striking about the PL30 - you can easily locate different sounds and instruments in the music, without it being analytical. The PL30 is a very enjoyable listen and presents sounds in a very musical way. Sound quality is far better than you might expect from an earphone costing less than £40.
- Brilliant sound quality for the price, with excellent clarity and good separation of notes.
- Nearly zero cable microphonic noise and secure fit make the PL30 ideal for running or the gym.
- Well made cabling with good strain relief.
- Cabling can get tangled due to rubberized coating.