SoundMAGIC ES19S In-Ear Monitor Review

About SoundMAGIC ES19S IEM…

Soundmagic has been around for a while now producing mostly budget value for money IEM earphones and headphones. We reviewed their earlier Soundmagic ES18S a while back and it did impress us with its decent build and sound quality at a truly budget price.

Now they have sent us their Soundmagic ES19S which is priced just a little bit more than the current street price of the Soundmagic ES18S.

I confess I was a bit skeptical as to what they hoped to do at this low price point when no earphone under IN Rs. 2,000/- has really impressed me. As good as their ES18S was, it was still very much a low-cost budget earphone and while it is still with me I hardly ever listen to it since I have lots of other higher end earphones and headphones.

However thanks to their excellent sounding earphones at really budget prices, Soundmagic has become pretty popular in India and are available at all major online platforms.

Specifications and Product Impressions

Driver Diameter:10 mm Neodymium Dynamic Driver
Maximum Input Power:20mW
Frequency Response:15 – 22,000 Hz
Sensitivity:95 dB
Impedance:16 ohms
Weight:15 g
Connector:3.5 mm gold-plated straight plug
Cable:1.2 m
Accessories Included:Earpieces (S, M, L)

The Soundmagic ES19S has strictly average build quality. Everything seems well made but on handling more expensive earphones you can see the difference. The earphones are pretty lightweight and easy to insert. I found them pretty comfortable even after long listening periods.

Isolation was strictly average since these aren’t deep insertion earphones. On the other hand, because they aren’t deep insertion earphones they are comfortable to use for extended periods. The packaging was below average but considering their price point I wouldn’t hold it against them. However, the earlier Soundmagic ES18S came with a nifty carry pouch and microphone adapter both of which are missing in this package.

You get two additional tips and that’s about it. Would have been nice to have an earphone pouch and maybe one double flange tip but again the price is so low that Soundmagic can readily be forgiven for the packaging. The jack is a standard straight jack which I had had issues with in the past. An angled jack is preferable in my opinion except when using earphones with some portable amplifiers. However again considering the price I am not fretting too much about the jack but felt it worth a mention.

So overall a bit disappointed in the reduced accessories package of the Soundmagic ES19S. But Soundmagic did give something more as you will see a little below in the review.

Audio Quality

The Soundmagic ES19S looks about as unassuming as its older brother the ES18S. It won’t turn heads or impress anyone but at the same time, no one is going to want to steal them either.

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting anything much different from the earlier ES18S but I am happy to report that I was dead wrong!

The biggest improvement would have to be the bass. The quantity is noticeably improved. In today’s tracks with artificially inflated bass, the Soundmagic ES19S keeps up pretty well and doesn’t sound out of place. The control is a bit loose and in really fast place tracks the bass moves out of step with the music. But for most tracks, the bass is pretty good and satisfying. Sub-bass is present, but the midbass is inflated and does drown out sub bass. However, as I said earlier if you listen to present day music you will most appreciate the enhanced midbass. To be fair, I never considered myself a midbass fan but my musical tastes have evolved a bit and I have started to appreciate enhanced midbass on modern music.

Mid-range is also much improved over the older SoundMagic ES18S and I found vocals to be rendered very nicely. The mids are quite neutral which is a rather difficult feat for a budget earphone.

Most budget earphones have a U-shaped or V-shaped sound which means boosted mids or reduced mids. You need to spend a good amount of money for truly neutral earphones. So I must give kudos to Soundmagic cause even their earlier ES18S was a pretty neutral earphone.

Treble is average, but most budget earphones have below average treble. However, the treble has a gentle roll off and detailing is above average for an earphone at this price point.

Soundstaging is pretty impressive considering the price. It’s easy to pick out and concentrate on different instruments playing off center.

Being a closed IEM the soundstage size is not very large but it does envelope you in both width and height which again for the price is very good.

Conclusion

I firmly believe this earphone punches well above its weight category. I even had to listen to my better earphone to convince myself that I wasn’t under any audio voodoo into thinking that these earphones are better than they actually are. But after pretty intensive tests and while some of my better earphones do of course sound better the differences are pretty low and in some aspects the Soundmagic ES19S beats even earphones three times the price.

For a street price of around IN Rs 800, I can recommend these earphones to just about anyone since they are pretty neutral they work with all genres of music. A big kudos to Soundmagic for managing to improve an already good Soundmagic ES18S and coming up with a better earphone at practically the same price point as its predecessor. Highly recommended!

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