Our Verdict 
Our favourite budget in-ears are better than ever – rivals can't match their lively, exciting sound
For 
Energetic, detailed and dynamic
Well-balanced sound
Punchy bass and clear vocals
Good build and fit
Against 
Nothing at this price
Reviewed on

The SoundMagic E10S in-ears have been winning Awards for the last four years, with annual tweaks - and no change in the price - helping to ensure they keep their top spot in the budget in-ear category. The changes to the 2015 model are purely cosmetic and ergonomic.

MORE: SoundMagic E10 review

Video review

More after the break

Build and design

The smartphone compatibility switch has been moved to the cable’s Y-section, meaning the 3.5mm plug, now at a 60-degree angle and made of metal instead of plastic, is slimmer and sturdier than before. Not bad for just £40.

These are light, compact and comfortable in-ears, with a selection of tips available for you to get the best fit. Once they’re sealed in, you get the robust, punchy and hugely enthusiastic sound that make the E10Ss so likeable.

Performance

With the bassline taut and bouncy in The Cat Empire’s Fishies, it’s not hard to start having fun with the E10Ss plugged in.

Trumpets blare with just the right amount of bite and reach, while voices are clear and expressive, and there’s a satisfying weight to the whole sound.

Sure, you get more subtlety and refinement if you go up the price scale, but the E10Ss have impressive dynamics and an even balance that rival budget headphones struggle to match. There’s no hardness, brightness or lumpy bass to distract you from the music.

The E10Ss are great at capturing the essence of a song: whether it’s the playful melodies of the Amelie soundtrack, the grungy angst of Nirvana, or the funk in Stevie Wonder’s Superstition, these in-ears will get your feet tapping along to any song you play through them.

Verdict

They’re energetic, fluid and packed with detail – and for now they remain our go-to in-ears on a budget.

MORE: Best in-ear headphones 2015

Where to buy View all »

SoundMagic E10S
£39.99
Amazon offers more than 150 million products, from tens of thousands of third party sellers with next day delivery.
£49.37
The Competition 

Klipsch Reference R6i

Our Rating 
100%
Price from £52.29

SoundMagic E50S

Our Rating 
0%
Breakdown 
Sound
Build
Comfort
Features