Musical Fidelity EB-50 review

Premium in-ears lack finesse Tested at £150

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A decent first in-ear attempt by Musical Fidelity, but you can do better at this price


  • +

    Open and spacious sound

  • +

    Fluid midrange


  • -

    Difficult to fit comfortably

  • -

    Treble is a little brash

  • -

    Could be more refined

  • -


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We get excited when hi-fi companies decide to get in on the portable headphone action. In the last few years, we’ve seen some truly impressive efforts. Now it’s Musical Fidelity’s turn with the EB-50 headphones.

The company say it designed and developed the earphones from scratch, rather than choosing a design off the shelf, and it’s easy to see that it’s a Musical Fidelity product. The ‘military-spec’ aluminium body is in keeping with the firm’s hi-fi kit.

We’re not sure about the screws on the back: they add to the industrial feel, but we feel they’re slightly unnecessary. We do like the colour coding, however. It’s a neat way to avoid having to look for a tiny L or R every time you want to use them.

Travel down the 1.2m cable and you'll find a single-button mic unit, a very nice metal splitter and a flexible rubber cable tie, which is simple yet effective.

In the box there are a variety of accessories, including a polishing cloth, a couple of adaptors (6.3mm, airplane) and a leatherette pouch. There is also a cord clip, ear hooks and ten pairs of ear tips, so you can find the perfect fit.

Musical Fidelity EB-50 review: sound quality
Some of the review team found it difficult to achieve a good seal, but once we got there, we were treated to an open and spacious presentation.

In terms of balance, we found that the EB-50s lean towards the top end. There’s a good amount of detail, but we occasionally found the treble to be a little brash. The midrange, meanwhile, is very smooth.

Compared to the Beyerdynamic MMX 101 iEs, which cost £55 less, the EB-50s were missing a sense of subtlety and composure. For the money, we’d like a greater sense of refinement.

The Musical Fidelity EB-50s are very competent headphones – we just don’t feel that their price matches their performance.

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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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