SoundMagic HP150 review

These comfortable and lightweight over-ears are perfect for the daily commute... Tested at £170

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

Versatile cans that you can count on for comfort and entertainment

For

  • Portable and comfy
  • Clear, upbeat sound
  • Insightful

Against

  • Uninspiring dynamics
  • Midrange needs solidity

Having scored three, four and five stars recently, Soundmagic is a rather unpredictable beast. Its HP100s earned good reviews in 2013, so we’re hoping for consistency from their replacements, the 150s.

Build

The HP150s don’t have to be confined to the home. For starters, they’re closed-backs so won’t leak sound like their open-back rivals.

The chunky, well-cushioned headband has good give in it and the jumbo earcups and cushy pleather pads collapse inwards and are conveniently lightweight too.

The plastic may not look as plush as rivals basking in metal and velour, but they are housed in a hard-shell carry case. It also comes with a 6.3mm jack, flight adapters and a 3m extension cable if the 1m wire doesn’t give you enough free reign.

MORE: Best headphones 2015

Sound

If you like your music clear, balanced and animated (and who doesn’t?), these should be in the running for your next pair of headphones. Their direct, straight-up sound walks the tonal tightrope confidently.

Bass is ample, albeit could do with more punch, and treble has bite.

The introductory bells in alt-J’s Ms glisten, the discrepancies between them distinct, and are precisely pinpointed in the soundstage.

The HP150s don't have the size or openness of open-back headphones, but music doesn’t feel cramped either.

They blitz through the rest of the album’s jittery rhythms and bassy drones with enthusiasm and rigor.

Expressive mids get right under the nasal vocals, though a lack of dynamic attention means they overlook its subtle lifts and jerks. More solidity in the middle would secure that prestigious fifth star too.

Verdict

The HP150s aren’t perfect, but if you’re after decent-sounding over-ears that are as happy at home as they are on transatlantic flights or even the daily commute, bear these in mind.

See all Soundmagic news and reviews

See all our headphone reviews

Specifications

View All

General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.soundmagic.com.cn
Brand NameSoundMAGIC
Product TypeHeadphone
ManufacturerShenzhen SoundMagic Technology Development
Manufacturer Part NumberHP150
Product NameSoundMagic HP150
Product ModelHP150

Technical Information

Sound ModeStereo
Minimum Frequency Response10 Hz
Connector PlatingGold Plated
Connectivity TechnologyWired
Impedance32 Ohm
Cable Length1.20 m
Maximum Frequency Response30 kHz

Earpiece

Earpiece DesignOver-the-head
Earpiece TypeBinaural
Driver Size53 mm

Physical Characteristics

Form FactorCircumaural
Weight Approximate288 g
ColourBlack

Interfaces-Ports

Host InterfaceMini-phone