SoundMagic PL50 review

If you usually find in-ear 'phones uncomfortable to wear and listen to, these could change your mind Tested at £50.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The most comfortable and mature sounding in-ears we’ve seen at this price


  • +

    Physically and sonically easy on the ears

  • +

    rich, full-bodied delivery


  • -

    Some rivals offer a little more excitement

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Hot on the heels of a very solid display from SoundMAGIC's PL30s last month come the upgraded PL50s, also supplied by

The big news is that the '50s boast balanced armature drivers, which are designed to improve efficiency and sound quality, and are usually seen on earphones costing much more than £55.

What's most impressive about the PL50s is how unobtrusive they are, both in terms of fit and performance.

Take some time to find the right buds for your ear (there are seven pairs in the box) and the fit is snug and comfortable enough to make it easy to forget they're there.

Smooth, spacious and flowing

Then there's the sound; all smooth, spacious and flowing, with nary a hint of anything harsh. Play Bombay Bicycle Club's Always Like This and (assuming you've got a good fit) the bassline bounces along in playful, infectious style, feeding up to full, clear vocals, and creating all-round envelopment.

As we've mentioned, there's no harshness here, but it's also fair to say that the treble is a little behind the mid and bass in the mix.

It isn't as sparkly as the best either, and there are rivals with greater overall attack.

However, if you're the kind of person who frequently finds the average in-ear a bit uncomfortable, either sonically or physically, these may well be for you.

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What Hi-Fi?

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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