When someone asks me to recommend them a good earphone/headphone, the first product that comes to my mind is usually the Soundmagic ES18s. In my opinion, it is one of the most underrated earphones under $15. While most people prefer JBL C100SI, Sennheiser CX180, or the boAt BassHeads 225, the Es18s is another excellent choice and is better in many ways. I’ve been using this earphone for over a year now and right now I have no reason to spend more on a better earphone. Before we begin the review, here’s a quick list of pros. and cons. for those of you who are in a hurry.
Here are the pros. and cons. and I will try to give an in-depth opinion of the same later in this post. I will also compare it with some other good earphones in the same budget so that you can make a quick decision. Well, that’s not it, I’m also going to share some amazing sound mods and enhancements for Android users that have a rooted device. These mods and sound engines will take the performance of your earphones to a whole new level.
|Cable Length||1.2 meter|
|Frequency||15 Hz to 22 KHz|
|Available Colors||Red, Blue, Green, Black, Orange|
|Box Contents||Earphone, Pouch, Additional Earbuds|
The Soundmagic Es18s is an In-Ear Wired Earphone. In the box, you’ll find the earphone itself, additional earbuds of different sizes, a pouch and the warranty card. This product has one year warranty. Just like every other earphone, it will support all your phones and audio devices that support the 3.5mm Headphone Jack. It is very lightweight with just 9.07 grams of weight. The cable length is 1.2 meters. It has a normal rounded wire which gets entangled all the time. The frequency range is 15 Hz to 22 kHz. It not only supports iOS, Android, and Windows devices, but it also supports feature phones and older devices. It is available in multiple colors such as Red, Blue, Black, Orange, and Green. I bought the one in black as it’s one of my favorite colors.
Soundmagic ES18s Review
Soundmagic ES18s Review
As already mentioned, I’ve been using this earphone for over a year now and at least five of my friends own it too. This review will be more like a collaboration of all our views and user experience. As far as the design is concerned, it looks decent and with multiple color options, you can choose the one that looks cool to you. The best thing about Es18s is its sound quality while the biggest con is the build quality. We will discuss all these factors step by step in the next section.
Before I bought it, I went through the online reviews and very soon I figured out that the biggest con of Soundmagic ES18s is its build quality. The wire is of cheap quality and is quite prone to physical damage. And the same has been experienced by two of my friends. They managed to fix up the wire with some manual adjustment using an adhesive tape.
The one I own is still in perfect condition and I haven’t observed any wear and tear so far. I mainly use it during my bus journey to the college and once I reach there, I keep it in my bag and it stays there for the rest of the day. When I’m at home, I prefer using a headphone so I rarely take these earphones out of my bag. If you’re not a rough user and can properly maintain them, you shouldn’t be much worried about the build quality.
One of the problems that I faced with Sennheiser CX180 is that it used to hurt my ears at high volume and bass. This is one of those problems that I don’t face with Soundmagic Es18s. The sound quality may not be the best, but it has the most balanced sound with great bass. The audio is clear and loud. You can enjoy songs for hours and it is the perfect companion for long journeys. You can further enhance the sound quality with mods that I’m going to recommend later in this article.
When it comes to noise isolation, the performance of ES18S is unparalleled. Despite not having any noise cancellation feature, the earbuds completely block any external noise when you’re listening at a decent volume. This is must for anyone who listens to music while traveling and I’m glad that it works great.
The earphone comes with a built-in microphone, a playback button and also a CTIA/OMTP switch that adds support to older devices. You can use the playback button once to play/pause the audio, twice to switch to the next track and thrice to switch to the previous one. I’ve used the mic multiple times for calling and it works fine as well.
Here are a few comparisons that can help you decide the right earphone for you.
ES18s vs Soundmagic ES18
The ES18 lacks a microphone jack but performance-wise it is equally as good as the ES18s. So, if you don’t require a mic, you can choose either of them. You can actually buy the Sounmagic ES18 for a lot cheaper.
Soundmagic ES18s vs JBL C100SI
The JBL C100SI is another great earphone in this budget but the sound quality is not as great as the ES18s. The treble in JBL C100SI is slightly higher and the noise isolation is not up to the mark.
Soundmagic ES18s vs Sennheiser CX180
The Sennheiser CX 180 is another amazing pair of earphones with bass that you’ll fall in love with. The noise cancellation and build quality of Sennheiser CX180 are great as well. In fact, I’ve used it for over a year before I moved to the ES18S. However, the sound is not that balanced and at higher volumes, it hurts the ears. Also, it doesn’t have a microphone. To get a more balanced audio quality, I moved to the ES18s.
ES18s vs Mi In-Ear Basic Headphones
I’ve also owned the Mi In-Ear Basic Headphones for a very long time. The design and build quality are quite good. Also, it has flat wires that don’t entangle. However, in terms of sound quality and noise cancellation, it is no match for any earphone that I’ve mentioned in this post.
ES18s vs boAt BassHeads 225
The boAt BassHeads 225 excels in build quality, design, bass, and it also has a mic and tangle-free wires. However, the sound clarity isn’t up to the mark and the sound is slightly muddy. Also, it is quite heavy which can be uncomfortable at times. Overall speaking, I’ll prefer ES18s for a more balanced sound and comfort of using for long durations.
Improving & Optimizing the Sound Quality
Improving & Optimizing the Sound Quality
Here, I will show you to further enhance the audio quality of your device. I’ve previously posted an article on How to Improve the Sound Quality of Android devices, you should check it out as well. So here are the requirements:
- A Rooted Android device with Custom Recovery like TWRP
- A Custom ROM (not necessary but ROMs based on Lineage OS have some other audio tweaks as well).
Download Divine Beats Audio Mod and flash it via TWRP. It includes the Dolby Atmos and Viper4Android. Now, Install BusyBox from Google Play Store and proceed to its installation by giving root permissions. Open Viper4Divine and if it asks for driver installation, proceed accordingly. If either Dolby or Viper doesn’t work, flash them separately via methods mentioned in XDA Developers Forum. If you have Magisk Manager, Viper4Android is also available as one of its modules.
The next step involves finding some good profiles for Viper 4 Android. Some of my favorite ones are ‘Audiophile’ and ‘The Bass King’. You don’t have to flash these profiles and instead extract the Zip and move the files to the Viper4Android directory in your phone’s Internal Storage. Lastly, download a Good Audio Player Like Black Player or PowerAmp or Retro Music and play your favorite tracks. Test the different profiles of Viper and tweak with the settings of Dolby Atmos to get the perfect combination. Enjoy the awesomeness of your Soundmagic ES18S powered by Divine Beats Beyond Infinity.