Earphones on ears: Best in-ear headphones 2023: budget to premium

SoundMagic E11C headphones review: entertaining and affordable in-ears

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What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022 winner. The SoundMagic E11C are another great pair of budget headphones
Tested at £50

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A great pair of affordable in-ear headphones, complete with remote and mic

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Pros
  • +

    Entertaining sound

  • +

    Remote and mic

  • +

    Easy to drive

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi?
Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Founded in 2005, a relative flash in the pan compared to many audio companies, SoundMagic has risen from obscurity to boasting multiple-Award winners, most notably with its budget in-ear headphone range.

And the SoundMagic E11C headphones are another pair that has gained a multitude of plaudits. They actually launched in 2018, but we’re happy to report they’re still pretty magic by in-ear standards at this kind of money.

  • Best headphones under £100

Build and Comfort

Clearly not scared of spicing up a winning recipe, the SoundMagic E11C earbuds have an updated driver, which promises improvements to the sound, and a new, silver-plated copper cable. The iconic red headphone cable is no more.

  • SoundMagic E11C (Silver) at Amazon for £52.95

Otherwise, the E11C earphones look the same, with a typical cylindrical, aluminium casing design and a choice of small, medium and large silicone tips, also now in silver. There’s a storage case, too, should you be so organised as to use one of them. In case it now needs stating, they have the standard 3.5mm headphone cable connection, so you’ll need a dreaded dongle for connecting to USB-C or Apple Lightning ports.

On the cable for the left earphone are the remote control and mic. It’s a standard three-button that should work with Apple and Android phones, giving you volume and stop/start functionality. As has become the norm, the remote is light and unobtrusive, so you shouldn’t suffer from unwanted cable noise.

Sound

SoundMagic may have updated the driver but the company’s sonic signature remains familiar. Simply, the E11C sound really good. Make sure you choose the right tips for your ears – you should get a snug fit that not only isolates outside noise really well but ensures you hear their full sonic spectrum – and then you’re treated to a well-balanced, entertaining, energetic sound.

Listen to Drake’s God’s Plan and the deep, sub bass notes hit as they should, with decent depth and warmth, while the hi-hats tick along clearly at the top end. Drake’s processed vocals sit comfortably in the midrange, again clarity is a strength from these in-ears. Aphex Twin’s T69 Collapse proves a more challenging workout but thanks to a crisp, not-quite-too-bright treble, the track’s energetic drums are delivered with life and control.

SoundMagic E11C tech specs

Type In-ear

Wireless No

Weight 11g

In-line mic/remote Yes

3.5mm connector Yes

Cable length 1.2m

A 4/4 dance track is always a good test of timing and Algol by Troy is no-nonsense pounder, complete with off-beat stabs to keep things interesting. The SoundMagic E11C earphones again deliver an enjoyable listen and only in direct comparison to the What Hi-Fi? Award-winning Beyerdynamic Byron earphones does the timing fall down just a fraction, the Byrons sounding a little more together and thus delivering a more engaging sound.

This is about the only small hole to be picked in the E11C in-ears. Their full-bodied sound is certainly led by a clear, upfront treble, while the Byrons deliver a tauter sound with a bit more solidity to the bass, but this is largely personal preference.

It’s also worth pointing out the sensitivity rating of 112dB is pretty high, meaning the SoundMagic E11C in-ears can deliver plenty of volume. It also means they’ll use less of your device’s power at average listening volume, which is a bonus.

Verdict

Another great pair of SoundMagic budget earphones, the E11C in-ears continue the fine work of their predecessors and deliver an entertaining, upfront sound, complete with a remote control and mic. And we can’t argue with that.

SCORES

  • Sound 5
  • Comfort 5
  • Build 5

MORE:

See all the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022 winners

Here are the best earbuds money can buy

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SoundMagic E11C: Price Comparison

3 Amazon customer reviews

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£52.95

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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.

Read more about how we test

Shure SE425 review | What Hi-Fi?

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What Hi-Fi? Awards 2019. The finest in-ears we’ve ever heard at this price

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Best in-ears £100-£200, Awards 2018. Could do with a bit more bass, but they really are the finest in-ears we’ve ever heard at this price

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Why you can trust What Hi-Fi?
Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Let’s not beat around the bush, eh? These are fantastic. Five stars. Next, please…?

Usually we’ll start a review by talking about build quality, materials, finish, features and so on – but this time we’re going to launch straight into a few superlatives about the SE425s’ sound: fun, absorbing, classy, polished, captivating…

MORE: Awards 2018 – Best in-ear headphones

  • Shure SE425 at Andertons for £230

Performance

So what’s their recipe for success? It’s all in the detail. And we mean that literally and figuratively: get some music going and it’s as if the Shures disappear, leaving you with just their sound. To say it’s immersive is an understatement. The level of finesse on offer is astonishing even at this price: you’ll hear things you never thought were there even on recordings you know inside out.

Play Icebreaker’s version of Brian Eno’s Apollo (the soundtrack to the fantastic moon-landing documentary For All Mankind) and the ebb and flow of the ambient tunes is mesmerising – you just don’t get that on most other pairs of in-ears.

They’re energetic, too. Coming back down to earth with the altogether less sophisticated Suzi (Wants Her All Day What?) by Extreme shows the SE425s to be more than capable of handling tight rhythms and punchy rock.

The attack of Nuno Bettencourt’s guitar pick is especially evident, but we like the fact that they never tip over into brashness. It would be easy to overcook the top-end in the name of excitement, but Shure has kept just enough of a lid on it to create space and fun without making it feel like someone’s squirted lemon juice into your ears.

The midrange performance is as solid as you like – that vein of detail continues all the way down the frequency range. Vocals are nuanced and placed to the fore, yet they never conflict with other elements in the same frequency range.

Move down to the bass and, while the Shures don’t pack as much of a punch as the likes of the Sony XBA-2iPs or Klipsch Image X7is, there’s still a decent amount of thud. The sense of isolation helps with low-frequency extension too – these really do block out almost everything around you, keeping it all locked inside your head.

The looks might not appeal to everyone. Shure has gone for the pro-style in-ear monitor configuration, where the cable passes up your back and splits behind your head before passing over the top of your ears, secured in place with a cable slider and flexible wire inserts that mould to your ear-shape.

They can be a bit annoying to put in (especially if you go for the foam tips which, while offering splendid isolation, need time to fit themselves to your ear canal), but the results are worth it. If you’ve a bit more money to spend, though, you could get custom ear-tips made to speed things up (and stop your friends covering your beloved buds in their earwax).

The SE425s have detachable enclosures – which means if the cable breaks, you can replace it for less money than buying a new set of earphones. The enclosures also swivel on the ends of the cables, making them easier to fit and more comfortable to wear.

The standard SE425s don’t have a remote or mic unit, but you can buy separate ones (there’s a three-button version for Apple devices and a one-button model for everything else).

Verdict

So, what else is there left to say? Not a lot, really. We think the Shure SE425s are great. They might not wow your peers on the catwalk, and yes, they could do with a smidge more punch in the bass, but that’s nitpicking for what really are the finest in-ears we’ve ever heard at this price.

MORE:

What Hi-Fi? Awards 2018 – all the winners

Best headphones 2018

Shure SE425: Price Comparison

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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.

Read more about how we test

The doctor explained why it is dangerous to leave headphones in your ears for a long time leave headphones in your ears – Radio Sputnik, 12.03.2021

The doctor explained why it is dangerous to leave headphones in your ears for a long time

Radio Sputnik, 03.12.2021

021-03-12T02:00

2021-03-12T02:00

said on the air

society

technology

health – society

health

vladimir zaytsev 9000 3

podcasts – radio sputnik

ears

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Deafness from “ears”: how not to lose your hearing

Attack with decibels. Or – violence over the ears. We often damage our own hearing when we listen to music in headphones for a long time and loudly. Studies have shown that the number of hard of hearing among active users of headphones, which is three hours a day, is twice as high compared to those who do not use them or use a maximum of 25 minutes during the day. The fact is that in headphones, loud sound directly affects the eardrum.
Today, on International Ear and Hearing Day, is a good occasion to talk about how to protect your ears from deafness. Our interlocutor is Anna Komarova, director of the Zaitseva Center for the Education of the Deaf and Sign Language.

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Vladimir Zaitsev, an otolaryngologist of the highest category, Candidate of Medical Sciences, said in an interview with Sputnik radio what are the risks of constant use of headphones and whether they can be avoided. Many people use headphones very often in everyday life, sometimes they remain in ears, even when the person is not listening. Meanwhile, wearing internal headphones for a long period of time can lead to the development of various diseases, an otolaryngologist of the highest category, candidate of medical sciences Vladimir Zaitsev warned in an interview with Sputnik radio. otomycosis).Especially in people who use hearing aids or on duty use headphones for many hours, such as call center workers.The second point is that there is wax in the ear canal, and by plugging the ear with an earphone, we simply push the wax deep into and we press it, it starts to stick to the eardrum, and a dense sulfuric plug forms. The ear will be stuffy at first, and then the so-called contact otitis will develop, “warned Vladimir Zaitsev. In addition, prolonged listening to loud music leads to hearing problems. To minimize the negative consequences, you need to choose the right headphones, the doctor advises. “On-ear headphones, studio ones that completely cover the sink – that’s good, they completely cover the sink, we isolate ourselves from surrounding sounds and hear everything quite comfortably. Headphones that are tucked into the ear, due to loose contact, have to be inserted deeper. At the same time, he the earpiece stands at the eardrum and has a strong effect on the inner ear. The hair cells of the auditory cells, the so-called organ of Corti, suffer from this, and begin to die irrevocably,” said Vladimir Zaitsev. you shouldn’t do that, the otolaryngologist is sure. According to him, it is better to abandon the headphones altogether in places with high noise levels. And in general, it would be good to reduce the time of their use, the specialist added. “It’s better not to use headphones in public transport – it’s too noisy there. Use it on the street, for example, on the way to work. Duration – twice a day for half an hour, and, of course, not at maximum volume, but at half, no higher than 50% So we won’t hurt our ears,” Vladimir Zaitsev explained. The doctor reminded us that hearing should be protected, because it would be very difficult to return it. Briefly and to the point. Only selected quotes in our Telegram channel.

https://radiosputnik.ria.ru/20210210/smartfon-1596868574.html

https://radiosputnik.ria.ru/20210308/smartfon-1600339542.html

Radio Sputnik

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Rossiya Segodnya

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Radio Sputnik

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Radio Sputnik

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society, technology, health – society, health, vladimir zaytsev, podcasts – sputnik radio, ears, headphones

It is said on the air, Society, Technology, Health – Society, Health, Vladimir Zaitsev, Podcasts – Radio Sputnik, ears, headphones the highest category, candidate of medical sciences Vladimir Zaitsev.

“Neck extended, eyes narrowed.” Doctor about the impact of smartphones on children

February 10, 2021, 17:19

Many people use headphones very often in everyday life, sometimes they remain in their ears even when a person is not listening to anything. Meanwhile, wearing internal headphones for a long period of time can lead to the development of various diseases, Vladimir Zaitsev, an otolaryngologist of the highest category, candidate of medical sciences, warned in an interview with Sputnik radio.

«

“Stocking the ear for too long can lead to fungal otitis media (otomycosis). Especially for people who wear hearing aids or who use headphones for long hours on duty, such as call center workers The second point is that there is sulfur in the ear canal, and by plugging the ear with an earpiece, we simply push the sulfur inward and compress it, it starts to stick to the eardrum, and a dense sulfuric plug forms. The ear will first be blocked, and then the so-called contact otitis will develop ” , – Vladimir Zaitsev warned.

In addition, prolonged listening to loud music leads to hearing problems. To minimize the negative consequences, you need to choose the right headphones, the doctor advises.

«

“On-ear headphones, studio, which completely cover the sink – that’s good, they completely cover the sink, we isolate ourselves from surrounding sounds and hear everything quite comfortably. Headphones that are tucked into the ear, due to loose contact, you have to insert deeper. At the same time, the earpiece itself stands at the tympanic membrane and strongly affects the inner ear. Hair auditory cells, the so-called organ of Corti, suffer from this, and begin to die irrevocably,” said Vladimir Zaitsev.

People often turn their headphones on to the maximum volume to drown out the surrounding sounds, but you shouldn’t do that, the otolaryngologist believes. According to him, it is better to abandon the headphones altogether in places with high noise levels. And in general, it would be good to reduce the time of their use, the specialist added.

«

“It’s better not to use headphones in public transport – it’s too noisy there. Use it on the street, for example, on the way to work. Duration – twice a day for half an hour, and, of course, not at maximum volume, but at half , not higher than 50%. So we will not damage the ears,” Vladimir Zaitsev explained.

The doctor reminded that hearing should be protected, because it would be very difficult to get it back.

Keep with you. The Russians were explained that it is better not to store

on smartphones March 8, 2021, 11:51

Short and to the point. Only selected quotes in our Telegram channel .

headphones are harmful to the ears – DW – 03/22/2017

Culture03/22/2017 March 22, 2017

An increasing number of people aged 15 to 35 are hearing impaired. German experts are sounding the alarm and blaming the trendy gadget for this.

https://p.dw.com/p/2ZerW

Photo: picture-alliance/dpa/D. Bockwoldt Advertisement

The invention of the smartphone not only made communication more mobile, but also gave us the opportunity to go through life with music without losing, so to speak, connection with the outside world – at least with the one from where we are waiting for a call. With musical accompaniment in headphones, the road to work seems shorter, the morning run is more efficient, and the world around you is not so monotonous. The louder the sound, the easier it is to immerse yourself in the world of your own fantasies … And the easier it is to cause a serious health problem at the same time.

Noise instead of music in the ears

According to Germany’s largest health insurance fund, Barmer, young people today are increasingly suffering from hearing loss. “The trend is clear,” says Barmer board member Mani Rafii. “In addition to the noise that surrounds us in the city, the noise coming from the digital world is added.” This kind of noise is detrimental.

In five years, Barmer’s insured clients aged 15 to 35 who require hearing aids have increased by a third. “Hearing gets worse after 50-60 years is completely normal. But the fact that such problems occur in young people is a serious concern,” Ursula Marshall, Head of Medicine and Health Care Research at Barmer, told DW. (Ursula Marschall).

Thinking about health, do not forget about the ears! Photo: Colourbox/L Dolgachov

The reason lies, of course, not in the music itself, but in how loud and how long it sounds. According to experts, many teenagers listen to loud music through headphones almost continuously. “There are musical compositions that you simply cannot help but play loudly. But even they are dangerous only if you listen to them for several hours, or even days in a row,” explains Ursula Marshall.

Continuous listening to music at 65 dB (roughly the level of a loud conversation) has been proven to already cause hearing loss, although many do not perceive this as unbearable noise. Noise levels of 85 dB (a motorcycle with a silencer) and above lead to serious hearing impairment, and 120 dB (jackhammer) – to hearing loss and even deafness.

Pause for the ears

Sensory hairs in the inner ear are responsible for conducting the sound signal. “The cells of the inner ear have the ability to temporarily adapt to noise, but the protective mechanism is only activated if the noise is active for a short time,” the expert explains. For example, after an evening at a disco with loud music, you may notice that your hearing is a little dull.

The closer the sound source is to the ear, the more intense it is perceived. Therefore, loud music from headphones is much more harmful than music from speakers. “In a discotheque, it is possible to move away from the speaker, and in headphones, a loud sound directly affects the eardrum,” the doctor explains.

Therefore, vacuum earplugs are much more harmful than overhead ones. But whatever the headset, the ears should in any case be given a rest. “If you left a nightclub, do not immediately insert headphones into your ears, wait until morning,” the doctor urges.

How to prevent

Impaired hearing cannot be restored. But just at a young age, this problem is not given due importance and it is recognized too late, so that serious consequences often cannot be avoided. After all, the earlier a hearing impairment is determined, the easier it is to prevent its deterioration to partial or complete deafness.

“As a rule, you notice hearing loss not by yourself, but with the help of others: for example, when you misunderstand a question asked to you. The problem lies in the subjectivity of noise perception,” notes Ursula Marshall. Even quiet music interferes with someone, but for someone the volume always seems not enough. Therefore, it is better to ask others if they consider the sound level in your headphones to be normal.

The expert also gives other tips to keep your hearing sharp. When buying headphones, it is better to choose a model with active noise cancellation. They do not have to make the music louder, trying to drown out external sounds. In addition, it is worth considering whether you really need to listen to music at full capacity. Maybe a quiet background is enough?

Noisy cities

Hearing loss is a common problem in urban areas.