Earbuds continue to be in demand these days mainly because of the popularity of smartphones, mp3 players, tablets and of course, video games.

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For a great pair of in-line earbuds, you don’t have to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars (yes, there are earbuds that cost a fortune!). In fact, you can even buy one for just under $50, although that sounds contrary to the advice of experts who recommend buying earbuds in the $100 range.

While such a recommendation is generally right on the money, there’s one model that’s considered to be the exception to the condemnation of sub-$100 earbuds: the [easyazon_link asin=”B005HP3OB0″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”vicdor-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]SoundMAGIC E10 Noise Isolating In-Ear Earphones.[/easyazon_link]

We liked these earbuds so much that we didn’t even bother writing a roundup. The E10 easily wins the prize as the best earbuds under 50 bucks on the market.

But just how good is the E10?

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Specs

Driver: Dynamics10mm Neodymium Driver

Frequency range: 15Hz~22KHz

Impedance: 16±10% Ohms

Sensitivity: 100±2 dB at 1KHz/mW

Cable length: 1.2 m

Connection: Stereo 3.5mm, I style Gold-planted plug

Weight: 11 g

Price: $35

What else is there to talk about when it comes to price? Check out this quick video review of the Soundmagic E10 earbuds:

Well, some people are a bit wary about its rather low price because most often than not, low price equates to poor quality. But the E10 is both high quality and affordable. In fact, it has been emerged as the victor in the best earbuds under 50 category for the third year running by What Hi-Fi?Stuff magazine also hailed it as the best buy earbuds in its 2013 Christmas edition.

What’s more, the added benefit of more expensive earbuds may not make much sense on several counts. For one, value for money decreases. The E10 is already the audio equivalent of earbuds that are two or three times more expensive. You may find one that’s slightly better, but not at a slightly higher price. Instead, you may find one or two that are slightly better at twice the price at least.

There’s still the fact that if you use this outside your home, then in all probability you’re listening to mp3s. And mp3s are the bargain basement version of CD tracks in terms of quality. More expensive earbuds won’t really improve the sound of your music, because most of us won’t be able to tell the difference.

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Sound

Here is where reviewers tend to raid the thesaurus for synonyms of “great”. But the sound quality is precisely that—great. In fact, the sounds coming out of the E10 is better than what you can hear on more expensive models. The bass is absolutely solid and makes other earbud bass sound muddy in comparison.

You’ve got high volume clear, clear mids and highs, vocals and instrument separation. You get to hear sounds you’ve never noticed before when you used inferior earbuds. It’s a true aural pleasure, whether you like the thumping dance tunes or the more delicate acoustic songs.

So all in all, it sounds great. With this feature alone it’s already worth more than its price.

Comfort

Earbuds are generally much more comfortable than the bigger headphones. With earbuds you don’t have to carry a large weight around your head, your ears can really breathe, there’s no uncomfortable pressure on them, and you don’t mess your hair.

But with earbuds the critical factor is the fit in your ear, and that really depends on the shape of your ear. However, the SoundMAGIC has really tried to anticipate your needs by including 7 different foam tips for you to try on. If they don’t fit, then at least you still got enough in your budget to get new foam tips.

Mobility

The E10 comes with a shirt clip to use for the cable, and it also comes with an attractive case. It’s also quite durable since it’s made of metal, so there’s no plastic for you to worry about. Just be careful with the wires—they’re not like the telephone cord wires you may see on headphones.

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Drawbacks

As we mentioned in our roundup of gaming earbuds, for earbuds that cost less than $50, you have to expect some imperfections that may not be found on some of the pricier models. That’s to be expected, since SoundMAGIC had to find ways to cut down on costs.

Even though we consider the E10 to be the best earbuds under 50 far and away, we’ve gone ahead and grouped the cons all in their own category so you can see if the list contains any deal-breakers for you.

1. It doesn’t have a microphone. Quite a few reviewers think that with a mic this would have been absolutely perfect for any smartphone, but at this price range a mic is simply out of the question. It’s made for listening, after all, and not for speaking/talking. You can check out the [easyazon_link asin=”B005AUTSOY” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”vicdor-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Beyerdynamic MMX 101 iE in-ear headphones[/easyazon_link] for a great mic-enabled earbud, but that one costs three times the price of the E10!

2. It doesn’t completely block out the sound from the outside world, so you can’t really be in your own bubble. But for most people, it does block out the noise quite well enough especially if you choose the right foam tips. If none of the included foam tips is good enough for you, try to get the [easyazon_link asin=”B002NUJ2RM” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”vicdor-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Comply T 400 foam tips[/easyazon_link]. For some reviewers and E10 owners, there’s a significant noise isolation improvement brought by the Comply T 400 foam tips.

3. You may want to be careful with the wires. While they’re not any less tough than the wires on other earbuds, you might just forget about how delicate they are and end up damaging the wires.

4. As mentioned earlier the sound quality of the E10 is really good so you’ll probably wish you could use it for TV viewing. Alas, the cord is a measly 1.2 meters (just 4 feet) long, so watching TV with the E10 is out of the question.
The SoundMAGIC E10 is not perfect, but for the price, you really can’t complain.

In fact, a lot of those who have owned one say it’s not just the best pair of earbuds less than $50, but the best earbuds they’ve ever had.

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So, if you’re in the market for earbuds, try the E10 for yourself and we’re quite sure you’ll agree that no other pair of earbuds comes close in terms of sound quality. Unless you’re willing to spend more than a hundred dollars, that is!

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