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Home / Hot Stuff / Audio / Why SoundMagic’s cheap E80D wired earbuds promise better sound quality than rivals

Why SoundMagic’s cheap E80D wired earbuds promise better sound quality than rivals

In-ears promise superior sound to budget Bluetooth 'buds for very little outlay

Soundmagic E80D hot stuff

Affordable audio specialist SoundMagic was my go-to wired alternative to the basic wired headphones bundled with most smartphones, before AirPods and true wireless took over. Now it’s back with a new budget-friendly pair, the SoundMagic E80D, which packs USB-C instead of 3.5mm. That should mean near-universal compatibility with your tech – even if you’re an Apple fan.

It’ll play nicely with four iPhone 15 models without needing to mess about with dongles of adapters, as well as Android phones, tablets, laptops and gaming handhelds. A wired connection means zero latency, so there’ll be no audio sync issues when watching videos or playing games. With power coming from your connected device, you won’t have to worry about running out of battery mid-playlist either. Funny how things we took for granted a few years back are now worth highlighting.

A built-in DAC supports 24-bit/96kHz hi-res playback, which bests most Bluetooth buds available for similar cash. It’ll make all the difference if you’ve got a music library that mainly consists of FLAC files, or a Tidal streaming subscription. SoundMagic’s redesigned 10mm dynamic drivers then promise “engaging and dynamic” audio. It also uses the same silver-plated copper cable tech as the Soundmagic E11D, for minimal interference and signal quality concerns.

The built-in microphone should bring better voice call quality than any pair of Bluetooth earbuds, and will work with your phone’s voice assistant too. A three-button in-line remote handles playback without having to fish your device out of a pocket every time you want to skip tracks.

As well as superior sound quality and no need to charge, a wired pair of earphones won’t eventually become e-waste – a real concern for true wireless earbuds with non-removable batteries.

The SoundMagic E80D is on sale right now via Amazon, for $46/£40, in gunmetal grey.

Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor


A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming

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