Priced almost identically at just under Rs. 3000, SoundMAGIC E50S and the RHA S500 directly compete against each other. Each has its own set of trump cards to play the game.
The offerings come from names which have earned a legendary reputation in the recent past. SoundMAGIC and RHA, both have a few titles in the bag for some of the best earphones in the market.
Will this be a close battle that goes down to the wire, or a easy pickings? Read ahead to find out:
The design is not a classic RHA aerophonic one, but still has a clean and neat presentation which looks just as good. There’s only one finish, which is in brushed aluminum. It's elegantly styled with a brushed aluminum finish. This all metal construction feels really sturdy, even more so than the E50S or any other earphone in the price.
The cable is a quality one with part of it in clothed fabric and the remaining in high quality TPE polymer to keep the cable noise down while having a long lasting unit at the same time. Safe to say it works, the cable noise was much better attenuated than the E50S. In all honesty, this is the finest cable in this price segment.
The fit is excellent, it’s like RHA scanned your ear canals to design an earphones that just slide in. The lightweight construction further helps is making them the earphone to jam in for hours, pain and strain free.
The noise isolation is among the best in this price. If there’s a contender to match the accessories offering of the E50S, it has to be the S500. With eight pair of silicone eartips presented in a stainless steel plate and a neat carrying pouch, there’s everything you need. The overall presentation and the packaging is striking, and this hardly feels like an 3000 rupee product.
While not the prettiest looking pair out there, for the price, it’s a decent design. There are design resemblances with the E10, but this design is more subtle with less gloss. The color finish is of high quality, which makes the color pop out in a striking way, especially the red. The all metal build only adds to that subtle look.
The cable is braided and of high quality. Even the headphone jack and the microphone remote are assembled with metal housings. Build quality wise, they are impeccable.
Comfort is a key strength of these ear buds, their profile is tapered from the back to the eartips. This ergonomic design enables it to be fitted very properly. While they aren’t lightweight or ideal for long hours, they do fine for the price. The seal achieved is a good one and as a result the noise isolation is very good, if not the best. Supplied memory foam tips only enhance the fit and noise isolation when used with the earphones.
Cable noise is an issue though, not the worst of the cases, but it is bothersome to a slight extent. The set of accessories on offer is surprisingly high and probably the highest in its class, starting from seven pairs of eartips, a pair of memory foam tips, a shirt clip and a very high quality semi-hard carrying case.
Unlike the E50s, the S500's sound signature can be described as very fun and bright sounding.
The bass is robust and forward, being thunderous and not distorting at even very high volumes. Despite the bass being powerful, it doesn't overwhelm the other frequencies. Mostly because the highs are another shining aspect of the S500. The S500 sculpts the higher frequencies quite a bit, so there's a decent sense of balance between the lows and highs.
However, the mids aren't as refined and detailed as the E50s. And the overall so is also not as accurate as the latter. T he sound signature is a bit warm and slightly tilted towards electronic music, but is still well suited to rock and melodic tracks.
Having said that, these are probably the best in their class for casual listeners and music enthusiasts.
What that means is that the lows are meaty but not overpowering. The mids are slightly warm but have good presence and are rich in detail. The highs are untouched, aren’t emphasized, which isn’t to say they lack sparkle, the highs have shimmer and texture too.
Overall this is a very mature tuning, a smooth balanced sound is the end result which is rather impossible to find in this price range. The soundstage is also an exception for the price, there’s a sense of space, and the presentation is open and lively. Although they lack the fun and charm that the S500 has in spades, this is undoubtedly the most accurate and audiophile grade in-ears at this price range.
Too put in simple terms, the S500 has a comparatively fun and bass forward (but not overwhelming) sound signature that is excellent for casual listening.
If you're an audiophile looking for balanced and accurate sound signature, then the E50s is the way to go.
Which earphones do you prefer? Do let us know in the comments below!
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