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AFUL MagicOne - This One is Magical?


In-Ear Monitors come a dime a dozen these days. There are so many options to choose from but every now and then one will come along that tries to stand apart from the rest. The MagicOne from AFUL is trying to stand apart with it's single BA driver configuration. Does the AFUL MagicOne give a magical experience?



The AFUL MagicOne will set you back $140 from your bank account.


I want to thank HifiGo for providing the AFUL MagicOne for review, much appreciated.

You can purchase here, currently on sale for $110 (non-affilated link):

I know what you are thinking, $140 is a lot for a single BA IEM. But before you dismiss the MagicOne completely, let's talk a little bit about it.


Specs: >Impedance: 38Ω.

>Sensitivity: 103dB/mW.

>Frequency Response: 5Hz-35kHz.


Features: AFUL Self-Developed Wide-Frequency Response Balanced Armature Driver

SE-Math Acoustic Technology:

Rear-Cavity Tube Design



The unboxing experience is rather bland. You get an AFUL branded hard-shell round plastic case. You also get two types of tips; generic white tips and then a more premium built blue (left) & red (right) tip.



I preferred the blue & red tip; it fit more securely, gave a better seal and sounded more cohesive.



The build and design of the AFUL MagicOne is quite unique. The shells are clear resin and you can see all the components inside very easily. The silvery white faceplate is inspired by snowflakes. There is some minor branding on the faceplate.



The shell is small and lightweight. There is a subtle wing on the back. The nozzle is angled quite aggressively and has a long length to it. You can see the unique rear cavity tube design. I find it to be fairly comfortable but that wing and aggressive angle do get uncomfortable after about an hour.




Outside noise isolation is rather good, I would guess about 70% of outside noises are blocked leaving only the louder stuff like the coffee grinder, vacuum and big vehicles to be heard.



The stock cable is quite nice. It's a Litz 4 designed oxygen-free copper & oxygen-free copper silver-plated cable with a 32+37 core wire configuration. The cable looks and feels premium and is well controlled. It doesn't tangle and has just the right amount of stiffness for my liking. The ear-hooks have a good amount of stiffness and do a good job of keeping the IEM secured around the ears.




The AFUL MagicOne is not that hard to drive. Most dongles, DAP's and desktop should be adequate to power the MagicOne. BUT they do respond well to a little bit extra juice so using them on a balanced dongle or DAP was rewarding.


What about the listening experience, how do the AFUL MagicOne sound?


Bass: The bass of the MagicOne is leaning toward neutral. The mid bass and upper bass is right along that line of where I would call neutral but with just a tad more elevation, but doesn't bleed into the lower mids. The sub bass has nice extension without any rolling. The rumble and grumble of the sub bass is not that prominent, but there is decent texture with good tone and timbre. The mid bass has enough punch and slam with nice texture but still doesn't grab hold and engage you. The upper bass has a little bit of slam and punch. Overall, the bass has quality tone and timbre that is natural and reproduces instruments and vocals accurately, but the note weight is a little thin. The bass doesn't grab you and keep you engaged as it lacks the power and body to dig down deep and let it rip. The bass leans neutral and is more about the details, resolution, tone and timbre.


Mids:

The mids of the MagicOne are the star of the show. The mids have a natural tone and timbre that accurately reproduces vocals and instruments. The mids aren't elevated or recessed, they are placed even and balanced with the rest of the mix. The mids note weight tends to be a little lean but not a featherweight. There is good air and space and every instrument and vocal has it's own space to move, but they all play together cohesively.


Treble: The treble of the MagicOne is a complimentary side-kick. The treble extends far and has excellent air and space. The treble stays in the neutral zone just like the bass and mids. The treble has enough energy and sparkle without being offensive. The treble's tone and timbre is natural and accurate. But, like the bass and mids the note weight is a bit on the thinner side.


The bass, mids and treble of the MagicOne are a pleasant surprise and an alternative from the more common v-shaped tunings of the price range. Even with the thinner note weight, the tone and timbre is natural and accurate and has enough engagement for a neutral tuned IEM.


Technical Abilities:

Stage:

The MagicOne stage isn't the widest but it doesn't sound cramped or intimate. The MagicOne does a good job of portraying different venue sizes from small, medium, large but it doesn't give that grand, massive size.

Imaging:

The imaging of the MagicOne is good. Images track across the stage smoothly and their origins can be easily identified. There is no stuttering, sputtering, slips, gaps or spaces as images move around the stage.


Placement:

The MagicOne isn't the most precise in placement but it does an adequate job. Images are placed in a small area but it isn't laser point accurately placed.


Detail Retrieval &Resolution: The MagicOne is adequate with detail retrieval. This is an area that I wasn't impressed or disappointed; it's just adequate. You won't miss a detail but you aren't going to be exploring new details.

The resolution of the details retrieved is good and there isn't any smearing, glaring or harshness unless they are already in the track.


Tone & Timbre: MagicOne took me by surprise in this area as I was expecting some metallic BA timbre. I am glad to report that I didn't hear it very often; every now and then it will be found in the mids and treble but those instances were very rare. The MagicOne has mostly natural tone and timbre. I do wish that there was just a tad more body to the mids & treble though.


Comparison:

I don't have any single BA IEM lingering around my office at the moment. But the MagicOne reminds me of an IEM I reviewed some time ago; the LetShuoer x GizAudio Galileo.

The Galileo and MagicOne are similar in a lot of ways, but the Galileo stands out a little more with a tad more note weight through out, little more bass impact and a little more sparkle and energy in the upper mids/lower treble region. The MagicOne extends better in the upper treble region and has more air and space but less sparkle and energy. Stage width, depth and layering are similar. Details and resolution are very similar as well. Tone and timbre, the edge goes to the Galileo as the body of notes has a little more heft.


Overall, the AFUL MagicOne is fantastic IEM. The single BA configuration is not often found in the IEM universe. The neutral leaning tuning is also not found often in this price range. The overall performance is remarkable considering it's a single BA. So if you are looking for something different, something with a neutral tuning and in the $150 price range then why not consider the AFUL MagicOne.


Does the AFUL MagicOne give a magical experience? I would say so, it's magically one of a kind.


I am not a professional sound engineer, producer, musician, or vocalist, etc. I have not done any scientific research, measurements, or in-depth testing of any kind; just my own listening, comparing and internet reading/research.  I have limited, real-life experience with recording, mixing and mastering gear.  I have been involved since my teenage years with various churches as an amateur sound booth technician.


Please take these thoughts, opinions and reasonings as just that, my honest audiophile thoughts, opinions and reasonings.

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