The Aful brand continues its stride in the in-ear monitor market, introducing the Aful MagicOne IEM alongside successful predecessors like the Performer 5 and Performer 8. Aful has ventured into the realm of single balanced armature (BA) drivers with the MagicOne, backed by three years of meticulous research. In this review, we delve into the auditory realm to uncover the performance of the Aful MagicOne.
Design and Build Quality
The Aful MagicOne exhibits an elegant design, following a Snow White color theme. The faceplate boasts a snow-like material with glittery nuances, adorned with a snowflake pattern on one side and the MagicOne branding on the other. The transparent inner shell allows a glimpse of the balanced armature driver, Nautilus Acoustic Maze tube design, and other electronic components. The high-quality soft TPE material of the outer stock cable complements the IEM color, and Aful includes a metal circle carry case, though personal preferences may lean towards leather. Overall, the build and design mirror the excellence seen in Aful's previous in-ear earphones.
Comfort and Fit
The medium-sized shell of the Aful MagicOne, akin to the Performer 5, ensures comfort during wear, offering excellent isolation. Lightweight and premium in feel, the shell is accompanied by decent-quality provided ear tips. Personal preference might sway towards alternatives like the SpinFit W1 for an optimal fit. The Aful MagicOne proves to be an ideal choice for both indoor and outdoor users.
Before we delve into the auditory realm, let me walk you through my setup and observations. Equipped with a 3.5mm audio jack, my Aful MagicOne IEMs encouraged me to explore further with a 4.4mm balanced cable. These in-ear monitors are power-hungry, and while the 3.5mm jack provides a commendable performance, the true potential unfolds with the 4.4mm, where you can distinctly sense the scaling up of performance. My exploration extended to personal cables with pure copper and pure silver cores, enhancing the experience. Throughout this review, my audio journey was facilitated by the Questyle M15 DAC and the Sony NW-ZX707 Digital Walkman player.
"While immersed in the Aful MagicOne, it felt akin to listening to the HiFiMAN Sundara in the form of in-ear monitors."
On the Aful MagicOne, the bass resonates with a rumbly, fast, and balanced character. The midrange exhibits clarity and texture, while the treble showcases detail, sparkle, and a musical quality. The soundstage widens, and imaging becomes precise, contributing to a holistic auditory experience. The overall tonality is natural, maintaining a smooth consistency across all frequencies. It strikes a harmonious balance, residing comfortably in the middle ground between thickness and thinness.
Contrary to expectations from a single BA, the Aful MagicOne surprises with its rumbly and balanced bass. The speed is commendable, providing an enjoyable experience. The well-balanced quantity is neither too low nor too high, aligning with Aful's philosophy of quality over quantity.
The vocals on the Aful MagicOne are impressive, offering clarity and capturing nuances with precision. The midrange delivers the right amount of weight, allowing the textured and realistic tone of singer voices to shine. The separation in busy tracks is excellent, making it an ideal choice for those inclined towards vocals-centric music.
The treble is well-tuned, maintaining a smooth yet sparkly presentation with ample detail. The separation and layering, combined with a wide and airy presentation, contribute to an overall great treble performance at the asking price.
Soundstage & Imaging:
The Aful MagicOne provides a wide soundstage and precise imaging, creating a holographic presentation for a more immersive experience.
Value and Competition
The Aful MagicOne IEM commands a price tag of ₹13,490 in India, inviting a closer look into its value proposition and competition. While I've personally not explored many single BA IEMs in this price range, I find it fitting to draw a comparison with a single dynamic driver counterpart, the Sennheiser IE 200.
Aful MagicOne vs. Sennheiser IE 200:
Both the Aful MagicOne and the Sennheiser IE 200 stand out as excellent single-driver IEMs, offering an enticing audio experience. Distinguishing between the two, I noted that the IE 200 leans towards a more spacious and warm sound profile. In the realm of bass, the MagicOne excels with faster and cleaner delivery, while the IE 200 boasts a bit more powerful bass.
Moving to the midrange, both IEMs impress with their performance. However, the IE 200 places its midrange in a manner that feels slightly distant, creating a unique sonic atmosphere. On the contrary, the MagicOne positions its midrange closer to the listener, offering a more intimate encounter with the music.
In the treble domain, both contenders exhibit smooth and musical qualities. The MagicOne, though, takes the lead with a crisper and faster treble response compared to the IE 200. Additionally, the IE 200 imparts a thicker sound, providing a distinct tonal character.
Summing up, both the Aful MagicOne and the Sennheiser IE 200 emerge as outstanding IEMs, each with its unique sonic signature. The choice between them boils down to personal preferences, as the MagicOne delivers a faster and cleaner bass, more intimate midrange placement, and a crisper treble, while the IE 200 offers a spacious warmth and a slightly more powerful bass.
Ultimately, it's a journey of personal preference, and your choice will hinge on the sonic nuances that resonate with your individual taste. Whether you lean towards the rhythmic precision of the MagicOne or the warm expansiveness of the IE 200, both IEMs promise an exceptional auditory experience at this price point.
Pros and Cons
|Safe tuning for all
|Clear and textured midrange
|Detailed and smooth treble
|Wide soundstage with accurate imaging
|Well-built IEM with good accessories
|Well-researched and engineered
As my first experience with a single BA IEM, the Aful MagicOne exceeded expectations, delivering an immersive sound experience. Whether you seek reference and balanced sound or are a discerning audiophile, the Aful MagicOne deserves consideration for its well-tuned and reasonably priced offering. Power them adequately, and prepare for a magical experience. Whether you're a casual music listener, audiophile, gamer, or meditator, the Aful MagicOne caters to your audio needs.
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