We all know the logic: the larger the speaker, the better the bass. With headphones, this means that over-the-ear units are going to sound better than similar quality on-ear or earbud units. So I was really excited when I was offered the SoundMagic BT100s to test.
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The Soundmagic BT100s arrived in a semi-rigid case, along with a microUSB and .125″ AUX cable and a sheet of instructions. The earcups fold up into the cushioned headband for travel, and the whole unit is very compact.
If you use the case, it’s a little larger, but you can carry along the cables and some other small things in the net pocket in the lid. This may be important because I found that the cables are not standard. Both jacks are extra long, in order to connect to the recessed ports on the earcup. This was the most infuriating part of the whole unit. I’m not sure why they would build something that can’t use a standard cable, either for audio or for charging. It’s the single reason I can’t recommend the headphones, no matter how good they sound. Who cares if they sound great, if you can’t connect or charge the batteries because you lost or broke or forgot the cables?
It is a short, solid arm that extends 1.5″ from the left earcup, and is a great point of reference when you’re reaching for the multifunction button to stop/start sound, change pairing, or turn the headset on/off. I found the system produced clear sound using the phone or Siri or taking voice memos. Across the back of the left earcup are the track change buttons, and, up on the upper rear side, are the volume control buttons. The AUX cable plugs into the lower side of the same earcup, and the power/charge cable plugs into the front side of it.
The large earcups house great speakers but are also very comfortable.
I was able to easily sync the BT100s with my iPhone 6s Plus, with my iPads, and with the Hammo TV headphones I reviewed a while back. I did have an issue with the first unit I was shipped, where the Bluetooth connection stopped working in the right channel. Wired connections were fine, and I thought for a while that I had somehow changed a setting, and checked out the online support for information. I sent in a ticket and waited a week or more with no reply. We finally contacted the PR company and got a second set, but as far as the SoundMagic support desk is concerned, I’m still out here with a busted headset. I’ll let you know if I ever hear back from them.
As fine as the sound is for the cans, I can’t recommend them, due to nonexistent support and proprietary cables. But if you’re willing to take a chance, they are comfortable and deliver full, rich, deeply textured sounds from movies, games, and music on both wired and wireless connections.