[SOLVED!] The Battle For Superiority: Cowon EM1 Vs. Soundmagic ES18


Thanks to their well-designed features and tip-top performance, Cowon EM1 and SoundMAGIC ES18 manage to occupy the top positions in many earphone reviews. The success of both earphones have resulted in heated discussions and debates about Cowon EM1 Vs. Soundmagic ES18.  

Attracted to the reputation of Cowon EM1 and SoundMAGIC ES18 but have difficulty bringing yourself to choose one over the other? In that case, our article can help you resolve your dilemma. Down below is a comprehensive review that analyzes aspects of both earphones including design, comfort, sound quality, noise isolation, …. Read to the end to determine which model suits your needs and requirements.

Introduction To Cowon And Soundmagic

  • Cowon, a South Korean company, is renowned for its high-quality audio products and has a strong reputation for delivering exceptional sound performance. Cowon EM1 is a testament to their commitment to producing top-notch earphones with a focus on balanced sound and stylish design. 
  • SoundMAGIC, on the other hand, is a British audio brand known for its dedication to audio excellence at affordable price points. SoundMAGIC ES18 exemplifies its mission by offering impressive sound quality with an emphasis on powerful bass response. 

An Analysis Of The Earphones 

Cowon EM1Soundmagic ES18
Connector3.5mm Audio Jack3.5mm Stereo Mini Plug
Frequency Range20Hz – 22000Hz15Hz – 22000Hz
Cable Length1.2m1.2m


In terms of design, Cowon EM1 boasts a sleek and minimalistic design so it won’t make people feel uncomfortable during extended use. Meanwhile, the SoundMAGIC ES18 sports a conventional design that gives a good account of itself for the most part. The bulky design of the magic SoundMAGIC may hamper handling a bit but it’s not serious. 


Both Cowon EM1 and SoundMAGIC ES18 feature durable cables with gold-plated plugs that enhance longevity. Cowon EM1 features a slim yet durable cable, offering a lightweight and consistent audio connection. Despite its slim profile, the EM1’s cable is robust enough to withstand regular wear and tear. The tangle resistance of the cable from the Cowon headphones is solid too which is nice. 

In the case of SoundMAGIC ES18, its cable is thin and small in diameter so it’s susceptible to breakage if excessive force is applied. Nevertheless, the cable is resilient enough to withstand regular everyday usage. 

Comfort, Fit, And Noise Isolation

Cowon EM1 as well as SoundMAGIC ES18 put an emphasis on user comfort. While Cowon EM1 is comfortable for most users, it may not fit securely for all individuals, making it more prone to falling out during vigorous activities. Due to the fitness issue, even though Cowon EM1 offers decent noise isolation, it may not be on the same level as the ES18. 

On the other hand, the SoundMAGIC ES18 stands out in terms of ergonomics. It comes alongside a variety of ear tips, allowing users to find the perfect fit that provides both security and comfort. Because of that, the ES18 provides good passive noise isolation, effectively blocking out ambient sounds and allowing users to immerse themselves in their music.


All in all, Cowon EM1 and SoundMAGIC ES18 perform admirably in their respective price ranges though they still lack the treble. Cowon EM1 delivers a balanced and detailed sound, ensuring clear mids and highs as well as adequate bass response. As a whole, the sound from the Cowon earphones is well-tuned and should let you enjoy a wide range of music genres. 

About SoundMAGIC ES18, since it leans towards a slightly bass-heavy sound profile, it’s an appealing choice for bass enthusiasts. The soundstage is notably superior to that of the Cowon EM1, allowing for precise discernment and differentiation of the instruments being played in the music However, the ES18’s overall sound quality may lack the same level of refinement and clarity as the EM1.


Cowon EM1 contains a built-in microphone that allows users to take calls conveniently without removing the earphones. It also includes a multifunction button for music playback control, adding convenience to the overall user experience. For SoundMAGIC ES18, it does not have an in-line microphone or playback controls. It focuses solely on audio performance and makes no provision for additional features.


All things considered, Cowon EM1 and SoundMAGIC ES18 won’t let people down in the course of operation. Cowon EM1 excels in terms of balanced sound, detailed audio reproduction, and additional features like the built-in microphone. On the other hand, SoundMAGIC ES18 provides a superior fit, bass-heavy sound signature and unmatched noise isolation. Ultimately, the choice between these earphones depends on individual preferences and priorities.