I do have discounted access to SoundMAGIC products, but regardless of what I paid, I think the Vento P55 V3 is an amazingly competitive headphone in the sub-150 € market. It hit the market almost unnoticed and is thus very underrated, so I though I’d write a short review.
SoundMAGIC Company History
SoundMAGIC is an ex-OEM company from China that had huge success when they released their own line of expertly tuned and affordable consumer IEMs. Their headphones have also been quite popular and were also successful when rebranded by better known headphone companies.
The Vento Background Story
The SoundMAGIC Vento has a bit of a history. Personally, I have never heard of the Vento until it was re-released recently. I found out that it was released as a high quality portable headphone many years before. The prototype impressed many before launch and was targeted to hit the market for ~250 €. Apparently, initial feedback was so overwhelming that the designer thought he could even further improve the Vento just days before production kicked off. Unfortunately, the changes were for the worse and the Vento 2.0 was sold in a disimproved state. Years passed and the expected hit did not kick off, piling up unsold stock.
Vento P55 V3.0
Lucky for us, SoundMAGIC went back to the drawing board and re-designed the P55 the way it should have been in the first place. The unsold stock was re-used and improved. This cut down costs significantly and we now can get the newest version for around 100 €. This is an absolute bargain!
Design and Comfort
The Vento has great build quality. The materials are quite premium and if they had replaced faux leather with lambskin, an asking price of 300-500 € wouldn’t even feel out of place. I like the mature and humble design language a lot. It’s not a flashy headphone, but it looks amazing when worn. I know, I know, an audiophile should not care for that. But secretly, I do. This is a headphone I proudly wear when stepping outside.
On-Ear or Over-Ear?
The ear cups are rather small due to the intended portable use. I was introduced to the Vento as an on-ear headphone. However, my average male ears fit really comfortable inside the ear pads. I have experimented with the fit for sound alterations and wouldn’t mind at all when the soft pads were partly on my ears. So if your ears don’t fit completely under the pads, I would not consider that a deal breaker.
I don’t have the P55 V2, so I cannot say what has changed exactly. But I am familiar with a large amount of the company’s products and the V3’s tuning does not surprise me but stands out for me in this case. From my experience, SoundMAGIC tries to always emphasize the sub-bass over mid and upper bass. This is also the case here. Midrange is just slightly warm and is accompanied by a forward but very smooth treble. There is a lot of presence on the extreme ends and the tonality can either go for warm or neutral depending on the music.
The Vento’s ear cups are almost flat. There is really not much space for the 40mm dynamic driver to move. But the bass just sounds absolutely fantastic! It’s evenly distributed with a slight tilt in favor to sub-bass. The Vento produces bass quality unequal of what you normally find in the price range. There is no bloat or distortion noticeable at all. Thanks to the great extension, the bass information is always complete and tight, yet mildly elevated to make the headphones enjoyable with all kinds of source material.
The midrange is tuned more neutral than what I would have expected from SoundMAGIC. Compared to studio monitors, the midrange is warm, but when put up against most headphones it is quite a bit more accurate in tonality. Vocals breathe life and the sound is detailed with superb speech intelligibility.
Vento means air. Yes, the Vento has plenty of it. The treble extension is phenomenal and puts shame to my Oppo PM-3 planar headphones. The high frequencies feel complete and detailed. The carried information seems like a lot, but there is no fault to the tuning. There are no peaks or any sharpness created from the P55 this time around.
The treble helps to create amazing width to the soundstage. The neutral-balanced tuning has good depth and layering. Voices and instruments are well separated. Despite the small form factor and good isolation, this headphone will not trigger claustrophobia.
I only wrote this article (slash review) to inform you about the Vento P55 V3 and its amazing value. I should not have any interest in “cheap” headphones anymore, have my demands continuously risen in the past years. But upon first auditioning the demo of the V3, I already knew I’d have to take one home and take a closer listen. I do not regret my purchase at all. It has become my preferred choice when I don’t feel like using IEMs or setting up a complex audio chain. The sound it produces from the integrated iPhone head-out or even the Nintendo Switch is nothing but great. I highly recommend these headphones!