Historically, I have been a fan of bulky, noise-canceling, over-ear headphones, but with my newfound commitment to traveling light, it was time for earbuds.
I did a lot of research looking for a new pair of headphones. A lot. Ultimately I decided to go with a pair of ts02+mic headphones from thinksound.
I finally decided to go with thinksound because 1) they are a small company who appear to be interested in producing quality products 2) they have already received stellar reviews on the sound/quality of their headphones, and 3) they minimize environmental impact with their products and packaging (although their headphones are manufactured in China).
I am a sucker for packaging.
Neat, organized, well thought out packing will always get me excited about a product before even trying it out, and thinksound does a great job presenting their products.
The wood finish looks quite fancy – almost to the point of making me worry about the ts02's durability.
The PVC-free cabling is advertised at “tangle-resistant”, but unfortunately sometimes temptations are difficult to resist. The cords still tangles, but generally the puzzle is easily solved (let's say 20 pieces, max?).
The headphones come with a carrying pouch which I have attempted to use (for the first time ever), instead of messily wrapping the cord around my devices.
Put To The Test
But who cares about packaging? Who cares about environmental impact? Who cares about baby seals and otters dying in the ocean. The real question is: how do they sound?
What's the first thing I do with new headphones? I check the bass (because beats, man, beats). Well, first I put them in/on/around my ears, and if successful, then I test the bass.
The verdict? Awesome. Not completely overblown like the god awful Beats by Dre (why, people, why?), and be no means subtle. The bass comes across crisp and clean – I am pleased.
The mids and highs sound are just as clean, although the highs sound a bit recessed at times. Better that than harsh and screechy, I suppose.
The sound leakage is minimal, even at higher volumes, so you don't have to worry about people on the bus/train/subway/street staring at you for being “that asshole” blasting J-Pop.
Overall I am not blown away to another dimension by the sound, but I am very happy with the quality.
Usually I don't use built-in mics on headphones. Not because I don't enjoy using them or because I can't find one with acceptable quality, but instead because I usually forget they are there.
Thinksound has helped me to remember.
I have been utilizing the built-in microphone and have heard no complaints regarding the quality or volume of my speaking voice (or singing voice, depending whom I am talking to). The mic also includes a button that can be used to play/pause music on many handheld devices (works running Kit Kat on a Nexus 5 at least).
I hope to never hold a phone to my face again (because what's more fun than looking like you are talking to yourself in public spaces?).
As of writing this review here is a list of devices compatible with the mic:
iPhone (5s, 5c, 5, 4s, 4, 3Gs, 3G), iPod, iPod Touch, iPod Nano, iPad, Macbook, Droid 3, Droid II, Droid X, Droid ERIS, HTC Droid Incredible, HTC Amaze, HTC Sensation 4G, HTC Thunderbolt, HTC EVO, HTC MyTouch, HTC G2, HTC Google Nexus 4, HTC Google Nexus One, HTC One S, LG Motion 4G, Samsung Galaxy S Advance, Samsung Galaxy Ace, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung S, Samsung S II, Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Fascinate, Blackberry z10, Blackberry (with 3.5mm standard headphone jacks only), Motorola A1600, Motorola Milestone, Motorola Atrix 4G and many more. Contact us if you want to know if your phone is compatible.
Not currently compatible with Motorola RAZR MAXX, Nokia Lumia 920 and 820.
Here are the product specifications according to thinksound:
- Microphone + call/music control
- Wooden housing
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Sensitivity: 99 ±3 dB @ 1KHz 1mW
- Impedance: 16 ohms
- Plug: 3.5mm gold plated stereo plug
- Driver Size: Acoustically enhanced 8mm driver
- Weight (Approximate): 10g
- Kevlar-reinforced, tangle-resistant 4 foot long cable
- Passive Noise Isolation
- Sweat-resistant design
- One (1) year limited warranty
Warranty And Returns
Thinksound offers a one year warranty guaranteeing their products “against defects in materials or workmanship”.
I am not a huge fan of the “one year warranty” since this is basically expected of products, and anything less would hinder marketability. It makes me a little uneasy when companies only guarantee their own materials and workmanship for one year; I interpret this as an attempt to add one more bullet point to the selling points, or a lack of faith in the product to perform consistently over time.
Headphones are prone to aggressive use and abuse by consumers, and since thinksound is still a small company I can see their argument for the one year warranty. But that doesn't mean it's okay.
As far as returns go, if you purchase from thinksound directly, then you have thirty days to return unopened merchandise. You are also required to pay return shipping (standard) and are subject to a 10% restocking fee. Really? A restocking fee? For unopened items? Yes, I know, it's horse shit.
Overall, I am quite happy with my purchase.
I have had better sounding headphones in the past, but I have also paid hundreds of dollars for that sound (and noise cancellation).
So do you need some new headphones? Check out the Thinksound ts02+mic Headphones.
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