Thinksound TS01 Review

4


Reviewed May 2010

Details: The cheaper of Thinksound’s two wooden IEMs, the TS01 boasts enhanced bass response over the higher-end Rain
MSRP: $74.99 (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: $45 from Amazon.com
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16 Ω | Sens: N/A | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 4’ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: Comply T/Tx400
Wear Style: Over-the-ear or straight down

Accessories (3/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (4 sizes), shirt clip, and unbleached cotton drawstring pouch
Build Quality (4/5) – The wooden housings are accented by machined-aluminum nozzles. Combined with the etched L/R markings and general attention to detail, the Thinksounds have a very upmarket feel. The short strain reliefs are functional and the rubberized cable, despite being rather thin, doesn’t tangle much. The 3.5mm I-plug is well-relieved and sturdy. Mild driver flex is present
Isolation (3/5) – Fairly average due to massive rear vent
Microphonics (4/5) – Slightly bothersome when worn cord-down, very low worn over-the-ear
Comfort (4.5/5) – The housings of the TS01 are very small and taper towards the rear, cradling snugly in the ear. The TS01 is one of the few straight-barrel IEMs I can actually sleep in, which says quite a lot. The short strain reliefs are conducive to cord-up fitment

Sound (6.5/10) – Like the slightly cheaper Woodees IESW101B, the sound of the Thinksound TS01 is lush and full, with accented bass and warmed-up mids. The TS01 have better low-end extension, more convincing timbre, and better texturing than the Woodees, resulting in an even more full-bodied low end response. The hefty low end imparts a bit of coloration and warmth on the midrange, making it sound lush and sweet. The midrange is a bit veiled compared directly to the flatter and more even-sounding Woodees but in the context of the Thinksounds sound it is nothing to complain about. Like the Woodees, the Thinksounds exhibit some unevenness in the upper midrange and lower treble, leading to mild sibilance and a tiny bit of harshness. Occasionally the crack of a drum is really jarring with the TS01, more so due to the contrast with the extremely smooth and liquid nature of the bass and lower mids. Using foam tips helps soak up some of the roughness in the upper reaches. The treble is fairly prominent on the Thinksounds but not as bright as with the Woodees. The Thinksounds also boast impressive soundstage depth, resulting in a more ‘layered’ sound and greater dimensionality, but overall the TS01 is definitely an intimate-sounding earphone, which actually works rather well with the sound signature.

Value (8/10) – With its enhanced bass response, warm midrange, and intimate presentation, the ThinkSound TS01 presents a very coherent sonic picture that’s sure to appeal not only to audiophiles but to casual music listeners as well. Very comfortable and surprisingly well-built, the TS01 also competes well on the functionality front. Thinksound’s environmental angle adds value to the proposition but even those who don’t care are still getting a great set of earphones at a reasonable price.

Pros: Great aesthetics and attention to detail, solid performance, environmentally-friendly design & packaging
Cons: Mild driver flex, can be slightly sibilant with silicone tips


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

4 Comments

  1. Sean on

    Hi Joker! My beloved TS01s broke recently and I was looking at possibly the Fischer Silver Bullets or the Sennheiser Momentum for replacement. Looking for a bit of an upgrade on sound and I was wondering if you have any recommendations on these two or any other IEMs for under around $75 (right now I saw momentums are at $80 but i’m willing to stretch a bit). I listen to a lot of alternative / pop / rock music.

    I had the Visang R01s in the past and loved those before upgrading to the TS01s, and I have tried the Xears TDIII and although they sounded like very high quality headphones, the bass was far far too much for me.

    Thank you so much for all your help with this community, keep up the fantastic work!

    • ljokerl on

      Silver Bullets might be hard to find these days and the Momentum is a little on the mid-recessed side compared to the TS01, but a good value with a $75 budget as long as you don’t mind the sound tuning. If you were buying them at full price I’d say look at the Alpha & Delta AD01 (http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/alpha-delta-ad01-in-ear-earphone-review/) instead for a slightly more balanced sound, but with a $75 budget they may be a bit of a stretch.

  2. laurance on

    hello!

    I’m tossing up between these and the steelseries flux. I know that the steelseries will probably have better sound but the aesthetics of the thinksound are beautiful.
    I’m looking for somewhat punchy bass as I listen primarily to electronic/drum’n’bass/indie, would I be much better with the steelseries or could I get away with these?

    thanks!

    • ljokerl on

      Luckily, these may well be just as good for what you want as the Flux. The Flux is definitely the better reference earphone with more balanced and accurate sound and smoother treble but doesn’t have as much bass punch as the TS01, nor does it sound as lively and exciting. For electronic especially, it’s likely you’ll get just as much enjoyment out of the TS01.

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