Thinksound TS02 wooden in-ear headphones review

In-ear headphones that look gorgeous and sound even better
Photo of Thinksound TS02 wooden in-ear headphones
£50

Most of the kit that turns up at IT Reviews comes from big multi-national companies, but speakers and headphones are among the few areas in which smaller companies can seriously compete.

Thinksound is essentially a couple of guys in New Hampshire, USA, with the goal of producing headphones with the smallest eco-footprint possible. This explains the use of wood in the earpieces. The packaging is made from recycled materials and there’s even a dinky canvas bag to store the headphones in. It’s commendable stuff, but does seem a little gimmicky. After all, in-ear headphones aren’t really a huge part of an individual’s carbon footprint.

Superb audio quality
Regardless, the bottom line is that these are superb headphones. Build quality is excellent, and there are four pairs of silicone tips in different sizes to ensure an airtight fit, which reduces external noises. A small lapel clip is included to help minimise rumbles travelling up the cable while walking or exercising – a common problem for this type of headphones – although as usual it was only moderately successful.

We expect high quality from £50 headphones, but the TS02 exceeded our expectations. We compared them to a pair of over-ear headphones – the Audio Technica ATH-ANC7, which cost around £100. This is a comparison that brings most in-ear headphones to their knees, including some that cost a lot more than £50, but the TS02 held up extremely well. It couldn’t quite match the Audio Technica set for openness but it held its own for precision and detail. Bass was extremely full-bodied without sounding overly tuned, and without us feeling the urge to reach for the player’s EQ controls.

Company: Thinksound

Website: http://www.thinksound.com/

Contact: AdvancedMP3Players on 0131 443 8545

Positives
  • Superb sound quality; keenly priced.
Negative
  • In-ear design isn't ideal for exercise.

Verdict

It's rare to find in-ear headphones with this level of clarity, detail and bass response, and even rarer at this price. £50 isn't small change but anyone considering a new MP3 player would be better off skimping a little on the player in order to splash out on headphones like these - that's where the biggest potential for improvement lies.