Another in a long line of in-ear headphone models, the Thinksound TS02 In-Ear Headphones are distinctive in that the earbuds are not made of high-tech, spacecraft-grade hybrid materials, but are made of… old-fashioned wood.
Arguments can be made for the audiophile qualities of modern, exotic elements, but there are better and more considered arguments for the accurate, natural qualities of plain wood. After all, all the great musical instruments in the world are largely made of wood—Stradivarius violins, classical pianos, acoustic guitars and the like. Why not something made of wood to listen to these instruments, and to other wonderful things?
The TS02 is an in-ear canal model with the basic housing for the ear pods made of hand-crafted wood. Wood! The drivers are 8mm, and deliver a warm and balanced sound, with great bass, ever-present mids and detailed highs, and the wooden housing provides accurate audio reproduction. The in-canal configuration gives passive noise isolation that minimizes ambient sounds but doesn’t eliminate them entirely. The earbuds are plain and simple, and don’t have much to distinguish them by, but they’re great. It doesn’t have a mic/remote, but its tangle resistant, 4-foot-long PVC-free cable is lightweight and compact, with a nice, straight, gold-plated 3.5mm plug.
The headset comes with silicon ear inserts in four different sizes to accommodate the different shapes and sizes of listeners’ ears, a detachable cord clip (to minimize cable noise when doing rigorous activity), and has a small cotton carrying pouch to pack the entire shebang in. The ear inserts come in small, medium, large and XL, and are made of a softer-than-usual silicone material which doesn’t wear out your ears, and you can wear them a long time without any fatigue. The packaging is bio-degradable and recyclable, a nice touch which in line with its eco-friendly design ethic. The phones come in Silver Cherry or Black Chocolate varieties.
The earphones are made for iPhones, iPods, iPads, MP3 players, game consoles, tablets, computers, CD and DVD players and whatever else has a 3.5mm jack. It worked fine with my iPhone 4′s music app, although it had a bass response that was a little too strong for my taste. There was a discernible bassy overlay, and I don’t know if that’s because of the material they used for the housing, or a function of the smaller-than-usual 8mm drivers. Maybe I’ve been too used to the bigger drivers of some of the higher-end headsets I’ve been reviewing. But it’s a personal thing. Otherwise the earphones are fine.
If you’re looking for some in-ear canal earphones with nice passive noise isolation and all-around great sound reproduction, with the added benefit of handcrafted wood housing for the earpieces, you can’t go much wrong with the Thinksound TS02 In-Ear Headphones.
Availability: Beyond The Box, Digital Hub, Digital Walker branches
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