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thinksound on1 Supra-Aural On-Ear Monitor Wooden Headphone

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #138 in Over-Ear

Posted

Pros: Warm, rich, detailed overall; solid articulate bass, very comfortable, nicely made

Cons: Excessive ibilance with stock cables

This is an UPDATE of my original review.  Listening further, experimenting,

taking suggestions from the comments.

 

My original rating was 3.5, because these headphones do - as noted - display

clearly audible sibilance wherever it can possibly occur.  

 

Some comments suggested using aftermarket cables, and I did so.

The sibilance disappeared.

 

Most recently, I've been using these with a plain cable offered by V-Moda.

Straight, light, and reasonably priced.  (I tried 5 different cables in all.)

 

While IMO thinksound has to bear responsibility for bundling a cable

with these headphones that degrades their quality, the fact is that

aftermarket cables are widely available - and thinksound did "think"

to use a standard 3.5mm input, allowing the use of many different

cables.

 

And, with the V-Moda cable (and others mentioned in the comments

below), these headphones sound superb, easily holding their own

sonically with any of the competition.  Rich, warm sound, highly

detailed, great dynamics, and a superior soundstage.  

 

They're also very comfortable - one of the more comfortable

on-ear designs I've worn.  

 

They have a solid feel, and the wood earcups look terrific.

 

At $260.00 or so there's plenty of competition - e.g. the Beyer T51p,

the NAD HP50, the KEF 500.  But the onOne's compete very well

indeed.  I recommend listening to them if at all possible (with an

aftermarket cable at the ready).

 

And withal, I'm raising my original 3.5 rating to 4.5.

 

Comments, jeers, cheers, all welcome.

 

 

ORIGINAL review follows:

 

 

 

It will be a short review.

 

Sibilance.

 

I was excited to find these headphones, since I had use for a closed on-ear set of reasonably high quality.

I had the Senn Amperiors, but IMO their bass was too much.

I'd had the Senn HD25 1 II, but the clamping pressure was too tight for me - also, soundstage was small.

Looked at the new aluminium Senn HD25, but they didn't seem to be 'wowing' anyone at $329.

KEF 500 looked OK, but I noticed the pads are flat - and flat pads generally bother my ears (physically).

B&W P5, P7 - thought I was paying too much for bling type materials e.g. leather (plus the name).

(I happen to be a fan of B&W speakers, own them, (2 pairs).

 

Then I saw these Thinksound headphones, which I remembered vaguely from a review.

 

Bought them (brand new).

 

Initially, out of the box, I was delighted.

They did pretty much everything well.

Sounded bigger than most closed headphones,

beautiful and very nicely made,

a rich sonorous sound through and through.

Punchy dynamic bass (perhaps even slightly too much for some listeners),

smooth, coherent; soft yet detailed treble.

 

The cord was microphonic but with all I'd looked at, it seemed nitpicking.

I figured I'd probably just get another cord.

 

And then > :eek:

 

Sibilance!  On one of my top test albums, one Id listened to hundreds (thousands) of times

Female, mezzo, "s"

 

Then I heard it again, this time on a "t"

 

Not happy about that.

 

Listened to a couple more albums that I use for testing and know very well,

...sibilance on every one.

And not a small, "I can live with that" sibilance,

but a strong, "Here I am" sibilance.

 

After burning in the headphones for about 10 hours,

I listened to them again for a few days off and on

using a different playback system.  

Specfically, a DX50 > O2 (FLAC files only).

 

It was a bit frustrating because the headphones continued

to sound great but for that blasted sibilance.

 

Reluctantly, I've packed them up and

will return them to the seller on Monday.

Posted

Pros: sound quality, aesthetics, detachable cable, sustainable philosophy, comfort, headband durability

Cons: stock (braided and therefore textured) cables can be noisy if rubbed against fabric (ex. shirt collar), can be uncomfortable when worn with glasses

These headphones sound very precise and balanced. You will hear your music as it was recorded, mixed, and mastered which is the approach I prefer to trying to find headphones that try to EQ things for you. I listen mostly to metal, jazz, synthpop, and instrumental music and the On1s have impressed me in everything I've tried. They can get very loud when powered from a PC and sound great straight from my Nexus 5. The wood used to make the cups is very beautiful and pleasant to the touch. They change color slightly depending on viewing angle and lighting which is cool; much more classy than red and white plastic. The headband is comfortable and quite durable; you can find a youtube video of it being stretched and twisted to no ill effect. The included cables are also pretty. The one with the inline pause/play and microphone works well for phone calls/skype when used with a smartphone. They also did a decent job of muffling noise while I listened to podcasts on a flight recently. Strictly passive noise cancelling obviously, which may vary in effectiveness depending on the size and shape of your ears.

Some things to note: they are quite comfortable but can cause some irritation if you wear glasses with them for long periods of time. I've found that moving my glasses up a bit sidesteps that issue. This issue is inherent to on-ear headphones, so nothing against this model in particular. While the braided cables are pretty they can cause some noise when rubbed against other fabric surfaces, such as my shirt collar when I'm sitting at my desk at work. This can be avoided by using a different non-braided cable or by not wearing shirts with collars I suppose.

Ultimately I think these headphones are worth the money as they sound, look, and feel great. Those who appreciate quality, unbiased sound across wide varieties of music and portability will find their money well spent on the On1s.

Posted

Pros: Beautiful wood finish, warm detailed sound, excellent soundstage size

Cons: On ear headphones are never comfortable for longer sessions, some of the plastic finishes don't look great

Thinksound is a company that’s focussed on sustainable and environmentally conscious headphones. In fact, they even offer a recycling program for headphones with a bonus if you recycle their headphones, but I doubt you’ll be doing that any time soon with the On1s – you’ll be hanging on to these puppies with everything you’ve got!

 

Overview

 

Thinksound’s On1 headphone is a foldable, portable, closed, on-ear design that retails for roughly $350 (AUD).

 

  • Frequency response:  5 – 22,000 Hz
  • Impedance:  50 ohms
  • Drivers:  40mm dynamic
  • Cables:  4.5 feet (2 equal length cable options with / without phone mic and remote)

 

At $350, the On1s are competing with some outstanding competition from the likes of AKG, Sennheiser, Beats, Kef, Focal, and various other brands, but they more than hold their own with their sound and offer something unique with their striking timber finish.

 

Design & Comfort

 

Other than the wooden cups, Thinksound On1 with accessoriesthe design of the On1s is not particularly special, but that’s not a knock on them so much as a simple statement of fact. They are a fairly traditional design with a simple, adjustable headband and swiveling and folding cups, and that’s about it. The wooden cups are engraved with the Thinksound logo, but other than that these headphone don’t really stand out as looking like $300+ headphones – they’re not blingy or flashy and that’s fine by me because they won’t draw attention to themselves or to you and that means you’ll be left in peace to simply enjoy the wonderful sounds caressing your ears.

 

Some may find the basic looks and finish of the plastics in the On1s to be a bit of a turn-off, but I would definitely encourage you to take a listen before letting that dissuade you. The finish isn’t poor in my opinion, but it also isn’t polished in the manner of something like a Sennheiser Momentum or Beyerdynamic DT1350. The fact that I’m reviewing the On1s though, and not those other products, tells you how much the finish impacts the overall enjoyment of these headphones thanks to their adequate finish and the exceptional quality of their sound.

 

Accessories

 

The On1s are supplied with a carry pouch made of a natural cotton along with 2 different cables, both of which are high quality, Kevlar reinforced affairs that feel high quality and resist tangling very well.

 

You can purchase replacement ear pads from Thinksound if required, but that’s really the only other accessory I can think of for the On1s.

 

Foldability

 

Thinksound On1The On1s are designed with earcups that swivel to sit flat and also fold inward towards the headband. This means that they can be swiveled and folded into quite a small package. All the joints and moveable parts feel sturdy and solid despite being plastic so the end result is a compact, robust portable headphone that fits nicely in a bag. My only complaint about the folding design is that when the headphones are placed flat on a desk they are the wrong way around. What I mean is that the left earcup ends up on the right hand side if you lay the headphones flat on a table with the padded side down (see images). This is a really minor issue, but it does mean you have to turn the headphones around when you pick them up to put back on your head. It’s not a deal breaker, but I’d much prefer if they just swiveled in the other direction.

 

Comfort

 

Comfort with the On1s is pretty good, but they’re still an on-ear so I do find they physically fatigue my ears after an hour or two. Design-wise I think they’re just right from a comfort point of view – they use nice soft, memory foam pads and a good level of clamping force so they’re about as good as an on-ear can ever be and there’s no way to make a headphone this portable if it’s over-ear so no complaints here.

 

Cables

 

I’ve already described the Kevlar reinforced cables so the only other things to mention are that Thinksound cleverly kept the phone controls simple enough that they work with most phones, including Windows phones!

 

The cables are a good length at 4.5 feet (roughly 1.3m) and use a simple 3.5mm mini jack so you can very easily replace the stock (non phone control) cable if you want to. You can see the 3.5mm socket on the right ear cup (shown on the left in many of the photos due to that folding issue I mentioned).

 

Sound

 

Thinksound On1This is the bit that really sold me on the On1s, but, if I’m completely honest, the first time I heard them I wasn’t particularly impressed. That was my error, not theirs. The overall sound of the On1s is quite smooth so their quality may not jump out at you on first listen, but relaxing into their slight warmth will reward you with a purely enjoyable experience of accurate, detailed sound presented in an endlessly listenable manner so give them a moment and sink in…

 

Bass

 

The On1s go deep, very deep.

 

One of my favourite test tracks for bass is A Thousand Years from Sting’s “Brand New Day” album and the On1s very accurately convey the massive, sub-bass rumble to start the track and then display appropriate control over the bass line as the song continues. They’re not quite as refined as a top-of-the-line full-size headphone, but the simple fact that they’re close enough to consider that comparison is testament to their very impressive bass performance.

 

Another track I threw at the On1s is Morning from Beck’s “Morning Phase” album because it presents the challenge of some long, held bass notes at the same time as some drum hits for shorter bursts of bass. Once again, the On1s handled the subtle and not-so-subtle with grace and control. They’re not quite ballerina agile, but they’re also not sluggish or slow. The On1s strike a great balance between smooth, very slightly rounded bass and punchy, controlled bass. For a portable headphone I would much prefer this sort of tuning because it lends itself to use in louder environments and for a wide range of genres (including movies) so the On1s are right on the mark.

 

In terms of overall balance in the bass, the On1s are pretty balanced. They boast great levels of sub-bass, but also excellent punch in the mid-bass with no glaring peaks or troughs anywhere to be heard. They probably have a bit of a lift in the mid-bass to give them their sense of warmth and punch, but it’s nicely balanced with everything else so I’m in full favour of that decision.

 

Mids

 

Thinksound On1To me, when the mids are done right they’re hard to describe – not in-your-face and not recessed, not raspy and dry, but not creamy and thick. That’s what the mids from the On1s are like – just right. They are well-placed in the mix, but aren’t emphasised so everything just falls together into a cohesive auditory “picture”.

 

In the overall balance of things, if I absolutely had to make a call, I’d say the mids are slightly less energetic than the bass and ever-so-slightly warmer than neutral, but all in a good way. The On1s are in no way over-polite, but they are incredibly smooth and friendly. They won’t gloss over a crappy recording, but they also won’t scream and shout about it.

 

Throughout the mid-range frequencies, the On1s often surprise me with little details that I didn’t expect from their overall presentation – a guitar lick here or a drum strike there. The way these headphones deliver everything to your ears, but without making a song and dance about it is quite exceptional. I guess, as I think about it, the presentation from the On1s would best be described as speaker-like in all the best ways possible.

 

Treble

 

The overall shape of the On1′s frequency response chart would probably resemble a beginners ski slope so the treble is rolled off slightly, but does so in line with the other frequencies so there are once again no glaring peaks or troughs to attract your attention away from the music. The treble is clean and detailed and not overly polite, but as per the theme of this review so far, there is a refinement and smoothness to the treble that allows it to caress your ears with sound rather than scream and shout.

 

Consonants from vocals have enough energy to be crisp and clean, but never sibilant and cymbals crash and splash with a natural sense of energy that once again reminds me most of a good set of speakers and that’s about as good as it can get for an enjoyable set of portable headphones in my opinion. Sure, the On1s may not reveal details in the same manner as a pair of HD800s, but they’ll be far more enjoyable to listen to when you’re listening to a wide range of sources and genres in a wide range of environments so the treble is perfect to my ears for this sort of headphone.

 

Staging & Imaging

 

Thinksound On1 remoteI think Thinksound could have called the On1s the Thinksound Tardis if they had wanted to. These things have uncanny imaging for what look like basic, portable earphones. Despite the lack of angled drivers or other acoustic tricks to help imaging, the On1s are one of the best staging and imaging headphones I own and they’re closed!!

 

The stage thrown by the On1 extends beyond the ear cups, has excellent height and is even borderline for projecting sound beyond the boundaries of the forehead – that’s pretty impressive in my book!

 

Each instrument from the On1 has well-defined space in the soundstage, including a sense of weight and presence that adds to the ambience and enjoyment of the music. The overall presentation of the On1′s stage and image is actually quite holographic and never ceases to be a source of enjoyment for me when I listen to them with any genre.

 

Summary

 

SAMSUNG CSCAt $350, the On1s aren’t a cheap headphone, but in my experiences they perform at a level that’s easily twice their price. These have quickly become my favourite closed headphone of anything I’ve listened to (including flagships like the Fostex TH-900). I’m not suggesting that the On1s out-perform flagship headphones across the board, but they do present a uniquely coherent sound that is just so easy to get lost in because nothing is noticeably highlighted or flawed, but they’re also not bland in any sense of the word. No, the On1s are engaging, lively and enjoyable, but they do it all in ways that are hard to pin down.

 

Writing this review has actually been very challenging because the On1s don’t really stand out in any one way, but they stand out overall. It’s hard to pin anything down with them as being excellent (or flawed), but the overall result is nothing short of brilliant. I’m worried at this point that my blow-by-blow sections above don’t do these headphones justice so I’m hoping this summary will. These headphones are exceptional, amazing and outstanding. No, they are not detail freak headphones like HD800s (for example) and they aren’t completely neutral because they have a definite sense of warmth and bass, but they are just so completely enjoyable and versatile that I have a hard time imagining someone not enjoying these.

 

If you’re in the market for a portable (or non-portable) closed headphone, please do check out the Thinksound On1 before you buy anything else – it might be the best move you ever make!

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thinksound on1 Supra-Aural On-Ear Monitor Wooden Headphone
Description:

The On1 features accurate, professional studio monitor sound and imaging. The On1 supra-aural monitor has an enhanced 40mm speaker driver with upgraded acoustics for more accurate sound reproduction and a larger sound stage, while offering deep bass extension and clear high frequencies that think sound is known for. The On1 takes the award-winning, critically-acclaimed think sound signature sound to a new level. The On1 supra-aural monitor is available in a beautiful natural wood finish and includes two sets of detachable Kevlar reinforced, tangle resistant fabric cables. One is a standard 4.5' cable and the other cable features a microphone with single button control for smartphone use. The On1 has luxurious memory foam ear pads and a flexible headband for extra comfort. A cotton carrying pouch is also included to protect the headphones and store the accessories.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
Brandthinksound
Colornatural/black
EAN0852575002145
FeatureHand crafted natural wood housing for accurate music reproduction F(2) 4.5' long detachable cables - (1) with single button mic control and (1) without 5Hz-22kHz frequency response, 50 ohms, 40mm dynamic driver Award-winning think sound signature acoustics Sweat-resistant design, perfect for the gym
Labelthinksound
Manufacturerthinksound
Modelon1-natblk
MPNon1-natblk
Publisherthinksound
Studiothinksound
Titlethinksound on1-natblk Supra-Aural On-Ear Monitor Wooden Headphone (Natural/Black)
UPC852575002145
Warranty2 years
CatalogNumberList - CatalogNumberListElementon1-natblk
Item Height8 inches
Item Length3 inches
Item Weight0.54
Item Width7 inches
Package Height2.7 inches
Package Length8 inches
Package Weight0.1 pounds
Package Width7 inches
PackageQuantity1
PartNumberon1-natblk
ProductGroupCE
ProductTypeNameHEADPHONES
UPCList - UPCListElement852575002145
ManufacturerPartsWarrantyDescriptionTwo (2) year limited warranty
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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