General Information

About this item​

  • 【𝐀 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐚𝐮𝐝𝐢𝐨’𝐬 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐩𝐡𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐮𝐩】The Ghost is a new precedent for Thieaudio’s headphone audio engineering. Our foremost goal with project Ghost has been to redefine our tonal balance for headphones and match it with uncompromising audio quality. To achieve this, we have completely redesigned the acoustic airflow of dynamic drivers and their acoustic cavities to finely adjust the pressure across the diaphragm membrane. After countless miniscule acoustic tuning modifications, we have achieved a tonal balance that perfectly matches the perceived hearing of the human ear at every frequency interval.
  • 【𝐑𝐞𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐓𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠】Of particular note, the Ghost’s tuning has been calibrated to match the acoustics of the human ear’s auricle and pinna. This delivers a vibrant and crisp bite to every instrumental and vocal note. Our careful engineering has achieved an ever-slightly warm texture and lushness to the body of instruments and fullness in vocals, all while staying clear from any signs of bloating or muddying in the mids. The bass is rich, but not overpowering in order to maintain the natural tonal balance. For users desiring a bass-dominant presence, a simple swap for thicker ear pads can provide all of the bass ones can desire.
  • 【𝟒𝟎𝐦𝐦 𝐒𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐡𝐢𝐫𝐞 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐃𝐲𝐧𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐜 𝐃𝐫𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫】The Ghost utilizes an all-new and innovative 40mm Sapphire dynamic driver. The foundation of the driver is a new diaphragm consisting of cermet (ceramic-metal composite) layered on a thermoplastic polymer film stabilizer. Qualitative listening characterized the Sapphire dynamic driver as having extremely high responsiveness and transients, clarity, and power in the bass. To sufficiently provide enough magnetic flux across the diaphragm, strong N52 magnets were utilized in the Ghost.
  • 【𝐎𝐩𝐞𝐧-𝐁𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐃𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐧】In order to achieve the most natural sound, we have opted for an open-back headphone design for Thieaudio Ghost, which allows natural airflow across the outer acoustic cavity of the driver. This provides a greater driver for the driver, as well as a peripheral perception for the listener. Ghost’s open-back design delivers a life-like stage presence to every song and successfully mimics the full audio experience of listening to stereo speakers.
  • 【𝐃𝐞𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐂𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 & 𝐕𝐞𝐥𝐯𝐞𝐭 𝐂𝐮𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐄𝐚𝐫𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬 】We chose to use ultra-light flat wire for our cable to enhance the punchy bassline. For audiophiles who are interested in upgrading cable with higher quality braided cable, the Tripowin Granvia and Tripowin Altura would be good choices. The innovative and ergonomically designed ear pads are crafted of high quality velvet cushions, an ultra-lightweight and ultra-comfortable material that makes for a comfortable wear. Its geometric inner membrane design ensures a perfect seal for those tight basslines, while permitting airflow so your ears don’t get too stuffy
  • 【𝐀𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐚𝐮𝐝𝐢𝐨】Thieaudio was established in 2019 as a creative endeavor of Linsoul Audio. Our team is composed of only a handful of dedicated engineers and enthusiasts from China, South Korea, Mexico, and Singapore that have come together to craft the finest audio solutions. Thieaudio’s milestones in the global industry include our in-ear monitor lineups such as the 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡, 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡 𝐌𝐊𝐈𝐈 and the 𝐕𝟏𝟔 𝐃𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲, while our headphones, like the Phantom, have been beloved by many DIY enthusiasts. Our team is dedicated to continuing the pursuit of achieving paramount audio performance and sharing it for all to enjoy.

Latest reviews

ostewart

Reviewer at Sound Perfection Reviews
Formerly affiliated with HiFi Headphones
Superb value with an easy to enjoy sound signature and comfortable fit.
Pros: Build quality
Smooth yet balanced sound
Good detail retrieval
Comfortable
Excellent value for money
Cons: Slightly tight clamping force
The sound is polite and lacks a little punch and bite at times
Firstly I would like to thank Linsoul for sending me the ThieAudio Ghost for review.

*disclaimer: This sample was provided for the purpose of writing a review, no incentive was given to write a favourable review. All opinions expressed are my own subjective findings

Gear Used:
JDS Labs Atom DAC+ > Singxer SA-1 > Ghost
iBasso DX200 > Ghost

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Tech Specs:
• DRIVERS – 40mm Sapphire Composite Dynamic Driver
• IMPEDANCE – 60 ohms
• SENSITIVITY – 91dB @1kHz
• FREQ. RESPONSE – 20Hz-20kHz
• CABLE TERMINATION – Interchangeable 3.5mm wire
• HEADPHONES CONNECTORS – Dual 3.5mm

https://www.linsoul.com/products/thieaudio-ghost

Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories

The packaging is simple, ThieAudio have gone back to basics with the Ghost packaging but in no means does it detract from the product itself. A nice-looking outer sleeve with detailed pictures on the front and a list of the specifications on the side. Slide this sleeve off and you have a thick black cardboard box, lift the top off and you’ll find the included case held in a foam insert. You’ll find the headphones in their case, whilst the packaging is basic and functional, it doesn’t look too bad and doesn’t take away from the product, especially in this price range.

The headphones are well built, and I really like decisions that have been made when it comes to the design. You have a well-padded headband with metal yokes, that hold plastic cups with grilles made from thin aluminium. All of this comes together to create a lightweight yet sturdy feeling pair of headphones. These are open back headphones, and the open grille looks lovely, however the gold trim ring may not be to everyone’s tastes. The earpads fitted are soft velour, but the inner sponge feels average.

The cable is a proper 4-core ribbon cable, it’s flat in nature but I actually found it to be very comfortable in use. Strain relief seems adequate rather than excellent, however these are more of a home headphone so I don’t see an issue with this. Finally, the dual 3.5mm sockets are great, and it’s definitely a cable standard that needs to be more commonly adopted. One small detail that I will commend ThieAudio on, is the inclusion of small foam pads that stop the cups hitting the yokes and making a noise when taking them off and on again – small things like this make a difference.

Accessory wise you get a good clamshell case that is semi-hardshell meaning good protection whilst in transit. You get the audio cable and a 6.3mm to 3.5mm jack adapter – the usual suspects but nothing is missing and the included case is great for storing the headphones in.

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Comfort and Driveability

The ThieAudio Ghost are a lightweight headphone with a soft cable, this does go a long way in creating a comfortable headphone. The headband is well padded which hasn’t caused me any problems, the only thing that is noticeable is the clamping force is a little tight. This can usually be remedied by leaving them stretched over a few books for a couple of days. The earpads are supportive, not letting the tops of your ears rest against the inner foam and driver, which is a bonus.

These headphones are not the easiest to drive, my DX200 did an ok job at powering them but they really come alive with clean desktop power. My Singxer SA-1 is perfectly up to this task and drives the ThieAudio Ghost with ease and authority, these really wake up when powered properly and I highly recommend using them with a good headphone amp.

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Sound

Bass:
The ThieAudio Ghost have a slightly warm tilt to their sound, there is a helping of added body from the bass that adds a slightly warmth to the whole sound but without making them sound muddy or overly coloured. The lows are well behaved, if lacking a little punch at times, articulate yes, but hard hitting they are not. The bass is always well controlled and never becomes the focus, yet it is always present and extends easily into the sub-bass. I really like the fullness they have down low, it’s a smooth sound but done very well to the point where it is relaxing and not distracting and veiled.

Listening to heavier tracks they don’t quite have the visceral punch that other headphones pull off, they don’t have that sense of immediacy or scale, but what they do is make the sound have an almost liquid fluidity that is just enjoyable. It’s easy to lose yourself in the music whilst listening, they make you stop analysing tracks, they want you to listen and enjoy.

Midrange: The midrange is not the kind that grabs your attention and stands out, these are a balanced to slightly warm sounding headphone and the midrange almost comes across as a little dull at times. Rest assured it’s there, doing it’s job, and maybe I’m just used to a more mid-centric sound signature, but the Ghost lack some bite to the midrange that causes it to sort of go about it’s business without any real shine to it. This almost sounds negative, but in all fairness, it fits very well with the overall sound signature, the midrange is clean and well separated with great detail retrieval.

Electric guitars might lack bite, but vocals come across with great tonality, and you won’t miss out on the finer details like fingers running up a fret board. They just don’t stand out, they are not made to grab your attention, instead to just be there as part of the bigger picture.

Treble: The treble on the Ghost is buttery smooth, and never jarring, it has a sweetness to it that prevents it from ever becoming fatiguing. Quantity is a little on the subdued side, but there is excellent air up top that prevents them from ever sounding closed in and overly warm. The transition from upper midrange to the treble is devoid of any peaks, sibilance is well controlled and these would suit those who are treble sensitive. As I mentioned before these lack a little bite, but the drives seem to benefit from great transient response allowing for snappy snares and a controlled sound. The treble doesn’t seem to have any issues with extension either, there is no noticeable early roll off.

So whilst these don’t have the most exciting treble performance out there, they have good tonality up top and it’s composed without every becoming troublesome. The nice thing about the treble here is that, whilst slightly subdued, the Ghost is not missing detail or air at all.

Instrument Separation and Soundstaging

The ThieAudio Ghost have a well separated sound that is easy to pick apart should you wish, however the overall sound is very cohesive and presents the sound as a whole without sounding detached at all. These are not analytical, yet they have good technical performance which does allow you to easily hear each separate instrument.

Soundstaging is a little limited to be honest, these are not a super wide sounding headphone, but they are not congested in the slightest. There is plenty of space within the soundstage, and there are out of head experiences to be had, it’s really easy to pinpoint musicians within the soundstage however the overall softer sound leads to a little more restricted headspace.

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Conclusion

The ThieAudio Ghost is a hugely enjoyable headphone, and when you take in to account the packaging, build quality and sound quality it really is incredible value for money. These are not a headphone that instantly wow, there is nothing overly boosted within their frequency range, instead they offer a mildy u-shaped sound signature with a hint of warmth overall. They have an easy going sound that is just a pleasure to listen to, and these are easy to recommend.

Overall ThieAudio have done a superb job with the Ghost, it gets top marks from me for being such a likeable headphone with no real downsides. You really do get a lot of headphone for your money here, however they do benefit from having a good desktop source.

Sound Perfection Rating: 10/10 (Great build, excellent comfort, hugely enjoyable sound for a low price)
Redcarmoose
Redcarmoose
It’s true clamping force is strong but you can probably adjust it by bending the headphone. Still I thought the fit was amazing and put-up with the slight pressure. Still I have a medium head, I’m not sure about folks who have larger heads? Those “big-heads” may have to attempt to bend the headband?

My impressions (on the Ghost) parallel yours!
ostewart
ostewart
Thanks @Redcarmoose - I don't read others opinions until I have finished my own, and really did find myself aligning with your thoughts on them.

I feel I have a slightly narrower head size, but luckily the clamping wasn't an issue, and I do think leaving them stretched out for a couple of days would definitely solve this so it's not really an "issue" rather something that comes down to personal preference and head size.
Condocondor
Condocondor
The bass has such good definition and dyanamics when tracks call for it. I EQ so I don't find the mid-range dull "at times" at all. I'm running these out of Jotenheim 2 and Topping D30Pro in balanced front and back. I've got 100 hrs on them and they sound magnificent. I don't feel I'm missing anything or left wanting for anything. They sound almost kind of higher-end to me. Personally, I am "wowed" at the value and just everything.

Redcarmoose

Headphoneus Supremus
The Thieaudio Ghost Dynamic Driver Full-size Headphone
Pros: Great price to build/ sound quality
Truly well-designed inside and out
Great price to fit and comfort level gained
Well made, far outweighing cost
Interesting and well behaved ribbon (non-tangling) cable included
All metal cable adds including plugs and divider
Smooth almost to a fault
More separation and better imaging comes with an improved damping factor
All day listening style of tone stance
Stainless steel (black) exterior grills
Ultra-leather padded headband
Carrying case with pocket for cable (asking to go for a walk)
It's called the Ghost maybe due to it being 268 grams in weight?
No creaks in use........ever
Perfect mixture of metal and plastic build
Cloth velour pads
Cons: Smooth almost to a fault
Not the very best for EDM or Rock due to authority issues, though still fun
Incredibly amp dependent for sound quality, needs power to wake
Ever so slightly lackluster in holding only so much sonic contrast, yet still cool
While holding note weight through-out the spectrum, missing a little physicality down-low
An easy-going, super relaxed treble, while still complete and even
Boo.........Surprisingly Amazing

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At first I was like? ^^^^^^^^^^ It’s just I didn’t expect much from a $129.00 full-size headphone? Boy was I wrong. Let me explain.

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The Thieaudio Dynamic Driver Full-size Headphone

Summary:
I don’t know why they sent me the $129.00 Thieaudio Ghost? Normally I review IEMs, yet here they are. Actually I have more experience with full-size headphones, but have shifted my interest to IEMs, as of late. Yet for what the Thieaudio Ghost is, it’s pretty amazing. Why? The tune. Yep, tune is probably 80% of why you like a headphone. Thieaudio went ahead and gave this $129.00 headphone a million dollar set of tuning coordinates. Headphone build is not too shabby also. Besides the tune, Thieaudio spent a long time working-out the fit too! Technicalities are fine, especially for the money asked. So besides researching and perfecting the tune, Thieaudio seemed to also do their homework on construction…….I mean all and all it’s pretty obvious this was one thought-out and orchestrated endeavor on Thieaudio’s part.

The Ghost name? Obviously at only 268 grams (on my kitchen scale), they got their name due to headphone weight. After spending a week with the Ghost I feel more than experienced enough to give my opinion. The only concern is that the Thieaudio Ghost ended slightly amplifier dependent. Meaning from some portables the Ghost sound was simply lackadaisical. Yet get it a more powerful portable, or better yet a desktop, and prepare to be amused………at least I was anyway. So in this review I will start-off with design and build, move to driving the Ghost……..then go into sound. In the end if your centered on finding a well-rounded, neutral/warm, do everything style of headphone, the Ghost fits the bill. If you simply want a no-nonsense (non-creaking) comfortable build and needed to spend just at $129.00 dollars…….the Thieaudio Ghost might be your choice? Really for anyone who simply likes headphones, who may still already own a few more expensive headphones, the Ghost still brings a lot to the table. With it’s carrying case, really it’s the perfect headphone to take off to work. Though because it is open back and does leak sound, that would be something to consider? Yet with all things added-up the Ghost truly provides the goods, and when you factor sound-quality per dollar spent…..well……………this is truly something to get excited about. Won’t you join me in a review of the Thieaudio Ghost.
$129.00 USD
https://www.linsoul.com/products/thieaudio-ghost

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Build:
First off when you take the Ghost out of it’s case for the first-time you need to attach the cable. The cable is a ribbon affair with all metal parts. The 3.5mm plugs that go into the actual headphones look very familiar. Yep, they are Thieaudio regular 3.5mm plugs that normally go on the other end of IEM cables. Such plugs offer strain relief as well as a burnished groove which helps with grip. When the cable enters the headphone socket we are rewarded with a satisfying ”snap”. Insert-depth is the same for both sides and incredibly flush, with simply the small portion of the gold plug showing. Over-all the construction is grand due to just how everything falls together. The metal parts and plastic parts flow seamlessly into one unit,

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Rubber-foam bumpers:
What? This is a first to see for myself and absolutely the reason the Ghost arrives at stability once on your head. Such cushions go ahead and act as a stop for the arms when the headphone in placed onto your head. The movement of the actual swivels are limited and once your onboard with this design, you wonder how and why it would be done any other way. The arms are truly a steel multi angled affair which holds the headphone cups in place but also only move when slid-out of the headband to gain room for a bigger head. They side to a place when extended yet hold tight not exactly locked into place but held in simply by the friction inside the headband. Notice the build is incredibly simple yet robust……..as only two screws hold everything together as far as the headphone arms.. Where the ends of the headband and metal arms are somehow under slight friction to extend, if this level of friction will remain with repeated use, time will tell.

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The headband:
Ultra-leather makes comfort a true reality, and while memory-foam is not is use here, the foam (in use) does wonders to gain comfort. Upon taking the headphones out (of the box) for the first time you will notice cellophane on both the top of the headband arch as well as covering the stainless-steel main headphone exterior sides.

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The pads:
While only including one set of ear-pads, they are velour in texture and are simple as pie to take on and off. Such pads go the extra length to assure you (the wearer) of a sold-air-tight listening experience.

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Inside the cups, headphone driver:
Upon pad removal noticed is the metal driver protection-cover. Even though this area may never be accessed often it is shown well designed and throughly thought out. The ear-pads can be taken off and put back on very easy with-out issue.

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The cable:
The ribbon cable actually is trouble free. Acting well-behaved being wound-up and put into the pocket inside the travel case or going where you want it to be in action hooked to the Ghost headphone. All metal parts include a cable divider as well as all three plugs offering strain-relief and a nice finish. Included is a 1/4 inch adapter for desktop use.

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Technical Details:
TYPE
Headphones
DRIVERS 40mm Sapphire Composite Dynamic Driver
IMPEDANCE 60 ohms
SENSITIVITY 91dB @ 1kHz
FREQ. RESPONSE 20Hz-20kHz
CABLE TERMINATION interchangeable 3.5mm wire
HEADPHONES CONNECTORS Dual 3.5mm

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Note the owners manual and warranty/user guidebook. Such an item is small but has all the info needed.

The Box opening experience and case:

The box offers ample room for the inclusion of the case, which the headphone and cable are inside. A series of foam inserts keep everything tight and movement free in route to your destination. The case has Thieaudio branding in three places as well as a small cloth handle. The build uses a plastic cloth to form a hard-shell case construction, even though it doesn’t look hard-shell. The is an added pocket inside to keep the cable and 1/4 inch adapter.

The more I review stuff, the more I pay attention to every little thing. Is the box descriptive introducing the headphones inside? Are the headphones protected in-route? And if so, how are they protected and to what extent? What are in included extras and are they actually usable and thoughtful? How is the overall build and very first impressions of the build, is everything well thought-out? How do the plugs feel when attached to the headphones? How does the overall feel of the headphone actually feel? Does it creak, and is it a device that I can see myself plugging and unplugging the cables with daily.............to put back into the case. And does it feel like it will last? All and all the Thieaudio Ghost far surpassed such inquiries and Thieaudio went the extra mile with both correct design features and implementation of those design features into reality.

The technology:
The 40mm Sapphire Dynamic Drivers go ahead and make the most out of their dynamic make-up. A ceramic-metal composite layered on a thermoplastic polymer film stabilizer is the driver make-up.

Being open-back they are fully noticeable for everyone in the room when on, unless at a super low volume level. Yet being open back allows for the sound to escape leading to a bigger soundstage and fuller sound. Typically closed-back headphones will offer a more cluttered bass experience and come-off almost sounding boxy. Even my top-end closed backs are truly semi-open in design when studied. (MDR-Z1R/MDR-Z7) Yet the Ghost does leak sound, even at medium volumes used.

The sound and fit:
The first thing to note is just how well these fit. Why would I start of by taking about fit in the sound section? Because ultimately you’re never going to get a headphones potential in sound until you arrive at great fit. Simply stated if the fit isn’t air-tight there can be a loss of both soundstage and bass emphasis. They have a bit of clamping force, and I didn’t try to adjust it outwards (by bending them) as I found it perfect for my medium-size head. Just the way the pads lay ends at a total win as far as bass replay, due to a correct fit. I would go ahead and describe the sound as a warm neutral. And while the bass is actually quite effective for being what it is. Meaning yes, there are many examples of more bass in the headphone world, yet here there is an amazing satisfying down-low when asked for in the music. Headphones can naturally do authority at times easy in comparison to IEMs, but here we are given more bass authority than the Yume II IEM I just reviewed. While both offer a relaxed V-shape signature, the Ghost actually goes a few dBs deeper into the bass than what the Yume II was designed to do. Why am I even taking about IEMs in the first place? Well really this style of tune, this slightly laid-back subtle V-shape tune is all the rage in the IEM world, and such a well-rounded effortlessly accessible tune seems to also provide just what it takes to tune a full-size headphone. Surly Thieaudio knows this, I mean they have a far greater history tuning IEMs than headphones. Is this an IEM tuned headphone? There is probably no such thing, but what Thieaudio has done is rolled-in IEM tuning expertise to arrive at a balanced and provocative full-size tune. Where technicalities wise, you can hear where the bass is not the most detailed, yet this as a whole, still comes-off musical, despite any short comings in technicalities.


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Usage examples:
My first usage example comes from playing back Jeff Russo’s OST for Star Trek Picard Session One. Now this example in playback use has been gone over since the Ghost arrived and was burnt-in a week ago. Such findings are truly bewildering as the Sony DAPs, the 1A and 1Z don’t really drive the Ghost correctly, yet this little Shanling UA3 Dongle does? Why.............I don’t know, except I’m a listener and not an engineer.

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/shanling-ua3-portable-dac-amp.25836/reviews#review-28927

To tell you the truth I was going to attempt using the Ghost with a number of my devices trying to find synergy. Yet I stumbled upon the Shanling UA3 Dongle and found it perfect for the Ghost in replay. While joining it up with 24 bit - 44 kHz music files Jeff Russo’s OST came alive. In this set-up I was simply using my MacBook Air connected to the Shanling UA3 in 3.5mm output mode. Such slight differences in damping from the current possibly add what is needed over the DAPs in use? What ever is happening it is shown as a slight extra imaging into the stage along with a special deep bass and clear/clean (no-fog) response. I was in the end super happy to find an alternative to desk-top use as everyone doesn’t have the option of getting the Thieaudio Ghost matched-up to a TOTL desktop set-up nor maybe would (of course) they ever want to get a TOTL desktop for a $129.00 headphone. And while yes, there are sound improvements in joining the Thieaudio Ghost to the Sony TA-ZH1ES DAC/AMP……it’s just especially in this realm there is a great example of diminishing returns per dollar spent. Meaning the Ghost does in-fact show the ride-up in sound quality with the TA in use, but due to both resolution in what the Ghost is ultimately capable of the results are there but small. Still they are there!

The Shanling UA3 Dongle:
On high-out put setting the sound reaches way loud at only 50% of volume. I’m using a MacBook Air with Colibri 2.0.2 firmware with no EQ and 3.5mm output with the supplied cable. Here we find the big expanses of 44.1 kHz- 24 bit to be thrilling and genuine in playback. Having a slight bit of warmth yet totally clear and emotionally moving. “Walking With Number One” shows both a balance and a good separation into the stage. Really this OST is becoming a favorite due to having both big synthetic events, and real orchestration performed. An almost flawless recording which really goes to show how the Ghost can be all it can be. And regarding the Shanling UA3, it’s price is simply $109.00, and when you add the Ghost price of just $129.00…..this is a lot of sound quality for $238.00.

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Sound design:
Bass:

And while moving to more rock emphasized music you can start to perceive how the Thieaudio Ghost isn’t everything. Meaning I of course have heard (other transducers with) more authoritative playback, where here it’s faster and nimble…..more middle toned yet clear and fast. Part of this may in fact be the open-back phenomena, where typically open backs will present a faster more sculptured bass tone. A tone more tidy and clean, offering a wide-stage while still taking care of business. Drums in rock are out-stretched into the stage with really good timbre yet not quite all the dynamics of full-on TOTL playback. The stage isn’t quite as big nor as owning the physicality of the big guns……yet so what? I mean really…..what is anyone expecting at this level? At this exact level of cost to sound ratio............it’s great. Why? Because the sound is both balanced, complete and clear. There is no offensive or off-tones provided. What the Ghost does is a job, and it does that job proficiently and correctly. It’s just like everything here, where the Ghost has a politeness, and that politeness maybe is noticed most in the bass? Kind of a softness?

Midrange:
Guitars are played back with correct timbre and just enough separation into the stage to make this experience fun. I mean after a week I’m still having fun, and I'm not throwing rocks at Ghost playback. After a week there are more chances than one to find boredom, and I’m not finding it. What can/will happen is a kind of realization of what is there. This is the fact that any thrill (by new sounds) is adjusted to, and it is just what it is……call it reality for loss of a better word. This stark reality really belongs to perception of the mids. Why? Because this is where the bread and butter (of playback) take place. That’s right the day-in and day-out usage of the headphones. The question is will you want to simply take them off your head due to this or that? This or that primarily deals with the tune. If the tune is well done, the technicalities (can) take care of themselves. Probably 80% of why we like a headphone deals with tune…….so if that is nice, then the headphones are nice. Not earth shattering (for $129.00) but nice. Here vocals are just rendered big enough and vivid enough. Such vocals are not really forward or set back, but walk that line…..the line of a subtle V shape response. There is just enough vocal detail to make the music interesting and fun. Really these are fast but suffer from just a slight bit of authority and timbral object creation, where there is a level….......and very carefully critically almost bland rendition of not fully filling-out everything, but it’s done so carefully that all is forgiven. At least I forgive the Ghost for any wrong doings in comparison to more expensive models? What I’m trying to get to is the midrange is simply proficient enough for the price and delivers a style of guilty pleasure, where you know that better is out there but find yourself entertained with what’s in-front of you, regardless. But take note, no-where is the Ghost terribly detailed, and even though there is maybe more detail in the mids, even there is only so much detail.

Yet if I was asked were the most musicality is in the Ghost……I would say the Ghost is most musical in the midrange.

Treble:

It’s sanded down slightly…..yet just right. Where positioning of treble itemizations occur and fall off in the most polite of ways. I mean if you were wondering where the smallness (in sound) of the Ghost was, here it is. Yep, everything is curtailed back to a point. Everything is put into the proverbial egg carton here. Yep, it’s all here yet polished back and placed into a form of refinement, thus easy going and well-rounded. There is nothing drastic going on here, yet it’s not boring either, just not as vivid as in some forms of playback. This smaller-ness occurs due to the fact that we are operating into this confined soundstage and walking a confined line of technical ability. Where sure, more vivid illustrations of treble can be found, though I’m not sure that many headphones get this subtle balance right? The balance of easy listening and smoothness? I went and switched to simple Android Phone output with the UA3 to try and see what changes could be arrived at with a different digital source? Somehow total playback didn’t have the potential to get quite as loud, as the MacBook, but it was plenty loud enough. Sonically it remained pretty much the same. And again switching to more aggressive rock showed where the Ghost is probably better at OST styles of playback and doesn’t have quite the authority for more dramatic bass? Still since this is the treble section.....the treble stays the same regardless of genre. Which in many ways is a good thing. While much like the midrange in that the Ghost has a way of normalizing harmonics and never making anything too giant....as what it does is incredibly uniform. This uniformness is tidy and really pretty much complete, yet subdued. Subdued due to the Ghost not being for treble heads or bass heads. There is this kind of being the best for all things…….but better at music that does not require vivid brightness or thundering lows. It’s this middle playability that in endearing, and not really boring. What I am referring to is your kind-of more entertained by the midrange and start to find emphasis there which makes-up for any smoothness in the treble. Call these laid-back, as that’s just what they are……..laid-back in bass and laid-back in treble.

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Conclusion:
Truly I wasn’t expecting to like the Ghost full-size headphone that much. But this all goes to show you how tune is 80% (or more) of why we are attracted to a headphone. The fit is special due to being secure and airtight, yet balanced (in weight displacement) and at only 268 grams…..it earns it name. I will challenge anyone not to like the fit or sound profile. Now the only issue was some lower powered options just didn’t get the slight damping factor needed. Meaning you may have a DAP that you like using on the go…….and you may find the Ghost slightly lackluster in that situation. But get the Ghost headphone a proper high-powered Dongle or desktop and prepare to have that slight extra damping force bring about an increase in contrasts and separation to bring the Ghost alive!

Now while I’m not a total expert on all the 2022-2023 (full-size) headphone examples, I have been doing headphone back-to-backs since 1975 using both Koss and Sennheiser full-size headphones to battle it out. Along the years I spent time putting together full-size speaker systems and stayed with full-size headphones, even getting the TOTL Sony MRD-Z1R a few years ago, before concentrating on IEMs. And while I hear a correct, even and complete tonal response from the Thieaudio Ghost…..I still can almost guarantee you will find the response to be true to your liking also. Why? The basics. Yep……….Thieaudio has poured all their know-how into this single project…….and you can hear it. They have found a balance in tone, technicalities and build………..not to mention fit. So for me it all comes together here…..and I think it will for you too. Normally I say at this place how if you like this or you like that…et cetera. But right at this place I’m not going to say that. The Ghost is so well balanced and so complete in response, the build and fit are so exemplary …….as such an example of how you should approach a 2023 headphone that I can’t help but recommend this……to anyone. Just keep in mind that it’s open back and leaks sound that others can hear in the room when enjoying the Ghost. Also again just remember that the Ghost needs a specific style of amplification to become fully actualized. As long as you keep those two points in mind, you have nothing to lose. In fact this particular headphone I can even go so far as to recommend to people who have top-of-the-line gear. Yep, the overall tune is just so well done that many will have use for the Ghost as an extra headphone as there is absolutely nothing that is does wrong in the FR department. What I’m saying is often people are not wanting to take their best gear out of the house. But (with the case) the Ghost can go off to work or to a remote location where you wouldn’t want to endanger your best gear. But due to the Ghost doing nothing offensive sound wise, it becomes something that becomes a treasure……..really at any cost, then add the build and fit and you can see why I view this as a home-run for Thieaudio. I can already tell they will go ahead and sell a boatload of these. So get yours while you can.

$129.00 USD
https://www.linsoul.com/products/thieaudio-ghost

Linsoul website: https://www.linsoul.com/
Linsoul Aliexpress Store: https://ddaudio.aliexpress.com/store/2894006
Linsoul USA Amazon Store link: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=merchant-items&me=A267P2DT104U3C

Disclaimer:
I want to thank Kareena of Linsoul for the love and the Thieaudio Ghost Full-Size Headphone review sample.

Disclaimer:
These are one persons ideas and concepts, your results may vary.

Disclaimer:
Probably with this single review it may be hard to reconcile the 5.0 score placement. Yet here I'm taking everything into account. The sound, the packaging and the fit and feel of the product in question, and those features in regard to the $129.00 price. And it is there that I feel this product exceeds many normal expectations and commonly held value concepts. And while the Thieaudio Ghost is not perfect, it is a lot of sound/build/fit for the money asked.......therefor a 5.0 score.

Equipment Used:

Sony WM1Z Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 3.5mm
Sony WM1A Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 3.5mm
Sony TA-ZH1ES DAC/AMP Firmware 1.03 with adapter and 1/4 inch plug
Electra Glide Audio Reference Glide-Reference Standard "Fatboy" Power Cord
Sony Walkman Cradle BCR-NWH10
AudioQuest Carbon USB
UA3 Dongle DAC/Amplifier 3.5mm
Samsung Android Smartphone 3.5mm output/ USB Dongle UA3 3.5mm output
Last edited:
Shane D
Shane D
Have you seen Zeos's review? He changed to the pads from the 109Pro to these and he claimed the sound improved hugely and seemed like a mini 109Pro.
Redcarmoose
Redcarmoose
No, I haven’t seen his review, but I will. That’s the thing, you know maybe some would want the balance found here, then some would want to get higher frequency contrasts? I haven’t really modified too many full-size headphones.......maybe two in my life. But I believe these have potential to change, only because they are so very polite and mid-centered OTB.
Redcarmoose
Redcarmoose
The avenue I guess would be dealing with the “smallness” in the treble imaging, that while I don’t mind it, it does seem a tiny bit held back. I’m not sure if anything could add bass authority, but if you read my review I talk about how I see there could be room for improvement with authoritative music. Still it’s amazing how well they perform (the way they are) if you get them a good amp. They will open-up and gain contrast and authority to a point.

SenyorC

100+ Head-Fier
Missing emotion...
Pros: Comfort, lightweight, parts of the build, price (found out price after writing the review)...
Cons: Nothing really stands out about these headphones, they lack excitement...
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TLDR version on YouTube: TDLR - Thieaudio Ghost

The Thieaudio Ghost have been sent to me by Linsoul in exchange for the publication of this review. They have not made any specific requests or comments and, as always, I will do my best to be as unbiased and sincere as humanly possible.

You can find the Thieaudio Ghost via Linsoul by visiting my blog (link at the end of this post) where I will leave a direct link, or just do a quick google search :wink:

As with all links that I share, it is a non-affiliate link, meaning that I do not benefit from any clicks or purchases made via the link.

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Intro…

The Thiaudio Ghost is a new release from the brand which is more known for their IEMs than over ear headphones, although these are not the first set of headphones that they release. At the time of writing his review, I actually have no idea what the price of these headphones is, as they are not yet officially available. Although I am putting this review together now, I will not be publishing it until they are officially released, so I will check the price and add it below.

That means that I am certainly not judging these headphones as “for the money”, as I don’t know how much “the money” will be. It’s always fun to have a guess and then see how wrong I am.

Anyway, the Ghost is an openback set of headphones that uses a 40mm Sapphire dynamic driver (I don’t know what a Sapphire dynamic driver is, sorry) and at a glance, remind me of the Shure SRH1840.

I haven’t had a chance to try out much from Thieaudio, except for the Legacy 2, and I was actually quite interested in getting to try out these new headphones from the brand.

Edit: At the time of publishing this review, the Thieaudio Ghost are available on Linsoul for $129, which is actually less than I would have guessed. Please remember that the following review and opinions were written before I had any idea of the price.

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Presentation…

A cardboard sleeve with an image of the headphones and other information slides away to reveal a simple black box, with no logo or other markings.

Opening the box, we find a nice storage case that the headphones are packed inside, along with the usual paperwork and warranty stuff etc.

The storage case is semi-rigid and shaped to be thinner at the top than the bottom, where the cups sit. Although the case is sort of moulded to the shape of the headphones, there is a surprising amount of space inside, giving me plenty of room to carry the Gryphon inside the case with the headphones.

Other than the above, we also get the cable (I will mention more about it in a moment) and a 3.5mm to 6.35mm adaptor. For those that are used to opening IEMs and receiving all kinds of things, this may seem pretty basic but is actually quite good for a set of headphones, especially because we get the case.

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Build and aesthetics…

I already mentioned in the intro that they remind me of the Shure SRH1840 as far as aesthetics, maybe with a blend of Sennheiser thrown in. In fact, when wearing them, they are very reminiscent of the HD6X0 line, but I find the Ghost to be more comfortable, mostly due to the extra padding of the headband.

The build quality is not the best but it is not terrible either. They have opted for metal yolks which seem to be very sturdy and well assembled, yet the plastic on the cups is a little cheap feeling, as are the plastic covers to the adjustment sliders. The pads are very similar to the Sennheiser pads but a little softer, just like the headband, which is nicely padded and very soft to the touch.

I sort of have mixed feelings in general about the build, some things I think are very well done while others seem to have not had as much effort put into them. The grilles are also plastic, with a zig zag pattern to them and a gold accent around them. These don’t look bad but are again a little cheap feeling.

The included cable is something that I am not used to seeing. It is a ribbon style cable which upon first inspection I thought I was going to hate. However, after using the headphones, I have found that I actually like the cable quite a lot and have no complaints about it at all.

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Sound…

All tracks mentioned are clickable links that allow you to open the reference track in the streaming service of your choice (YouTube, Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, etc.)

If you have watched my TLDR video on YouTube, I have said that the worst thing about these headphones (in my opinion of course) is that they lack excitement. As I spent time with these headphones, I would be listening to a certain genre of music and find that, while it did not sound bad, it just didn’t come across as great. It’s common for headphones to work well for certain genres better than others, so I would move on to a different style of music and come to the same conclusion, it doesn’t sound bad at all, just not exciting. This is something that I honestly found across all genres.

But let’s go step by step, as usual, and start off with a look at the graph:

Thieaudio%20Ghost%20(orange)%20vs%20HD6XX%20(purple).jpg


I have included the HD6XX as a reference on the graph as I don’t have a database of headphone measurements like I do IEM measurements, so it’s not easy to compare between many other models (hopefully I can catch up on headphone measurements and get to presenting them in a squig.link soon). So, I thought the HD6XX is a well known reference and it is also a headphone that is useful as a comparison in this case, as we will see.

Starting off at the subbass, there is some roll off and I find that this is noticeable in things like “Chameleon” or other tracks/genres that have a large subbass presence. I spent time listening to HipHop (I really did go through a lot of genres with the Ghost) and I don’t think it would be something that I would suggest to the deep bass hip hop lovers out there (although, yet again, it doesn’t sound bad).

Moving into the midbass, while on paper it looks almost identical to the HD6XX, I actually find that it doesn’t have as much warmth in these specific ranges as the HD6XX does. It is not cold or lacking, and in fact, the upper mids/lower treble (which I will get to next) do maybe allow these regions to be more present, yet when isolating some of my bass guitar tracks, I didn’t find that it was really boosted much in these regions. It’s a bit of a strange sensation as the warmth is there but I feel it is more an illusion created by the upper ranges than an actual presence of warmth. I didn’t find older rock, such as “Whole Lotta Love” to really place more emphasis on the bass, yet, at the same time, it does sound rather smoothed over.

The upper mids, and lower treble, is where things are… let’s say… different. While everything up to the higher end of the mid range is very reminiscent of that Sennheiser HD6XX sound, the upper mid range (and the lower treble) is not boosted at all. Where the HD6XX brings vocals forward and makes them more intimate, the Ghost doesn’t do this, it keeps vocals mixed in with everything around them, never seeming to take presence up front.

I listen to a lot of vocal centric music and I kept expecting the vocals to be clearer and more distinct, yet when the voice kicked in, it always left me wanting something more. Again, at the risk of being repetitive, they don’t sound bad, they just don’t make their presence felt.

More of the same happens in the higher ranges, where there is no real sensation of air or openness. And while everything is there, nothing really stands out, leaving things to just be a little “blunt” for the lack of a better word. People speak about the “Sennheiser Veil” and I think that the Ghost could be described in a similar way, although different (if that makes any sense at all).

Details are there but once more, they are not something that stands out. It is as though there is some life missing from them, even if they are present. Soundstage is also quite close, not claustrophobically close but they don’t portray a sensation of openness in this regard either.

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Conclusion…

The Thieaudio Ghost are a set of headphones that just don’t really stand out at anything. At the same time, nothing really sounds terrible on them either, they are just not exciting in any way shape or form.

They are not a bass heavy set of headphones, they are not a mid centric set of headphones, they aren’t a set of extremely detailed and clear headphones, they are just constant, as the graph shows.

That doesn’t mean that they can’t become a very interesting set of headphones with the use of EQ, as they really are like a blank canvas, but I don’t usually go into depth on the use of EQ as there are so many options.

They are comfortable, they are light weight and by no means are they offensive in their tuning, so there is really nothing negative to say about them. It’s just that if I was asked to describe them in a few words, I really don’t think I could, except for saying that they are just not exciting.

_____
This review is also available in Spanish both on my blog (www.achoreviews.com) and on YouTube (www.youtube.com/achoreviews)
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SenyorC
SenyorC
@Condocondor , I do have a section on my blog that explains how I do my reviews etc. (https://english.achoreviews.com/p/about-my-reviews.html?m=1). I don't paste all of this data into each of my reviews because the majority of them are already far too long as it is 😉

Regarding personal preferences, I do have preferred tunings etc. but can still enjoy many headphones/iems that deviate from that preferred tuning. Again, explaining these in each and every review would be like bloatware (in my opinion).

My suggestion to most people when they are seeking reviews is to find things they have heard that the specific reviewer has reviewed, that way you can get a feeling for how that particular reviewer hears things. We are all very different and our opinions are very subjective.
D
detos375
Hi all; I just received a new Thieaudio Ghost (my first open back headphone ever); is the left cup of the headphone supposed to be angled slightly differently (mine is angled slightly clockwise) compared to the right cup? Is this normal for open back headphones?
Redcarmoose
Redcarmoose
There is also a illusion as to that. Where if you hold and look at one cup it can appear that way? But no in reality, and if you really get down to it, they should be the same.

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