Thinksound OV21

General Information

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Specifications:
 https://thinksound.com/products/ov21

  • Award-winning thinksound signature acoustics.
  • Voiced by Aaron Fournier, critically acclaimed Audio Engineer and thinksound founder.
  • Expertly crafted 45mm dynamic drivers delivering superb and accurate sound reproduction and an impressively wide soundstage.
  • Plastic components made with Eastman Trēva™−a revolutionary bioplastic created from sustainable wood pulp that reduces resonance, distortion, and improves acoustic performance.
  • Two 4.5’ long detachable, nylon braided, tangle-resistant cables – one with inline mic and one without.
  • Memory foam ear cups and adjustable head band for an insanely comfortable fit. You’ll have no trouble wearing these cans for hours on end.
  • Single button inline microphone and call/music control for crystal clear voice communication, whether you’re taking a business call or gaming online.
  • Compatible with iPhone® Android® and more. An adapter is required if your device does not have a headphone jack.
  • 3.5mm steel reinforced gold plated stereo plug for increased sound clarity and reliability.
  • Passive noise isolation that minimizes ambient sounds, so you can focus on your tunes, not distractions.
  • Headphone storage pouch to keep your ov21’s safe and sound.
  • Two (2) year limited warranty.

Latest reviews

Headphones and Coffee

Previously known as Wretched Stare
ThinkSound
Pros: Natural sounding, large soundstage and beautiful wooded cups, scales with power. It is very comfortable.
Cons: Upper Mids can be hot with more volume, but this is minor, Bass is quick to roll off, earpads are not easily replaced.
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Specifications:
45mm dynamic drivers with a 5Hz to 22kHz frequency response. 99±3dB at 1KHz 1mW sensitivity and 50Ω impedance.

First thing noticed is the packaging is Environmentally friendly and I appreciate that, opening it up one sees the walnut housing of these really good-looking headphones. Both the 2 cables one with and one without a microphone and the headphones have a nice cloth pouch to keep them in.
The headphones are lightweight but sturdy being made of metal and wood with a little plastic. They are very comfortable as the pads are plush and the headband as well.

Sound:
Bass:
Presents with good speed and nice tight punch. Bass is more quality than quantity but is still very present and sub bass has a good rumble just a fast roll off. Mid Bass is impactful but more towards the warmish neutral side. Overall Bass has good energy and control.

Mids:
Upper mids have a little emphasis and are a little spicy particularly with poor recording and female vocals. Lower Mids are a little warm and male vocals sounded good and natural. Mids overall sound clear and pleasant with a slightly forward position in front of the instruments.

Treble:
Presents very open and airy with sparkle and details, While they have a good extension and energy they never got harsh or fatiguing in my opinion.

Soundstage:
One of the OV21's strong points is the excellent wide open soundstage for a closed back this is unexpected, the soundstage is wide and has good depth and height as well as great imaging and lairing, prefect for mobile gaming.

Conclusion: I was impressed with the overall performance, The OV21 is well made comfortable and sounds great. The price puts it in a very competitive area. Still I do like them and think they have a place due to their uniqueness .

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ywheng89

100+ Head-Fier
Thinksound OV21's Long term usage Review
Pros: Good technicalities (Soundstage and Imaging)
Airy Treble and plenty of details
Natural and good timbre
Solid build quality
Cons: Bass is slightly rolled off
Slight upper mids boost might not be for everyone
Intro
Thinksound’s OV21 is a closed back over ear headphone, the outer part of the cup is made of wood and within it houses a 45mm dynamic driver. As a whole, thinksound is a company who cares about good sound and also sustainability, the plastics on the headphone are made of bioplastics with Eastmen Treva.

Packaging
The packaging is bare minimal as I believe this is due to sustainability. It came with two types of cable, one with a microphone and another one without. A cloth storage pouch for the cables and also the headphone itself. The overall packaging I would describe as being simple and clean, yet functional.
Personally i preferred if it comes with a hard carrying case to store the headphone as it offers more protection than a cloth storage pouch

Build/Comfort
Build quality of OV21 is solid and there isn’t any creaking sound from the plastics nor it looks flimsy at all. As mentioned earlier, the outer part of the cup is made of wood and what’s special about it is that not every pair of OV21 will look the same due to pattern and colour variation from the wood.

The clamping force is average and fits snuggly on my head, the earpads are memory foam earpads and it is very soft and doesn’t cause any discomfort even after a long listening session. Getting a good seal is also crucial for the bass response. The earpads are easily replaceable as they are attached using some magnetic pad. However, I have also spoken to thinksound’s rep on the possibility of using a third party earpad, as long as the measurement is suitable for OV21, there shouldn't be any issue fitting it. I will update this section once they get back to me with the measurements.

Source
Windows 11 Tidal -> Chord Mojo -> Thinksound OV21
Windows 11 Tidal -> iFi iDSD Nano Black Lable -> Thinksound OV21
iPod Touch 4th Gen -> Thinksound OV21
iPhone 12 Mini Apple Music -> Apple Lightning Dongle -> Thinksound OV21

Sound
Let me begin by saying that upon putting them on and listening to them for the first time, I didn't like it at all. It was bright and the bass was lean, and so I've decided to let them burn in for a little while before listening to them again. To my surprise, the sound does change over time and the brightness is slightly toned down and the bass has got more slams compared to the first listen. So, I've put them through for about 50-60 hours and used them for a month plus prior to writing this review. This is to ensure that my impression/thoughts are as neutral as possible.

OV21 is quite neutral to my ears. The tonality of OV21 is leaning towards neutral bright.
The timbre is slightly dry to my preference, but is quite accurate overall. I find OV21 to be quite sensitive to source change, in the sense where the sound can be colored by different source, for example, on my iPod Touch 4th Gen, the bass on the OV21 is slightly boosted and the top end is slightly smoother, where as on iFi iDSD Nano Black Label, i would say it is slightly reference sounding with a fast and tight bass and plenty of details on the top end.

Bass
  • Bass on the OV21 is fast and tight, do not expect basshead level of bass performance, OV21 is nothing like that
  • Sub bass will rumble when its called for, but it is lacking in extension
  • The bass performance of OV21 is very good for songs like Metallica’s Master of Puppets, Slipknot’s Duality, Mastodon’s Pushing the Tides where the bass is fast enough to not cause the track to be become muddy
  • I personally preferred the bass to have a little bit more in terms of quantity, but that’s just my preference
  • Overall, i would say the bass performance is audiophile kind of bass response where it is not boosted but rather flat

Mids
  • Male vocal has got average texture to it, not too dry sounding
  • Female vocal lacks a little warmth hence sounding a little bit dry, but not to the point where it deters you from enjoying female vocal track
  • It could be from the slightly boosted upper mids, you get plenty of details but some instruments could came off a little fatiguing such as cymbal splash

Treble
  • Treble response is smooth and not harsh
  • It is very airy and its full of details, i personally think that this is the strong point of OV21
  • Micro details are very good and you don’t really have to try very hard to listen to the sound of certain faint instruments


Soundstage/imaging
  • The soundstage is also part of OV21’s strong point. For a closed back headphone, it definitely doesn’t sound like one given the soundstage performance
  • The soundstage has got a good depth and width, it doesn’t sound in your head nor too artificially wide
  • Imaging is also good as instruments can be pinpointed easily and left right transition for HRTF is also very good

Drivability
  • OV21 is very easy to drive, you can get good listening volume straight out of headphone jack from your phone
  • It does benefit from a better source, a warmer source in particular to slightly tame the top end for those who are sensitive to treble
  • Straight out of 4th gen iPod touch gives a very good listening experience as well, you can get a good listening experience from any device in my experience
  • It doesn’t really benefit much from amping based on my experience, the sound doesn’t really change much

Final Thoughts
OV21 is not some headphone where you first listened and you get the “WOW” moment, it is a headphone that you will grow to love over time, at least for me. As mentioned earlier, I didn't like it at all upon listening to it after I unboxed it.

I believe I am fair and have used this headphone for more than a month plus prior to writing this review instead of writing the review one week after listening to it. If I had written the review back then, it wouldn’t be fair to OV21 as I didn't give them a proper listening session. The timbre is good and natural, not to mention the soundstage and imaging capability. The only thing that I find lacking is the bass.

Will I recommend OV21? Yes, and only if you are someone who is not sensitive to treble and not a basshead, if you like analytical sound and flat bass, OV21 is for you.

If you are interested in getting a pair, head over to thinksound’s store!

*I received OV21 from thinksound in exchange for my review, i covered the shipping and taxes only. My thoughts are exactly of mine and I am not influenced by thinksound in any way to produce this review.

*Pictures will be attached on my website
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adriansticoid

New Head-Fier
thinksound ov21 Review: Organic Build, Organic Sound
Pros: Massive soundstage for a closedback headphone
Superb transparency
Excellent build quality
Extremely comfortable
Cons: Minor shoutiness in the upper mids and some instances of sibilance
Introduction:
thinksound is a company based in Canada that produces portable audio gears. They started in 2009 and got known for using wood housing in their products. 12 years later, the ov21 is launched, which is thinksound's first over-ear headphones. In addition to wood, all plastic components of the ov21 are made of Eastman Trēva, a bioplastic created from sustainable wood pulp that, according to thinksound, "reduces resonance, distortion, and improves acoustic performance". The ov21 currently retails for 400 USD, and was provided to me for free by thinksound in exchange for this review.
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International purchase link

Specifications:
Driver unit: 45 mm dynamic
Impedance: 50 ohms
Sensitivity: not specified
Frequency response range: 5 Hz - 22 kHz


Source:
Poco X3 paired with FiiO KA3, iBasso DC03, Shanling UA1, Tempotec Sonata E35 and Zishan U1

Test tracks:
Africano - Earth Wind and Fire
Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Gurenge - Lisa
The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
Monsters - All Time Low
Ours - Taylor Swift
Stay - Mayday Parade
Snuff - Slipknot
Yesterday Once More - Carpenters
So Slow - Freestyle
Aurora Sunrise - Franco
Attention - Pentatonix
Blue Bird - Ikimono-gakari
You're Still The One - Shania Twain
Anyone Who Knows What Love Is(Will Understand) - Irma Thomas
Salamin - Slapshock
AOV - Slipknot
Hey Jude - The Beatles
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
...and a lot more.

Unboxing and Accessories:
The ov21 comes in a large, sleeved box. Upon removing the sleeve and the top lid, you will see the headphones and other accessories wrapped in a honeycomb wrapper and paper string. Inside, there are two drawstring pouches. The bigger one contains the headphones, while the smaller one contains two cables and a female 3.5 mm to male 6.35 mm adapter. There is also a small instruction manual. The unboxing experience here feels very organic, and you can tell that all materials used are recycled or recyclable.
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Build:
The headband is made of metal with plastic edges. It has a thick and soft leather padding with the thinksound logo at the top portion. The yokes are made of metal. The earcups are made of plastic and has six holes in each side at the top portion that acts as ventilation. Beside the vents, there is a small rubber piece that prevents the earcups from grinding onto the metal yokes. The faceplates are made of walnut wood and also sport the thinksound logo. The earpads, just like the headband pads, are thick yet very soft. It is glued to a plastic piece that attaches to the earcups through a magnet.
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There are two cables included. One with a microphone with a single button control and one without. They have average thickness and moderately soft, and sleeved with Kevlar fabric. The 3.5 mm gold plated plugs are made of plastic.

Now let's get to the sound.

Lows:
The lows have a tiny bit of elevation. Subbass is slightly more forward than the midbass, and those really low vibrations can be felt. The depth is excellent, yet the amount of rumble is at just the right spot as well as the decay. Midbass seems to be neutral, having adequate thickness and impact.

Overall, the ov21 does not overwhelm you with the quantity of its lows, but the ability of its drivers to output very low frequencies is praiseworthy.

Mids:
The mids are placed at the center of the stage. The mids feel airy, spacious and with great clarity. Lower mids are slightly thin, and then there is an obvious boost in the upper mids. This results in rare occasions of female vocals being slightly shouty, and lead guitars feeling a tad aggressive at times.

Overall, there are instances where the mids can become marginally uncomfortable. Nevertheless, vocals and instruments sound crisp, well-defined and have great transparency. It feels like a change in the headphone pads can reduce the peaks.

Highs:
The highs have an excellent level of crunch and shimmer. Treble reach and its decay is above average. Cymbals and guitar solos sound very energetic and lively. However, the highs doesn't reach the point where it becomes painfully piercing, but a slight sibilance is noticeable in some tracks.

Overall, this is the strongest point of the ov21's sound. The amount of detail, air, and clarity in this section is just simply remarkable.

Soundstage and Imaging:
Remember that the ov21 is a closedback headphone, but the soundstage is huge. The width has a bit more expansion than the height. It gives off that holographic vibe to the music without feeling unnatural or artificial. The accuracy and transparency of the imaging is superb. Instruments are nicely separated and layered, and congestion is non-existent especially in well recorded tracks.

Conclusion:
The thinksound ov21 is an excellent pair of cans that is for those who aim for a natural sound with bits of added energy and excitement in the mids and highs. Additional points for thinksound being environmentally friendly with the materials that they used. The ov21 is not free from flaws, but without a doubt, its technical performance is its trump card against others.
Last edited:
LostnAmerica
LostnAmerica
Nice thorough review. I have a question or two regarding your comments: "The earpads, just like the headband pads, are thick yet very soft. It is glued to a plastic piece that attaches to the earcups through a magnet.", does that mean that the ear pads are Not upgradeable/replaceable? Also, do you think the minor "shoutinesss" and some instances sibilance can be EQ's out?...Thank you again for your info on these and for your responses to my questions.

Cheers
adriansticoid
adriansticoid
@LostnAmerica Glad you liked my review! The earpads are replaceable but you would have to remove the plastic piece from the old earpads and then glue the replacement pads to it.

For your second question, yes the aggressiveness can be toned down through EQ. The ov21s are very responsive to EQ.
LostnAmerica
LostnAmerica
Thx. for the quick response! Darn, the glueing of the pads pretty much will eliminate me from these, but if I had an extra $400, I'd probably get a pair. I am currently saving for my GH40 (Or a used GH50 JM)...:)...
Cheers

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