Thinksound, a company composed of former Tivoli Audio, Infinity and V-MODA engineers, entered the headphone scene in December 2009 and so far has come out swinging. In a market that has more competition than any other CE product category, sound quality alone simply is not enough to propel you to the front of the pack. You have to rely a lot on brand, originality, price and niche.
Riding on the back of today’s environmental trend, Thinksound offers environmentally conscientious consumers an eco-friendly alternative to other portable headphones. With a laundry list of features such as packaging made from recycled materials, PVC-free cables, wood from renewable sources and even a bleach-free canvas carrying pouch that looks like it could have been made from hemp (it’s not), Thinksound looks to have their basis covered for the audience they are going after.
There are currently two Thinksound models to choose from. The ts01 (formerly known as the Thunder), priced at $75 (and a street price under $50), features a 10mm driver and passive noise cancelation (meaning the speaker cover blocks outside noise from entering the ear canal) with an emphasis on bass. The smaller Thinksound Rain is supposed to be catered to audio purists who prefer a flat frequency response. Both models are considered IEM (in-ear monitor) canal headphones because they sit inside the ear canal with a snug fit. Typically, models of this design produce better sound because they have a direct shot to your ears without letting outside noise interfere or leak into the soundstage. The downside to this design is that it works so well, that you literally cannot hear outside noise, and it’s recommended that you do not use them for jogging or outside sports for fear that you cannot hear cars or other environmental hazards that you would otherwise want to be aware of.
The Thinksound ts01 includes three extra pairs of silicon canal shoes (total: XS, S, M and L) so that you get the right fit with your ears, a carrying pouch, and a clip that you can use to attach the headphone cable to your shirt or jacket. The Thunder comes in two optional colors: silver cherry and black chocolate.
Specifications include a respectable 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response, 16 Ohm impendence, 10mm driver in a wooden enclosure, 3.5mm gold plated plug. They are elegantly designed with high quality parts, solid feel, and come with a six-month warranty.