ThinkSound is a brand that is near and dear to our hearts at Chip Chick. The fact that they produce the most eco-friendly headphones and place a large emphasis on reducing environmental impact in design and packaging, is just a bonus for us. We actually love them because they sound awesome! Six months ago we reviewed TS02’s older brother the TS01’s. They’ve been our favorite set of buds; they look and sound as great as they did the day we received them. Boy were we excited when we found out that the TS02’s include a microphone and button that work with iPhone’s, iPods, iPads, MacBooks, and even many BlackBerry and Android devices! The button controls phone calls and music. The TS02’s themselves sport an 8mm driver, a beautiful wooden housing, passive noise isolation, and a 3.5mm gold plated plug.
“iPod, iPod Touch, iPod Nano, iPad, iPhone (3G, 3GS, 4), Macbook, Droid II, Droid X, Droid ERIS, HTC Droid Incredible, Samsung Galaxy S, Blackberry (with 3.5mm standard headphone jacks only), Motorola A1600, HTC EVO and many more” -ThinkSound.com
What’s in the Box:
-1 x Set of ThinkSound TS02 Headphones
-1 x Cord Clip
-1 x Cotton Carrying Pouch (sewn from renewable sources)
-4 x pairs of differently size Silicon Ear Fittings
-One Year Limited Warranty
Note: The minimalistic packaging is also made of recycled materials.
All of ThinkSound’s have a noticeably high level of design quality. The housing is crafted with a beautiful cherry colored, or chocolate colored wood. The wood is real, and is not only cosmetic; it makes for a more natural sound. Upon close inspection you can see fibers in the wood, which scream ‘class’. The other aspects of the casing are made of aluminum, black with the chocolate wood and silver with the cherry wood. The cable is PVC-free and appears to look no different than most other headphone cables, although it is a tad bit thicker and is supposed to be a tangle free cable. However, the cord still tangles, but it’s an improvement over standard headphone cables. The button and mic is located just below chin level on the right side of the Y-shaped cable. This sleek tube-shaped bulge has one easy-to-press button and a mic on the other side. The standard 3.5mm headphone plug is gold-plated for increased sound quality. The headphones weigh 12 grams. The 4 pairs of earbud fittings are sized small, medium, large, and extra-large.
Performance and Audio/Music quality:
I will always stress the importance of the perfect ear-bud fit. The difference between a great fit and an okay fit is night and day. With a great fit, the earbud creates a perfect seal in your ear; passive noise cancellation becomes very apparent, and the TS02’s will sound absolutely fantastic. TS02’s sat comfortably in my ears for hours at a time. Audio sounded crisp and clear. The wooden housing helps give the buds a more natural and warm sound (this is especially apparent with acoustic songs). You’ll be able to hear finer details in your music you may not have heard before. While the bass isn’t ‘booming,’ it’s certainly present and it’s well balanced, just like the mids and highs. I was able to put TS02’s passive noise isolation to the real test on the streets of NYC. The performance was great, barely any ambient sound could be heard with the music playing at a reasonable volume.
Microphone and Button:
The built in microphone and control button is a wonderful addition to have on an amazing sounding set of headphones like TS02. It’s surprising that they are compatible with so many devices- that adds a lot of value to these buds. The button is easy to use. On Apple devices one tap will play or pause your music as well a pick up phone calls and end calls. Double press will skip an audio track and triple press will go to the previous track. Holding down the button will bring up the voice control prompt on iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. Using voice control and the TS02 mic you can request to hear any song, artist, or album and can also make phone calls to anyone in your address book. The button works great. It may take a couple tries to get your double tap and triple taps down, but you’ll get used to it quickly.
Making phone calls with the mic is much clearer than you may expect. The mic is on par with the mic on the Apple Earbuds, which is actually quite good. They both sound better than some of the other headphone microphones out there. Your callers probably won’t even realize you’re using a mic unless you’re outside on a busy street. In those cases it’s sometimes helpful to bring the mic closer to your mouth.
ThinkSound’s commitment to producing eco-friendly products is just a bonus to purchasing their awesome-sounding headphones with mic and control button. The TS02’s cost $99.99. If you get a lot of daily use out of their headphones, this is a fair price. For avid music listeners this is not a bad price at all; you’re getting a very comfortable set of buds that are well balanced, sound exceptional, and even include a mic and button. But $100 is still a lot to spend on headphones for most people though. I would recommend to these people either waiting a few months for a price drop (check Amazon), or parting with the mic/button, and saving $25 – $50 depending on the model (also, check Amazon). But for those who can’t wait to get in on the action, ThinkSound TS02 + Mic Earbuds are currently available from ThinkSound.com in Silver Cherry or Black Chocolate.
The Good: Very comfortable, Sound great, Eco-friendly product, great design aesthetic, mic and button controls work well
The Bad: Might be too pricey for some budgets