Thinksound ON2 Headphones
Thinksound ON2 Headphones
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Product Description
From Thinksound, a small company that’s built its name on neutral, detailed audio and a commitment to sustainability, the On2 Monitor Series headphones deliver admirably on both fronts. Everything from the PVC-free cables to the packaging, which uses recycled materials, is designed to reduce their environmental impact Read More
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4.6
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Sandifop
6
Nov 11, 2019
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I’m A Fan, Not A Fan Boy
I have now purchased three pair of ON2s and have to contain my enthusiasm or I'll come of as a shill: I do not have any objective here other than write my subjective review. I bought the first pair of ON2 on a whim because the cost was good. I was hoping to find a pair of headphones to cut down on cabin noise in airliners, while avoiding IEMs (which make my ears itch for days after using) and batteries. The ON2s checked all of these boxes. The sound was neutral enough I thought I could use them in my work during studio video shoots and so bought a second pair for work. I have since bought a third pair for my son. (And he loves them) Pros:  - Pretty - About 20db of passive noise attenuation  - Batteries not included (or required) - Comes with both a mic'd and un-mic'd cord - Both ends of the audio cables are 3.5mm phone (very handy) - The sound is not objectionable - The mic is pretty good (not noise cancelling) - Pretty small and folding - Nice ‘under $100’ gift - Good support from the company Cons: - Look too pretty; you might have to find baby sox to protect the wood - An ear-pad on one of my three pair has come loose on occasion, not a big concern for me - Both of the included audio cables are a good length for "personal audio" use but too short for my use on a camera (not a problem for me since both ends are 3.5mm phone, of which I have several longer spares) I'm not going to run on. I didn’t address the audio quality because, at $100, I find these to be a fair deal but not a “big deal.” The best I can say is they present nothing objectionable, the worst is they are not greatly detailed: The sound is good enough for my use with the video camera and personal audio on the train. ON2s are rugged enough for my camera bag and the company quickly corrected an issue I had when (likely) my camera bag was too rough on one of my earpieces. Good enough for government work. Good enough for the train.
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Nov 11, 2019
RyeGuy
6
Apr 3, 2019
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I find the ON2 sound signature enjoyable. I generally like a mostly neutral sound with a slight increase in the low end, because it allows me to listen to a wide range of things. I am sensitive to sibilance, so I don't enjoy headphones with large spikes in the high end for "additional detail" or being "analytical". ON2 don't have this characteristic. At a reasonable listing volume and passive isolation, it will block out the noise of a group of people talking. For me, the only problem is long term use with glasses.
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Apr 3, 2019
halfhappy
0
Mar 17, 2019
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Very nice headphone,good sound,but confort is not very good the almohadillas are to small.worse if you wear glasses.on top of all that the customs tax that i paid diden't make the offer very good. It's not a very good bargain.
Mar 17, 2019
tvr2500m
34
Mar 25, 2019
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Unfortunate for your customs cost. Yes, nice headphone, good sound. To your comfort point... I have only used to any extent a few on-ear headphones, this being one of them. I tend to be a bit indifferent to comfort, but the on-ear headphones I've used have passed my threshold of comfort indifference to being notably uncomfortable at some point. The ON2 earcups do sit squarely on the ears. When not wearing glasses, I've found them to be comfortable enough. With glasses, the temple pieces can be pinched tightly between my ear and head and be uncomfortable after wearing them a while.
Mar 25, 2019
brutain
1
Mar 16, 2019
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Excellent value, competitive with more expensive headphones. They look and sound great, even driven by a basic source like a regular laptop computer or SANSA MP3. The appearance and build also impressive and the way they fold makes for convenient transport or storage. Not giving 5 stars only because of comfort when wearing eyeglasses - they are fine for an hour or so, then need a break, this is a feel/fit issue (not sound) which I have with most headphones. I am not aware of a better product at the retail price, let alone the Massdrop discount.
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Mar 16, 2019
Joff
2
Mar 15, 2019
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I bought these principally to help with recording my Vinyl collection (editing track ends and repairing pops and crackles). I wanted clarity and tuned towards neutrality and I needed them to isolate from outside noise. These do all that: there is very slight warmth in the bass but even low down the clarity - at all volumes - is quite remarkable for this price. The editing/repair work requires high volumes and these simply do not distort. Mids and highs are crisp . I like them so much that I am also using them now with my DAP (Hidizs A80). The quality of what is essentially a low price combination is simply staggering and despite the neutrality they are highly entertaining. Bargain.
Mar 15, 2019
KFYuen
1
Mar 14, 2019
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It's a good headphone for this low price. Comfortable and great sound. Recommend to one who enjoy music from headphones.
Mar 14, 2019
KBDUser
36
Mar 13, 2019
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Inconsistent, often soulless.   I’m going to get flak for what I’m saying here. I understand that. I’m not an audiophile or a reviewer. But these headphones, for me, did not perform as I hoped they would.   Let me start by saying that these are very attractive headphones, and they feel nice in the hand. The weight is pleasant, and they come with two detachable cables in a nice canvas bag.   The detachability of the cables increases the utility of the headphones, but they still aren't optimal for most things I would use headphones for.   As one reviewer here argued, “For professional studio use they are not detailed enough and for portable use they are not fun enough."   This is completely true. I use studio headphones, and these are not accurate enough for that task. Nor are they fun enough for a wide range of music choices.   I would say that these headphones are inconsistent. They are highly influenced by sound source, and whatever is driving it seems only to present music well half of the time.   [I am usually driving these with a Fiio USB DAC K1 on a PC, but also on various Apple mobile devices. This includes the iPad Air 2, which has an excellent sound chip].   My overall impression while using it for music is that the ON2 is competent enough at presenting music as intended, but it won't blow you away. It presents a decent 'stage,' but it lacks heart. It's very inconsistent as to what it's good at, even within the same album.     A number of Daft Punk songs featured muddy bass, and it wasn't too punchy either. Maybe it's just source dependent:   "Da Funk" almost felt like being at a concert, but "Give Life Back to Music" and "Doin' it Right" were kinda blurry.   The explict techno bits in Da Funk sounded pretty clear, so I decided to try Kraftwerk.   It's much better at techno. "Computer World" was trying to massage my ears. This is where the headphones came into their own.   On a hunch, I tried the System Shock 2 soundtrack in FLAC, but it was surprisingly muddy.   On the other hand, I heard new dimensions in Mark Morgan's Fallout soundtrack. (e.g. "Flame of the Ancient World.") Vampire: Bloodlines also rocked.   If you like OCRemix's of video game albums, sorry, but these headphones didn't really bring out the best in those. [Except for a Zelda 2 remix, 'Temple Trance.' Or try OC ReMix #1341.]     It handled acoustics nicely in a French Canadian album. The audio accompaniments built up well over the course of various tracks. Some potential here with Manuel De Falla's work, as well.   I was about to give up on these headphones as being something particularly special, until I tried "The Peddlers: On a Clear Day" [192K bit-rate]. Clear audio location, rich voice, soft beat: If you put the right source in these phones, they sound okay.   They play Jazz and Classical okay, not sure if they are too memorable in this respect.   So is there anything that they are consistently good at?   Yes.   Movie soundtracks.   I went on Youtube and tried a number of film scores. For me, this is what these headphones were put on Earth for.   Movie soundtracks is where this thing starts kicking ass and taking names. The Thinksound's above-average ability to create a sound canvas and project sound sources delivers the audio effectively.     Unfortunately, this clarity and positioning does not extend to all media types. I tried a couple of video games with the ON2 on a PC, and they sounded mediocre or worse. Tinny and muddy, muffled in some cases. Maybe it's a driver issue, but my PC speakers handle the same sources just fine.     FINAL THOUGHTS   Using these headphone is like watching beautiful 4K TV on a satellite connection that sometimes becomes low-res or fizzles into digital static. Sometimes, they are amazing and out-of-this-world. At other times, they are sub-par or even outstandingly awful. Maybe one of the cans is damaged, or something. I don't know.   Since I don't get consistent excellence with music, why use the ON2? It's also not accurate enough for studio work. You can forget video games. The only thing it is consistently good at are movie soundtracks.       The ON2 has good aural positioning - I can hear left and right channels distinctly.   It picks up vibrations where they're intended, and beats are fairly distinct. It kinda feels like you're there where it's being recorded, in a faint way.     Male vocals are clear in enunciation, but high-pitched vocals lack punch. They're accurate, maybe, but they don't hit you.   Sound isolation is actually pretty good. Many on-ear headphones and IEMs lack this feature.     The ON2 is Good for: -Acoustics -Pure instrumental techno -some Alternative bands -some classic video game soundtracks (e.g. Fallout 1) -Movie and TV soundtracks (Blade Runner, Twin Peaks, Mad Max 1 "Main Title," Blazing Saddles, Damnation Alley, even Robocop. Maybe Conan.) -Voice narration   Not so good for:   -Heavy/Detailed Bass (I find it muddy) -low-res remixes of video game soundtracks   In all likelihood, I should have picked up the 58X, which is probably a more consistent performer.
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Mar 13, 2019
ShawnP.Watson
141
Nov 16, 2019
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What have you compared them to with your evaluation? $80-$90 bucks, these are hard to beat. Have you been fair considering the cost in your estimation?
Nov 16, 2019
KBDUser
36
Nov 16, 2019
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That is a good question, and a fair one. I don't have a lot of headphones to compare them to, just studio monitors I use elsewhere (some of them high-end Sennheisers), and my own personal Sony MDR-V6. I was evaluating the ON2 based on how they fit my own needs, rather than how they compare to other headphones in the same price bracket. For example, the MDR-V6 are probably more fun, but far less analytical. I haven't listened to them for a while, though, as I am primarily using IEMs right now. The ON2 has impressive technicalities, there's no doubt about it. However, I really did find that for me, they were in an unhappy zone between "accurate studio monitor" and "fun headphones." They are really good at bringing out the details in some types of music, but sound flat or sterile with other types. This inconsistent performance made them unreliable for me. That being said, I may have been a little harsh. I had wanted to give them 3.5 stars, rather than 3, but I don't think that the system allowed me to. If I were to re-evaluate them today, I might give them 4 stars for maybe having a similar role as "analytical" IEMs, like some of the multi-BAs that are now common, even if the sound is completely different. But that's still a little generous, because they don't fit my personal needs. Look, from a build quality standpoint, these are phenomenal. I think that the Thinksound ON2 are some of the nicest looking headphones I have ever seen. They are comfortable, and the fit is easy. The cable is very pleasant to use, and detach. Given the use of some sustainable materials, such as wood, and the ON2's technicalities, these feel like the headphones of the future. But also in a bad way, because they sound robotic at times. With a different tuning, I would be more enthusiastic about them. They just don't fit my needs as studio monitors, or "fun" headphones.
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Nov 16, 2019
dcha12
279
Mar 13, 2019
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I posted a set of full impressions here. The upshot is that in terms of sound quality alone, these are by far the best supraaural (on-ear) headphones that I've ever heard. They are easy to drive, so my Galaxy S8 has no problems driving them. Put it this way, to make adequate comparisons, I compared these to things like the HD 6XX, an open-back headphone that is not easy to drive. If that doesn't tell you anything, than just know that these sound really good and you can laugh at the other people wearing Beats.
Mar 13, 2019
louiscaponi
11
Mar 5, 2019
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Unbelievable sound great value
Mar 5, 2019
Fairingrey
96
Feb 27, 2019
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Color me impressed. The Thinksound ON2 is by far one of the best on-ear headphones you can get under $150 USD. At $90 USD, it's practically a steal. It's more proof that audio happiness can come in small and beautiful packages, and it's an especially attractive offer if you need a set of portables that aren't IEMs. Not to mention they're a pretty good gateway drug for getting your friends into better audio, as some people may be grossed out by the thought of sharing something that's been in someone else's ear. And they're a nice fashion statement, so you won't be embarrassed walking out in public with them. Prior reviews I read before purchasing: I was almost skeptical that on-ears could sound this good, but it's not out of the world. I was thinking I could use a new pair of headphones for my commute, as I miss listening to my TH-X00's at home and my old Dunu Titan 1's just weren't doing it for me anymore, as the driver probably worn out after years of abuse (as I sometimes wore them after swimming practice without drying my ears thoroughly). Gave my brother my Titan 1's (which he seems to enjoy as a backup pair), and joined the drop for these. And I only received them just yesterday, so these are really just first impressions. EDIT: They still sound great. Not disappointed. The Thinksound ON2 is a wooden on-ear headphone with gorgeous cups made in sapele, a wood similar to mahogany. Both sapele and mahogany are well-known for their acoustic properties; they help provide a nice thick, warm, meaty sound, and you'll often find them in higher end headphones like the Fostex TH-X00/TR-X00 (mahogany) and the ZMF Aeolus (sapele). So on their sound -- you wouldn't expect this out of an on-ear typically, but their detail retrieval is very remarkable. While the instrument separation isn't on the level of a full-fledged high-end over-ear headphone, it's amazing how they can cram that much detail into a 40mm driver that basically sits right aside your ear. The overall sound signature is a bit warm, smooth and natural, with a tiny edge given to bass, but not much. These won't have that basshead punch/impact that you might get in Fostex/ZMF's biocellulose drivers, but you probably wouldn't find that in most on-ear headphones anyway. That said, they work with most genres, and its hard to find things to complain about. I will remark though, that they won't nullify bad recordings as well as other more intense headphones might. Also, since they're meant for portable use, they're relatively high sensitivity and don't necessarily need an amp, although you're welcome to carry one. The passive noise isolation is also pretty good too. Design and build-wise, these are great. Thinksound has their minds in the right place with this type of headphone design. They've reduced a lot of the stress points you may find in other headphones while still managing to stay ergonomic. The right and left side are color-coded for convenience, and they're distinguishable even in low light environments. The faux leather headband and earpads hold up well to sweat, and while the clamp can get a little tight, it's not excessive at all. As someone that wears glasses, there aren't any hotspots I can feel. I could wear these for 2 or 3 hours before I might have to let my ears breathe a little. They're still closed, after all. On that topic, the earpads are completely round so it's not out of the question you could try experimenting with other pads if you can find some in a similar size. That said, stock pads are pretty good already so I wouldn't fret over it. Durability-wise, well... You can scroll down to the end here. It's for the On1, but the On2 should be fairly identical (different stitching on the headband, no extra holes in the cups, slightly different tuning, etc). Anyways, these are way too good to not recommend. At $200, these wouldn't be a bad purchase, but there's a lot of competition out there. But at $90 you'd be very hard-pressed to find a better deal. Try these, see if you like them, like them and spread the word. And if on-ear headphones just aren't your thing, well, once the Massdrop x Meze 99 Noir is finally back in stock, it's probably going to destroy every other portable closed-back headphone in the $200 - $500 range. So just sit tight and wait a few more months for those.
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Feb 27, 2019
ShawnP.Watson
141
Nov 16, 2019
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I like the ON2 better than my Meze99's.
Nov 16, 2019
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That is a good question, and a fair one. I don't have a lot of headphones to compare them to, just studio monitors I use elsewhere (some of them high-end Sennheisers), and my own personal Sony MDR-V6. I was evaluating the ON2 based on how they fit my own needs, rather than how they compare to other headphones in the same price bracket. For example, the MDR-V6 are probably more fun, but far less analytical. I haven't listened to them for a while, though, as I am primarily using IEMs right now. The ON2 has impressive technicalities, there's no doubt about it. However, I really did find that for me, they were in an unhappy zone between "accurate studio monitor" and "fun headphones." They are really good at bringing out the details in some types of music, but sound flat or sterile with other types. This inconsistent performance made them unreliable for me. That being said, I may have been a little harsh. I had wanted to give them 3.5 stars, rather than 3, but I don't think that the system allowed me to. If I were to re-evaluate them today, I might give them 4 stars for maybe having a similar role as "analytical" IEMs, like some of the multi-BAs that are now common, even if the sound is completely different. But that's still a little generous, because they don't fit my personal needs. Look, from a build quality standpoint, these are phenomenal. I think that the Thinksound ON2 are some of the nicest looking headphones I have ever seen. They are comfortable, and the fit is easy. The cable is very pleasant to use, and detach. Given the use of some sustainable materials, such as wood, and the ON2's technicalities, these feel like the headphones of the future. But also in a bad way, because they sound robotic at times. With a different tuning, I would be more enthusiastic about them. They just don't fit my needs as studio monitors, or "fun" headphones.