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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.
I like the ON2 better than my Meze99's.