Headphone Review: ThinkSound MS-01

[IMG]Last summer, I did an exciting battle between 5 pairs of wooden headphones. The ThinkSound TS02 came out the victor of that grand battle. Since then, ThinkSound hasn’t been asleep, hibernating gracefully in the background. Instead, they decided to release a new flagship IEM in their new monitoring series that they dubbed the MS-01. The MS-01 takes many of the problems I found with the TS02 and gives a good fix to them.  Read on for the full review:

Specifications

  • Driver: 8 mm Dynamic Driver
  • Frequency Response: 18 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB
  • Impedance: 16 ohms

In the Box

  • ThinkSound MS01 IEM
  • 4 sets of silicone tips (XS/S/M/L)
  • Carrying Pouch
  • Ear Hooks
[IMG]
The MS01 includes a good amount of accessories.

Design

The design of the new MS01s are slightly larger in comparison to the TS02s, but the main design aspects that ThinkSound uses in all their IEMs are still present. However, ThinkSound comes out to create a more aestetically pleasing design in comparison to the TS02 with a better contrast to color. The silver baffle on the MS01 looks stunning next to the wood grain. The dark baffle and the lighter wood complement each other beautifully and look gorgeous.

[IMG]
The wood on these IEMs gives a nice texture for the monitors while the baffle creates a beautiful contrast.

Design: ★★★★★

Audio

The MS01s were made to be a monitoring headphone, but were definitely tuned for the general public. The signature is balanced, which was something I was expecting. It still sounds like there is a slight emphasis in the low end. The low end is powerful, digs deep, and rarely overpowers. The mids are detailed and clear over the TS02, but lack the energy I look for. The highs are presented in a nice fashion with good energy and sparkle, but lack the delicacy that can make them amazing.

Bass

The bass on the MS01 is the first thing that you notice, and it slaps you silly. The lows are impactful and dig deep. That said, the texture is absolutely wonderful with these. However, due to the mass impact that these give, they can seem slightly overpowering every once in a while. The bass body is partly to blame for this as they do have a large bass body that creates a presence that never disappears.

Bass: ★★★★½

Mids

The midrange gives a good push here and is where the IEMs shine well and proud. The midrange detail is rendered nicely. The clarity in the mids is absolutely wonderful. The separation is great due to the layering that these create in the instruments. However, the sound stage isn’t the biggest. Energy is present everywhere in the midrange, however, I did find it lacking ever-so-slightly once in a blue moon in the vocals. This wasn’t enough to impact the score negatively though.

Mids: ★★★★★

Highs

Treble-wise, these headphones deliver, but aren’t perfect. The detailing, like in the midrange, is presented in a nice fashion while the clarity and separation is top notch. Time was spent on the highs, and it does show. However, the high end wasn’t as delicate as I’d like them and can be sibilant at times. Overall though, still presented in a great matter and the highs are nothing to be ashamed of.

Highs: ★★★★½

Audio: ★★★★½

Build

A small pouch is accompanied by each and every MS01, and although I believe the IEMs can survive without it, it’s still good to have some protective covering over an IEM of this caliber. The pouch is the same one that comes with all the other ThinkSound headphones, and really, the entirely build hasn’t been given an update.

[IMG]
The same pouch that comes with all their other IEMs is included with these.

The housings are composed of wood and are hefty and strong, like wood should be. The aluminum baffles feel solid and the housings as a whole are nicely built. I don’t have any complaints with the housings, the strain reliefs coming out of each of them are long enough and thick enough while still being able to remain flexible.

The cable is Kevlar reinforced, so we can count on them lasting. Regardless of how thin they are, this reuinforcement will help them. They are extremely tangle resistant, and like the TS02s, I’ve never had them tangle on me. They have just the right amount of consistency to keep them flexible, but also never tangle.

The headphone jack is the only problematic area, and it’s not too problematic at all. The jack itself is thick with a nice, strong strain relief that is flexible as well. The gold plating is a definite plus. However, like the TS02, I’d rather still have an angled jack.

[IMG]
The headphone on these is straight, but ThinkSound does do everything else perfect.

Build: ★★★★½

Comfort

Like the TS02, the MS01 provides a great amount of comfort. Some of this is due to their small, lightweight housings which just float on your ears. ThinkSound offers a nice selection of tips to ensure that they are comfortable for you.

[IMG]
Included with the MS01 are four sets of silicone tips.

Also included with the MS01, that isn’t included with the TS02, are the two ear hooks. These provide stability when wearing them over the ear and work great if you plan to be active with these. They are probably the most comfortable ear hooks I’ve used from any company.

[IMG]
The included ear hooks help keep the IEMs stable when running.

Comfort: ★★★★★

Value

MSRP for these is around 120 dollars. ThinkSound is selling them directly for around 100 right now while Amazon and other retailers are doing the same. Even at 120 dollars, these IEMs are worth every penny being able to compare to IEMs twice their price. A bundle of great build quality, amazing comfort, and an unbelievable audio for the price makes these an amazing bang for the buck IEM.

Value: ★★★★★

Final Thoughts

ThinkSound, with the new MS01 in the Monitoring Series, comes out to best their previous flagship and is a welcomed new IEM in the ThinkSound family. The thing that impressed me most was the audio, then the price. These are a huge steal at 100 big ones. If you’re in the area for new headphones, don’t overlook these as they are wonderful monitors.

I’d like to thank Aaron for the review sample.

Overall Score
[IMG]

ThinkSound MS01

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
This accessory, product, or app was received as a sample. Thanks Aaron for the product sample.
Post a response / What do you think?