By: Jonathan Kwan
November 21, 2014
I woke up early in the morning one Friday morning in late September. As leaves on the tree began to fall, and the ground is decorated by a new found blanket of yellow scatter, young kids are making their way to school to embark on a new year of challenges. What lies ahead of them is uncertain; what is certain is as surely as the sun rises from the east, the bell to indicate the beginning of class is about to ring. I started my car, and stopped just before the end of my driveway, patiently waiting for a spot on the road between cars driven by parents eagerly trying to get their children to class on time. Sitting in the seat next to me inside a hemp-looking cotton drawstring bag -- with the "thinksound" logo proudly proclaimed across the front -- is a pair of On1 supra aural headphones. I got on the road, drove out of my neighborhood, and merged into an expressway to a endless stream of motorists traveling to their destination of the hour. My destination of the hour, however, happens not to be work or school. Instead, it was to the dealership to drop my vehicle off for a morning appointment. I arrived right on the minute, pulled into the service bay, and dropped my keys off to the friendly receptionist at the desk, who led me to the shuttle bus sign up sheet next door. Fifteen minutes later, I boarded a minivan that took me to the University of Calgary. Still, clutched in my arms is the pair of thinksound On1 in its drawstring bag. After a brief chat with the driver, I arrived to door of my building. I got into my office, pulled out my chair, sat down, and placed the supra aural headphones next to its new friend, the V-MODA XS, who was already there waiting for it on the desk. Things began to heat up as a few of my coworkers dropped by to witness this rivalry on the brink of commencement. I plugged the thinksound On1 into SilverStone EB01-E and EB03 setup. Here at APH Networks, the first day of the thinksound On1 was about to begin.
About two months ago, our review unit of the thinksound On1 arrived in a compact, white corrugated cardboard box from the company's American headquarters in Somersworth, New Hampshire. Using USPS at first, and transferred to Canada Post as it crossed the border, after traveling almost coast to coast on the continent, the people working on both sides of the 49th parallel did a fine job at making sure everything arrived in excellent condition for our review today. When I first saw the package at the counter of the local postal office here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, I was rather surprised at how slim the package was.
Upon opening the shipping box, the retail package of the thinksound On1 is found placed neatly inside. Not only is it slim in form factor; it is also really clean looking -- even somewhat reminiscent of Apple's artwork. The white background is decorated with the model name at the top left corner, along with a product description situated underneath the "On1 Monitor Series" text. thinksound's logo is placed at the opposing corner. In the middle of it all is the thinksound On1 headset posing for the camera, as you can see in our photo above. Other than that, there is nothing much going on around the remaining sides. At the back, you will find specifications and a brief overview of the company, and that is pretty much the gist of it. To get to the contents inside, simply side the inner box out of the wrapper, either from the top, or through the bottom.
Before we move on, let us take a look at the features and specifications of the thinksound On1, as obtained from the manufacturer's website:
- Hand crafted natural wood housing for accurate music reproduction
- Award-winning thinksound™ signature acoustics
- Frequency Response: 5Hz-22kHz
- Impedance: 50 ohms
- Plug: 3.5mm steel reinforced gold plated stereo plug for increased sound clarity
- Driver Size: 40mm dynamic driver
- Weight (Approximate): 10g Ultra-lightweight design
- Two (2) 4.5’ long detachable cables – (1) with mic control and (1) without
- Single button microphone + call/music control for mobile communication
- Compatible with iPhone®, Android® and more
- Kevlar® reinforced, tangle-resistant fabric cable
- Passive Noise Isolation minimizes ambient sounds
- Memory Foam ear pads for maximum comfort and wearability
- Flexible metal headband with comfortable fabric overlay
- Sweat-resistant design, perfect for the gym
- Two (2) year limited warranty
thinksound is a very environmentally conscious company, and we can see this right from the product packaging. From the minimal box size to the inner tray constructed out of recycled materials, it is always encouraging to see companies cut down on unnecessary waste. I am no environmentalist, but there is really no point in making something excessive, only to be thrown out the moment it arrives in the hands of the consumer. Here, you will find absolutely no plastic bubble inserts, nor are there any foam. Even the headphones themselves are made out of wood from renewable sources, and both included cables -- one with a microphone and one without -- are PVC free. And if all these are not enough, the cotton carrying bag is as natural looking as it could get. Other than that, everything included is shown in our photo above.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Subjective Audio Analysis