Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware
If the V-MODA XS was a twenty first century downtown penthouse with the trendiest interior design and latest gadgets, then the thinksound On1 will have to be a classic acreage carrying forth the beauty of its many years of history and tradition. Sure, it completely goes against V-MODA's ABC+P, or "anything but circles + plastic" philosophy, as the thinksound On1 is both circular and plastic. At the same time, each has its merits; the rule of thumb it is important to understand they come from completely different design approaches. I found the On1 beautiful it its own right. The natural wood housing is hand crafted for a distinct look and promises accurate music reproduction, which we will cover later on in this review. The company's logo is engraved onto the varnished wood on both sides, as you can see in our photo above. From a construction perspective, these headphones feel pretty good to hold, despite the fact that the ear cups are attached to the headband using plastic, and the headband appears to be, according to what some people claim on some audio forums, "flimsy". Naturally, the company disagrees, and to prove their point, there is a YouTube video demonstrating the durability of the On1 with some cringe-worthy bend test after being thrown against the wall. Now, I have done none of these tests on my particular pair, but after using these headphones for two months and counting, I really do not have any complaints.
Our photo above shows the thinksound On1 in its collapsed state. This allows it to be as thin as possible on one plane, which explains how it can be shipped in such a slim box as discussed on the previous page. To fold it in, rotate the ear cups, and pivot them into the headband. This is a relatively simple design, which means there is no fancy collapsing mechanism or clicking hinges like the V-MODA XS. Therefore, it is probably easier to travel with the V-MODA XS than the thinksound On1, especially considering the latter includes a simple drawstring cotton bag rather than a sophisticated case for protection. If you do not plan to go anywhere with these headphones, then this is not going to be an issue. If you are planning to go places, then the V-MODA XS is a much better choice. The audio cable can be fully detached from the thinksound On1. Two cables are included out of the box. We will dig into the details of both in just a moment.
Of course, with the circular headband design, along with the circular ear cups on the side, the thinksound On1 will look kind of funky on your head. These headphones are not meant to be a fashion accessory from the start -- at the same time, it is important not to rule out its comfort. The metal headband is nicely wrapped with a layer of fabric padding on the inside, and can be extended to accommodate people of different head sizes. Memory foam cushions wrapped in soft leather surrounds the drivers on the thinksound On1. Not only are they very comfortable, but they also exhibit excellent noise sealing properties. To demonstrate, I tried playing some music through these headphones at regular volumes. Next, I pressed the cups together. At this point, most of the sound that was clearly audible just a moment ago sudden became cut out. This is not black magic; just good design. They will not block out noise like in ear monitors, but they are decent enough for use on the train.
These supra-aural headphones are specified with a weight of 181g, which are pretty light to behold. The drivers are 40mm dynamic units with a rated frequency response of an impressive 5Hz to 22kHz. These specifications are, quite frankly, quite a bit beyond the hearing range of any normal human being of around 20Hz to 20kHz. The rated impedance is 50 ohms. It will work quite well with unamplified sources such as your smartphone, but amping it does have its benefits especially considering it is 50 ohms, as I have evaluated in my SilverStone EB01-E and EB03 review a few months ago.
Back to the full view, here is the thinksound On1 in its full expanded configuration, and one of the two cables attached. One of them is just a regular cable, while the second one comes with a microphone and single button for smartphone controls. Both of them Kevlar reinforced fabric cables with 3.5mm steel reinforced gold plated stereo plugs, and are tangle resistant. They can be completely detached from your main unit, as aforementioned. The way I see it, even if it becomes damaged, you can easily replace it without replacing your entire pair of headphones, which is cool. It goes into your On1 via a straight plug on one end, and via another straight plug on the other end for the input source, such as your amplifier or smartphone. The cable is also not too prone to microphonics, which is always a good thing.
With its unique natural wood finish and advertised as having professional studio monitor acoustics, how will it perform? It is now time to find out. The moment of truth.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Subjective Audio Analysis