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Thinksound ts03 IEMs

Thinksound ts03 IEMs

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Ok so I got deeper into the whole audio game and I wanted to do a mini-review of how these sound when compared to other IEMs. I've listened IEMs from a price range of $70 to $1k and I'd like to think that I know something (lol).
Personal sound preference: Neutral but bright.
Sound Signature: V-shaped. Very warm.
Bass: Very bass-centric IEM. As advertised, they are deep. Subbass extension is decent. But the thing about the bass that stands out is its texture when it slams against your ears. Although the attack and decay isn't fast, they have a nice warm texture. To some, this texture can seem distorted and unnatural. It's a love/hate thing. The bass tends to overshadow the mids which can be a turn off for some.
Mids: The warm signature of these makes vocals seem more full-bodied and natural. It's pretty relaxing to hear. It is to note that since the IEM is V-shaped, the mids are positioned behind the treble and bass. The mids are actually pretty clean for the price. I just wish it was more forward. However when it comes to female vocals, they are elevated which is pretty nice.
Treble: Funnily enough, I do think that the treble is the outstanding part of this IEM. The clarity and accuracy is spot on. It does lack extension and resolution. It is very crisp and cymbals sound perfect. No sibilance or treble fatigue. It gets the job done even though it lacks treble sparkle.
Detail Retrieval: Punches above its weight. However I'd like to think that even further detail can be heard if the bass wasn't so prominent.
Soundstage: OK for its price. Things do sound clustered together. Nothing to take home about.
Imaging: These actually have decent imaging for the price. If its soundstage was wider I think the imaging would have better potential.
Seperation/layering: OK for its price. Nothing to take home about.
Hardware: Cables are pretty thin tbh...feels like it would snap if you pulled it too tight. Microphonics can be solved if you put the cable over-ear. Microphone is a nice touch. The wood casing ages and patinates nicely. It became darker for me.
Conclusion: At $70 I do think its a great buy. Direct upgrades/competitors are the TFZ King Pro which sounds somewhat similar. Great for a basshead. Recessed mids but with relatively forward female vocals. Treble is clean and accurate.
Ok so I got deeper into the whole audio game and I wanted to do a mini-review of how these sound when compared to other IEMs. I've listened IEMs from a price range of $70 to $1k and I'd like to think that I know something (lol).
Personal sound preference: Neutral but bright.
Sound Signature: V-shaped. Very warm.
Bass: Very bass-centric IEM. As advertised, they are deep. Subbass extension is decent. But the thing about the bass that stands out is its texture when it slams against your ears. Although the attack and decay isn't fast, they have a nice warm texture. To some, this texture can seem distorted and unnatural. It's a love/hate thing. The bass tends to overshadow the mids which can be a turn off for some.
Mids: The warm signature of these makes vocals seem more full-bodied and natural. It's pretty relaxing to hear. It is to note that since the IEM is V-shaped, the mids are positioned behind the treble and bass. The mids are actually pretty clean for the price. I just wish it was more forward. However when it comes to female vocals, they are elevated which is pretty nice.
Treble: Funnily enough, I do think that the treble is the outstanding part of this IEM. The clarity and accuracy is spot on. It does lack extension and resolution. It is very crisp and cymbals sound perfect. No sibilance or treble fatigue. It gets the job done even though it lacks treble sparkle.
Soundstage: OK for its price. Things do sound clustered together. Nothing to take home about.
Imaging: These actually have decent imaging for the price. If its soundstage was wider I think the imaging would have better potential.
Hardware: Cables are pretty thin tbh...feels like it would snap if you pulled it too tight. Microphonics can be solved if you put the cable over-ear. Microphone is a nice touch. The wood casing ages and patinates nicely. It became darker for me.
Conclusion: At $70 I do think its a great buy. Direct upgrades/competitors are the TFZ King Pro which sounds somewhat similar. Great for a basshead. Recessed mids but with relatively forward female vocals. Treble is clean and accurate.
Very impressed with these IEMs. Got them about 5 months ago and have been using them regularly since. Very crisp, clean sound, without sound sterile. They are very musical. I also got the ThinkSound ON2 on-ear headphones and in my opinion they bring excellent life to my rock and jazz collections. There is a slight boost the the mid-low bass, but not the sub-bass. The sub-bass is still there, it just hasn't received the slight boost. Overall the build quality feels good. They don't isolate sound as well as some of my other IEMs which I think is the result of the pinhole in the back of the casing. They added that pinhole to resolve some other audio issues with the previous generation. They also look great and I have gotten several comments on that :) One issue I have with these is the round, inline mic/control. I find it very frustrating to try and click the control since the inline control is round and the button is almost flush with the casing. When you are in a hurry and not looking at it, I have to roll it between my finger carefully to find the button. I wish they would change that. As far as the noise from walking/moving that others have mentioned, it does exist, but I find that if I loop the cable over my ear 95% of it goes away. Overall a good buy, especially at the $65 price point
I've been using Thinksound's earbuds and headphones for three years now. Haven't found anything better!
I'd skip these. I'm very gentle with my headphones and I've had 2 pairs of the MS-01s and the wood and metal always end up coming apart. Sucks, they sound great but don't hold up.
I’m going to post a stupid question that hopefully someone can answer. If I picked up a pair of these I’d use them for casual listening with my iPhone X. That would mean I’d have to use the adapter for my lightning port and it gives me room for pause since that’s obviously not ideal. Granted the music will be streamed from Spotify and Audible so it is what it is, but will these be adequate for that task?
I understand from what I’ve read that the volume will be good and won’t need any additional help, but what of the sound quality or degradation from being pushed from an iPhone and then the lightning cable adapter?? This is slightly vexing, does it even matter the quality of iem‘s At this point or am I just being ridiculous. Help needed from some knowledgeable audiophiles and subject journeyman. Thanks in Advance, cheers.
I like these a lot. V-shaped sound with a lot of emphasis on the tightness of the bass. The sound is slightly reserved but not recessed.
Isolation is the weak point. A lot of sound (microphonics?) is produced while you walk. The shirt clip somewhat helps. Also wind affects the iems. Durability wise the cable is a little thin but they havent failed me yet.
Overall a nice purchase especially at US$70.
toranku
I wouldn't really call them V shaped due to some forward vocals.
Also try spinfit tips. Isolation won't be much better, but deeper insertion will allow you to move around easier. I exercise with them often
dominica
Thank you for the recommendation. I agree with the forward vocals, especially on female voices. To me it's a slight V-shape due to the reserved mids
I like these very much. After cycling through various IEMs around this price range, these have a permanent place in my bag every day and are my go-to choice for when I want some sound isolation and to focus when I'm out of the house.
About the only thing they don't do well IMHO is certain registers of deeper sub-bass, mostly below what is produced with natural instruments (EDM, Hip-Hop range). If that is all you listen to these probably aren't for you, otherwise I'd say go for as these are plenty good for casual listening in those genres and really enjoyable when listening to most other categories. They are also durable and comfortable.
They also aren't super-picky about amplification. I have other nice IEMs that sound wonderful with an amp but these are enjoyable straight off my laptop or phone so they get more practical use.
If I lost them at the moment, I'd probably buy another pair immediately.
Thinksound builds some of my favorite IEMs around. It's my humble opinion that their bass response is top tier, and that each of their IEMs (at least from the last two generations) are masters of cohesion. The TS03 is no exception. It has a warm sound signature with elevated vocals and upper mids for added clarity. Find my full review here: https://medium.com/resonance-reviews/thinksound-ts03-mic-review-warm-and-detailed-a-prime-example-of-how-to-do-dynamic-right-125c2adbbe8a
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Got these same earphones on the las Thinksound Bluebox, and are just awesome, are my daily pick up for conmute in bike or walk.
Just received the ts03 - really like the sound signature and sub-bass extension is exceptional. I have opening notes on a song (Oi by Biosphere) that very few IEM's can hit successfully with good texture. Pretty impressed at the sound and value of these puppies.
I own these and the older TS-02. The redesign is great, the cord gets caught far less, more detail retrieval, better and tighter bass, highs are more crisp. I paid almost full price and regret nothing. Laid back sound, they take EQ very well. I love their house sound. Each version just gets better and better.
Good timing. Just released a review of these beauties today :)
https://thecontraptionist.blog/2017/10/18/thinksound-ts03mic-natures-bass/
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Really torn between these and the on2's also on massdrop right now D:
tehbluearrow
If you can afford the On2 just get them. They're amazing, esp. at that price.
Found this over on Head-fi. I was looking for a comparison to the rain3 which I received from the last bluebox and like. Wanted to see if it'd be an upgrade or a different sound or ? Anyway, this compares to both the rain3 and the ms02.
https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/thinksound-ts03-mic.22551/
I'd like to find a comparison against the Mee Pinnacle PX (or whatever Massdrop's variation of the P1 is called) but haven't found anything.
bsoplinger
I myself have been interested in the Pinnacle PX vs TS03/Rain3, but I can't seem to find a way to get the PX in for review.
Here’s my full review: https://carrotreviews.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/thinksound-ts03/ tl;dr is that they are super laid-back and relaxing IEMs. The downsides being no detachable cable and minor driver flex issues.
I received a pair of these when they did a grab bag a while back. I paid $35 for that gamble and let me say, these things aren't worth more than that. The sound is mediocre; definitely not worth 65.
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Fair point. I had two other people compare them with the cherrywoods. They felt the same way I did; perhaps we just have similar expectations.
UrVAITguy
Ya that very well could be..that said, you know your preferred sound signature better than anyone else does, and it certainly should be realistic to expect a higher priced model have a more refined sound etc than the lesser priced models. Definitely an interesting scenario!
Unless the quality has improved since the Rain 2 I'm a little hesitant. My rain 2's started falling apart after about a year and they've had to been glued back together twice, and the left ear bud is now totally devoid of bass and the cables themselves are starting to go.
eXXo
Bro you need some Yamaha EPH-100,all metal no wood ;)
I hope this comes back soon!
The TS03 is pretty damn good. It's a warm IEM with great detail retrieval. Here's my full review: https://medium.com/resonance-reviews/thinksound-ts03-mic-review-warm-and-detailed-a-prime-example-of-how-to-do-dynamic-right-125c2adbbe8a
Got mine in the mail yesterday and I have been loving these so far. I am usually not a bass head but the bass in this pair is so tight and detailed I've been going back to a lot of my music just to enjoy and appreciate the bass. I'm more of a mid guy and I've got to say I'm impressed at how detailed they are. While the bass to me is the king of the show, the treble and mids are still there and quite present as well. Thank you Aaron for making such an amazing IEM! This one is a keeper and I'm selling off my other IEMs. Dark, warm yet still fairly detailed, these are some of the funnest IEMs I've listened to in a long time.
I'm a fan of the rain2 and still own them. Looking forward to the TS03 having a tighter sound.
I recently got a review sample of these earphones and I have to say. These things sound freaking awesome. I think Aaron has outdone himself. Been listening to them exclusively since I got them and I was very surprise these outclass so many earphones in their price range . I will have much more in my review of them soon.
Not completely on topic, but since Aaron is reading comments..... If you guys released the thinksound iem cable with mmcx termination I would buy it in a heartbeat. I don't know what it's coated with but it never tangles or produces microphonics. Surprising that even without any environmental commitments the rest of the industry makes such inferior cables
If Aaron makes it, I'm interested. I use my IEB6's as my sleep IEM's as they are tiny but have wonderful sound. My ts02's w/mic are my favorite earbuds ever, expecially after I added Comply eartips for improved isolation and comfort. These should be great!
I'm excited to see Thinksound on here again - I got the ts01.1 on a previous drop and was and still am pleasantly surprised by them. Also because I'm in the market for another backup pair of earphones with an inline mic since the wiring failed (leading to sound dropping out on the left driver) on a set of Nuforce earphones, leaving me high and dry for a while until I decided to test a current inline mic model by Klipsch.
Though the new Nuforce x Massdrop collaboration is quite tempting to me and even though I really want to believe in Optoma/Nuforce, I'm hesitant to give them a try due to the wiring issue I had with the manufacturing brand; this is the first I've experienced in over at least 10 years with dedicated product offerings from audio brand names which include Sony's (lost this pair), Shure's (very little bass), Sennheiser's (still going strong, but the model I have is too bass heavy for my preference), and Thinksound's (used these for around 10 months straight before getting the Nuforce pair; still do use the ts01.1's here-and-there especially when on going away on holiday). Other earphones I've used are the ones that come with mobile phones which all broke in some way or another (Apple, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG). I'm hoping that this same type of wiring issue that pinschegavacho commented earlier about having with the ts02s is limited to that model in some way?
I expect these to be an improvement over the ts01.1, but how exactly will the sound signature of the ts03 compare to the ts01.1?
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I'm willing to take that chance at the moment since I'm more happy with using Thinksound than with Nuforce.
$80 is a little more than what I paid for the Nuforce, but even if the ts03 is included in a new blue box, I'm guessing that the odds will be low for them and I'd prefer to have this model as my primary for commuting over the rest of the lineup.
ESFC
Also in this price range are the Shure 215s which are easily my favorite sleeping headphone. Best isolation on any pair I've had and GREAT sound quality for the money. The cord could be better however, but it's removable so you can swap it for something better.
How are these compared to the rain3s?
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I'm sad to hear about First Harmonic. I've bought maybe 10 of the IE6B s as gifts and for myself. My family really loves them and we're happy with the quick turnaround on service from you guys. I've also had your ON2 headphones which I love as welll as your ms02 that I got from a blue box (I use them as my EDC now). Looking forward to the rest of the great products that you guys will push out!
solgoodguy
it may not be done completely but I need to focus on thinksound more as we move to new products and move more manufacturing to the USA. I will have metal earbud options for thinksound in the future. Thanks for being a continued customer.
I had the ts02s and they sounded great. Very balanced sound with clear highs and punchy (but not overbearing) bass. They sound much better than comparable Klipsch units, which tend to be way too bass heavy. I'd still have them, except for two problems: The first problem is that the remote control had a flat top, which kept catching on my shirt collar, and eventually put enough stress on the earbud that it pulled the driver out. I can see from the photos of the ts03 that they still have chosen not to take my advice to taper, or at least round off, the top of the remote. I see from the comments below that Thinksound has redesigned the remote to not snag on clothing, but with a flat top, I'm not sure how that's supposed to work. The other reason why I don't have them anymore is because the plug crapped out after 9 months of use on the first pair, so they sent me a 2nd pair because it was within warranty. The plug for the second pair crapped out right after the warranty period expired. Here's the thing: I'm not beating these earphones to death. They are only being used while I'm sitting on a commuter train and walking to work from the station. If a $90 pair of IEMs can't hold up to the most basic amount of wear and tear for more than 12 months, then I'm not going to keep spending that kind of money on them. Sadly, I'm being forced to look at BT earphones, because I've had enough of spending good money after bad on quality wired units that keep falling apart. If Thinksound will consider developing BT earbuds with a mic, then I'm on board.
pinschegavacho
the remote snagging has been fixed and is rounded without less of an edge which has pretty much eliminated the snag. We have a 45 degree plug not and not a straight one which helps with the stress on the plug, however, users still with all earbuds need to be careful with plugs. There is only so much people can do to make a plug stronger and when people plug headphones in their device then sit down with them in their pocket you can snap a plug and this goes across the board for every manufacturer. We were considering wireless but we are not thrilled with the quality you can get out of them. BT also requires us to purchase a license with them, one with the FCC, and usually a wireless license in every country we are sold in which isn't possible for a small company like us. I would recommend getting a small extension for any headphones you plan on plugging in while sitting with a device in your pocket as these can be bough for a couple dollars on amazon.
Thanks for the feedback. We understand your frustration on plugs but the next step would be to make a giant thick cable which no one ones on their earbuds so we rely on people to take a bit of care when sitting down repeatedly. We do offer the warranty on this instance. The adhesive on the drivers has also been changed as well.
Best regards, Aaron Fournier thinksound CEO/engineer
thinksound
Thank you for the quick reply and the clarification regarding the remote. The photo that's used doesn't really do it justice. I appreciate your comments regarding plug stress, and I want to assure you that I'm not one of those who shoves their phone into their pocket. I use a holster and have always taken care that the plug wasn't getting pulled while sitting. I spent about 12 years in pro audio, until I got tired of living and dying by the 1099, so I am very careful with my gear. Perhaps the cloth pouch wasn't enough protection while stored in my backpack. I see there is a hard case that is now offered, which is a definite plus.
I have the ms01 and am wondering how the ts03 would compare to ms01 in terms of sound signature. I do like my ms01 very much. It would be greatly appreciated if Aaron from Thinksound can shed some lights. Thanks.
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iamleo
they have similar high frequency sound as the ms01 with a deeper and punchier bass extension.
thinksound
Thank you for the response. I would definitely consider ordering the ts03.
They're called IEMs! they must be good. Why are all the earbud manufacturers calling their headphones IEMs? lol
aaron.o
In Ear Monitors is technically the official term. Sounds fancy.
aaron.o
Because these are not earbuds. They are in-ear or intra-aural headphones. I would not call them IEMs since I can't see any evidence that these were intended to be monitors.