ThinkSound ms01 Monitor Series Earbuds Review

January 19, 2012
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Here at Android Community, we go through a lot of earbuds. Almost every phone we receive for review has its own companion pair (we're practically swimming in Samsung buds) but all of them have one thing in common: they're kinda cheap. If you've been looking to upgrade your sound with easily portable earbuds, ThinkSound's series of high-end options have been popular for a while now. The company sent us a pair to review, and after using them at CES, we were downright floored by the quality.

The first thing you'll notice when opening the ms01's eco-friendly packaging is their unique styling. Yup, that's real wood that those buds are made out of, which the company claims makes for a more rich and acoustically correct experience. The metal frame extends to 8mm speakers housed in comfy foam tips, and you get four sizes to choose from. Also included in the package are a pair of ear clips for active wear (which are, unfortunately, almost useless), a snappy cord organizer and a canvas carrying bag to keep it all together in.

The ms01 earbuds are marketed as a "studio monitor", and aren't meant for sweating it out in the gym. They also don't include in-line controls or a microphone - for the latter, you can try some of the other models in the ThinkSound store. The cord is reinforced with Kevlar, and if that isn't enough protection, they come with a one-year warranty. The headphones aren't really intended for mobile phones, but we'll forgive that, and you're about to find out why.

UPDATE: Apparently all of ThinkSound's current models are rated for a good bit of sweat resistance. Thanks to ThinkSound CEO Aaron Foster for his timely response in the comments section. 

What these buds do best is sound: they're nothing short of the richest and most accurate-sounding earbuds I've ever had, short of custom-fit models at three or four times the price. The 18-20khz range makes mids and highs absolutely clear, and while bass is a little lacking, the sound is rock-steady all the way through even the highest volumes. And that's pretty high, thanks to what ThinkSound is calling passive noise isolation, AKA "a fit that's good enough to block out a good chunk of external sound".

I was skeptical of this claim... until my CES roomie knocked on our hotel door three times without me hearing. With four sets of tips you're sure to find one that makes a good fit in your ear canal. It's not going to block out busy road noise or a screaming baby on a plane, but with even light music playing you should be gloriously free of distraction.

At $99.99 MSRP I probably wouldn't have bought the ms01 earbuds for myself... until I tried them out. If you want great sound with no frills and unique styling, they're well worth the entry price, and they've replaced my trusty old Sennheiser over-the-ear headphones for everyday listening. There are a few issues, like the aforementioned earclips and L/R icons that are almost invisible on the shiny metal bands. But overall the ms01 earbuds are the best lightweight, high-fidelity pair you're going to find for a hundred bucks. Investigate the ts02+mic and ts01 Sport models if you want a microphone and sweat resistance, respectively.


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  • Aaron Fournier

    Micheal,

    I wanted to address one statement.  You stated they are ready for the gym but this is far from correct.  All of our headphones are in fact seat proof.  Mine have personally gone through the wash numerous times with no issues.

    Best regards,
    Aaron Fournier
    President and CEO
    thinksound

  • Aaron Fournier

    Micheal,

    I wanted to address one statement.  You stated they are ready for the gym but this is far from correct.  All of our headphones are in fact seat proof.  Mine have personally gone through the wash numerous times with no issues.

    Best regards,
    Aaron Fournier
    President and CEO
    thinksound

  • Dat N*gga

    Koss “The Plug”. Enough said. Superior overall quality with a 40 dollar price tag.

  • Abc123

    its a copied version of altec lansing MHP136 Muzx series

    • Aaron Fournier

      How is this a copy of the altec lansing?  Is it because we make wood headphones?  If this is the case are all companies that make plastic headphones copying other plastic headphone manufacturers?  Are all car companies copies of the others because a majority are made of steel? 

      I can tell you that we have been developing wood headphones since 2006 and selling them since 2009 and we are a hi-fi companyt.  We pride ourselves on high quality products and customer service and in no way do our products even remotely resemble the MHP136.  The MHP136 is also entirely made of wood.  The front of our housing is not made of aluminum to improve high frequencies.   I hope this clears things up.Best regards,Aaron Fournier
      President and CEO
      thinksound 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GB3QOXCTDI65BJXU7CFELIA3B4 David

       HaHa! That is like comparing a rowboat to a Bertram Yacht! It is CLEAR you have never heard the MS01′s and are OK with putting crap in your ears! I have owned a few of the ThinkSound ear buds, and I just got the MS01′s. After 1 full day, I put my Ludicrous SOUL ear buds away. The “true” sound of these MS01′s make them my favorite by far. And, for the record, my son HAS those crappy MHP136′s. They sound hollow, muddy, and are barely worth the packaging they are packed in.

  • Asfd

    I seldom comment but this time i will, I have been enjoying my ms01′s for quite a while and can confirm thier resilance to moisture..since they recently went through a wash cycle and have no signs of physical damage or audable alterations.