Photography: Thomas Welch/Selectism.com
The Thinksound On1 is supra-aural, closed-back, monitor meant to deliver professional studio quality monitoring and imaging. What this means to casual listeners is an accurate sound stage that looks to deliver an uncolored audio experience that best represents the original intention of the music being played back. Monitor headphones are different in this way than normal headphones which tend to accentuate certain frequencies for more dramatic delivery. Bass-heavy headphones of all sorts are good examples of this. With monitor headphones, like the On1, the expression of sound is best described as true. The On1 is also a fairly sealed headphone with a padded-fabric headband that “clamps” comfortably to the head when worn, keeping out a good amount of ambient noise and helping stop leakage. A similar headphone fit and seal comparison would be the Sennheiser HD25-1 II, which has a similar fit, though a slightly more aggressive seal.
When it comes to studio monitors, we tend to prefer open back headphones that allow for airflow and ambient sound to creep into the soundstage for a more natural aural feel. But open back headphones may not work for all environments, say an open office space. This makes the Thinksound On1 a perfect headphone for those in noisy environment.
Since I started testing the On1, I have been nothing short of impressed with the sound and stage that they deliver. Mids and highs are strong and present. Bass is just slightly colored to give slight emphasis on the low-end; this is a coloring that I prefer from closed, sealed headphones. Instrumentation in certain Radiohead tracks I tested are nothing short of impressive. With its beautifully finished natural wood earcups and a $299 price point, they are a strong competitor to the Sennheiser HD25-1 II. The On1 is my current favorite sealed heaphone.