Timsok TS-1024 Review
Timsok is a completely new headphone company coming out of Asia. Rather than following the traditional way of entering the market at the low end and building to bigger things, Timsok has gone all out on an assault of the higher-end headphones. Priced with an RRP of USD 2000, that will be a hard pill to swallow for many people. Watch out full video review on our Audio Levels youtube channel (and subscribe to see more).
The TS-1024 comes in a stunning presentation box, but we do feel like it’s cheating us a bit on materials. Yes, on the eye is a great-looking packaging with a letheresque case and some nice metal accents. Still, once you get it in hand, the leather feels a touch plasticky and the fitments a little cheap and tacky I think in this case, I prefer the direction Gold-planar has gone with their fantastic pelican style case. That is both functional and cool, even if it does not give off the premium vibes that Timsok is trying to create.
The headphones, on the other hand, are stunning. If, like me, you are a fan of old-school retro styling on your audiophile equipment, then these are going to fit you nicely. The all-metal body brings a very premium feel to the construction, and there is not a single area I would be concerned about for the long term. These can be considered for headphones for life if treated with reasonable care.
The color and the grill are the most stand-out features, but some very nice touches are going on when you look deeper. The headband slider is actually a slider as opposed to being elastic mounted. Again this will help in terms of longevity as the elastic on headphones employing such tech can dry out over time and break. This system is a little bit more fiddly to get going but better in the long run.
The angled jack points for the cable are chunky but well hidden into the aesthetic design, and wow, the cable is fantastic. It has 8 cores that are beautifully braided yet hidden behind a clear plastic sheathing for extra protection and fluidity. It’s extremely resistant to tangles and looks great. I like that it terminated in a balanced 4.4 but comes with adapters for standard jacks, hifi jacks, and balanced XLR connectors.
Comfort-wise they are great. The earpads are up there with the best I have ever used with soft genuine leather paired with the perfect density of memory foam. They are raised slightly higher at the rear of the head to fit the majority of male adult head shapes. With the headband set in the correct position, these are easily one of the most comfortable headphones I own.
Sound is where things get interesting. Are they perfect? No. For many, I suspect the treble on these will be considered too much for long-drawn-out listening sessions. As a treble head, I myself find them excellent, but I use them within their limits, knowing that sharp upper octave pillows and the like will make me draw a sideward glance. The strength, though, lies in the areas of modern music. EDM, rock, hip hop, trance, etc., all these genres sound fantastic, and a large part of that is to do with the delicious bass presence that complements the hyper-detailed midrange.
The low-end thumps with amazing performance were observed in the sub-bass response and the mid-bass, texture, and layer rich. Bass is not just about the impact, and the Timsok show every ounce of that. Nuances that you might not be accustomed to on lower quality headphones will be very apparent with the TM-1024.
The midrange is outstanding as well, and that’s thanks to this planar being able to create fantastic imaging and produce micro-detail retrieval on a level that truly warrants its price tag. Items from fretboard slides and pursing of lips are obvious, and placement of instrumentation is at a high.
So with so many fantastic things to say about this debut headphone, can I wholeheartedly recommend them? Sadly the answer is no. The main reason being is the price. I can’t get over the justification of such sky-high pricing. If it’s on build quality, I say it matches what’s on the market for the price. Imaging, detail mids, and bass also carry that same argument. But the treble, while good, will definitely not be to everyone’s taste. On top of that, you have the fact that if even priced at $2000, then looking at competition from the likes of Hifiman, Audeze, Focal, and Sennheiser, does this really do anything better? I don’t think so matches them, maybe in areas, but with those companies, you get a known name brand with strong resale potential and the ability to test before purchase. The Timok TS-1024 are amazing debut headphones but knowing the audio community; I think it will be hard for them to part with $2000 on an unknown brand.
A great debut, and it will certainly be interesting to see where they go from here.