Review - Myer Audio CKLVX D41

Review - Thieaudio Ghost

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TLDR version on YouTube: TDLR - Thieaudio Ghost

The Thieaudio Ghost have been sent to me by Linsoul in exchange for the publication of this review. They have not made any specific requests or comments and, as always, I will do my best to be as unbiased and sincere as humanly possible.

You can find the Thieaudio Ghost via Linsoul here: https://www.linsoul.com/products/thieaudio-ghost

As with all links that I share, this is a non-affiliate link, meaning that I do not benefit from any clicks or purchases made via the link.


Intro…

The Thiaudio Ghost is a new release from the brand which is more known for their IEMs than over ear headphones, although these are not the first set of headphones that they release. At the time of writing his review, I actually have no idea what the price of these headphones is, as they are not yet officially available. Although I am putting this review together now, I will not be publishing it until they are officially released, so I will check the price and add it below.

That means that I am certainly not judging these headphones as “for the money”, as I don’t know how much “the money” will be. It’s always fun to have a guess and then see how wrong I am.

Anyway, the Ghost is an openback set of headphones that uses a 40mm Sapphire dynamic driver (I don’t know what a Sapphire dynamic driver is, sorry) and at a glance, remind me of the Shure SRH1840. 

I haven’t had a chance to try out much from Thieaudio, except for the Legacy 2, and I was actually quite interested in getting to try out these new headphones from the brand.

Edit: At the time of publishing this review, the Thieaudio Ghost are available on Linsoul for $129, which is actually less than I would have guessed. Please remember that the following review and opinions were written before I had any idea of the price.


Presentation…

A cardboard sleeve with an image of the headphones and other information slides away to reveal a simple black box, with no logo or other markings.

Opening the box, we find a nice storage case that the headphones are packed inside, along with the usual paperwork and warranty stuff etc.

The storage case is semi-rigid and shaped to be thinner at the top than the bottom, where the cups sit. Although the case is sort of moulded to the shape of the headphones, there is a surprising amount of space inside, giving me plenty of room to carry the Gryphon inside the case with the headphones.

Other than the above, we also get the cable (I will mention more about it in a moment) and a 3.5mm to 6.35mm adaptor. For those that are used to opening IEMs and receiving all kinds of things, this may seem pretty basic but is actually quite good for a set of headphones, especially because we get the case.


Build and aesthetics…

I already mentioned in the intro that they remind me of the Shure SRH1840 as far as aesthetics, maybe with a blend of Sennheiser thrown in. In fact, when wearing them, they are very reminiscent of the HD6X0 line, but I find the Ghost to be more comfortable, mostly due to the extra padding of the headband.

The build quality is not the best but it is not terrible either. They have opted for metal yolks which seem to be very sturdy and well assembled, yet the plastic on the cups is a little cheap feeling, as are the plastic covers to the adjustment sliders. The pads are very similar to the Sennheiser pads but a little softer, just like the headband, which is nicely padded and very soft to the touch.

I sort of have mixed feelings in general about the build, some things I think are very well done while others seem to have not had as much effort put into them. The grilles are also plastic, with a zig zag pattern to them and a gold accent around them. These don’t look bad but are again a little cheap feeling.

The included cable is something that I am not used to seeing. It is a ribbon style cable which upon first inspection I thought I was going to hate. However, after using the headphones, I have found that I actually like the cable quite a lot and have no complaints about it at all.


Sound…

All tracks mentioned are clickable links that allow you to open the reference track in the streaming service of your choice (YouTube, Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, etc.)

If you have watched my TLDR video on YouTube, I have said that the worst thing about these headphones (in my opinion of course) is that they lack excitement. As I spent time with these headphones, I would be listening to a certain genre of music and find that, while it did not sound bad, it just didn’t come across as great. It’s common for headphones to work well for certain genres better than others, so I would move on to a different style of music and come to the same conclusion, it doesn’t sound bad at all, just not exciting. This is something that I honestly found across all genres.

But let’s go step by step, as usual, and start off with a look at the graph:

I have included the HD6XX as a reference on the graph as I don’t have a database of headphone measurements like I do IEM measurements, so it’s not easy to compare between many other models (hopefully I can catch up on headphone measurements and get to presenting them in a squig.link soon). So, I thought the HD6XX is a well known reference and it is also a headphone that is useful as a comparison in this case, as we will see.

Starting off at the subbass, there is some roll off and I find that this is noticeable in things like “Chameleon” or other tracks/genres that have a large subbass presence. I spent time listening to HipHop (I really did go through a lot of genres with the Ghost) and I don’t think it would be something that I would suggest to the deep bass hip hop lovers out there (although, yet again, it doesn’t sound bad).

Moving into the midbass, while on paper it looks almost identical to the HD6XX, I actually find that it doesn’t have as much warmth in these specific ranges as the HD6XX does. It is not cold or lacking, and in fact, the upper mids/lower treble (which I will get to next) do maybe allow these regions to be more present, yet when isolating some of my bass guitar tracks, I didn’t find that it was really boosted much in these regions. It’s a bit of a strange sensation as the warmth is there but I feel it is more an illusion created by the upper ranges than an actual presence of warmth. I didn’t find older rock, such as “Whole Lotta Love” to really place more emphasis on the bass, yet, at the same time, it does sound rather smoothed over.

The upper mids, and lower treble, is where things are… let’s say… different. While everything up to the higher end of the mid range is very reminiscent of that Sennheiser HD6XX sound, the upper mid range (and the lower treble) is not boosted at all. Where the HD6XX brings vocals forward and makes them more intimate, the Ghost doesn’t do this, it keeps vocals mixed in with everything around them, never seeming to take presence up front.

I listen to a lot of vocal centric music and I kept expecting the vocals to be clearer and more distinct, yet when the voice kicked in, it always left me wanting something more. Again, at the risk of being repetitive, they don’t sound bad, they just don’t make their presence felt.

More of the same happens in the higher ranges, where there is no real sensation of air or openness. And while everything is there, nothing really stands out, leaving things to just be a little “blunt” for the lack of a better word. People speak about the “Sennheiser Veil” and I think that the Ghost could be described in a similar way, although different (if that makes any sense at all). 

Details are there but once more, they are not something that stands out. It is as though there is some life missing from them, even if they are present. Soundstage is also quite close, not claustrophobically close but they don’t portray a sensation of openness in this regard either. 


Conclusion…

The Thieaudio Ghost are a set of headphones that just don’t really stand out at anything. At the same time, nothing really sounds terrible on them either, they are just not exciting in any way shape or form.

They are not a bass heavy set of headphones, they are not a mid centric set of headphones, they aren’t a set of extremely detailed and clear headphones, they are just constant, as the graph shows.

That doesn’t mean that they can’t become a very interesting set of headphones with the use of EQ, as they really are like a blank canvas, but I don’t usually go into depth on the use of EQ as there are so many options.

They are comfortable, they are light weight and by no means are they offensive in their tuning, so there is really nothing negative to say about them. It’s just that if I was asked to describe them in a few words, I really don’t think I could, except for saying that they are just not exciting.


All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on achoreviews.squig.link
 
All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on achoreviews.squig.link/isolation

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