Thieaudio Ghost Headphones Review

The Ghost is a new headphone from the popular IEM brand, Thieaudio. The headphone is an dynamic driver headphone that costs $129 and is available at

Thieaudio picked a very unique dynamic driver that I have never seen before for this headphone that reminds me of a black Sennheiser HD6x0 series product. The driver is dubbed a "sapphire" driver due to the fact that the center diaphragm is a shiny sapphire blue film that looks stunning behind the grilled baffle of the unit. Of course, its not true sapphire -- instead its a thermoplastic film above a black titanium coated film driver. There is also a silver screen, similar to the HD600 and HD650 present on the driver.

Visually, there are also many comparisons to be made to the legendary Sennheiser series. The overall look of the cup and driver design, and even the pads, are quite similar, but the Ghost is dressed in a sleek all-black look with gold ring trim. The grill style is also a tad different once you get a closer look at it. The headband and yokes are a little more reminiscent of Shure's headphone series, but is all plastic. The yokes are probably my least favorite visually in the Ghost design. Outside of that though, it's not a bad looking headphone.

The included cable terminates in all 3.5mm stereo jacks. That is, the source input is 3.5mm, and the left and right channels are also the same. That's a good thing, as I am easily able to swap these out with my headphone cables for my Hifiman headphones (or Focal, or Audeze Sine, Denon, Emu, Meze, or a number of other headphone brands). It is especially good in this case, because the included cable leaves a lot to be desired. It's a very, very thin, and strangely flat cable, that I did not like holding and never bothered to even use. It's also quite short. I would recommend considering a cable upgrade if you do intend to buy this headphone.

In addition to the cable, the headphone also includes a 1/4 inch stereo jack adapter, which is a nice one I must say. The Ghost also includes a nice and compact ballistic nylon style zippered case. It's a very nice addition, and I have been using it to transport to and from work daily.

Overall, the headphone is quite light, and very comfortable. I let several other people try wearing them and no one had any complaints with how the felt, so it should be pretty easy to wear for most people.

Sound Impressions

The Ghost is what you would expect the HD600 to sound like if you made it darker. With that said, I would not call this headphone dark. It's just darker than the HD600, HD580 and HD650 in the upper-mids. Take that away, and it tracks quite closely with the sound profile -- that is a fairly even and linear bass with sub-bass roll-off, and even mid-range, and a relaxed upper-mids and smooth and slightly dark treble range, with decent extended treble quantity. It is a surprisingly well-tuned headphone, and one of the finer tuned Chinese branded headphones (sans Hifiman, of course).

The bass is fairly tame. It doesn't go super deep down low, and because of this, users with EDM music preferences may find the lack of deep rumble and earth shaking sound lacking. The mid-bass is present though, and it does have a little bit of a punch to it when needed. If you know me, I listen to a lot of trio-piano jazz which always has a contra bass/double standing bass guitar leading the rhythm section and they have plenty of impact here. Users who expect kick drums to come across heavy may be a little disappointed, but I find this bass quantity very neutral. 

The Ghost also comes across very tight and maybe a tad quick in its rhythm presentation. That said, I found decay and note weight to be natural and pleasant. Resolution down low is good for the price point, and perhaps only falters to a planar driver, which resolves better typically anyway. But that said, this is quite comparable to the Sennheiser HD600, but with a tad more low-end speed. The HD580 is a tad more punchy and dynamic, but it's also a leaner low end presentation.

The mid-range and upper-midrange is very neutral and balanced on the Ghost. I actually quite enjoyed this presentation. There is perhaps a smidge bit of sharpness in the upper midrange on some very hard pressed keys on a piano, or a brass instrument going a little wild, but for the most part, it isn't too far off how the HD600 sounds, and much more warm than my HD580 Precision. 

The treble is very smooth on the Ghost. There is a snappiness to hi hat and cymbals that isn't too distracting to me. I never found female vocals to be sibilant, and in general everything sounded pretty good here in the treble range.

The presentation overall is on the intimate side. I dare say, just a tad more forward than the HD600, meaning you are closer to the front row, than a little further back -- providing a small width, and smaller depth, but perhaps cuing in on smaller details easier.

If I had to pick and choose gripes versus my beloved and reference Sennheiser HD600, I would say the Ghost is just a tad more forward, and perhaps a tad more sharp in its presentation, and that I find the HD600 more organic and smooth as a whole.

In contrast, the Ghost is perhaps just a little bit faster in its presentation, and in this sense, it does provide a little more clarity, all the while, still providing a very smooth presentation in its own right.

Overall & Final Thoughts

Thieaudio did a surprisingly great job with the Ghost. While I still prefer the HD600 over it, the Sennheiser is over double to even triple the price of the Ghost. So, there is a definite value proposition with the Ghost. It's not built quite as well, but it presents a similar enough sound that the price differences make it very interesting. Now, you can get a Drop HD6XX for just over $200 nowadays, and that is also one of the best deals in audio, and that drives the competition to the Ghost a bit more.

Either way, I found the Ghost to be tuned well for what it's trying to do, and it comes with a very useful and nice carrying case, and its lightweight and easy to wear. If you do buy one, make sure to save money for a new set of cables --- literally any cables will be better than what it comes with.

Nice work here, Thieaudio. You finally made an over-ear headphone that truly makes me interested in what comes next.

View the product ratings on Antdroid's IEM Ranking List and/or Antdroid's Headphone Ranking List


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