We like it woody

“Incredible sounding headphones with the smallest eco-footprint possible” says the recycled packaging of the $109 thinksound ts02+mic earbuds. So all is recycling and greenery — you get a little hessian sack for storage, the PVC-free cables come tied with string, and even the headshells are made from renewable sources of wood.

Yes, wood — they look quite unique, with a choice of black chocolate or silver cherry for the wood shell, and the usual choice of four flanges.

And there is no sonic slippage for going eco here — we loved the audio, indeed these are our favourite in-ear designs for a long time, quite an achievement given that the price includes an inline mike so they double as a hands-free extension for your phone (they’re $99 without the mike).

altThe thinksounds are exceptionally sensitive, so they return high volumes from iPods or iPhones; the bass is strong if just fractionally soft, the midrange is luscious and presents both male vocals particularly well, and there’s absolutely none of the treble shriek so common with earbuds of relatively lowly pricing. They also combat the pressure problem of some ear-canal designs thanks to a pinhole in the earshell, which lets the drivers breathe and may also assist the bass on offer.

Downsides? Only the lack of a quarter-inch adaptor, a slight microphony to the cables near the earpieces, and the need to keep them in a bag in case the flanges fall off. Otherwise marvellous — ear-friendly and earth-friendly, we chose these for a recent international trip, and heavens knows, there are enough headphones round here for us to choose from. We offer a hearty recommendation — this is five-star value.