Dark or Light

Thieaudio Ghost Review: Ethereal Music and Gaming?

Christopher Coke Posted:
Hardware Reviews 0

Thieaudio may be best known for its in-ear monitors, but it is working hard to expand into over-ear headphones this year. We only reviewed its flagship planar magnetic headphones, the Thieaudio Wraith, in August and now we’re back again with a much more affordable dynamic driver headphone. In fact, the Thieaudio Ghost seems to be squaring Sennheiser directly in its sights while coming in $80-100 cheaper. 

While I don’t see the Ghost dethroning the HD58X or HD6XX any time soon, they’re tuned similarly, built similarly, and feel close to actually wear. If you’ve considered either of those headphones and found them too expensive, the Ghost is a particularly good buy that can also stand on its own merits for both gaming and music. 

We would like to thank Linsoul for providing the sample for this review. 


  • Current Price: (Amazon, Linsoul
  • Key Features: 
    • Open-back design
    • 40mm Sapphire dynamic driver 
    • Calibrated to match the acoustics of the human ear’s auricle and pinna
  • Type: Headphones
  • Drivers: 40mm Sapphire Composite Dynamic Driver
  • Impedance: 60 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 91dB @1kHz
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Cable Termination:  Interchangeable 3.5mm wire
  • Headphone Connectors: Dual 3.5mm

Thieaudio Ghost  - First Impressions and Key Features 

The Thieaudio Ghost is an over-ear dynamic headphone designed to deliver a detailed, spacious sound that embraces tonal balance. It’s lightweight and comfortable, mixing plastic and metal in its construction, and utilizes oval-shaped velour ear cushions for enhanced comfort. The design is immediately reminiscent of Sennheiser’s HD58X Jubilee and HD6XX over-ear headphones, though is more striking thanks to a golden ring on the ear housing, and that similarity seems to be intentional. 

Inside, Thieaudio has applied a new driver design. Each earcup utilizes a 40mm sapphire driver. Thieaudio describes it like this:

What all of that means is that this driver should be fast, with exceptional transients, details, and bass extension. That, if you’re not already deep into the world of HiFi may sound like gibberish, but essentially means that the driver can start and stop on a dime. The leading edge of sounds should be clear and crisp, bass should reach low and have plenty of texture, and clarity across the audible spectrum should be exceptionally clear. Without spoiling too much of the next section, that’s largely true, though it’s important to keep the price of this headphone in mind when expecting miracles. 

The overall build quality of the headphones are alright but nothing to write home about. They’re very lightweight, which is great for comfort, but can be surprising to hold in the hand. The use of plastic in the earcups stands out here but Thieaudio uses a metal headband, yokes, and grilles on the outside of each earcup for added reinforcement. There’s also no rattle when shaking them about, so I think they’ve done a good job here overall. 

That lightweight design also allows them to work well as an all-day workhorse headphone. These didn’t hurt the top of my head over time. Part of this is attributable to the ample padding, but it’s also thanks to a well-tuned amount of grip. The headphones aren’t resting on the top of your head as much as either Sennheiser does, which keeps that weight off your crown. They aren’t too tight, however, and instead feel rather comforting when worn. Their open-back design and fabric ear cushions also allow them to breathe so heat build-up isn’t an issue. 

The headphones come with two accessories: a nice, hardback carrying case and a rather poor cable. The cable is unique, I’ll give it that. Rather than utilize the classic woven strands or fabric braid, it places its four strands in a line akin to a computer ribbon cable. It’s not terrible, but it has a bit too much memory if you’re winding it every day to actually store in its case. The cable attaches to the headphones with dual 3.5mm connections and is easy to replace if you’re not a fan. 

While the headphones are comfortable to wear even over extended sessions, they’re not the most adjustable. The earcups can tilt to match the angle of your head and the headband can extend to accommodate different sized domes, but that’s the extend of it. You can’t rotate the cups to lay flat when you need a break. With that said, it’s less of an issue than with either Sennheiser since the cups are narrower and sat below my chin, allowing me to turn my head freely.

Overall, I think we have a nice counterpart to Sennheiser here. Senn uses more plastic in its HD6XX and HD58X models, so the added metal makes them feel a touch more robust. But while Sennheiser does use lots of plastic, its headphones are also known to last years and years without having issues. That’s an open question on the Ghost since they’re such a new model. We can hope, but there’s a certainly level of reassurance the Sennheisers offer that’s difficult for Thieaudio to compete with. 

Thieaudio Ghost  - Listening Impressions 

Thieaudio describes the Ghost as striving for tonal balance and I think they’ve done a good job of achieving that. The tuning is immediately reminiscent of the HD6XX in that way, so again we have an apt tit-for-tat occurring here. But while the HD6XX is $239 and the HD58X is $199, the Ghost comes in at only $129. It doesn’t need to completely overcome either headphone to make it a solid buy for fans of that tuning or curious listeners who may be on tighter budgets. 

Thieaudio has tuned the Ghost to sound warm but not bassy. There’s a substantial sub-bass roll off, so while they clearly have reach to hit low notes like the opening hits of D.R.E.A.M. by Jonny Craig, the rumble doesn’t push forward with a ton of energy. There’s decent texture and speed, but it’s not mind-blowing in this respect. It’s clear that Thieaudio was going for the same lighter bass that the HD6XX has and it did well hitting those same notes. I think Sennheiser still has an edge in bass detail (there’s a touch more texture, to my ear), but it achieves the same overall flavor. 

Vocals come forward in the mids but they aren’t shouty. There’s a bit of mid-bass warmth that comes through, so female vocals in particular sound lush, but I didn’t think male singers sounded bad or unnatural. The upper treble area has extra energy and life. Guitars and pianos sounded great, as did strings, and it’s here and in the treble where the Ghost begins to shine.

The treble region sounds the most energetic to my ear. There’s a good amount of sparkle to the listening experience that on some tracks can sound bright, though was never sharp or fatiguing to my ear. The treble is tuned best of all, bringing in air and detail that might otherwise be lost and lending the Ghost an analytical edge that I quite liked. 

The soundstage isn’t as spacious as I hoped it would be. It’s wider than any IEM or closed back gaming headset but you won’t hear a knock in a movie and suddenly be looking at your door wondering who’s there. It’s wide enough for an immersive listening experience, however, and that’s what matters — especially for gaming. 

Imaging is stereo but good stereo. There’s good layer separation, so you can hear sound sources clearly, but positionality in front or behind, up or down doesn’t jump out in any special way. That sounds like a major detriment but isn’t far removed from the “three blob” imaging of Sennheiser’s HD6XX. 

For gaming, this is a good set for the price. The headphones are comfortable to wear and offer good clarity. Imaging is stereo but games expect this to be the case and design their audio cues around it, so you’re not at any disadvantage compared to a gaming headset, and you’ll be treated to an extra comfortable wear and more details in comparison. 

The tuning works well for gaming but isn’t overtly cinematic. The rolled off sub-bass makes picking out footsteps easier and also helps draw out immersive details like singing birds in single-player games. You may want to add a bit more bass using an equalizer and will certainly want to enable Dolby Atmos or Windows Sonic for the best positional audio gameplay experience. 

Final Thoughts

At $129, the Thieaudio Ghost offers a good value. They won’t blow you away in any one area but are comfortable and approximate the design and tuning of much more expensive Sennheiser models. The balanced sound signature is enjoyable and responds well to EQ if you’d rather something more U-shaped. As it stands, the Ghost is a good platform. You can use it and leap as is or build upon it with your own tuning to make it uniquely your own. 

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. Articles may include affiliate links from which we may earn a small commission to help support the site. Authors do not earn affiliate revenue or commissions.

7.0 Good
  • Comfortable fit
  • Well-balanced sound signature
  • Good technical performance for the money
  • Good budget alternative to the Sennheiser HD6XX and HD58X
  • Well-priced
  • Bad cable design


Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight