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Tascam TH-02 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Reviewed Jul 04, 2018 at 11:56 am
Tascam TH-02 Picture
5.3
Mixed Usage
6.6
Neutral Sound
4.8
Commute/Travel
5.3
Sports/Fitness
5.3
Office
4.0
Wireless Gaming
5.8
Wired Gaming
1.7
Phone Call
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic No
Transducer Dynamic

The Tascam TH-02 are decent-sounding critical listening headphones, but sub-par for everything else. Their build quality feels a little cheap and plasticky and they don't have the most comfortable over-ear fit. The small ear cups also don't seal the ears well enough to be a good option for commuting in loud environments. On the upside, they have a decent sound quality that may be worth their budget price for some listeners.

Our Verdict

5.3 Mixed Usage

Sub-par for most uses except critical listening. They have a mediocre build quality and a fairly straightforward critical listening design that lacks the features to be versatile for mixed usage. They also aren't the most comfortable, with relatively small ear cups that don't sit well on the ear and cause isolation and comfort issues. They won't be the best to wear for long listening sessions or for commuting in loud environments. On the upside, they don't leak much so they won't be too distracting at the office. Also, their no latency wired connection could be good for watching videos, but the cable may not be long enough for all home theater setups.

Pros
  • Decent audio reproduction.
  • Low leakage.
Cons
  • Sub-par noise isolation.
  • Mediocre build quality.
  • Awkward fit on some listeners.
  • Bass delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
6.6 Neutral Sound

Decent for neutral listening. The Tascam TH-02 have a good bass that packs a fair amount of punch but it's a bit overdone and bleeds into the mid-range, making the sound quality a bit muddy and boomy. The elevated mid-range also pushes instruments and vocals to the front of the mix, which somewhat balances out the excess bass but gets fatiguing to listen to after a while. They also lack a little detail on lead instruments while sounding a bit sharp on S and T sounds. They're also fairly inconsistent and don't sit well on the ear. This changes their sound profile, so some listeners could be getting a lot less bass. On the upside, they have a decent soundstage.

4.8 Commute/Travel

Not ideal for commuting. The small ear cups don't efficiently prevent ambient noise from entering your audio. They also have no control scheme and though they do fold to be quite compact, they're still a hassle to carry around on your person without a bag.

5.3 Sports/Fitness

Subpar for sports. They're lightweight and relatively portable but a bit too unstable for sports and high-intensity activities. They also don't have a decent control scheme, and the non-detachable cable could be bothersome during more strenuous exercises.

5.3 Office

Below-average for office use. The Tascam TH-02 won't block the ambient chatter of a lively office from seeping into your audio. On the upside, they don't leak much at average volumes so they won't be too distracting to your colleagues.

4.0 Wireless Gaming

Sub-par for gaming. These headphones don't have a mic or any app support. They're also limited by the range of their relatively short audio cable. On the upside, since they're wired, they have very low latency, although they aren't the ideal choice for gaming due to their lack of features.

5.8 Wired Gaming
1.7 Phone Call
  • 5.3 Mixed Usage
  • 6.6 Neutral Sound
  • 4.8 Commute/Travel
  • 5.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.3 Office
  • 4.0 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.8 Wired Gaming
  • 1.7 Phone Call
  1. Updated Nov 21, 2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Updated Nov 21, 2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Updated Jul 04, 2018: Review published.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The Tascam TH-02 have a decent studio-looking design but feel a bit cheap once in your hands. They have relatively small over-ear cups and a wide headband that's decently well-padded. Unfortunately, their all-plastic design doesn't look very durable, creaks a lot, and feels a bit cheap. Their understated look will work for most, but their budget price is reflected in their build quality.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.5 lbs
Clamping Force
0.9 lbs

These headphones have sub-par isolation that won't be suitable for commute or travel. The ear cups are fairly shallow and relatively small so they don't seal the ear well enough to block the noise of public transit or a busy office environment. They will easily let noise seep into the ear cups. On the upside, they don't leak too much and won't be distracting to those around you in a typical office environment.

0
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use N/A
Feedback N/A
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control No
Microphone Control N/A
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling Control N/A
Talk-Through
N/A
Additional Buttons N/A

These headphones don't have a control scheme.

6.8
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 4.8 ยฐC

These headphones are fairly breathable for an over-ear design mostly because they don't completely seal the ear like they're supposed to. They will still make your ears fairly warm after a couple of hours of listening, but on the upside, they don't get much hotter than typical over-ear headphones. The awkward fit will be of bigger concern than the heat over long listening sessions.

6.2
Design
Portability
L 5.8"
W 4.2"
H 3.4"
Volume 83 inยณ
Transmitter Required N/A

The Tascam TH02 are somewhat portable over-ear headphones. They fold into a smaller format which saves a decent amount of space, but they still won't be the easiest headphones to carry around on your person. They also don't come with a case, which is a little disappointing.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

These headphones don't come with a case.

6.0
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the Tascam TH02 is mediocre at best. The all-plastic design looks and feels a little cheap, and not very durable. The hinges especially feel like they might snap under moderate physical stress. The cable isn't detachable and hence not replaceable, so it gets worn down by everyday use. On the upside, the cable is fairly thick, so the headphones are more likely to break than the cable. Also, the ear cups are dense enough that they won't get damaged from a couple of accidental drops.

6.0
Design
Stability

The Tascam TH02 aren't the most stable headphones. They'll quickly fall off your head if you use them while working out or jogging. They also have a wired designed with a non-detachable cable that will yank them off your head if it gets hooked on something. The headphones are somewhat tight enough on the head for more casual activities and critical listening, but they won't be stable enough for sports.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Tascam TH-02 headphones
  • 1/4" adapter
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-2.65 dB
Treble Amount
-5.57 dB
6.1
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.88 dB

The frequency response consistency of the Tascam TH-02 is mediocre. They show a large and significant deviation in bass delivery across multiple subjects, especially if one is wearing glasses. However, they are very consistent in their treble delivery, most likely due to their small and shallow ear cups.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.4
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.19 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
22.13 Hz
Low-Bass
-1.14 dB
Mid-Bass
0.68 dB
High-Bass
3.75 dB

The Tascam TH-02 have good bass. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 22Hz, which is very good. Also, low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy music is within 1.2dB of our target. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and the punch of kick drums is within 0.7dB of our neutral target. However, high-bass, responsible for warmth, is overemphasized by almost 4dB. This makes the overall bass a bit boomy and muddy. Also, their bass delivery varies noticeably across users, and is sensitive to the quality of fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response and your experience may vary.

6.8
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.3 dB
Low-Mid
4.11 dB
Mid-Mid
4.91 dB
High-Mid
3.54 dB

The mid-range is decent. The overall response is very flat and even but consistently overemphasized by about 4dB. This makes the overall sound noticeably mid-rangey and brings vocals/leads to the front of the mix.

4.5
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
6.41 dB
Low-Treble
-6.86 dB
Mid-Treble
-1.32 dB
High-Treble
-4.85 dB

The treble performance is sub-par. The wide +10dB dip around 4KHz has a significant negative effect on the detail and presence of vocals and lead instruments. The peak around 10KHz could make these headphones a bit sibilant (sharp and piercing on S and T sounds). This will mostly be noticeable on vocals and cymbals.

5.9
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.71 dB
Dips
2.53 dB
8.4
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.18
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.75
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.03
Weighted Phase Mismatch
7.89

The imaging performance of the Tascam TH-02 is great. Weighted group delay is at 0.18, which is very good. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response. This is important for the proper placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects), in the stereo field.

6.7
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.63 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
5.75 dB
PRTF Distance
11.84 dB
Openness
7.6
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.8

The soundstage performance is about average. The PRTF graph shows some pinna activation, but the accuracy of the activation is low and there's not a notch present around the 10KHz region either. This, and the closed-back design, suggests a soundstage that's relatively small and located inside the listener's head.

7.2
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.518
WHD @ 100
0.171
Isolation
3.0
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-7.29 dB
Bass
0.25 dB
Mid
-2.6 dB
Treble
-19.58 dB

The isolation performance is sub-par. These headphones don't have active noise cancelling (ANC) and don't provide any isolation in the bass range. Therefore, they will let in all the rumble of airplane and bus engines. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieve less than 3dB of isolation, which is inadequate. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds, they reduce outside noise by about 20dB, which is decent.

7.0
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
39.79 dB

The Tascam TH-02 have a decent leakage performance. A significant portion of their leakage is between 500Hz and 10KHz, which is a relatively broad range. But the overall level of the leakage is very quiet. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 40dB SPL and peaks at 53dB SPL, which is just above the average noise floor of most offices.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
N/A
In-line
N/A
Boom
N/A
Detachable Boom
N/A

The Tascam TH-02 don't come with a microphone. For a wired headphone with a good in-line microphone, check out the Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear II, the QuietComfort 25, or the Apple EarPods.

0
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
N/A
LFE
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
N/A
HFE
N/A
Weighted THD
N/A
Gain
N/A

These headphones don't have a microphone so the recording quality has not been tested.

0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise N/A
Speech + Subway Noise N/A
SpNR
N/A

The Tascam TH-02 don't have a microphone so the noise handling has not been tested.

Active Features
not tested
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
N/A
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power Saving Feature
N/A
Audio While Charging
N/A
Passive Playback
N/A
Charging Port N/A

The Tascam TH-02 are passive headphones with no active components and no battery.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name N/A
iOS N/A
Android N/A
macOS N/A
Windows N/A
Equalizer
N/A
ANC Control
N/A
Mic Control N/A
Room effects
N/A
Playback Control
N/A
Button Mapping N/A
Surround Sound N/A

The Tascam TH-02 don't have a compatible app or software support for added customization options.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
N/A
NFC Pairing
N/A
Line of Sight Range
N/A
Default Latency
N/A
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A

These headphones are wired headphones and don't support Bluetooth. The Tascam TH-02 are wired and have essentially no latency when gaming or watching movies but they won't have the convenient range of wireless headphones.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length 4.5 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
0 ms

The Tascam TH-02 have a non-detachable cable with a 1/8"TRS connector. They don't have a mic or an in-line remote so they will only provide audio when connected to most devices.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
N/A
USB Input
N/A
Line In
N/A
Line Out
N/A
Optical Input
N/A
RCA Input
N/A
Dock Charging
N/A
Power Supply
N/A

There's no charging dock or base for these headphones. For a good gaming headset with a dock, check out the SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless 2017.

Compared To Other Headphones

Comparison picture

The Tascam TH02 are somewhat decent budget critical listening headphones but quite mediocre for everything else. They aren't the most comfortable, and their build quality feels a little cheap and plastic and not as durable as some other models. On the upside, they have a moderately balanced sound and a fairly decent soundstage which makes them a somewhat suitable option for critical listening although their comfort level might be an issue for some. They also don't provide a lot of isolation so they won't be the best headphones to use outdoors in a noisy environment. See our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones, the best closed-back headphones, and the best headphones under $20.

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