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Reviewed on Jul 04, 2018

Tascam TH-02
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
5.5
Mixed Usage
6.7
Critical Listening
4.8
Commute/Travel
5.5
Sports/Fitness
5.2
Office
5.5
TV
5.3
Gaming
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 do not have the most comfortable over-ear fit. The small earcups also do not 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.

Test Results
Design 5.7
Sound 6.8
Isolation 5.0
Microphone 0
Active Features 0
Connectivity 4.8
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.

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5.7

Design

The Tascam TH-02 have a mediocre-at-best build quality and they're not very comfortable. They have a cheap feeling plastic design that won't be as durable as some of the other headphones we've tested in their price range like the Mpow 059 or Sound Intone CX-05. They have an over-ear design but sit somewhat awkwardly on the ears due to their relatively small earcups and shallow pads. This makes them somewhat uncomfortable during longer listening sessions. Also since they are more critical listening focused headphones, they have no control scheme, and they don't have the most portable design although they do fold which is nice.

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 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 Comfort
Weight : 0.5 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.9 lbs

These headphones have subpar isolation that won't be suitable for commute or travel. The earcups are fairly shallow and relatively small so they do not 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 earcups. On the upside, they do not leak too much and won't be distracting to those around you in typical office environment.

0 Controls
Ease of use : N/A
Feedback : N/A
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : N/A
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : N/A

These headphones do not have a control scheme.

6.7 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 4.8 C

These headphones are fairly breathable for an over-ear design mostly because they do not completely seal the ear like they are supposed to. They will still make your ears fairly warm after a couple of hours of listening, but on the upside, they do not 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 Portability
L : 5.8 "
W : 4.2 "
H : 3.4 "
Volume : 83 Cu. Inches
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 do not come with a case, which is a little disappointing.

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

These headphones do not come with a case.

6.0 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 is not detachable and hence not replaceable, so it gets worn down by everyday use, then you will have to get a new pair of headphones. 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 Stability

The Tascam TH02 are not the most stable headphones. They will 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 the headphones 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.

Cable
Detachable : No
Length : 4.5 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

These headphones do not come with an additional cable.

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6.8

Sound

The Tascam TH-02 is an average sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a punchy and warm bass, an even mid-range, but great imaging. However, their bass can sound muddy and its delivery is quite inconsistent and could change noticeably from across users, and their mid-range is quite overpowering and prominent. Overall, they tend to sound boxy and mid-rangy and lack quite a bit of detail and brightness on vocals and lead instruments.

8.5 Bass
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 a 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 Mid
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 Treble
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 affect 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 be mostly noticeable on vocals and cymbals.

6.1 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.88 dB

The frequency response consistency of the 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.

8.4 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 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.

6.5 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
3.63 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
5.75 dB
PRTF Distance
:
11.84 dB
Openness
:
5.9
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
3.5
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB

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 is relatively small and located inside the listener's head.

7.0 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
2.228
Weighted THD @ 100
:
6.811

The harmonic distortion performance is decent. The overall amount of THD produced in the bass and mid-ranges are within good limits. Especially in the mid-range where the THD at 100dB SPL is lower than 90dB SPL. This is most likely due to the increased driver flexibility under heavier loads. However, the sharp peak in THD around 5KHz could make the sound of that region a bit harsh and brittle.

5.0

Isolation

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

4.0 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-7.29 dB
Bass
:
0.25 dB
Mid
:
-2.6 dB
Treble
:
-19.58 dB
Self-Noise
:
0 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 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
39.79 dB

The Tascam TH-02 have a decent leakage performance. The 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.

0

Microphone

Integrated
:
N/A
In-line
:
N/A
Boom
:
N/A
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The Tascam TH-02 do not 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 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 do not have a microphone so the recording quality has not been tested.

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

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

0

Active Features

These headphones have no active features and therefore do not require a battery. They also do not have a dedicated app or software support for added customization options. 

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A

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

0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : 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 do not have a compatible app or software support for added customization options.

4.8

Connectivity

The Tascam TH-02 are wired headphones that do not support Bluetooth. They have a simple non-detachable cable with a 1/8TRS connector and no in-line remote. This means they will only provide audio when connected your phone, console controllers, or audio devices. They have nearly zero latency since they're wired but will not have the convenient range of wireless headphones.

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A

These headphones are wired headphones and do not support Bluetooth.

7.2 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
:
Audio Only

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

0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A

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

0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A

The headphones are wired. They are limited by the range of their relatively short audio cable.

10 Latency
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

The Tascam TH-02 are wired and have essentially no latency when gaming or watching movies but they will not have the convenient range of wireless headphones.

In the box

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

Compared to other Headphones

The Tascam TH02 are somewhat decent budget critical listening headphones but quite mediocre for everything else. They are not the most comfortable headphones, and their build quality feels a little cheap and plastic and not as durable as some of the models compared below. 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 do not 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, the best over-ear headphones under $50, and the best headphones under $20.

Conclusion

5.5 Mixed Usage
Sub-par for most uses cases except critical listening. These headphones have a mediocre build quality and a fairly straightforward critical listening design that lacks the features to be a versatile mixed usage headphone. They are also not the most comfortable, with relatively small ear cups that do not sit well on the ear and causes isolation and comfort issues. They won't be the best headphones to wear for long listening sessions or for commuting in loud environments. On the upside, they do not 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 sets ups.
6.7 Critical Listening
Decent for critical 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 cloud 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 sit they do not sit well on the ear which 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 their still a hassle to carry around on your person without a bag.
5.5 Sports/Fitness
Subpar for sports. They're lightweight and relatively portable but a bit too unstable for sports and high-intensity activities. They also do not have a decent control scheme, and the non-detachable cable could bothersome during more strenuous exercises.
5.2 Office
Below-average for office use. The Tascam TH-02 will not block 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.
5.5 TV
Average for watching videos. They sound decent enough for most movies and they have no latency since they're wired. Unfortunately, they have a short audio cable, so they won't be the ideal headphones to comfortably watch movies with from you couch unless you have a line-in extension cord.
5.3 Gaming
Sub-par for gaming. These headphones do not 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 are not the ideal choice for gaming due to their lack of features.

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