When Apple cut the headphone jack from the iPhone, it was easy to assume that dozens of companies would adopt the Lightning connector for their headphones. Instead, however, companies simply continued doing what they were doing, leaning a little more into wireless technology, and relying on the Lightning to headphone jack adapter for those that wanted wired headphones. One company that is still releasing Lightning headphones, however, is Thore, with the new Thore V100 earbuds.
The headphones don’t just offer a Lightning connector — they’re also relatively cheap, coming in at only $30 on Amazon. Do they sacrifice quality for a low price tag? We put the Thore V100 headphones to the test to find out.
The Thore V100 earbuds look fine, but they’re pretty basic. On one end of the cable, there’s a Lightning connector, while the earbuds themselves look like pretty much any other earbuds. Part way down the right cable, there’s a three-button controller that allows for volume and playback control.
The headphones come in a few different colors, including black, white, and white with pink accents. We’re reviewing the black version and we find that they look the best based on online pictures.
In the box, apart from the headphones themselves, you’ll get a clamshell carry case and a total of three pairs of ear tips, each a different size. We would have liked to see other types of ear tips, but most people will be perfectly happy with the ear tips in the box.
Because of the fact that the Thore V100 earbuds are wired, they don’t need batteries or Bluetooth chips inside them — and as such, they’re smaller than wireless earbuds. That lends itself well to comfort. The earbuds fit nicely in your ears, and never felt like they would fall out during our use.
We found that like any earbuds, the Thore V100 headphones might get a little uncomfortable after long periods of listening, but for the most part the headphones are comfortable and easy to wear.
Ultimately, the most important thing to consider is how the headphones sound — and they’re not the best, though they’re not terrible for headphones in this price range.
The bass, for starters, is fine, but it’s a little muddy. We would have liked a little more extension in the bass, which would help make for a more natural and powerful sound. The bass that is there could use a bit more of a boost too.
The mid range is also fine, but again, it’s not perfect. The low mids are pretty muddy, but they do offer quite a bit of warmth to the overall sound. The high mids are present enough, ensuring that vocals and guitars shine nicely through a mix.
The worst thing about these headphones is the high end. The highs need some serious work — and if they sounded better, these headphones would be infinitely more worth the money. There’s little clarity to the overall sound of the headphones, and the result is a boring, dynamic-less sound.
The Thore V100 earbuds are decently designed and comfortable, but they’re let down by their sound quality. It’s hard to expect headphones in the $30 price range sound good, but at least a little better high-end response would be helpful.
Are there better options? Well, if you want headphones with a Lightning connector, then not really. If, however, you’re willing to use a Lightning to headphone jack dongle, then we recommend the JBL E15 headphones, which cost $10 more.
Still, considering their good fit and decent design, we’re awarding the Thore V100 headphones the Headphone Review Bronze Medal.
|Frequency response||20Hz – 20kHz||Active noise cancellation||No|
|Driver size||8mm||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Driver type||Dynamic||Inline controls||Yes|
|Rated impedance||16Ω||Magnet material||Unknown|
|Total harmonic distortion||Unknown||Water resistance||No|
|Rated input power||Unknown||Battery life||N/A|
|Maximum input power||Unknown||Wireless distance||N/A|
|Wireless connection||N/A||Cable length||1.2m (4ft)|
|Wired connection||Yes, Lightning||Case type||Clamshell|
|Weight||Unknown||Colors||Black, white, white and pink|