Copenhagen-based audio company AIAIAI has been riding the success of their TMA-1 headphones since 2009. Today however the brand unveiled the next iteration and their vision for the contemporary headphone: the TMA-2 Modular. Aiming to suit the unique needs of each user, the system allows you to build a pair according to your own preferences.
Users can choose from four different speaker units, five types of earpads (microfiber to velour, on-ear to over-ear), three headbands and six cords—all of which are interchangeable with one another. To make things more helpful, AIAIAI offers four presets to start with, as well as an interactive configurator that will describe each speaker unit and earpad pairing. For example, the S02 (“punchy” speaker unit) and E02 (on-ear PU leather earpad) combo is based on the original TMA-1 DJ headphones and offers a centered sound stage with high isolation.
From the moment we opened the box set-up was simple, intuitive and even fun—akin to building with Legos, but having a highly functional finished product. The all-black design, with no visible branding on the outside, is an attractive, minimalist look that draws inspiration from the original TMA-1s.
Seeking a comfortable pair of headphones especially for extended use we were drawn to the TMA-2s. The “high comfort” nylon H03 headband with PU leather padding and the matching PU leather over-ear E04 ensure comfort even after hours of use. For walking and biking however, we recommend the more lightweight polycarbonate H01 headband and the small, low-profile E01 earpads.
An audiophile might collect all four speaker units to keep up with an extensive record collection. The beauty of a modular system is that you can adapt the configuration to fit your changing needs over time without having to invest in a new pair of headphones. It’s also comforting to know that should there ever be an accident involving someone sitting on a beloved pair of headphones, it’s easy (and cheaper) to replace a broken headband or torn earpad.
Build your own TMA-2 set ranging from $140 to $260 at AIAIAI’s online shop and at select retailers.
Images by Cool Hunting