On the subject of headphones, AIAIAI has been out there for fairly some time now, the place its TMA-1 has been a favourite amongst skilled DJs. Nevertheless, in 2015, the corporate launched its TMA-2 headphones that type of turned the business on its head due to its customizable modular system.
Which means customers get to “construct” their good pair of headphones the place relying on how you propose to make use of them, you might purchase totally different modules which can be higher fitted to totally different wants, thus making a pair of headphones which can be actually distinctive to you.
The corporate has since adopted up with the TMA-2 HD Wi-fi, which they have been beneficiant sufficient to ship over for assessment, and listed below are our ideas about it.
With the TMA-2 HD, AIAIAI has launched model new modules that when put collectively, leads to the TMA-2 HD. This contains using the brand new S05 speaker items which in response to AIAIAI, encompasses a diaphragm that’s constructed from grown bio-cellulose.
The corporate claims that using this materials has resulted in a stiffer, lighter, and stronger element in comparison with your extra customary PET speaker items. In flip, that is stated to end in much less distortion in comparison with PET speaker items.
There’s additionally the inclusion of the brand new E08 earpad which is constructed from Alcantara, which appears pleasing to the attention and can be comfy (extra on that later).
Aside from that, the remainder of the TMA-2 HD will include a C15 cable, and with the wired model of the TMA-2 HD, the H04 headband, whereas the wi-fi model will include the H05 Bluetooth headband.
“A PAIR OF VERY SLEEK AND MINIMALIST HEADPHONES”
AIAIA’s headphones have at all times been reasonably placing in a refined type of approach.
The corporate has shied away from flashy designs and apparent branding, one thing that I can actually admire, leading to a pair of very smooth and minimalist headphones that you would be able to put on out in public with out drawing consideration to your self. The TMA-2 HD simply continues that custom.
On the subject of the construct high quality, we’re barely upset that the headphones don’t function elements constructed from a steel like aluminum or stainless-steel, which we expect undoubtedly provides to the general design and aesthetics of the headphones. However this doesn’t imply that they’re flimsy.
The truth is, we have been pleasantly shocked to find that the construct of the headphones, particularly within the headband, was reasonably sturdy and didn’t supply any creaking or cracking noises when flexed.
Based on AIAIAI, it’s because with the TMA-2, they opted to make use of Polyamide TR90 for the headscarf which is meant to be extra sturdy and versatile.
They’ve additionally improved on the design to make for a extra even distribution when it bends. This was carried out in response to buyer complaints in regards to the TMA-1 the place some prospects skilled their headbands snapping.
You possibly can really check out the video under to see stress take a look at that AIAIAI put the headscarf via.
I’m undecided how many people would really put the headphones via such excessive use, however principally the concept is that you simply shouldn’t want to fret in regards to the plastic snapping when taking it on and off. After all, that is simply in concept and in apply, we be 100% sure.
One other upside to using largely plastic is that it makes the headphones comparatively lighter, so in the event you plan to deliver them with you on the go or put on them for prolonged intervals of time, that is undoubtedly a bonus.
Whereas the sound high quality is clearly the mark of a pair of nice headphones, consolation can be of utmost significance as it’s the distinction between you selecting that pair of lesser-sounding-quality pair of headphones to your 12-hour flight over your audiophile-grade-but-incredibly-uncomfortable pair of headphones.
“THE MATERIALS COVERING THE EARCUPS ARE INCREDIBLY SOFT TO THE TOUCH”
On the subject of consolation, Boss’s QuietComfort 15 is the benchmark I exploit, and I’ve to say, AIAIAI’s use of reminiscence foam and Alcantara materials comes very, very shut.
The supplies protecting the earcups are extremely gentle to the contact and the reminiscence foam makes it really feel like I’ve put some cotton wool over my ears.
One thing to notice about using Alcantara is that it’s produced with sustainability in thoughts. That is really one thing that AIAIAI prides itself on the place they attempt to create merchandise that reduce the model’s environmental impression.
Additionally it is one of many the explanation why the corporate has gone with a modular design with the TMA-2 collection, the place damaged elements can merely be swapped out and changed, as an alternative of getting to interchange your complete headphones.
The resistance of the headscarf isn’t too tight both, however this will differ relying on the dimensions and form of your head, however general it held on fairly effectively with out slipping off, however on the similar time it didn’t really feel like my ears have been in a vice grip.
Placing what I felt to the take a look at, I made a decision to observe Netflix’s The Irishman with the headphones on (which runs for over 3 hours, and it’s undoubtedly value a watch in the event you haven’t seen it already).
I did take the headphones off from time to time as my ears did get a bit sizzling and sweaty, however at no level did it ever really feel uncomfortable.
Sound High quality
Now that we’ve talked in regards to the design and luxury of the headphones, it’s time to get to a very powerful half: sound high quality. On this regard, I’ve to say that the general sound is reasonably balanced.
I initially listened to music and watched motion pictures with a flat EQ to get an concept of how the headphones would sound with none enhancements.
“MIDS ARE WHERE THE HEADPHONES SEEM TO EXCEL VERY WELL AT”
The bass was good and punchy with out sounding artificially boosted, whereas the highs have been additionally very crisp and clear with out sounding too sharp.
Mids are the place the headphones appear to excel very effectively at, the place it ties all collectively reasonably properly, the place the vocals on songs got here via good and clear.
When you’re one thing of a basshead then we expect that you simply may profit from utilizing an EQ that reinforces the bass. Personally, I favor my bass to sound extra pure and unboosted and the TMA-2 HD’s ship that, however for many who need one thing tight and in your face, particularly in terms of digital music, then you definitely may really feel that the bass on the headphones are a tad missing.
Based on AIAIAI, the TMA-2 HD’s are supposed to supply as much as 16 hours of battery life. Whereas I didn’t rely the precise variety of hours they lasted, I did use them on and off for a whole week for a few hours a day and it saved going.
By the top of the week, there was nonetheless battery left and I think about that I might have simply gotten one and a half weeks value of utilization earlier than recharging it.
Your mileage might differ relying on how usually you employ it, however for probably the most half it the battery life on these headphones are spectacular.
Now, the draw back to wi-fi headphones and batteries on the whole is that over time they have an inclination to degrade, however this additionally highlights the modularity and sustainability of the TMA-2 HDs, the place if it ever will get to the purpose the place battery is just too poor, you may simply swap out the Bluetooth headbands for a brand new one as an alternative of getting to purchase a wholly new set of headphones.
Whereas the general construct, design, and sound high quality of the TMA-2 HD is nice, there are some small quibbles that I’ve with it. To begin with, kudos to AIAIAI for utilizing USB-C for charging as it’s a good way to future-proof gadgets.
Nevertheless, the truth that the USB-C port is on the internal a part of the headscarf, it may be a bit difficult to get to, and I can’t assist however really feel that as a result of approach it’s angled, over time it might harm the port or perhaps the cable that comes with it.
Additionally, pairing the headphones along with your machine isn’t precisely intuitive both. The controls on the headscarf don’t inform you what they do and also you’ll need to check with the handbook with a view to discover ways to pair it and methods to use it.
We get it although, given its minimalist design, placing markings on the headscarf might be distracting and perhaps even ugly.
One might additionally make the argument that that’s why manuals have been created, however on the similar time, wi-fi audio system and headphones aren’t new and we shouldn’t actually need to check with a handbook to do basic items like pairing and controlling media playback.
Additionally, whereas the Alcantara materials feels nice to the contact, I do have some issues about it doubtlessly getting stained over time with sweat. Lastly, a carrying pouch or case would have been a pleasant contact too as as a result of Alcantara materials it began selecting up a good bit of fluff at any time when I had it inside my bag.
Other than the minor points I had with it, the AIAIAI TMA-2 HD are incredible when it comes to sound and design. When you’re after one thing a bit extra understated that doesn’t draw an excessive amount of consideration to your self, then they may be value trying out.
We are able to admire options like using USB-C, and likewise the way it helps each wi-fi and wired connectivity, which not less than provides customers the choice of how they need to join it.
At $350, the TMA-2 HD isn’t precisely low cost or inexpensive, however that is an ecosystem that you simply’ll be shopping for into. We think about that the corporate undoubtedly has plans to proceed churning out new modules so, in the long term, you might find yourself saving cash as you’d solely want to interchange sure elements and never your complete headset.
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