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Review: AIAIAI TMA-2 Studio headphones

AIAIAI's new headphones are a quality combination of sustainability and adaptable functionality

  • Tope Olufemi
  • 17 September 2021
Review: AIAIAI TMA-2 Studio headphones

AIAIAI headphones are a dance music staple, regularly spotted on the heads of some of the most prominent artists and DJs in the industry, including Kaytranada, Charlotte de Witte, Bonobo, Yaeji and more. AIAIAI’s commitment to responsible materials and modular design has made the headphones favourites among music enthusiasts and creators alike, and with the TMA-2 studio, the company continues to build on this ethos, delivering comfortable and accurate headphones that prove that flexibility is the future.

Sustainability is at the heart of what AIAIAI is trying to achieve with its products, prioritising the use of materials like Alcantara and vegan leather, and introducing new packaging that is reducing their CO2 emissions for packaging by 80%. The company even created a pair of headphones made from recycled vinyl.

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The modular design of the TMA-2 Studio is another draw of the headphones, allowing consumers to essentially build a custom pair of headphones, with a variety of headbands, earcup materials, wires, and speaker units on offer from AIAIAI, allowing for a distinct sound signature and style to be created.

When unboxing the headphones for the first time, each part is encased in 100% recyclable plastic, and you put the headphones together by following a set of simple instructions. Our experience with this was slightly fiddly, but the lack of screws and technical knowledge means that taking apart the headphones and putting them back together when buying new parts is quick and easy once you get the hang of it. This is also a part of their commitment to sustainability, with the company refusing to put out a slightly upgraded version of their headphones yearly and instead opting for modularity.

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The default configuration we received sports comfortable Alcantara earcups, a microfiber-padded headband, and the S05MKII speaker units, which are designed to deliver crisp, accurate sound. The headphones are stylish and minimalistic, with little to no branding on the outside.

The TMA-2 Studio, as signalled by the name, is designed to be used in a studio setting. When used for production, the TMA-2 Studio produces consistent, precise sound, allowing for the full effects of mixing, panning and EQing to be apparent to the listener.

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With general everyday use, the headphones are great at capturing higher frequencies that get lost in other headphones, and accurately represent the energy of a track. Although they're designed for the studio, we wish that the headphones got louder when used with an external player like a phone without needing to be connected to an interface or an external DAC. The Alcantara ear cups are comfortable for longer listening sessions, and the lightness of the headphones didn’t cause any fatigue during the testing period.

While the default configuration delivers great sound, the option of being able to switch parts out to deliver more bass, better noise cancellation, and even Bluetooth capabilities makes the TMA-2 Studio the most flexible headphones on the market. If you’re looking for chop-and-change functionality from a company aiming to create products that last, the AIAIAI TMA-2 Studio are a great pair of headphones to pick up.

You can buy the TMA-2 Studio here - with prices starting at £200

Tope Olufemi is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow them on Twitter

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