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AIAIAI TMA-2 Series headphones review

AIAIAI's new headphone design has a flexible solution for choice paralysis

  • £160+
AIAIAI TMA-2
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

Flexible modular design at a price that won’t break the bank – and they’re great for recording, DJing and general listening purposes.

Pros

  • Closed back, over-ear design suitable for recording and DJing.
  • Lightweight, comfortable and good for long periods of listening.
  • Good value.
  • Flexible modular design.
  • Good choice of alternative components.

Cons

  • Not ideal for critical listening.

AIAIAI TMA-2 series: What is it?

TMA-2 is a headphone range from Danish manufacturer AIAIAI. It offers an innovative configuration process that allows you to build your own headphones from a selection of modular parts, and comes in both wired and wireless versions.

The online configurator currently offers a choice from three speaker units each with its own frequency profile, six headbands, four earpads (both over ear and on ear), 12 cables and two hard cases. Component prices vary, but the cheapest configuration is £162 and the most expensive £290, for a pair with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. There are a number of further signature designs on offer, including ones from the likes of Ninja Tunes and KNTXT.

To keep things simple there are also six pre-configured models and it’s two of these, the TMA-2 Studio and TMA-2 Studio XE, that are on review. These are modular, much like the individually configured pairs, and if you did want to upgrade them later, all the individual parts are available from the webshop. When you start playing around with them, they are also very easy to take apart and reassemble, with the headband plugging into each speaker unit and the earpads simply pushing in. Despite the fact that you can take them apart, they feel suitably robust and the overall build quality is good.

AIAIAI TMA-2

TMA-2 Studio XE (Image credit: Future)

AIAIAI TMA-2

TMA-2 Studio XE (Image credit: Future)

AIAIAI TMA-2 series: Performance and verdict

So, how do these two models compare? The TMA-2 has their flagship super comfortable memory foam earpads covered in Alcantara fabric and a microfibre headband and these make for a pretty comfortable fit. The XE meanwhile has more modest PU-covered memory foam earpads and a slimline lightweight PU and polycarbonate headband. This is slightly less comfortable, but mostly down to the thinner padding on the headband. 

Both ear pad designs are over-ear and closed back. They successfully reduce ambient noise and escaped sound, making them great for studio recording and DJ booth use. They are also both pretty light, so well suited to extended periods of listening. 

The speaker units on both of these pairs are the same 40mm bio-cellulose diaphragm drivers with neodymium magnets. You’d think these would sound pretty similar, but there’s a clear difference and this is highlighted as part of the product description. Most obviously, the low end for the XE is more pronounced and overall the sound is more scooped in the mid range. Neither pair is particularly hyped in the high frequencies, which is great if you like to listen loud but less helpful for critical mixing and mastering. That said, their overall tonality is good. The TMA-2 provides a much better overall balance than the XE and better suits a broader range of tasks. 

AIAIAI TMA-2

TMA-2 Studio XE (Image credit: Future)

The TMA-2 modular concept is great, and although it’s not possible to get a true sense of which components will best suit you, the product descriptions for the two review configurations are pretty accurate. Overall, they are great for recording, DJing and general listening, though there are more suitable studio headphones for mixing and mastering.

MusicRadar verdict: Flexible modular design at a price that won’t break the bank – and they’re great for recording, DJing and general listening purposes.

AIAIAI TMA-2 series: The web says

"Even without their environmental credentials, these would be an easy recommendation, delivering excellent reproduction and comfort. Although there are better headphones for serious mixing duties, these tick all the boxes for light mixing, DJing and general listening."
MusicTech

"With the sonic finesse required to work in a studio setting, but also robust enough to chuck into a rucksack for DJing, location sound, or general music listening on the move."
Attack Magazine

AIAIAI TMA-2 series: Specifications

  • MAX POWER: 100mW
  • SPL: 113dB 
  • DRIVER: AIAIAI S05 unit 
  • DIAPHRAGM: 40mm bio-cellulose diaphragm 
  • MAGNET: Neodymium 
  • IMPEDANCE: 32 Ohms 
  • DIMENSIONS: 170 x 95 x 205mm 
  • WEIGHT: TMA-2 206g, TMA-2 XE 199g 
  • CONTACT: AIAIAI