In all industries and scenes, there are standards. In DJing, the Technics SL-1200 is one, and the ubiquitous Sennheiser HD25 is (or are?) another. And sometimes companies come along that aim to challenge this dominance with their own take on the standard. One such company is AIAIAI, who shook things up in DJ land with their stylish TMA-1 DJ headphones. And after learning more about what DJs what, they’re back with the TMA-2 modular system, a build your own headphone.
More details from AIAIAI:
AIAIAI INTRODUCE THEIR NEW MODULAR HEADPHONE SYSTEM
TMA-2 Modular: Available from 15th April 2015
This April, Copenhagen-based audio design company AIAIAI launch a new headphone concept called TMA-2 Modular. Providing a vast range of interchangeable options across sound, function, comfort and design, TMA-2 Modular is a state-of-the-art system developed from the TMA-1 series that lets you create your own personalised headphone – while enabling a quick and easy change of individual parts along the way.
Modular is a framework of elements, including the speaker unit, headband, earpad and cable, which can be connected or combined in different ways. With their latest project, AIAIAI have created the next step for the 21st century headphone: a framework consisting of modular audio technology, which gives you the freedom to personalize according to your own unique requirements. Hence, elements relating to exceptional sound, functional design and comfort are the building blocks that make up the TMA-2 Modular system.
Individualization, longevity and adaptability
The TMA-1 headphone family has evolved into a new interchangeable infrastructure. Mirroring an overall design tendency of individualization, longevity and interaction, TMA-2 Modular takes the concept of modularity and applies it creatively to the world of headphones. In this way, the concept doesn’t introduce one single updated headphone: AIAIAI’s new project provides 360 different configuration possibilities. For music professionals this means the opportunity to adapt and tailor the system to a given creative context, from studio production or audio editing, to DJing or listening on the move. For everyone else it means the subtle dissolution of categories; the freedom to be yourself.
Frederik Jorgensen, Co-Founder, AIAIAI:
“The Modular system creates the ultimate flexibility for our business and our customers as well as a more creative way of interacting with our products. This adaptable, versatile approach to our headphones offers radical new opportunities for future product development, enabling us to expand the system to create better options for our users and the potential for further collaborations with our key artist and label partners.”
Lars Larsen, Kilo Founder and AIAIAI Designer:
“I think this is a new way of thinking about headphones. First of all, the design has evolved but the evolution is a natural extension rather than a sudden, abrupt transformation. We’ve designed relatively subtle, new details, plugs and connections for modular flexibility, but it’s the overall idea of modularity that I think will capture everyone’s imagination; The major design change lies in the Modular solution and the freedom of choice it produces. Instead of designing the new we have continued the evolution from TMA1 to TMA2”
A new trajectory for headphone design, the TMA-2 Modular brings a user-friendly means to synthesize from a wealth of components. The customer now takes centre stage and becomes the creator of his or her headphone experience.
All in all, headphones just got a lot more interesting.
TMA-2 Modular headphones are available to build and buy from aiaiai.dk and selected retailers
Prices from £100 / €140 / $140
Each modular headphone set includes speaker unit, headband, earpad and cable. Preset headphone combinations with recommended use include:
All Round: £100 / €140 / $140
DJ: £ 140/ €200 / $200
Studio: £ 160/ €225 /$225
Young Guru: £185 / €260 / $260
This is very clever indeed. Instead of having to package individual headphones, you can make the ones you want by assembling the drivers, ear pads, head bands and cables that you really like before buying. Not only that — but it means that all those bits that break can be replaced, and switched out for something different if you wish.
This varied assembly does lead to differences in sound as well. To what degree is unknown right now, but it does mean that the physical package you fancy might not deliver the sound you like. This will all come out in the reviews wash, and we’ll do our best to adequately describe the sound with suitably flowery terms.
I liked the originals, even if they were a bit meaty sound wise and lacking comfort in the headband. But this modularity allows you to make markedly different cans to suit your needs. And following Henry Ford’s famous saying, you can have any colour you like as long as it’s black. But logically, I’d like to see a few colours thrown into the mix too.