AIAIAI TMA-2 DJ Headphones Review: Sustainable Modular… |

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AIAIAI TMA-2 DJ Headphones Review: Sustainable Modular Headphones Fit for Purpose

The AIAIAI TMA-DJ Headphones are favoured by DJs at the top of their game. But are they good for both in the club and in the radio studio? We see if they live up to the hype.

Lucy Rowe

by Lucy Rowe in Review

Last updated 08.11.2023

AIAIAI DJ Headphones Header

For once, we're not talking about artificial intelligence or robots taking over. Don't let the name fool you, AIAIAI is a Danish Audio company founded in 2006. AIAIAI has the aim to:

"Break down technical, cultural, and creative barriers, our products fit the versatile needs of the modern music creator - on the road, in the studio, and on stage."

A bit like how some great food joints only specialise in one or two dishes, AIAIAI only sells headphones and speakers. Thankfully, we managed to get our mitts on their TMA-2 DJ headphones to see how they measure up for broadcasters.

DJs Love the AIAIAI-TMA DJ Headphones

The AIAIAI-TMA DJ Headphones certainly have a lot of hype. They're the trendy new headphones that all the superstar DJs seem to be using. Techno powerhouse Richie Hawtin even collaborated with AIAIAI. The supremely talented producer-DJs like Kaytranada and Bonobo have been spotted using the well-regarded headphones.

The DJ, Jyoty, a south-Asian Dutch woman, DJing in The Lot Radio booth. Jyoty is wearing a white football shirt, wearing the AIAIAI DJ headphones, and touching both the CDJ and mixer.
Jyoty using the TMA-2 headphones for her mix at The Lot Radio.

Crucially though, they're endorsed by DJs like Jyoty & Benji B, who are behind the decks as well as in the booth. Jyoty in particular, mixes on her resident and guest radio shows wearing the AIAIAI DJ Headphones.

But are these headphones good for mixing shows and everyday use?

When they’re used by the pros, you would think so. But headphones are all about the feel and practicality, something you only find out in practice.

*Some* Assembly Required

Unlike radio headphones that are considered the best in the business, the AIAIAI TMA 2 DJ Headphones are one of few that are modular. Meaning they come in separate components for assembly. But don’t worry, there’s no wiring or anything. It’s a simple case of putting the speaker units on the headband and adding the speaker pads.

The box of the AIAIAI TMA-2 DJ headphones, stood upright on a desk. The image has red lighting on both the left and right side.
Just like lego, the AIAIAI headphones require *some* assembly.

The AIAIAI TMA 2 DJ Headphones are easier to assemble than Ikea furniture.

  1. Slot the speaker units onto the headband.
  2. Connect the speaker units to each end of the headband's cable.
  3. Add the earpads to cover the speaker units.

The idea behind an assembly type of headphones is maintenance and upgrades. So if the earpads get worn out, just replace them. A cool concept and environmentally friendly to boot.

Kinder on Your Wallet (& the Environment)

AIAIAI DJ Headphones come in parts. Allowing you to customise your headphones or replace parts. In the past decade or two, cheap tech (where everything is bundled together) has been favoured. Home HIFI systems sales have dwindled, but Bluetooth speakers are pretty common. The issue is replacing or fixing a part yourself is not only harder, but actively discouraged by brands like Apple and Sony.

The AIAIAI DJ Headphones leaning against an audio mixing console .
Decide which side to have your cable with a switchable 3.5mm jack.

AIAIAI's modular design gives the TMA-2 DJ Headphones a longer shelf life. And it's in keeping with their approach to sustainability and minimising waste.

With interchangeable components such as earpads, cables, and drivers, you can upgrade or change parts of your headphones to improve sound quality, comfort, or style.

AIAIAI even have their own repair guides. Brands doing away with repair gatekeeping and encouraging sustainability should be championed over throwaway tech for the good of both the planet and the consumer's wallet.

Crisp Sounds with High-Isolation Earpads

While DJs care about how headphones look, the most important element is how they sound. The high-isolation earpads are really geared up, as expected, for DJing.

Sound delivery is direct to the eardrum and eliminates room ambience. Although there is no noise cancelling on offer with the TMA-2 Headphones. That being said, the audio quality still allows you to focus on the mix at hand, rather than the noise of a bar or club. The downside is these aren't the best headphones for a listening experience. So you might still have a pair you prefer for that.

But it's worth noting the high-isolation earpads make it easier to pick out particular instruments. A handy tool for DJs, especially with harder-to-mix tracks.

Bio-diaphragm Speakers = Lovely Bass

The AIAIAI TMA-2 DJ Headphones focus on the low-end frequencies and the bass of a song. Not bad for the DJing world, especially if you mix genres that are big on the beat like hip-hop or dance music.

A close-up of the AIAIAI TMA-2 DJ Headphones Headband, showing the AIAIAI brand imprint on the underside of the headband.
The AIAIAI TMA-2 DJ Headphones certainly have a sleek design.

While the TMA-2 Headphones are suitable for radio studios and everyday use, they raise the same issue again for listening only. Those wanting the true representation of the music (i.e. how the artist intended) will find they're not accurate enough.

That said, even Spotify lets you do a small amount of in-app EQing, so you could compensate for the over-representation of the low-end by reducing those frequencies in the app.

Comfortable, But Snug

Fit-wise, the headphones are so snug they border on a bit tight, so no worries about them slipping in the middle of a particularly tight blend or trick. Especially when you’re only listening in one ear.

A minus point is that the H02 headband puts a bit of pressure on the top of the head. Making the headphones uncomfortable after a short while. So much so it's worth opting for the high-comfort headband alternatives (H03 or H04). But perhaps this is just the price you pay for your headphones staying glued to your head.

AIAIAI TMA-2 DJ: Final Verdict

$200 is steep for a pair of headphones, especially when compared against the Rode NTH-100. But those that take audio quality seriously, whilst thinking about their wallet and sustainability in the long run, should consider the AIAIAI TMA-2 DJ Headphones a good investment.

  • The sound quality is decent with low-end frequencies shining brightest ✅
  • Modular headphones mean when components break, they can be fixed ✅
  • All-purpose headphones good for the studio and everyday use ✅

The fact that repairs and part replacements are encouraged means you can fix and customize your headphones which makes the price tag feel worth it. So throwaway tech like cheap headphones can literally get in the bin.

If you buy cheap, you buy twice.

The AIAIAI TMA-DJ 2 Headphones are hard to break and easy to fix. If you buy them, you won’t need to buy another pair for a really long time. And when it comes to headphones, you can't ask much better than that.

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