Debuts of AIAIAI ‘HD’ editions of its modular TMA-2 headphones
The TMA-2 HD feels light on your mind, which also will help keep things comfy. The texture of the earcups, paired with the fabric of this Alcantara feels so much better than the leather or leatherette wrapped parts. It is cooler and more breathable so temperature is not an issue during long listening sessions.
To keep things comfortable, new E08 earpads hug your head with gentle memory foam cushions which are wrapped in Alcantara. AIAIAI states the combination of materials and thicker cushioning offers better sound isolation, along with greater relaxation. The isolation isn't outstanding, as I could hear noise pretty easily unless I had the music cranked. And at that point, everyone around me could hear my songs too.
After you change the the wired H04 headband and new C15 hi-fi cable, the sound quality is constant. There is still great clarity, so instead of just sounding like metal being slapped with a stick when you're listening to hip-hop like J Dilla's Jay Dee's Ma Dukes Collection, the hi-hat hits have detail to them. The kick drum lays under the audio, providing bass and the backbone. Keys, horns and other tools shine, even if they are not featured prominently on a track. Despite their size, these work well, but my main problem is their location. The controls are on the upper arch of the headband, around to the side that is left.
Headphone controls are on the earcups, and even after days of usage, I sometimes still reach to the wrong spot. Since of the wireless bits are in the headband, which you can swap out as needed, I understand AIAIAI's decision to relocate the controls. But I've also been educated that controls are on the earcups, therefore where they are around the TMA-2 HD, recalling is a work in progress.
The TMA-2 HD's new S05 speaker units are constructed using bio-cellulose diaphragms. AIAIAI states these create"more defined" details in high frequencies, a"more conspicuous" mid-range, enhanced general dynamics and a pure tone. Indeed, the mixture of this headband and these speaker units create. Lows, mids and highs are given equal weight, and nobody appears to overpower the others.
Since 2015, buyers have been provided something special: a completely modular system by AIAIAI. The TMA-2 line is a collection of speakers headbands, earpads and cables which are designed for sound preferences different use cases and more. Yes, you can pick on a configuration for specific tasks like recording or DJing at a studio, however, you could also build your own from AIAIAI's selection of elements. Every one of the alternatives maintain this series' all-black layout. And those choices include its new speakers in addition to the TMA-2 HD and earpads, starting now.
Treble cuts through without being overbearing, and the bass provides some punchy low-end tone to round out the sound. True to the claim of the company, there is fine detail in the mids, and the wireless model's soundscape accommodates a range of music styles. The TMA-2 HD does not have the"complete" or"available" quality to the sound that similarly priced alternatives from Sennheiser and Audio-Technica offer, but there is still a lot to enjoy here in terms of audio.
The TMA-2 HD comes in both wired and wireless options, depending on which headband you choose. For your wired version, the existing H04 headband provides the frame for speakers to attach. The H05 Bluetooth headband the company surfaced in 2017 packs in aptX HD to provide 24-bit audio that's akin to CD quality when you go wireless. When your 18 hours of listening time are up, and since it is 2019, it costs via USB-C.
The TMA-2 HD Wireless can be obtained today from AIAIAI for $350. That's on par with most flagship wireless headphones nowadays, but almost all those models provide active noise cancellation (ANC). You are definitely paying for the privilege of modular design here, and also the capacity to incorporate new components in your pace. Additionally, no matter how you purchase items, AIAIAI ships packaged and of the components deconstructed. You have to assemble it, in the event that you buy the full TMA-2 HD set . And if you prefer it, that version of this TMA-2 HD is available for $295.
Naturally, that the E08 joins six other options for earpads that include both over- and on-ear styles. You have those to choose from, if you prefer microfiber leather or leatherette. If that is a factor for you they all have various degrees of noise isolation as well. According to AIAIAI's headphone builder, the E04 leather earpads provide"high" isolation, but I wasn't able to perform a direct comparison. The E08 is only portrayed as"better"
In the event that you already have TMA-2 parts, you can buy what is on the HD model individually. The H05 headband is $125 (was already available), while a set of S05 speakers is 130. Those brand new earpads are priced at $55 and the C15 cable is $40. You won't receive exactly the noise unless you opt for a TMA-2 HD configuration I analyzed, but the capacity is yours if you are only interested in a few of those parts over others.
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