If you haven’t heard about The Danish Audiophiles, ‘AIAIAI‘ yet. You will after this review. AIAIAI ( pronounced “eye eye eye”), together with the techno label Tartelet, have developed a pair of headphones that focuses on minimalistic design and fantastic sound.
The TMA 1 stands for ‘Tycho Magnetic Anomaly-1′.. taken from Arthur C. Clarke’s science fiction novel “2001: A Space Odyssey” and refers to a Black Monolith, which is extremely long-lived and reliable.
The first day it came, I knew it was going to be something special. The Box was a graphical dream, from the shiny contrast black patterns, to the inner foam casing (the shape kinda reminded me of accoustic foam you see in the sound studios) Just fantastic!
The box contains:
2 sets of earpads (leather and foam)
a carrying pouch
a 1.7 meter cable
a 6.3 mm stereo plug converter.
Transducer Principle: Dynamic, closed
Driver Unit Size: 40 mmImpedance: 32±15% Ohm
Load Rating: 0.1WFrequency Response: 20 to 20.000 Hz Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.3%
Sensitivity: 110±3dB Weight w/o
Cable: 190 Gram
The headphones themselves have the matte finish to them. The Matte rubber texture feels almost like a really thin sheen of velvet. The minimal , yet bold lines just make these one of the most eye-catching pieces on the market, it doesn’t even need the metal nor the bling.
Don’t let the looks fool you though, these are very light headphones.
As for stress testings. One of the main features of the headphones is it’s durability. I bent the crap out of the neck. These bad boys are club proof: spill a drink on em, step on em.. they won’t break.
I love the Earphones on the TMA-1, because they are so easy to change. They come with a pair of Leather pads or padded foam. I prefer the softness of the leather. I found the foam was drowning out most of the low end. But that’s just me.
They came with a gray /green inner mesh trimmed micro fibre carrying pouch which has a pretty unique feature: THE ZIPPER. It’s probably the biggest zipper you’ll ever see on a headphone case. I guess it’s good for the times when it’s really dark and you need quick access.
OK now the cable for this thing is a bit of a head scratcher.. it’s a pretty long cable, especially when you stretch the coiled section out. It’s a tad bit too long for my liking. It’s been fair so far though, I hope to god I don’t end up stepping on it or getting tangled around those wandering groupies during my sets.
Here’s the important part. The TMA-1 headphones sound AMAZING.
The 40mm drivers give out punchy bass, but not drowning out the mids and highs (which most often headphones can do). The mids and vocals are clear and the high hats are crisp. These headphones are LOUD.
I tested these at the studio and on a couple of gigs for 2 weeks before writing this review. The TMA-1 headphones are awesome in a loud environment. The noise cancellation is great and they are comfortable. Your ears don’t feel like mush after a 2 HR session.
Couple of things about these headphones that might concern most DJs:
1) They fit loosely around your head so if you got a smaller sized noggin, I’m thinkin that these things will fall right off.
2) They have no earphone swivel so open ear/one-ear listening DJs are shit-out-of luck. They do have some nice bend to them though.
3) They don’t fold up into a ball like most headphones so they can take up a lot of room in your DJ bag.
In Conclusion, I highly recommend them – from a hard core audiophile to a simple iPod consumer. They sound amazing.. they look super sexy, but not flashy. I fell in love my Senheiser HD25s fairly quickly and I didn’t think I’d ever use another a pair of cans again ..the TMA-1 proved me wrong.
They go for about $250 average retail.
There is a solid review at Headfonia.com, with the following excerpts:
…my heart raced with excitement upon receiving the TMA-1 headphone. I was drooling when I saw the pictures of the TMA-1 headphone on the internet, but it looks even better in person… the sound of the TMA-1 gets me excited far more than the design, and that is what a great headphone is all about… The guys who designed this must really know their music. The TMA-1 is a wonderful headphone. The midrange clarity is among the best I’ve heard on closed headphones this price range, and it clearly beats the M-50 which is no slouch either. The bass is clean, tight, and powerful…They set on a goal to create the best headphone for clubbers, and they do it… The treble has enough sparkle, but not piercing… the energy, the forwardness, the bass punch, the clarity, the instrument separation, they are all there.
Tracks after tracks, CDs after CDs of house, trance, and electronica, the AIAIAI TMA-1 is one hell of a musical journey! Truly, kudos to the guys at AIAIAI.
Let us know if you have these headphones and your experiences with them!