The AIAIAI TMA-2 is a unique kit designed to give you control over what kind or how you wear your headphones while enjoying great sound. This premium offering can be ordered as a pre-selected bundle or you can customize every part using the brand’s online configurator. Its also upgradable for when better parts and updates release, so let’s check out if the AIAIAI TMA-2 is worth the investment.
Design and Features
The AIAIAI TMA-2 comes in five pre-set flavors with each component interchangeable with the other existing variants in the current lineup. You can take a pick from the different sets that range from wired to wireless, on-ear to over-ear, and microfiber to leather cushions. You can even pick the drivers or the speaker units which offer neodymium, titanium coated, and bio-cellulose versions.
The device comes in matte black no matter which part you choose save for the cables which come in a lot of varieties and colors. Every bit is designed with excellent fit and finish in mind, so you won’t get a flimsy set that will easily break after a while. AIAIAI also used sustainable materials and design as much as possible, so you are getting high-quality parts that are environmentally conscious.
Unboxing the AIAIAI TMA-2 is a treat thanks to the unique package that caters to the gadget’s modularity. You get a black box that contains four different gray packets that contain the headband, earpads, drivers, and cable individually. Everybody loves a good unboxing experience, and you most definitely will find pleasure in opening up the TMA-2.
Of course, assembly is necessary for the AIAIAI TMA-2, but tools aren’t necessary since everything snaps into place. You only need to follow instructions, but we wish AIAIAI included something better than the small pamphlets that are included with the components. The only part you need to take note of is the driver with the red 3.5mm jack since it was meant for your right ear specifically.
The headband with the AIAIAI TMA-2 applies just the right amount of pressure so hopefully, it won’t press too hard and induce headaches for you. The slim design makes it lightweight, while the sleek padding takes care of comfort for extended periods. Its also worth noting that the wireless versions carry the battery on this part, so charging can become awkward for some users.
Adjusting the headband’s arms can be challenging due to the design which uses a dimpled channel to lock it into place. You need to squeeze it a bit at the concave end to let it go through, so it can get tiring if you are regularly compressing the pair for travel or storage. The mic-equipped variant works differently since the side that holds it slides smoothly, but the opposite arm will still be difficult to adjust.
The earpads and the drivers behind them are a matter of preference, including how much you are willing to pay for your unit. Our on-ear unit doesn’t completely isolate ambient sound, but that’s intentional so it can be used for commutes. However, they are less comfortable, even if they provide a more intense listening experience by putting the sound directly to your ear canal.
The five drivers available for the AIAIAI TMA-2 have varying signatures which you have to review first before you pull the trigger. The first unit offers a balanced sound signature, while the latter four translate between punchy bass to a more natural tone. Again, it’s up to you which one to choose, but the beauty of the TMA-2 is you don’t need to spend a lot of money again since the drivers can be bought separately.
We love the cables included with the AIAIAI TMA-2 since the material used on the coating truly prevents kinking. Its also great that you can plug it on either earcup, so you are free to choose from which side of your head it hangs from. Not a lot of brands offer this kind of design, and we think it is one of the biggest reasons why you should consider this model.
It is important to take note that you need to insert and twist the cables until you feel a click to ensure that they are inserted properly. Not paying attention to this detail will cause problems such as unbalanced sound output and the like. Take note that this design is meant to lock the cable into place, so be sure not to directly pull them out in case you want to disassemble the AIAIAI TMA-2.
The AIAIAI TMA-2 sports sound signatures that are great for music with its sharp highs and a decent midrange. You can clearly hear every instrument and the tonality of the vocals, but of course, you have to have a good source. The TMA-2 also sounds different between wired and wireless mode, with the latter losing a bit of quality where some parts of the audio become muddy and a noticeable loss in the airiness of the song.
On the other hand, you need to get the drivers with more bass for games and movies since the S01 might feel that they aren’t as punchy for explosions and effects. They are great for dialogue and the instrumentals of background music, but some parts might sound tinny and unsatisfying if you are watching action flicks or playing first-person shooters.
However, we’d like to reiterate that despite our feedback for gaming use, the AIAIAI TMA-2 isn’t meant for that kind of usage. The pair feels more like an upper-end entry-level unit into audiophile headphones. It’s a deep rabbit hole that can keep you wanting to upgrade, but the TMA-2’s modularity and various flavors will somehow ease the itch to get a new pair.
But then again, that’s the main draw of the AIAIAI TMA-2 which lets you place the varying outputs of five different pairs in a single headphone unit. Buying a multi-purpose TMA-2 set can be expensive, but it will be cheaper than buying several pairs just to accommodate different practices. We also love the idea of having an arsenal for your sound sessions, but the notion of having to assemble and disassemble a pair could throw a wrench into that.
Finally, the AIAIAI TMA-2 is rated for up to 18 hours of listening at moderate audio levels and a two-hour charging time. It should be able to keep up with a lengthy Spotify playlist for long haul flights and the like, or it could last a few days for commutes and coffee breaks. Its also usable for homes and studios since the wireless version has a 10m range, while the cable has a 3.6m variant which was designed specifically for that purpose.
Thoughts on the AIAIAI TMA-2
The AIAIAI TMA-2 is a fantastic option if you like varying sound signatures and just generally tinkering with your gadgets. The components provided by the brand gives you full control over your personal experience with the device, plus it also extends the longevity and usability of the device. You can easily replace a part without re-buying the whole product or you can easily select a different variant if you want to mix up your listening experience.
The AIAIAI TMA-2 can be expensive for a lot of us, but its design, including its consideration for sustainability, makes it a great buy. It’s not the best sounding option as far as we know, but the prerequisites of a good audiophile pair are present.
- Modular Design
- Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing
- Minimalist Aesthetics
- Lots of Configuration Options
- Flexible for Any Use
- Assembly and Adjusting can be Tricky
About the Author:
Paolo is a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since his junior high years. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations and he believes that it’s every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.