Skip to story The Aiaiai TMA-2 headphones let you pick your own drivers, earpads, headband, and cables. They also come in artist-produced configurations, like this Young Guru preset. Aiaiai
In addition to having one of the most fun-sounding names in the business, Aiaiai cranks out some mighty fine headphones. The Danish company’s previous top-of-the line cans, the understated but fashionable TMA-1s, sounded as good as their matte aesthetics looked. Parts of the TMA-1 were modular—you could swap out the on-ear pads for some over-ear noise-isolators, for example—but the new TMA-2s take that modularity to bold new heights.
You essentially build these headphones from scratch: You select your speaker unit, your headband, your earpads, and your cable type. When you get the box, it’s filled with each component in its own little sealed bag, and you just pop it all together. There are 18 distinct components and 360 possible combinations of them.
As cool as that is, so much choice can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, Aiaiai has made it easy to assemble the ideal pair of headphones for the music you want to listen to and the sound characteristics you want out of them. Just like the headphones themselves, there are tons of ways to piece together that info, and they’re all pretty helpful.
You can mix together your headphones from scratch using a configuration tool on the Aiaiai site. Aiaiai
Along with an interactive configuration tool that lists details about sound quality for each combo, a roster of “preset” headphones based on particular use cases, configurations put together by musicians, and configurations suited to specific genres of music.
So what are your actual options? For the speakers, you have your pick between four 40mm titanium and neodymium drivers, each one of them tuned for a different sound profile (using vague audiophile-speak like “all-around,” “punchy,” “warm,” and “vibrant”). No matter which drivers you pick, you can pair them with a set of microfiber or leather earpads, with both on-ear and over-ear styles available. There are three different headband styles with different levels of padding, and six different cord styles—you can get a curly or straight cable with or without inline controls, microphones, or adapters.
As you might expect, prices vary depending on your configuration, but they’re each around the $200 mark. The highest-end combo would cost $250, with the “Vibrant” voice-coil driver, a “High Comfort” padded headband, over-ear leather earpads, and a cable with all the fixins. The cheapest combo is just $140, with the “All-Round” driver, a headband with slim padding, microfiber on-ear pads, and a basic cable. And of course, you can upgrade these cans over time, as all the parts are interchangeable.