Review: AIAIAI TMA-1 X Headphones
- Words: Leo Maymind
The marketplace for DJ headphones has been growing increasingly crowded, with many companies scrambling to manufacture a pair of cans that can provide appropriate levels of bass and clarity while maintaining the comfort necessary for daily use. Danish audio brand AIAIAI is the latest contender to occupy that niche with its new TMA-1 X, an extremely lightweight, dynamic set of closed headphones described as being suitable for "DJing, monitoring, and [using with] mobile devices."
How They Look
The TMA-1 X headphones follow the same sleek visual aesthetic that AIAIAI has established with their popular TMA-1 style—black matte coloring and minimal lines, with a focus on function. The earcups are on the smaller side, with less cushion than the TMA-1, though the light padding ensured they still were comfortable enough for multi-hour use. The TMA-1 X's headband is covered with a soft-yet-firm foam that kept the phones rightfully situated. Sticking to previous design decisions, AIAIAI opted to leave the headphones devoid of any branding, save for a small, indented logo on the inside of the headband.
Fitting with their multi-purpose strategy, the TMA-1 X employs an in-line microphone and one-button remote for answering calls when used in conjunction with a phone, though it would have been nice if it also carried over the volume controls from the TMA-1. Users with smaller heads might want to take note of a minor quibble we had with the TMA-1 X: we found that the cable connecting each earcup bunched up uncomfortably when the phones were fitted tightly. Ultimately, this didn't get in the way of usability, but it did require tucking the cord snugly under the ridge of each earcup.
How They Sound
The most important factor in the success of any pair of headphones is, of course, how they sound, and thankfully, the TMA-1 X didn't disappoint. As promised, they easily handled a wide range of music with aplomb, accurately delivering crisp highs and deep lows. The TMA-1 X shares the 40mm driver unit size with its big brother, and certainly felt capable of delivering enough volume in any situation while maintaining accurate sound reproduction across the frequency spectrum. Thankfully, the TMA-1 X lacked the exaggerated bass of other headphones aimed at DJs, making them a suitable substitute for monitoring quick mixes and production tasks. However, the lightweight design of the TMA-1 X did mean that the smaller earcups provided less sound isolation than larger headphones typically offer, but such a trade-off seems necessary given the design imperatives.
The Bottom Line
Apart from the small comfort issue with the cable, it's hard to find much at fault with AIAIAI's new TMA-1 X line. The Danish brand has managed to craft another sleek, versatile pair of headphones that sound impeccable and are comfortable enough for daily use. Their lightweight and clean design will give anyone looking for a stylishly practical pair of headphones an easy choice.
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