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Not studio headphones, but still great for a colored listening experience.

A Review On: AIAIAI TMA-1 Studio Headphones

AIAIAI TMA-1 Studio Headphones

Rated # 305 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $187.00
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Pros: Punchy, precise and loud bass, comfort, isolation, crisp but relaxed highs

Cons: Build Quality

     I bought these expecting that they would be fairly neutral headphones with the ability for extra bass because of their DJ background, but instead I found that they offered tons of bass right off the bat and gave a very lively, colored listening experience.  When I say different, I don't mean like legos vs. megablocks - I mean like sharks vs. sharks with lasers on their heads.  You should get the idea.


A quick overview:

 - excellent packaging and style

 - high quality fit and finish, just enough weight to the headphones to make them feel substantial but not          enough to be heavy on your head

 - *large* earcups that envelop your ears and immerse you in your  music

 - detachable, coiled cable with screw on 6.3 mm adaptor

 - comfortable for all day listening

 - great definition and separation between highs, mids, and lows

 - punchy, solid and tight bass

 - easily driven

 - semi-poor build quality


     I should say that these are the first headphones in the 200 dollar range so that you can get a feel for my listening background.  I have just recently replaced my two year old Sennheiser HD419's, which served me well in that time.  Coming from them, I was pleasantly surprised at the feel of these cans and the (initial) build quality.  The plastic coating is reminiscent of the trackpad coating on many high end laptops, and the headband and earcup foam feels like the weather stripping you find in a car door.  However, after just a few days of use, the f'ing headband has come unglued.  It's not even a medium sized problem because there are really only three plastic parts to this set of headphones, but it's aggravating and disparaging.


     However, it seems like AiAiAi put the effort they could have used improving build quality into sound quality.  It has a characteristic veiled sound, but it's something that I prefer - so please, bear this in mind.  Highs are crisp and precise but do not fatigue, and can be heard without straining to listen for them.  Mids are clear and not destroyed by the bass. Male vocals can be heard cleanly along with bass notes with very clear separation.  The bass produced by the TMA-1's is so powerful that if these headphones were put over a baby's ears, the baby would grow a beard (regardless of gender) and find a flannel shirt to wear.  I found myself listening to songs I had, since long ago, memorized note for note because of their newly released depth.  As of yesterday I have had to change my listening habits because these phones have rattled the earwax out of my ears. At one point during "Empire Ants", I thought I heard thunder outside my door.


     These headphones are definitely worth their 250 dollar asking price, and were a steal at 190.  I highly recommend them if you like a colored, bassy listening experience.  If you listen to electronica, these are the headphones with you.

1 Comment:

I found the build quality and sturdiness to be exceptional, except for maybe the pads.
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