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AIAIAI TMA-1: A Love-Hate Story

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

Hello fellow Head-Fiers! 

 

I've had the AIAIAI TMA-1's for a few days now and while it was love at first sight once I actually moved in with them, and had a chance to spend some time together, things got really uncomfortable. I'll start by listing the good, followed by the ugly.

 

These are gorgeous headphones! I love the looks and styling, and the packaging is also a nice touch. The sound is phenomenal for the genres I listen to. For the past 2-3 years i've been listening to EDM (Mostly Trance) 99% of the time. I only have the Monster Turbine Pro Copper as a benchmark but in terms of sound I am incredibly satisfied. This sexy beast has deep, controlled, textured bass that never seems to slow down no matter how complex the basslines get. <3. I'm not very familiar with all the audiophile lingo so I really can't think of how to describe the mid and high frequencies. Compared to the MTPC, I would say all the detail is there but just presented differently. Some refer to the sound as dark and its somewhat true in that the higher frequencies are a little recessed, but even the micro-details are present at higher volumes or with EQ (Which they handle incredibly well!). This is where the love story ends.

So after we go at it and get to enjoying some jams together, the pain becomes apparent. First its the top of my head, where the headband rests. The band has no cushioning at all and becomes painful after as little as 10-15 minutes. Next come the ears. While they don't exert an excessive amount of force they still cause my ears to hurt around the outer edge right where the pad meets my ear. Combined they lead to a headache in as little as 25-40min. This is a deal breaker.

 

I'm really heartbroken. I thought I had found the cans of my dreams only to find that they are very uncomfortable (For me anyways). Im $170 poorer and am left with a pounding headache. So now the question comes, what should I do? Im looking for a closed set of cans with a sound signature similar to the TMA-1 or the MTPC, what do you guys suggest? 

 

UPDATE - 8/7/11

 

Sorry for the loooong wait for an update, but I have good news and potentially advice for prospective TMA-1 owners. 

 

After posting, I got some interesting replies from the community. Jerg posted, " ...pressure is force over areait's uncomfortable because area (of contact) is too small."

I found this to be very accurate and it inspired me to reshape the headband in order to maximize contact with my head. In doing so they did in fact become more comfortable, but still not ideal. It also came with unexpected, but in the long run very favorable, consequences. The coating began to peel. First at the very top center of the headband where the most tension was occurring and continued to peel more and more every day. So I sent them in. Were it not for the amazing sound quality, I would have cut my losses and sold them as soon as I got the new pair. But, I gave them another shot and they have redeemed themselves. They fit completely different now. No longer do I receive painful headaches but instead I can wear them comfortably for hours. The only explanation is that the previous owner molded the band to fit his head and did so drastically, to the point where it wasn't going to ever fit me ideally.

 

So long story short, buy them NEW, or at least with the original receipt so you know that your covered.

 

Thanks everyone for your replies and good luck with fulling your audio dreams!

 


Edited by iheartbass - 8/7/11 at 8:12pm
post #2 of 32
Thread Starter 

Suggested cans have to be comfortable and need to sound great with an iPhone, so low impedance! 

 


Edited by iheartbass - 4/26/11 at 6:25pm
post #3 of 32

Denon AH-D1100?

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/509195/just-ordered-the-new-ah-d1100-from-denon

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/539778/review-denon-ah-d1100

 

Alternatively, the D1001 has been praised for a long time

 

And there's always the ATH-M50


Edited by AmanGeorge - 4/26/11 at 3:57pm
post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 

I'm looking through the forums for the Denon cans you suggested. And i've definitely heard of the ATH-M50, it's become an icon in the head-fi forums.

post #5 of 32
...And now I feel bad...

I wasn't BSing though. I really do find them to be the most comfortable portable out there for me... triportsad.gif
post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 
I don't blame you at all MT. I read the forums EXTENSIVELY before buying these and very few people complained of comfort issues. You were such a good sport that I couldn't bring myself to ask for a refund.
post #7 of 32

I had this same problem with the Sennheiser HD 25's. I ordered the Audio Technica ATH-M50's (great for trance), and am really liking them so far. Their portability is questionable, however.

post #8 of 32

This is probably a dumb question, but have you tried adjusting where they sit on your head and how many clicks they are?  If I get the wrong position with the TMA-1, I find them very uncomfortable, but at a better angle, they are much better.  Sometimes opening them up and putting them farther back on the head can make a huge difference.  Also, if they are extended too far to ease the pressure on the top of your head, it might create more clamp for your ears.

 

You might just be incompatible with them, but I found them uncommonly hard to get a perfect fit.

post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartbass View Post

I don't blame you at all MT. I read the forums EXTENSIVELY before buying these and very few people complained of comfort issues. You were such a good sport that I couldn't bring myself to ask for a refund.

Well, one good thing about this place is the FS forums are a great way to try and trade without much loss...Hope you find what you're looking for in the future.
post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks MT, if I can't find a way to modify them to fit me then it looks like the FS forums is my best option. Hate you Paypal but experience has taught me that Amazon is a no-go tongue.gif
Edited by iheartbass - 4/26/11 at 5:27pm
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartbass View Post

I'm really tempted to get an ATH-M50, the praise is just so universal in these forums.

@JP
I have tried different clicks, even different click settings on each side. I wonder if there are any earpads out there that are not super-aural but TMA-1 compatible. I've also looked into this: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Headband-Pad-Earmuffs-Headsets-babies-children-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trkparmsZalgoQ3dLVIQ26ituQ3dUCIQ26otnQ3d2Q26poQ3dLVIQ26psQ3d63Q26clkidQ3d8738445109090158684QQ_trksidZp5197Q2em7QQitemZ270704236694

You could try a suspender to improve the headband
http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/541941/diy-headphone-suspender-for-pro-900-and-maybe-other-headphones

Something like this.
post #12 of 32
Thread Starter 
Great idea MT! That looks worth trying although I wish I could buy one. I'm not very good with the mods =(
Edited by iheartbass - 4/26/11 at 5:40pm
post #13 of 32

If you feel adventurous you can try modding.

 

Seems like the only two issues are 1) lack of midcranial cushioning, and 2) bad earpads.

 

With earpads try getting ones from different brands that will also fit (probably a lot), especially for the sake of comfort, go with velour.

 

With the headband, you could try DIY and add some cushions + leather, or at least 'mold' the shape of the headband so that it conforms to your skull shape better - remember, pressure is force over area, it's uncomfortable because area (of contact) is too small. Cushioning usually works because that spreads out the area of contact.

post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 
If anyone knows of full-size ear pads that are TMA-1 compatible that would make me very happy:D
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartbass View Post

If anyone knows of full-size ear pads that are TMA-1 compatible that would make me very happy:D

That sounds like a monumentous DIY project to me...If you could find a way to fit Beyer velours onto the TMA-1. Oh man...
Edited by MorbidToaster - 4/26/11 at 5:58pm
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