Though some headphone designs cater for replacing comfy foam earpads that have lost their memory or audio cables that no longer let the music flow, when a driver unit packs up it's usually time to hit the stores again for a new pair. With the launch of its TMA-2 headphones today, Danish audio design firm AIAIAI is offering another way. If users want to try out different drivers, they can just buy the component and swap out the existing ones. Likewise for headbands, earpads and cables. The modular headphones have arrived.
Based on the company's TMA-1 family of headphones, the new TMA-2 Modular range is reported to offer customers 360 possible configuration combinations. New customers can choose from four pre-configured designs or head to an online configurator and choose a custom setup from available onscreen options. If an individual component becomes defective over time or the customer wants to change an existing setup, separate components can be purchased and old ones swapped out.
"This whole notion of adaptability feeds into a broader narrative of sustainable technology," the company's Caroline Kaven told us. "If you want to change headphones you don't have to buy a new set, but you can adapt and configure these headphones to your evolving needs."
The modular components comprise three different flavors of headband, five earpads of either microfiber, PU leather or velour in on-ear or over-ear options, five different cables (with and without inline control) and some driver units.
Four 40 mm speaker units are available. The S01 all-rounder has a neodymium magnet and PET diaphragm. The S02 has a titanium-coated driver aimed at reducing distortion. Titanium is also the coating of choice for the fully sealed S03 driver unit that's been designed for a warm and rich sound. And a neodymium magnet, Japanese voice coil and lightweight diaphragm are reported to help the S04 deliver vibrant and detailed output.
Prices for a completed pair of custom TMA-2 Modular headphones start at US$140, with each set including speaker units, earpads and headband and an audio cable. Preset combinations are priced at $140 for the all-round version, $200 for the DJ model, $225 for the Studio units and $260 for something named the "Young Guru."
The video below provides an introduction to the system.