Headphone Recommendation: AIAIAI TMA -1 Young Guru Edition
AIAIAI pronounced (I-I-I) designs some of the most unique headphones on the market. I was going to review and compare three different headphones, but I later changed my mind. Why compare them if this one is the best! The concept of modular headphone is a great one in today's forever upgrading market. All of the main parts of the headphones are interchangeable from the headband, ear pads, drivers for different sound profiles and cord. If anyone of these pieces break, you can easily swap parts.
AIAIAI partnered with producer/engineer/DJ Young Guru to design a pair of headphones that can be mixed on for an extended period of time. Young Guru, is Jay-Z's longtime recording/mixing engineer. If you heard Jay in a song saying, "Guru turn me up" he is referring to him. Young Guru is a real engineer who understands tech in various marketplaces. He said, when a problem needs a solution, a engineer pops up.
The headphones are black with red braided coils along side the headset. It comes with a long red coiled cable with a 1/4 to 1/8 adaptor. The headphones doesn't have any logos on it except for Young Guru's name inscribed inside the headphones. The headband is a soft velvet like material that feels comfortable for long uses. I enjoy the design aesthetics a lot.
The sound is incredible, and I've heard headphones that cost $10,000 with dedicated headphone amplifiers. The bass is rich and well defined between the sub bass and higher register of bass instruments. This area is either extremely muddy (mushy sounding with lack of definition) or super hyped like the Beats headphones. You won't be disappointed with how this headphone cracked out low end. The midrange is detailed for instruments like vocals, guitars, synths. It's never fatiguing which can hurt your ears after listening for hours. The high end was worth the price alone. Delays, reverbs, string sections, vocal timbres are all showcased on these headphones. I listened to Adele's Hello, to hear the richness in the subtle vocal delays and effects. Once the headphones could reproduce those well, it was a must have. I spent a lot of time working on the vocals. Sending vocals to a delay with a flanger. I check to hear if the consumer could hear those too. All of these details into making a record should be heard because it's apart of the emotional experience of listening to music. Most headphones aren't designed for quality or accurate playback. They are made for convenience or wow factor like being bass heavy.
The headphones retail for $260 US. The Beats Solo 2 cost around $200 with the wireless editions costing $300. These aren't exactly cheap headphones but, they are well worth the price. Considering that other headphones in the market cost a little more like Beats, Bang and Olufen, etc.
Should I buy it?
If you're an engineer who needs a neutral reference. Yes, you should purchase these headphones. I had Sonys, Audio Technicas, Sennheisers. I prefer these. If you're a casual listener who wants a great pair of headphones that's also fashionable, get these. If you own Beats, wait until they break to order a pair of TMA-1. They are lighter, smaller, affordable, and more tuned to fit multiple genres of music besides hip-hop and pop.