Aiaiai TMA-1 Professional DJ Monitoring review: Aiaiai TMA-1 Professional DJ Monitoring

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CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars Outstanding
  • Overall: 8.7
  • Design: 9.0
  • Features: 9.0
  • Performance: 9.0

Average User Rating

4.5 stars 2 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Aiaiai's full-sized monitoring headphones are suitable for DJs and music lovers alike. They are built to last, with an expandable rubberized wire and a robust, one-piece design.

The Bad There's no material to cushion the thin rubber headband, which can lead to fatigue after long periods of use.

The Bottom Line The sleek TMA-1 headphones by Aiaiai are ideal for traveling DJs who need tough headphones with an up-front, bass-slamming sound profile.

CNET Editors' Choice Jun '11

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With the headphone market saturated with cookie-cutter models, it's difficult for a single model to stand out, but Aiaiai's TMA-1 is the exception to the rule. Inspired by the design of the Sennheiser HD 25, the $200 headphones cut a stripped-down physical profile with no joints to weaken their structural durability. Their solid construction is backed by a detailed headstage that makes them an excellent candidate for any DJ shopping for a stylish headset and neutral tonality for mixing music.

Design and features
The TMA-1 appropriately apes its name from Arthur C. Clark's "2001: A Space Odyssey," referring to a magnetic irregularity found on a crater on the Moon's surface caused by a giant monolith buried below. The monolith's long lifespan and extra-tough density are features that the Scandinavian designers at Aiaiai compare to their omni-colored black headphones.

The aesthetic of the TMA-1s appear to be a fading silhouette of other flashier headphones, and the blacked-out finish adds a distinctive touch. The nylon headband is approximately an 1.5-inches wide, with none of the springs and small metal joints that are commonly found in modern headsets. Aiaiai's idea is to minimize the amount of materials that go into the construction to reduce the risk of mechanical failure.

The audio cable is hidden underneath the band with a small visible rubber coil section, and there's no visible branding except for a small logo cut out of the underside of the headband. Our only critique here is that there's zero padding between the headband and the top of your head. We had to take frequent breaks to alleviate the pressure, which we can imagine becoming an issue for DJs over a long night.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Aiaiai TMA-1 Professional DJ Monitoring

Part Number: CNET06101
Low Price: $179.10 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Color black
  • Weight 6.7 oz
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Additional Features 40 mm driver unit
    3 mm cotton fiber filter
    0.4 m coil for greater flexibility
  • Type headphones
  • Headphones Form Factor ear-cup
  • Connector Type mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm