The Good The innovative Aiaiai Tracks headphones combine a broad sonic range with a built-in microphone for hands-free calling, and the clever microadjusting rail system improves comfort.
The Bad The thin steel headband is susceptible to nicks and chips, and we're apprehensive about its long-term structural durability.
The Bottom Line The affordable Aiaiai Tracks push headphone design forward with an unobtrusive aesthetic. They sound as wonderful as they look and deserve your consideration if you're shopping for a new pair.
Aiaiai Tracks Headset w/mic
The Aiaiai Tracks headphones are inspired by the original Sony MDR-006 headphones that came with Sony Walkman portable cassette players in the 1980s. Aside from keeping the steel headband, Aiaiai completely reinvents the shape of with an innovative rail-style headband that offers unprecedented adjustability. The black paint on our test pair's headband is already starting to chip away, giving us some doubt about its durability, but we still consider $84 a fair price for open headphones with such spacious sound quality. And with many online retailers charging half price for select color combinations, we have no reservations recommending the Aiaiai Tracks for your new set of on-ear cans.
Design and features
The Tracks headphones come disassembled in the box, so it's up to you to put them together. The three parts consist of the curved steel headband (ours is the black version, but they come in multiple colors), the two padded earcups, and three sets of sliders that attach to the outside of each earcup and guide them onto the band.
We don't have evidence to support our suspicions, but we're concerned that the hard plastic connecting the earcup to the slider may erode over time with constant adjustment. We recommend assembling the headphones with the slider of your choosing and sticking with that combination to prevent unnecessary wear on the pivoting stress points.