Back in February, Danish audio company announced it could build you the perfect pair of headphones based on your Spotify listening habits. Utilizing the 'Discover Weekly' playlist, AIAIAI's algorithm would then piece together the best combination of parts for its TMA-2 modular headphone. In that February announcement, I posted my results which were nothing short of strange, even to the company's standards. Nevertheless, I was eager to test their results to see if they really were the best pair for my listening experience. This isn't a full headphone review, more so a review on the relationship between the headphones and my listening habits.
The most important part for this is obviously the speaker, and I was given the S04, which the company describes as, "Engineered with a powerful neodymium magnet, a Japanese voice coil and an ultra-lightweight 40 mm diaphragm, resulting in high sensitivity and detailed sound. The sound is clear and vibrant and emphasizes the listening experience." Clear and vibrant are words that get tossed around quite a bit but with an expansive roster of artists who use these headphones, AIAIAI has to be on to something right?
My Discover Weekly playlist is made up of mostly Techno, DnB, 80's and Hardcore Punk. All very different ranges of frequencies and tempos, so these headphones had some serious work to do. The first thing I noticed about the cans, is the dip in the highs, as shown in the chart above. For strictly electronic music purposes, this isn't the most ideal, unless listening to something like DnB, where there can sometimes be excess high frequencies from the percussion. When listening to something like Punk however, this is great because most times the production quality isn't the best. This can also be ideal if you need to crank your headphones in the booth, and would rather not have your ears shattered by piercing highs.
The S04s definitely have a great punch to them, and listening to Techno and EBM records is enjoyable, to say the least. The body is full and the presence is front and center. Another aspect I love about these headphones is how lightweight they are. Wearing them for hours is a breeze, except that the pads are quite stiff at first. I've had these headphones for about a month now, and they are starting to soften up. My selection came with the single-button cable for phones, and I later purchased the red coiled cable, which was a good idea considering my original cable decided to stay in Miami... The coiled cable is a bit on the long side, but I suppose it's great if you need to do some laps in the booth while wearing your headphones. I have yet to do such an exercise myself, but I will be sure to post my results! Isolation from the earpads is solid and blocks out enough noise to keep you focused on the music.
Overall I'm very satisfied with the results that AIAIAI has provided me. I'm still a Phonon guy, but I believe you can never have too many references when in the studio, or just different ways to listen to music in general.
Great sound profile
The profiling algorithm does a great job of choosing headphones for your habits
Padding is a bit too stiff, even for the "High Comfort" option
Could use a bit more neutral high-frequency profile