review

ColorsxStudios Aiaiai Headphone Edition Review

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

To celebrate the partnership between COLORSxSTUDIOS and AIAIAI, both brands have come up with a TMA-2 COLORS limited edition headphone that is based on AIAIAI's TMA-2 Comfort Wireless version.
The COLORSxSTUDIOS AIAIAI Headphone limited edition is equipped with the same features and accessories as the TMA-2 Comfort Wireless version so, it comes with a H06 Bluetooth wireless headband, S04 (40mm) speaker drivers, E04 earpads and a C05 audio cable.
The H06 Bluetooth headband incorporates three multi-functional control buttons for playing/pausing, skipping tracks, controlling volume and answering calls. The headband also integrates the electronics and 360mAh rechargeable battery, which can provide up to 20 hours of playtime from a full 2-hour re-charge. A branded AIAIAI 1 meter-long Type C charging cable is also included.
Battery performance is reasonably good, although 20 hours of battery life is achieved on medium volume and while streaming via SBC. The AAC codec is also supported but, it consumes a lot more power (especially on Android devices) so, you can expect even lower battery life. AptX is not supported though, which has the advantage of lower latency when streaming videos.
The TMA-2 COLORS edition can also be used in wired mode via the included C05 3.5mm audio cable, which measures 1.2 meter long an features a thick L-shaped plug terminal at one end and a straight plug "twist-lock" terminal at the other end.
Both cable plug terminals have thick strain reliefs, gold-plated connectors and a thick thermo-plastic cable sleeve. The L-shape plug terminal connector integrates a thread for screwing on a quarter-inch 6.8mm adapter.
Visually, there is not much between the COLORSxSTUDIOS Aiaiai Headphone limited edition and the TMA-2 Comfort Wireless version, other than the branding words "COLORS X STUDIOS" carved on the rubber underside of the headband.
The key difference between the two is the sound signatures. While the standard TMA-2 Comfort Wireless version is tuned by AIAIAI to have more emphasis on the bass and treble, the TMA-2 COLORS edition has been tuned by COLORSxSTUDIOS sound engineer to be more balanced so, the treble, mids and bass don't over power one another.
The SPL sensitivity of the speaker drivers is 120dB so, the TMA-2 COLORS edition volume can be cranked up very high. That said, you won't need cranking up to maximum volume to achieve good fidelity. Around 70% volume is more than sufficient for the treble and bass to come through.
Being a special edition, limited numbers will be available. The TMA-2 COLORS headphone edition will appeal mostly fans of the COLORSxSTUDIOS show and those who prefer a more balanced sound signature with softer treble and cleaner bass. In terms of pricing, the TMA-2 COLORS STUDIOS edition is slightly more expensive than the regular TMA-2 Comfort Wireless version.
Just like most AIAIAI headphones, the TMA-2 COLORS headphone edition is disassembled into parts that you can mix and match with other AIAIAI parts. The earpads can be removed from the speaker units and the headband itself, which integrates the circuitry, as well a bluetooth 5.0 chip with a strong 10-meter wireless range and a microphone capsule located on the tip end of the headband.
The TMA-2 COLORS microphone has a 300Hz-5 KHz frequency range, which provides clear intelligible sound quality with good amplification. That said, the mic is omnidirectional and without noise cancellation; hence it picks up the sounds in the background too.
Also, the microphone can get slightly muffled when the headband is fully extended to the last adjusting notch. This is because the microphone gets hidden inside the earcup when the headband is fully extended.
Full extension is dependent on the height of your head. If the distance between your ears and the top of your head is larger than 18cm, you may need to fully extend the headband to the last notch.
The outer earcup diameter measures 5 inches (9cm), while the inner diameter of the earcup measures 2 inches (5cm). The earcups have a perfect round shape so, the earcups should fit most ears. Depending on the size of your ears though, the earcups may or may not envelop your ears entirely.This is especially worth noting if your ears stick out considerably, although the TMA-2 COLORS earcups have a good depth.
The speaker driver depth is 2.5cm and, it is protected by a thin layer of spandex-like fabric that prevents any possible rubbing. The 2cm thick memory foam padding is extremely cushiony and, it's covered with soft vegan (PU) leather.
As mentioned earlier, the earpads are very comfortable, although the headband has the same stiffness as other AIAIAI headphones because of their construction, which has to be rigid in order to house the electronics.
Because of this rigidity, the TMA-2 COLORS headphone edition headband also has a high clamping force, although it doesn't feel as notable as the clamping force on the TMA-2 HD Wireless. This could be due to the softer PU leather material covering the earpads on the TMA-2 COLORS headphone, which may help dissipate some pressure.
That said, the TMA-2 COLORS headphone edition is 230 grams in weight so, it is 11 grams heavier than then TMA-2 HD Wireless. Depending on your head shape/size and how long you wear them, you may experience a slight pressure on the sides and top of the head.
There seems to be no other headphone on the market with this modular design, making AIAIAI stand out from a sea of headphones. The modular design works well, although the removal and assembly of the headband can be tricky at times as you have to forcefully push the headband through the internal spring-loaded notch.

It is worth pointing out though, that the removal of the headband is not needed in order to change the speaker drivers and/or earpads. You simply untwist the audio plugs and pull out the 3.5mm audio connectors from the earcups without having to remove the headband from the earcups.
The audio plug connectors are color coded with a black and red sleeve to differentiate the right and left earcups. The plug connectors are attached to a springy rubber spiral cable, which self recoils.
While the TMA-2 COLORS edition can only be purchased from the COLORSxSTUDIOS website, it does come with AIAIAI's 2-year limited warranty. You can buy AIAIAI's TMA-2 version from Amazon, as well as parts separately.

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