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AIAIAI’s TMA-2 Studio Wireless+ promise wireless, lossless audio

  • Lossless audio from wireless headphones? AIAIAI latest media blast might suggest that it’s cracked the holy grail of portable audio with its latest headphone, the TMA-2 Studio Wireless+: a 32 Ohm 4cm bio-cellulose dynamic driver married to an Alcantara circumaural pads and mounted to a headband that houses wireless radio/s for a connection that clocks up a mere 16ms of latency. That’s one-tenth of the Sony WH-1000XM4’s 160ms. Battery life on the AIAIAI is rated at 80 hours but unlike the Sony, the TMA-2 Studio Wireless+ doesn’t offer active noise cancellation (ANC).

    From the AIAIAI website:

    “Designed for the modern-day creative workflow, which has evolved to be increasingly dynamic and “always-on”, the TMA-2 Wireless+ is a versatile and professional pair of headphones, featuring both W+ Link for ultra-low latency, Bluetooth 5.0…and a coiled hi-fi cable for the traditional setup.”

    Eagle eyes will spot the wrinkle. This low-latency wireless performance does not come from a Bluetooth pairing but AIAIAI’s own W+ Link wireless transmission protocol that relies on a Zippo-lighter-sized transmitter being connected to an existing analogue source.

    Back to the AIAIAI website:

    “W+ Link has been specifically developed for wireless audio with ultra-low latency and lossless audio in a stable and robust connection. This unlocks a latency-free wireless experience with TMA-2 Wireless+, designed for enhanced freedom for music-making. W+ Link uses a dedicated radio-frequency band to send audio between the transmitter and headphones, unlike a Bluetooth connection that continuously swaps frequency bands. This ensures the 16ms latency is stable. The W+ Link is developed with dual antennas to always secure a stable connection without interference from surroundings. With a larger bandwidth than Bluetooth, W+ Link can transmit uncompressed audio, and transmit it multiple times in parallel. This secures a stable signal without drop-outs.”

    This might be extremely useful for DJs – like AIAIAI brand ambassador Richie Hawtin – looking to untether themselves from a headphone cable for greater physical freedom in the DJ booth (where low latency monitoring is essential)…

    …but perhaps less useful for the wo/man in the street.

    If she already has a DAP, a portable DAC or a Bluetooth DAC in her pocket, she can use AIAIAI’s supplied coiled headphone cable for hard-wired lossless audio delivery. Alternatively, if her chosen source is an iPhone or Android, she can pair her smartphone with the TMA-2 Studio Wireless+’s Bluetooth 5.0 radio that also resides in its headband. AIAIAI doesn’t tell us about its headphone’s Bluetooth codec support but the three click-buttons on the top right of the headband permit volume control and track skipping.

    The AIAIAI TMA-2 Studio Wireless+ will sell for €350 and are available for pre-order now. Shipping begins on 27th December where a 30-day money-back guarantee applies.

    Further information: AIAIAI

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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