AIAIAI and Ninja Tune break records with new sustainable headphones

AIAIAI and Ninja Tune break records with new sustainable headphones

Image credit Rene Vaile
Words by Laurence Adorni-Dickson

Now you can finally listen to the deeper cuts AND help the environment.

The music industry may have a slight sustainability problem… Well slight is a bit of an understatement. Between old vinyl records, cassettes and CD’s filling landfills across the globe and modern streaming service data centers pumping out literal tons of greenhouse gasses, it all looks pretty grim. More and more responsibility falls onto record labels and manufacturers alike and lucky for us, some are answering the call with big innovations in recycled products, like these sweet headphones from AIAIAI!

In collaboration with independent record label Ninja Tune; renowned for flagship artists such as Kelis and Run the Jewels, Danish audio company AIAIAI has released their brand new set of TMA-2 Ninja Tune Edition high quality headphones, which are made from recycled vinyl records!

AIAIAI has always been at the forefront of sustainable design, but collaborating with record labels for a shared goal of sustainability is rare for any music tech company. Each company appears to be taking this matter pretty seriously, which is a trend we can only hope to see more of going forward!


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AIAIAI co-founder Frederik Jørgensen outlined how the new headphones are an extension of their sustainable design ethos, stating:

“Since the launch of AIAIAI in 2010 we’ve been committed to doing things better. Sustainability has since been a key aspect of our design and development process and we still believe we’re only just getting started… we create products far beyond trend-driven aesthetics, with sustainable modular functionality and recycled materials we extend the longevity of every product and create less waste for the planet”

Ninja Tune senior director Joe Durnan had this to say about the collaboration:

“For Ninja tune as a label, we are keen to not only celebrate the past but also mark our intentions going forward both sonically and ethically. We are keenly aware of the need to explore more ecological and earth positive means of manufacturing. To continue to exist as an industry we need to place these topics at the forefront of discussions and decisions. This collaboration is not the final answer but more so an example of how working towards greener solutions can lead to innovative and exciting results. This project is an opportunity to continue to shine a light on an increasingly pressing global issue.”

Now of course, sustainable design is all well and good, but luckily these headphones also have the quality chops to back it up. The TMA-2 Ninja Tune Edition headphones are based on AIAIA’s Bio-Cellulose S05 drivers, which are not only sustainably made from organic bacterial compounds as opposed to metal, but provide a higher fidelity sound for the same power consumption owing to the S05 being an incredibly lightweight speaker diaphragm. The spectrographs also show us well balanced frequencies with a boost in the high end to give a nice crisp sound. In short, they sound damn good.

image credit AIAIAI

In typical AIAIAI fashion, the headphones are sold in a DIY style modular package which allows you to buy and replace the exact parts you need and put the headphones together at home, like the audio version of flatpack furniture! This helps cut down on emissions produced during the manufacturing process and as mentioned before, lets you replace particular parts rather than needing to buy a completely new set (and throw out your old ones). Included in the package is your choice of on ear or over ear vegan leather cushions, which is a nice touch. The TMA-2 Ninja Tune Edition’s are stated to have a full 20 hour charge running off Bluetooth 5.0, meaning you’ll be able to get plenty of use out of them throughout the day from any device.

It’s great to see more music companies taking up the mantle of environmental responsibility and releasing great and innovative products to back it up.

The TMA-2 Ninja Tune Edition headphones are out now, so be sure to check any good hi-fi retailer if you’re thinking of picking up a pair! There’s a bunch of retailers in Melbourne. Alternatively, you can pick up a pair here.