Last year, the Denmark-based headphone manufacturer Aiaiai released its TMA-2 modular headphone system, which allowed users to swap speaker units, headbands, ear pads, and cables to create more than 1,000 different combinations. On Tuesday, the company unveiled the first major update to the system, the H05 Smart Headband.
You may be asking yourself what exactly could be so special about a new headband. In this case, the answer is simple: Bluetooth connectivity. The H05 headband allows users to add wireless connectivity to any previous configuration, enabling them to go wire-free while keeping the sound and comfort they’ve grown used to.
“At first, we intuitively focused on creating a new speaker to introduce wireless technology to the system,” Aiaiai head of new product development Christian B. Lorentzen said in a statement. “But that felt wrong somehow, as it would be limiting to have only a few wireless sound configurations. That’s why we came up with this idea of integrating the Bluetooth module into the headband, to maintain that 100-percent modularity.”
The headband uses Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX, but connectivity isn’t the only thing it adds. An omnidirectional microphone is also built in, allowing users to use the headphones for calls, and controls are placed on the headband as well, offering the ability to pause and resume playback, answer calls, skip tracks, and adjust the volume.
The battery is also built into the headband, allowing for up to a claimed 16 hours of playback with a two-hour charge time. Unlike many current wireless headphones, the H05 headband uses a USB-C port, though a USB-C-to-USB charging cable is included for use with standard wall chargers. If you still want to plug in, this bypasses the Bluetooth, meaning your headphones will also work just as they did before.
The expected price for the H05 headband is $125, but Aiaiai is launching the new update on Kickstarter today, giving backers the option to receive it for up to 50 percent off. If you’re new to the TMA-2 system but are interested, a complete TMA-2 configuration including the new wireless headband is also available. For more information, see the Aiaiai website.