There’s a good chance this is the first time you’ve heard of the brand AIAIAI. The name is quite bizarre, I must say but at the same time, it’s quite catchy. The company hails from Copenhagen, Denmark and we could assume the name AIAIAI means something there, but there’s a good chance it’s purely coined. AIAIAI is an audio design company with a solid line-up of audio products. There’s the TMA-1 series, Capital and Tracks headphones, all good-looking on-ear headphones. If you want to go in-ear, AIAIAI has the Pipe and Swirl earphones. AIAIAI calls its designs modern and minimalist and I can only agree.
Featured in this review is the AIAIAI Pipe, an in-ear earphones which is possibly the most unassuming from the AIAIAI line-up. Read on to find out what I think bout the AIAIAI Pipe.
Packaging and Design
I like products that put more effort into the packaging. To me it’s as much a part of the experience as using the product itself. If you’re a gadget aficionado, you know what I mean here. In addition, a nice packaging makes buyers feel like the product is worth their hard-earned money.
The AIAIAI Pipe is a product with exceptional packaging design. For an entry-level product, The AIAIAI Pipe is well-presented, packaged in a thick cardboard material with little print details. The packaging is quite fancy, letting the holder open the top flap which then reveals the product covered by a transparent plastic cover. The earphones are then nestled in a black foam, revealing the earphones and two sets of sleeves or ear buds.
The AIAIAI Pipe has a very clean design, favouring curves and contours over sharp edges or corners . The earbuds are thick and curved at the back where the word AIAIAI can bee seen. There are no accents in the matte black version I’m using but if you opt for the other available colors, you’ll be in for a more fancy color execution. While the matte black version is all black without any highlights, the other color options are graded, giving the earphones a funky and hip appeal.
The AIAIAI Pipe feels solid in the hand, easily revealing high-quality materials and excellent craftsmanship. The wires are thick enough to withstand heavy use, yet it’s also soft enough to avoid tangling. The use of a Y connector to hold the left and right wires helps prevent tangling. The Pipe uses an angled 3.5mm gold plated stereo plug, something prefer to straight plugs.
The AIAIAI Pipe has an inline remote control with microphone. This makes it compatible with smartphones like the iPhone. The inline microphone has three buttons which can be used to control calls and music. During calls, the middle button is used to accept and end calls. During playback, it is used to play and stop music as well skip tracks or go to the previous track. The other two buttons are for increasing or reducing volume. What I notice was that the buttons aren’t that soft so you might need to press harder to get the effect that you want. When the buttons work, they work well. Accepting and ending calls work without issues and the clarity for calls is quite commendable.
- Plug: Angled Stereo Plug 3.5 mm
- Speaker Impedance: 16 Ohm
- Speaker Sensitivity: 105 +/- 3dB
- Maximum Power Input: 20 mW
- Frequency Response: 20-20KHz
- Microphone Sensitivity: -42 +/- 3dB
- Microphone Directivity: Omni-directional
The AIAIAI Pipe is bass driven. That’s the simplest way to describe its sound signature. The AIAIAI Pipe easily favors the lower range and this is consistent in all kinds of tracks. Earphones like the AIAIAI Pipe are goods for listening to tracks that beg for powerful, thumping bass like rap, RNB, electronic, house and disco. The AIAIAI Pipe definitely shines on these types of music. Pop in tracks like Moves Like Jagger and prepare your eardrums for a bass-thumping sound trip.
I liked the AIAIAI Pipe’s performance when I listed to the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of The Batman Rises. The change in textures on the Hans Zimmer tracks were easily captured by the Pipe, transporting me in the process to the scenes in the movie. So orchestral pieces definitely sound good on the Pipe.
The problem with earphones that favor bass over the other elements is when you play other types of music, the mids and highs tend to get muffled. With the AIAIAI Pipe, this rarely happens but I have to admit it does happen. But when the details get overpowered by bass, I simply choose other equalizer settings. Almost always, I get the sound that I want.
The Dark Knight Rises album also showed me that the Pipe is capable of delivering good soundstage, belying the fact that it has a small driver. When it comes to sound isolation, you won’t have a problem with the Pipe. Just select the ear buds that fit you. Sadly, there are only three size choices and I found my fit on the smallest one as the others simply hurt my ears when I tried them on.
The AIAIAI delivers a good overall performance and is a clear upgrade over stock earphones. It has powerful bass that’s rich in details and I believe this is its best feature, although it is also capable of delivering crisp and rich sound details.
The AIAIAI Pipe is available at Astrovision, Digital Walker, PC Hub, Beyond the Box, Egghead, Technoholics, Digital Hub and Futureworld stores. It can be yours for only P2,450.