AIAIAI Modular Headphones: Sustainable Product Design

AIAIAI modular headphones demonstrate the huge potential product design plays in the sustainability movement. Making a product from easily replaceable modular elements can greatly extend the overall lifespan of a product.

Founded in 2006, the AIAIAI modular headphones from this Copenhagen-based audio design company utilise modularity to increase the sustainability of products. By making headphones from modular components, AIAIAI allows for parts to be replaced without the need to buy a completely new product.

Since the launch of their TMA-1 headphones in 2010, AIAIAI has been committed to doing things better. With a focus on sustainable design, the AIAIAI modular headphone system allows customers to enjoy prolonged use of the brand’s audio products by replacing individual pieces of a headset, saving them the extra cost of buying an entire replacement.

Through the use of this modular functionality, AIAIAI is reducing the amount of environmental waste they and their customers use. The headphone and audio brand is now further deepening their commitment by pledging to reduce its carbon footprint even further. 

AIAIAI Modular Headphones

AIAIAI Sustainability Commitment

AIAIAI has now committed to even more effective sustainability measures, particularly with its product materials and packaging. With the AIAIAI modular headphones as the core strategy, the company plans on rolling out a range of other sustainability measures by the end of the 2020 calendar year.

Sustainable design

A sustainable design philosophy has driven AIAIAI since they launched their first pair of headphones. The audio brand is now creating products far beyond trend-driven aesthetics, extending the longevity of every product. 

They are continuing their commitment to using a minimalistic design that is true to the company’s Scandinavian heritage, keeping AIAIAI’s designs independent of fluctuating audio product design trends.

Recycled materials

AIAIAI is continuing their innovation in audio product design by seeking out and developing the most effective materials for each component of the technical, aesthetic and listening experience for all of their products.

By the end of the year, AIAIAI will implement recycled plastic in their headphones to reach a total of 50% reduction in their CO2 footprint. This recycled plastic will be used as the core component of their headband and earphone casings, with no change in durability, comfort or overall listening experience for the consumer

Packaging is also now produced using 100% FSC-certified materials, making it fully recyclable, which will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 80%. 

AIAIAI Recycled Packaging
AIAIAI New Recycled Packaging. Source:

AIAIAI Modular Headphone Functionality

AIAIAI modular headphones were introduced to their products in 2015 and this has since been the leading factor in serving the highly nuanced expectations and needs of their discerning audio customers. 

With the ability to upgrade and expand as technology or the user evolves, AIAIAI extends the functional life of their headphones, creating less waste for the planet.

Why Does Modularity Matter?

When Apple introduced the iPhone 7 model in 2016, it forced the obsolescence of the standard 3.5mm audio jack. After over fifty years of use, suddenly millions of pairs of corded headphones were incompatible with all future models of the leading audio players on the planet. 

AIAIAI modular headphones were, and still are, designed so that the headband, cables, speakers and earpieces can be upgraded over time. For TMA-2 users, they knew it was only a matter of time before AIAIAI produced upgrades to align with cordless technology. 

Two months after the iPhone 7 launch, AIAIAI created a replacement headband for their TMA-2 that gave the headphones wireless Bluetooth audio support.

Future Proof Through Modularity

This adaptability to their manufacturing process allows AIAIAI to weather any change within the audio industry that other manufacturers cannot. 

It also helps the brand to save on thousands of their existing headphones going to waste, which more often than not, end up in landfill or the ocean. It makes no sense to throw out millions of fully functional electronic equipment every year when 80% of the newer model is functionally and even materially identical to the last.

Our planet can’t withstand the current level of waste that is being produced as a result. 

Product Modularity Increase

We need more brands to start thinking about modularity to become more sustainable. Brands like AIAIAI are leading the charge, but others need to take responsibility. 

The concept of modularity can apply to so many electronic products but shouldn’t stop there. Clothing, luggage, and eyewear are all clear opportunities for products to be created with replacement parts in mind. All brands should start to consider how they can increase the lifespan of each and every product.

Further Reading: Recycled Plastic Sunglasses: Good Citizens. Read More

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