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AIAIAI announces a Headphones for Life initiative

The headphone manufacturer is taking back unused headphones to combat e-waste

  • Olivia Wycech
  • 16 May 2023
AIAIAI announces a Headphones for Life initiative

Responsible design has long been at the core of the AIAIAI ethos, strengthened today by the company’s latest pledge to combat electronic waste.

Understanding that e-waste is a growing problem on our supercharged planet, which in the music industry is a byproduct of equipment like synthesizers, samplers, drum machines and digital audio workstations, AIAIAI has introduced a lifetime trade-in service for its headphones. This means that users can send in used or non-functional TMA-1 or TMA-2 headphones or parts and receive credit toward a future purchase.

Because the design of its headphones is modular, this initiative allows for individual components to be swapped out (as opposed to a single piece that needs to be replaced should it fail), not only maximizing their sustainability (by minimizing their impact) but also maximizing the value and cost of the headphones to the consumer. Buy one pair, and keep it for life.

“We believe that everyone deserves a product that will allow them to experience music in the best way possible, and without the need to constantly buy new versions,” reads a press statement by AI AI AI. “We are therefore focusing on creating the conditions where users will only need to invest in one pair of headphones for life."

According to AIAIAI, in a 2021 report by the Green Music Initiative, the music industry in Europe generated approximately 350,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions and 114,000 metric tons of waste in 2019.

The rapid pace of technological advancement is a huge factor in the short shelf life of electronic music production equipment.

A similar 2020 report by the United Nations University estimated that the total amount of e-waste generated worldwide was 53.6 million metric tons in 2019. Only 17.4% of this waste is properly collected and recycled.

The Headphones for Life campaign is the latest in AIAIAI’s longstanding commitment to responsible design. In December, the brand launched a similar scheme called Remixed that allows consumers to trade in, repair and repurpose their used headphones.

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