Make the City Sound Better was previously a project Headphone developer AiAiAi and designer Yuri Suzuki worked on as a marketing campaign for the launch of the AiAiAi Capital headphones.

Following the marketing campaign, the domain eventually expired, and an audio blog was created in its place.

The Make the City Sound Better blog was founded to help audio enthusiasts find suitable audio gadgets (headphones, speakers, mics, and everything in between) based on their preferences.

More recently, Mighty Gadget has taken over the website and is slowly integrating all the old content into mightygadget.com.

Some of the content on the site had product recommendations that were out of date, so I am trying to refresh posts one by one as I move them over.

I set up this page to try and keep some information about the Make the City Sound Better campaign alive and also to allow any readers of the audio blog a quick way to find any of the posts that were originally on the blog. All the posts that I have migrated over from the site I have tagged as Make the City Sound Better.

The Make the City Sound Better audio site was specifically best-of lists, and the original Editor claimed to review and test products before listing them, but never posted any proper reviews.

Mighty Gadget may not be the leading website on audio reviews, but I do review a lot of products and this includes a large number of portable Bluetooth speakers, active bookshelf speakers, earphones and headphones.

Make the City Sound Better – Sound Taxi Campaign

AiAiAi made a name for themselves with the TMA-1 Studio headphones, which received rave reviews from users and critics alike. They were praised for the smooth, organic bass; detailed, sustaining high-end; well-balanced stereo reproduction.

The AIAIAI Capital headphones were a follow-up to this and were a more affordable alternative. They didn’t receive quite the same praise as the TMA-1, but a lot of people liked them.

The Make the City Sound Better was the marketing campaign for the Capital headphones. AiAiAi teamed up with London-based sound artist Yuri Suzuki in the efforts to engage in an ambitious design- and sound project that very literally delivers on the campaign’s motivated promise: to make the city sound better.

They created the Sound Taxi which is equipped with a microphone that recorded its surrounding noise: the rumbling traffic, screeching brakes, sirens, and construction work, everything that is part of the everyday din of the city.

A specially designed software written in Max analyses the frequencies of these noises and uses them to generate unique music in real-time. The spectrum is split into 25 frequency bands, like a graphic EQ, these bands are used to control different types of sounds in Ableton Live. For example, a low rumble starts a bass line, or loud hiss would trigger some hi hats, with the loudness of that noise controlling the loudness of the music. The music generated matches the dynamics of the street, the sounds will change and evolve as you drive in different parts of the city.

Passersby heard the music via the 67 speakers built into the entire car body and the big, shiny Indian horns mounted on top of the taxi’s roof. Finally, the passengers of the sound taxi could tune-in to the converted sounds via headphones installed inside of the vehicle.

You can still listen to the tracks that were produced by the Sund Taxi over at the makethecitysoundbetter Sound Cloud page.  

AiAiAi still makes headphones, and it is the TMA-2 that is their current model. It has been out for a few years but is still popular due to its unique feature of being a modular headphone system with fully customisable, upgradeable and replaceable parts.

If you buy from AIAIAI, you can actually configure the headphones to your own requirements. This includes selecting the speaker units giving you a choice of either a punchy sound diaphragm, detailed sound, or a wireless model with detailed sound.

Make the City Sound Better – Best of Guides.

All the posts that are tagged with Make the City Sound Better were originally on makethecitysoundbetter.com.

The website is slowly being integrated into mightygadget.com. Each of the posts is being moved over one by one, with the content and recommendations being updated each time, so it is a bit of a time-consuming job, but the recommendations should be less out of date and much more relevant.

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