High-end DAP maker Astell & Kern keep pushing forward against the tide; basically over a billion smart phones with better quality DACs and headphone amplifiers. Not that Apple make a smart phone that really sounds that great with hi-res lossless music. Just being salty on a Tuesday morning before a very long holiday weekend.
Perhaps that’s being unfair to Apple iPhones which can sound a lot better better when using a USB-C or lightning to USB adapter and Dongle DAC. It’s not a pretty looking package but it works with better quality headphones.
Speaking of headphones, Astell & Kern and Campfire Audio have just announced the fruits of a new partnership; the brand new AK Solaris X IEM.
The new variant of the 3-way hybrid IEM now offers a new “custom Balanced Armature (BA) driver for high frequency response that was designed specifically for the AK SOLARIS X.”
According to the press release that just landed in our email inbox…
“This driver is smaller in size than the ones used in existing Solaris models. The new custom BA driver produces a more neutral response in comparison to the current Campfire Audio Solaris 2020 model. Coupled with Campfire’s patented tuned acoustic expansion chamber (T.A.E.C.) technology, the new driver offers smooth and extended high frequencies. A Second BA driver provides rich delivery of the mid-range frequencies, and the custom 10mm dynamic driver optimized for the Polarity Tuned Chamber reproduces deeper and more refined mid-to-low frequencies.“
The two BA and one 10mm dynamic driver IEM Solaris X are supplied with the standard accessories collection for universal fit earphones from Campfire. Well stocked with plenty of fitting options, the eco-friendly cork bag and silver cable come standard with the AK 2.5mm balanced connection. I have a Fiio Q3 just itching to try these on for size.
- Transducer type:
- [High] Specially Customed New Single BA Driver + T.A.E.C.
- [Mid] Single Updated Custom Balanced Armature Driver
- [Mid + Low] Specially Tuned 10mm Dynamic Driver
- Frequency Response: 5Hz-20kHz
- SPL: 94dB @ 1kHz : 9.16mVrms
- Impedance: 8.1 Ohm @ 1kHz
- Total Harmonic Distortion: Less than 1%
Price & Availability
The forthcoming AK Solaris X will still be hand assembled in Portland, OR and will only be offered in very limited quantities. The retail price of $1,499 is pretty steep but Campfire Audio makes rather excellent IEMs so we suspect these will be worthy of the top DAPs made by Astell and Kern and the launch timing is July.
For more info: astellnkern.com