Though a relatively young company, Astell & Kern is a well-known name in the audio industry. The brand manufactures a variety of equipment including headphones, CD players, media players, and home theater products. The company broke barriers with its release of the AK100 media player as well as the AKR01 in-ear monitors. Since early 2013, Astell & Kern has continued to develop top notch audio and home theater equipment. If you’re a true audiophile, Astell & Kern is a brand to have in your arsenal. Keep reading for 5 must-have Astell & Kern products.
1. Kann Portable High Definition Sound System
There are hundreds of portable music players on the market but Astell & Kern’s Kann has been named one of the best. Though not a cheap piece of audio gear, you get what you pay for. The Kann is a bit on the larger side for a PMP but it’s no larger than an iPhone 7 or a Galaxy S8. The device offers 14 hours of listening time, slots for microSD and full-size SD cards, as well as an integrated powered headphone amp. There are also 2.5mm and 3.5mm jacks for headphone out and line out.
You can count on this PMP to hold all of your favorite songs plus some with its 64GB of internal storage. The Kann supports aptX HD Bluetooth codecs as well as 32-bit/384kHz for PCM audio and 11.2mHz for DSD audio. At $999, this is no cheap buy but well worth it for diehard audiophiles.
2. AK70 Portable High-Resolution Audio Player
If the Kann is a little out of your price range, consider the AK70, another top notch high-resolution digital audio player. At $499, this digital music player will exceed all of your audio needs.
The AK70 offers a 2.5mm and 3.5mm output and is compatible with USB DAC and USB Audio outputs. The player is fitted with a single Cirrus-Logic CS4398 DAC, ensuring clear crisp sounds. The 64GB internal memory is enough for dozens of playlists, albums, and more. The AK70 supports a variety of file types including WMA, MP3, FLAC, AAC, and DSD.
3. Roxanne II In-Ear Monitors
With a price tag of $1,499, the Astell & Kern Roxanne II In-Ear Monitors have a lot to live up to. This pair of IEMs was created as part of the brand’s Siren Series which gives listeners the ability to hear music how the mix engineer and recording artist intend for it to be heard. If you’re a fan of The Police, you’ll be happy to know that Jerry Harvey Audio teamed up with Astell & Kern to design these IEMs. The combination of cutting edge technology and old school craftsmanship has created this pair of game changing IEMs.
The Roxanne II In-Ear Monitors offer notable features including:
- Noise isolation
- Custom-made balanced armature drivers
- Variable bass output
- User controlled frequency and bass
- Frequency ranges from 10Hz to 100Hz
The proprietary driver design offers minimal distortion with top end extension. With the use of stainless steel tube waveguide, signals arrive in no more than 0.01 milliseconds, ensuring coherent sounds.
4. XB10 Portable Bluetooth Amplifier with DAC
These days Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen. But, if you’re looking for detailed sound with tons of bass, look no further than the XB10. This speaker offers a light and compact design that comes in at 50mm around. The speaker supports 24-bit high-resolution streaming and is perfect for a day at the beach or even for taking along with you in the car. The amp offers a variety of connectors including micro-USB, 3.5mm, and 2.5mm. The one drawback is the lack of connectivity with PCs and smartphones. If you’re looking for a moderately priced everyday amplifier, the XB10 is worth considering.
5. Astell & Kern AK CD Ripper MKII
Do you have a towering CD collection? In the age of digital on-the-go music, chances are your CD collection is doing nothing more than collecting dust. But, the process of ripping a CD to your computer and then transferring those files to a portable music player sounds entirely time consuming. Thanks to the genius creators at Astell & Kern, you can easily rip CDs with the AK CD Ripper MKII. This device allows for one-touch ripping of CD files that can be transferred to a USB-connected Astell & Kern PMP. The device is compatible with several PMP models including:
- AK 100 II
- AK 120 II
- AK 300
- AK 320
- AK 380
- AK A&Ultima SP1000
With the AK CD Ripper MKII, you can rip at various speeds and save files as FLAC or WAV. At $399, this device is well worth the convenience it provides.
Over the years Astell & Kern have manufactured dozens of pieces of audio equipment. But, if you’re looking to enjoy the top equipment from the brand, keep these 5 items in mind.
What are your favorite devices for a truly lossless audio experience? Leave us a comment in the section below.