Astell&Kern AK Zero1 in-ears use three different drivers for reference grade audio

Rik Henderson


Audiophile brand Astell&Kern is best known for its high-res digital audio players and accessories, but recently moved into headphones.

Its AK Solaris X wired earbuds were released in July for the princely sum of £1,499.

Now it's back with another pair, the Astell&Kern AK Zero1, which are still priced in the premium category, but at a more reasonable £649 / $699 / €749.

They connect to a phone or music player using a silver-coated OFC cable and are each encased in a CNC-machines metal housing. However, their biggest feature is perhaps the three-driver system for each ear.

Inside each bud is a micro planar dynamic driver to accurately render high requencies, a dual balanced armature driver to deliver transparent vocals with super-low distortion, and an additional 5.6mm dynamic driver for the control of low frequencies.

Astell&Kern devices tend to offer a neutral sound signature, so you get exactly what the artist intended, and these three drivers per ear benefit from a unique crossover network design. The company manufactures its proprietary acoustic chambers using 3D printing technology for precision.

Five different-sized pairs of silicone ear tips and one set of foam tips are included, as well as a carry case to keep the Zero1 in-ears safe in transit.

You will be able to purchase the Astell&Kern AK Zero1 in-ear headphones from November from its own website and authorised specialist dealers.

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