The High-End Show 2022 is where the cream of audio products is announced and launched. The show is taking place in Munich this month, and so we can expect a blizzard of press releases announcing some tasty and expensive audio equipment that audiophiles will love.
Astell & Kern, the South Korean maker of DAP (digital audio players), earphones and other portable hi-fi products, is using the show to announce three new products that are bound to appeal to the kind of people who refuse to compromise when it comes to sound quality, no matter what. about their whereabouts.
The first product announced by Astell & Kern is the new Kann Max portable DAP. This is the fourth DAP in the Kann series loved by audiophiles all over the world. Kann Max achieves higher power output than Kann Alpha, its award winning predecessor.
The new model features a four-step gain level with a maximum output of 15Vrms so that it can support a wider range of hard-to-play headphones without causing any distortion. The driver also has an innovative circular design with ultra-high output and low noise, as well as an ESS ES9038Q2M Quad-DAC for clear, balanced sound. Kann Max supports playback of high-resolution digital audio files up to 32-bit 768 kHz and can play native DSD512 files. The player also supports high-resolution Bluetooth audio codecs aptX HD and LDAC.
Pricing and Availability: The Astell & Kern Kann Max DAP will be available from mid-June and retails for $1,300 / £1,199 / €1,499.
The second ad from Astell & Kern is the AK HC2 Dual DAC Cable. This is a very compact way to convert audio from your iOS and Android smartphone and tablet, as well as Windows or Apple laptops. Following AK HC1 (PEE51), this portable DAC has a 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced headphone output, allowing audio enthusiasts to smoothly operate high-resolution headphones and enjoy authentic studio quality sounds wherever they are.
The AK HC2 USB-C Dual DAC is equipped with advanced features including two Cirrus Logic CS43198 MasterHiFi DACs, the same high-performance chips found in the award-winning A & Norma range from Astell & Kern. DACs support HD playback up to native 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256.
The AK HC2 has an analog amplifier powerful enough to drive high-impedance headphones and a 4.4mm balanced output option that delivers lower noise, higher output and clearer channel separation. Specially designed capacitors optimize audio circuits, reduce power fluctuations and improve output performance, while reducing the power consumption of a connected smartphone or tablet.
Pricing and Availability: The Astell & Kern AK HC2 USB-C Dual DAC will start shipping in mid-June and retail for $170 / £169 / €199.
The latest announcement from Astell & Kern is a collaboration with excellent Campfire Audio, a Portland-based designer and manufacturer of premium handcrafted earbuds. The new pathfinder The in-ear monitor (IEM) follows the successful Solaris X model produced by the two companies.
These high-end earphones use Dual Chamber Balanced Motor (BA) technology to achieve a wider frequency range, more realistic reproduction, as well as better balanced sound. At the heart of the innovative driver package is an all-new dual-diaphragm balanced drivetrain from Knowles. Knowles is the global expert in the production of balanced equipment.
Compared to a conventional IEM balanced actuator with a larger single diaphragm, this all-new design incorporates two chambers, each containing a diaphragm and a motor shaft that are driven by a single coil. The result is a more powerful output than any other balanced engine design while providing a warmer, more natural midrange.
Pricing and Availability: Astell & Kern Pathfinder IEMs are priced at $1,900 / £1,899 / €2,199 and will be available from mid-July 2022.
More information: www.astellkern.co.uk