The Korean brand has introduced its latest pair of in-ear monitors – Astell & Kern AK ZERO1. This time it will be developed and manufactured on its own, not products in cooperation with big brands.
Previously, Astell and Kern’s audiophile in-ear monitors were developed jointly with world-class headphone brands: Beyerdynamic (T8iE, T9iE), Harvey Audio (Angie, Rosie, Layla, Michelle, Diana), Final Audio Design (AKR01, AKR02), and most recently Campfire Audio (Solaris X). Not carrying the design biased towards the famous lines of the previous cooperation brands anymore, the AK Zero1 in ear monitor possesses the same thorny appearance as Astell & Kern’s hi-end music players.
Inside each in-ear is three types of separate drivers: Dynamic 5.6mm diameter for bass range, the midrange is two balanced armature drivers with custom coils to show vocals and instruments. Finally, the high sound range is performed by a very small rectangular planar driver. These four drivers are designed with a crossover position for the best sound path when listening to music.
The idea of making in-ear hybrids equipped with a variety of drivers is not new, there have been such products for decades. The reason companies exploit this design is to optimize the advantages of each type of driver in each sound range, making sure not to create any disadvantages during music listening.
This in ear monitor system features a CNC-cut metal housing, silver-coated copper OFC cable, MMCX connector, and aluminum 3.5mm jack to ensure line signal quality. Even if you worry about crosstalk with a dual-channel 3.5mm cable, you can buy a PEP11 4.4mm balanced, two-way independent cable.
Astell & Kern AK Zero1 price and availability
It is expected that AK Zero1 IEMs and PEP11 cables will be released in mid-November but is already up for pre-order via Bhphotovideo.com store for $699 or PEP11 balance cable costs $199.