Wearables

Astell&Kern crams three different drivers in Zero1 IEMs

Astell&Kern crams three differ...
Astell&Kern's first hybrid in-ear monitors employ three different types of drivers
Astell&Kern's first hybrid in-ear monitors employ three different types of drivers
View 4 Images
Astell&Kern's first hybrid in-ear monitors employ three different types of drivers
1/4
Astell&Kern's first hybrid in-ear monitors employ three different types of drivers
A planar driver, two balanced armature drivers and a dynamic driver are mounted inside the CNC-machined housing of each earphone
2/4
A planar driver, two balanced armature drivers and a dynamic driver are mounted inside the CNC-machined housing of each earphone
The AK Zero1 in-ear monitors package includes a 3.5-mm jack audio cable, but a 4.4-mm balanced cable costs extra
3/4
The AK Zero1 in-ear monitors package includes a 3.5-mm jack audio cable, but a 4.4-mm balanced cable costs extra
The hi-fi grade audio cables securely connect to the in-ear monitors via MMCX connectors encased in aluminum
4/4
The hi-fi grade audio cables securely connect to the in-ear monitors via MMCX connectors encased in aluminum
View gallery - 4 images

Since 2013, Astell&Kern has been employing multiple converters in its high-end digital audio players in the pursuit of better sound, with the latest rocking four DACs and three amps. Now the company is taking that kind of thinking to its in-ear monitors as the Zero1 IEMs launch with three different driver types.

The first of the trio of driver types in each earphone is what's described as a micro rectangular planar dynamic driver with a sturdy and lightweight membrane to minimize frequency loss and a vibration panel featuring a high-polymer and thin metal film for high frequency clarity. Then there are two balanced armature drivers with custom coils for "crystal-clear vocals with super-low distortion." And finally, A&K makes use of a 5.6-mm dynamic driver to take care of the low end.

The AK Zero1 in-ear monitors package includes a 3.5-mm jack audio cable, but a 4.4-mm balanced cable costs extra
The AK Zero1 in-ear monitors package includes a 3.5-mm jack audio cable, but a 4.4-mm balanced cable costs extra

A&K has precisely positioned each of these drivers within specially designed, 3D-printed acoustic chambers to nip any potential resonance in the bud for the promise of performance stability, and wrapped up all of this impressive miniaturization goodness in a funky angular CNC-machined aluminum housing that matches the style of the company's portable audio players.

The AK Zero1 IEMs come supplied with a hi-fi grade silver-plated oxygen-free copper cable ending in a 3.5-mm headphone jack, but if you want to take advantage of the balanced output offered by A&K's high-end players, you'll need to fork out an extra US$130 for the 4.4-mm PEP11 cable.

The hi-fi grade audio cables securely connect to the in-ear monitors via MMCX connectors encased in aluminum
The hi-fi grade audio cables securely connect to the in-ear monitors via MMCX connectors encased in aluminum

The AK Zero1 hybrid in-ear monitors go up for pre-order on November 1 for $699 – ahead of an estimated release date of November 14 – and include five pairs of silicone ear tips and a pair of foam ear tips to help ensure a secure fit.

Product page: AK Zero1

View gallery - 4 images
No comments
0 comments
There are no comments. Be the first!