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Astell & Kern AK SOLARIS X
Foto © Astell & Kern (iRiver Ltd.)

Astell & Kern AK SOLARIS X – High-end in-ear headphones

This is not the first cooperation Astell & Kern has entered into in the field of headphones, this time it is a collaboration with the specialist Campfire Audio, which served as the basis for the new in-ear headphones Astell & Kern AK SOLARIS X.

Campfire Audio SOLARIS, the high-end headphones by Campfire Audio that have been highly praised by audiophiles around the globe, are now being reborn as the Astell & Kern AK SOLARIS X in collaboration with Astell & Kern, according to the announcement by the proven specialist Campfire Audio about the collaboration with Astell & Kern.

This is a version of the headphones specially optimised by Campfire Audio for Astell & Kern.

Astell & Kern AK SOLARIS X – Specially tuned for Astell & Kern

As with the Campfire Audio SOLARIS, the new Astell & Kern AK SOLARIS X is the pinnacle of Campfire Audio technology.

The in-ear headphones, to put it briefly, rely on a so-called hybrid system, which, according to the manufacturer, integrates a balanced BA driver and an optimised dynamic driver, so that music can be reproduced in particular detail over a wide frequency range.

In the special version as Astell & Kern AK SOLARIS X, it is supposed to faithfully reproduce the deep and rich sound of portable hi-res audio players of the Astell & Kern brand.

Two balanced armature and one dynamic driver

The BA driver specially developed for the Astell & Kern AK SOLARIS X is smaller than its predecessor used in previous models and, according to the manufacturer, offers accurate reproduction over an even wider frequency range.

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Combined with Campfire Audio’s patented T.A.E.C. (Tuned Acoustic Expansion Chamber) technology, the new driver is also said to deliver smooth and extended high frequencies.

Another BA driver provides a rich reproduction of mid frequencies, and the Astell & Kern AK SOLARIS X’s 10 mm dynamic driver, specially optimised for the Polarity Tuned Chamber, reproduces lower and finer mid to low frequencies.

3D printed cabinet

The cabinet of the Astell & Kern AK SOLARIS X was once again manufactured using 3D printing techniques, allowing an optimal and quite complex construction to be designed for even sound dispersion.

Beryllium and copper for MMCX connections

Special attention was also paid to the connections of the in-ear headphones. Here, the industry standard MMCX is used and a material combination of beryllium and copper is employed. This special combination is said to be significantly more resistant to wear and tear than conventional brass connectors.

4N Pure Silver Litz Cable

The cable of the new Astell & Kern AK SOLARIS X is also a particularly sophisticated solution, as the manufacturer states that it is made of pure silver. This should allow the earphones to develop their full performance potential. The pure silver stranded cable is made with four 4N conductors (99.99 % purity) and, according to the manufacturer, offers a clearer sound than other solutions.

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Special attention was paid to the flexibility of the cable, which is considered a weak point in everyday use. The sheathing is supposed to be designed in such a way that it has a high flexibility and thus durability for many years. At the same time, it is supposed to be soft to the touch and thus practical for daily use. The connection to the connectors is also designed to be particularly stable.

Handmade in Portland

Like all high-end headphone models from Campfire Audio, the new Astell & Kern AK SOLARIS X are said to be handmade in the Campfire Audio factory in Portland, Oregon.

Technical key data

As described, the Astell & Kern AK SOLARIS X uses a new single BA driver with T.A.E.C. for the high frequency range, another BA driver optimised according to customer-specific criteria for the midrange, and a 10 mm dynamic driver specially optimised for these headphones. This allows for a frequency response between 5 Hz and 20 kHz, with a sensitivity of 94 dB and an impedance of 8.1 ohms.

Numerous accessories included

It is striking that the Astell & Kern AK SOLARIS X is supplied with a particularly large number of different ear moulds, some of which are made of silicone and others of so-called memory foam. This means that the right pair should be available for every requirement in order to guarantee the best possible fit.

A suitable cleaning utensil is also included in the package, as well as two cases and a transport bag made of cork.

Getting to the point

Astell & Kern can already boast dozens and dozens of headphones, and over the years they have also developed many a model in cooperation with established headphone manufacturers. Now, in cooperation with Campfire Audio, they have developed the new Astell & Kern AK SOLARIS X, which features new drivers and a special sound signature compared to the regular models of the specialist.

Manufacturer:iRiver Ltd.
Distribution:Audio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH
Price:k. A.

About Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.com, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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