StereoLife - Displaying items by tag: highend

Astell&Kern AK ZERO1

Astell&Kern introduces its latest in-ear monitor, the AK ZERO1, featuring three different types of drivers to deliver a ground-breaking hybrid sound. Composed of a micro planar dynamic driver, dual balanced armature drivers, and a dynamic driver, this unique design combines the sonic characteristics of each driver to produce unprecedented natural audio. Astell&Kern has set new standards in IEM engineering to get the music fan closer to the original studio sound.

The Micro Rectangular Planar Dynamic Driver is a specially developed, highly advanced driver that allows a planar driver design, normally difficult to scale down for headphones, to be applied to in-ear monitors. Adopting a sturdy and lightweight planar membrane to minimize frequency loss, this is combined with a vibration panel boasting a high-polymer and thin metal film to create crystal clear and dynamic high frequencies. The AK ZERO1's driver system also features dual BA drivers, using custom-designed coils to deliver transparent vocals with super-low distortion. Couple this with the single 5.6 mm dynamic driver to ensure rich, controlled and deep low frequencies, and the AK ZERO1 is poised to deliver its pioneering hybrid sound.

To realize this new sound through the ideal frequency response, a Crossover Network design was generated based on a thorough understanding of each driver's parameters. Once established, each driver is carefully placed in the optimal position, enclosed in specifically designed acoustic chambers manufactured with 3D printing technology. These precision enclosures cleverly eliminate unnecessary movement and resonance from the drivers to ensure stable performance. Lastly, the main precision-tooled housing reduces internal and external vibrations to deliver the most focused and accurate sound possible.

To further maximize the audio performance the AK ZERO1 arrives equipped with a pure silver-coated OFC cable. Exquisitely crafted with high-purity silver plating and copper, alongside aluminum plugs, this design strives to maintain the transparency of the audio signal. Elsewhere, the MMCX connectors ensure a prime-quality connection between the ear housing and cable, offering long-lasting and stable performance. For discerning audiophiles looking to experience the highest quality audio possible from their AK ZERO1 IEMs or any other MMCX-connector compatible headphones, Astell&Kern is launching an optional 4.4mm cable. The PEP11 sports larger aluminum-machined 4.4mm plugs and features the same top-quality high-purity silver plating and copper cable.

Astell&Kern's recognizable bold diagonal design language continues on the AK ZERO1, with the premium cut metal surface brilliantly reflecting the light. The shape of the housing and the slender ear nozzles have been carefully designed and refined to not only provide a secure and comfortable fit but to deliver the sound efficiently and accurately through your ears. To further provide a snug fit, five different-sized pairs of silicone ear tips and one set of foam tips are supplied, along with a carry case to keep your IEMs pristine during transit. The Astell&Kern AK ZERO1 is priced at £649/$699/€749 and the PEP11 is priced at £119/$130/€139. Info and photos by Astell&Kern via Armour Home.

Astell&Kern AK ZERO1

Astell&Kern AK ZERO1

Astell&Kern AK ZERO1

Astell&Kern AK ZERO1

Meze Audio Elite

Meze Audio, a high-end audio company based in Romania, continues its collaboration with Rinaro Isodynamics for the release of the new Elite Isodynamic Hybrid Array headphone, their most advanced planar magnetic headphone to date. A blend of innovative technology and acoustic engineering with outstanding mechanical design and ergonomics, Elite is the result of 3 years of research and development which opened the path for creating a powerful, lifelike sound experience.

Sonus Faber Aida

After six years from the introduction of the first grandiose Aida, Sonus Faber pushes the envelope and presents the new Aida, the brand's flagship speaker poised at the pinnacle of its product range. Don't let the familiar face fool you! The new Aida has been completely overhauled utilizing the most advanced electroacoustic developments, even if the outer appearance is relatively unaltered, with all its timeless class and elegance.

Audio Physic Cardeas 30 LJE

I guess that each of us likes making oneself a gift. Some people do it at the first opportunity, others wait for specific achievement - a promotion at work, running a marathon, passing an exam or losing weight. A new watch, family trip or just a day for small pleasures may be the prize. But can you imagine what gift would you make if your very successful company celebrated its 30th anniversary? For sure, it would be something special. Such an extraordinary occasion has been celebrated recently by Audio Physic. Did the crew open a bottle of good champagne or at least go for a beer and a schnitzel at the local tavern? I guess so, but first of all, they have done one more gift for both themselves and the loyal fans of the brand - a limited edition of their best speakers.

Fezz Audio Titania

Fezz Audio is an example of a brand that has kicked-off fairly recently, but the onset of the launch of their very first product, it has already had a considerable baggage of accumulated experience, facilitating a strong, heads-on jump-start. From the very beginning, it seems that the manufacturer has not only embarked upon the right concept when it comes to the design of the device itself, but he has also pointedly targeted an extremely attractive price range. The tube amplifier in question, called Silver Luna, has perfectly blended into the demands of audiophiles, a product trait which we have witnessed only very rarely in recent times. From the outside - it holds the traditional looks of stereo tube amplifier, made available in a range of intriguing color schemes. From the inside - a respectable powerhouse built of components stemming from the companies in-house production. And all of this comes at a price that would, under normal conditions, restrict us solely to a product range comprised of middle-class solid state amplifiers or, possibly, to some Chinese tube amplifiers, of questionable quality at that.

High End 2014

The largest exhibition of audio equipment in Europe is behind us so we are getting back to normal operation. Before this happens, we wrote a small summary of the whole event. The form of our reports is forced by the size of the exhibition. Even before exploring the MOC halls we came to the conclusion that it's impossible to see it all, but we tried nevertheless. We could of course focus on ten, twenty or thirty rooms with the most anticipated new stuff or just the most expensive equipment, but what kind of report would it be, if you have hundreds or thousands of companies and you only pick a few dozens? So we hope that our gallery at least allows you to catch the climate of High End and see some interesting devices. For now all the photos have been posted, also on our profile on Instagram. If you are interested in our impressions of the exhibition, if you were out there somewhere or you want to go to Munich next year, we hope it would be an interesting lecture.