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Astell and Kern ZERO1 is a high performance hybrid driver in-ear

Astell & Kern has had a very busy 2021, launching several new products, and another that’s joined the list is the ZERO1 in-ear monitor (IEM).

What makes the ZERO1 unique? It features three different types of driver in one compact, in-ear form; made up of a micro planar dynamic driver, dual balance armature drivers and dynamic driver.

A&K went down this path to combine the sonic characteristic of each one to produce “unprecedented natural audio”, a performance it claims brings listeners closer to the music.

Astell & Kern ZERO1 earphone design

The AK ZERO1 shares the same angular and diagonal design language that A&K uses on their portable music players, the housing covered in premium cut metal and shaped to provide a secure and comfortable fit, as well as send the audio “efficiently and accurately” to your ears. Five pairs of silicone ear tips alongside a set of foam tips are provided to get that best fit.

Moving to the driver arrangement, the Micro Rectangular Planar Dynamic Driver features a “sturdy and lightweight” planar membrane to minimise frequency loss, and combined with a high-polymer and thin metal film vibration panel, aims to produce “crystal clear and dynamic high frequencies”.

The dual BA drivers focus on the midrange, re-producing vocals with low distortion, while the 5.6 mm dynamic driver to deals with the low frequencies, offering “rich, controlled and deep” performance.

Astell & Kern PEP11 cable

For audiophiles in need of the highest quality audio experience, Astell & Kern is launching an optional 4.4mm cable. Called the PEP11, it has larger aluminium-machined 4.4mm plugs and the same top-quality high-purity silver plating and copper cable available on the ‘standard’ model. The PEP11 is priced £119 / $130 / €139 and goes on sale in November.

The AK ZERO1 is priced £649 / $699 / €749, and goes on sale in November from the A&K website and local independent dealers.

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