High-end portable media player company Astell & Kern has announced two new sets of headphones — an over-ear closed back model in partnership with Beyerdynamic, and an in-ear model in partnership with Jerry Harvey Audio.
The over-ear model is the second generation of Beyerdynamic’s highly acclaimed AK T5p headphones, which The Verge described in 2016 as “on the precipice of greatness.” Visually, this new version of the AK T5p has a similar body style and, like its predecessor, is hand-built in Germany. The AK T5p 2nd Generation is tuned specifically for Astell & Kern’s portable music players. That includes the audiophile-level $999 Kann, a 9.8 ounce behemoth with a 6,200mAh battery.
These headphones have the same Tesla transducers found in other Beyerdynamic headphones like the T1 and T90, providing low-impedance for more filigreed sound with rich warmth, even at lower volumes and with lower-output devices like smartphones and tablets. It also has a newly designed detachable cable made specifically for the AK T5p. Made of four pure silver cables and four OCC copper cables braided together, the cable is meant to reproduce the exact characteristics of the sound made by the headphone’s drives. It all comes with a carrying case, a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter, and a quarter-inch connection adaptor.
The new AK T5p’s scream luxury, down to the materials used (the earpads and headbands are made of premium sheepskin). If you’re in the market for a pair of these, they’ll might be harder than usual to obtain — Astell & Kern only plans to produce 1,000 units, priced at $1,199. As for when they’ll be available to purchase, the company has said they are coming this month.
On the in-ear front, Astell & Kern is also debuting the Diana Series In-Ear Monitor developed by Jerry Harvey Audio. The red, aluminum shell in-ears feature a newly developed 3-way, 3-driver design that provides dedicated balanced armatures for the high, mid, and low ranges. The highs are promised with minimum distortion, while the mids offer flat sound within the 10Hz to 5kHz range, and the lows have a “steeper low-pass effect with no distortion.”
The Diana comes with the same type of cable that was developed for the AK T5p 2nd Generation headphones, which, the company says, will deliver perfect balance with your audio when used in combination with the Diana’s drivers. It is also accompanied by the usual accessories — a carrying case, varying sizes of silicon ear tips, and a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter.
These, like everything else Astell & Kern produces, don’t come cheap. The Diana in-ear monitors will be available in December for $799.