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Astell & Kern and Campfire Audio collaborate to launch AK Solaris X earbuds

AK Solaris X
(Image credit: Astell & Kern/Campfire Audio)

Astell & Kern, famed for its five-star portable music players, has teamed up with Campfire Audio, a US manufacturer of premium earphones, to introduce the AK Solaris X in-ear monitor.

Based on Campfire Audio’s Solaris 2020, the new X model has been designed and tuned especially for Astell & Kern players.

Campfire Audio's high-end wired headphones are all hand-assembled in Portland, Oregon. The AK Solaris X is, the company says, a culmination of its acoustic technology and design. 

Each earpiece comprises a specially designed single balanced armature driver, with Campfire Audio's Tuned Acoustic Expansion Chamber (TAEC) tech for the high frequencies, a single updated custom balanced armature for the mids, and a specially-tuned 10mm dynamic driver for the mids and lows.

AK Solaris X

(Image credit: Atell & Kern/Campfire Audio)

That custom balanced armature driver within this hybrid system has been designed specifically for the AK Solaris X and is smaller in size than its predecessor.

The AK Solaris X comes with a balanced 2.5mm pure silver cable (a 3.5mm adapter is supplied). You also get beryllium/copper MMCX connectors, which promise more resilience against wear and tear compared to their regular brass counterparts.

Campfire Audio has also sourced the AK Solaris X's handmade cork case from a small boutique shop in Portugal that works side by side with people with physical disabilities.

The Astell & Kern AK Solaris X is priced £1499 / $1500 / AU$2199 / €1799. In the UK, it will be available exclusively in-store at Harrods and Selfridges from mid-July.

Astell & Kern Kann Alpha Urbanely Blue

(Image credit: Astell & Kern)

Looking to pair your new buds with the freshest music player in town? The five-star Astell & Kern Kann Alpha, previously available only in Onyx Black, is now arriving in a new Urbanely Blue colourway, alongside new support for the music management platform, Roon. It is available now from A&K, priced at £1099 / AU$1599.


See our pick of the best portable music players: from budget MP3 to hi-res music players

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Consult our selection of the best in-ear headphones 2021: budget to premium

Becky is the newest staff writer on What Hi-Fi? and can most-often be found writing, reviewing and drinking coffee in the listening facility, or at her desk next to a stack of mags. (She is probably wearing in-ears, so don't be put off if she's unresponsive.) She supports Chelsea even when it hurts, and her other half is a football writer whose skill both amazes and irritates her.