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.


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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.