IFA 2015: Astell & Kern to launch world's first Tesla tech in-ear headphones

The Tesla tech (named after the pioneer of alternating current, Nikola Tesla) uses a special driver design with a powerful ring magnet said to be 16 times smaller than previous designs, while the moving coil is "so filigree it is barely visible", according to Beyerdynamic.

The single-driver design means there is no need for crossover filters, so avoiding the phase problems that can afflict multi-driver designs.

"Tesla technology transmits the entire audible frequency spectrum with a single driver," says Beyerdynamic managing director Wolfgang Luckhardt. "From deep bass to the highest trebles, the AK Ti8e sounds like an integrated whole."

MORE: Read our Astell & Kern reviews

Astell & Kern engineers worked with Beyerdynamic to optimise the headphones for use with A&K's high-resolution portable players, using the flagship AK380 as the reference player.

Included with the Ti8e is a special Kevlar-reinforced cable with a 2.5mm four-pin plug to fit the balanced output of AK's players, as well as a standard 3.5mm cable (also reinforced with Kevlar). You also get a leather case and a choice of eight ear tips.

The Astell & Kern AK Ti8e will make its debut at IFA 2015 in Berlin on 4th September.

MORE: IFA 2015 preview

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.