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Astell&Kern’s AK Zero1 in-ears use three drivers on the road to hybrid sound

Designated drivers

Buses. Golf. Printer installation. In most cases, one driver is enough. Two could cause problems. And three will result in a conflict that sends your inkjet into overdrive. But not for Astell&Kern: its latest angular in-ears feature a trio of different drivers to deliver unparalleled sound. Dual balanced armatures use custom coils to serve up crystal clear vocals, while a single 5.6mm dynamic driver deals with the deep stuff. Rounding out the combo is a planar number – the kind normally reserved for high-end headphones and renowned for responsive, distortion-free high frequencies. A&K has masterfully made the tech tiny enough to squeeze into 3D-printed acoustic chambers inside the machined aluminium housing of each AK Zero1. Precisely aligned and paired with silver-coated cables (with a 4.4mm option available for audiophiles committed to MMCX connectors), the result of this acoustic teamwork should be a truly unique sonic experience. As you’d expect for £649.