We had been thinking that Astell & Kern had closed up shop with new product announcements after mentioning a new DAC, but there’s another product on the block that also looks to improve the sound of your portable devices.
The PA10 is the first portable Class-A amp from Korean brand Astell & Kern, which is says is able to extract “all the subtle nuances in high resolution music” when played back through headphones and in-ear monitors (IEMs) to produce a warm, detailed but refined performance.
By integrating a Class-A amplifier into the PA10’s circuitry, its presence is said to reduce power consumption and increase output while removing noise, with 2-gain levels that Astell say “deliver crystal clear sounds”. The portable amplifier is also able to control current to suit different headphones and IEMs to create a more intense, spatial sound.
The PA10 is about the same size as a mobile phone (73 x 140 x 23.3mm (WHD)), but still makes space for wired connections with support for 4.4mm True Balance input/output, while its crossfeed function is done via hardware circuit design and not digital software. Astell & Kern say this offers a more seamless and sophisticated crossfeed effect without degrading the original sound.
And as this is an Astell & Kern product, the design is just as unique and as off-kilter as you might have expected. Made from aluminium, with an octagonal pillar-shaped body, there is more to the headphone amplifier’s design than just how it looks, with A&K stating a “great ergonomic fit in the hand” as well.
The PA10 is available to buy from Astell & Kern’s website and selected retailers for £549 / $550.