Astell & Kern is best known for its high-quality portable music players, but has now announced its first portable headphone amplifier. The PA10 uses the South Korean company’s Teraton Alpha technology and Class A amplification to drive your headphones.
A&K’s PMPs generally score very well in our reviews (such as the recent award-winning A&norma SR25 MkII), so we’re excited to see what the first portable headphone amp can do. The company makes some bold claims – it says the PA10 generates “natural, spacious and distortion-free analog sound” and that it delivers a “warm, detailed and refined sound”.
It also says it has used its expertise in amplifier circuit design to reduce the power consumption of the PA10 while increasing output and eliminating distortion and defects.
Teraton Alpha has been in the works for years. It uses power suppression, efficient power management and unrelenting amplification to produce sound quality as close as possible to the original recording.
The PA10 also controls power for various headphones and in-ear monitors. According to Astell & Kern, this ensures a more intensive, spatial sound.
It supports 4.4mm True Balanced input/output and the crossfeed function uses hardware circuit design only, no digital software. This should provide a more seamless crossfeed effect without degrading the audio.
Visually, the PA10 has much in common with Astell & Kern’s PMPs – muscular, that’s how we’d describe its design language, with its octagonal, pillar-shaped aluminum body.
Interested? The PA10 is available now for £549 / $550 / AU$899.
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