These days the bypass solution for Apple and Android is not an entirely new concept. When the Solo came out people went ape for the ability to do this, now Fostex, FiiO and Sony have come out with constantly evolving devices that make this market far more competitive than it used to be. Added to that the awesome Astell & Kern DAP’s and the whole need to play music from your mobile phone becomes less and less appealing to many. You could argue that at $299 the AK10 is much cheaper than those offered by the likes of Sony but then along comes the FiiO E18 and simply blows that argument away which leads me back to the original statement – it is a bit of an ugly duckling for what it is and capable of more than how it looks. How it looks is all Astell & Kern (yes I know Beyer have one out also but it feels more like an AK unit to me), how it functions is ok also but how it sounds, though musical and engaging, is perhaps a bit limited given the price point.

Technical Specifications

Output Level 1.7Vrms [[email protected] 48kHz, No Load PC standard]
Audio Performance SNR 110dB [[email protected] 48kHz, No Load]
THD+N Typ. 0.008% [[email protected] 48KhZ, No Load]
Crosstalk 106dB [[email protected] 48kHz No Load]
Frequency Response ±0.2dB [[email protected] 48kHz No Load]
USB POWER : 5.0V, 500mA
Accessories include: AK10 USB cable, AK10 Lightning cable

Price: SRP $299


The AK10 by Astell & Kern
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