Astell&Kern Pathfinder Review, Astell&Kern does not require an introduction in the environment of significant-stop personalized audio, but the Korean DAP company is most definitely not a manufacturer name that most people know. Their top quality DAPs command a hefty price tag and audiophiles who are extremely really serious about high effectiveness headphones and transportable playback, have pretty much assuredly tried or owned one of their solutions.
Astell&Kern Pathfinder Review
When you have continually sent the best, potential collaboration partners are not very difficult to find. With the exception of the just lately released Astell&Kern UW100 Wireless Earphones, all of their headphones and earphones have been intended and made in partnership with other manufacturers Jerry Harvey, Beyerdynamic, and Campfire Audio.
The collaborations thus far, have been retuning employment of current headphones or earphones and absolutely nothing has actually been what I would simply call a recreation-changer. The solutions were being now fantastic and the modifications ended up designed to far better fit the playback capabilities of their present DAPs. There is not anything at all erroneous with that but just how much does that go the needle?
I just lately obtained the new astell&kern pathfinder review and I genuinely hope that each makes just take the ball and operate with it this is quite possibly the ideal collaboration that I have been lucky to review so significantly and I am glad to see that Astell&Kern and Campfire Audio have learned from their encounter with the Solaris X collaboration and built the necessary changes.
The Pathfinder is not the initial collaboration in between the two companies and whilst I’m confident Solaris homeowners will get their torches ready — I wasn’t overly amazed with the Solaris X over-all. I envisioned a whole lot more and I say that since I have been a Campfire Audio customer for a handful of yrs and have a ton of knowledge with their products the Andromeda is 1 of my favorite IEMs and however gets typical use.
I travel with a pair of Campfire Audio Andromeda and the Astell&Kern KANN Alpha DAP and the mix is 1 that I really like extremely considerably It is arguably a person of the most pleasing components of my working day when I can reduce myself when I commute listening to music as a result of these two outstanding goods.
There was most undoubtedly some trepidation reviewing the Pathfinder, due to the fact I feared that it may possibly conclude up becoming my fourth option to assessment the Solaris which unlike the Andromeda has not been a really like affair for me.
Astell&Kern Pathfinder Review : The Skinny
We are not in the unboxing business enterprise, but I was extremely impressed with every little thing that Astell&Kern and Campfire Audio included in the packaging. The kit comes with the Pathfinder earpieces, a divided fabric bag to protect them, and Campfire’s conventional zipper case to retail outlet the earpieces and a person of the supplied cables.
There are three sets of cables to pick from in the box 2.5mm, 3.5mm, and a single that is terminated with 4.4mm jacks.
Quite handful of makes do that lots of only provide 1 and demand you up to $350 for the more cables.
They have also gone the more mile when it will come to ear recommendations the package contains a established of silicone ideas, 3 sets of foam suggestions, and a comprehensive established of Ultimate Audio E-Collection recommendations. I just cannot feel of too lots of earphone producers that do that and also involve a carry bag for the cable and tips, cleaning software, and manuals.
The earpieces are completed in black and silver with a solid system in gloss black and steel facial area plates with a mirror end. The industrial layout is a mix of the Solaris and the angular styles from astell&kern pathfinder review with the faceplate getting 6 aspects of varying sizes.
The nozzles are bright stainless as effectively with matching rings all over the MMCX port and vent. The whole deal has alternatively significant heft and it most surely feels as if astell&kern pathfinder review have experienced a better hand in the make quality and overall appear and truly feel.
The cables are silver plated OFC Copper Litz in a 4 strand facet-by-aspect flat housing that is also fairly visually impactful. The cable looks heavier than it is and with the ear-hooks at the north finish, pounds is very well distributed and I had no difficulties with microphonic sounds.
Astell&kern pathfinder review and Campfire Audio unquestionably delivered on the visual close, but extremely couple people today devote this sort of income on earphones since they are visually eye-catching the Pathfinder is a hybrid design with a 10mm dynamic driver with a twin diaphragm and radial venting procedure to far better regulate the reduced stop.
The midrange is handled by a new twin chamber well balanced armature, and the highs are handled by a pair of balanced armatures all of the armatures were custom made intended by Knowles for Campfire Audio.
The impedance was calculated at 6.9 ohms (the supplied push kit lists 6.2 ohms) and the calculated sensitivity was 96 dB/mW, earning the Pathfinder easy to drive but relatively supply precise.
The Pathfinder is developed to match perfectly with Astell&Kern DAPs and other resources with close to zero output impedance. If your source has a large output impedance, care demands to be taken when pairing them.
Astell&Kern Pathfinder Review : Sound
I paired the Pathfinder with my Astell&Kern KANN Alpha, Sony WM1A, and a borrowed Astell&Kern SP2000 to check its effectiveness with portables, and an RME ADI-2 FSR BE Reference DAC and Yulong Aurora to exam business/desktop pairings.
There was no surprise that the Astell&Kern DAPs supplied a a bit warmer and far more organic seem than the Sony which leans additional to getting analytical sounding.
The two the RME and Aurora available equivalent sonic signature with a bit a lot less warmth than the Astell&Kern DAPs but a touch a lot more than the Sony. The greatest pairings were being the Astell&Kern SP2000 and Yulong Aurora that struck the best balance concerning coloration, texture, and detail over-all.
There is some extra emphasis in the low end that offers the Pathfinder a little bit of added impression and definition, but it commences to trail-off around 100Hz and I hardly ever felt that it crossed more than greater in the bass array.
The sub-bass is effectively controlled notes had excellent texture and detail and I generally felt that it was effectively defined regardless of the style of tunes that I listened to.
The frequency range from the mid-bass to the lower midrange is incredibly linear sounding and it unquestionably appears to be like Astell&Kern and Campfire Audio aimed for a “W” tuning with the Pathfinder.
The new twin dynamic driver is really articulate sounding with far more than adequate texture, clarity, and manage there is practically no bleed from the bass into the mid-vary which retains the total presentation fairly open up and balanced.
The Pathfinder is a not a bass head IEM, but with some EQ used, the low end can deliver reference top quality effects and definition and I dilemma why any individual would have to have a lot more. Don’t punish your listening to.
The reduce mid-range is clear and no cost of any extra emphasis male vocals are delivered with superb observe body weight, accurate timbre, and extra than enough detail. I was pretty impressed with how the Pathfinder reproduces the cello and acoustic guitar timbre, detail, and by no means pushed far too significantly forward into the mix that they interfere with the vocals.
There is some added emphasis in the midrange that does incorporate some vitality and existence to violin strings and piano notes I was worried that it would lengthen much too considerably into the upper mid-array and impact vocals, but it manages to restrain itself just sufficient and not turn out to be really hard or strident sounding.
One of the elements of the Solaris’ performance that I did not really like was the very similar emphasis in the mid-assortment followed by a rather sharp dip which led to unevenness in the higher mid-array and reduced treble.
While the Astell&Kern Pathfinder Review shares the same rise in the mid-selection, it does not experience the exact same dip as we shift from the higher mid-vary into the reduce treble the final result is that feminine vocals are smoother, significantly less recessed, and sent with far more resolution and existence. There is a tiny dip but not adequate to improve the over-all tonal harmony and presentation.
The decreased treble is a lot more balanced sounding than the Solaris X percussion has superior snap, and cymbals and snares are introduced with plenty of power to sound sensible. There is some additional emphasis all over 5kHz, but it doesn’t extend a great deal outside of 6kHz.
Vocals are sent with great existence and steer clear of getting to be fatiguing in the 6 – 9kHz array. The Pathfinder sounds alternatively open at the major and there is a gradual roll-off all around 14kHz there is a diploma of airiness and sparkle at the best that by no means sounds synthetic or etched – Astell&Kern Pathfinder Review.
The soundstage has extremely good depth and top, but closed IEMs even now only deliver a relatively personal effectiveness. The orchestra placement demonstrates incredibly fantastic stereo separation and instrument separation on the stage. Imaging is excellent with musicians carved firmly in area and with very small shift. I hope you get much information about sound from Astell&Kern Pathfinder Review.
Summary of Astell&kern Pathfinder Review
Astell&Kern Pathfinder Review is a really extraordinary collaboration that exceeds the sound good quality of any Solaris design however unveiled. I’m heading to eat my words and phrases and say that it is a retuning of the Solaris and that I really like it.
It is certainly not low-cost and you do require to use higher high quality DAPs and desktop DAC/Amplifiers to seriously knowledge what it can do your Apple iphone 13 with a Dongle DAC will not seem awful with the Pathfinders but it will not be the very same knowledge.
If you now individual an Astell&Kern DAP and are searching for a pair of IEMs that will never ever be the weak url in the chain — take into consideration the Pathfinder simply because they stand for their ideal collaboration to day. If you really do not personal an Astell&Kern DAP, the Pathfinder is even now the very best Solaris variant however and very well truly worth a seem.
Where by to acquire: $1,899 at Astell&Kern Pathfinder Review