Wired earphones are seemingly being eliminated from the market though the transition to wireless headphone will not occur immediately. Astell & Kern, a company, commonly known for its high-end headphone, high-resolution audio player, and in-ear monitors, is seeking to bridge the gap between wired and wireless headphones. The company has introduced a combination headphone DAC (digital to analog converter) that ensures any wired headphones can be used wirelessly. The AK XB10 allows you to use your favorite wired headphones over Bluetooth with high-end sound.
The AK XB10 delivers up to 24-bit HD audio over a wireless connection, which is just about what you are accustomed to if you use high-ended headphone. The device supports both 2.5mm and 3.5mm headphone and works with both Android and iOS. It supports voice calls with its built-in microphone. The XB10 generally combines a dedicated DAC with Astell & Kern’s AMP technology to offer enough power to drive even power-hungry headphone.
The device has onboard controls including, volume control, a power button and playback controls. It also provides the option to pause, resume playback, as well as skip backwards or forward. Though it might not be convenient for use an inline remote, it does include a clip to attach to your pants or shirt, keeping the controls within easy reach.
The AK XB10 might be very useful now when mobile manufacturers including Motorola on Moto Z and Apple with iPhone 7 are ditching the headphone jack. One thing that might be a challenge especially with the use of the gadget with iPhone is that the Apple has not yet mentioned that aptx HD or even aptX will be supported on the iPhone. Considering that prior devices have not featured aptX support, opting for ACC over Bluetooth, Astell & Kern bet on this device might not be very safe.
Astell & Kern have indicated that AK XB10 will last five hours on a single charge. It is available for preorders as of today on the company’s website for $189. It is expected to start shipping later this month.
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