If you’re on the hunt for a set of super premium headphones, you’ve got another set to put on your short list: Acclaimed portable hi-fi player manufacturers Astell & Kern and legendary German audio brand Beyerdynamic have collaborated on an absolutely stunning new set of over-ears, aimed at the poshest listeners in the land.
Called the AK T5p 2nd Gen (yeah, it’s a bit of a mouthful), the new headphones are handmade in Heilbronn, Germany, using premium materials like sheepskin earpads and braided cables made of pure silver and pure copper. The closed-back headphones feature what the companies call Test Technology drivers, which they claim provides extremely balanced and dynamic sound.
Those who want a set of the new over-ears better act fast: They are only making a thousand pairs of the AK T5p 2nd Gen model, aimed largely at buyers of Astell & Kern’s heinously great-sounding portable music players. And they’re not for the light of pocket, either. The headphones will retail for $1,199 per set — more than many great-sounding speaker systems.
Those on a bit more of a budget may be interested in another partnership from Astell & Kern. The company has also joined forces with lesser-known audio brand Jerry Harvey Audio on a beautiful set of in-ear headphones called the Diana Siren Series Universal Fit In-Ear Monitors.
With a striking red finish and beautiful braided cables, the headphones will certainly impress anyone who sees you wearing them. They feature a three-way, three-driver design aimed at offering listeners with balanced sound without any noticeable distortion. The company claims that this means they are even suitable for mixing and mastering work — something that’s typically reserved for those with dedicated rooms and hyper-expensive speaker setups.
Like their bigger brothers, the Diana Siren Series model doesn’t come cheap: They will hit the market in December of this year for $799 per pair, which is easily enough to get a very (very) nice set of over-ear headphones.
Still, if you’re after an extremely posh set of headphones to pair with one of Astell & Kern’s hyper-premium portable music players, there are probably few better options out there — both models of headphone even come with the company’s preferred 2.5 mm balanced audio cable (as opposed to the larger, unbalanced 3.5mm cable sported by most other headphones).