Astell&Kern, the global leader in premium portable high-resolution audio devices, has teamed up with Campfire Audio, a U.S. designer and manufacturer of premium hand-built earphones, to introduce the PATHFINDER in-ear monitor (IEM). Following the successful SOLARIS X collaboration, the all-new jointly developed PATHFINDER takes hybrid IEM design to another level. These sophisticated earphones feature advanced Dual-Chamber Balanced Armature (BA) Driver technology to reach new heights in audio realism.
Astell&Kern PATHFINDER key features at a glance:
- The world’s first Dual-Diaphragm Mid-Focused Balanced Armature (BA) Driver from Knowles results in a more natural reproduction in the key mid-range area.
- Dual Balanced Armature drivers deliver extended and smoother high-frequency sounds
- Custom-designed dual dynamic drivers with a hybrid diaphragm focus on low-end and mid-range frequencies
- The first earphones to employ Campfire Audio’s new Radial Venting Technology for dynamic drivers to deliver more powerful bass and a larger soundstage.
- Boasts all-new ribbon design; Silver-Plated OFC copper Litz cables minimize signal distortion
- Features robust custom Beryllium Copper MMCX connectors for superior connection
World’s First Dual-Diaphragm Mid-Focused Balanced Armature (BA) Driver
A radical new driver design was needed to achieve a wider frequency range, realistic reproduction, and a more balanced sound. At the heart of this innovative new driver assembly is the all-new Dual-Diaphragm Balance Armature Driver from Knowles. By employing a single-coil operating two individual diaphragms, the design is akin to the twin-cylinder engine – delivering more horsepower and smoother operation than one with a single, larger piston.
Compared to a traditional BA model with a single, larger diaphragm, this all-new design incorporates two chambers, each housing its own diaphragm and drive rod actuated by a single coil. The result is a higher, more powerful output for its size than any other BA driver design while expressing a warmer and more natural mid-range in key areas of the music.
Dual BA drivers featuring T.A.E.C. technology
Further custom-dual BA drivers focus on delivering clearer and more precise high-frequency reproduction. Benefitting from Campfire Audio’s patented Tuned Acoustic Expansion Chamber technology (T.A.E.C.) technology, this design optimizes the performance by adjusting the volume of space available in front of the driver and provides a direct passage from the driver to your ear. This clever design extends high frequencies without sibilance or fatigue, delivering unsurpassed clarity and a smooth top end.
Dual custom dynamic drivers featuring Radial Venting Technology
Delivery of the rich and visceral bass sounds, while bringing greater definition to the lower midrange, arrives courtesy of dual-custom dynamic 10mm drivers. Boasting hybrid diaphragms and housed in a Radial Venting Acoustic Chamber 3D printed acoustic chamber, this all-new design by Campfire Audio, creates a faster and more powerful low-frequency response without unnecessary pressure or bass bloat. Each dynamic driver is vented through a specially designed opening located at the face of the driver. This acoustic chamber dramatically improves the expression of the drivers, and creates a larger soundstage, while preserving the unique sound of the dynamic driver.
3D-printed acoustic optimised construction
Campfire Audio’s high-end earphones are highly acclaimed by audiophiles around the globe, so it’s no wonder the attention to detail is key to delivering superior musical experience from the PATHFINDER. Each earphone integrates a 3D-printed, acoustically optimised interior chamber to enable the drivers to deliver the highest audio quality possible and create a natural and accurate sound.
Silver-Plated Copper Litz Cable design
PATHFINDER comes with three different flavoured cables to cover all unbalanced and balanced headphones connections (2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm.) The all-new Silver-Plated Copper Litz Cable consists of four conductors arranged side by side, designed to provide the most transparent and extended sounds possible. The soft-touch molded jacket that wraps around each conductor ensures both flexibility and durability. At the same time, a flat cable design prevents tangling, can be wound for easy storage and offers minimal cable distortion. The cable terminates with a robust metal connector housing.
Elsewhere, the custom beryllium/copper MMCX connectors provide more resilience against wear and tear, compared to regular brass connectors, while also offering a more robust mating mechanism. This harder material selection extends the life of the component and the earphone.
Comprehensive eartip selection
Along with the three types of headphone cables, PATHFINDER arrives with an array of eartip types and sizes so finding a secure and comfortable fit is simple. Included are five pairs of Final Audio E-Type tips (XS/S/M/L/XL), three pairs of Campfire Audio Marshmallow Tips (S/M/L), and three pairs of silicone tips (S/M/L). To keep your IEMs and accessories in pristine condition while in transit, a leather zip case, earphone protection sleeve, and a tip and cable storage pouch are also supplied.
Premium design philosophies
The brushed stainless steel-hewn inlay on PATHFINDER combines the two design philosophies of each company. Astell&Kern’s ‘light and shadow’ recognisable motif is present and correct, while Campfire Audio’s connection with nature is represented by this six-sided ‘Mountain Peak’ contour. Precision engineered, this design motif displays the value of the premium craftsmanship and innovation that Campfire Audio and Astell&Kern are renowned.
The Astell&Kern Pathfinder is priced £1,899 / $1,900 / €2,199 and available from mid-July 2022 from www.astellkern.co.uk
- [High] Custom Dual Balanced Armature Drivers + T.A.E.C.
- [Mid] All-New ‘Dual Chamber’ Balanced Armature Driver Technology from Knowles
- [Mid-Low to Sub-Bass] All-New Dual Custom 10mm Dynamic Drivers paired with Radial Venting Technology
- 2.5mm Silver Plated Copper Cable
- 3.5mm Silver Plated Copper Cable
- 4.4mm Silver Plated Copper Cable
Material / Design:
- Aluminum shell
- Hand polished stainless steel threaded spout
- Stainless steel Inlay and Parts
Frequency response: 5Hz-20kHz
SPL: 94dB @ 1kHz 13.49mVrms
Impedance: 6.2 Ohm @ 1kHz
Total harmonic distortion: Less than 1%