CanJam at RMAF2016: Astell & Kern Michelle and AK T8iE Mk II IEMs
The latest of many collaborative efforts between Astell & Kern and headphone makers are the Jerry Harvey Audio Michelle and the Beyerdynamic AK T8iE Mk II. Having just been at the Jerry Harvey booth I gave the new Michelle ($499) a good listen. This three driver BA universal fit IEM sounded very much to me like the new custom fit JH3X Pro ($599)a very straight-down-the-middle, neutral sound. Pricing seems to align well, this felt like a solid performer at a reasonable price to me.
Also recently introduced is the AK T8iE Mk II ($999) IEM by Beyerdynamic. This compact IEM features an 8mm dynamic driver, silver-plated fiber cables with coaxial construction, and an improved voice coil design. Though the fit seemed a bit insecure (I should have tried the foam tips), once in place I found the sound well balanced and nuanced. I have to say that I often find the dynamic driver IEMs with diaphragms between 5-8mm tend to sound very good to my ears. George Cardas believe that matching the diaphragm size to that of the eardrum has strong benefits. A lot of hearsay there, but I tend to think it has some merit.
I'll let Jimmy Moon tell you about it in the video.