Astell&Kern has a Vision for your ears – and a stunning hi-res audio player to power them

The new AURA headphones have been handcrafted by in-ear monitoring experts Vision Ears

Astell&Kern AURA headphones
(Image credit: Astell&Kern)

If you're looking for the very best headphones for your hi-res audio player, Astell&Kern have just the thing. And if you're in the market for a hi-res audio player as well, Astell&Kern can help with that too. The hi-res audio obsessives have announced two new products for serious music fans: the new AURA in-ear headphones and the A&futura SE300 music player.

It's fair to say that if you're looking for the best cheap headphones you should look elsewhere: the AURA come in at a hefty £4,199 / €4,799 / $4,200 / AU$6,899. But these aren't exactly designed for listening to podcasts on the tube. 

The AURA headphones have been designed in collaboration with high-end in-ear monitoring specialists Vision Ears in Cologne, and they consist of two precise 8mm low dynamic drivers, eight balanced armature drivers for mid-range and a balanced armature super tweeter for the high end. Astell&Kern promises "breathtaking" performance, and as you can see they look pretty great too.

Astell&Kern have a new hi-res audio player too

The new A&futura SE300 is based around Astell&Kern's own R-2R DAC and a dual AMP mode with Class A amplification for incredible accuracy and Class AB for crisp dynamism. But the thing you'll notice first is that it has the firm's new and striking user interface, with a crimson colour scheme that looks great set against the aluminium and stainless steel casing of the player. It's a more streamlined design than some of Astell&Kern's other hi-res audio players, but I think it's a safe bet that it'll feel just as solid in your hand.

The A&futura SE300 is £1,899 / €2,199/ $1,900 / AU$3,099.

The A&futura SE300 and the AURA headphones will make their debut at the High End Munich show, which runs from 18 to 21 May in Munich and you'll be able to order them directly from Astell&Kern afterwards. 

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (