2-Channel High-Resolution Audio To Go...

Posted on Oct 22, 2014

I'm a frequent traveler these days.  Up until recently, I had learned to live with the fact that I couldn't take my studio quality audio with me on the go.  After a handful of recent cross country flights, and the fatigue associated with listening to mp3's for hours on end, I finally said enough is enough.  


After an inordinate amount of research I stumbled upon two pieces of equipment that have made listening to 2-channel high-resolution files on long and frequent flights both a reality and a pleasure:


-Jerry Harvey Audio, JH 13 Custom In-Ear Monitor.  Highly recommended by my touring musician friends for their onstage monitoring and audiophile/critical listening while on the road.  They're custom molded to your ears and sound incredible.  The folks at JH Audio are also amazing to deal with.


-Astell & Kern AK100 portable hi-res player.  Supports up to 24/192 playback.  Sounds pretty incredible and definitely points out any flaws in a mix.  I recently sent this to Vinne at Red Wine Audio for their RWAK100/S modification that bypasses the 22-ohm resistors in the output stage, which will properly drive the JH 13's.  


UPDATED - 10/31/14: After some critical listening post-modification I can honestly say that Red Wine Audio's RWAK100/S mod really smoothes out the sound and makes this player substantially better.  I don't have to drive the JH monitors as hard and hi-res playback feels smoother and the detail is more refined and spread out across the audio spectrum. 


With the right high-resolution files, this setup is incredible.  The JH Audio in-ear monitors, are what I would call 'natural noise canceling' because they cut 26db of outside sound on their own.  They're also custom fit to your ear and have proven to be very comfortable on long flights!



 Richard LaBonté, Music Valet