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Astell & Kern XB10 Portable Bluetooth aptX HD Headphone Amp

Astell & Kern

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Astell & Kerns High-quality Bluetooth, AK XB10 Portable Audio Player adds high sound quality with the freedom of wireless aptX™ HD technology, this Bluetooth codec from Qualcomm receives 24bit high-quality data, wirelessly, and it's designed to faithfully play back the transmitted high-quality data using Astell&Kern's own sound technology.

  • Tick The most advanced bluetooth aptX™ HD
  • Tick Truly combines forperfect sound (Hi-Fi DAC X Analog AMP)
  • Tick Dual Audio Output (2.5mm/3.5mm)
  • Tick iPhone/Android Compatible
  • Tick Hands-Free call with noise/echo cancelling

Music via Bluetooth Without Compromise

The AK XB10 delivers a distinctive difference in sound from conventional Bluetooth products. The moment you hear it, you wonder "Does this sound really come from Bluetooth?"

Astell&Kern's outstanding technologies are throughout aptX™ HD to support 24bit/48kHz Bluetooth performance, along with DAC and AMP, essential components of fine audio.

Qualcomm® aptX™ HD

While the AK XB10 is a device that wirelessly transmits audio data from smartphones via Bluetooth, it is quite different from conventional Bluetooth devices, in that it supports the aptX™ HD Bluetooth codec. Just as the display resolutions of televisions evolved from standard to high-definition to 4K ultra-HD for sharper image quality, we are now in the era in which Bluetooth now supports 24-bit audio resolution. 24-bit HD audio that was simply not possible with previous Bluetooth technologies can now be fully enjoyed with aptX™ HD. Typically used in professional broadcasting, the original aptX™ audio codec is widely used for 16-bit near-CD quality sound. The benefits of the aptX™ codec include superior compression, low computational cost, and low transmission delay.

Launched in early 2016, the next-generation aptX™ HD codec is capable of transmitting up to 24-bit/48 kHz audio that is faithful to the original audio file. Devices connected to the AK XB10 must support the aptX™ and aptX™ HD codecs for 24bit audio playback.

SBC vs. aptX™ vs. aptX™ HD

Bluetooth codecs can be easily compared to data packet efficiency. Comparing data packet capacity in a Bluetooth transmission to passengers on a bus, the SBC codec is only capable of seating one passenger per bus. The aptX™ codec can seat three passengers, while the aptX™ HD codec can seat five. Just like having the ability to fit more people on one bus, the aptX™ HD is far more efficient than other audio codecs. More information and data can be transmitted if lesser data is lost in a given transmission.

Perfect Sound

The AK XB10 is equipped with a Hi-Fi DAC capable of reproducing high-quality sound up to 24-bit/192 kHz. Its analogue amplifier was tuned using Astell&Kern's own sound technologies to complete the package. A digital-to-analog converter (DAC) converts digital data into analog signals in a digital media player (DMP). The AK XB10 is equipped with a dedicated DAC for the best digital-to-analog signal conversion that significantly improves Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) and Total Harmonic Distortion (THD).

While a typical analogue amplifier simply amplifies and outputs low level audio signals, the Astell&Kern amplifier in the AK XB10 is different. Rather than simply amplifying the audio signal, the amplifier was designed with a ”driving” concept to amplify weak signals and power difficult to drive high impedance headphones. A strong signal is required to drive headphones with a high impedance. The AK XB10’s analog amplifier is more than capable of handling the task.

For example: when comparing the amplifier to a camera, using the zoom function to enlarge small objects in a viewfinder is much like how a common amplifier performs. However, the AK XB10’s amplifier is similar to the way a pan focus function clearly focuses blurry images. Simply put, the Astell&Kern amplifier focuses on the weak signal.

Dual Audio Output

"Oh, no! My earphones aren't compatible!"

Have you ever seen a tiny headphone jack where ordinary earphones cannot be plugged?

This is known as a 2.5 mm "sub-mini" audio connector. It's also known as a balanced connector. Modes of transmitting an analog signal can be divided into balanced and unbalanced. An unbalanced connection typically consists of a signal (L + R) and the ground. The ground is supposed to prevent external noise, but noise can still be introduced to the signal and can affect transmitted signals that causes variations and noise in sound. The balanced connection was developed to reduce ground noise as the signal is transmitted. This connection adds a reverse phase signal (L + R) to an unbalanced signal (L + R) to diminish the noise. The balanced connection has several advantages compared to an unbalanced connection. The same noise (common-mode noise) that occurs in a signal + reverse-phase signal can be eliminated and output is increased since two separate signals are transmitted.

Thus, it is only natural that Astell & Kern included a 2.5mm jack on the AK XB10 for audio enthusiasts. Enjoy a deeper level of sound through the AK XB10's balanced 2.5mm output.

iOS & Android Compatible

The AK XB10 is compatible with all iOS and Android devices. It supports the SBC, aptX™, and aptX™ HD codecs for Android devices and the AAC codec for iOS. Forget about device compatibility issues, turn on your smartphone’s Bluetooth, and connect the AK XB10. You can also connect any laptop/notebook that supports Bluetooth. You will be transported to a new world of sound the moment the AK XB10 is connected to your smartphone.

Handsfree Function

When you receive a call while listening to music with the AK XB10, should you turn off the Bluetooth function before answering? Should you unplug your earphones from the AK XB10 and connect them to your phone? NO! Of course not!

For the ultimate in convenience, the AK XB10 supports voice calls and features a built-in microphone so that you can receive calls when using earphones without a microphone. Press the button once to receive a call while connected via Bluetooth and press and hold the button to reject a call.

Design Concept

The AK XB10's design was inspired by Astell&Kern's principal design motif of light and shadow. With this design concept, the AK XB10 was shaped to mimic the appearance of the scattering of light from a star (astell in Greek means star). The top surface of the AK XB10 is split into quadrants, which allows easy operation with just a touch of the hand. It may look simple, but the AK XB10 was produced only after careful consideration of both design and usability.

The Clip

The AK XB10 has one more defining feature – its clip. When you want to enjoy your music but don’t want to be tied down, simply mount the clip to the AK XB10 and clip it to your shirt or bag. This simple clip further enhances the portability and keeps your hands free. The AK XB10 is even lighter than the energy bar you eat while exercising.

While we do our best to keep this information up to date, please be aware that all specifications are subject to change by the manufacturer at any time.

General Specifications

Model AK XB10
Body Color Black
Dimensions (W x H x D) 50 mm x 50 mm x 12.3 mm
1.97 ” x 1.97 ”x 0.48 ”
Weight 23 g
0.81 oz
Bluetooth Version Bluetooth 4.1, Class2
Bluetooth Profile A2DP (multi)
Frequency Band 2.4 - 2.4835 GHz ISM Band
Range Maximum of 10 meters
Operating Temperature -10°C ~ 45°C
23°F ~ 113°F


Codec SBC
aptX HD
Port 2.5mm Balanced
3.5mm Unbalanced
Output Level 2.5mm Balanced : 1.8Vrms
3.5mm Unbalanced : 0.9Vrms


Battery Type 350mAh 3.7V lithium polymer rechargeable battery
Hours of Operation Approximately 5 hours for music playing and phone calls
Standby Time Up to 300 hours
Charging Time Approximately 2 hours
Charging Method Micro USB 5Pin (charging 5V 2A)

While we do our best to keep this information up to date, please be aware that all specifications are subject to change by the manufacturer at any time.