Vendor View: Making Hi-Res Audio Accessible
Dealerscope: You were just at the 2016 CEDIA with your full line of Hi-Res Audio products, and promoted your first portable Bluetooth headphone amplifier/DAC - the AK XB-10 - which is almost tailor-made for use with the new headphone-jack-less iPhone 7, presumably to help out Bluetooth wireless connectivity fidelity. Talk about how important timing is in bringing out a product that can be promoted as so application-specific, due to the iPhone 7 launch. How does its introduction, riding on the coattails of the new Apple phones, as it does, help the cause of promoting Hi-Res Audio as an overall concept?
Owen Kwon: The headphone-jack-less interface is a kind of fender bender of different interests, forcing people to choose between convenience and quality. The AK XB-10 is the perfect solution that handles both of the needs – the convenience of wireless with the quality of music in Hi-Res. People have always looked for a wireless interface, and more manufacturers may come up with the same no headphone jack interface. Astell&Kern doesn’t want you to feel like you need to cut corners and sacrifice sound quality. With the AK XB-10, you can use your premium-quality headphones and earphones that you spent good money on.
DS: What is the hottest target demographic for your products? Or are the various models being targeted at different demographics depending upon their price points and features/capabilities?