Astell & Kern and JH Audio – CES 2016

JH Audio

Astell and Kern’s collaborations have earned them high marks for complementary pairings with a widening array of personal audio companies. More recently, AK has even gone so far as to take the reins with international distribution for certain parternship products with select brands. Jerry Harvey Audio has traditionally been a custom IEM manufacturer but has recently teamed up with AK to introduce universal fit variations to their popular Siren Series lineup of earphones.


Now in its second iteration and flying under the flag Full Metal Jacket, the JH universal line is seeing a few structural upgrades as well as new addition which follows the same classic-rock-inspired nomenclature. The newest (and lowest cost) IEM of the line is named after the unforgettable AC/DC track “Whole Lotta Rosie” and packs a whole lotta high-end features into the housing machined from a solid block of aluminum with a carbon fiber insert.

JH Audio 2

The Rosie ($899) delivers its magic juice via a 6 driver design (per ear) with 2 proprietary BAs each for high, mid and low. Like the original Layla, the Rosie incorporates adjustable base into the cable (a very very nice feature to have for an IEM) and includes all of Jerry’s SoundDrive and Freqphase technologies that grace the rest of the Full Metal Jacket pieces.

JH Audio Back

Updates for the existing Layla, Roxanne and Angie (now “II” versions) include a similar upgrade to the housing, moving away from Carbon Fiber and Kevlar materials in favor of bodies, caps and bores machined from solid blocks of Titanium (Layla), and Aluminum (Roxanne, Angie and Rosie) with the previously-mentioned carbon fiber insert. Pricing for the new Layla II, Roxanne II and Angie II will run you $2,799, $1,899 and $1,299 respectively.


Perhaps one of the most impressive luxury moves for audio at CES was the introduction of a solid copper frame version of the flagship AK380 player. The bracing alone now weighs in at 175g, and in the hand feels very sturdy. While not so much a workout piece, in terms of high end goods this AK player is at the top of the mountain. The finish looked absolutely gorgeous in person, and I didn’t hardly want to let it go after playing with it for a short time. Its heavy weight and slick, upbeat design are some of the finest in the field. Daddy like.

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