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Up, Up in 'The Air' - A Look at WK Audio's Rarefied Flagship Power Cord

11-02-2019 | By Juan C. Ayllon | Issue 106

WK Audio The Air AC Cord

It's like sliding into the cockpit of a Formula One car. Everything about The Air screams first class—from its Furutech F150 M Nano Crystal Formula Rhodium plated connectors (HERE), laser cutout stainless steel tag affixed in Ferrari red leather, the thick, dual cord body in sky blue mesh, to its wooden cigar box like case. Like a European sports car's ride, it's stiff, but not as rigid as WK Audio's "The One." Give it a spin by plugging a preamplifier into a power conditioner with it, and there's a subtle improvement, but connect it directly into a wall outlet—especially with the amplifier plugged into the wall socket with "The One" and you're off to the races! That's when the magic begins.

And it should be no surprise, as it keeps lofty company. Distributed by Roger Adamek's RCM (HERE) in Katowice, Poland (Adamek also owns RCM Audio, a firm specializing in phono stage production HERE), on November 8-10, it will be plugged into Vitus, TechDas, Thrax, Fink, Gauder, and C.E.C components on display in RCM systems at the prestigious Audio Video Show 2019 (it will be at the Golden Tulip Hotel across the street from the Radisson Blu Sobieski) in Warsaw, Poland.

"As I know, my cables will give power to Thrax tube power monoblocks," says Witek Kaminski, owner and chief engineer of WK Audio, who runs an architectural firm in Plitchow, Poland by day.

The Air, at right in white mesh, plugged into a system at an RCM Audio room


The brainchild of Kaminski and Adamek, The Air took two years from concept to production.  

"The electrical aspect was worked out within a year," Kaminski says, adding that they focused on its geometry and anti-vibration protection in year two. 

"The mechanical aspect of designing the power cables is even more important than electrical; there are plenty of vibrations coming from different sources in working AC cables. They come from the electricity net as well as from every piece of equipment in the chain! Moreover, an electromagnetic field surrounding the power cable can be your friend, as well as your foe—depending how the geometry of its build is designed, he asserts. 

Kaminski struck the motherlode when gifted with a unique opportunity: the use of his studio space, as well as his inventory; overnight, it became his lab.

"High-end audio systems act like measuring devices," Kaminski asserts. "They are very sensitive to power quality!"

The effects of changes to prototypes, good or bad, were revealed in their design and testing process on equipment by the likes of  Vitus Audio, Gauder Akustik, Thrax, TechDas, Kuzma Einstein Audio, C.E.C., and others from RCM distribution. 

This is a key aspect of the design of any audio device, he maintains; it should be carried out using high class audio systems. Additionally, it's also important to test them on multiple systems.  Adamek allowed both tenets to be fulfilled in excellent fashion.

The WK Audio "The One," at left, with "The Air" making beautiful music together

Like some other premium power cords, The Air is stiff and doesn't corner well in tight spaces, but must be bent from the outside in towards the plug. After hours of listening pleasure, it's time for more critical listening.

Auditory Revelations

I try it out in various locations; using it with the DAC improves performance, but the biggest bang comes elsewhere. There are no two ways about it:  plugging my preamplifier directly into the wall with it, my system simply sounds better. Much better.

Playing Fink's title track "Perfect Darkness" in AIFF 44.1 kHz/16-bit, Fin Greenall's vocals and acoustic guitar sound very refined and present.  

Swapping back and forth with another expensive power cord bearing the same Furutech plugs, I hear subtle differences. Although both are excellent, The Air carries a smidgen more weight, and digs out a tad more detail. Streamed at 96kHz/24-bit, the resonance in Miles Davis trumpet, the plucking of Paul Chambers' bass strings, the timbre and warmth of Wynton Kelly's piano and the crisp, wet din of Jimmy Cobb's lilting cymbals in "So What" are more palpable and pronounced. 

Technical Difficulties

During my official listening session, disaster strikes: my amplifier goes kaput. The PrimaLuna  preamplifier has to be turned on before the amplifier to avoid a loud thump that could damage my speakers, and during the power cord swaps, it's likely that I blew a fuse. However, I have no intention of risking shock by opening up and servicing my amp. And, unfortunately, I am on deadline, so the session ends prematurely. That said, I have more than enough information to inform my opinion.


Compared to other power cords I have used in my system, the WK Audio The Air stands out. And not just a little bit. It's a revelation. Mind you, the impact is not as significant as an upgrade in speakers, amplification, or source components. However, if you already own a premium system, The Air would be an excellent choice to power it up and drive it to its ultimate performance.   

The Air Power Cord

Retail: $3000

WK Audio