Van Nuys x Astell & Kern 3-Split Carrying Case Review

This is a quick look at a carrying case designed and made by Japanese brand, Van Nuys in collaboration with South Korean audio brand Astell & Kern. This case is made to store 2 pairs of in-ear monitors or ear buds, and a digital audio player. The 3-Split Carrying Case is quite expensive, and is/was sold for $179 USD. I say "is/was" because I am not sure if this product is discontinued or not, as it is quite hard to find now. That said, you can still purchase the Van Nuys (only) branded version in Japan for approximately $239 USD, which, of course, is even more expensive! 

I purchased this case a couple years ago from Crutchfield online, and have used this as my everyday carry case for typically my Empire Ears Odin and Hidition Viento IEMs and my iBasso DX240 digital audio player. It has served me well for 2 years now, and has not seen any signs of damage.

The case is an all-black textured and ballistic-nylon-like material with very tightly sewed in seams. It's hemmed along every edge well. The inner structure is likely some sort of cardboard, with the nylon fabric wrap surround it. The sides are actually velcroed to the inner structure. This is three thicker vertical pieces, with a single horizontal smaller piece that separates the storage containment areas. These pieces are velcro'd in-place and can be moved around to different configurations. 

The lid has a button flap that secures in-place. I have yet to have this button dislodge on its own while in use, and it seems to be very well made. The securing buckle side of the button is made of leather.

In the DAP section, there is a nylon strap that helps lift a DAP up if you have one above it. It works pretty well if your player is a tight fit in the case, and I do tend to use it with my iBasso. Note, my DX240 fits it well, but does have some room top to bottom. I actually put another piece padding to give it a tighter fit so it doesn't move around while in transport.

All in all, this is a very well made product. It's sort of utilitarian look isn't the most fashionable, but it also is pretty understated as well. It has a simple beauty to it. This is a pretty pricey product however, and so recommending it is quite challenging.

There are similar products made by a Chinese brand called CrossLine. It's only available on Taobao, so getting it stateside requires a shipping forwarder service, but even then, it is significantly less money. I happen to have a couple of these, and while they are functional, the quality is much lesser. After a few years, the buttons don't seem to fasten and sit as well, but the overall functionality is still there. Its a cheaper alternative to Van Nuys, though both are equally hard to get in the USA.

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