Astell&Kern AK380

Our Price: £2,999.00

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The evolution of a masterpiece...

Evolved to Serve Pro-Audio

Astell&Kern has stayed on the course, offering the truest and most natural sound possible.

The new AK380 offers the most authentic sound from any digital music format with enhanced features that are sought-after by Pro-Audio.

32bit 384kHz Bit to Bit Playback, Native DSD (up to 5.6 MHz) Playback, Parametric EQ with 20-band 0.1dB, 200 Femto Second VCXO Reference Clock, Scalable Amp, DNLA-based AK Connect App, Metal Touch Sensor Home Button

Every bit of the AK380 was designed for Pro-Audio in mind.

The sound that Pro-Audio people have been looking for starts with the AK380.

32-bit 384kHz bit-to-bit Playback

All of the AK380’s circuit design including the digital-analog converter (DAC) are ready for 32-bit processing to handle 32-bit music natively.

Other products have traditionally used sample rate converter (SRC) method down sampling for playback. However, the AK380 is capable of playing back 32-bit, 384 kHz original sound without any down sampling.

The result is the AK380 plays up to 32-bit, 384 kHz, any 24-bit music files, or double layer DSD 5.6MHz natively, without conversion or compression.

PEQ (Parametric EQ)

A parametric equalizer (PEQ*1) was implemented in the AK380 to deliver detailed adjustment of the original sound, and an audio digital signal processor (DSP) was added to aid in this process.

This frees up CPU cycles previously needed for calculating graphic equalizers (GEQ), allowing more detailed and accurate calculations via the dedicated DSP.

The audio DSP expands the existing 10-band, ±0.5 dB graphic equalizer (GEQ*2) to 20-band, ±0.1 dB to more precisely adjust the frequency and gain (dB) as well as more accurately specifying the frequency range via Q value adjustments.

* The PEQ supports up to 8 kHz - 192 kHz (8/16/24-bit) formats, but DSD and 32-bit audio are not supported.

What is Parametric Equalization (PEQ*1)?

Parametric equalization refers to the ability to increase or decrease the volume within the Q value range. A Q value is a frequency range relative to a selected frequency. The frequency range decreases when the Q value increases and vice versa.

What is Graphic Equalization (GEQ*2)?

Graphic equalization divides the audible frequency register into several registers and increases or decreases the level of each register with a volume slider to adjust the respective frequency's characteristics. The switches of the volume slider are connected like a graph to visually determine the frequency characteristics, hence the name "graphic equalizer."

Equipped With a Femto Clock to Deliver True Original Sound

Astell&Kern implemented a voltage-controlled crystal oscillator (VCXO) high-precision clock with a reference jitter value of 200 femto seconds*3.

Femto clocks are commonly used in high-end audio systems, and the clock is measured in high-precision femtosecond units (one quadrillionth of a second).

What is VCXO?

A VCXO, or a voltage-controlled crystal oscillator, is a type of crystal oscillation device that creates oscillation frequencies. External environmental stimuli, which in this case mean voltage inputs, influence the frequency value. Adjustments to the voltage input tunes a precise frequency value.

What is Jitter?

Jitter refers to the undesired deviation in time that occurs in a periodic signal. In this case, jitter is the error that occurs in the reference clock required to perform the sampling in digital audio equipment.

By utilizing a femto clock, the AK380 is able to create a more accurate frequency value and make fine jitter corrections.

As a result, the AK380 faithfully reproduces analog sound closer than ever to the original source when transmitting a digital signal as an analog signal.

AK Connect App

Astell&Kern has further enhanced DLNA functionality via the AK Connect app.

Wireless networking DLNA (version 1.0) connects to a NAS or PC, and is easily controlled with a smartphone or tablet through AK Connect.

Source files on a PC or NAS can be freely transferred and streamed without the hassle of turning on the computer and physically connecting with a cable.

If on the same access point (AP) network, music files on a PC or NAS can be played back via DLNA.

DMP (Digital Media Player)

Finds a list of content on a media server for selection and playback.

DMC (Digital Media Controller)

Finds a list of content on a media server and establishes a connection to a playback-capable device (renderer). By default, a DMC establishes a connection between a media server and media renderer and controls content playback-related operations.

DMS (Digital Media Server = Network Server)

Actually stores the media content to be shared. When connected to a network, the DMS transmits/distributes the media content for other devices to stream or download.

DMR (Digital Media Renderer = Network Player)

Connects to a media server via media controller for content playback.

Pressure-sensitive Metal Capacitive Touch

The AK380 is the first Astell&Kern product to utilise a metal capacitive touch interface. The pressure-sensitive Metal Touch home button responds to fine pressure changes so users operate the device with just a light touch on the metallic pad.

More Expandable Options

The AK380 offers great expandable options through its micro USB connection and balanced out ports on the bottom of the unit.

The AK380's functionality is expandable by connecting to a variety of devices. You can increase the output and connect to a greater variety of high-impedance professional headphones through the upcoming AK380 Amp. The AK380 Cradle features balanced output in addition to USB data transfer and charging capabilities, and the AK380 CD-ROM drive rips audio CDs directly to the AK380.

General Specifications

  • Model: AK380
  • Body Colour: Meteoric Titan
  • Body Material: Aircraft Grade Duralumin
  • Display: 4inch WVGA (480 x 800) Touchscreen
  • Supported Audio Formats: WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE(Normal, High, Fast), AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF
  • Sample rate: PCM : 8kHz ~ 384kHz (8/16/24/32bits per Sample)
    / DSD Native: DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo/ DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo
  • Output Level: Unbalance 2.2Vrms / Balance 2.3Vrms (Condition No Load)
  • DAC: AKM AK4490 x2 (Dual DAC)
  • Decoding: Support up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit to Bit Decoding
  • Input: USB Micro-B input (for charging & data transfer (PC & MAC))
    / Connection Mode : MTP (Media Device)
  • Outputs: PHONES (3.5mm) / Optical Out (3.5mm) / Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported)
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
  • Bluetooth: V4.0 (A2DP, AVRCP)
  • Dimensions: 79.8mm [W] x 112.4mm [H] x 17.9mm [D]
  • Weight: 230g
  • Feature Enhancements: Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)

Audio Performance

  • Frequency Response: ±0.053dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalance & Balance
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: ±0.56dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Unbalance / ±0.55dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Balance
  • Crosstalk: 116dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 117dB @ 1kHz, Balance
  • THD+N: 130dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 135dB @ 1kHz, Balance
  • IMD SMPTE: 0.0008% @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 0.0007% @ 1kHz, Balance
    0.0007% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Unbalance / 0.0006% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Balance
  • Output Impedance: Balanced out 2.5mm (1ohm) / PHONES 3.5mm (2ohm)

Clock source

  • Clock Jitter: 30ps(Typ)
  • Reference Clock Jitter: 200 Femto Seconds

Battery

  • Capacity: 3,400mAh 3.7V Li-Polymer Battery

Memory

  • Built-in Memory: 256GB [NAND]
  • External Memory: microSD (Max 128GB) x1

OS

  • Supported OS: Windows XP, Windows 7,8 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and up

The image/specification may be changed without notice to improve product performance and quality.

MPN: AK380
More products from Astell&Kern

Downloads

PDF Astell&Kern AK380 User Guide (16.0 MB)

PDF Astell&Kern AK380 Specifications (1.3 MB)

Driver Astell&Kern AK380 USB DAC Driver v1.0.0 (1.4 MB)

Guide

  1. This driver is for Windows XP (32bit) and Windows 7/8 (32/64bit).
    No driver is required for MAC OS or Linux.
  2. Driver is installed the first time the device is connected, after which it will be recognised automatically.
    Windows XP: Control Panel - Sounds and Audio Devices – Change Sound Playback default device to "AK380 USB DAC" in the ‘Audio’ tab.
    Windows 7/8: Control Panel - Sounds – Select the "AK380 USB DAC" in the ‘Play’ tab, and then select as “set as the Default device”.
  3. To play high-quality sound in Windows 7/8: Control Panel – Sounds - click the Properties of "AK380 USB DAC" - ‘Advanced’ tab – Change Default to the “24bit, 192000Hz"
  4. For native DSD playback:
    Depending on the music playback program, you have to change ‘Device’ to the ‘AK380 USB DAC’ in the device settings.

How to install Driver

  1. Disconnect the AK380 from your PC.
  2. On the Home Screen of AK380, select "DAC/DISK" and then "DAC".
    Or: Settings – USB connection settings – “DAC Input”.
  3. Download and extract the zip file to your PC and run the "setup.exe", then click the [Next >] button
  4. Connect the AK380 to PC, then Click the [Next >] button.
  5. USB DAC connection screen will be displayed on AK380. Install location screen will be displayed on the install program.
  6. Click the [Install] button.

Images

Press Reviews

, June 2015

The ultimate portable media player for recording/mastering sound quality is the Astell&Kern AK380 hands down, everything else is settling for a compromise.

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