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  • Astell&Kern AK120 Mastering Quality Sound Portable Dual DAC Hi-Fi Audio System
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Astell&Kern AK120 Mastering Quality Sound Portable Dual DAC Hi-Fi Audio System

39 customer reviews
| 23 answered questions

List Price: $1,299.00
Price: $806.69 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Only 1 left in stock.
Sold by Audio Advisor, Inc. and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Black
  • Dual Wolfson WM8740 DAC provides true Dual-Mono setup that gives better channel separation, broader dynamic range, and wider soundstage, USB & S-PDIF External DAC fucntion
  • Mastering Quality Sound High-resolution digital audio playback up to 24bit/192kHz
  • 64GB of Internal Flash Memory & Dual MicroSD card slots support up to 64GB in each slot
  • 2.4" capacitive 16MM IPS touchscreen (320x240)
  • 14 hours of continuous audio playback (FLAC 24bit/96kHz)
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Frequently Bought Together

Astell&Kern AK120 Mastering Quality Sound Portable Dual DAC Hi-Fi Audio System + SanDisk Ultra 64GB UHS-I/Class 10 Micro SDXC Memory Card Up to 48MB/s With Adapter- SDSDQUAN-064G-G4A [Newest Version]
Price for both: $831.68

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Technical Details

Color: Black
  • Brand Name: Astell&Kern
  • Model Number: 3AK1207C-CMBLN1
  • Display: LCD
  • Display Size: 2.4 inches

Product Description

Color: Black

The Astell&Kern is the ultimate portable high-fidelity audio system capable of playing Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) from music mastering studios. MQS refers to all of the high resolution digital music recording studio formats up to 24-bit/ 44 – 192kHz. MQS delivers vast amounts of better music experience because MQS delivers 6.5 times of the detailed information in the same track.Astell&Kern features:Meets 100% of Hi-Fi audio specificationsEquipped with the world’s first portable Wolfson WM8740 24-bit, 192kHz DACCan be used as an external optical DACTouch equalizer (EQ) easily manipulated by the fingertipsA user interface with an analog feelGeneral SpecificationsDisplay: 2.4inch QVGA (320 x 240) IPS TouchscreenSupported Audio Formats: WAV, AIFF, FLAC, ALAC, APE, MP3, AAC, WMA, OGGSample rate: WAV, AIFF, FLAC, ALAC : 8kHz ~ 192kHz (8/16/24-bits per sample)Output Level: L: 1.5Vrms + R: 1.5Vrms (Condition No Load)DAC: Wolfson WM8740 24-bit DAC (High-End Audio DAC) x2Decoding: Supports up to 24-bit / 192kHz Bit to Bit DecodingCharging Interface: Micro USB Type-BInterface: USB 2.0, OPTICAL IN/OUT, Headphone OutDimensions: 2.33 ”(59.2 mm) [W] x 3.50 ”(89 mm) [H] x 0.57 ”(14.4 mm) [D]Weight: 5 oz (143 g)Feature Enhancements: Firmware upgrades supportedAudio Performance: ±0.02dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) / ±0.2dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz)Frequency Response: 113dB (1kHz 0dB, 24-bit 48kHz, No Load)Signal to Noise Ratio: -128dB (1kHz 0dB

Product Details

Color: Black
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 0.6 x 3.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • ASIN: B00D648BDA
  • Item model number: 3AK1207C-CMBLN1
  • Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,772 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: May 31, 2013

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Sky Blue on June 17, 2013
Color: Black
[UPDATE 7/18/2013] Firmware update version 1.32 is now available to download; its main feature is DSD playback. I was a bit skeptical about this feature since WM8740 chips were not meant for DSD playback by hardware design. I was also afraid that this update would change the sound signature of AK120 which I love (see below). But I read many positive reviews from headfi and other sites for this firmware update and since I have a big collection of SACD (from which you can rip DSD files), I jumped in. I was so glad I did! The DSD playback is phenomenally good -- even greater sound stage, dynamics, incredible treble and airy, musical feel. So I recommend version 1.32 update to all those who purchase AK120, especially if you own SACD discs.

When launching AK120, this company promised USB DAC and DSD playback would be available soon through firmware updates and it did keep its promises. I like companies that keep their promises; it says a lot about how they treat their customers. I hope they will keep improving the firmware.

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I currently own or used to own the following: AK100, AK120, Colorfly C4, Hifiman HM901, and iBasso DX100. That makes me in a good position to compare this one against the rest. (For my extensive review of AK100, see Astell&Kern AK100 Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) Portable System.)

I first had a chance to listen to AK120 in the 2013 Munich High End Show. I brought my AK100 to the Show to compare it with AK120 that was being showcased. I used my own FitEar ToGo 334 gear and initially no external amp. I was instantly hooked.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Andrew E. Gore on September 12, 2013
Color: Black Verified Purchase
Whether you are a high-flying audiophile or a critical music listener on-the-go, here's some good news! You CAN take it with you! I had resigned myself to living with a double standard in my music listening - high-quality source material (vinyl, CD, SACD or HDCD) played through professional grade components on my home system and poor quality, compressed MP3 files through an under-powered pocket sized portable device (or worse yet a cell phone!) and ear buds while traveling. Now it's possible to enjoy audiophile quality sound in a portable package thanks to the Astell & Kern AK100 and it's big brother the AK120. Both are audiophile grade players and you really can't go wrong with either one. I originally purchased the AK100 but soon upgraded to the AK120. The AK120 has a slightly more powerful amplifier section than it's predecessor and as such will drive less efficient headphones/in-ear monitors to adequate volume levels. I also have the HiFiman 601, which is a good player too, but somewhat bulkier. The Astell & Kern models are by far slimmer, sleeker, and far less clunky.

I listen to music of all kinds and I have found that, with a high resolution audio file and a good set of 'phones, all genres of music sound great on the AK120. I think it needs to be pointed out that you cannot expect this (or any other high-end player) to magically make a poor quality 64 or 128 MP3 file sound great. It's like watching an old VHS tape on an 80" HDTV - it will only magnify the deficiencies of the original source material. Secondly, any portable system ,like any good home system, is only as good as it's weakest link, so you would be well advised to use a high quality headphone or in-ear monitor with these players. They will not make your $20 earbuds sound like $200 headphones!
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Art the Science Guy on November 6, 2013
Color: Black Verified Purchase
I have owned the AK120 since September and listen to it every day, several hours a day. I use a variety of headphones depending upon where I am. When I'm home, I prefer my HiFiMan HE-500 Orthodynamic cans or my JH Audio 16 Pro and when I'm out I generally use my closed back Shure SRH-940, UE 5 Pro or my custom fit ER4 MicroPro. I have used it with a variety of amplifiers though it really doesn't need external amplification to drive any of the headphones I listed to a reasonable volume level. I was in fact surprised to discover just how good it sounded with the power hungry HE-500's and with all the other headphones, it could drive them way beyond my listening threshold and I like my music loud. The HE-500 being Orthodynamic do benefit from some extra amplification however, they are quite good just with the AK120. When I'm out I leave my amps at home and carry my AK120 on my belt in a small case, the Swiss Gear - Jasper Small Camera Case, for extra protection.

Battery life has been surprisingly good as I generally use it daily for at least 1-2 hours, sometimes more and only need to charge it weekly so I figure I'm getting about 12 hours of listening time and haven't run it down to zero once. The UI is really intuitive, very responsive and easy to use. Even though I have the unit almost fully loaded with FLAC files, about 150GB so far, it still responds with little lag. I have both microSD slots loaded with SanDisk Ultra 64GB micro SDXC cards with the factory exFAT file system intact and the AK120 see's all of my music files and metadata with no problems whatsoever. I loaded my music files onto my cards through Windows 7 by just copying the folders onto the SanDisk cards using a USB3.0 card reader and it worked flawlessly.
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