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Astell&Kern AK100 II Brushed Aluminium Portable High Fidelity Sound System - Smoky Blue
|Price:||$539.00 & FREE Shipping. Details|
|You Save:||$360.00 (40%)|
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- Built-In Single Cirrus-Logic CS4398 DAC
- 64GB Internal Flash Memory + Single microSD Card Slot (up to 200GB Supported)
- Bit-to-Bit 24bit/192kHz PCM audio & up to DSD128 (1bit/5.6MHz, DoP conversion) Playback Supported
- USB DAC & Network Playback Support through AK Connect
- 2.5mm Balanced Out & Full Touch Screen
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|Sold By||HiFi AudioTronics||Electronics Expo||GRAMOPHONE||HiFi AudioTronics||Electronics Expo||Electronics Expo|
|Color||Smokey Blue||Silver||Green||Smokey Blue||Black||Silver|
|Item Dimensions||0.59 x 2.17 x 4.37 in||2 x 0.39 x 4.61 in||6.89 x 4.72 x 2.17 in||0.58 x 2.16 x 4.64 in||3 x 0.5 x 5.7 in||2.8 x 1.01 x 4.56 in|
|Item Weight||0.88 lb||3.46 ounces||1.98 lbs||1.1 lbs||6.4 ounces||0.61 lb|
|Supported Standards||FLAC, AAC, MP3, WMA||FLAC, WAV, DSD, MP3, ALAC, AAC, AIFF, OGG, WMA, FLAC||FLAC, AAC, MP3, WMA, DSD||AAC, FLAC, MP3, WMA||MP3, WMA, MP4||FLAC, AAC, MP3, WMA, DSD|
• AK100's Next-Gen Evolution - A New Standard in Listening to Music: AK100Ⅱ •• Single DAC and Balanced Out Although the dramatic depth in sound quality delivered by the Balanced Out was proven in our flagship model, we wondered if the same benefit could be gained by implementing the Balanced Out with a Single DAC. The newly designed demo board delivered the ear-pleasing sound quality we needed. The value of a Balanced Out with a Single DAC is confirmed with every musical note. • 5.6 MHz DSD Support We realized DSD playback through a firmware upgrade for the AK100. However, only 2.8 MHz DSD was supported (88.1kHz PCM conversion/downsampling) due to hardware limitations. Now, 5.6 MHz DSD is supported via 'DSD to PCM' by utilizing a Dual Core CPU. • USB DAC The AK100 II also functions as an external DAC (sound card) when connected to a PC or Mac via USB. The AK100 II's sound quality is available for stored music on any PC or Mac as it serves as a built-in sound card. • Network Playback With the AK100 II, it's no longer necessary to turn on the PC, search for music, connect a device, and transfer files. Simply connect the AK100 II to your PC or Mac via Wi-Fi on the same network and download or stream music wirelessly. • Full Touch Screen The new AK100 II utilizes a 3.31" AMOLED screen, an 82% increase over the previous screen's size. Now, users have access to more on-screen information than ever before. In addition, a full touchscreen means convenient, smartphone-style control. • 64GB + microSD 200GB The AK100 II includes 64GB of internal flash storage. With the addition of a 200GB microSD card, the AK100 II supports up to a total memory of 264GB.
Top customer reviews
1) I needed more storage than I could get in any of Apple's solid state iPod Touches (my music library is greater than 85 GB and expanding quickly with ALAC rips from CD and natively obtained FLAC and DSD files)
2) I needed a portable solution for the high resolution music files I'm now exclusively using–Apple devices don't support the aforementioned FLAC and DSD files
The Astell & Kern AK100II accomplishes those objectives readily, with up to 192 GB of storage (64 GB internal plus 128 GB max MicroSD card capacity) and the ability to play virtually any current digital music format natively. But what, in my opinion, makes the AK100II worth the asking price is its easy and flexible OS/UI and the quality of its DAC and amp. Specifically, sound quality is decidedly warmer than output from my iPhone 5s (which is actually on the bright side of neutral) or current-generation iPod Classic (which is more neutral and a bit lean on the bass), but with terrific bass extension and presence, exquisitely resolved treble and excellent dynamics afforded by a dramatically low noise floor. Compared to either iDevice, this was the characteristic I noticed most immediately and emphatically, and it continues to breathe life into music I thought I knew well, revealing delicate details heretofore unknown and, especially when playing high resolution tracks, making me feel as though I'm sitting in the studio as the music is being performed.
I listen to through Oppo PM-1, Sennheiser Momentum (circumaural) and Bowers & Wilkins P7 headphones. Combined with the PM-1 (with the new lambskin pads that give a modest boost in the presence region), the AK100II offers a truly special experience, exploiting the speed and superb dynamics–even allowing for a bit more spacious soundstage. However, the playing made the greatest difference in the listening experience of the Sennheiser Momentums, which sound more dynamic, quicker and more articulate in the high frequencies.
So, while the price is steep, there are sufficient rewards to be had for the discerning listener. The AK100II is among the few consumer electronics purchases about which I have no regrets.
After bringing home the AK100II I also purchased the AK JR $499. the FiiO X5 2nd gen $349 and the Sony NW-ZX100 $599. In terms of what I'm listening to them with I have a FiiO MontBlanc amplifier with Noontec Hammo S cans plugged into it.
Each of the models I brought home to compete with the AK100II all had their shortcomings in regards to the 100II but none of them offered anything that was superior;
The AK JR was uncomfortable to hold or keep in your pocket with it's oddly sharp edges, it's UI was OK if not a bit on the slow side. Music quality was excellent but without the amplifier for whatever reason this unit lacks punch. I say whatever reason because spec wise it shouldn't be that much softer then the 100II but it really is. Plugged into the Mont Blanc the AKJR offers beautiful clarity and is great for cans that are flavored more towards the higher ranges because unfortunately the JR does come up short in the mid to lower sounds. Not what you would expect for this much money.
The FiiO is the player that has the best chance of giving the 100II a run for it's money if they would just ditch the lousy dial and dreadful UI. The screen is too small and square which forces you to spin the scroll wheel ad nauseam while looking for music. Remove the dial and make the entire front of the unit a touch screen and you have a unit that can really go toe to toe with the 100II. In terms of sound quality the FiiO offers the closest competition to the 100. It doesn't have quite the sound stage that you get from the 100ii and the AK is, although some might say a good thing, more revealing forcing you to bring nothing but your best quality recordings to the game or suffer the consequences. However these two niggles aside the FiiO offers a superb listening experience but still not as good as the 100II. If it had the touch screen UI and was $100 or more less expensive then the 100II then I would have kept the X5. I say $100 because the looks of the 100II unit need to be taken into consideration. The damn thing(the 100II) is gorgeous, literally.
The Sony because of it's price point was the most disappointing. $600 and no touch screen!?!? On top of that the unit had a cheap feel in general to it. In terms of SQ it produced the least pleasurable audio of the bunch. Bass felt lacking and you had to crank the unit up(when not plugged into the amp) to get any sound out of it. I sent the unit back the same day it arrived. If I hadn't tried any of the others I might have been more impressed by the Sony but in reference to it's competition even at lower price points it falters greatly. Bad product.
So as you can see, I did honestly try to not keep the AK100 II but even at nearly $800 there is no product on the market that can compete with it's sound, UI and looks. It's the best music player you can buy for under $1000.