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Astell&Kern AK70 Portable High-Resolution Audio Player - 64GB, Mint Green
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|Supported Standards||MP3, AAC, DSD, FLAC, WMA|
|Memory Card Slot||CD|
About this item
- 24bit/192kHz bit to bit PCM Audio Playback / DSD64, DSD128 (DSF, DFF) Playback Through DoP
- Diverse Output Types - 2.5mm Balanced Output & 3.5mm Single Ended
- USB Audio & USB DAC Output Compatible
- DLNA Network Compatible with AK Connect
- 64GB Internal Flash Memory, Single Cirrus-Logic CS4398 DAC
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Music Friend In My Pocket, AK7024bit 192kHz bit to bit Playback: The AK70's DAC, based on market-proven CS4398 chips of Cirrus Logic, has been used for years in Hi-Fi audios and the second-generation Astell&Kern devices. The AK70 plays back 24bit 192kHz signals into bit-to-bit type. 32bit audio is downsampled using a sample-rate converter. In addition, DSD 64/128 can be played back through conversion to PCM. AK70's Diverse Output Types - Balanced Output The AK70 supports the 2.5-mm 4-pole balanced output (2.3 Vrms) that has been in use since the second generation of the Astell&Kern players Variety of Output Types of AK70 - USB Audio The AK70 supports USB audio digital out, first among Astell&Kern devices. Connect diverse digital-input portable amps through USB to the AK70 and transfer DSD natively through DoP. It can also convert DSD into PCM for output for portable amps that do not support DoP. Variety of Output Types of AK70 - USB DAC The AK70 can be used with a USB DAC that can double as an embedded sound card by connecting with a PC/Mac through the USB port. In the case of using the PC's embedded sound card, one may have to go through a complicated process to play back DSD data. In contrast, the AK70 can do so simply by connecting with the PC. The AK70's Network - AK Connect The AK70 comes equipped with the AK Connect feature that can be connected with network-ready Astell&Kern devices. Design Concept The AK70 is designed with an oblique angle on one side of the body so that it can fit the contour of the user's thumb, the finger used most frequently when controlling the screen with one hand.
Top reviews from the United States
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1) The ergonomics of the AK70 are really good. The player is not "too big" or "too small". The edges are a bit sharp, but the touchscreen is large enough. Controls are well placed, and their menu system did not take too long for me to figure out. It's a shame that the case for this player has some issues with heat, etc. The superMini was, well, too small with a very primitive interface.
2) The AK70 does charge really slowly, that is true. The superMini was better in this regard. Still, not really a big issue in the scheme of things.
3) The playback was flawless on the AK70. On the other hand, I have had a lot of issues with the superMini player; it tends to "chop off" the first .1 to .3 seconds of every third or fourth song. That's the main reason it will be returned. With the AK70 the volume stays where I last left it. On the superMini, it always starts at a whisper; really annoying. On the other hand, for some reason the AK70 during playback keeps showing a file format/bit rate that does not match my actual audio files (FLAC). Hey iRiver, PLEASE fix this!
4) OK, the sound quality? Well, the superMini was a little more forward, whereas the AK70 was smoother without sacrificing either the mid-range or top end. Both players has a solid, tight low end. There was a real clarity with the AK70, without being too strident; In fact, I am simply amazed as to how much better this player sounds (coupled with my Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones) than what my old cheapo players could do. I can hear details in songs that I have heard for 50+ years that I never noticed before. As far a sound quality is concerned, this player gets a 95/100.
In summary: $599 is a lot of coin for something like this. For me, this is a no-brainer; one of best under $1K audio/video purchases I've ever made.
First and most important, the sound is sublime. Paired with Oppo PM3's the sound stage really opens up and the sound is very clear and accurate. It would be tough to argue with the quality. In-ear speakers sound amazing too.
The 1- and 2-star reviews on Amazon are ridiculous and can be ignored, especially the one from the guy who is so upset that hip hop doesn't get the credit it deserves. Don't worry buddy...we all think you are really cool cuz you luv hip hop. That review was laughable.
The other review with numerous complaints must be result of having received a defective unit. The battery life is great. Just keep the screen off. No other issues as described in that review.
A few last points:
- The unit is a lot lighter than I expected. I thought it would be heavier or denser given the electronics inside.
- It's smaller than I expected, even smaller than a 4th gen Ipod. Easily fits in a pocket even with the leather case.
- When you hit the "on" button, it takes a bit longer than you'd like to actually power on. A minor nuisance.
- If the unit is off and you plug it in to charge, there is nothing that shows up on the screen and no light that illuminates to indicate that it is actually charging and you don't know when it reaches 100%.
- I consider myself an audiofile, but using the AK70 I am unable to discern any difference between FLAC files and MP3s at higher than 128kbps. The MP3 files sound fantastic and I see no compelling reason to convert everything to FLAC for higher quality.
The sound is the best I've heard on a dap, with a touch of warmth but with massive detail and layering and dynamics that rival chord mojo. Bass is deep and fast with no bloat and great texture, mids are spaced just right and are neutral with awesome detail and the treble is very well extended and detailed. The soundstage is dx90 wide and the layering is insane it's so easy to locate instruments and vocals in 3d space. And as I said the dynamics really make everything stand out and sound so realistic in timber and amazing detail , micro detail to ice the sonic cake. So an extremely detailed realistic organic sound with just a micro touch of warmth - very close to neutral but with just a little more ooommff! I actually preferred the HO of this compared with my mojo. It just goes to show you that implementation of the dac and the amp circuit matter more than the dac itself. On paper many daps should sound better ( looking at you fiio x5iii ) but dont.
Anyways if you want an amazing small dap, go for this baby I haven't used a better sounding or one with a better UI than this little beast. My only complaint is there is no 'position' resume setting , it always starts at the beginning of the song when you power it on, not where it was in the song. Hopefully this can be addressed in a firmware update but it's just a minor niggle.
I have sold my mojo stack and I don't miss it one bit. I love the simplicity of one unit and this drives all my cans fine. Good stuff iriver, you guys always did have the best sounding gear and this baby is really worth the hefty price tag if you are looking for a superior small dap and want the best sound in a small beautiful package without stacking components.
Top reviews from other countries
This model has been superceded so worth looking at if you can get it at a reduced price.