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 20bands 0.01dB,
200 Femto Seconds 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.
32-bit bit-to-bit Playback by the AK380
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, ±0.01 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 utilize 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.
AK380 Copper is finished in a two-step process using a 5-axis milling machine, and approximately four hours of processing time is required per unit.
Due to the highly-ductile nature of copper, the shavings tend to curl inwards rather than out when creating thread lines, causing the ends of milling tools to become damaged or broken. Because of this finicky nature of copper, the material requires more hands-on labor by an operator compared to other materials such as aluminum.
Uncoated raw copper quickly oxidizes from exposure to outside elements, which makes mass production very difficult to manage.
Fully processed copper is approximately 3.2 times greater in metal weight when compared to duralumin.
While a 530-gram block of raw material is milled to create the 55-gram frame of a duralumin-based AK380, a 1.7-kilogram block of copper is processed to create the 175-gram frame of an AK380 Copper.
After two stages of milling, the finishing process begins to smooth the surface of the product and create a hairline-brushed finish.
The finishing process requires 30 minutes to an hour for a skilled worker.
* A process in which the surface of an object is polished into its final form.
To maintain the natural feel of copper, AK380 Copper requires more time and effort during the external coating process than any other Astell&Kern series product.
External coating is completed in a four-stage process. Skilled workers continually monitor the processing time at each stage of coating.
||AK380 / AK380 Copper
||AK380 : Meteoric Titan, Black / AK380 Copper : Copper
||AK380 : Aircraft Grade Duralumin / AK380 Copper : Copper
||4inch WVGA (480 x 800) Touchscreen
|Supported Audio Formats
||WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE(Normal, High, Fast), AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF
||PCM : 8kHz ~ 384kHz (8/16/24/32bits per Sample) / DSD Native: DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256(1bit 11.2MHz), Stereo
||Unbalance 2.2Vrms / Balance 2.3Vrms (Condition No Load)
||AKM AK4490 x2 (Dual DAC)
||Support up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit to Bit Decoding
||USB Micro-B input (for charging & data transfer (PC & MAC)) / Connection Mode : MTP (Media Device)
||PHONES (3.5mm) / Optical Out (3.5mm) / Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported)
||802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
||V4.0 (A2DP, AVRCP, aptX)
||3.14 ”(79.8 mm) [W] x 4.42 ”(112.4 mm) [H] x 0.70 ”(17.9 mm) [D]
||AK380 : 8.11 oz (230 g) / AK380 Copper : 12.35 oz (350 g)
||Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)