Astell & Kern - AK120 II - Digital Audio Player
Astell & Kern's AK120-II (Second Generation) has evolved in both features and sound quality. Porting technology advances from the AK240 model, the newest version of the AK120 provides listeners mastering quality audio in a pocket-sized DAP. For a true audiophile experience, pair this Digital Audio Player with a high-end Hi-Fi or Head-Fi system.
As popular as the MP3 format is, more and more people are beginning to turn to higher resolution formats for the incredible quality difference. With the releases of higher-res streaming services like Tidal, higher-res audio formats are being thrust into the spotlight, and people are noticing! While most people have a smartphone that plays music, MP3 player sales have sharply declined. Astell&Kern have taken advantage of a void in the market and have produced a range of high-resolution Digital Audio Players (DAPs). Featuring high-quality components and circuitry, bursting with features and supporting audio formats including DSD, Astell & Kern's range of DAPs are becoming increasingly more popular.
Suited for use in a home audio system, at work or on your daily commute, the AK120-II allows you to enjoy high-res music with a device that fits in your pocket.
This DAP can play audio files up to 24bit/192kHz as well as DSD64 & DSD128. Other formats supported include WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, FLAC, WAV, ALAC and AIFF. Thanks to the vast range of supported audio formats, you can rest assured that the AK can handle your music library without the need to re-encode all of your files. In addition to playing files stored on the device itself, the AK120-II allows you to utilise its advanced Cirrus Logic CS4398 x2 (Dual DAC) chipset to enhance the music on your computer (MAC, WINDOWS PC). You can also stream your favourite music from a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device. Keep in mind, when streaming high-resolution files from a NAS device, you may need to upgrade your router to handle the file transfer rates needed to keep up with the Astell & Kern and the high-res files.
Being synonymous with audio quality, many people forget about how easy Astell & Kern's devices are to use. The 3.3" OLED touch screen enables you to easily view and browse your library, as well as tweak any settings on the AK120-II. At a glance, you can see the album artwork, title, artist name, album, bitrate, filetype and file size; along with player controls and volume.
- Model: AK120 II
- Body Material: Aluminium
- Display: 3.31inch WVGA (480 x 800) AMOLED Touchscreen
- Supported Audio Formats:
- WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE(Normal, High, Fast), AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF
- FLAC, WAV, ALAC, AIFF
- Sample rate: 8kHz ~ 192kHz (8/16/24bits per Sample) / DSD Native : DSD64 (1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128 (1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo
- Output Level: Unbalance 2.1Vrms / Balance 2.3Vrms (Condition No Load)
- DAC: Cirrus Logic CS4398 x2 (Dual DAC)
- Decoding: Support up to 24bit/192kHz Bit to Bit Decoding, DSD64/128
- 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
Before writing this description, I had the pleasure of using and listening to music on the AK120 II. I hooked up a pair of HiFiMan headphones and sat down for some time to listen to a few high-resolution songs. I soon found myself avoiding getting back to work because I was so focused on what I was hearing. Wow!
The AK120 II brings you the same circuit design, engineered for the AK240 along with an advanced touch screen interface and user-friendly design. The AK120 II provides you with a scintillating music experience, which probably sounds even better than sitting in the Mastering Engineer's chair while your favourite track was being Mastered.
The AK120 II audio player fully supports 24 Bit / 192 kHz high-resolution audio formats. It also supports the native DSD (Direct Stream-Digital) audio format, which is a big plus as DSD gains traction in the industry. Other popular audio formats are included such as WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG & APE etc.
The AK100 II player comes with an on-board memory capacity of 128 GB and provides an option to add in an additional micro SD card up to 128 GB. Thus, the AK120 II player could have a total memory capacity of 256 GB. The increased memory capacity means you can have more of your favourite high-resolution music collection in your audio player.
The player is also armed with single Cirrus Logic CS4398 digital to analogue converter. The CS4398 converter chip supports both single-ended and balanced outputs. It is also supplemented with an XMOS chip that supports the native DSD formats. The player also has a micro USB slot for transferring music from your PC or Mac through the data transfer cable that comes with the player. The Micro USB2.0 slot enables fast transfer of audio files.
The high-resolution touch screen & operating system feel premium to use, and the software included is no exception. Keeping your music in order is made simple with advanced features including easy drag & drop addition + Album Art.
The rechargeable Li-Polymer battery enables the player to playback audio continuously for up to 14 hours.