November 07, 2016

Raghav tells us about the Astell&Kern AK 70 in this in-depth video.

There is a considerable amount of excitement and interest in high resolution audio players in the audiophile world. These are dedicated music players capable of an output performance and quality which cannot be matched by any other iPod or smartphone.

In the world of high resolution audio players there is no other brand that is more synonymous with luxury, cutting-edge quality and performance than Astell&Kern. Astell&Kern is from South Korea and they are really pioneers in this field. They have totally taken the world by storm by their AK Series of players. Especially with the flagship AK300 series which is easily amongst the most popular high resolution player.

The latest entrant to the line-up is the AK70, which is what they call a budget player. It is priced at Rs. 44,990. The AK 70 is designed to deliver beautiful crystal clear sound with a wide soundstage and tons of separation right in-built into the source. It takes all kinds of file format or source of music available with you.

The AK70 comes in a beautiful steely mint colour and features a super angled sharp corner design that Astell&Kern has come to be known for. It is slightly smaller and more compact package than the flagship AK300series. They are well built and features a very convenient volume knob for easy access. The AK70 has dedicated track controllers and a power button. For output, there is a standard 3.5mm headphone out and alongside a 2.5 mm balanced output. These are used by several high-end headphones these days to improve output quality and reduce noise.

The AK70 features a USB digital output allowing you to use it with any number of external DACs and amps. The biggest highlight of this product has to be how beautiful screen quality and album artwork. This is definitely a significant step-up from the AK Jr. The AK70's user interface is a heavily modified version of android. This looks and feels super sleek and smooth. Scrolls and clicks are effortless.

The AK70 has been designed keeping audio quality in mind. The heart of the device is the dedicated Cirrus Logic DAC that natively can support 24 bit 192kHz files straight out of the box. High resolution like 32bits, however are down sampled. DSD files are converted to PCM before being delivered to the DAC. At the same time, you will find that it supports a wide range of formats that make these easily the most versatile players out there.

You can also use them with CD and MP3 files besides high end headphones or earphones. The same files with the same headphones just sounded so much richer, fuller and more detail when using it along with AK70. At this price category the AK 70  is a catch. In terms of storage, the AK70 features 64 gigabytes of in-built memory that can be further expanded to an additional 128 gb using a microSD card.

The most exciting thing has to be the WiFi connectivity which allows you to stream music wirelessly from any android or iOS devices simply by downloading the AK connect app. You can also stream music wirelessly from a dedicated hard drive or media player at home. The AK70 works beautifully with the Astell&Kern CD ripper which allows you to effortlessly drip and transfer music in the highest possible resolution.


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