Astell&Kern

Activo - CT10

Hi-Res Audio Player
#1 Best Seller
in Beginner Hi-Res Players

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Designed in
Korea

1 Year of
Warranty

Ideal for
Travel

Ideal for
Audiophiles

Best Suited for
Portable Use

Bluetooth with
aptX HD

10 Hours of
Battery Life

Cirrus Logic CS4398
DAC Chip

36mW @ 16Ω
Power Output

Upto 400 GB
of Storage

Battery Capacity of
2500 mAh

Super Lightweight
Design


For less than Rs. 10,000/- this is an amazing Hi-Res audio player from the team behind Astell&Kern. It even allows you to stream music from Tidal, Spotify and other music streaming platforms so you can carry your music everywhere.
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RAGHAV SOMANI

Headphone Guru Info

About Raghav Somani

Raghav Somani is the Founder & CEO of Headphone Zone. An avid audiophile and musician since 2008, his choice of headphones include STAX Electrostats, Audeze LCD 3, and for music on the go, the JH Audio Roxanne + Astell&Kern SP1000 is never too far away. On his playlist, you'll find A.R. Rahman, Michael Jackson, and the Eagles.

DESCRIPTION

LET'S START THE CONCERT

A collaboration between Astell&Kern and iRiver brings forth a new music player — The Activo CT10. Enjoy a sound output as true as if the music is being played live in front of you. Unlike other portable devices, these do not compress the sound output but give a detailed and fuller sounding experience. In short, a music concert anytime and anywhere you go.

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Headphone-Zone-Astell&Kern-Activo-CT10

MINIMALISTIC DESIGN, ADVANCED HARDWARE

The Activo CT10 has a minimalistic design and compact size that fit perfectly in one's hand. The side buttons & volume control wheel give you the freedom to control the sound without having to reach into your pocket. The CT10's chassis is fitted with Astell&Kern’s TERATON, a compact module combining advanced hardware technologies. It includes a clock generator, power, amplification and high-end DAC for high-quality sound.

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Headphone-Zone-Astell&Kern-Activo-CT10
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IT'S REALLY EASY TO USE

These come with an interface that is quite similar to a mobile phone which makes them easy to use. With the swipe menu, you can quickly move from one menu to another while also customizing the shortcuts, so you can control the way you use your device seamlessly. Also built-in is the 8 pre-set filters and customizable 10-band EQ.

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Headphone-Zone-Astell&Kern-Activo-CT10

STREAM MUSIC ONLINE & OFFLINE

The CT10 lets you stream music on-the-go. Along with the built-in Tidal app, you can also install additional approved apps such as Qobuz, Amazon Music, SoundCloud and more. You can store thousands of songs on the microSD card supporting up to 1TB of expandable storage.

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WITH BLUETOOTH, WIFI & USB, EVERYTHING'S POSSIBLE

Thanks to Bluetooth (with aptX HD) and WiFi, you can connect to earphones, headphones and speakers as well as upgrade your player with OTA updates. From accessing your music libraries on your smart devices to music stored on WiFi-enabled/ DLNA compatible systems, everything is made possible. You can turn your Activo CT10 into a USB DAC by connecting it to a computer or use it as a soundcard.
CT10

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REPRESENTING A NEW CULTURE THAT GOES BEYOND MUSIC

ACTIVO is a brand of portable audio products designed to make high-resolution music available for the masses. ACTIVO was started in collaboration with groovers Japan as an ecosystem for the younger generation where they can enjoy high-resolution music using products that complement their lifestyle. Groover Japan has been known for offering high-resolution music streaming service since 2013 and ACTIVO stands for a culture that transcends music to create an experience which allows you to connect to your passion like never before. ACTIVO firmly believes that artists make music to inspire and bring the world closer and together but the way their music is heard needs to change. ACTIVO is dedicated to offering products that help you listen to the music created by these artists the way these artists intended it to.

SPECS

AUDIO SPECIFICATIONS
DAC CHIP Cirrus Logic CS4398
OUTPUT LEVEL 8Ω: 22m W+22mW / 16Ω: 36mW + 36mW
HI-RES SUPPORT 24-bit/192kHz
THD+N 0.0005%
SNR 115dB
DATA INTERFACE USB 2.0 Micro B Type
CPU QUAD CORE
CHARGER 5V 2A
BATTERY 2.500mAh 3.7V Li-Polymer
WIFI 2.4GHz
AUDIO FORMAT WAV,FLAC,WMA,MP3,OGG,APE,AAC,ALAC,AIFF,DFF,DSF,MQA
SAMPLE RATE FLAC,WAV,ALAC,AIFF: 8kHz ~ 192 kHz (8/16/24bits per Sample)
DSD: DSD 64/128/256, Stereo (DSD to PCM)
DECODING Support upto 24bit/192kHz Bit to Bit Coding
SUPPORTED INPUT USB Micro-B input (for charging & data transfer (PC & MAC)
SUPPORTED OUTPUT Phones (3.5 mm)
BLUETOOTH VERSION v4.1 apt-X HD
BATTERY LIFE Up to 10 hours
HEADPHONE JACK 3.5mm
BUILT-IN STORAGE 16GB NAND,MicroSD slot x1 (Max. 400GB)
EXTERNAL MEMORY microSD (upto 400gb)
WEIGHT 112g
SCREEN RESOLUTION 3.3 inch LCD
TOUCHSCREEN Yes
DIMENSIONS 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.5cm
BODY COLOR Cool White
BODY MATERIAL Polycarbonate
IN THE BOX
BOX CONTAINS 1. Activo - CT10 Music Player
2. 5-Pin Micro-USB Cable
3. Quick Start Guide
4. Warranty Card

COMPARISONS

Activo CT10 vs competitors
Activo CT10
₹ 9,999/- ₹ 24,990

Shanling Q1 vs competitors
Shanling Q1
₹ 10,999/- ₹ 11,999

Sony - NW-A105 vs competitors
Sony - NW-A105
₹ 22,990/- ₹ 25,990

Shanling M2xvs competitors
Shanling M2x
₹ 16,999/- ₹ 17,999

Warranty
Screen Size 3.4inch 2.7inch 3.6inch 3.2inch
Weight 112g 136.8g 103g 147g
DAC Chip CS4398 ESS ES9218P AK4490EN
Sample Rate 24-Bit/192kHz 32bit/384kHz 32bit/384 kHz
Battery Life 10 Hours 21 Hours 26 Hours 10.5 Hours
Balanced Outputs 2.5 mm
Digital Outputs Micro USB USB-C USB-C
Balanced Outputs 16 GB 0 GB 16 GB 0 GB
External Storage 1 x microSD 1 x microSD 1 x microSD 1 x microSD
Output level 1.85 Vrms 80 MW @ 32 Ohm Unbalanced 180mW@16 Ohms/106 MW@32 Ohms
Balanced 212 MW@16 Ohms/120 MW@32 Ohms
Signal to Noise Ratio 118dB 117dB
Bluetooth Version v4.1 v4.2 v5.0 v4.2
Bluetooth Codecs aptX HD aptX, LDAC & AAC LDAC, aptX HD & AAC aptX, LDAC and AAC
Tidal Streaming
Downloadable Apps
MQA Support
Expert Verdict "If you want a dedicated PMP with direct access to Spotify or Tidal, the Activo CT10 should be a great entry-level option. Sonically, it’s a five-star player when used with wired headphones."
What Hi-Fi
The Q1 is feature-packed at any price. I love the Q1’s big buttons, easy to use GUI and hardware interface, nice screen, solid body, and quality sound."
Headfonics
"The beauty of the Walkman A105 is in how it attempts to reproduce the sweet, clean, rich and warm audio properties of analogue audio gear. It brings together the musical ensemble of live concert."
News 18
"A great player which goes directly in our recommendation list. It’s a very solid choice. Sound quality is top-notch, build quality is astounding."
Heafonia

FAQS

DOWNLOADS

  • CT10 User Guide - English

  • Download APK

  • Spotify

  • Apple Music

  • Amazon Music

  • CT10 MAC OS Driver

    CT10 is compatible with MAC OS X 10.7 and up.

    http://www.android.com/filetransfer

    How to install:
    1. Disconnect device from computer
    2. Download the file transfer driver at Android File Transfer site link above.
    3. Install the file downloaded with the provided instructions by Android.
    4. After installation is complete, connect the device to the computer.

    Buying Guide

    Best Hi-Fi Music Players for Beginner Audiophiles

    Best Hi-Fi Music Players for Beginner Audiophiles

    by Abhijeeth Shetty August 17, 2020

    we have listed down the best digital audio players available in the market. Give it a read and you can pick the one best for you.
    Read More

    Warranty & Media Reviews

    1 Year Warranty

    Don't sweat it, this Activo CT10 comes with a 1 year warranty from Astell&Kern that covers manufacturing defects. All products featured on Headphone Zone are backed by an original manufacturer's warranty.

    Read more about Astell&Kern's warranty in India.

    IGN

    PRODUCT AND INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

    DFA AWARDS
    July, 2018

    What Hi-Fi

    “If you want a dedicated PMP with direct access to Tidal, this should be a great entry-level option. Sonically, it’s a five-star player when used with wired headphones.”

    Read More
    Tech Hive

    "The Activo CT10’s sleek design, compact size, superb interface, snappy response, rich feature set. It’s an outstanding performer, musically speaking."

    Read More
    Forbes

    "the CT10 is the first budget player out of the box that I’ve seen that can play MQA files straight off.MQA stands for Master Quality Authenticated & it’s the next big thing in hi-res digital music"

    Read More
    Digital Trends

    "If you’re after something that sounds great, is hyper-portable, and won’t break the piggy bank, we highly recommend you check out this little player."

    Read More

    YouTube Reviews

    Watch the most popular YouTube reviews for the Activo - CT10

    Customer Reviews

    Based on 64 reviews
    53%
    (34)
    27%
    (17)
    5%
    (3)
    6%
    (4)
    9%
    (6)
    A
    Ashish Mishra (Mumbai)
    Cant beat this at this price point.

    Pros: App support. Can stream and download songs from apps like tidal and apple music.
    Decent Sq
    Nice build quality
    Support for MQA tracks
    Can double up as USB DAC.
    Aptx hd support.
    Beautiful screen and colors.

    Cons: Sluggish UI, freezes from time to time.
    Gets hot after few hours of usage.
    No LDAC support.
    Poor battery performance. Take a lot of time to charge and discharges quickly.
    No case provided for such a slippery unit. Ergonomics not that good.
    No 5ghz wifi.

    N
    Nikhil Joshi (Mohali)
    Great DAP for everyday use!

    I'd like to start by saying that I am, by no means, a true audiophile! I like my music to sound its best for sure, but if you ask me if I'll ever spend anything over Rs. 50K for a DAP, the answer would most definitely be 'No'!

    And, that is where my decision about purchasing the Activo CT10 comes in. A&K components for the price of an entry level DAP is a no-brainer in my books! As for the device itself, it is extremely convenient to use. I had a few hiccups while installing Spotify, but if you know your way around Android, you'll be sorted within a few a minutes. I was doubtful about the plastic casing, but I actually like the feel of device in my hands. That being said, I would have really loved it if the bezels were smaller, and the screen was center-aligned. It doesn't hamper anything at all, but just a personal preference.

    The software is a breeze to use, and is very responsive. In a week of usage, I haven't had a single incident of the device freezing or stuttering on any occasion. I have the latest firmware installed which was received via OTA.

    The Sound- Well, coming from a FiiO M3K, I have to admit I like the signature of the Activo CT10 much better! I find it better balanced overall, without overemphasizing the higher frequencies, which I felt was an issue with the FiiO. The bass is extremely coherent, and the mid-range is well pronounced, with great instrument separation. Decay is fast as well. The stage is more deep, than it is wide. But then again, I've barely used it for a week to be able to judge properly. Overall, I truly enjoy listening to music on the CT10, and I prefer it over my FiiO M3K.

    I have also used this in my car via Bluetooth and USB, both, and have found no difference in the quality of playback. Honestly, using it in my car was actually the primary purpose of my purchase, but after listening to the output on my headphones (Yamaha EH100 - Bower&Wilkins P7), I don't feel like leaving it there anymore. I just carry it along everywhere now, and as I warm up to it, there's a possibility that I might just start experimenting with different DAPs soon. All thanks to the CT10! Great stuff, really, and a device that I can, and will recommend to anyone looking for a DAP that's extreme value for money :)

    We are incredibly grateful that you took the time out to leave us this note. We look forward to serving you again.

    D
    Dr. Piyush Kumar (Patna)
    Excellent DAP

    I am writing this review after 10 days of use. Overall, i am satisfied with the product. Battery life is good and it can play almost all kinds of music files. However, it could not play WV file (i dont know if other DAPs can). The precision with which it plays audio files is decent and i can get a good sound. Earlier, i was using my phone and laptop for playing songs. The experience has definitely improved. Sometimes, i feel volume is somewhat on lower side and i feel the need of an amplifier.
    The user interface is quite good and user friendly. One can easily locate the desired file. The scrolling and exploring the content is smooth. Overall, it is a good choice and value for money. Thanks HPZ for making this product available for us.

    S
    SIDDHARTH SHARMA (Delhi)
    Great Product and Great price

    First of all i would like to thank Salim for helping me through the whole process, he really has great knowledge and he is the go to person if anybody has any query. I would also like to say thanks to Raghav.

    Earphones / headphones tested with this:

    Bose QC25, Klipsch S4, Monster DNA in ear, KZ ZS10 pro
    The player is really well built has very good sound, in this review i would also like to clarify which was later on clarified by salim and i had personally tested about compatibility with apple music. Being an apple music user i had to purchase a dap which would support it. On activo’s website they have not clearly mentioned whether it supports the same here in India.

    So i can now confidently say that it does support and works really well.

    PROS:

    - Good Interface
    - Crisp and bright screen - almost 300 dpi
    - Has a warm sound signature which i really like as i am a basshead
    - As mentioned above lows are really good and custom EQ makes a lot of difference to overall sound signature. This is the only player which has pushed my Bose QC25 and Klipsch S4 to produce decent bass as they generally have a very flat sound signature.
    - With KZ ZS10 pro, the sound is phenomenal and it can really push it hard and the IEM’s can handle all the power thrown at it.
    -Connects to both PC AND MAC without any issue.
    -Supports Apple music, amazon prime, spotify and more

    CONS:

    There are only a few negatives:

    - Keyboard is a bit small to type on
    - Back button when using apps cannot be disabled
    - Wifi range is not very good but does the job overall
    - Apple music app hangs when downloading lot of music for offline playback, but when done 3-4 songs at a time, it works fine.
    - Battery life is OK and not very good ( because of android ) but this is something all android players suffer from.

    A future software update and updated apple music app should definitely improve the overall experience.

    Nontheless the product is really good, has great sound, feels good in the hand, well built, has 150 level volume adjustment. I am really happy with the product as it is a bargain for what it offers. It stands upto the Astell and Kern name as the inbuilt teraton chip produces amazing sound with good lows, mids and Highs and has a very good balanced sound signature.

    P
    Partha Bhattacharjee (Kolkata)
    Very High Value For Money

    Bought this device out of sheer curiosity as this is the cheapest allround DAP which play MQA with full decoding/ final unfolding. This is my first DAP as previously (and still now) I use my LG V20/G8X as my DAPs, standalone or coupled with USB DAC /AMPs (I have quite a few of them) with UAPP app.
    Coming to the DAP, it performs very well and has a different sound signature compared to my LGs. It sounds kind of laidback with very deep (not at all boomy) bass and very smooth treble (without losing detail and rolling off). Mids seems to be a little laid back at least to my old ears (which are not 100% efficient at my 58 years of age). Sound is also spacious & airy in comparison to my LGs.
    On first use, the device updated itself to firmware version 1.2 and the process went on smoothly. It has many features with TIDAL & GROOVERS built in. The GROOVERS vanished with firmware updation though. The embedded TIDAL doesn’t allow offline listening (i.e., downloads). So I installed a separate TIDAL apk (v 2.30) alongwith SPOTIFY & AMAZON PRIME MUSIC, all of which works fine. The process of installation and other thing are well detailed in a long & very active thread at head-fi.
    The device comes with 12gb of empty space and with latest firmware, cards of 512gb (or 1tb???) is supported although I haven’t installed any still now. Its UI is pretty smooth and doesn’t stutter (except rarely random occasions). The display is pretty clear and bright at minimum brightness level indoors. It has an equalizer and the changes to sound signatures with default modes are very subtle with the earphones I used (Focal Sphear S, DUNU Titan 1 etc). Users can also save their custom equalizations.
    The volume level goes upto 150 level MAX. The device gives a warning if volume level cross 50 which is unlistenable to me as I require boosting to at least 80/85 for normal listening levels. There is “WHEEL LOCK” function which doesn’t seem to lock the volume wheel either in SCREEN ON or OFF mode. There is a LINE OUT mode with four levels of Output voltages configurable (MIN 0.7V, MAX 2.0V). However, I could not detect any increase in sound level with LINE OUT mode ON despite warning in the user manual not to listen in earphones with LINE OUT mode ON. In fact, the VOLUME wheel also works with LINE OUT mode and I required increasing the VOLUME to 140/145 (when I connected the device with my HiFi system amp) to deliver the standard sound level in comparison to the other sources of my main system amp. However, the device sounded very very good with my main amp through my main speakers and I am planning to use this device as a streamer connected to my main system and remotely control the device by AK Connect app & Spotify from my Android phone.
    In cons, the battery consumption seems high and the device heats up on continuous use, mainly streaming.
    Overall, this is an exceptional device with very high VFM. I am extremely satisfied. Thanks to Headphone zone.

    So glad to know that you love them. We really appreciate your review, we hope it will help other potential customers to make an informed decision.

    D
    D BHARATHIRAJ RAJ (Chennai)
    Beautiful Activo CT 10

    Thanks for giving me opportunity for reviewing Activo CT10.Well designed.Though simple yet beautiful. Comfortable to handle and ergonomic to operate. Sound quality is excellent. Every instrument is heard distinctly and no muffling and no jamming.
    At my level I can give 5 stars
    Don’t laugh, I have only Apple earphones.

    We are happy to hear that you got exactly what you wanted.

    H
    Hiren Panchal (Mumbai)
    Excellent sound quality

    Pros
    .I generally hear WAV and FLAC files and its sounds pretty good with CT10. It distinguished instruments with proper equalisation. (5stars)
    .User interface is good

    Cons
    .No option of casting through WiFi with tidal and storage.

    Thank you for sharing your review with us.

    D
    Dr.Thiru (Kakinada)
    beginner hires player ...... good

    delivery and order placing is a breeze....headphone zone is a boon for music lovers and audiophiles.....coming to the product its the best u can expect at this price...only supports tidal....no Spotify or any other app...sound quality is good....transferring files is very simple even with Mac...doubles up as DAC also which is also good but no controls to adjust gain or bass...over all a good one...gets hot after 30 minutes of usage...freezes occasionally

    S
    Shamkant S Patil Patil (Pune)
    Review @activo ct10

    I had returned the parcel since piece was faulty

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