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Astell&Kern - AK300

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The luxurious Astell&Kern puts great thought and innovation into their products. The AK300 Portable High Definition Music Player and USB DAC is the latest from Astell&Kern's flagship music player series. The AK300 has a single AKM AK4490 chip that allows for DSD to PCM playback, so that it does not need to convert DSD files to WAV prior to analog conversion. It comes fitted with a VCXO (Voltage-Controlled Crystal Oscillator) Clock to help reduce jitter and ultimately deliver your music more accurately.

Talk about trendy, and the AK300 oozes style. The sharp diamond like edges and shinny reflective back lends it opulence. The AK300's integrated AKM AK4490 DAC provide exemplary sound quality and detail. It can also be used as an external DAC with your Mac or PC via USB. This hi-res player features 64GB of inbuilt memory and a microSD card slot that supports up to 128GB.

The 4.0" WVGA touchscreen provides an easy to use interface while the sleek aluminum body and volume knob are smooth and robust. With the help of its WiFi and Bluetooth  capabilities, you are not just limited to playback of songs you have on your device, you can also stream tracks from your Mac or PC that have been connected to the same wireless network. 


  • 24 Bit 192kHz Bit to Bit Playback

    The AK300 is capable of bit-to-bit playback up to 24-bit, 192 kHz. 32-bit audio is downsampled using a sample-rate converter (SRC). Also, DSD 64/128 can be played back via conversion to PCM.

    AK300 Playback
    Parameter & Graphic EQ
     

    A parametric equalizer is utilized in the AK300 to deliver detailed adjustment of the original sound, with an audio digital signal processor (DSP) added to help in this process. This frees up CPU cycles earlier required for calculating graphic equalizers (GEQ), providing more detailed and accurate calculations via the dedicated DSP. The audio DSP expands the existing 10-band, ±0.5 dB graphic equalizer to a 20-band, ±0.1 dB to more precisely adjust the frequency and gain (dB) as well as more accurately specifying the frequency range via Q value adjustments.

    AK380 PEQ

    USB DAC 

    Astell&Kern has added some brand new components to the AK300, including new AKM AK4490 DAC (digital to audio converters), moving away from the Cirrus Logic chips they have used in the past. The new chips provide brilliant stereo separation, lots of sonic space, and all the detail you could want. It can also be easily connected to your PC or Mac to be used as an external DAC.

    What is Parametric Equalization?

    Parametric equalization means the ability to amplify or reduce 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?

    Graphic equalization separates the audible frequency register into several registers and amplifies or reduces the level of each register with a volume control 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."

    64GB In-Built + 128GB Expandable Memory

    The AK300 features 64GB of inbuilt memory while supporting microSD cards of up to 128GB. The AK300 therefore has a total storage capacity of 192GB! This inbuilt capacity itself is capable of storing approximately 625 or more MQS audio files.

    Supports Multiple File Formats

    The Astell&Kern AK300 is capable of seamlessly supporting a vast collection of music files across all formats be it; WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE(Normal, High, Fast), AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, PCM : 8kHz ~ 192kHz (8/16/24bits per Sample), DSD : DSD64, Stereo / DSD128

    Equipped with Femto Clock for Pure Sound

    Astell&Kern has implemented a voltage-controlled crystal oscillator (VCXO) high-precision clock with a reference jitter value of 200 femto seconds for absolutely true-to-life sound.

    What does VCXO mean?

    A VCXO, or a voltage-controlled crystal oscillator, is a type of crystal oscillation device that creates oscillation frequencies. External environmental stimuli, which here mean voltage inputs, influence the frequency value. Adjustments to the voltage input tunes a precise frequency value.

    What does Jitter Mean?

    Jitter signifies the undesired deviation in time that occurs in a periodic signal. Here, jitter is the error that occurs in the reference clock required to perform the sampling in digital audio equipment.  By employing a femto clock, the AK300 is able to create a more accurate frequency value and make fine jitter corrections.  As a result of which, the AK320 faithfully reproduces analog sound as close as possible to the original source when emitting a digital signal as an analog signal.

    AK300_Jitter
    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 easily transferred without bothering to physically switch on the computer and connect with a cable. If you're on the same access point (AP) network, music files on a PC or NAS can be played back via DLNA. 

    Supports Bluetooth 4.0 & Wi-Fi for Wireless Convenience

    The AK300 lets you stream your music to your wireless headphones, hi-fi systems or car stereos easily with the help of its Bluetooth 4.0 codec. You can also access or download your music from your PC via Wi-Fi.

    4" WVGA screen & Pressure Sensitive Metal Capacitive Touch

    The AK320 has a 4" WVGA screen that is vivid and houses a friendly user interface. The AK300 also features the same metal touch interface as the AK380.  The Metal Touch functions as a home key and interfaces with the device via pressure-sensitive touches. 

    Sleek Aluminium Design

    The AK300 has a sleek and robust design that has been made out of one block of machined aluminium. The volume knob projects out of the back for easy one-handed operation, and the detail in the precision machining adds luxury. 


    Multiple Expandable Options

    The AK300 can be expanded to a variety of devices through the micro-USB and balanced audio out ports.
    It can be connected with an amplifier as well as professional high-impedance headphones for high output and USB for data transfer and charging. Also, the AK Docking Station/Cradle for balanced audio functionality as well as the AK CD-Ripper to conveniently rip audio CDs directly into the player.

    What's in the box:

    • Astell&Kern AK300 Portable Digital Music and Media Player


  • 20Hz - 20000Hz;  ±0.075 dB

    10Hz - 70000Hz;  ±0.56 dB
    Output: 1-2 Ohm




    3.5mm Jack
    0.0007-0.0008%@1KHz








    Dimensions -  75.15  x 112.4 x 15.45 mm
    Weight -205
    Power - USB Micro B Input
    Battery display - Yes
    Battery Capacity - 3100 mAH
    Battery Life - <12 Hours





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    One Year
    Manufacturer's
    Warranty

    Manufacturer's Warranty covers only manufacturing defects. For more details, check our Warranty Page. To claim warranty, please maintain a copy of your invoice and Contact Headphone Zone Care (authorised service center) at direct@headphonezone.in or +91 750 664 6988.


  • "Don't expect it to be cheap, but the latest addition to Astell & Kern's 300 Series of hi-res music players should be more affordable than the step-up AK320 model. And there's an intriguing new Recorder module, too."
    Read More


    "We very recently received a pre-production AK300 loaner, and it's very impressive in early listening--no perceptible self-noise, dynamic, and resolving. The AK300 is very a very well-timed offering, and I look forward to spending more time with it."
    Read More



Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
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Karanbir Sidhu K.S. Karanbir S.
AK300 Sound review

After about 2 weeks of listening, and experimenting I am glad i choose this over the Fiio X7. The AK300 has a more fun-enjoyable sound with a crisp punchy bass. The sound reproduction of the lows is just so rich that it actually compliments the highs (specially in classical genre). I detected that the treble is a tad bit rolled of from what its supposed to be, but that was easily taken care of in the equalizer--thanks to the DSP used to control the equalizer, the gains and q value adjustments are far more accurate than the older AK's..( or is it just my ears )

Battery life is good: lasts more than 3 days for me with average listening of 3-4 hours a day... I do that using minimum brightness setting (thats is bright enough since its a TFT screen) and using the physical buttons to actually change the track..

However, if you have an old collection of flac or even loseless music.. The performance is sometimes sensitive to the quality of the recording.. In my case 1970's was not such a good recording era after all.. So you may need to upgrade your library to vinyl rips...

AK300 really shines when paired with a headphone/earphone that has a good extention in the highs, else you may in somecase feel a bit annoyed with to much low end ( not AK300's fault ).

Some people have complained about the AK300 not have eniugh power to really satisfy someone who like his music really loud. At first, I was also disappointed with the max volume levels, but then, I had to amplify and normalize some of my tracks and now i really dont go beyond 110! Keep that in mind!

The major thing that separates Fiio X7 from AK300 is that with Fiio you really need to tinker a bit with the equalizer to enjoy the sound..its way to neutral for my taste. With AK, I just forget all the tweaking, close my eyes and enjoy to the fullest. The detailing is tad better on the Fiio X7 though ( noticeable only after you have DSD's or very high quality loseless files )

thumbs up AK300! Thanks Hea...

S
Sriram Mudambi S.M. Sriram M.
An Ok product given the price

Sounds great.
But tends to hang once in a while.
Battery not great at all.

s
siddharth munjal s.m. siddharth m.
Analog sound, reviewed together with the Meze 99 classics

Miles Davis' "Sketches of Spain" (MFSL Sacd rip), an emotional experience of the positive kind. Miles was in my head, doing his thing in a way that I'd never heard before. There is this cohesiveness to the music, this natural tonality. This recording has always been difficult, the files being too bright/harsh/metallic/digital no matter which remastered version I listen to. But here, there is the OMG factor.
Eric Clapton - "Spiral" from "I Still Do" (24/192). Slowhand's back with a superb album. There's a lot going on in this track, guitars, drums, synths, vocals and its all presented cleanly. And it rocks as well.
Vivaldi - "Recomposed by Max Richter" (24/96). The Violins are front and center, a bit forward for my tastes, making them sound just a bit 'hot'. But in while I just forget about all that nit picking and let the music wash over me. Again this wholeness, organic quality to the music just removes all doubts.
Wahnfried - "Drums 'n Balls" (Mp3 320 kbps) This is mp3??? Could've fooled me. The electronic Drums reach down, down into the ground. Not a hint of Mp3 flabbiness in depths or harshness in the highs. Again its analog sounding. This is an electronica track with sampled drums and hi hats!
Soundstage: Yes, it presents an intimate soundstage, a bit like the zx2 but more open
Sound signature : Its warm and clean. Non Fatiguing, can listen for prolonged periods.
If I were to compare with the likes of the sony zx2, the sony has this lush, hi-end sound but with prolonged listening there comes this feeling that the player is modulating the sound.
The other great thing that the AK does well is the AK connect. It found my aries mini streamer over wifi and now I can listen to my 4TB collection from the AK. No hiccups so far!
The Meze 99's also edge out the NAD Viso hp50's (my previous headset). Again there is this naturalness to the music (Wooden cups...?)
Is it the AK doing the magic? The 99's?
In my humble opinion its them both. A marriage made in aud...