Astell&Kern, a global leader in portable high-resolution audio products, unveiled four new products, including two new portable players, an amplifier and In-Ear Monitors at High End 2019 in Munich. These four new products are targeted at high-end audio/headphone enthusiasts and feature improved performance compared to existing models.
The SP2000 is the latest portable player from the Astell&Kern A&ultima line that integrates the latest flagship Asahi Kasei DACs, the AKM AK4499EQ. The SP2000 features two AK4499EQ DACs, arranged in a dual-mono configuration to provide a wider soundstage and better stereo separation. The SP2000 is the first Astell&Kern player to use separate, independent audio channels between the Unbalanced and Balanced outputs. This design offers much more power than ever before, with 6Vrms for Balanced output and 3Vrms for Unbalanced output and offers the ultimate audio experience as Astell&Kern’s newest flagship player.
The SP2000 supports up to 32-bit/768KHz bit-to-bit playback of high resolution PCM audio and native playback of DSD up to DSD512. It also features an Octa-Core CPU, a 5-inch touchscreen, 512GB of internal memory (double of previous Astell&Kern players), MQA support (pending final testing and certification) and dual-band Wi-Fi with a stereo antenna, for improved network performance when streaming music. The A&ultima SP2000 will be available in Stainless Steel and Copper bodies with a unique crown pattern volume/power wheel.
NativeDSD Music specially produced the “NativeDSD Presents: 5 Tracks in DSD 512” sampler to demo on the SP2000 at High End Munich. NativeDSD.com provides listeners a top-quality resource for DSD, DXD and Analog-to-DSD Music in Stereo & Multichannel channel configurations, directly from record labels and engineers making these recordings. They share Astell&Kern’s goal of getting you as close to the actual performance as possible.
The A&ultima SP2000 will be available in July 2019 for $3,499.
The KANN CUBE is the next generation player in the Astell&Kern KANN Performance series of portable high-resolution audio players. The KANN series of portable high-resolution audio players is equipped with a more powerful, built-in headphone amplifier, which provides high power output that allows KANN players to drive any headphone without the need for a separate amplifier. Although KANN CUBE has a much higher power output than previous Astell&Kern models, the player features a new amplifier design that produces a low noise floor, delivering the best sound close to the original studio sound, without distortion.
KANN CUBE features two (2) 8-channel ESS Sabre ES9038PRO DACs in a dual-mono configuration, providing a wider soundstage and better stereo separation. The ES9038PRO, which is used in high end studio and home pro audio equipment, delivers the ultimate in spaciousness and massive sound scale. The new 5-pin Mini XLR also makes it easy to connect to a home Hi-Fi audio amplifier. KANN CUBE features a Quad-Core CPU, 128GB internal memory, 7,400mA battery capacity for about 9 hours of music playback and support for MQA (pending final testing and certification). KANN CUBE will be available in June 2019 for $1,499.
A new amplifier module for the SP1000 will also debut at the High End 2019 Show. The Astell&Kern SP1000 AMP delivers high gain balanced 10 Vrms and unbalanced 6.2 Vrms output, providing more power to drive more power-hungry headphones. The SP1000 AMP docks with the SP1000 player to provide a one-piece, seamless device for charging and volume control, unlike using a separate amplifier which requires additional cables and controls. Equipped with a 3,700mA battery, the SP1000 AMP supports continuous music playback of up to 9 hours. The SP1000 AMP will retail for $799 and will be available in June 2019.
Astell&Kern expands the partnership with Beyerdynamic with the release of the new Astell&Kern AKT9iE, a high-end IEM and update to the highly successful AKT8iE. The AKT9iE is optimized for use with Astell&Kern Digital Audio Players (DAP). The AKT9iE features a newly designed acoustic vent port and filter that are used to complement the bass and deliver much smoother musical highs. A pure silver and OCC hybrid cable with low electrical resistance, combines dynamics and clarity for a smooth and comfortable sound. The AKT9iE is available in July 2019 for $1,199.