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Astell and Kern AK100 Personal MQS & Ultimate Portable Hi-fi Music Player -32GB of Internal Memory

4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

Price: £375.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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  • 32GB of internal memory
  • dual MicroSDHC port capable to expand the total amount of internal memory of the Astell & Kern AK100 up to 96GB.
  • compatible with 24bit/192kHZ FLAC & WAV APE/MP3/WMA/OGG
  • Woflson WM8740 powerful DAC
  • output 110bB on a 10Hz to 20kHz range.
£375.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 2 left in stock. Sold by One Way Shop and Fulfilled by Amazon.

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Product details

  • Item Weight: 122 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 358 g
  • Delivery Destinations: Visit the Delivery Destinations Help page to see where this item can be delivered.
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  • Item model number: AK100
  • ASIN: B00AENWKLK
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 9 Jan. 2013
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 168,332 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)

Product Description

The New King Has Arrived! iRiver the king of MP3 digital audio players were competing with Apple for this market segment. Ironically they have turned full circle and are now strongly advocating audiophile sound quality. Astell&Kern brings you the original sound right at the moment of the studio recording and before the compression format of the CD just the way the sound is meant to be heard. Features 32GB of internal memory Dual MicroSDHC port capable to expand the total amount of internal memory of the Astell & Kern AK100 up to 96GB. Compatible with 24bit/192kHZ WAV APE/MP3/WMA/OGG Woflson WM8740 powerful DAC Output 110bB on a 10Hz to 20kHz range. Dual Optical IN/OUT port 2.4″LCD IPS color screen Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP/HFP 12H continuous playback battery when listening to 24bit/192kHZ FLAC 20h of battery when playing Mp3 Get the tissues out... Prepare to Drool! The Astell



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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
My usual listening rig is iPod classic, Cypher Labs DAC and ALO amp but it can be a little cumbersome to tote around. Plus it looks like an explosive device to nervy security bods.
This is an alternative to carrying three components around plus it also plays higher resolution files.
The interface is pretty good with a touch screen and is rather more sophisticated than the Colorfly 4 for example.
Again unlike the Colorfly the software works seamlessly.
Capacity is not bad with inbuilt 32gb plus space for two, yes two, micro sd cards giving you at least another 64g and possibly another 128g if you get 64g cards.
(Make sure you format them correctly.)

Sound quality is very good. There has been some criticism on headphone forums about the high impedance of the unit and the effect it may have on IEMs.
Well with my Westone 4R it sounds just fine.

The fact it plays flac files is important to me. I have tried higher resolution files at 24 bit 96 kHz but cannot really tell the difference between 16 bit 44khz and the higher resolution files.

Machine is very well made and incredibly small compared to the Colorfly.

All in all recommended.
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Ladies and gentlemen, the superior portable system has arrived.

*PLEASE BE WARNED THAT ENGLISH IS NOT MY FIRST LANGUAGE AND APOLOGIZE FOR MY GRAMAR :)

I think this is my first review ever, usually I can never be bothered repeating others opinion since they have pretty much covered everything. This time however I have to add my "two cents" because this little device really deserves all the praise.

Currently I use the AK100 with my Shure's SE535 and i am happy to report that this is a perfect marriage.

When i first got my Shure 535 IEM and hooked them up to my iphone 4 and listened to some loseless albums i was in heaven and didn't think it could get any better.... but boy, how wrong was I at that time!

Knowing that this was just the beginning in my audiophile journey I was ready to take the next step I started doing some research. I've seen many great reviews about the Ak100 and how it could play MQS (Mastering Quality Sound) music on the go! I have decided to try it out with my own ears.

I could not believe how superior the sound is compared to the Iphone 4 and that is just playing CD quality loosless audio. The sound stage is much wider, much better instrument separation and tone and so much more details that could not be picked up on the iphone even with the Shure 535's!

Now here comes the real deal....24bit/196 mastering quality music. Words can not describe how breathtaking it is, it's like every musician is performing exclusively for you in a studio environment for free all the time. There is only one thing you have to know....you really need to play the right music to appreciate this device like Jazz, blues, rock, classical...generally everything that has real instruments.
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Astell & Kern exposes a mighty chasm of difference between the so called "audiophile" experience and listening to music from your phone or an iPod but you'll require a descent set of headphones to truly appreciate the AK100's impressive capabilities.

The user interface a little rough around the edges but this can easily be forgiven given the phenomenal audio experience on offer and firmware updates are being released all the time.

I discovered the AK100 when considering a replacement iPod. Through online forums I'd discovered that the iPod classics have an older DAC (digital to audio convertor) and that the newer iPods reportedly sound better. I went in to test the differences myself and was surprised that the iPod classic actually did sound inferior to an iPod nano or touch, the music was somehow flatter, less alive but rather than leave with a new iPod touch on was now on a mission. I'd already purchased a nice set of headphones, had begun re-ripping my CD's into a lossless format... was this the best I could get? A resounding "hell no" would be the answer.

It turns out that not all zeros and ones are recreated equally and that's where the Astell & Kern shines. In fact the DAC in this player is so good that if you connect this player to a HiFi unit (via headphone jack to phono etc) you'll probably blow people away. The clarity and definition from base to treble is much more precise and pronounced with a more detailed and better represented 3D sound image. An absolutely stunning sound.

While the same 256/320Kbps MP3 will sound much (much much) better on the AK100 than on iPod etc this player supports high definition file formats of up to 24bit at 192Khz (9216Kps) and I wouldn't recommend anything less than CD quality music at 16bit at 44.
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By T93 on 24 April 2013
I own the AK100 hi-res player, and several others from Hifiman, Olympus, Roland, Zoom, and Tascam. This has allowed me to compare AK100 to those other hi-res players/recorders.
None of them can compete with AK100 in terms of sound quality and usability. The Hifiman is the closest in sound quality (the Hifiman HM-601), the others sound limited, thin and weak compared to the AK100.

I use the AK100 with the Sennheiser HD650 and Hifiman HE-400. The Hifiman headphones is simply massive, a really good combination, but the HD650 is my go-to headset anyways due to acceptable sound and very good comfort.

Some 'audiophile' people on the net has said that the AK100 has a cold and lifeless sound. I wonder if those people has done any A/B testing with other similar hi-res players. I have and can confirm that AK100 sounds really excellent. It doesn't hype any frequencies as far as I can hear, it's really hi-res and neutral, and that is what I want..

There is one major drawback with the AK100: It doesn't do gapless playback. Too bad when listening to albums like Dark Side of the Moon or other concept albums.. The menu/OS is a little bit fiddly (touch screen) but better than all the others mentioned earlier except for perhaps the Olympus LS-3 (which has a limited, thin & weak sound). The price is high, let's hope that means that only quality components has been used.
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