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Astell & Kern ACRO CA1000

Portable headphone amplifier/DAC with Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi

Item # 838CA1000

Astell&Kern's new ACRO CA1000 provides ample power to any set of headphones, optimum sound, and portable convenience.

Astell&Kern's new ACRO CA1000 provides ample power to any set of headphones, optimum sound, and portable convenience.

Enrique
Need help?
Contact our Virginia-based experts.

Item # 838CA1000

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$2,199.00
Enrique
Need help?
Contact our Virginia-based experts.

About the Astell & Kern ACRO CA1000

A new standard for portable hi-fi

Astell&Kern are no strangers to hi-fi. They've been pushing audiophile boundaries for years with their advanced portable high-res audio players, and more recently with their excellent Dual DAC Cable digital-to-analog converter. Their newest outing, the ACRO CA1000, is another ambitious step forward. This combination high-res music player and headphone amplifier delivers powerful and clear sound, and it includes features that aren't found on any other headphone amplifier.

A new standard for portable hi-fi

Astell&Kern are no strangers to hi-fi. They've been pushing audiophile boundaries for years with their advanced portable high-res audio players, and more recently with their excellent Dual DAC Cable digital-to-analog converter. Their newest outing, the ACRO CA1000, is another ambitious step forward. This combination high-res music player and headphone amplifier delivers powerful and clear sound, and it includes features that aren't found on any other headphone amplifier.

Outward elegance

The ACRO CA1000 is a stunning piece to behold. Its all-aluminum chassis is uniquely shaped to make it sit comfortably in your hand. If you'd rather have it sitting on a table, there are feet on the bottom to help keep it from being knocked over (or worse, knocked off). 

The top of the CA1000 features a tilting 4.1" touchscreen that's used for music selection. The interface is almost identical to what A&K uses on their "A&-" series portable players, so if you're familiar with those, you'll be right at home. The screen is adjustable and can be tilted up to 60 degrees for optimal viewing. 

The side-mounted volume wheel offers precise, accurate level adjustments. This design was inspired by rugged Mars exploration vehicles — it's visually interesting, and it makes volume adjustments smooth and cohesive.

CA1000 with screen

The ACRO CA1000's screen is adjustable up to 60 degrees, allowing you to easily read it no matter the amplifier's position.

Packed to the brim with audiophile goodness

The CA1000 sports A&K's famed Teraton (pronounced "tera-tone") Alpha module, which is the company's all-in-one audio solution that houses the DAC, headphone amplifier, and jitter-minimizing clock. There are four potent ESS Sabre ES9068AS DAC chips — two for each channel — that cleanly handle the signal's conversion from digital to analog. Those chips tout a very low noise floor and low distortion, thanks to ESS's QUAD DAC™ technology and Hyperstream® II architecture, respectively.

The headphone amplifier section was designed to perfectly drive any pair of headphones or in-ear monitors. It has four levels of gain to choose from and an incredible output of 15 volts RMS at max output. It's hard to imagine a set of cans for which the CA1000 would not provide more than ample power

The 2.5mm, 3.5mm, 4.4mm, and 1/4" output circuits are all separated by small relay components to ensure noise-free operation. Those relays completely block connectors that aren't in use, keeping noise generated by other circuits out of your music. There's even a high-purity silver plating shield that rejects electromagnetic interference (EMI) to further reduce noise and interference. 

Wireless options to get your music going

Don't feel like using cables? No problem, and no compromises either. The CA1000 has Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX® HD and LDAC support, meaning you can still stream high-resolution content without losing fidelity. Even cooler, the new BT Sink (as in "Sync") function lets you wirelessly connect the amplifier to an external device, like your smartphone or computer to stream music from them.

There's also built-in Wi-Fi, which lets you use Astell&Kern's AK File Drop feature to wirelessly transfer files from your smartphone, computer, or FTP (file transfer protocol) program to the CA1000. The CA1000 comes with 256GB of storage for your albums, and that can be expanded up to 1TB with a microSD card.

Specialized features for better performance

The CA1000 has two other cool extras that shows A&K's audiophile mindset. The Crossfeed feature was developed to reduce ear fatigue over time by mixing parts of the original signal from one channel and sending it to the opposite channel with a time difference to center the soundstage. That's more like what your ears hear when you're listening to speakers in a room. You can set the level of crossfeed according to your preferences by selecting one of the three options available on the amp's screen. 

ReplayGain is another feature that makes this amplifier unique. It analyzes the tracks you're playing and sets their volumes at an identical level. This prevents unwanted distortion, discomfort, and possible driver damage from being caused by a song that has an unexpectedly high volume level. No more being jump-scared by a loud track ever again! 

Battery powered

Perhaps the best thing about the CA1000 is that it doesn't need to stay plugged into the wall. That's right — this beauty is battery powered. It uses an 8,400mAh large-capacity battery to give you around 10 hours of listening time before it needs to be recharged. 

Speaking of recharging, there's a USB-PD (USB Power Delivery) 2.0 charging port that supports fast charging (9V/3A). When you use a USB-C adapter that supports USP-PD 2.0, the CA1000 can be charged half-way in about an hour, or charged to full in about 2-1/2 hours.

Versatile connections

On the back and front, you'll find tons of inputs and outputs. There are balanced 2.5mm and 4.4mm outputs, as well as unbalanced 3.5mm and 1/4" outputs on the front for connecting a variety of headphones. On the back, there are coaxial, optical, and USB Type-C digital inputs for connecting everything from your smartphone to a CD player. There's also a pair of analog RCA inputs and outputs for connecting analog sources and for sending signal out to other components. Best of all: If there's something you'd like to tweak, all input and output settings can be easy adjusted using the touchscreen. 

 

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Product highlights:

  • portable headphone amplifier and DAC combo
  • durable all-aluminum housing
  • side-mounted volume knob for fine volume adjustments
  • 4.1" touchscreen for music selection, music control, and adjusting settings
  • Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX HD and LDAC support for high-resolution wireless streams
  • built-in dual-band Wi-Fi for seamless file transfers and music streaming
    • Astell&Kern's AK File Drop feature can be used to wirelessly transfer music from your PC or smartphone to the CA1000
  • quad-core CPU for fast, efficient operation
  • 256GB internal storage (expandable up to 1TB with optional microSD card)
Teraton Alpha module specs:
  • four 32-bit ESS Sabre ES9068AS DAC chips with Quad DAC and Hyperstream II technologies
  • supported sample rates: up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM; DSD up to DSD512 (22.4 MHz)
  • supported formats: WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, MQA
  • frequency response: 20-70,000 Hz (± 0.059dB)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 107dB (unbalanced); 115dB (balanced)
  • total harmonic distortion: 0.005% (unbalanced); 0.002% (balanced)
  • output level:
    • low: 2V RMS (unbalanced); 4V RMS (balanced)
    • mid: 4V RMS (unbalanced); 8V RMS (balanced)
    • high: 6V RMS (unbalanced); 12V RMS (balanced)
    • super: 8V RMS (unbalanced); 15V (balanced)
  • output impedance: 1 ohm (unbalanced); 2 ohms (balanced)
Connections:
  • balanced 2.5mm (4-pole) and 4.4mm (5-pole) outputs for compatible headphones
  • unbalanced 3.5mm and 1/4" outputs for compatible headphones
  • coaxial digital and optical digital inputs for connecting external digital sources
  • analog RCA input for connecting analog sources; RCA output for feeding signal to other components
  • USB Type-C input for connecting smartphones and computers
  • USB Type-C charging port with USB-PD (USB Power Delivery) 2.0 support
Other specs:
  • Crossfeed feature prevents listening fatigue over time by mixing left and right signals and centering soundstage
  • ReplayGain automatically equalizes volume levels between tracks
  • 10-hour battery life
    • charge time: 50% in 1 hour, 100% in about 2-1/2 hours (using fast charging USB-PD 2.0 adapter)
  • 4-1/8"W x 1-13/16"H x 5-7/8"D
  • weight: 32.41 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # 3PPR419C-CMSIN1

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