About the Astell&Kern A&ultima SP2000
Premium high-res portable audio
Shown in copper
Premium high-res portable audio
Astell&Kern names their A&ultima SP2000 portable music player the flagship of their A&ultima series. This powerful player is equipped with advanced, custom-designed electronics that ensure an exceptionally accurate playback from your digital music files. And that translates to richly detailed, realistic sound that draws you into the performance.
Wirelessly stream high-resolution music from your computer or NAS drive via Wi-Fi. Stream high-res music to wireless headphones via Bluetooth.Plus, the player can serve as an external DAC (digital-to-analog converter) for your computer, delivering a cleaner, more accurate signal to your speakers.
Built for high-performance audio
The SP2000 has dual digital-to-analog converters (DACs), one for each stereo channel. The player also has separate circuits for balanced and unbalanced stereo output. This ensures near-perfect sonic detail and dynamic range, a completely quiet background, and a spacious soundstage.
Astell&Kern custom-modified the AKM AK4499EQ DACs they put in the SP2000. The DACs can do native playback of Direct Stream Digital (DSD) files up to 22.4MHz. And they also deliver bit-perfect playback for PCM-based files up to 32-bit/768kHz.
A voltage-controlled high-precision clock tames detail-smearing jitter. This ensures your music will sound as natural and finely detailed as possible.
This DAC configuration produces an amazing amount of detail from your CD-quality and compressed music files, too. The player also supports MQA, a high-resolution audio format used by TIDAL and other streaming music services.
Large storage for your music files
The player features 512GB of internal memory — great for the larger file sizes of high-res audio. And its microSD card slot can handle cards up to 1TB, for a total possible capacity of 1.5TB — enough memory to store thousands of high-resolution FLAC files.
Fast charging and file transfer
The SP2000 uses USB 3.0 for charging the built-in battery and transferring files. Get a full charge in as little as three hours, plus transfer files at a rate of up to 10GB per second.
- dual AKM AK4499EQ digital-to-analog converters for native playback of high-resolution audio files
- up to 32-bit/768kHz for PCM and 22.4MHz for DSD
- one DAC each for the left and right channels for proper stereo separation
- plays MP3, FLAC, WAV, ALAC, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, AIFF, WMA, DFF, DSF, and MQA file formats
- 512GB internal flash memory
- microSD card slot for cards up to 1TB (up to 1.5TB total memory)
- built-in rechargeable battery with up to 8 hours of operation
Display and controls:
- 5" high-definition touchscreen display
- simplified home screen focuses primarily on music playback
- analog knob on the side controls volume and power
Processing and wireless features:
- octa-core CPU for increased processing speed
- quick boot up, snappy controls, and lag-free operation when playing large digital music files
- built-in dual-band Wi-Fi for streaming and downloading music from a networked computer
- Bluetooth 4.1-compatible (A2DP, not recommended for files with sampling rates greater than 48kHz)
AK Connect app:
- free download from Apple® App Store or Google Play
- stream music stored on the player wirelessly to compatible DLNA speakers
- stream music stored on DLNA devices to DLNA speaker systems
- stream music stored on NAS drives or computers to the player
- built-in support for TIDAL music service (subscription required)
Connections and specs:
- high-speed USB 3.0 Type-C port (cable included)
- quick drag-and-drop file transfer and fast battery charging
- 3.5mm unbalanced headphone/optical digital output
- 2.5mm balanced output (only 4-pole connection supported)
- output level: 3Vrms (unbalanced)/ 6Vrms (balanced)
- output impedance: 1.5 ohms (3.5mm headphone output)
- total harmonic distortion: 0.0005% (1kHz, unbalanced output)
- signal-to-noise ratio: 124 dB (unbalanced)
- 3"W x 5-1/4"H x 5/8"D
- stainless steel casing
- leather case and protective screen film
- weight: 14.49 oz.
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # 3PPA33AC-CMGON1
What's in the box:
- Digital audio player (Vegas Gold)
- 39" USB 3.0 cable (Type A USB on one end and USB-C on other end)
- Leather case
- MicroSD card slot cover (installed)
- Protective film
- Quick Start Guide
Astell&Kern A&ultima SP2000 reviews
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More details on the Astell&Kern A&ultima SP2000
Overview: The Astell&Kern SP2000 (PPF33) portable high-resolution music player delivers true audiophile quality playback. It is the third model in the A&ultima series (along with the SP1000 and SP1000M), and has a newly developed audio circuit and improved amplifier design. The SP2000 features dual DACs (digital-to-audio converters) with balanced and unbalanced analog outputs, as well as a mini optical digital out. It has a large internal memory and a slot for high-capacity microSD cards to let you store thousands of high-resolution music files. The SP2000 has a 5" HD touchscreen display, plus built-in dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with Qualcomm aptX HD. The device comes with a genuine leather travel case, and a wooden storage case.
Sophisticated Design and Construction: The Astell&Kern SP2000 is the ultimate music player, crafted in an artistically designed metallic setting. The SP2000 is available with a rugged stainless steel chassis that resists external shock. The crown-patterned volume wheel on the right corner of the player is similar in appearance to a cut gemstone, which reflects light from various angles. It is only 3" (w) x 5.2" (h) x 0.65" (d), and weighs 15.25 ounces.
Octa-Core CPU: The SP2000 is equipped with an octa-core CPU for outstanding response and performance. The octa-core CPU allows the player to produce the exact musical detail present in the original recording without distortion and provides a quick, lag-free operation. The SP2000 features faster booting times, speedy file transfers, lag-free processing and a new intuitive user interface for the ultimate player experience.
Digital Storage: The SP2000 has twice as much internal storage as the SP1000. Its 512 GB internal storage can hold over 700 CDs or over 8000 FLAC files (at 60MB per track). If that's not enough storage, the device has a microSD card slot to let you add even more. The unit will accept microSD cards up to 1 TB, giving you bring the total storage capacity to 1536 GB (or 1.5 TB).
Dual DACs: The SP2000 is equipped with two Asahi Kasei AK4499EQ DACs that support native playback of 32-bit/768 kHz PCM and DSD512 without downsampling. It uses separate, independent audio channels for the balanced and unbalanced outputs for the left and right audio channels. This design provides a wider soundstage and better stereo separation, as well as much more output power -- up to 6 Vrms for the balanced output and 3 Vrms for the unbalanced output. The SP2000 provides rich and vivid audio reproduction, allowing you to enjoy the music as it was meant to be heard.
Compatible Audio Files: The SP2000 supports the following audio file formats - WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, & MQA.
- PCM Sample Rate: It supports 8kHz - 768kHz (8/16/24/32 bits per sample)
- DSD Native: DSD64 (1-bit/2.8MHz - Stereo), DSD128 (1-bit/5.6MHz - Stereo), DSD256 (1-bit/11.2MHz - Stereo), and DSD512 (1-bit/22.4MHz - Stereo)
- MQA: 44-192kHz (24-bit)
MQA (Mastering Quality Audio): The Astell&Kern SP2000 natively supports MQA, which is the closest quality to the original sound intended by a recording artist. Mastering Quality Audio (MQA) is an acronym of collective lossless & high-resolution audio source formats that typically come encoded with 24-bit, 44-192kHz of bit/sampling rates. Since MQA delivers about 6.5x more detail than a conventional CD (16bit/44.1kHz), listeners can enjoy a more realistic music experience. You will need to download the MQS Streaming Server to your computer (32 and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, 8, 10; Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or later).
Note: According to an A&K notice, the MQS Streaming Server Software will be discontinued, and not available for download, at the end of December, 2019. The app will continue to work, but may not be compatible with newer OS versions for Mac or PC.
Femto Clock: The Astell&Kern SP2000 uses a voltage-controlled crystal oscillator (VCXO) high-precision clock with a reference jitter value of 200 femtoseconds. Femto clocks are typically used in high-end audio components. The clock is measured in femtosecond units (one quadrillionth of a second -- or 1/1000 trillion) which allows the device to create a more accurate frequency value and make fine jitter corrections. Typical clock jitter in the SP2000 is measured at 25 picoseconds (or 30/1-trillionth).
20-band Parametric EQ: The SP2000 features a parametric EQ and an audio DSP to allow you to make detailed adjustments in the original sound to suit your tastes. The device has a 20-band EQ with ±0.1dB adjustments, plus variable gain and Q values. You can set the EQ curve by simply "drawing" the curve on the touchscreen. The EQ frequency bands include: 30Hz, 45Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, 180Hz, 250Hz, 380Hz, 500Hz, 750Hz, 1kHz, 1.5kHz, 2kHz, 3kHz, 4kHz, 6kHz, 8kHz, 12kHz, 14kHz, and 18kHz. You can adjust the gain from -5dB to +5dB in 0.1dB increments, and the Q from 0.1 to 4.0dB in 0.1dB increments. If you choose not to activate the Parametric EQ, you can use the Pro EQ presets recommended by professionals.
Note: The EQ supports PCM, 8 to 192kHz and 8, 16, or 24-bit playback. It does not support DSD or 32-bit playback.
USB DAC: You can use the SP2000 as an external USB DAC which supports Native DSD playback. With the Dual DACs and the exclusive DSD chip, the SP2000 delivers much better sounding audio than your computer's built-in sound card. Connect the unit via USB from your computer and listen to your stored digital music with headphones, powered speakers, or home stereo. The USB DAC is compatible with the following computer operating systems and audio formats.
- Computer OS: Windows XP, 7, 8, 10 (32-/64-bit versions) and Mac OS X 10.7-up.
- Audio Formats: PCM (8-768 kHz (8/16/24/32-bit) and DSD (2.8/5.6/11.2/22.4 MHz).
Balanced/Unbalanced Outputs: The Astell&Kern SP2000 offers both balanced (L+/L-/R+/R-) and unbalanced outputs (L+/R+/GND). Balanced outputs have an additional "cold" signal to compliment the hot signal, which reduces external noise and increases output. The balanced output is a 4-conductor 2.5mm port (1 ohm) on the top of the device. The unbalanced output is a 3.5mm analog stereo output that doubles as an optical (mini) output. Music can be played back on a S/PIDF-capable external device via an optical cable.
User Interface: The Astell&Kern SP2000's user interface provides a simple, minimalist menu design and structure, allowing users to access features and functions quickly and easily. The user interface makes it easy to find and select your music files, change the volume, and adjust the sound. The high-definition 5" touchscreen display (720 x 1280 pixels) makes your song and player information easy to read on the larger, brighter screen. In addition, the multi-function rotary knob lets you control power and fine volume control with a simple push and turn action.
USB-C: The SP2000 has a USB-C port on the bottom of the unit for connecting the unit to your computer for downloading music files and for charging the battery. USB Type-C support allows faster file transfer speeds and supports both data transfer and charging from the same cable. USB 3.0 protocol transfers data twice as fast when compared to non-USB-C players. The SP2000 is compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10 (32 and 64-bit), as well as Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or later.
Dual Band Wi-Fi: The SP2000 features built-in dual band Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n/ac - 2.4 or 5 GHz), allowing you to connect the device and your computer to the same network for streaming and downloading music. The device's 3-dimensional antenna design improves Wi-Fi reception and provides faster speeds for better music streaming and firmware updates.
Bluetooth w/ aptX HD: The SP2000 also has built-in Bluetooth V4.1 with A2DP/AVRCP support for connecting a Bluetooth device to listen to music wirelessly. Qualcomm's aptX HD allows audio to be wirelessly streamed in significantly higher quality than over standard Bluetooth. The aptX HD codec supports 24-bit music quality over Bluetooth, so you'll hear fine details in your music, with more extensive dynamic range, deeper bass, and crystal-clear top end.
Rechargeable Battery: The SP2000 is equipped with a built-in rechargeable Lithium-Polymer battery (3700mAh / 3.8V). The battery charges via USB-C in normal mode (with a 5V / 2A charging adapter). You can also fast-charge the device in about 2.5 hours (with a 9V / 1.67A charger). No charging device is included with the product. A fully charged battery can provide up to approximately 8 hours of continuous playback time (based on FLAC, 16-bit, 44.1 kHz, Unbalanced, Volume 80, EQ Off, LCD off).
Protective Film: The unit includes a protective film to keep the touchscreen and the rear panel scratch-free. Two sets of the protective film are included for the front and the back.
|Frequency Response||Unbalanced: 20-20kHz (±0.015dB); 20-70kHz (±0.050dB) |
Balanced: 20-20kHz (±0.010dB); 20-70kHz (±0.030dB)
|Signal-to-Noise||Unbalanced: 124dB @ 1 kHz |
Balanced: 125dB @ 1 kHz
|Crosstalk||Unbalanced: -138dB @ 1 kHz |
Balanced: -144dB @ 1 kHz
|THD+N||Unbalanced: 0.0005% |
|IMD SMPTE||Unbalanced: 0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) |
Balanced: 0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1)
|Supported Audio Formts||WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, and MQA|
|MQA Playback|| |
Services (Tidal Masters)
|Output Impedance||Unbalanced 3.5mm: 1.5 ohm |
Balanced 2.5mm: 1 ohm
|Output Level||Unbalanced: 3.0Vrms |
|Clock Jitter||25ps (Typ)|
|Dimensions||Width 3.005", Height 5.203", Depth 0.648"|