About the Astell&Kern A&ultima SP2000T
Exceptional high-res portable audio
Exceptional high-res portable audio
The Astell&Kern A&ultima SP2000T offers audiophile-quality portable music playback with some cool new breakthrough features. For starters, it has a built-in selectable vacuum tube amplifier, as well as the same high-quality op-amp circuit found in the company's high-end SP2000 player.
The SP2000T has four digital-to-analog converters (DACs) for extraordinarily accurate sound. The player's Replay Gain function automatically adjusts sound levels from different sources. This gives your playlists a consistent volume level throughout.
The Triple Amp system
Inside the player is a small dual-triode vacuum tube, cushioned in a magnetic field. This protects the tube from impacts and isolates it from vibrations that can cause noise.
The op-amp circuit is designed to deliver extremely clear and dynamic sound. Select either of these two amplification modes or a hybrid of both, which gives you a mix of the op-amp's clarity and the tube's warmth.
You can select to use the digital amp, the tube amp, or a hybrid of both. This hybrid gives you the warmth of analog with the clarity of digital sound.
Built for high-performance audio
The SP2000T has quad digital-to-analog converters (DACs), two 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.
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.
Wirelessly stream high-resolution music from your computer or NAS drive via Wi-Fi. AK File Drop lets you transfer music wirelessly to your player through your smartphone, computer, or FTP program in the same network.
The SP2000T has built-in two-way Bluetooth. Using BT Sync you can stream music from your smartphone to the player, or from the player to Bluetooth headphones or speakers.
- Featured in our article: Best portable high-res music players for 2023
- quad high-performance digital-to-analog converters for native playback of high-resolution audio files
- up to 32-bit/384kHz for PCM and 22.4MHz for DSD
- two DACs each for the left and right channels for proper stereo separation and definition
- plays MP3, FLAC, WAV, ALAC, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, AIFF, WMA, DFF, DSF, and MQA file formats
- built-in KORG Nutube 6P1 vacuum tube amp
- selectable tube amp, OP amp, and hybrid amplification modes
- 256GB internal flash memory
- microSD card slot for cards up to 1TB (up to 1.25TB total memory)
- built-in rechargeable battery with up to 9 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:
- quad-core CPU for speedy processing
- 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
- two-way Bluetooth 5.0 with support for high-quality aptX® HD and LDAC streaming
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)
- 3.5mm unbalanced headphone/optical digital output
- 2.5mm balanced output (4-pole)
- 4.4mm balanced output (5-pole)
- output level: 3Vrms (unbalanced)/ 6Vrms (balanced)
- output impedance: 1 ohm (3.5mm); 1.5 ohms (4.4mm and 2.5mm outputs)
- total harmonic distortion: 0.0003% (1kHz, unbalanced and balanced output)
- signal-to-noise ratio: 121dB (unbalanced); 123dB (balanced)
- 3-1/16"W x 5-9/16"H x 11/16"D
- milled aluminum casing
- leather case and protective screen film
- weight: 10.89 oz.
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # PPF349C-CMBLN1
What's in the box:
- Digital audio player (onyx black)
- 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 SP2000T reviews
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More details on the Astell&Kern A&ultima SP2000T
Overview: The Astell&Kern SP2000T (PPF34) portable high-resolution music player delivers true audiophile quality playback. It is the fifth model in the A&ultima series of digital audio players (along with the SP2000, SP1000, SP1000M, and SP1000M Gold), and features a newly developed audio circuit and improved amplifier design. The SP2000T features ESS Quad-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 SP2000T 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 protective film for the screen.
Sophisticated Design and Construction: The Astell&Kern SP2000T is the ultimate music player, crafted in an artistically designed aluminum body. The radial pattern of the volume knob is similar to that of a gemstone, reflecting light from different angles. The body is only 3" (w) x 5.5" (h) x 0.68" (d), and weighs just under 11 ounces.
Triple Amp System: The SP2000T features a Triple Amp System which allows you to select between three amp modes, based on the type of music you're listening to. The Op Amp mode utilizes A&K's amp technology expertise to deliver clear, dynamic sound. The Tube Amp mode provides a warm, musical sound signature from its dual-triode KORG Nutube vacuum tube. The Hybrid Amp mode, which is new to a digital audio player, presents a combination of the Op Amp's clarity and the warm tones of the Tube Amp.
Teraton Alpha: Teraton Alpha is Astell&Kern's Ultimate Sound Solution which produces audio playback that is close to the sound to the artist's intent. Using A&K's patented technologies, Teraton Alpha effectively removes power noise, efficiently manages power, and amplifies the signal with minimal distortion. Teraton Alpha is the reason the SP2000T sounds cleaner and more accurate than digital audio players without it.
Octa-Core CPU: The SP2000T 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 SP2000T features faster booting times, speedy file transfers, lag-free processing and a new intuitive user interface for the ultimate player experience.
Digital Storage: The SP2000T has a 256 GB (NAND) internal storage can hold hundreds of CDs and thousands of FLAC files. For additional storage, the device has a microSD card slot to let you add even more. The unit will accept microSD cards up to 1 TB.
Quad DACs: The SP2000T is equipped with four ESS ES9068AS DACs that support native playback of 32-bit/384 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 SP2000T provides rich and vivid audio reproduction, allowing you to enjoy the music as it was meant to be heard.
Compatible Audio Files: The SP2000T supports the following audio file formats - WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, & MQA.
- PCM Sample Rate: It supports 8kHz - 384kHz (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: 44-384kHz (24-bit)
MQA (Mastering Quality Authenticated): The Astell&Kern SP2000T natively supports MQA, which is the closest quality to the original sound intended by a recording artist. Mastering Quality Authenticated (MQA) is an acronym of collective lossless and high-resolution audio source formats that typically come encoded with 24-bit, 44-384kHz of bit/sampling rates. Since MQA delivers significantly more detail than a conventional CD (16bit/44.1kHz), listeners can enjoy a more realistic music experience.
20-band Parametric EQ: The SP2000T 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.
USB DAC: You can use the SP2000T as an external USB DAC which supports Native DSD playback. With the Dual DACs and the exclusive DSD chip, the SP2000T 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 8, 10 (32-/64-bit versions) and Mac OS X 10.7-up.
- Audio Formats: PCM (8-384 kHz (8/16/24/32-bit) and DSD (2.8/5.6/11.2 MHz).
Balanced/Unbalanced Outputs: The Astell&Kern SP2000T offers two balanced (L+/L-/R+/R-) outputs and one unbalanced output (L+/R+/GND) on the top of the device. Balanced outputs have an additional "cold" signal to compliment the hot signal, which reduces external noise and increases output. The balanced outputs include a 4-pole 2.5mm port (1.5 ohm) and a 5-pole 4.4mm (1.5 ohm) port. 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 (not included).
User Interface: The Astell&Kern SP2000T'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" Full HD touchscreen display (1920 x 1080 pixels) makes your song and player information easy to read on the larger, brighter screen. In addition, the rotary knob lets you controlfine volume control.
USB-C: The SP2000T 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 SP2000T is compatible with Windows 8 and 10 (32 and 64-bit), as well as Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or later.
Dual Band Wi-Fi: The SP2000T 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 5.0 w/ aptX HD: The SP2000T also has built-in Bluetooth V5.0 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. The player also supports LDAC, AAC, and SBC codecs.
LED Light: On the back of the SP2000T is an LED light that indicates information about the music currently playing, and the Amp Mode information. During playback, the LED glows red to indicate 16-bit, green for 24-bit, orange for 32-bit, and purple to indicated DSD playback. As you switch the Amp Modes, the LED glows red for Op Amp mode, orange for Tube Amp mode, and Teal if you select Hybrid Amp mode. The LED indicator can be turned on or off in the Menu as desired.
Rechargeable Battery: The SP2000T is equipped with a built-in rechargeable Lithium-Polymer battery (4200mAh / 3.8V). The battery charges in about 5 hours via USB-C in normal mode (with a 5V / 2A charging adapter). You can also fast-charge the device in about 3.5 hours (with a 9V / 1.67A charger). No charging device is included with the product. A fully charged battery can provide up to approximately 9 hours of continuous playback time (based on FLAC, 16-bit, 44.1 kHz, Unbalanced, Volume 50, EQ Off, OP Amp).
Protective Film: The unit includes a protective film to keep the touchscreen and the rear panel scratch-free.
|Frequency Response||Unbalanced: 20-20kHz (±0.024dB); 20-70kHz (±0.027dB) |
Balanced: 20-20kHz (±0.038dB); 20-70kHz (±0.052dB)
|Signal-to-Noise||Unbalanced: 121dB @ 1 kHz |
Balanced: 123dB @ 1 kHz
|Crosstalk||Unbalanced: -137dB @ 1 kHz |
Balanced: -142dB @ 1 kHz
|THD+N||Unbalanced: 0.0003% |
|IMD SMPTE||Unbalanced: 0.0004% 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 ohm
|Output Level |
(condition no load)
|Unbalanced: 3.0Vrms |
|Clock Jitter||25ps (Typ) / 70ps (Reference)|
|Dimensions||Width 3.07", Height 5.55", Depth 0.68"|
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