Video: Astell & Kern AK100 Portable Music Player
High-resolution audio to go
Most of the people appearing in our videos are employees at Crutchfield. We pull in folks from around the company to share their expertise. A lot of our on-camera stars come from our Advisor Group — they help people choose the right gear via phone, email and chat every day, so they're good at explaining the products and technologies.
Heads up!Welcome to this article from the Crutchfield archives. Have fun reading it, but be aware that the information may be outdated and links may be broken.
The Astell & Kern AK100 represents a new benchmark for portable audio, with true audiophile performance you can fit in your pocket. It plays high-resolution music files, delivering them with all their native detail and depth for high fidelity playback beyond the capability of CDs.
So I'm here today to talk to you about this cute little item called the Astell & Kern AK100. It's a digital music player, but it's not like the other digital music players that you're familiar with. This player will actually play sound that's better than CD quality. CDs are recorded at 16-bit with a 44,100 samples a second and we'll play that bit for bit.
This music player is powered by a Wolfson d/a converter. It's a 24-bit d/a converter. It will play all forms of uncompressed files, so it plays Apple lossless files, it plays FLAC files, it plays APE files. Suffice it to say that all of the uncompressed digital music format files are playable on this player. It will also play MP3s if that's all you have.
It has an expansion slot on the bottom for two microSD cards. And it's much like the kind of portable music players you're familiar with. It has a color touchscreen interface. It shows the album art. It'll show you the actual encoding of the track.
The DAC itself will also operate as a standalone external d/a converter, an optical one. So it has an optical input and an optical output, and so if your portable or home CD player is not as good as you'd like it to be you can actually improve the sound quality by taking the digital output from your CD player or Blu-ray player and run it through this, and therefore get the benefit of the very high quality DAC.
So it's sort of a couple of products all in one. So we hope you'll consider taking a listen to the Astell & Kern AK 100 and if you have any questions of course call the friendly people at Crutchfield and I know they'll help you out.