Overview: The Astell&Kern AK380 from iRiver is a portable
high-resolution music player that delivers true audiophile quality playback. The
AK380 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 for storing thousands of high-resolution
music files. The AK380 has a 4" WVGA LCD touchscreen display, plus built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Construction: The AK380 is only 3-1/8"W x 4-7/16"H x
3/4"D, and weighs
8.11 ounces. It is made from meteoric titan-colored, aircraft-grade duralumin, and
is trapezoidal in shape with multiple angles in its design. The AK380
comes with a fine Italian leather case and a protective film to help prevent scratches. Analog controls include
a rotary volume knob on the right side, and Play/pause, Previous/rewind, and
Next/fast forward buttons along the left side.
Metal Capacitive Touch: In addition to the LCD touch screen,
the AK380 also features a pressure-sensitive metal capacitive touch interface.
The home button, located on a panel below the screen, responds to fine pressure
changes so you can operate the unit with a light touch on the metallic pad.
Digital Storage: The AK380 has a built-in 256 GB internal memory. You
can also insert a 128 GB microSD card in the memory card slot on the side of the
device to bring the total memory capacity of 384 GB. That's enough storage for
approximately 3,750 four-minute songs, recorded at 24-bit/96kHz resolution.
Dual DACs: The AK380 is equipped with two AKM AK4490 DACs that support up to
32-bit/384 kHz bit-to-bit decoding and playback without downsampling. The AK380
supports the following Audio Formats and Bit Rates:
- Audio Formats: WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE (Normal, High,
Fast), AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF
- Sample Rates:
- PCM: 8kHz - 384kHz (8/16/24/32 bits per sample)
- DSD Native: DSD64: 1-bit/2.8MHz (Stereo), DSD128:
Femto Clock: The Astell&Kern AK380 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 AK380 is
measured at 30 picoseconds (or 30/1-trillionth).
20-band Parametric EQ: The AK380 features a parametric EQ
and an audio DSP to allow you to make detailed adjustments in the original sound
to suit your tastes. The DSP takes the existing 10-band graphic equalizer found
in the AK240 with ±0.5dB adjustments and
upgrades it to 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 AK380 as an external USB DAC which
supports Native DSD playback. With the Dual DACs and the exclusive DSD chip, the
AK380 delivers much better sounding audio than your computer's built-in sound
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
Windows XP (32-bit), Windows 7 (32- & 64-bit), and Windows 8/8.1 (32- & 64-bit);
Supported formats: PCM (8-384 kHz (8/16/24/32-bit) and DSD (2.8/5.6 MHz).
Balanced/Unbalanced Outputs: The Astell&Kern AK380 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. You can also connect an
external audio device to the AK380 by connecting to both the earphones port
(ground) and the balanced port (LR), using an optional balanced cable available
from Astell&Kern. The Micro USB and four contacts on the bottom of the AK380
provide a balanced output to an Astell&Kern expansion device, such as the AK380
Amp or AK380 Cradle (sold separately).
Mini Optical Out: The 3.5mm headphone jack doubles as an mini
optical digital output.
Note: DSD format is converted to PCM when using the
Optical Out. Volume fixed at Maximum.
User Interface: The AK380 features a high-quality user interface to
make it easy to find and select your music files, change the volume, and
adjust the sound:
- 4" LCD Touchscreen: The full-color LCD touchscreen has a
resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. The screen displays the title and artist of
the currently playing song, along with elapsed and remaining time, with the
album art in the background. On the touchscreen, you can touch the
Play/Pause, Previous/Rewind, or Next/Fast Forward icons to control playback.
You can make adjustments to the EQ, set the repeat and random modes, and add
the song to a playlist, all using the touchscreen interface.
- Rotary Volume Knob: The AK380 has a side-mounted analog-style
rotary volume knob. The volume control range is 0 to 150 units with detents at
every unit. As you adjust the volume, the volume range is shown numerically on the display.
You can change the output to "Line Out", which locks the volume level at
- Hardware Control Buttons: There are four physical buttons on the
unit: a top-mounted power button, along with side-mounted Play/Pause,
Previous/Rewind, and Next/Fast Forward buttons.
Micro-B USB: The AK380 has a Micro-B USB port on the bottom of the unit
for connecting the unit to your computer for downloading music files and for
charging the battery. The AK380 is compatible with Windows XP, 7 and 8/8.1,
as well as Mac OS X 10.7 and up.
Wi-Fi Capability: The AK380 features built-in Wi-Fi (802.11
b/g/n--2.4GHz), allowing you to connect the device and your computer to the same
network for streaming and downloading music. With the MQS Streaming Server
software installed on your PC or Mac, you can use the AK380 to access music
files stored on your computer's hard drive or a connected HDD. In addition, the
Wi-Fi connection allows you to receive notifications of new available firmware
updates (OTA Upgrades), allowing you to download them on the spot.
Bluetooth: The AK380 also has built-in Bluetooth V4.0 with
A2DP and AVRCP profiles for
connecting a Bluetooth device to listen to music wirelessly. DSD playback is not
available via Bluetooth, and performance may be limited for high-res playback;
48 kHz or lower resolution is recommended). You must maintain a distance within
8" of the paired Bluetooth device for best audio quality and connection quality.
Car audio Bluetooth connections are not supported.
AK Connect (DLNA): The AK380 can stream or download music
files stored on a computer on the same network via DLNA (Digital Living Network
Alliance). Using the AK Connect app (available for iPad running iOS 7.1 or later
or Android devices running version 3.0 and up), you can connect to a NAS or PC
and control it with a smartphone or tablet.
Power Requirements: The AK380 is equipped with a 3400 mAh 3.7V
Lithium-Polymer battery. The battery charges via USB in about 4 hours. A fully
charged battery can provide up to approximately 10 hours of continuous playback
Leather Case: Included with the AK380 is a fine leather
carrying case, made by artisans and master tanners in Italy. The case is
warranted for quality, and comes with a numbered Certificate of Guarantee.
Protective Film: The unit includes a protective film to keep
the touchscreen and the rear panel scratch-free. Two sets of the protective film
is included for the front and the back.
- Frequency Response:
- 20Hz-20kHz (±0.053dB Unbalanced, Balanced)
(±0.56dB Unbalanced, ±0.55dB Balanced)
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio (@1kHz): 116dB unbalanced, 117dB balanced
- Crosstalk (@1kHz): 130dB unbalanced, 135dB balanced
- THD+N (@1kHz): 0.0008% unbalanced, 0.0007% balanced
- Output Level: Unbalanced 2.2Vrms, Balanced 2.3Vrms (No Load)