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Astell & Kern AK70 MKII

High-resolution portable music player with Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® (Noir Black)

5 Reviews

Item # 838AK70IIK

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Our take on the Astell & Kern AK70 MKII

The AK70 MKII is the second iteration a popular high-resolution portable player from Astell & Kern. And yes, it's significantly better. The MKII features improved signal processing, higher output levels, and better signal-to-noise ratios than the original AK70.

From great to greater

Astell and Kern AK70 MKII

The AK70 MKII is the second iteration a popular high-resolution portable player from Astell & Kern. And yes, it's significantly better. The MKII features improved signal processing, higher output levels, and better signal-to-noise ratios than the original AK70.

Made for high-resolution audio

The AK 70 MKII can deliver all the detail and depth of your high-res music. The MKII is capable of bit-perfect playback of high-res files up to 24-bit/192kHz, with support for DSD files up to 5.6MHz. It's ideal for use with high-performance headphones. You can also use it as an in-line digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to play high-resolution sound from your computer through your headphones.

Outstanding sound quality

The AK70 MK II features two high-quality DACs — one for the right channel, the other for the left. Because each channel completely separate, noise and interference are virtually eliminated. The dual DAC configuration also allows greater detail and fidelity for a more realistic soundstage.

You can play high-resolution downloads from sites like HDtracks without any additional equipment. Even with CD-quality files or compressed formats like MP3, the AK70 MKII can help your music sound its best. Its high signal-to-noise ratio and low distortion let the subtle details of your music come through. Plus, its high-fidelity, low-impedance output gives your headphones more power than most portable music players.

Expandable memory

To add music to the AK70 MKII, connect the player to your computer with the included USB cable. Then just drag and drop your selections to the player while its built-in battery charges. The AK70 comes with 64GB of internal memory. A microSD card slot lets you expand the storage up to 320GB. And of course, you can have more tunes on extra cards and bring them along for easy swapping.

Do more with Astell & Kern's handy app

The AK70 MKII can also be part of a wireless home audio system. Download the free AK Connect app to your iPhone® or Android™ smartphone. It lets you wirelessly control your player. Connect via Wi-Fi to digital music stored on your computer or NAS drive. Use the app to stream songs from your computer, internet radio stations, and even other AK Connect-compatible Astell & Kern players.

Product Highlights:

  • ultra-compact high-resolution portable music player
  • plays MP3, FLAC, WAV, ALAC, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, AIFF digital music files
  • plays Direct Stream Digital (DSD) files (.dff and .dsf formats up to 5.6MHz resolution)
    • DSD files are converted to PCM for playback
  • dual 24-bit/192kHz DACs for left and right channels
  • frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
  • USB input allows for use as an external digital-to-analog converter (DAC) with a computer
  • 64GB internal flash memory
    • microSD card slot for cards up to 256GB (up to 320GB total memory)
  • high-resolution color touchscreen
  • analog volume wheel provides fine level adjustments
  • 3.5mm unbalanced headphone output
  • 2.5mm balanced headphone output for compatible 'phones
  • Bluetooth 4.0 for high-quality streaming to compatible headphones and speakers
  • built-in Wi-Fi with DLNA to access home wireless network
  • built-in rechargeable battery provides up to 8 hours of playback
  • high-speed USB interface (cable included) for drag-and-drop file transfer and battery charging
  • USB output allows direct digital connection to compatible gear
  • AK Connect
    • free control app available from Apple App Store® and Google Play
    • control your AK70 MKII from your smartphone
    • access home networked computer and NAS drives via Wi-Fi to wirelessly stream to your AK70
    • access internet radio stations to play through your AK70 MK II
  • brushed aluminum casing
  • 2-7/8"W x 3-13/16"H x 5/8"D
  • weight: 5.29 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Portable digital music player (noir black)
  • 39" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and Micro-B USB on other end)
  • 4 Protective clear films (2 for front/2 for back)
  • microSD card slot cover
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty information

I am a fan of Astell & Kern products. This compact size hi-res player is huge in quality and function. The sound quality, function and features makes this a must have for the audiophiles.

Lawrence Walsh, Jersey City, NJ


Astell & Kern AK70 MKII Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(5 Reviews)

Astell & Kern AK70 MKII

David from Norfolk, VA on 6/11/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I upgraded from a Fiio X3 to this Astell & Kern AK70 MKII and I could not believe the sound quality, it really made my hi-res music files sound hi-res. Cosmetically the player is beautiful. It has a heft to it, but not too heavy. The touch screen works flawlessly and the volume knob is accurate and has a good feel to it. Overall the construction is top-notch. I know it seems pricey, but I am very satisfied and would purchase again. Add music files is incredibly easy - drag and drop, and there are multiple ways to find your music on the platform built into the player. It is really user friend. The only thing I would like to see improved is battery life, it is not terrible, but could be better. I would recommend without reservation.

Pros: Incredible sound quality, Aesthetically pleasing to eye and touch, Super user friendly

Cons: Could use longer battery life

Astell & Kern AK70 MKII

Brian from Sacramento, CA on 4/27/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The idea of portable high quality sound intrigued me and so I took a leap of faith and purchased this. My 60 + year old ears that have over 10,000 hours on heavy earth moving equipment can hear the difference between the sound coming out of my iPhone vs the Astell & Kern. Especially after I purchased a new set of expensive Sennheiser head phones and software that ripped my cds. Also subscribed to TIDAL. And purchased a DAC headphone amplifier. The instruction are pretty worthless and there is not useful Instructions on the internet. Apparently you need to be a technogical geek to understand how to actually use it to its full potential. The sound level adjustment is too sensitive but if you want to hear electronic music at a new level give this toy a try.

Pros: Sound quality-cool looking

Cons: Instructions-how do actually use this thing? Astell & Kern needs to invest in some writers and video producers that can translate the potential of its product to consumers who are not engineers.

Amazing Detail and Clarity in my car!

Thomas from Greenville, SC on 4/25/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

As an audiophile, quality and detail are very important to me. Most of you reading this review may be interested in using the AK70 MKII with headphones. But my main reason for purchasing the AK70 MKII is for my car. I recently upgraded my system to include the Alpine head unit CDE-163BT (for its FLAC capability), Alpine PDX-F6 Class D amp, and Focal K2 Power 165KRX2 speakers. I am using FLAC files and high-quality components, so I figured the sound was as good as I could get. Unfortunately, something was still missing. After speaking with a Crutchfield advisor, I realized that quality of the sound source was not just a function of file type (FLAC), but also the quality of the DAC. My advisor convinced me that the DAC of the first generation AK70 was superior to the DAC in the Alpine head unit. So, I decided to try the AK70. I used the 3.5mm port on the AK70 along with the 3.5mm input AUX port of the Alpine. After only one song, I knew he was right! There was much better clarity and detail. So, I decided to try the AK70 MKII because of the dual DAC. Frankly, I did not expect to hear much difference. But, I was SHOCKED at the difference. The MKII has way more detail and clarity than the first gen AK70. I am hearing sounds in the music that I never heard before even with the FLAC + Alpine DAC. Songs that I would pass over before are now a joy to hear! I am now very satisfied. If you can afford the extra $200, I highly recommend the AK70 MKII over the AK70.

Pros: Amazing clarity and detail, easy to use, simply awesome sound, superior DAC


Astell & Kern AK70 MKII

Crutchfield customer from Henrico, VA on 3/24/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent sound and no problems so far.



Astell & Kern Enthusiast

Lawrence Walsh from Jersey City, NJ on 3/14/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am a fan of Astell & Kern products. This compact size hi-res player is huge in quality and function. The sound quality, function and features makes this a must have for the audiophiles.

Pros: Compact size with a punch. Sound, Function and Features

Cons: None


Hands-on research

Product Research


Overview: The Astell & Kern AK70 MKII is the updated version of the popular AK70 digital music player. The Mark II has higher output (than the AK70), dual DACs, better signal-to-noise and THD+N specs, and a higher capacity battery. This compact digital audio player features durable aluminum construction, and balanced output. It measures only 2-1/2" (w) x 3-7/8" (h) x 5/8" (d), and weighs just 5.4 ounces. Clear plastic film protectors are included for the front and back. The AK70 MKII is available in Cadet Blue and Noir Black.

Dual DACs: The AK70 MKII is equipped with two Cirrus Logic CS4398 DACs (digital-to-analog converters) that separates the left and right audio channels from input to output. This Dual DAC design reduces noise and interference, adds more fidelity and audio output power, to give you better imaging and a bigger soundstage.

32-Bit to 24-Bit Downsampling: The AK70 MKII offers 32-bit to 24-bit downsampling of music files. 32-bit/384kHz music files are downsampled to 24-bit/192kHz, while 32-bit/352kHz music files are downsampled to 24-bit/176kHz for playback.

DSD-to-PCM Conversion: The AK70 MKII features DSD-to-PCM conversion. It will convert DSD 64/128MHz music files to PCM 24-bit/176kHz for playback.

Media File Transfer: You can download digital music files from your Windows PC or Mac computer to the AK70 MKII through its microUSB port via the included USB cable. Supported audio formats include WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DSD (DFF + DSF). The device is compatible with Windows 7, 8, or 10 (32-bit or 64-bit versions), as well as Mac OS X 10.7 and up.

Built-in Memory + External Storage: The AK70 MKII has a built-in 64GB internal flash memory for downloading and store you digital music files. You can also insert a microSD card (up to 256 GB) in the memory card slot on the side of the device for additional storage capacity. You microSD card should be formatted in FAT32. No memory card is included with the player.

Micro-B USB Port: The Astell & Kern AK70 MKII is fitted with a Micro-B USB port that can be used for downloading music files from your computer and for charging the battery with the supplied USB cable. The port also supports USB Audio Out and allows you to use the AK70 MKII as a USB DAC for your computer.

USB DAC: The USB DAC functionality allows the AK70 MKII to be recognized as a sound card on a computer. The AK70 MKII is connected to a free USB port on your Windows PC or Mac computer; the music from your computer is then played through the AK70 MKII's headphone port for an enhanced listening experience.  This USB DAC connection bypasses the inferior soundcard of your computer or laptop and uses the AK70 MKII as the USB DAC for better sound quality. It can support up to 24-bit/96kHz bit-to-bit music playback, providing much richer sound through superior ambience and resolution way beyond the limits of the embedded soundcard of your computer. You must use a dedicated USB cable, not the Micro-B USB cable included with the unit (which is used for charging only).

  • Computer Requirements: Compatible with Windows PC and Mac computer
    • Windows: 7 (32/64-bit), 8 (32/64-bit), and 10 (32/64-bit)
    • Mac OS: OS X 10.7 (Lion) or later
  • Supported Music Files: Supported music files include MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, DSD (DFF/DSF), OGG, and APE
    • Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz to 96kHz
    • Bit Rate: 16-bit or 24-bit
Notes: When using the AK70 MKII as a USB DAC, its PEQ settings are not applied, and output up to 24-bit/96kHz (not 192kHz) is supported. DSD 64/128MHz is converted via DSD-to-PCM for playback.

Balanced / Unbalanced Outputs: The Astell & Kern AK70 MKII features a 2.5mm balanced headphone output and a 3.5mm unbalanced headphone output for connection with a variety of headphones:

  • 2.5mm Balanced Jack: The AK70 MKII features a 2.5-mm/4-pole balanced output (4.0 Vrms) for connection with compatible headphones. Connecting to an external audio device requires that you connect to both the unbalanced port (ground) and balanced audio port (L/R). The balanced output is capable of removing noise, and has increased output due to its double transmitting signals.
  • 3.5mm Unbalanced Jack: The AK70 MKII also features a 3.5-mm/3-pole unbalanced output (2.0 Vrms) that offers compatibility with a variety of headphones. The 3.5mm headphone output can also be used as a fixed line-level output, so you can connect the AK70 MKII to your home receiver, integrated amplifier, or powered speakers.

Built-In Wi-Fi: The AK70 MKII features built-in 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) which allows you to connect to your home's Wi-Fi network wirelessly with support for AK Connect. The AK Connect feature lets you connect with network-ready Astell & Kern devices and speakers (sold separately).

Note: Firmware/software updates are done over the AK70 MKII's Wi-Fi network connection.

Bluetooth: The AK70 MKII has built-in Bluetooth 4.0 for connecting a Bluetooth speaker, headphone, or receiver so you can listen to your digital music files wirelessly. In addition to support for the standard Bluetooth SBC codec, the AK70 MKII offers support for aptX and aptX HD wireless audio playback for Bluetooth speakers, headphones, and receivers that also support aptX or apxX HD. Car audio Bluetooth connections are not supported.

MQS Streaming Server: The Astell & Kern AK70 MKII can access and play music files stored on a computer on the same network, as well as output sound through Astell & Kern speakers. The MQS Streaming Server can be downloaded and installed on your computer (Windows 7/8/10 and Mac OS X 10.7 or later).

AK Connect App: The AK Connect App is a DLNA-based control app that lets you play back music data on a NAS drive or PC, or on other Astell & Kern products. You can also stream music from services such as Tidal. The AK Connect app is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 8.0 or later, and with Android devices running software version 4.2 and up.

User Interface: The AK70 MKII features a high-quality user interface to make it easy to find and select your music files, change the volume, and adjust the sound.

  • 3.31" LCD Touchscreen: The full-color 3.31" 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 AK70 MKII has a side-mounted analog-style rotary volume knob. The volume control range is 0 to 150 with detents at every 1.0. As you adjust the volume, the volume range is shown numerically on the display.
  • 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.

10-Band EQ: The AK70 MKII has a 10-band Equalizer to tailor the sound of your music to your preference. You can set the levels of each band from -10dB to +10dB at 32kHz, 62Hz, 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, 1kHz, 2kHz, 4kHz, 8kHz and 16kHz.

Gapless Playback: Gapless Playback allows you to play the next song without any interruptions or silence. Gapless playback is only supported between two audio files with identical bit rates, sample rates, and channels.

Power Requirements: The AK70 MKII is equipped with a rechargeable Lithium-Polymer battery (2500mAh/3.7V). The battery charges via USB in about 8 hours using a USB port on your computer or about 4-1/2 hours using a 5V/2A USB/AC power adapter (sold separately). A 39" Micro-B cable is included to connect the player to your charging device. A fully charged battery can provide up to approximately 10 hours of continuous playback time.

Optional CD-Ripper (Sold Separately): The AK70 MKII can allow users to rip CDs with ease by linking with the AK CD-Ripper (sold separately). It supports the CD track error correction feature and the meta data (ID3TAG) auto input feature using Gracenote's database without any change. The AK CD-Ripper may not be properly recognized when using a power supply adapter rated at less than 5V 2A.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

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Features and reviews [ John  Mar 30, 2018 ]