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Astell & Kern AK70

High-resolution portable music player with Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth®

4 Reviews | 4 questions - 5 answers

Item # 838AK70

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Overview

Our take on the Astell & Kern AK70

If you have a digital music library with high-resolution audio files, you need to know about the Astell & Kern AK70. This compact portable music player can deliver all the detail and depth of your high-res music. It's an ideal match for a set of high-performance headphones. And through its USB port, you can use the AK70 as an in-line digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to play high-resolution sound from your computer through your headphones.

Astell & Kern AK70

Supports balanced and unbalanced output for high-performance headphones (headphones not included)

Portable high-resolution audio

If you have a digital music library with high-resolution audio files, you need to know about the Astell & Kern AK70. This compact portable music player can deliver all the detail and depth of your high-res music. It's an ideal match for a set of high-performance headphones. And through its USB port, you can use the AK70 as an in-line digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to play high-resolution sound from your computer through your headphones.

Exceptional sound quality

The AK70 features a high-quality DAC capable of bit-perfect playback of high-res files up to 24-bit/192kHz, with support for DSD files up to 5.6MHz. 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 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. Its high-fidelity, low-impedance output gives your headphones more power than most portable music players, for optimal performance.

Touchscreen and push-button controls

The player's color touchscreen is simple to navigate. And it displays artist and title info as well as album artwork. And because this is a high-resolution audio player, the AK70 features an analog volume knob, so you can make small, nuanced adjustments.

Expandable memory

To add music to the AK70, 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 and a microSD card slot lets you expand the storage up to 192GB. 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 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 your digital music stored on your computer or NAS drive through your home Wi-Fi. Use the app to stream from your computer, internet radio stations, and even other AK Connect-compatible Astell & Kern players to play through the AK70.

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
  • 24-bit/192kHz DAC for bit-perfect playback of high-resolution audio files
  • 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 128GB (up to 192GB 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 for 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
  • AK Connect
    • free control app available from Apple App Store® and Google Play
    • control your AK70 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
  • brushed aluminum casing
  • 2-3/16"W x 4-5/8"H x 1/2"D
  • weight: 4.66 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Portable digital music player
  • 39" microUSB-to-USB cable
  • 4 Protective clear films (2 for front/2 for back)
  • microSD card slot cover
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty information
Reviews

Astell & Kern AK70 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(4 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Product Research

Features

Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC: The Astell & Kern AK70 is equipped with a Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC (digital-to-analog converter) for 24-bit/192kHz bit-to-bit playback, 32-bit to 24-bit downsampling, and DSD-to-PCM conversion.

  • 32-Bit to 24-Bit Downsampling: The Astell & Kern AK70 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 Astell & Kern AK70 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 Astell & Kern AK70 through its microUSB port and the included microUSB-to-USB cable.

  • Supported Audio Formats: The AK70 is capable of download and playback of high resolution digital music files up to 24-bit/192kHz; including FLAC, WAV, ALAC, and AIFF. It also supports playback of DSD 64/128MHz (DFF/DSF) music files by converting them to PCM (24-bit/176kHz). In addition, the AK70 will support highly compressed music files such as MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, and APE.
  • Computer Requirements: The AK70 is compatible with Windows 7, 8, or 10 (32-bit or 64-bit versions of each). It also support Mac OS X 10.7 and up. Mac users need to download and install the MTP program from the Astell&Kern website.

Built-in Memory + External Storage: The AK70 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 128GB) in the memory card slot on the side of the device for additional storage capacity. You microSD card should be formatted in FAT32.

microUSB Port: The Astell & Kern AK70 is fitted with a microUSB port that can be used as an input for or output. The microUSB port is used for downloading music files from  your computer and for charging the battery. The microUSB port also supports USB Audio Out and allows you to use the AK70 as a USB DAC for your Windows PC or computer.

USB Audio Out: The AK70 can be connected to the USB audio input of an AV receiver or integrated amplifier using an OTG cable (sold separately). The AK70 can output PCM music files to your receiver or amp. It can also transfer DSD in native through DoP, or convert DSD into PCM for output to amplifiers that do not support DoP.

USB DAC: The USB DAC functionality allows the AK70 to be recognized as a sound card on a computer. The AK70 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's earphones port for an enhanced listening experience. This USB DAC connection bypasses the inferior soundcard of your computer or laptop and uses the AK70 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.

  • Computer Requirements: Compatible with Windows PC and Mac computer
    • Windows PC: XP (32/64-bit), 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 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 Output: The Astell & Kern AK70 is outfitted with a 2.5mm balanced headphone output (L+/L-/R+/R-) and a 3.5mm unbalanced headphone output (L+/R+/GND) for connection with a variety of headphones.

  • 2.5mm Balanced Jack: The AK70 features a 2.5-mm/4-pole balanced output (2.3 Vrms) for connection with compatible balanced earphones & headphones. This type of connection requires that you connect your compatible headphones to both the unbalanced port (ground) and balanced audio port (L/R) of the AK70. Unlike the unbalanced type, the balanced output type is capable of removing noise (common mode noise) that can occur in "signal + inverting amplifier signal" and has the strength of increasing output due to its double transmitting signals.
  • 3.5mm Unbalanced Jack: The AK70 also features a 3.5-mm/3-pole unbalanced output (2.3 Vrms) that offers compatibility with a variety of HiFi earphones and headphones. The 3.5mm headphone output can also be used as a fixed line-level output, so you can connect the AK70 to your home receiver, integrated amplifier, or powered speakers.

Built-In WiFi: The AK70 features built-in 2.4GHz WiFi (802.11 b/g/n) which allows you to connect to your home's WiFi network wirelessly with support for AK Connect & DLNA.

  • AK Connect: The AK70 comes equipped with the AK Connect feature that can be connected with network-ready Astell & Kern devices and speakers (sold separately).  It will wirelessly output its sound through Astell & Kern speakers (sold separately).
  • DLNA Compliant: It is also appointed with wireless networking DLNA (Ver. 1.0), which makes it easy to work with NAS/PC on the same network and through an AK Connect app on your Apple iOS 7.1+ or Android OS 3.0 device. The AK70 can access and play back music files stored on a computer on the same wireless network.
Note: Firmware/software updates are done over the AK70's WiFi network connection.

Bluetooth Transmitter: The AK70 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 offers support for aptX allowing CD quality (16-bit/44.1kHz) wireless audio playback for Bluetooth speakers, headphones, and receivers that also support aptX.

Note: DSD playback is not available via Bluetooth, and performance may be limited for high-res playback; 48 kHz or lower resolution is recommended). Car audio Bluetooth connections are not supported.

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

  • 3.3" LCD Touchscreen: The full-color 3.3" 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 has a side-mounted analog-style rotary volume knob. The volume control range is 00.0 to 75.0 with detents at every 0.5. 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 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 is equipped with a rechargeable Lithium-Polymer battery (2200mAh/3.7V). The battery charges via USB in about 8 hours using a USB port on your computer or about 4 hours using a USB/AC power adapter (sold separately). A 39" micro-USB-to-USB 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.

Aluminum Construction: The  Astell & Kern AK70 features an aluminum construction. It measures only 2.375" (w) x 3.875" (h) x 0.5625" (d), and weighs just 4.66 ounces. Clear plastic film protectors are included for the front and back of the portable digital music player.

Optional CD-Ripper (Sold Separately): The AK70 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.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

I was looking to upgrade after my iPod started acting up. I didn't know much about portable digital audio players, but Crutchfield's advisor, Colt, was extremely helpful and very knowledgeable. This has Bluetooth and WIFI and is meant to be a dedicated audio player that handles many different types of music files. I have no doubt that it is going to be phenomenal. Thank you to Colt and Crutchfield. [ Lauren  Mar 16, 2018 ]
Audiofile wanna be [ Jerry  Jan 15, 2018 ]
My Ipod classic is beginning to fail. I wanted an inexpensive, standalone music player to replace it. This got some good reviews. It looks like an improvement on the AK jr model that I was looking at earlier in the year. I don't want to be stuck with an Apple product anymore and I don't want to use a phone to play my music. I might be considered to have stone age thinking, but I am still using a turntable that I bought years ago for all my stone age vinyl and those albums still sound great. [ Anne  Jul 03, 2017 ]
I have had a Pono player for years, having bought it through the Kickstarter program. It sounds great, but, once you put in a large chunk of auxiliary memory, it's hard to find specific files. If the A&K sounds as good and has a decent interface I will happily keep it. [ Zack  Mar 21, 2017 ]
I am upgrading from an IPOD classic and research suggests this is an excellent next step. [ Stacy  Mar 12, 2017 ]

4 questions already asked

I'm afraid the AK70 does not currently offer direct access to playback your TIDAL music. For more details or to discuss further, please feel free to contact an Advisor directly by phone (888.955.6000) or online chat. [ Larry  Jul 25, 2017 ]  Staff
I don't think it does either of those. It sounds great on CD files that have been ripped. HD files can be spectacular. I like them with Oppo headphones. It supports Groovers+, MOOV and Tidal. It is really well-made and the company will probably do some firmware updates in the future [ Zack  Jun 26, 2017 ]
You could use it as an amp from your computer to listen to those but only Tidal is supported directly. [ Matthew  Jun 26, 2017 ]
I'm afraid the AK70 does not feature any up-converting/up-sampling of MP3 music files. If that's something you would like to discuss in further detail, feel free to contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Larry  Apr 06, 2017 ]  Staff
My AK70 supports Tidal, MOOV, and GROOVES+. Great Player!! [ david  Mar 13, 2017 ]
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