The Astell&Kern AK120 Portable High-Fidelity Audio System is a pocket-sized audio system capable of studio Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) support and playback. MQS (24-bit, 44 - 192 kHz) is a digital music format containing a high amount of information, translating to distortion-free sound without data loss. MQS sources are commonly saved as a lossless 24-bit WAV or FLAC files during record production at the time of the mastering source.
The player has dual integrated Wolfson WM8740 DACs, allowing it to completely separate and isolate the left and right audio channels. It can also be used as an external DAC via USB or optical input. The player has 64GB of internal memory and two microSD card slots that each support up to 64GB memory cards. This allows you to store a maximum of 192GB of high definition lossless music. The built-in rechargeable battery recharges via USB and provides up to 14 hours of continuous playback. The player also features a 2.4" IPS touchscreen LCD and hardware control buttons for intuitive control over playback and an analog feel.
Mastering Quality Sound (MQS)
Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) is an acronym of collective lossless and high-resolution audio source formats, typically in 24-bit / 44 - 192 kHz of bit/sampling rates. Because MQS delivers about 6.5 times more detail than a conventional CD format (16-bit / 44.1 kHz), listeners can enjoy a better and a more realistic sound quality. 24-bit / 44 - 192 kHz is the music industry norm used in the mastering process during sound production. However, high resolution music files have to be compressed down to 16-bit / 44.1 kHz so it can be stored into a single CD due to the memory storage shortcomings (700MB). To produce the MP3 format, the high-resolution audio is compressed even further to 128 to 320 kbps for the convenience of file size. These compressions remove an enormous amount of the detail of the original recording because of memory storage limitations and listeners will never be able to hear the details. The AK120 allows you to enjoy your music as it was intended to be heard.
Hi-Fi Audio Specs & Dual DACs
The AK120 not only meets the standards of Hi-Fi audio, but also utilizes two DACs (digital to analog converters), maximizing the dual-mono set up to isolate the left and right audio channels completely separate. This delivers broader dynamic range and wider soundstage, so that you can enjoy even more realistic music.
External DAC Support
With the AK120, the Wolfson WM8740 chips can also be used as an external DAC through the USB terminal. Enjoy more lively sound from the music files stored through a variety of sources, including computers and car audio systems. The optical input can also be used as an external DAC.
64GB Memory & Dual microSD Card Slots
The AK120 comes with 64GB of high-speed internal flash memory and dual microSD memory card slots capable of supporting up to 64GB of memory in each slot. This allows you to store up to 192GB of high-resolution audio on the AK120. The additional memory card slots are also convenient because 24-bit album recordings will soon be released with music files stored in microSD memory cards. For a mainstream album, LP (vinyl) records would be considered as first generation, second generations are cassette tapes, and Compact Discs (CDs) are the third and current generation. Fourth generation albums are considered as MQS albums that are released in high capacity microSD memory cards. Comfortably enjoy two albums at once through the AK120's dual memory card slots.
Touch Equalizer Controlled by a Single Swipe
With the AK120 and a nice set of headphones, audio enthusiasts will appreciate even more various genres of music. Use the touch interface of the built-in 5-band equalizer to delicately find the tone you desire. In addition, touch the screen to finely adjust the value of each band.
2.4" Touchscreen Display
The 2.4" touchscreen and the integrated hardware control buttons on the right and left side of the AK120 make setup quick and easy. Plus, the updated and intuitive graphic user interface allows you to find your favorite tunes quickly without taking it out of your pocket. The curved design of the volume wheel guard provides additional protection to the volume wheel.
Updated GUI for Convenient Operation
The updated GUI offers faster selection of your large library of music. Setting up the desired equalizer is also easy and is as simple as a swipe of your fingers. The main GUI consists of six key icons to help navigate and play your favorites quickly.
Touching the upper part of the main menu instantly brings you back to the "Now Playing" screen. Access your current playlist in a flash by touching the left side of the "Now Playing" screen. Touching the "Option" icon brings up the other option settings, including the EQ settings. The dedicated GUI design provides easy access to music and makes the AK120 a true hi-resolution audio companion.
Refined Design with an Analog Feel
The AK120 is a digital device with an analog ambiance. The volume wheel provides analog musical inspirations that are not often found on typical push-button volume controls. The design of the volume wheel protector resembles the bridge of a stringed instrument and hints at the more enriched sound from the AK120. The craftsmanship of all metal components also reassures the long lasting quality of the AK120.
In the Box
Astell&Kern AK120 Portable High-Fidelity Audio System