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The copper AK380 Portable Hi-Fi Audio System from Astell&Kern is a media player and USB DAC that supports a wide variety of audio formats including WAV, FLAC, ACC, MP3, WMA, OGG, and more in addition to DSD. It is equipped with a dual DAC AKM AK4490 chip that allows for native DSD playback, meaning it does not need to convert DSD files to WAV prior to analog conversion.
The AK380 can be controlled via its 4.0" WVGA touch screen and features a physical volume knob. The unit has 256GB of internal storage, and supports microSD cards up to 128GB, for a total of 384GB of potential storage. Thanks to its streaming capabilities, you are not limited to playback of songs you have on your device, as it can stream tracks from your Mac or PC connected to the same wireless network.
32-Bit 384 kHz Bit-to-Bit Playback
All of the AK380’s circuit design, including the digital-analog converter (DAC), is ready for 32-bit processing to handle 32-bit music natively
The result is the AK380 plays up to 32-bit, 384 kHz, any 24-bit music files, or double layer DSD 5.6 MHz natively, without down sampling, conversion, or compression
PEQ (Parametric EQ)
A parametric equalizer (PEQ) was implemented in the AK380 to deliver detailed adjustment of the original sound, and an audio digital signal processor (DSP) was added to aid in this process
This frees up CPU cycles previously needed for calculating graphic equalizers (GEQ), allowing more detailed and accurate calculations via the dedicated DSP
The audio DSP expands the existing 10-band, ±0.5 dB graphic equalizer (GEQ) to 20-band, ±0.1 dB to more precisely adjust the frequency and gain (dB) as well as more accurately specify the frequency range via Q value adjustments
20-band PEQ frequency values
Equipped with a Femto Clock to Deliver True Original Sound
Astell&Kern implemented a voltage-controlled crystal oscillator (VCXO) high-precision clock with a reference jitter value of 200 femto seconds
Femto clocks are commonly used in high-end audio systems, and the clock is measured in high-precision femtosecond units (one quadrillionth of a second)
The AK380 utilizes a VCXO, or a voltage-controlled crystal oscillator, is a type of crystal oscillation device that creates oscillation frequencies. External environmental stimuli, which in this case mean voltage inputs, influence the frequency value. Adjustments to the voltage input tunes a precise frequency value
By utilizing a femto clock, the AK380 is able to create a more accurate frequency value and make fine jitter corrections. As a result, the AK380 faithfully reproduces analog sound closer than ever to the original source when transmitting a digital signal as an analog signal
AK Connect App
Astell&Kern has further enhanced DLNA functionality via the AK Connect app
Wireless networking DLNA (version 1.0) connects to a NAS or PC, and is easily controlled with a smartphone or tablet through AK Connect
Source files on a PC or NAS can be freely transferred and streamed without the hassle of turning on the computer and physically connecting with a cable
If on the same access point (AP) network, music files on a PC or NAS can be played back via DLNA
DMP (Digital Media Player): Finds a list of content on a media server for selection and playback
DMC (Digital Media Controller): Finds a list of content on a media server and establishes a connection to a playback-capable device (renderer). By default, a DMC establishes a connection between a media server and media renderer and controls content playback-related operations
DMS (Digital Media Server = Network Server): Actually stores the media content to be shared. When connected to a network, the DMS transmits/distributes the media content for other devices to stream or download
DMR (Digital Media Renderer = Network Player): Connects to a media server via media controller for content playback
Pressure-Sensitive Metal Capacitive Touch
The AK380 utilizes a metal capacitive touch interface. The pressure-sensitive Metal Touch home button responds to fine pressure changes so users operate the device with just a light touch on the metallic pad
More Expandable Options
The AK380 offers great expandable options through its micro USB connection and balanced out ports on the bottom of the unit
The AK380's functionality is expandable by connecting to a variety of devices
You can increase the output and connect to a greater variety of high-impedance professional headphones through the optional AK380 Amp
The optional AK380 Cradle features balanced output in addition to USB data transfer and charging capabilities
The optional AK380 CD-ROM drive rips audio CDs directly to the AK380
The AK380’s design was inspired by “light” and “shadow”
While the design of the AK240 captured a moment in time of light and shadow, the AK380 is designed to express the change of time with more angles on its body. You will notice the different angles on its surface as you view the AK380
Astell&Kern believe that the beauty of the design shall reflect what the AK380 can do with music. As different angles of light casts different shadows, different music will give you a variety of emotions
In the Box
Astell&Kern AK380 Portable Hi-Fi Audio System (Copper)