Home » Astell and Kern fuse a high-end headphone amplifier and DAP

Astell and Kern fuse a high-end headphone amplifier and DAP

If you understand your audio gadgets, you may know a digital audio participant shops and performs a wealthy suite of high-resolution, or lossless, music and media information, throughout many digital codecs, resolutions and encodings. One such well-known lossless format is FLAC, whereas most music performed on cell phones, even desktop and laptop computer computer systems, are compressed audio codecs which might be, by nature, lossy – that’s, to attain a smaller file dimension a few of the audio is eliminated, some is flattened, and different audio alterations are made. MP3 is a serious instance, in addition to AAC and Ogg Vorbis. For the audio purist lossy audio compression gained’t do. By taking part in lossless audio codecs the listener receives each nuance, excessive, mid, low, and all different particulars that existed within the unique uncompressed information.

Getting one of the best out of lossless audio calls for high-end audio tools and whereas it is common to have a super-portable DAP, and it’s common to have a high-end amplifier or receiver, it’s undoubtedly uncommon to search out each in a single bundle. Yet, that’s what Astell&Kern has performed with the ACRO CA1000. It genuinely is a severe amplifier in a strong aluminium 104.9mm x 45mm x 148.8mm kind issue.

It helps WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, and MQA audio codecs which it performs by 4 ESS ES9068AS digital to analogue converters, or DACs. That’s proper; not one however 4 – Astell&Kern have made no compromises of their relentless pursuit of audio purity. The system has separate 2.5mm, 3.5mm, 4.4mm, and 6.35mm output circuits and these are bodily separated to make sure there isn’t a chance of noise interference between the alerts from every output stage.

There are plentiful choices for audio out and in, with a stereo pair of RCA sockets for analogue enter, one other for analogue output, together with digital inputs of coaxial, optical, and USB-C, and digital outputs of optical and USB-C. It additionally helps 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi on each 2.4GHz and 5GHz, Bluetooth v5.0 with A2DP, AVRCP, Qualcomm aptX HD, and LDAC profiles, in addition to on-board 256GB file storage that may be expanded by as much as one other 1TB through microSD. And, after all, there are the 4 separate headphone outputs talked about above. This all combines to offer versatile choices for audio enter and output, and you may also retailer music domestically by the microSD card, through USB-C, and even FTP over Wi-Fi. If that’s not sufficient, you’ll be able to even handle CD ripping too.

Poking across the native storage revealed the 71-page PDF consumer handbook in English and different languages, which you may also discover on the Astell&Kern website beneath Support/Download.

There’s an Android-based participant built-in with a 4.1” 720×1280 touchscreen that permits you to management all of your music sources and outputs and file library, in addition to set up apps like Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal giving much more choices. Being Android you merely swipe down from the highest to show Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on and off, change brightness, view your downloads, entry different settings, and so forth. The display screen can lay flat and likewise rise as much as 60 levels.

iTWire might checklist specs however that solely tells a part of the story. The ACRO CA1000 really have to be heard to be believed. You can have a look at a standard amplifier and imagine it’s highly effective, however on this case, we’re speaking about one thing no greater than, say, three cell phones stacked on high of one another. Yet, it’s beautiful. iTWire uploaded FLAC copies of the Pink Floyd assortment to inner storage and performed it by a 3.5mm wired headset, working from battery.

We didn’t anticipate what occurred subsequent; it was a goosebump-inducing expertise listening to Another Brick within the Wall as if it had been the primary time once more. Each instrument and voice was crisp and clear, shifting by the nuances of the lengthy, subdued guitar solo hit, onto the band’s leveraging their devices to point rising menace, all cocooned amidst a mix of tempos, disco beats, and kids’s choir. The expertise was immersive, however greater than this it was a journey remodeling me from my chair and environment to a world of fantasy and delight, by the authenticity of music being heard because the artist supposed.

If you like, you may also customise the audio with AMP settings that target low features, mids, and highs, in addition to a ‘tremendous’ possibility. You can regulate crossfeed and EQ, creating and saving quite a few EQ mixes to fit your preferences. You can choose totally different DAC filters, and amongst these choices, the system strives to guard your listening to with an non-obligatory quantity restrict warning and a set of associated choices.

The Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 units new requirements for headphone amplifiers, with a characteristic set and high quality not beforehand seen on a headset amplifier. The acquire setting circuitry can drive nearly any present headphones to an optimum state with out degraded sound high quality, and it gives inputs and outputs that can be utilized by anybody from a basic viewers to audio fanatics. It can be utilized as a Hi-Fi audio system by its vary of connectivity choices, all pushed by the touch-screen. You may also take it wherever you need, bringing premium sound anyplace you’re. Ordinarily, you wouldn’t anticipate finding the options and choices stuffed throughout the CA1000 on something smaller than a stationary amplifier. Yet, the CA1000 is small, moveable, and contains an 8,400mAh battery for fully wi-fi operation. It gives steady playback of greater than 10 hours, and fees through USB-C, supporting USB-PD 2.0 quick charging that takes its battery as much as 50% in a single hour, after which totally charged inside two and a half hours.

All this comes bundled in a premium-looking moon-silver aluminium casing with silver-plated defend cans inside to get rid of electromagnetic interference between all the numerous components.

There is a lot extra to say; Astell&Kern has got down to not solely create a high-end moveable amplifier and DAP in a single system however to utterly set a precedent of the very best degree. The vary of connectivity choices and the vary of options give you no scarcity of flexibility, combined with uncompromising engineering and audio excellence that maximises readability whereas eliminating interference.

The Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 sells for $3,099.


  • Body Colour: Moon Silver
  • Body Material: Aluminium
  • Display: 4.1-inch, 720 x 1280px contact display screen
  • Supported Audio Formats: WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF
  • Sample Rate: PCM: 8kHz 384kHz (8/16/24/32bits per Sample), DSD Native: DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256(1bit 11.2MHz), DSD512(1bit, 22.4MHz) Stereo
  • Output Level: Low – Unbalanced 2Vrms / Balanced 4Vrms (Condition No Load), Mid – Unbalanced 4Vrms / Balanced 8Vrms (Condition No Load), High – Unbalanced 6Vrms / Balanced 12Vrms (Condition No Load), Super – Unbalanced 8Vrms / Balanced 15Vrms (Condition No Load), RCA Out 2Vrms (Condition No Load)
  • CPU: Quad-core
  • DAC: ESS ES9068AS x4 (Quad-DAC)
  • Decoding: Support as much as 32bit / 384kHz Bit to Bit playback
  • Headphone Outputs: Unbalanced (3.5mm, 6.35mm), Balanced (2.5mm, 4.4mm)
  • Analogue Inputs: RCA (Stereo pair)
  • Analog Outputs: RCA (Stereo pair)
  • Digital Inputs: Coaxial, Optical, USB(Type-C)
  • Digital Outputs: Optical (3.5mm), USB(Type-C)
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz)
  • Bluetooth: V5.0 (A2DP, AVRCP, Qualcomm® aptX™ HD, LDAC)
  • Dimensions: 4.12″(104.9mm)W x 1.77″(45mm)H x 5.85″(148.8mm)D
  • Weight: about 919g (32.41oz)
  • Feature Enhancements: Firmware improve supported (OTA)
  • Frequency Response: ±0.024dB (Condition : 20Hz20kHz) Unbalanced / ±0.018dB (Condition : 20Hz20kHz) Balanced / ±0.048dB (Condition : 20Hz20kHz), RCA ±0.059dB (Condition : 20Hz70kHz) Unbalanced / ±0.056dB (Condition : 20Hz70kHz) Balanced / ±0.048dB (Condition : 20Hz70kHz) RCA S/N 107dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced | 115dB @ 1kHz, Balanced | 119dB @ 1kHz, RCA Crosstalk -105dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced | -124dB @ 1kHz, Balanced | -121dB @ 1kHz, RCA THD+N 0.005% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced | 0.002% @ 1kHz, Balanced | 0.0004% @ 1kHz, RCA IMD SMPTE 0.0008% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Unbalanced | 0.0004% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Balanced | 0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) RCA
  • Output Impedance: 3.5mm, 6.35mm (1ohm), 2.5mm, 4.4mm (2ohm), RCA (2ohm)
  • Clock Jitter: 25ps (Typ)
  • Reference Clock Jitter: 70ps
  • Built-in Memory: 256GB NAND
  • External Memory: microSD x1 (Max. 1TB)
  • Battery Capacity: 8,400mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer
  • Charge Time: about 2.5hours (9V / 3A PD2.0 Fast Charging) | 7hours (5V 2A General Charging)
  • Playback Time: about 10.5hours (Standard: FLAC, 16bit, 44.1kHz, Unbalanced, Vol.40, LCD Off, Low Gain)
  • Supported OS: Windows 7, 8, 10 (32/64bit), macOS 10.7 and above

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