Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) is an acronym of collective lossless & high-resolution audio source formats, typically in 24-bit/44 to 192kHz of bit/sampling rates. Because MQS delivers about 6.5 times more detail than a conventional CD format (16bit/44.1kHz), listeners can enjoy a better and a more realistic sound quality.
24-bit/44 to 192kHz is the music industry norm used in the mastering process during sound production. However, the result of high resolution music files has to be compressed down to 16bit/44.1kHz 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 320kbps for the convenience of file size. These compressions remove the enormous amount of the details of the original recording because of memory storage limitations and listeners will never be able to hear the details.
Source frequency analysis comparison
When comparing the frequency of each digital audio format, data loss is even more visible. MP3 formats can only reproduce frequencies up to 16kHz. However, WAV formats sampled in 48kHz can be reproduced up to 22kHz and higher. Frequency rates of MQS files sampled in 44 to 192kHz can be reproduced even further than the WAV format.
Meets the Standards of Hi-Fi Audio
THD + Noise (Distortion) over the THD + Noise signal rate, less distortion is heard. The AK100 achieves a 0.0009% distortion signal rate
SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) As the signal-to-noise ratio increases, the clearer the sound becomes. AK100 signal-to-noise specification is 110dB.
CROSSTALK The higher the number in the crosstalk specification, the higher the isolation in the Left/Right channels develops. The AK100 has a crosstalk specification of -120dB.
Frequency Response The frequency response specification of +0.02 to -0.02 in the AK100 provides a clear sound from Bass to Treble.
Jitter With smaller figures representing irregular tremors of the signal waveform, the better the device performs. The AK100 has a Jitter specification of 90ps.
Equipped with the Wolfson 8740 DAC
One of the world’s highest performing 24-bit/192kHz stereo DAC
AK100 is the world’s first portable digital audio device equipped with the Wolfson WM8740 DAC. Users familiar with LINN, ARCAM, and other high-end audio equipment (AV Receivers) actually have been listening to the Wolfson WM8740 high-performance 24-bit/192kHz Stereo DAC at home. With the Wolfson WM8740 DAC, the AK100 achieves highest level of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and the lowest level of the total harmonic distortion (THD) performance. And with the WM8740 DAC, the signal to noise ratio of 110dB found in the AK100 significantly improves sound quality.
External DAC Support
Use the AK100 as an external DAC through the USB port.
Leverage the Wolfson WM8740 DAC with the optical-in feature of the Astell&Kern and use it as an external DAC, Connect the Astell&Kern to an optical-out port of your computer or a CD player using a TOSLINK optical cable and plug it to the optical-in of the Astell&Kern. The digital music files will be converted by the Wolfson WM8740 DAC and enjoy a further improvement of your music listening experience.
The AK100 is equipped with dual microSD card slots and supports up to 96GB of storage space.
To playback large MQS music tracks, it is essential to have large enough storage space in the AK100. With 32GB of built-in internal memory and the dual 32GB high-speed microSD card slots, a total of 96GB of music files can be saved on the AK100.
Fourth generation of MQS Albums supported on microSD cards
The additional memory card slot holds an important point. 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) is 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 dual memory card slots of the Astell&Kern.
- The Astell&Kern supports MQS high-resolution music stored on microSD cards.
A Touch Equalizer Controlled by a Single Swipe
A Practical EQ Determines the Change in Frequency Response
With the Astell&Kern 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.
UI with an Integrated Touch Screen and Control Buttons
The AK100 presents an intuitive interface experience through a combination of touchscreen and control buttons.
The control buttons and touch screen of the AK100 ensures fast and efficient operation. The synchronization of the 4-way user interface, 2.4inch (6.09cm) touchscreen, volume control wheel, and control buttons creates an easy to use experience. The interface of the AK100 is designed for a quick search and instant listening of MQS music.
A Refined Design with an Analog Feel
A brushed aluminum body with superior craftsmanship
The brushed aluminum pores finish represents a deep and refined craftsmanship not traditionally found in a combination.
The sensitive analog feel of the volume wheel
The Astell&Kern is a digital device with an analog ambiance. The volume wheel also provides analog musical inspirations that are not often found on typical push-button volume controls.