Astell & Kern AK300 Portable Digital Audio Music Player
Key AK300 features
• Class-leading audio quality at this price point
• Incredibly accurate playback: VCXO Clock reduces jitter
• 24bit/192kHz DAC design; Bit to Bit playback
• Widest range of music file format support, including DSD
• Balanced and standard 3.5mm outputs
• 64GB of internal memory; microSD slot for further expansion (264GB)
• Wi-fi connectivity and AK Connect App enables easy network streaming
• Bluetooth support: wirelessly stream to headphones/speakers
• Casing is machined from a single block of aluminium
• Also works as a USB DAC, to boost quality of computer-based audio
• Dedicated accessories - including seamless slide-on headphone amp,
desktop cradle and CD ripper - available as optional extras
The AK 300 is the little sister of the AK380 and AK320 music players. This music player has some of the best high-res features of the AK320.
AK4490's Single DAC-DAC
Parametric EQ with 20bands 0.01dB
200 Femto Second VCXO Reference Clock
DLNA-based AK Connect App and Metal Touch Sensor Home Button
24bit 192kHz bit to bit Playback
AK300 is capable of bit-to-bit playback up to 24bit, 192kHz.
32bit audio is downsampled using a sample-rate converter (SRC). In addition, DSD 64/128 can be played back via conversion to PCM.
32bit, 384kHz is downsampled to 24bit, 192kHz, and 32bit, 352kHz is downsampled to 24bit, 176kHz for playback.
DSD 64/128 is converted via DSD-to-PCM to PCM 24bit, 176kHz for playback.
PEQ (Parametric EQ)
A parametric equalizer (PEQ*1) 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*2) to 20-band, ±0.01 dB to more precisely adjust the frequency and gain (dB) as well as more accurately specifying the frequency range via Q value adjustments.
Graphic equalization divides the audible frequency register into several registers and increases or decreases the level of each register with a volume slider to adjust the respective frequency's characteristics. The switches of the volume slider are connected like a graph to visually determine the frequency characteristics, hence the name "graphic equalizer."
Femto Clock Delivers True Original Sound
Astell&Kern implemented a voltage-controlled crystal oscillator (VCXO) high-precision clock with a reference jitter value of 200 femto seconds*3.
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).
What is VCXO?
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.
What is Jitter?
Jitter refers to the undesired deviation in time that occurs in a periodic signal. In this case, jitter is the error that occurs in the reference clock required to perform the sampling in digital audio equipment.
By utilizing a femto clock, the AK300 is able to create a more accurate frequency value and make fine jitter corrections.
As a result, the AK300 faithfully reproduces analog sound closer than ever to the original source when transmitting a digital signal as an analog signal.
The AK300 supports USB DAC functionality.
The AK300 can be connected to a PC or Mac via USB for use as a USB DAC that supports PCM/DSD.
When playing back music stored on a PC or Mac, the Dual-DAC is able to deliver richer audio of outstanding soundstage and resolution well beyond the limits of a built-in sound card.
- When using the AK300 as a USB DAC, its PEQ settings are not applied, and output up to 24bit, 96kHz is supported.
- DSD 64/128 is converted via DSD-to-PCM for playback.
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.