The Astell and Kern AK100 is the ultimate portable high-fidelity audio system capable of studio Mastering Quality Sound.
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.
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.
Leverage the Wolfson WM8740 DAC with the optical-in feature of the Astell&Kern and use it as an external DAC, Connect the Astell and Kern to an optical-out port of your computer or a CD player using a TOSLINK optical cable and plus it to the optical-in of the Astell and Kern. The digital music files will be converted by the Wolfson WM8740 DAC and enjoy a further improvement of your music listening experience.
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.
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 and Kern.