AUDIO PLAYER ANALYSIS
The AK300 is the embodiment of purity and timelessness of music.
Its design was inspired by the AK380, our flagship portable music player, continuing the "light and shadow" motif found in the entire Astell&Kern product line.
The AK240 captured a moment in time at which light had ceased to move, while the AK380 expressed the perpetuity of moving light. Now, the AK300 represents the purity of a shadow as it reflects no light.
The essence of a shadow without being split by light was captured in a restrained yet immaculate shape, and this exemplifies the purity of the original studio sound that only Astell&Kern can deliver.
The volume knob was placed in the back to make it protrude so that it would be easier for the user to control with one hand. The front side of the knob is shaped like the wavelength of the sound, which is a representation of the melody and beauty of Astell&Kern that allows the user to catch smallest vibration between sounds. The knurling patterns on the knob's side succeeds the design identity of Astell&Kern audio products while offering high-end feel and smooth usability.
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. 32bit SRC by the AK300.
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.
What is Parametric Equalization?
Parametric equalization refers to the ability to increase or decrease the volume within the Q value range. A Q value is a frequency range relative to a selected frequency. The frequency range decreases when the Q value increases and vice versa.
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*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).
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 Single-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.
Metal Capacitive Touch. The AK300 features the same metal touch interface as the AK380 and AK320.
The Metal Touch functions as a home key and interfaces with the device via pressure-sensitive touches.
More Expandable Options
The AK300 can be expanded to a variety of devices through the micro-USB and balanced audio out ports located at the bottom of the product.
It can be connected with the AMP as well as professional high-impedance headphones for high output and USB for data transfer and charging.
It can also be connected to the Cradle for balanced audio functionality as well as the CD-RIPPER to conveniently rip audio CDs.