Astell&Kern always releases something new at HIGH END and during 2016 is no different as their new AK300 ($899) seamlessly mates with their also new cradle AK Recorder ($899). The new AK300 Hi-Res Audio and Music player joins the AK Recorder that includes a pair of microphones or you can input an analog signal to record in DSD. The single DAC AK300 contains many of the same features of its older family members at a more affordable price, including the ability to be expanded with a variety of docking accessories that allow a user to add additional functions and features to the players.
Also included in all AK300 series players are Parametric EQ (PEQ), VCXO Reference Clock (Femto Clock) for minimal jitter, AK Connect support, USB DAC function, Wi-Fi connectivity, and pressure sensitive Metal Touch Home Button. A single AK4490 DAC chipset supports up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM (downconverted to 24-bit/192Hhz PCM) and up to double-rate 5.6MHz DSD (converted to PCM). There is 64GB of internal flash storage with single microSD card slot for adding more storage space.
Astell&Kern's AK Recorder allows users to turn the AK300, AK320 or AK380 into a portable recording studio that is capable of recording high-resolution audio anywhere in the world. The AK Recorder is the world’s first to support DSD 5.6 MHz recording from a hand-held unit. Mic In supports professional grade microphones with 5V inputs and 48V phantom power to record live music and vocals. There is also a Line In that supports connection of analog music sources such as turntables to record music in high-resolution. Furthermore, AES/EBU In supports recording of digital music signals from recording studio consoles and there is support for optional Stereo Recording kit that is sold separately. Users may record from 16 to 32 bit, and from 44.1 to 384kHz, DSD64, and DSD128. Due to varying volumes of input signal, you may fine tune mic and pre-amp gain, plus there are a variety of recording options including digital limiter, peak hold, low-cut filters, pre-recording and more. A truly interesting feature, as if all the other were just, well... ok, they're great! You can also control the unit via Wi-Fi. Sweet!
Speaking of sweet, Astell&Kern's party included their very own Stout Bier. Astell&Kern's AK Recorder earns Enjoy the Music.com's HIGH END Top 10 for producing an excellent, high quality, feature-rich, and easy to use Hi-Res Audio and Music recording device with immense flexibility.