Astell&Kern to Launch New Portable DAC Player, Accessories
South Korean consumer electronics manufacturer Astell&Kern are expanding their lineup of audio products to include the next generation of their hardware.
Launching the next generation of their portable dual DAC player, the Astell&Kern AK70 MK II features two DAC chipsets, one for each channel, to "produce a wider soundstage" and "better stereo separation." The device also features outputs via both headphones and USB, allowing a range of options for users to connect an external DAC.
In addition, the company has also partnered with Jerry Harvey Audio, makers of custom in-ear monitors (IEMs) to produce a second generation IEM called the "Michelle Limited." The special edition product, which will be produced in Korea, will provide another entry-level model to Jerry Harvey Audio's catalogue. Featuring three "3-way balanced armature drivers" the Michelle Limited advertises greater driver efficiency compared to conventional dynamic drivers.
The third new device to be announced is the AK CD-Ripper MK II, which promises to digitize ("rip") CD collections directly to Astell&Kern's portable audio players. The product lets the user choose between saving tracks in FLAC or Wave audio formats, and the player will automatically download and add relevant metadata to the file once the job is done. While the product comes at a significant price for what essentially is a portable CD drive, the company justifies this by explaining that the CD-Ripper MK II "provides for the most accurate, error-free ripping experience" thanks to its unique design and high-quality manufacturing that utilizes the device's weight to limit vibrations. In addition, it also incorporates a "triangular support damper" that further reduces vibrations from the rotation of the CD itself. This, the press release reads, will prevent read errors and "ensure the most accurate CD rips.