Product Information: AK380


The evolution of a masterpiece, AK380

Evolved to Serve Pro-Audio

Astell&Kern has stayed on the course, offering the truest and most natural sound possible. The new AK380 offers the most authentic sound from any digital music format with enhanced features that are sought-after by Pro-Audio.

32bit 384kHz Bit to Bit Playback, Native DSD (up to 5.6 MHz) Playback, Parametric EQ with 20bands 0.01dB, 200 Femto Seconds VCXO Reference Clock, Scalable Amp, DNLA based AK Connect App, Metal Touch Sensor Home Button

Every bit of the AK380 was designed for Pro-Audio in mind.

The sound that Pro-Audio people have been looking for starts with the AK380.

32-bit 384kHz bit-to-bit Playback

All of the AK380’s circuit design including the digital-analog converter (DAC) are ready for 32-bit processing to handle 32-bit music natively.

Other products have traditionally used sample rate converter (SRC) method down sampling for playback. However, the AK380 is capable of playing back 32-bit, 384 kHz original sound without any down sampling.

The result is the AK380 plays up to 32-bit, 384 kHz, any 24-bit music files, or double layer DSD 5.6MHz natively, without conversion or compression.

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.

* The PEQ supports up to 8 kHz - 192 kHz (8/16/24-bit) formats, but DSD and 32-bit audio are not supported.

What is Parametric Equalization (PEQ*1)?

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.

What is Graphic Equalization (GEQ*2)?

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."

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).

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 AK380 is able to create a more accurate frequency value and make fine jitter corrections.

As a result, the AK380 faithfully reproduces analog sound closer than ever to the original source when transmitting a digital signal as an analog signal.

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.

Pressure-sensitive Metal Capacitive Touch

The AK380 is the first Astell&Kern product to utilize a metal capacitive touch interface.
The pressure-sensitive Metal Touch home button responds to fine pressure changes so users operate the device with just a light touch on the metallic pad.

More Expandable Options

The AK380 offers great expandable options through its micro USB connection and balanced out ports on the bottom of the unit.

The AK380's functionality is expandable by connecting to a variety of devices. You can increase the output and connect to a greater variety of high-impedance professional headphones through the upcoming AK380 Amp. The AK380 Cradle features balanced output in addition to USB data transfer and charging capabilities, and the AK380 CD-ROM drive rips audio CDs directly to the AK380.


Design Concept

The light and the object are the main theme of the AK380 design. Any shadow of an object portraits the exact shape from the perspective of the light at that moment. The way of reproducing the true sound of music from digital formats is quite similar. Nothing more or nothing less. The design motif of the AK380 reflects our philosophy of music and sound.

Hence, the “light” and the “shadows” became the inspiration of the AK380.

 

While the design of the AK240 captured as a moment in time of light and shadow, the AK380 is designed to express the change of time with more angles on its body. You will notice the different angles of surface design as you view the AK380.

We believe that the beauty of the design shall reflect what the AK380 can do with music. As different angles of light casts different shadows, different music will give you a variety of emotions. 

Technical Specifications

34 comments

  • Astell&Kern Support

    Michael Rodriguez: There is no difference in audio. The only difference is the housing material and color.

  • Michael Rodriguez

    From what I understand, the sound signature of the AK380 differs from copper to black. And I would assume meteoric titan has an audible difference as well. How would you describe each?

  • Astell&Kern Support

    ramequin: Unfortunately, our partnership with Qobuz has ended and support for it in the future is TBD at this time.

  • ramequin

    Hi, I do have a Qobuz account. It’s currently the only music collection provider to offer a full hi-res 24 bit service. I would like to know if you consider to make it available again on your devices, as I’m a proud owner of an A&K 380. This would be a must for my machine.
    Thx.

  • Astell&Kern Support

    Heinz Luk: The PAF11 Amp for the AK300 has already been released. Find it on sale at our online store here: https://us.astellnkern.com/collections/accessories/products/ak380-amp

  • Heinz Luk

    Hi, just when is the release date of the 380 Amp? I want to use it to drive my Audeze LCD4 headphone. Wanna upgrade from my AK240 + amp set up to a complete package from AK.

  • Astell&Kern Support

    VIctor Cheung: If you find that the AK380’s Moov support is not to your expectations, please contact us at support.inc@iriver.com for further support.

  • Astell&Kern Support

    Thorsten: Qobuz in online and offline mode are no longer supported by Astell&Kern products. Moov, Groovers, and Tidal (online mode only), are the only streaming services currently supported by Astell&Kern products.

  • Thorsten

    Hi, I have qobuz
    I can download hi-res purchased music directly and offline play
    Thank you for the answer

  • VIctor Cheung

    I own the Ak380 and using the MOOV app as my music source, I found the MOOV app is not working as desires as using it on my other hi res audio player. The version of firmware that is running on my ak380 is 1.4 and the MOOV app is at 2.2.1 . I really love the sound of the device and want to get that fix , pleaae advise

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