The Evolution of a Masterpiece: AK380
Evolved to Serve Pro-AudioAstell&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 11.2 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 11.2MHz 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 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.
The AK Connect and AK Connect HD apps Download
The AK Connect and AK Connect HD apps are available for download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
Pressure-sensitive Metal Capacitive TouchThe 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 OptionsThe 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.
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.
The AK380's design was inspired by 'light' and 'shadow'.
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.
The AK380’s design was inspired by “light” and “shadow”.
Package contents include:
- AK380 Device x 1
- Standard Leather Case, Burgundy x 1
- 5pin micro USB Cable x 1
- Quick Start Guide x 1
- Warranty Card x 1
- microSD card slot cover x 2
- Protective Film (Front x 2, Back x 2)
AK380 User Guide
- AK380 User Guide - English
- AK380 User Guide - Russian
- AK380 User Guide - French
- AK380 User Guide - German
- AK380 User Guide - Chinese (Simplified)
- AK380 User Guide - Chinese (Traditional)
AK380 MAC OS Driver
AK380 is compatible with MAC OS X 10.7 and up. In order for a Mac computer to communicate with our device a MTP program will need to be installed.
How to install the program for file transfer:
- Disconnect Device from PC
- Download the file transfer driver at Android File Transfer site: http://www.android.com/filetransfer
- Install the file downloaded according to the provided directions on website.
- After successful installation, connect the device with the computer.
MQS Streaming Server
Access music files for streaming or downloading that are stored on the computer on the same network. Please download the file below based on your computer operating system. Please refer to the product user guide for further instructions.
AK380 USB DAC Driver
Driver File: AK380 USB DAC Driver
- This Driver is for Windows XP (32bit), Windows 7/8(32/64bit). In case of MAC OS, it can recognize without Driver install.
- Driver is installed only the first time. After that, it will be recognized automatically.
- To use AK380 USB DAC as Default device, please modify the setting as below:
- Windows XP: Control Panel - Sounds and Audio Devices – Change Sound Playback default device to "AK380 USB DAC" in the ‘Audio’ tab.
- Windows 7/8: Control Panel - Sounds – Select the "AK380 USB DAC" in the ‘Play’ tab, and then select as “set as the Default device”
- To play High quality sound in Windows 7/8: Control Panel–Sounds - Click the Properties of "AK380 USB DAC" - ‘Advanced’ tab – Change Default to the “24bit, 192000Hz"
- For Native DSD playback, music playback program can play Native DSD. Depending on the music playback program, you have to change ‘Device’ into the ‘AK380 USB DAC’ in the device settings.
- Please refer to the manual for other USB DAC information.
How to install Driver
- Disconnect the AK380 from PC
- On the Home Screen of AK380, Touch the "DAC/DISK" and then change into the "DAC". Or, Setting–USB connection setting – “DAC Input”
- Click the Download button and download the USB DAC, and run the "setup.exe" file, then click the [Next >] button
- When the below screen is displayed, connect the AK380 to PC, then Click the [Next >] button.
5. USB DAC connection screen will be displayed on AK380. Install location screen will be displayed on the install program. 6. Click the [Install] button.
7. When install is completed, please click [Finish] button.