Astell & Kern AK120 MKII
Since Astell&Kern's initial unveiling of the Dual DAC-capable AK120 in May 2013, both sound resolution and affinity have been improved in our latest offering.
The flagship model AK240 has been highly regarded for delivering mastering-level quality instrumentals with its improved Dual DAC and analog amplifier circuit system. The AK120 2nd Generation allows you to experience the highest sound quality by directly inheriting the sound design structure implemented in the AK240.
We added the CS4398 Dual DAC and the balanced output method with sound quality proven through our flagship model.
The AK120 2nd Generation provides the weighty sound through the CS4398 Dual DAC and the A-amp, while providing delicate melodies through the balanced output.
Unbalanced vs. Balanced Output
The unbalanced method is the most commonly used basic method which consists of “left and right signals + ground line”. This setup includes a ground line which blocks out external noises from the outside. However, since the ground line cannot block out all of the external noises completely, external noises can be mixed into the signals that are transmitted, which then result in changes to the sound. The longer the signals travel, the more external noises that will be mixed into the sound which is why it is used within a short distance of 1 to 2 meters.
Unlike the unbalanced method, the balanced method has an additional cold signal to compliment the hot signal which reduces the external noises.
Supports DSD format up to 5.6MHz
We got familiarized with the DSD format because of the AK120. However, because of the limited hardware functionality, the AK120 could only support DSD up to 2.8MHz with PCM conversion / downsampling to 88.1kHz. Thanks to the advanced hardware functionality and the DSD to PCM software, we can now provide playback support of DSD upto 5.6MHz.
- DSD playback in 5.6MHz is supported after being converted/downsampled to 176KHz PCM.
The AK120 2nd Generation includes the USB DAC feature.
Connect the AK120 2nd Generation to a PC or Mac and use it as a USB DAC that also supports DSD. With Dual DAC and the USB DAC feature, enjoy a richer resolution in sound that goes beyond the limitations of the sound card installed in your computer.
- PCM audio up to 24bit/96kHz is supported in USB DAC mode and the AK120 2nd Generation’s EQ settings are not applied.
Supported Audio Formats
3.31inch WVGA (480 x 800) AMOLED Touchscreen
WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE(Normal, High, Fast), AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF
FLAC, WAV, ALAC, AIFF : 8kHz ~ 192kHz (8/16/24bits per Sample)
/ DSD : DSD64 (1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128 (1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo
Unbalance 2.1Vrms / Balance 2.3Vrms (Condition No Load)
Cirrus Logic CS4398 x2 (Dual DAC)
Support up to 24bit/192kHz Bit to Bit Decoding
USB Micro-B input (for charging & data transfer (PC & MAC))
/ Connection Mode : MTP (Media Device)
PHONES (3.5mm) / Optical Out (3.5mm) / Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported)
802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
2.16 ”(55 mm) [W] x 4.64 ”(118 mm) [H] x 0.58 ”(14.9 mm) [D]
6.24 oz (177 g)
Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)
Signal to Noise Ratio
±0.023dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalance & Balance
/ ±0.3dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Unbalance & Balance
116dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 117dB @ 1kHz, Balance
130dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 135dB @ 1kHz, Balance
0.0007% @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 0.0005% @ 1kHz, Balance
0.0004% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Unbalance / 0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Balance
Balanced out 2.5mm (1ohm) / PHONES 3.5mm (2ohm)
3,250mAh 3.7V Li-Polymer Battery
microSD (Max 128GB) x1
Windows XP, Windows 7,8 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and up