Hi-res audio player
As Astell & Kern Germany sales, we have a lot of experience with hi-res players and are proud to have the Rolls Royce in our range. Contrary to our philosophy for over-ear headphones and in-ears, we are of the opinion that we don't need any other player brand in our range. AK players are the perfect high-end players for on the go and at home, can be integrated into any system and thus actually replace almost every stationary player.
10 reasons for Astell & Kern Player
- Astell & Kern's parent company iRiver has been a big player in the portable player market since the 90s. Nobody has more experience. Astell & Kern was also a pioneer in the field of hi-res players and has set numerous standards.
- Astell & Kern players are on a par with the best domestic player / streamer solutions, only much more flexible. They are perfect high-end players for at home and on the go.
- AK quasi occupies all top places of international editorial offices: Would you like an example? With “Stereoplay” all seats from 1-5 (and only those!). In "What Hi-Fi" Player of the Year since this category was founded ...
- Astell & Kern Player have one own high-end audio operating system, which is only based on Android at its core. In principle, everything that is not needed for audiophile playback has been thrown out. The logic behind this is simple: Android is made for smartphones, and the name says it all: there are countless processes running in the background that make a smartphone “smart”. These are unnecessary for Hi-Res players and interfere with what matters. Other manufacturers use an open Android with Google Playstore, and are such a smartphone with more or less better hardware. But that's only half the battle. Instead, AK integrates apps such as a parametric high-end studio EQ.
- Astell's User interface is by far the most intuitive and the “most beautiful” in the market (especially the new version from A & norma SR15, A & futura SE100, A & ultima SP1000M / SP2000, SA700 and Kann Cube).
- The players are all networkable (DLNA, remote control via mobile phone / tablet, Bluetooth aptX HD, Roon integration planned).
- Cloud streaming is also standard with the new generation of players (Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, Deezer etc. - also offline).
- With the proprietary CD ripper Astell & Kern has a unique system to digitize CD's without a single click - and by the way a full-fledged CD player!
- AK has that balanced output invented for portable players. Headphones, active speakers and amplifiers can be optimally controlled.
- Astell & Kern sets Standards in terms of material feel and hardware. Aluminum, stainless steel or solid copper ... the latest converters ... the most expensive is good enough. Accordingly, the technical data is outstanding.
Which player suits me?
All AK players play at the highest level. The best is without a doubt A & ultima SP2000, but A & ultima SP1000M and Kann Cube are within striking distance.
The Kann Cube relies on the reference converter ES9038 Pro from Saber, whereas SP2000, SP1000M rely on the crème de la crème from Asahi Kasai (4497/4499 EQ / 4492 ECM). They all form the spearhead of audiophile art.
But it depends on the individual taste (and the headphones or power requirements). Those who need more power (high-resistance over-ears) are best served with the Kann Cube and SP2000. And in principle, all new Astell & Kern models deliver significantly more power at the symmetrical output.
If the handset can be operated symmetrically (de facto all can do that with the appropriate cable), then A & norma SR25, A & ultima SP1000M and SA700 already offer a lot of power. If you need more power, the A & Ultima SP2000 has significantly more power. With the Kann Cube everyone should be able to satisfy even the most power-hungry headphones. Ask us personally which headphone (s) it is about, then we can give you a recommendation.
This works analogously with all players via cinch and XLR (symmetrical - we offer the optimal cable for this). Kann Cube also offers a 5-pin mini XLR connector. USB audio is also possible with all players. You can optically connect the A & ultima SP2000 and Kann Cube. Integration into the network (DLNA) is also possible without any problems. Likewise, the remote control via mobile phone / tablet (free app for Android / iOS). Bluetooth is also possible via aptX HD.
A & ultima SP2000 / SP1000M, Kann Cube, SA700 and A & norma SR25 have the new super stylish user interface. Everything is even cleaner, smoother and more stylish. The KANN interface basically has the same functions, just not quite as stylish as the completely new interface.
The "big" players SP2000 and Kann Cube have a fantastic 5 inch HD display, with which it is unparalleled fun to browse through the music collection or in streaming services for hours. The SA700 and SP1000M have the same HD resolution on a 4,1 inch display. The SR25 has the small display with 3,3 inches - also in HD.
In addition to cloud streaming and the connection to the home network, you can also use internal storage and micro SD cards (only use AK cards from Sandisk or Samsung recommended by AK):
- The A & norma SR25 has 64 internal and Micro-SD up to 1TB.
- A & ultima SP1000M, SA700 and Can Cube have 128GB internal and Micro-SD up to 1TB.
- A & ultima SP2000 has 512 GB internal and Micro-SD up to 1TB.
- The can has 64 GB internal and micro SD up to 1TB plus SD up to 1 + TB.
The A & norma SR25 is the smallest, A & ultima SP1000M and SA700 are slightly larger, the Kann is similar in size to SA700 and SP1000M, but significantly thicker, A & ultima SP2000 and Kann Cube are the largest, whereby the SP2000 with its copper / stainless steel housing - and the powerful Can Cube are significantly heavier than the others. Everyone has to decide for themselves what is “too big” and “too heavy”. Experience shows that very few people always carry their player with them. To take it with you and put it on your lap, table, etc., they are all suitable without any problems. If you want to put the player in your pocket, you should consider the A & norma SR25, SA700 or A & ultima SP1000M.
The two A & ultima SP2000 are milled from the full stainless steel / copper block, the SA700 also from stainless steel. In terms of feel and luxury, no other player can match these two.
All other players are made of solid aluminum. Astell & Kern doesn't know plastic. Ie they are all of high quality. The A & Ultima SP1000M gets the most approval from our customers in terms of feel and design.
With the A & ultima SP2000 / SP1000M, SA700, A & norma SR25 and Kann Cube you can Use Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify etc. (also offline - i.e. downloads on player). The KANN is only designed for Deezer and Tidal online (you need WiFi / mobile data).
Internet Rodio apps are gradually being released.
Youtube is at SP2000, SP1000M. The other players are not supported. According to us, internet radio is supported. We are working on Roon. Exit currently open.
How can I use streaming services?
All AK players have Tidal (online only - you need WiFi or mobile data!) And Deezer installed as a proprietary app. In addition, A & ultima SP2000 / SP1000M, A & norma SR25, SA700 and Kann Cube offer the option of manually installing streaming services as so-called “APK files”. The following streaming services are already supported (also offline - i.e. download to player):
- Update the firmware of your AK player (in the Settings menu under "Update", activate WLAN beforehand.)
- Download the desired streaming service to your computer as an .apk file (see list above for links)
- Connect the player to the computer with a USB cable and drag the .apk file to the “Open Service” folder on the player. Then install the service.
Tip: If you want to update a streaming app, first download the new app and install it on the player. Port your music to the current app and then delete the "old" app.
Mac users need the app beforehand "Android File Transfer" on the Mac. This creates a window (like the Finder), which recognizes the folder structure of the AK Player as soon as it is connected.