Hi-res audio player
As Astell & Kern Germany sales, we have plenty of experience with hi-res players and are proud to have the Rolls Royce in our range. Contrary to our philosophy of over-ear headphones and in-ears, we believe that we do not need any other player brand in the range. AK players are the perfect high-end players for on the go and at home, can be integrated into any system and thus replace almost any 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 the pioneer in the field of hi-res players and 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: Need an example? With "Stereoplay" all places from 1-5 (and only those!). With “What Hi-Fi” Player of the Year since this category was founded ...
- Astell & Kern players have one own high-end audio operating system, which is essentially based on Android. In principle, everything that is not needed for audiophile playback has been thrown out. The logic behind it 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 is important. Other manufacturers use an open Android with Google Playstore, and are thus 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 "most beautiful" on 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 in 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 CDs 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. Solid aluminum, stainless steel or copper ... the latest converters ... the most expensive is good enough. Accordingly, the technical data are excellent.
Which player suits me?
All AK players play at the highest level. The best is undoubtedly 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. In principle, the following applies: all new Astell & Kern models deliver significantly more power at the symmetrical output.
If the handset can be operated symmetrically (almost all can with the appropriate cable), A & norma SR25, A & ultima SP1000M and SA700 already offer a lot of power. If you need more power, the A & Ultima SP2000 has even more power. With the Kann Cube everyone should be able to saturate even the most power-hungry headphones. If you ask us personally which headphone (s) it is about, we can give you a recommendation.
This works with all players analog via both RCA 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. Visually you can 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 chic user interface. Everything runs even cleaner, smoother and more stylish. The KANN interface basically has the same functions, just not quite as chic as the brand new interface.
The "big" players SP2000 and Kann Cube have a fantastic 5 inch HD display, which makes it incomparably fun to spend hours browsing the music collection or streaming services. The SA700 and SP1000M have the same HD resolution on a 4,1 inch display. The SR25 has the small 3,3 inch display - 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 Kann 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 the smallest, A & ultima SP1000M and SA700 are slightly larger, the can is similar in size to SA700 and SP1000M, but significantly thicker, A & ultima SP2000 and Kann Cube are the largest, the SP2000 with its copper / stainless steel housing - as well as the powerful can cube are significantly heavier than the others. Everyone has to decide what is "too big" and "too heavy". Experience shows that very few people always carry their players 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 compete with these two.
All other players are made of solid aluminum. Plastic is not known at Astell & Kern. Ie they are all of high quality. The A & Ultima SP1000M gets the most feedback 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 to players). 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 - meaning 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 - ie 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 onto the player in the "Open Service" folder. 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.