Watch out Apple, Astell&Kern may have some competition headed your way. That is, for the ridiculously wealthy people out there who can opt for a $2,000 iPod featuring carbon fiber.
Astell&Kern, which is actually a subsidiary of iRiver, the South Korean audio company, boasts that they are the ultimate portable Hi-fi audio system,
“capable of playing Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) from music mastering studios. MQS refers to all of the high resolution digital music recording studio formats up to 24-bit/ 44 – 192kHz. MQS delivers vast amounts of better music experience because MQS delivers 6.5 times of the detailed information in the same track.”
The AK240 model, is essentially an upgrade and improvement from the original models, the AK100 and AK120. Both quite successful, the company still wanted to reach a more exact sound that artists intend when they produce music. Originally hoping that providing a Dual DAC would provide enough quality, they soon realized they were mistaken. Then after much research and consideration, they created a balanced output and native DSD playback through the Dual DAC setup.
What is DSD?
“DSD (Direct Stream Digital) is a digital audio file format originally developed for SACDs (Super Audio CD). Regular digital audio file formats such as PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) is separated into 65,000(16bit) to 16,700,000(24bit) of information on the Y axis, and 44,100(44.1kHz) to 192,000(192kHz) across the X axis for digital signals. DSD files have 1bit (0s or 1s) for Y axis and is separated into 2,800,000(2.8MHz) to 5,600,000(5.6MHz) of information for X axis.”
The AK240 features a carbon fiber back, weighs just 6.5 ounces, and can support up to a total memory capacity of 384GB. It comes in a gunmetal color and also features a fully functioning touchscreen with Bluetooth and Wi-fi capabilities.
Thanks to Christoper for the tip!
[Source: NY Times]