Astell&Kern announces new High Res Music Player

by Aaron Macarthy Beards Sep 19, 2018 at 9:47 AM


  • Hi-Fi News

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    Astell&Kern announces new High Res Music Player
    Astell&Kern has announced the A&ultima SP1000M. A new flagship, portable, high-resolution music player.
    The new device is smaller and lighter than its predecessor. The SP1000M has a 4.1-inch touchscreen display, is constructed out of aluminium and will weigh just over 200g. Astell&Kern claim this, combined with smaller form factor, allows for full control of the device with one hand. The SP1000M is powered by dual AK4497EQ DAC chips from the Japanese company Asahi Kasei. Each of the DAC chips is dedicated to a single stereo channel.

    The product is also equipped with an octa-core CPU which the company claims allows for seamless playback, regardless of file size. The SP1000M supports a max resolution of 32bit/384kHz for PCM files and native playback of DSD256 files. It also has 128GB of built-in storage and a microSD card expansion slot. The microSD slot is SDXC complaint and as such can be expanded by 528GB.

    Another nice feature is that device has Type C USB, though this is limited to USB 3.0 speeds and not 3.1. This is a shame if you're going to be trying to put your entire record collection on the device, in one go, as USB 3.1 offers twice the data speeds of USB 3.0. Nevertheless, the stronger nature of Type C hopefully helps to ensure the longevity of the device. Astell&Kern claim that the device has exceptionally fast charging, but give no details on what that means.

    In 2016 we reviewed Astell & Kern’s ‘Junior Portable Audio Player’. We praised it for a refined but punchy presentation, excellent build and how well it functioned as a DAC. Ed Selly, in his review, even stated: “The Junior makes pretty much everything except the Chord Mojo look wimpishly underpowered”. High praise indeed.

    A&ultima SP1000M will be available worldwide in October at an SRP of £1,999

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