Astell&Kern is the ultimate portable high-fidelity audio system capable of studio Mastering...

Astell&Kern AK120 TITAN MQS Duel DAC Audio System

Average User Rating:
4.5/5,
  • Astell&Kern is the ultimate portable high-fidelity audio system capable of studio Mastering Quality Sound (MQS)Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) is an acronym of collective lossless & high-resolution audio source formats, typically in 24-bit/44 to 192kHz of bit/sampling rates. Because MQS delivers about 6.5 times more detail than a conventional CD format (16bit/44.1kHz), listeners can enjoy a better and a more realistic sound quality.24-bit/44 to 192kHz is the music industry norm used in the mastering process during sound production. However, the result of high resolution music files has to be compressed down to 16bit/44.1kHz so it can be stored into a single CD due to the memory storage shortcomings (~700MB). To produce the MP3 format, the high-resolution audio is compressed even further to 128 to 320kbps for the convenience of file size. These compressions remove the enormous amount of the details of the original recording because of memory storage limitations and listeners will never be able to hear the details.AK120 DAC & Amp Creates a Dual Mono System that separates Left & Right Audio ChannelsFrom input to output, the design of the dual Wolfson WM8740 DAC implemented in the Astell&Kern AK120 independently separates the left and right audio channels, creating a true Dual-Mono audio output system.When the analog audio signal passes through the dual Wolfson WM8740 DAC, not only does the AK120 use the Ultralow Distortion and Noise Technology, but executes th

Recent User Reviews

  1. dc-k
    4.5/5,
    "Really nice DAP, good size, good UI and masses of storage for high resolution music."
    Pros - Huge storage including two micro sd slots, decent sound quality, excellent battery life
    Cons - Lacks the power of the DX-100
    I've had my eye on the Titan for a while now, largely because of the storage capacity, but the price had put me off. Just before Christmas it hit my price point, probably because of the newer AK models, and I decided to treat myself, I'm really glad I did!
     
    I already own an Ibasso DX-100, which is far and away the best portable player I've ever had, and I didn't want to pay another large chunk of money for something that may not be an upgrade. My music collection now requires more storage than is possible on the DX-100 even with a 128GB card. Regular changes of micro sd on the DX-100 can set you back a good few minutes of listening time and the prospect of being able to have all my music on one device all the time is very appealing.
     
    Going from the DX-100 to the Titan is NOT an audio upgrade. The two devices sound different, the DX-100 has much more power and does a much better job of powering full sized headphones without additional amplification, but on the in-ears I use most often when on the move in the winter, that doesn't matter so much. The audio quality of the Titan is pretty decent. I found it less bassy but slightly more detailed at the high end than the DX-100 so I'm really happy with either. What is so much better on the Titan is the day to day usability. The time from pressing the on button to ready to go is measured in seconds not minutes. Even with 320 GB of music, there is very little waiting for anything, once you disable the auto library scan (the scanning is a lengthy process and only necessary if you add or remove songs). The third major practical advantage over storage and speed is battery life, I get 6-8 hours from the DX-100 which will do me 2 but not three days. The Titan takes me through the week on a charge without difficulty, I'll work it out in hours at some point, but it's ample. When it does need charging, using a micro USB charger is a significant advantage as both my phones and assorted other devices use the same, so no additional carrying there. The UI is fine, though I never had any issues with the DX-100 though others did.
     
    In short it's smaller, lighter, faster, has a better battery life and can store 192GB more music than the DX-100. If I had to chose one on audio quality alone, I'd pick the DX-100 but for every day use on public transport with IEMs the Titan is first in the backpack.

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