Astell & Kern AK70 MKII with dual DAC

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by Bengkia369, Sep 20, 2017.
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  1. Depechefan
    Has anyone used this player with B&W PX headphones (cabled)? I bought an Onkyo DP-X1a a couple of weeks ago but returned it because there was a lot of background noise/interference so now thinking of buying the AK70 MKII instead.

    Help is much appreciated :)

  2. TomSim
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  3. MartWilliams
    I do not have any noise or interference with my PX and AK70 MkII - except if I'm using it cabled and with a usb charging cable plugged in and then only before the music starts playing.

    I'm thinking of returning my AK70 though because the PX's are the only headphones I'll be using and when using the bluetooth connection between the headphones and DAP you are using the DAC in the headphones not the AK70 and for me, I don't hear much difference between that sound and the wired sound, other than there is more volume with wired. I may have rubbish ears though, so someone with a more refined set may get more out of the Astell than I do, or the DAC in the PX's may be very good. I have a week or so left before I have to make a choice, but I think that money I spent on the DAP can be better spent elswhere.
    Depechefan likes this.
  4. MartWilliams
    My guess would be to power difficult to power headphones.
  5. productred
    See which one you value more, the PX or the AK70.

    The B&W family of headphones are known to be quite source independent, that means the results are quite consistent no matter what source you are using, be it your smartphone or AK380 or even in the case of PX, its own driving chip. So if you value your PX more than your AK70, then yes you probably don't NEED the AK70mkii NOW (until you change headphones/iems).

    If you value your AK70 more, then enjoy your PX now and get another pair of iem/headphones and swap in a balanced cable to experience the little gem's true potential.
    Depechefan likes this.
  6. steve1981
    I have the B&W PXs which I'm using with the AK70 mkII. I haven't really bothered using them wired because I figured it was pretty pointless as I think they digitize the signal anyway, then run it through their own internal DAC etc. That's probably why they sound similar wired and over bluetooth. I had the PXs before I bought the AK70 ii and wondered about this before taking the plunge on AK. I e-mailed B&W support to ask if they digitize the analog input as I was suspicious about why they couldn't be used passively, and got this reply:

    "The PX's were designed from their outset to be used as wireless Bluetooth noise canceling headphones and as such will not function as passive (non powered) headphones.
    An Aux cable was provided to allow you to use the PX headphones with legacy non Bluetooth enabled devices, either with or without the noise canceling function enabled. For the noise canceling function to be available for Aux cable connected devices, the signal needs to be digitised via the internal DAC, so any input is being digitised for playback via the internal electronics/amplification of the PX headphones."

    I love the PXs and the AK70, but thinking about getting a second set of headphones or IEMs (maybe shure SE425 as that's as far as budget will stretch) to listen passively and utilise the AK's dual DAC.
    dannydj, Depechefan and MartWilliams like this.
  7. MartWilliams
    Ahh, very useful post Steve, cheers for that.

    I can stop messing about desperately trying to notice a difference between different sources! Presumably the P7's won't be doing the double DAC thing, might be worth trying a set of those, or at least trying some of the other headphones in the shop I bought the DAP from.
  8. Depechefan
    Tried hvis player together with my PX headphones today. Sounds great and no noticeable noise or interference like with the Onkyo. So will likely get myself one of these players after Christmas.

    Thanks for the advice and insight you've provided!

  9. macdonjh
    Anyone have experience with the Cayin N5 or Shanling players? Specifically their UI? I'm happy with the performance of my A&K Jr. and saving up for a 70 Mk II. I've got some experience with a Fiio player, but couldn't stand the UI. My specific problem is it used the filename rather than the track name to sort files, and couldn't seem to play things in album order, only alphabetical order based on track name. Terrible for classical music.
  10. kubig123
    I have both the ak70 mkii and the cayin n5ii, as user interface the am is much better, I honestly didn’t experience your issue with the songs ordered alphabetically.

    I would personally recommend the ak over the cayin.
  11. macdonjh
    Thanks for that. I like the A&K sound, but some of these other players, the Cayin and Shanling for example, get a lot of good press and are so much less expensive. As slow as it is to turn on, I like the A&K interface, though. What do you like about your AK 70II that makes it a favorite over the Cayin n5II?
  12. kubig123
    I prefer the UI of AK much more polished than the one from n5ii, less bugs and more user-friendly vs. the Cayin

    Sound wise, I really like the AK70 which slightly warmer but also darker, while the N5ii is a little dry, but I didn't spend too much time with it, mine is affected with some sw problem.
    The Ak is very powerful and can drive any earphones.
  13. TomSim
    Can AK70 MKii drive Beyerdynamic Amiron?
  14. kubig123
    sorry but I never tried the Amiron, right now I use only iems.
  15. JamesAnthony
    Just a quick question. I have got the Ak70 but find I need to turn the volume all the way up to drive HD650s at a good listening level, will the dual dacs give me more juice?
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