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Astell&Kern Announces the AK300 and AK Recorder (5.6MHz DSD Recorder) at Tokyo Headphone Festival

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by jude, Apr 28, 2016.
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  1. jude Administrator
    Astell&Kern AK300
    Today, Astell&Kern is announcing the release of a new digital audio player called the AK300. The AK300 will be the entry level 300-series player, and will be priced at $899.
    Upon first glance, the AK300 looks identical to the Astell&Kern AK320, only in black. Like the AK320 and AK380, the AK300 uses the AKM AK4490 DAC, but in a single-DAC configuration (versus dual for the AK320 and AK380). The AK300's internal storage is 64GB, with a single micro-SD card slot for expansion.
    The AK300 will play PCM, up to 24-bit 192kHz bit-to-bit, and also supports both 32-bit 192kHz and DSD via conversion.
    Like its siblings, the AK300 has a parametric EQ, has a VCXO Reference Clock (Femto Clock) to minimize jitter, supports AK Connect, and can be used as a USB DAC.
    We very recently received a pre-production AK300 loaner, and it's very impressive in early listening--no perceptible self-noise, dynamic, and resolving. With so many recent digital audio player offerings from other manufacturers in the sub-$1000 range, the AK300 is very a very well-timed offering from Astell&Kern, and I look forward to spending more time with it.
    Astell&Kern AK Recorder
    While I do find the new AK300 a very nice offering, it's the new Astell&Kern AK Recorder that has me really excited today. Astell&Kern has positioned the AK3XX series as not just digital audio players for audiophiles, but professional tools for the pro audio folks. The new AK Recorder fully and legitimately drives this message and purpose home, with the following features:
    1. DSD 5.6MHz recording, making it (according to Astell&Kern) the first DSD 5.6MHz handheld recorder;
    2. Mic in, with support for 48V phantom power, supporting professional-grade microphones;
    3. Line in;
    4. AES/EBU in, for recording of digital signals from recording studio consoles or other AES/EBU digital sources;
    5. Fine degree of mic and preamp gain control;
    6. Remote control via wi-fi;
    7. Variety of recording options, including digital limiter, peak-hold, low-cut filters, pre-recording and more.
    8. There's also going to be an optional stereo recording kit (with microphones, stands, and cases) developed in collaboration with DPA (and sold separately).
    The price of the AK Recorder is still to be determined, but, based on what I've been hearing (in terms of price range), I'll no doubt be picking one up, to use as one of our audio recorders for Head-Fi TV, and perhaps also for amateur music recordings with my musician friends.
    Both of AK300 and AK Recorder to be launched in the market around the end of May.
    Astell&Kern AK300 (below)
    AK300_06.jpg AK300_07.jpg
    AK300_11.jpg AK300_12.jpg
    Astell&Kern AK Recorder (below), the last two photos showing the optional DPA kit.
    AKRecorder_05_01.jpg AKRecorder_05_02.jpg
    AKRecorder_14.jpg AKRecorder_15.jpg
  2. raypin
    Mmm......most likely ak 300/recorder will be priced higher than the Sony PCM D100 (around USD 900.00), which I enjoy as a DSD player (very good playback device) and removable batteries is a huge plus. I've tested the prosumer-level recording function. Excellent results.
    Recording module compatible with other AKs?
  3. Watagump
    It looks really sexy in black.
  4. Edric Li
    Recorder lol what are they thinking...
    canali, BlinkST and Treeko like this.
  5. alvinmate
    Interesting release, I wonder if this is sonically superior to AK120ii??? Design wise looks good and black colour a welcome change!
  6. Torq
    Momentarily interested ... then saw that it's just another player with a single microSD card slot and, from the looks of the specs, probably the same headphone amp implementation that seems to have been hanging around since the AK100ii.
  7. goldendarko
    Does it do streaming or MQA?
  8. jjacq
    The AK300 seems quite a steal for the screen/form factor you're getting if you like the AK380/320 style. I really like the screen of the latter models over my AK240.
  9. NPWS
    Maybe all the ak lines up series 1xx gonna discontinued soon.
  10. kawaivpc1
    I wonder how much that recorder will cost.
    Roland's R26 field recorder costs $499.... and it offers all professional features pros will need.
    Also, Tascam has a real professional field recorder for $150.
    If these guys are going to charge $1000 for that recorder, no one will buy it..
  11. lookingforIEMs

    Ahhh. But this can be used with AK3××. Making it compete with the Sony pcm d100. Which is a fine dap with recording capability
  12. kawaivpc1
    Sony's PCM field recorder costs like $399. I had one as well..
    These guys are going to ask at least $1500 .. I wonder how pro audio users will react to this but certainly if they want to compete with pro audio companies like Shure, Sennheiser, AKG, Roland, Boss, they should cut the price down first. 
    If AK300 with recorder costs $400, they can compete with real companies.. 
    With this price joke, no one will take this seriously.
  13. raypin
    mmm....Jaben HK is selling the 100s models at discounted prices. Probably clearing inventory to make way for new AK models like this 300.
  14. Sound Eq
    good news for a sub 1000 usd dap, also looks amazing
  15. Spirulina780
    Are these binaural microphones?
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