Astell&Kern Announces the AK300 and AK Recorder (5.6MHz DSD Recorder) at Tokyo Headphone Festival
Jul 31, 2016 at 1:50 PM Post #406 of 1,018
It just got a 5 star review in Hifi Choice magazine. Here is an extract....

"Sound quality
This is a massively accomplished player that wouldn’t know how to put a foot wrong if it was told. Whatever
I play sounds just right: tonally, temporally – almost tangibly. Notably free from artifice and undue emphasis, it nails the neutral ground with such cool confidence that you’re allowed to relax into the music and forget about the machine playing it. Wherein lies the path to many a long, unfatiguing listening session. I’m not usually one for headphone marathons, but its extraordinary uncoloured clarity and even handedness are so persuasive I find myself drifting way beyond the time I’ve allotted for the test tracks.
But perhaps the AK300’s talents are shown to best effect with Joe Sample’s supremely funky All God’s Children. His distinctively percussive Steinway tinkling has real bite and harmonic structure yet is allowed to mesh seamlessly with the rhythm section
of Marcus Miller’s bass guitar, Lenny Castro’s percussion and Omar Hakim’s drums that, as a combined force drives the track along so powerfully. Add the multi-layered synth elements and it’s a piece
that can easily seem fussy and overwrought."

Hifi Choice Magazine, August 2016.

AK300 is growing on me. I think ultimately sound signature is a personal choice, and most people can get used to and learn to love a player's sound signature. That being said, the construction, UI, technical design can be measured more objectively. It's without question now after 3 generations, AK has ironed out the flaws and optimized the circuitry. I think that's why they can keep the price down because now the technology has matured. AK300 has the lowest noise floor for any player that has both wifi and Bluetooth that I have tried. It still has a very hint noise with the highest sensitivity IEMs. Whenever it gets Tidal, it's game over. Great performance/design to value ratio. Still expensive for most though. $900 is not cheap but given the current landscape, it seems cheap.
 
Jul 31, 2016 at 5:55 PM Post #407 of 1,018
Is balanced worth while? I travel with the Audeze EL-8's and they are offering a balanced cable. Not sure if worth the upgrade
 
Thanks!
 
Aug 1, 2016 at 1:02 AM Post #408 of 1,018
  Is balanced worth while? I travel with the Audeze EL-8's and they are offering a balanced cable. Not sure if worth the upgrade
 
Thanks!


​I have a balanced cable coming in on Tues. I'll let you know. But I have IEMs, not sure if EL-8s would make any difference. In general, you should get more sound stage, separation and cleaner signal, but it's all about the implementation. I mainly want to have cleaner signal.
 
Aug 1, 2016 at 8:56 AM Post #410 of 1,018
It just got a 5 star review in Hifi Choice magazine. Here is an extract....

"Sound quality
This is a massively accomplished player that wouldn’t know how to put a foot wrong if it was told. Whatever
I play sounds just right: tonally, temporally – almost tangibly. Notably free from artifice and undue emphasis, it nails the neutral ground with such cool confidence that you’re allowed to relax into the music and forget about the machine playing it. Wherein lies the path to many a long, unfatiguing listening session. I’m not usually one for headphone marathons, but its extraordinary uncoloured clarity and even handedness are so persuasive I find myself drifting way beyond the time I’ve allotted for the test tracks.
But perhaps the AK300’s talents are shown to best effect with Joe Sample’s supremely funky All God’s Children. His distinctively percussive Steinway tinkling has real bite and harmonic structure yet is allowed to mesh seamlessly with the rhythm section
of Marcus Miller’s bass guitar, Lenny Castro’s percussion and Omar Hakim’s drums that, as a combined force drives the track along so powerfully. Add the multi-layered synth elements and it’s a piece
that can easily seem fussy and overwrought."

Hifi Choice Magazine, August 2016.

here is the full review if anyone is interested:
 
http://imgur.com/a/oTysw​
 
Aug 1, 2016 at 11:05 PM Post #412 of 1,018
hi Friends ak300 vs fiio x7 which one better SQ???and which one better for trance and edm music?
my iem shure se846

 
I owned Fiio X7 before, its a great sounding DAP, but the faulty hardware and the buggy software really made me sold my X7. I asked 4 times replacement unit, the faulty HW still persists: wireless noise both bluetooth and wifi, burn in screen, the last unit got imbalance on the amplifier.
 
For the sound, the X7 is more clinical, thin and good separation. AK300 is more thick, lush and warm. Both are great sounding DAP. 
 
Aug 4, 2016 at 3:15 PM Post #414 of 1,018
Working on a formal review of the AK300 with comparisons to FiiO X7, Onkyo DP-X1, and Cowon P1. 
 
Brief comparison. I haven't had enough time with the DP-X1 but P1 and AK300 are way ahead compared to my old x7. They are not even in the same league. Both P1 and Ak300 have thick and rich sound. The P1 is more analogue than AK300 but AK300 has expanded soundstage and clarity. The P1 has slightly better layering. P1 has the cleanest background likely due to lack of connectivity options. Both AK300 and P1 have better interface. AK300 has a stripped down Android which is actually a good thing. P1 runs Linux and boots up in 3 seconds which is just amazing. The lack of BT, wifi and balanced out really hurts the P1, but from my listening balanced out hasn't made a huge difference. The sound signature doesn't change. If anything, it adds a little more clarity and separation. 
 
Aug 4, 2016 at 4:39 PM Post #415 of 1,018
  Working on a formal review of the AK300 with comparisons to FiiO X7, Onkyo DP-X1, and Cowon P1. 
 
Brief comparison. I haven't had enough time with the DP-X1 but P1 and AK300 are way ahead compared to my old x7. They are not even in the same league. Both P1 and Ak300 have thick and rich sound. The P1 is more analogue than AK300 but AK300 has expanded soundstage and clarity. The P1 has slightly better layering. P1 has the cleanest background likely due to lack of connectivity options. Both AK300 and P1 have better interface. AK300 has a stripped down Android which is actually a good thing. P1 runs Linux and boots up in 3 seconds which is just amazing. The lack of BT, wifi and balanced out really hurts the P1, but from my listening balanced out hasn't made a huge difference. The sound signature doesn't change. If anything, it adds a little more clarity and separation. 


Sounds great, looking forward to the full review. My device should arrive tomorrow. Happy to keep hearing positive things hah!
 
Aug 4, 2016 at 8:21 PM Post #416 of 1,018
After an intense session of ABing daps (Fiio X7, AK380, AK320, AK300, Cowon Plenue 1, Onkyo DP-X1, Questyle QP1R, AK70),

1. AK380
2. QP1R
3. P1/AK320
4. P1/AK320
5. AK70
5. DPX1
6. AK300
7. X7
 
Aug 4, 2016 at 11:45 PM Post #417 of 1,018
My initial review is up. First ever head-fi review. Please give me some feedbacks. Thanks.

http://www.head-fi.org/products/astell-kern-ak300-digital-music-and-media-player/reviews/16565
 
Aug 5, 2016 at 9:12 AM Post #418 of 1,018
After an intense session of ABing daps (Fiio X7, AK380, AK320, AK300, Cowon Plenue 1, Onkyo DP-X1, Questyle QP1R, AK70),

1. AK380
2. QP1R
3. P1/AK320
4. P1/AK320
5. AK70
5. DPX1
6. AK300
7. X7


That's amazing / good fortune to have access to so many great DAPs to A/B!!!
biggrin.gif

 
I find you list already interesting but if you could provide a short clarification of your priorities, such as SQ & signature type, UI, physical aspects, etc.
If you have already done so elsewhere then I offer my apologies and kindly ask for link(s) so that I can catch up with everyone
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Merci
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p.s. - I can already assume you are biased towards "balanced" solutions...
wink.gif

 
Aug 5, 2016 at 9:19 AM Post #419 of 1,018
 
That's amazing / good fortune to have access to so many great DAPs to A/B!!!
biggrin.gif

 
I find you list already interesting but if you could provide a short clarification of your priorities, such as SQ & signature type, UI, physical aspects, etc.
If you have already done so elsewhere then I offer my apologies and kindly ask for link(s) so that I can catch up with everyone
redface.gif

 
Merci
beerchug.gif
 
 
 
p.s. - I can already assume you are biased towards "balanced" solutions...
wink.gif


mids and resolution are what I look out for. i don't care about ui and physical aspects :)
i forgot to add the paw gold with ak380!
i don't use balanced btw unless no choice
wink_face.gif

 
beerchug.gif

 

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