Astell&Kern AK100 32GB Music HD Player Review

Discussion in 'CD/DVD/Blu-ray & Misc Hardware' started by admin, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    I love high resolution audiophile music, and today we're reviewing the Astell&Kern AK100 32GB HD Music Player from iriver. If you think your iOS device or Android phone is a high quality music player, then I would humbly ask if you also think a Big Mac represents the pinnacle delivery method for good beef. So how do you play back high definition music? Well, there are only a handful of hardware devices on the market that aren't tied to a PC-and most of those are dedicated music servers. There's also the Oppo BDP-105 Blu-ray player and this, the Astell&Kern AK100 Portable music player. The AK100 promises unadulterated delivery of Mastering Quality Sound at up to 24-bit/192 kHz resolution. That's equivalent to the high resolution files that come out of the mastering studio.
    [​IMG]

    Discuss "Astell&Kern AK100 32GB Music HD Player Review" here. Read the article.
  2. PLA Audiophyte

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    The real issue is the HD Tracks website. Most of the time, not able to buy individual tracks, paying $20 to $30 per album download is an antiquated distribution model, none of these high-def players will become popular, until tracks can be purchases individually at reasonable cost.
    PLA,
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  3. dingus48 Enthusiast

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    This article reads like an ad, not a review.

    "But if you want to make the best sound you can hear portable, this is the way to do it." Where are the review measurements to back up that judgment? Compared to what other products and measurement benchmarks? The quoted judgment seems only backed up by a belief that if it's expensive, it must be good. Quoting a few manufactuer-provided specs and listing a few parts is not a credible substitute for review measurements and testing.

    Those who have performed credible measurements and audibility tests believe the Apple and Sansa portable players are very good and already at the point where further tech spec improvements would be practically inaudible, provided headphones are used that match the output impedance characteristics of these players (see detailed discussions in hydrogenaudio and nwavguy), so I look forward to the detailed measurements to back up the quoted judgment.

    Lastly, I was disapppointed only one pair of headphones were used, missing what is perhaps the biggest issue in getting the most and avoiding problems with portable players: matching the impedances of headphones to the player's output impedance. Any assumption that the results with the one pair used means anything (good or bad) for the experience with a different pair is problematic, absent impedance details.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
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  4. afterlife2 Audioholic Ninja

    afterlife2
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    This is something I'd be interested in. I'm sure there will be a more affordable one coming in the future. I'm looking at the Fiio X3 and Ibasso DX50. I'm a huge Cowon, Iriver and recently the clip+ fan.
  5. ratso Full Audioholic

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    "If you think your iOS device or Android phone is a high quality music player, then I would humbly ask if you also think a Big Mac represents the pinnacle delivery method for good beef."

    i've started to write this response several times lately, and have stopped myself each time. this time i'm posting it. i am kind of getting a little nervous about the direction that audioholics is headed into lately. no, it's not stereophile (yet) or any of the other big name magazines/web sites, but there is definitely more of a subjective based, "audiophile" bent around here lately. i have read articles singing the praises of big bux amplifiers sounding somehow better than cheaper ones, great sounding patch cords, and now this one. someone here show me that this measures better than an android phone. i don't believe it. if it sounds like i am overreacting here, maybe i am. but this is one of the only places left in this hobby that you can go to and not be beaten down by snake oil buying, power cord loving idiots and i would like to keep it that way.

    edit: oh and ps this $700 player doesn't support gapless playback. :cool:
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  6. Adam Audioholic Jedi

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    And more importantly, there's just too much hating on McDonald's. :D

    Seriously, though, I agree. To me, this falls into the newer "preview" category, but the title says, "review." This is like an Amazon review, IMO - it's something like what I would write. I'm not against those kind of reviews here, but I think that AH should create a clearly delineated set of review categories. As a suggestion, previews (for items that they're pretty much going off of specs), opinion pieces (I tried it, and I liked/disliked it), and subjective reviews (with measurements). Yeah, there are better categories...it's just a start. Some folks are used to the in-depth reviews that have independent measurements to check if a product lives up to the claims, versus "wow, it sure sounded great to me" articles (again, nothing wrong with those...but they aren't the same thing).

    There was an edit in the article that stated that a firmware release did add that capability.
    Adam,
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  7. Alex2507 Audioholic Overlord

    Alex2507
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    I think we should put Clint on Forum Probation. :D
  8. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    I share many of opinions of above posted members. All I am going to say is Galaxy S4 with 64Gb sd card. Native support for Flac.
    More than capable Headphone amp - much more power than my old S2

    and the saddest point - Samsung Galaxy S4, my mobile personal computer, highly universal device, but still cost less than this device ($579 vs $700)

    Days of dedicated mobile music players devices are over.
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  9. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

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    Much agreed
    Nothing wrong with "previews" or aka re-written press releases, but for god sake, PLEASE AH !! I beg you - Don't place them together with REVIEWS.
    It's very confusing, distracting and creating unnecessary noise in that section.
    Simple rule, if you wrote about any product without holding it in your hands - don't place it in reviews.

    We have perfectly fine Industry news section, lets keep them there after they expire from front page
    • Like Like x 1
  10. dingus48 Enthusiast

    dingus48
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    I heartily agree with the desire to return Audioholics to what it does best: no-nonsense information and reviews for music and music gadget lovers, fallacy-free and with judgments based on the scientific method. There are plenty of sites already that do adviews and pile on the hype with pseudoscience.

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