Astell&Kern, known for its portable music players and headphones, has just added the AK USB-C Dual DAC Cable to the company’s line-up. The purpose? A&K claims the cable will enable “music fans to experience the best sound quality” from a computer or mobile device. The A&K DAC cable is currently designed to support only Android smartphones, Windows 10 PCs, tablet PCs, or macOS computers. Since iOS devices limit the amount of current exported and given the dual cable configuration of the A&K DAC, it does not support mobile iOS devices.
Given that A&K has created a number of award-winning portable music players it is not surprising to learn it has carried its expertise in circuit and amplifier design, and DAC implementation, into this DAC cable. To that end, the circuit features the bespoke capacitors found in its players and has been optimized to prevent power fluctuations. The analog amplifier is designed to drive a variety of headphones, including power-hungry and high-impedance models (with a 2Vrms output level). The DAC is founded on two Cirrus Logic CS43198 MasterHIFi digital-to-analog chips, which support high-resolution audio playback up to native PCM 32-bit/384kHz DSD256. The sound quality, A&K says, should be distortion-free, “live, warms, and clear” in the manner the artist intended. The AK USB-C Dual DAC Cable will be released on May 17th but can be preordered now.
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