Astell&Kern AK70 MK II Portable Premium DAP Released – See Features and Specs

Astell&Kern recently released their new premium portable digital audio player, the AK70 MK II; featuring a dual DAC design, higher audio output in the same sleek and compact design. It features two Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC chips, a very familiar setup actually. If you are familiar with The Bit’s Opus#1, it uses the same setup – two CS4398 DAC chips. However, their sound quality or sound signature may not necessarily be the same. The Opus#1 was a very good sounding DAP and was well received by the audio community. That’s why Audio Opus was able to succeed their first DAP with two more, the Opus#2 and Opus#3. But in terms of “premium-ness”, I think the AK70 MKII clearly outshines the Opus#1. Anyway, enough of the short comparison and let’s get to know more about the new AK70 MK II below.

Astell&Kern AK70 MK II – “Your Next Premium”

Aside from the two Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC chips, the Astell&Kern AK70 MK II comes with higher audio output and slightly higher battery capacity. The body is very similar with the previous AK70, except for some cosmetic changes. It supports 24bit 192 kHz bit to bit play, and also supports 32-bit audio and single or double rate DSD. However, it doesn’t support native DSD playback, instead it will be downsampled or converted to PCM format.

Having a dual DAC setup, it means that the left and right signals are separated, one DAC chip for each channel. This also results in lesser noise and higher fidelity audio output. The AK70 MK II also features a 4-pole 2.5mm balanced output; something that most IEM users fond of. Like the previous generation, the new AK70 MKII can also be used as a USB DAC for your PC.

Aside from the standard 3.5mm and balanced 2.5mm, it also features a micro USB (micro-B) port; something that I wished they used a Type-C terminal instead. It has 64GB of internal memory (expect that actual usable capacity is lower) and a microSD card slot that supports up to 256GB of microSD card.

It also features both WiFi 2.4GHz and Bluetooth 4.0 connections with aptX HD support. Like most of Astell&Kern’s newer portable audio players, the AK70 MK II can be used with the AK CD-Ripper and it is also compatible with AK Connect app.

The new AK70 MK II comes with a retail price of $699 and it will become available in 2 weeks’ time (more or less). Below is a comparison table of the AK70 MK II vs AK70 (1st gen), as well as the complete specs of the AK70 MK II.

AK70 MK II vs AK70

ModelAK70 MK IIAK 70
DACDual DAC (Cirrus Logic CS4398 x2)Single DAC (Cirrus Logic CS4398 x1)
Output LevelBalance 4.0Vrms / Unbalance 2.0Vrms
(Condition No Load)
Balance 2.3Vrms / Unbalance 2.3Vrms
(Condition No Load)
Signal to Noise RatioUnbalance 118dB @ 1kHz
Balance 119dB @ 1kHz
Unbalance 116dB @ 1kHz
Balance 116dB @ 1kHz
CrosstalkUnbalance 136dB @ 1kHz
Balance 138dB @ 1kHz
Unbalance 130dB @ 1kHz
Balance 130dB @ 1kHz
THD+NUnbalance 0.0005% @ 1kHz
Balance 0.0005% @ 1kHz
Unbalance 0.0008% @ 1kHz
Balance 0.0007% @ 1kHz
Clock Jitter45ps(Typ)50ps(Typ)
Battery2,500mAh 3.7V Li-Polymer2,200mAh 3.7V Li-Polymer

AK70 MK II Specifications

General Specifications
ModelAK70 MK
Body ColorNoir Black
Body MaterialAluminum
Display3.3inch WVGA (480 x 800) TFT LCD
Supported Audio FormatsWAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF
Sample ratePCM : 8kHz ~ 192kHz (8/16/24bits per Sample)
DSD : DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz)
Output LevelUnbalance 2.0Vrms / Balance 4.0Vrms (Condition No Load)
DACCirrus Logic CS4398 x2 (Dual DAC)
DecodingSupport up to 24bit / 192kHz Bit to Bit Decoding
InputUSB Micro-B input (for charging & data transfer (PC & MAC)) / Connection Mode : MTP (Media Device)
OutputsPHONES (3.5mm) / Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported)
Wi-Fi802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
BluetoothV4.0 (A2DP, AVRCP, aptXtm HD)
Dimensions2.47 ”(62.8 mm) [W] x 3.81 ”(96.8 mm) [H] x 0.59 ”(15.2 mm) [D]
Weight5.29 oz (150 g)
Feature EnhancementsFirmware upgrades supported (OTA)
Capacity2,500mAh 3.7V Li-Polymer Battery
Built-in Memory64GB [NAND]
External MemorymicroSD (Max 256GB) x1
Supported OSWindows 7,8,10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and up
Audio Performance
Frequency Response±0.11dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalance / ±0.09dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balance
±0.5dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Unbalance / ±0.5dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Balance
Signal to Noise Ratio118dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 119dB @ 1kHz, Balance
Crosstalk136dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 138dB @ 1kHz, Balance
THD+N0.0005% @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 0.0005% @ 1kHz, Balance
IMD SMPTE0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Unbalance / 0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Balance
Output ImpedanceBalanced out 2.5mm (3ohm) / PHONES 3.5mm (1.5ohm)
Clock Jitter45ps (Typ)

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