The High End audio show in Munich is perhaps one of the biggest events in audio all year. Digital player maker Astell and Kern very much have an international footprint on the world, so it only makes sense that the Korea-based company would drop their biggest announcements on the doorstep of the massive four day event in Germany.
Leading the charge is a new top tier DAP from the A&ultima line called the SP2000. Due out in July of this year, the next version of the SP1000 of will cost as much as the current generation at $3,500.
Specs from the early release information includes two AK4499EQ DAC chips in a dual mono configuration and separate channels for balanced vs single ended. There is also 6Vrms (balanced) and 3Vrms (SE) output on board and compatibility with DSD512 natively. MQA is slated for approval and now the unit ships with a dual band Wi-Fi antenna for better streaming performance.
For those looking for a little more headphone power from their current SP1000, AK is introducing an external headphone amplifier (minus the cables and controls) due out in June for $800. The SP1000 AMP holds a 3.700mA battery for 9 hours of rated playback and puts out 10 Vrms balanced and 6.2 Vrms SE for hungry headphones.
In a continuing collaboration with headphone giant Beyerdynamic, the latest series of co-branding IEMs is the AKT9iE. Aiming for a July launch of $1.1k, the earphone is a follow up for the previous gen AKT8iE and features new design elements intended to advance both the bass end and smooth out the highs.
Also on display at the show will be the new mid-range KANN Cube (June, $1.5k), images and early write up available here.