Astell & Kern Launch Flagship SP2000 at High End Munich With Native 32-bit/768kHz PCM and DSD512 Playback

Astell & Kern please stop coming out with so many new and amazing products – my review schedule is already busy enough.

Just kidding, but seriously, A&K have stepped on the gas pedal with product development and R&D and look to be cementing their place as the dominant force in digital-audio players (DAPs) with their continuing commitment to the hardcore headphone crowd and the release of their latest and greatest: The new flagship model SP2000 coming in at a premium $3,500 USD.

Featuring top-of-the-line Asahi Kasei AK4499EQ DACs arranged in dual-mono configuration (starting to sound familiar) and fully-independent channels for Balanced and Unbalanced outputs the design also gooses the power rating to 6Vms (Balanced) and 3Vrms (Unbalanced) along with native, bit-to-bit support up to DSD512 and 32-bit/768KHz thanks to its Octa-Core CPU. A&K also threw in 512GB of memory (plus external Micro-SD support), a five-inch touchscreen, MQA support (final testing/approval pending), dual-band wi-fi (with stereo antenna), 3,700mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer Battery for a claimed eight-hour play time, USB 3.0 Type-C input and either a stainless steel or copper body finish.

I reached out to Owen Kwon of A&K to find out more about what goes into product development, whether being an early adopter of new file formats drives innovation and if he sees the company as being uniquely positioned as a complete digital-audio source.

Kwon replied, “I think we are doing our best to meet the expectations of customers with ‘connected’ devices either wired or wireless. Giving the full quality of original performances with the same/similar convenience as other smart devices is one of our goals. We still have some room for improvement, but we are taking our steps every week.”

The SP2000 is expected to ship in July 2019.

Astell & Kern
18-gil 5, Bangbaero, Seocho-Gu, Seoul, Korea, 06664