AK120's Next-Gen Evolution
Emotion and Pleasure: AK120Ⅱ
Inherit and Evolve!
Since Astell&Kern's initial unveiling of the Dual DAC-capable AK120 in May 2013, both sound resolution and affinity have been improved in our latest offering.
The flagship model AK240 has been highly regarded for delivering mastering-level quality instrumentals with its improved Dual DAC and analog amplifier circuit system. The AK120 2nd Generation allows you to experience the highest sound quality by directly inheriting the sound design structure implemented in the AK240.
Balanced Out and Dual DAC
Dual DAC meets Balanced Output
We added the CS4398 Dual DAC and the balanced output method with sound quality proven through our flagship model.
The AK120 2nd Generation provides the weighty sound through the CS4398 Dual DAC and the A-amp, while providing delicate melodies through the balanced output.
Dual DAC's Balanced Output
DAC
CS4398

DAC
CS4398

A-amp
Output from other products
DAC
Unbalanced vs. Balanced Output
The unbalanced method is the most commonly used basic method which consists of “left and right signals + ground line”. This setup includes a ground line which blocks out external noises from the outside. However, since the ground line cannot block out all of the external noises completely, external noises can be mixed into the signals that are transmitted, which then result in changes to the sound. The longer the signals travel, the more external noises that will be mixed into the sound which is why it is used within a short distance of 1 to 2 meters.

Unlike the unbalanced method, the balanced method has an additional cold signal to compliment the hot signal which reduces the external noises.
Unbalanced method
hot signal
Ground or ground line
Balanced method
hot signal
cold signal
Ground or ground line
The balanced method has a few advantages over the unbalanced method. The first advantage is that the hot signal and the cold signal will remove the external noises received. The second advantage is increased output due to the 2 transmitted signals.
Noise Detected during Balanced Output
Noise
hot signal
cold signal
Ground or ground line
Noise Removed After Detection
Noise
hot signal
cold signal reversed
Ground or ground line
Noise Removal Complete
signal synthesis
Ground or ground line
Since the ground line cannot block out 100% of the external noises, noise will appear on both the hot and cold signals. The alignment of the 2 signals allows the noise to usually appear at similar points where they will eventually be removed as the signals are transmitted.
Supports DSD format up to 5.6MHz
We got familiarized with the DSD format because of the AK120. However, because of the limited hardware functionality, the AK120 could only support DSD up to 2.8MHz with PCM conversion / downsampling to 88.1kHz. Thanks to the advanced hardware functionality and the DSD to PCM software, we can now provide playback support of DSD upto 5.6MHz.
- DSD playback in 5.6MHz is supported after being converted/downsampled to 176KHz PCM.
DSD to PCM
DSD
DSD
Dual Core CPU
PCM Conversion
PCM
DAC
USB DAC
The AK120 2nd Generation includes the USB DAC feature.

Connect the AK120 2nd Generation to a PC or Mac and use it as a USB DAC that also supports DSD. With Dual DAC and the USB DAC feature, enjoy a richer resolution in sound that goes beyond the limitations of the sound card installed in your computer.
- PCM audio up to 24bit/96kHz is supported in USB DAC mode and the AK120 2nd Generation’s EQ settings are not applied.
AK120 2nd Generation USB DAC
PC / MAC
PCM USB
Line Out
Headphone
Speaker
Car
Meet the Network
MQS Streaming
With the AK120 2nd Generation, you can now skip the complicated process of searching for music files, connecting to the PC, and downloading the files to the player. Simply connect the AK120 2nd Generation to your music collection on your computer in the same network to download and/or stream music!
- "Astell&Kern MQS Streaming Server" software must be installed on your PC or MAC with a shared folder saved for MQS Streaming to work.
External HDD
Astell&Kern MQS Streaming Server
AP

Access Point

AK120 2nd Generation
Streaming & Download
OTA (Over-The-Air) Upgrade
It has been 13 years since iriver has used the term: firmware.
It already has been 13 years since when our customers had to check their email or look for notifications on the iriver website to look for new firmware. Now, as long as you are connected to Wi-Fi, we notify you of firmware updates as soon as they launch and from wherever you are.

Our users receive firmware updates immediately.
Full Touch Screen
We implemented a 3.31 inch AMOLED screen that is approximately 82% larger than the screen used in the original AK120. Users can access and see more information on the larger AMOLED screen.

Classical music tracks that contrain titles that are too long to be displayed on screen, are now marked with two lines on the music list for easier navigation. The search function enables you to easily find the music you want to hear.
AK120 2.4 inch
AK120 2nd Generation 3.31 inch
A more detailed 10-band/0.5dB step EQ
A more accurate EQ setting is featured by doubling the bands from 5 to 10 and halving the dB steps from 1dB to 0.5dB. With the user EQ settings, you can make custom EQ settings to fit each music genre and change them when desired.
128GB + microSD 128GB
The AK120 2nd Generation includes 128GB of internal flash storage.
With the addition of a 128GB microSD card,
the AK120 2nd Generation supports up to a total memory of 256GB.

With 128GB of internal memory, the AK120 2nd Generation can store about 1,250 MQS (24bit/96kHz, 4 minute-long, 90MB) songs.
Max 256GB
128GB
internal
memory
microSD Slot x1
(Max 128GB)