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Astell&Kern

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About Us

Astell&Kern is the ultimate Hi-Fi audio system

Astell&Kern is the ultimate digital music source that brings you Mastering Quality Sound or MQS. Astell means ‘Stars’ in Latin and Kern means ‘Center’ in German. We believe Astell&Kern is the center of music.

Today, original music performances can be captured in digital almost exactly as they were performed due to new, advanced recording technology currently available. However, these high quality recordings are mainly listened to through inferior sound formats, such as MP3 or through streaming services. With the debut of the MP3 format, music lovers sacrificed sound quality for the convenience of being able to carry their music collection wherever they went. Because the MP3 format heavily compresses files for the sake of convenience, the vocals and instruments you hear are only an inferior version of the original. The soundstage and the ambience of the original performance often disappears when listening to compressed MP3 music. After pondering these issues, Astell&Kern was our solution to poor sound quality for the sake of portability, and our way in reviving the original sound quality of music, MQS, for music artists, recording engineers, and professionals.

Astell&Kern's pursuit is to provide natural and original sound without distortion. It showcases the presence of the original recording with miniscule details you may not have noticed from other music systems, while playing back high-resolution music bit by bit, exactly as it was recorded. The ability to play back the exact recording of any live performance is what Astell&Kern is known for.

The power of true sound from Astell&Kern can now be experienced and has been part of many famous audio exhibitions around the world. Astell&Kern is now admired by music lovers from many countries, including the USA, China, Japan, UK, France, and many more around the world.

24-bit, 192kHz high-resolution audio is
considered studio quality and is also referred to as:
Mastering Quality Sound (MQS).

Astell&Kern natively supports MQS (), which is closest to the original sound that the recording artist intended. Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) is an acronym describing the collective lossless & high-resolution source formats that typically come encoded with 24bit, 44 to 192kHz bit/sampling rates. Since MQS delivers about 6.5 times more detail than a conventional CD (), listeners can enjoy a more realistic music experience.

Sound Quality

MQS

WAV, AIFF, FLAC, ALAC, APE, MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, DSD

  1. Original
    Performance

  2. Studio
    Recording

    24-bit, 44 - 192kHz

  3. CD
    Re-mastering

    16-bit, 44kHz

  4. Down Sampling
    To MP3 Files

Music Distrbution

What does 24-bit and 192kHz mean?

192kHz

Hertz (Hz) refers to the number of times the sound wave gets measured per second. Files with 192kHz are measured 192,000 times per second. Within the digital audio source, 192,000 points per second represents the number of points connected as one line associated to the signal. This is referred to as the sampling rate.

32kHz

32,000 bits of data per second

44.1kHz

44,100 bits of data per second

192kHz

192,000 bits of data per second

24-bit

24-bit is each of the 192,000 signals that contain the binary code recorded exponentially. 224 is expressed as the number 2 multiplied by itself a total of 24 times, which is then referred to as the bit rate.

8-bit

= 28 = 56

16-bit

= 216
= 65,535
(CD Format)

24-bit

= 224
= 16,777,216
(MQS & DVD Format)

Sampling rate is the association between resolution and how much information is contained within the music. Bit rate pertains to the dynamic range of a song and clearly expresses the change in pitch and strength of a note.

The higher the sampling and bit rates, the closer you will hear the original sound as it was intended.

When comparing the frequency analysis of MP3 files and CDs(10kHz bandwidth), the differences in noise frequency are evident. When CDs and 24-bit files are compared under the same conditions, the difference in noise is close to zero.

Frequency analysis

  • MP3 (320kbps / 44.1kHz)
  • CD (16bit / 44.1kHz)
  • CD (16bit / 44.1kHz)
  • WAV (24bit / 44.1kHz)