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Astell&Kern

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The Ultimate MQS Network Audio System, AK500N - 1TB

The 500N gives you
the freedom to select the sound.

The AK500N is the first desktop network audio product from Astell&Kern that truly combines advanced digital technology with analog sound. The AK500N is the culmination of the experience and know-how accumulated from work on the AK series including the AK240.

One-click CD-ripping and perfect noise isolation through battery-only operation.
PCM to DSD conversion faithful to the original sound and excellent compatibility with a wide range of devices. Easy DLNA-based networking and high-reliability SSD.

For the AK500N, no detail was overlooked from planning to development to delivery of sound that is true to the original source.

Perfect
Extractor
Pure Sound
PCM to
DSD
Advanced
Network
4 BAY SSD
Powerful
Connections
Fixed & Variable
Analog Out
Metal Body

Perfect Extractor

How are you enjoying your precious CD collection? Are you still listening to your music one CD at a time?
Import your CD collection into the AK500N with the one click.

By taking highly-optimized ripping engine, the AK500N provides users with flawless CD rips through enhanced jitter and error correction support.
The highest sound quality is captured with enhanced jitter correction and excellent CD track error detection and correction.

Two speeds (Normal / Fast) are available for CD-ripping, and the tracks can be saved in either WAV or FLAC.

In addition, Album art and music data are automatically imported from Gracenote’s latest music DB, and is the most recognized and accurate source of music DB in the world.
In addition the touch keypad allows the user to enter the CD title, artist, genre, year of release information.

CD-Ripping Screen

CD Album
Image
CD Ripping
Speed
CD Title
Information
Track
Progress Bar
Track Error
Information
CD Ripping
Progress
Ripping
Completed
Icon
Ripping
Failed
Icon
Track Skip
Button

Pure Sound

A common factor in devices operating in AC power is that the AC power supply is a point of entry for unwanted external noise and exit for device noise. These are the main causes of sound quality degradation.

The AK500N does not allow even 1% of external noise.

Although the AK500N is desktop audio device, it was designed to use a built-in battery for noise isolation.
The AK500N physically blocks noise generated in the AC power supply to prevent sound degradation at all levels.
Music playback on the AK500N is achieved with battery-only operation, creating a truly Pure Sound.

The SMPS (Switched Mode Power Supply) employed in the AK500N is an outstanding device with a Level 5 efficiency rating.
The noise-sensitive power ripple noise* is below 50mVp-p at full load (5A). The AK500N delivers sound quality closest to the original recording through perfect noise isolation and battery-only operation.

* Ripple Noise : Unwanted "ripples" of direct current (DC) voltage in the alternating current (AC) peaks resulting from the incomplete conversion of AC to DC.

Diagram of Noise isolation through battery-only operation

  • 10,400mAh 7.4 Li-Ion Battery
  • The Battery is replaceable type
  • About 7 hours of playback from a fully-charged battery
  • Automatic charging when battery capacity is less than 4% or not playing back music
Built-in
Battery
Noise Noise

PCM to DSD

The AK500N features a dedicated DSD chipset for DSD playback and converts PCM file to DSD64 data through audio engine of Astell&Kern. The AK500N converts high-resolution 32 bit/384 kHz WAV PCM and 24 bit/352 kHz FLAC PCM file to DSD64 data without any down-sampling. In Addition, real time PCM file to DSD64 data playback available.

Go one step further to original sound with this feature by converting, without any distortion, the unique audio information contained within the sound source.

Comparison of noise level PCM and DSD

Unlike PCM, the noise curve changes gradually without abrupt spikes in noise levels toward higher frequencies with DSD.
This means that DSD is less vulnerable to noise intrusion in the higher frequencies compacolor-a to PCM.

db 0 0 -50 -100 -150 -200 -250 1kHz 10kHz 100kHz 1.4kHz PCM @ 24/96kHz DSD @ 2.8224kHz PCM @ 24/384kHz PCM @ 24/192kHz

Comparison of sample rate PCM and DSD

PCM (Pulse-Code Modulation), the common digital recording method for analog signals, divides the y-axis of a sine wave into 65,000 (16-bit) to 16.7 million (24-bit) units of resolution and the x-axis into 44,000 (44.1 kHz) to 384,000 (384 kHz) units for the sample rate before converting into a digital signal. Instead, DSD (Direct-Stream Digital) only divides the y-axis of a sine wave into a single-bit (0 and 1) resolution while dividing the x-axis into 2.8 million (2.8 MHz) to 5.6 million (5.6 MHz) units. DSD's oversampled signal color-auces noise and distortion into mere single bits of data for audio reproduction that’s closest to the original sound.

16bit

1/44100s

Time

PCM

1bit

1/2822400s

Time

DSD

4 BAY SSD

The AK500N features multi-level cell (MLC) SSD rather than a triple-level cell (TLC) SSD for increased durability and reliability. The vibration noise generated by conventional HDDs has been eliminated completely. Save and load large amounts of data even faster than traditional HDDs through the superior speed and stability of SSDs.

1TB/2TB/4TB SSD options are offecolor-a to satisfy each user's needs.

Comparison of SSD Cell type

Type

SLC
(Single Level Cell)

MLC
(Multi Level Cell)

TLC
(Triple Level Cell)

Advantage

Excellent
durability

Good durability /
Large capacity supported

Low cost

Disadvantage

Large capacity
unsupported

-

Low durability

Comparison of SSD and HDD

Type

SSD
(Solid State Drive)

HDD
(Hard Disk Drive)

Advantage

About 5 times faster than HDD
/ Durable and silent

Low cost

Disadvantage

Higher price compared to HDD

Low speed and durability
/ Severe noise

Physically independent drives can be combined into a single drive through RAID 0, RAID 0 configuration supports max 4TB.

Powerful Connections

The AK500N supports a wide range of inputs and outputs.
Connect various high-end products through the AK500N's digital inputs and outputs (AES/EBU, Coaxial, Optical, BNC).

In addition, the analog output supports both Fixed and Variable signals for a direct connection to a powecolor-a amplifier.
A simple but high-level premium system configuration is possible through the AK500N's flexible digital and analog connections.
For user convenience, the inputs and outputs are expressed in easy-to-read graphics on the touch-screen menu.

Analog & Digital audio I/O

Connections Select Screen

Advanced Network

The network capability of the AK500N is another attractive feature that cannot be overlooked.
The AK500N connects to PCs as well as NAS servers through its DLNA implementation using LAN, Wi-Fi and is easily controlled with an app on smartphones and tablets. Music on your PC or NAS can be freely streamed and played back without connection a cable and it can output the connecting a cable and it can output the sound in conjunction with the network speaker.
The AK500N can be easily kept up-to-date with OTA (Over-the-Air) firmware updates.

AK500N / SP1000 / AK380 / AK320 / AK300
/ KANN / AK240 / AK120 / AK100 / AK70

DMP

Streaming

DMS

AK500N

Phone / Tablet

DMC Streaming DMS
(DMR)
DMS Streaming DMC
(DMR)

Network Player

Streaming DMR DMS
(DMC)
Streaming DMR
Streaming DMR

DMC(DMR)

Streaming & Download

DMS

PC / NAS

DMP (Digital Media Player)

Finds a list of content on a media server for selection and playback

DMS (Digital Media Server = Network Server)

Actually stores the media content to be shacolor-a. When connected to a network, the DMS transmits/distributes the media content for other devices to stream or download.

DMC (Digital Media Controller)

Finds a list of content on a media server and establishes a connection to a playback-capable device (renderer). By default, a DMC establishes a connection between a media server and media renderer and controls content playback-related operations.

DMR (Digital Media Renderer = Network Player)

Connects to a media server via media controller for content playback.

Network Server by DLNA

The AK Connect and AK Connect HD apps Download

The AK Connect and AK Connect HD apps are available for
download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

[Phone] AK Connect

[Tablet] AK Connect HD

Internal Structure

CD-ROM Driver Main PCB Front LED SATA PCB 4 BAY SSD Volume Wheel Battery Anti Vibration Pad Power Button Side Interface microSD Card Slot,
2.5Φ, 3.5Φ, 6.5Φ Audio Out,
USB for External Storage
Digital In AES/EBU, Optical,
Coaxial, BNC
Digital Out AES/EBU, Optical,
Coaxial, BNC
Fixed Analog Out RCA & Balanced Power Wi-Fi Antenna CD-ROM Driver Ethernet USB B for Data Transfer
USB A for External Storage
Variable Analog Out RCA & Balanced 4 BAY SSD