Astell & Kern unveiled the new flagship DAP “A & ultima SP3000” and Empire Ears collaboration IEM “Odyssey” for the first time in Japan

On September 13, 2022, Ayuto will hold a new product launch of the high-resolution audio brand “Astell & Kern” in Tokyo. The latest model “A&ultima SP3000” of Astell&Kern’s portable DAP flagship line “A&ultima” and the flagship IEM “Odyssey” collaborated with Empire Ears of the United States for the first time in Japan.
“A&ultima SP3000” is the latest flagship DAP that condenses all the essence obtained from product design and development over the past 10 years. Speaking of Astell & Kern’s DAP, one of the main features is the beautiful form with excellent design that you wouldn’t expect from a portable DAP, but even the “A & ultima SP3000” announced this time has excellent hardness, durability, and corrosion resistance, making it a Swiss luxury watch. The world’s first portable DAP housing made of 904L stainless steel, which is also used by the brand. It is said that it finished in a beautiful form with a sense of quality suitable for a flagship model. The “A&ultima SP3000” also comes with a special case made of ALRAN’s French goatskin leather.
In terms of sound, a major feature is the adoption of the “HEXA audio circuit structure” that combines four of Asahi Kasei Electronics’ (AKM)’s latest flagship DAC “AK4499EX” and two “AK4191EQ” dedicated to digital signal processing. One set of “AK4191EQ” and two “AK4499EX” are used as a set for each of the balanced output and unbalanced output, and after reducing the noise of the input digital signal with the “AK4191EQ”, the analog signal is processed with the two “AK4499EX”. are processed separately. By completely separating digital and analog signal processing and adopting an independent unbalanced/balanced dual audio circuit structure, an overwhelming 130dB (no-load, balanced) SN ratio has been achieved.
Native playback supports up to 768kHz/32bit for PCM and up to DSD512 (DSD 22.4MHz) for DSD, and also supports MQA playback. “Digital Audio Remaster” for real-time upsampling up to PCM 384 kHz/DSD 256, “Cross-feed function” for headphones with a sound image close to that of speakers, natural tone/acoustic tone/traditional tone/harmonic sound/acoustic sound/traditional sound Functions such as DAC filters are also available. Audio output is equipped with 3.5mm unbalanced (also used as optical digital output), 4.4mm 5-pole balanced output, and 2.5mm 4-pole balanced output.
In addition, the UX/UI of the “A&ultima SP3000” has also been renewed. It seems that the newly developed UX/UI focuses on the process and experience of listening to music, and new features such as a function that allows you to browse music categories with simple gestures and a function that digitally displays CD album jackets.

The main board uses Qualcomm’s 8-core CPU chip “Snapdragon SDM6125”. By combining 8GB of DDR4 memory, it is said that a comfortable system response has been achieved. The storage capacity is 256GB, and it also has a microSD memory card slot that supports up to 1TB. The display is 5.46 inch full HD. The battery life is about 10 hours (FLAC, 16bit/44.1kHz, volume 80, display off, Low Gain), and it also supports Qualcomm’s QC 3.0 fast charging.

The wireless function supports IEEE802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (2.4GHz/5GHz) and Bluetooth 5.0 (SBC, aptX HD, LDAC). “AK File Drop” that allows wireless file transfer from PCs, smartphones, FTP software, etc. on the same network, “BT Sink” that allows you to enjoy music from external devices such as smartphones with “A&ultima SP3000”, and Open APK streaming service. It also supports connection to, Roon Ready, etc.

Two color variations are available, silver and black. Black is a form coated with paint on top of 904L stainless steel. The release date is scheduled for October. The estimated market price at the moment is around 659,980 yen, but it may change depending on the exchange rate. Details will be announced at a later date.

“Odyssey” is a flagship IEM that collaborated with Empire Ears in the United States for the first time. Equipped with a “Quadbrid system” consisting of a total of 10 units: dual W9+ subwoofers, 5 BA drivers, dual electrostatic tweeters, and W10 bone conduction drivers. The “7-way synX crossover network” that brings out the performance of different types of drivers, and the “EIVEC MKII engine” that optimizes the timing, phase, and control between the electrostatic driver and bone conduction driver specially designed for “Odyssey” Both vibration and bone conduction are controlled at a high level, realizing overwhelming sound quality.
In addition, the main body design adopts a unique dichroic faceplate “ENIGMA” that laminates 9 polymer layers in 3 steps. For the cable, we chose a 4.4mm 5-pole Pentaconn plug based on Effect Audio “Ares II”. A 4.4mm to 3.5mm conversion plug is also included.
The release date is scheduled for November. The current market price is expected to be around 599,980 yen. Again, more details will be announced at a later date.

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