Video: Astell & Kern AK100 II Media Streaming and Tidal (A How-To)
Hi-Fi audio enthusiasts rejoice! In this video review of the Astell & Kern AK100 II, we show you how to stream music from DLNA enabled media servers using AK Connect (in this example, a Windows 10 laptop) and the latest firmware release that includes the Tidal music service.
It’s a solid player for audiophiles, capable of exposing the most minute details – and for that you ideally should have good, uncompressed source files (not your usual MP3’s) and sound systems/headphones that offer the highest levels of performance. My days of pursuing hi-end audio have long since past, but I still have the Sony MDR 7506 and Grado Labs SR60 in my arsenal of headsets for occasions when a unit like the AK100 II come my way.
The video goes over aspects of the AK100 II in sections:
– Physical build
– User Interface
– A How-to on Media Streaming via AK Connect
– My attempts at streaming from Playstation3
– Tidal Music Service update in firmware
AK100 II is more than just a standalone player; you can stream music to it from any DLNA compliant device. Which isn’t very hard to find, because this includes Windows computers, XBox, Playstation – there are hundreds of millions of such devices. And cellphones? They’re more than welcome to join the club too – download a DLNA (Media Server) app and it’s ready.
To control all this, Astell & Kern have made available a free app called AK Connect that you can download at the Play store (for Android) and iTunes (for Apple). The video will show you how this works in practice.
Here are the most important aspects in brief:
– it’s got 64GB built-in memory with one microSD card slot (256GB max)
– Supports MP3 / FLAC / AAC / WAV / OGG / APE / ALAC / WMA / AIFF
– Also plays high quality DSD files (DSF/DFF) via PCM conversion
– Can use as a dedicated D/A converter (e.g. soundcard to your laptop)
– DLNA media streaming using Wi-Fi with AK Connect
– Playtime: 11 hours
– Charge time: 4.5 hours for a flat battery
– MSRP: $899