Editor’s brief: If you are a serious audiophile or enthusiast, you would know that what seems like a mundane or simple thing like cables do make a difference. The smallest things matter. In this case, an innocuous USB-C Dual DAC cable from Astell&Kern may just be the “dongle” you need for your audio. Read more below.
SINGAPORE – Astell&Kern, the global leader in premium portable high-resolution audio devices, introduces the USB-C Dual Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC) Cable, enabling music fans to experience the best sound quality possible from a computer or mobile device, while on-the-move. Joining the company’s line-up of award-winning portable digital audio players (DAPs) and headphones, this ultra-compact audio accessory will transform the sonic performance from an Android smartphone, Windows 10 PC, tablet PC or MacOS computer*.
With leading smartphone manufacturers continually omitting headphones jacks and including low-performance DACs, and with popular streaming services offering high-resolution quality tracks, enjoying high-quality music playback on-the-go or on your desktop is becoming increasingly difficult. This is where the USB-C Dual DAC Cable becomes an essential audio accessory: Plug the dual DAC cable into the USB-C input on your device, connect a pair of 3.5mm headphones and immerse yourself in dynamic and detailed sound.
Dual Digital-to-Analog (DAC)
At the heart of the Astell&Kern USB-C DUAL DAC Cable sits two Cirrus Logic CS43198 MasterHIFi™ DACs which support high-resolution audio playback up to native DSD256 and 32bit/384kHz. With years of expertise in audio circuit and amplifier design, the company was able create a complex and highly integrated circuit design to fit into a diminutive, chewing gum packet sized (17mm x 50mm x 10.3mm) chassis. Elsewhere, Astell&Kern’s bespoke designed capacitors, that also feature in its range of high-performance DAPs, optimise the audio circuit to suppress power fluctuations and provide stable operation and best-in-class audio performance all from an ultra-portable housing.
The dual DACs are paired with an independent analog amplifier, designed to deliver a distortion free, live, warm and clear sound as the artist intended, while harbouring power to sufficiently drive a variety of high impedance headphones with a 2Vrms (Condition No Load) output level.
A custom-made, durable, 4-core cable is designed to withstand the vagaries of life on-the-go and to reduce signal interference for the cleanest audio possible. With Technora aramid fibre at its core to block external noise, thick silver-plated copper is wrapped around this centre strand, with a further layer of copper added in a spiral arrangement. The addition of copper wire helps to affect a clear and rich spatial sound, while separate shielding treatment is applied to the cable to block distortion and digital and analogue signal noise from the playback device.
Astell&Kern Signature Aesthetic
As you would expect from an Astell&Kern, the USB-C Dual DAC Cable boasts a stunning, angled surface design that follows the ‘light and shadow’ concept employed throughout all Astell&Kern products. The smooth, polished metal zinc alloy body offers a reassuring premium feel and bulletproof protection for life on-the-road.
* iOS-based devices, such as iPhones and iPads are currently not supported. A dual DAC cable requires more current to run than a single DAC cable. Current iOS devices limit the amount of current exported and do not provide enough current to power a dual DAC configuration.
- Body material: Zinc Alloy
- Body colour: Titan
- DAC: Cirrus Logic CS43198 x 2
- Input: USB Type-C Input (for Windows 10, Android Smartphone & Tablet PC, macOS)
- Output: 3.5mm headphone
- Dimensions: USB Plug: 12mm[W] x 20mm[H] x 8.2mm[D] ; 3.5mm Headphone: 17mm[W] x 50mm[H] x 10.3mm[D]
- Weight: Approx. 25g
- Frequency response: ± 0.030 (Condition: 20 Hz~20 kHz)
- Sample Rate: PCM: Support up to 32bit/384kHz | DSD Native: DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256(1bit 11.2MHz), Stereo
- S/N: 118dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced
- THD+N: 0.0004% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced
- IMD SMPTE: 0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Unbalanced
- Output impedance: 2ohm
- Output power or voltage: 2Vrms (condition no load)
Pricing & Availability:
The Astell&Kern USB-C Dual DAC Cable will be available in Singapore in May 2021 for a retail price of S$189 (including GST). The new cable can be found at AV One (https://av1group.com.sg), Connect IT, E1 Personal Audio, Headphones.SG, Jaben, Stereo Electronics, and Treoo.com.