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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. The vendor’s release is below.

Astell&Kern’s USB-C Dual DAC cable will transform the sonic performance from your mobile device

SINGAPORE, @mcgallen #microwireinfo, March 19, 2021 – 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.

Noise-shielded Cable

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.

Technical Specifications

  • 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.

About Astell&Kern

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. Founded in October 2013, Astell&Kern is a South Korean consumer electronics company that manufactures media players, CD players, headphones, and home theatre products. Astell&Kern’s pursuit is to provide natural and original sound without distortion. 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.

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