04. January 2022 · Comments Off on Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 Headphone Amplifier With DAP · Categories: Hifi News · Tags: , , , , , , , ,

ASTELL&KERN ACRO CA1000 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER WITH DIGITAL AUDIO PLAYER

The Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 combines amplifiers with digital audio player (DAP) capabilities in a compact desktop and portable-friendly form.

The Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 has an array of digital/analogue inputs and outputs allowing it to work at the heart of a HiFi set-up.

Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 Headphone Amplifier With DAP

Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 Headphone Amplifier with DAP

ASTELL&KERN ACRO CA1000 HEADPHONE AMP

The AstelléKern ACROCA1000 supports a four-step Gain Level setting that can run high-impedance headphones with a 15Vrms (Condition No Load) output level. It is equipped with balanced 2.5mm and 4.4mm and unbalanced 3.5mm and 6.35mm outputs, to accommodate a wide variety of headphones. Using ultra-small relay parts, circuits for each output are physically separated from each other to minimise any internal noise interference that can adversely affect the quality of the signal and sound.

Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 Headphone Amplifier with DAP

Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 front and back connections

QUAD DAC

The Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 arrives with a Quad ES9068AS DAC. The Quad-DAC also supports high-resolution audio playback up native DSD512 and 32bit/384 kHz.

Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 Headphone Amplifier with DAP

The Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 Headphone Amplifier with DAP has a design inspired by planetary exploration vehicles

First introduced in the A&futura SE180 DAP, the ACRO CA1000 features Astell&Kern’s patented TERATON ALPHA technology. The result of extensive research and development, this sound solution is designed to deliver audio playback close to the original sound through the audio output interface by use of effective power noise removal, efficient power management and amplification with minimal distortion.

THE SPEAKER EFFECT WITH HEADPHONES

In a headphone environment where the left and right channels are clearly separated, ear fatigue can increase when listening over long periods. The new Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 has a  Crossfeed function, which has the effect of blending the left and right channels, relieving ear fatigue by creating a more natural sound akin to listening to speakers. In this setting Shelf Cutoff, Shelf Gain, and Mixer Levels are adjustable according to listening tastes.

Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 Headphone Amplifier with DAP

Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 Headphone Amplifier with DAP has a flip up screen

ASTELL&KERN ACRO CA1000 DAP CREDENTIALS

More than just a headphone amp, the ACRO CA1000 also features DAP capabilities. A tilting 4.1-inch touchscreen (up to 60-degrees) enables easy control of the player and amp settings with an intuitive Android OS and feature set taken from A&K’s portable DAPs.

Although not entirely mobile as an Astell&Kern DAP, this amp player hybrid system is compact and portable. Equipped with an 8,400mAh large capacity battery, the ACRO CA1000 can provide up to 10.5 hours of playback without a separate power supply. This headphone amp also supports USB-PD 2.0 (9V/3A) fast charging, so anyone with a charger that supports USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) can experience improved charging times – a one hour charge provides 50% battery, while it takes 2.5 hours for a full charge. A green light on the CA1000 will indicate when USB-PD fast charging is active.

Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 Headphone Amplifier with DAP

Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 side view of the aluminium case

An array of inputs and outputs allows the connection of digital and analogue sources to expand the system’s capabilities. These include Optical, Coaxial, Type-C USB digital inputs/outputs and RCA analogue input/output.

The Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 harbours 256GB on-board memory that can be expanded up to 1TB via a microSD card slot. Elsewhere, Replay Gain functionality automatically and uniformly adjusts volume playback from sound sources up to 24-bit/192 kHz so playlists can be enjoyed throughout without reaching for the volume.

CONNECTIVITY

A BT Sink function connects the ACRO CA1000 to an external device, such as a smartphone, via Bluetooth, enabling music to be played back in high-quality on the headphone amp. The Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 has Bluetooth® 5.0, providing greater range and a more stable wireless connection to headphones and, along with support for 24-bit aptX™ HD and LDAC codecs.

Alongside dual-band Wi-Fi support, the ACRO CA1000 features AK File Drop for easier wireless file transfers. Users can wirelessly transfer files through a PC, smartphone, or FTP program located on the same network.

Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 Headphone Amplifier with DAP

Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000

TACTILE DESIGN

Astell&Kern says that the ACRO CA1000’s aluminium body shape and the prominent and tactile volume wheel design are inspired by rugged space-age exploration vehicles that power across planetary terrain. The system still retains Astell&Kern’s signature angular shadow and light motif to fit into the company’s design language.

Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 Headphone Amplifier with DAP

Top view of the screen and case

ASTELL&KERN ACRO CA1000 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Body Colour: Moon Silver Body Material: Aluminium

Display: 4.1-inch, 720 x 1280px touch screen

Supported Audio Formats: WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF

Sample rate:

  • PCM: 8kHz ~ 384kHz (8/16/24/32bits per Sample)
  • DSD Native: DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256(1bit

11.2MHz), DSD512(1bit, 22.4MHz) Stereo

Output Level:

Headphone Out

  • [Low] Unbalanced 2Vrms / Balanced 4Vrms (Condition No Load)
  • [Mid] Unbalanced 4Vrms / Balanced 8Vrms (Condition No Load)
  • [High] Unbalanced 6Vrms / Balanced 12Vrms (Condition No Load)
  • [Super] Unbalanced 8Vrms / Balanced 15Vrms (Condition No Load)

RCA Out

  • 2Vrms (Condition No Load)

CPU: Quad-core

DAC: ESS ES9068AS x4 (Quad-DAC)

Decoding: Support up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit to Bit playback

Headphone Outputs: Unbalanced (3.5mm, 6.35mm) / Balanced (2.5mm, 4.4mm)

Analogue Inputs: RCA (Stereo pair) x1

Analogue Outputs: RCA (Stereo pair) x1

Digital Inputs: Coaxial x1, Optical x1, USB(Type-C) x1

Digital Outputs: Optical(3.5mm) x1, USB(Type-C) x1

Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz)

Bluetooth: V5.0 (A2DP, AVRCP, Qualcomm® aptX™ HD, LDAC)

Dimensions: 4.12″(104.9mm)[W] x 1.77″(45mm)[H] x 5.85″(148.8mm)[D]

Weight: about 919g (32.41oz)

Feature Enhancements: Firmware upgrade supported (OTA)

Audio specifications*

Frequency Response:

  • ±0.024dB (Condition : 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalanced / ±0.018dB (Condition : 20Hz~20kHz) Balanced / ±0.048dB (Condition : 20Hz~20kHz) RCA
  • ±0.059dB (Condition : 20Hz~70kHz) Unbalanced / ±0.056dB (Condition : 20Hz~70kHz) Balanced / ±0.048dB (Condition : 20Hz~70kHz) RCA

S/N: 107dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 115dB @ 1kHz, Balanced / 119dB @ 1kHz, RCA

Crosstalk: -105dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / -124dB @ 1kHz, Balanced / -121dB @ 1kHz, RCA

THD+N: 0.005% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 0.002% @ 1kHz, Balanced / 0.0004% @ 1kHz, RCA

IMD SMPTE: 0.0008% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Unbalanced / 0.0004% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Balanced /0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) RCA

Output Impedance: 3.5mm, 6.35mm (1ohm), 2.5mm, 4.4mm (2ohm), RCA (2ohm)

Clock Jitter: 25ps (Typ)

Reference Clock Jitter: 70ps

* Audio specifications will be based on Low Gain setting.

Built-in Memory: 256GB [NAND]

External Memory: microSD x1 (Max. 1TB)

Battery Capacity: 8,400mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer

Charge Time: about 2.5hours (9V / 3A PD2.0 Fast Charging) | 7hours (5V 2A General Charging)

Playback Time: about 10.5hours (Standard: FLAC, 16bit, 44.1kHz, Unbalanced, Vol.40, LCD Off, Low Gain)

Supported OS: Windows 7, 8, 10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and above

Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 Headphone Amplifier with DAP

ASTELL&KERN ACRO CA1000 PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

The Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000 is priced at £1,999 / $2,100 / €2,299 and will be available from February 2022.

HiFi Pig Says: Astell&Kern’s signature design is evident in this new product, which looks like it offers Headfi fans a lot of flexibility.

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