Unafraid of innovation, Astell & Kern kicked off 2022 with one of the most unique office proposals we’ve seen. The Acro CA1000 is a combined headphone amplifier and digital music player, offering a complete all-in-one desktop or laptop system for wired headphones.
As you can see in the image above, the headphone amplifier sports 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced and 3.5mm and 6.35mm unbalanced outputs on the front, with this range of taps and a four-step gain level adjustment covering a wide variety of headphone types and impedances.
The digital music player, which cannot be detached from the unit, has a 4.1 inch touchscreen that can tilt upward (up to 60 degrees), allowing users to easily control reading and settings via its Android operating system, or to lie flat in the aluminum frame.
Its 256 GB of on-board storage (expandable up to 1 TB via microSD card) is large enough to accommodate a large library of high-resolution files – the ES9068AS Quad DAC supports native DSD512 and 32-bit / 384 kHz playback .
The player can also receive music via Bluetooth from a connected phone (via BT Sink function) and send wireless playback to a pair of wireless headphones using Bluetooth 5.0, aptX HD and LDAC support. Wi-Fi is also on the menu. Do you want to connect an external source? Optical, coaxial, USB-C, and RCA inputs are all at your service.
The system is portable too, with an 8,400mAh battery providing up to 10.5 hours of playback time for use away from a power outlet.
And finally, the Acro CA1000 uses Astell & Kern’s Teraton Alpha technology (as introduced in the What Hi-Fi? Award-winning player A & futura SE180), promising optimum audio output through efficient power management and the elimination of amplifier distortion and power noise.
There you go: a distinctive digital desktop solution that just might transform your headphone listening experience. The Astell & Kern ACRO CA1000 will retail for £ 1,999 ($ 2,100) when it goes on sale in February.
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