Astell&Kern today announced the AK70 MKII, successor to the AK70. At a first glance, the AK70 MKII exhibits minimal changes to its exterior form factor, it is the internal circuitry that has undergone significant changes.

Featuring Astell&Kern’s latest audio design technology, the newly designed AK70 MKII amplifier circuit offers high power output @ 4.0Vrms (Balanced) / 2.0Vrms (Single-ended) with low noise and distortion, significantly higher than the 2.3Vrms offered on both connections on the AK70. The AK 70 MKII also features a dual DAC configuration comprising two CS 4398 DAC Chips from Cirrus Logic, offering playback up to 24-bit, 192 kHz Bit-to-Bit Playback as well as DSD 64/128 via PCM conversion. Native DSD 128 playback is unfortunately not supported.

The exterior design of the AK70 MKII is similar to that of its predecessor, however, there is a slight increase in width (2.5mm), thickness (2.2mm) and weight (18g) as the internal circuitry adds an additional DAC chip coupled with a battery capacity increase from 2,200mAh to 2,500 mAh.

The AK70 MKII also retains same user interface, with the built-in memory remaining at 64GB. The AK70 MKII is suitably labeled as it inherited the DNA of its predecessor with relevant upgrades.

Priced at USD 699, the AK70 MKII is in the same price bracket as Sony’s NW-ZX300 Walkman (USD 699.99), an exciting perspective awaits as both models looks to debut in October 2017.

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Goh Beng Yeow, the Founder / Editor at Porta-Fi™, is a recipient of the IT Youth Award in Singapore. Twice nominated for EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Beng Yeow has previously founded startups such as PDALive.com, Coded Pixels Consultants and was a Tech writer for TODAY, a national daily newspaper under MediaCorp.

Since 2017, he has been writing, editing and producing commentaries, interviews, news and reviews on Porta-Fi™. In 2019, Beng Yeow was appointed Advisor to LHDC™, the industry's latest low latency and high-definition Bluetooth audio codec.

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