Astell&Kern introduced today its USB-C Dual Digital-to-Analogue (DAC) Amplifier Cable, an ultra-compact accessory that allows music enthusiasts to experience better sound quality from one’s computer or mobiles devices on-the-move.
With leading smartphone manufacturers increasingly omitting 3.5 mm headphones jacks and relying on codec chips or low-performance DACs for digital-to-analogue audio conversion, it has been increasingly difficult to enjoy high-resolution music playback on-the-go. The USB-C Dual DAC Amplifier cable becomes an essential audio accessory that allows one to immerse in detailed and dynamic music by connecting a pair of earphones or headphones into its 3.5 mm headphone jack.
The USB-C Dual DAC Amplifier cable is equipped with a pair of CS43198 MasterHIFi™ DACs from Cirrus Logic, which supports high-resolution audio playback up to native DSD256 and 32 bit / 384kHz. Each DAC is paired with an independent analogue amplifier with sufficient power to drive various high impedance headphones with a 2 Vrms (no-load condition) output level.
Leveraging Astell&Kern’s years of expertise in the audio circuit and amplifier design, the product development team created a complex and highly integrated circuit design featuring a six-layer PCB measuring just 14 mm x 41 mm. The USB-C Dual DAC Amplifier cable also sports micro resistors and tantalum capacitors. Exclusively created for the brand, the same capacitors are used in the brand’s range of high-performance DAPs to optimise the audio circuit to suppress power fluctuations and provide stable operation towards a best-in-class audio performance USB-C Dual DAC cable.
Aesthetically, as many would expect from an Astell&Kern product, the USB-C Dual DAC Amplifier Cable exhibits a stunning, angled surface design that is in-line with the ‘light and shadow’ concept employed across all the brand’s products.
The team also developed a custom-made 4-core cable for the USB-C Dual DAC Amplifier Cable; the cable is made by wrapping silver-plated copper wire and the copper wire in a spiral form around a centre core made of Technora aramid fibre to block external noise. Simultaneously, a separate shielding treatment is applied to the cable to block distortion and noise of digital and analogue signals from the playback device. Interestingly, the Silver-Plated Copper wires used in the cable are more than twice the thickness of typical Silver-Plated Copper wires, which the brand claims aids to provide clear and rich spatial sound.
The Astell&Kern USB-C Dual DAC Amplifier Cable will retail at an SRP of USD 149 (SGD 189) and be available in Singapore from May 2021.