Astell&Kern’s latest Digital Audio Player, the “SP1000M” is part of their flagship sub-brand “A&Ultima”, is a more compact take on their flagship SP1000. It features the same dual-AKM4497 DAC design and base operating system/software capabilities, a slightly more powerful output stage, a super-responsive UX running on an 8-core SoC, and the ability to act as a USB DAC, a USB transport (feeding an external USB DAC), Bluetooth source, and a self-contained WiFi-capable streamer (with built-in support for DLNA, TIDAL and Deezer, and the ability to side-load various Android streaming music clients), among many other features:
Thanks to the “Community Preview Program” I’ve been listening to, and exploring, this little guy for the last few days and it has gotten an entirely un-expected portion of my listening time. Paired with the tia Fourté it’s the first player I’ve heard in a long time that has genuinely rivaled my current reference-player, the Sony NW-WM1Z, and it does so in smaller, less expensive and much lighter package.
First impressions are entirely positive, even using the single-ended output into proper headphones. And the only niggle I have so far is that macOS users have to use the rather janky “Android File Transfer” tool to access the unit’s internal storage (for microSD cards, you can just mount them in a card reader and access them directly).
I’ll have a full review in the near future, but am happy to answer any questions in the mean time.
This is the place to discuss this new state-of-the-art DAP …