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Astell and Kern’s AK HC3 produces hi-fi grade sound on the go

It’s only been a few months since Astell & Kern launched a product and we were beginning to get worried. We need not worry any more as hi-fi lovers have a new toy to play with.

Korean brand Astell & Kern has launched a hi-fi grade USB DAC with microphone connectivity in the form of the AK HC3.

It’s the successor to the PEE51, and features dual ES9219MQ DAC set-up from ESS that A&K say is “highly regarded by audio fans across the globe” for its ability to produce high quality sound with “excellent control and low power consumption”.

The AK HC3 features a rear output design to minimise noise, processing the digital signal after it has travelled through the dual noise shielded cable to output a sound that Astell & Kern believes to be “virtually noise free”.

AK USB DAC hc3_010

It’s compatible with any 3- or 4-pole 3.5mm plug earphones and headsets, as well as in-line controller and microphone features for 4-pole earphones and headsets. The AC3’s microphone support expands its talents to work with entertainment and voice features, which makes this DAC a good fit for PC and laptop gaming, video conferencing and watching TV and films.

It can be connected directly to a Windows PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet with a USB-C port, using power from the connected device so it doesn’t need to be charged before use. For use with iOS devices, there’s a USB-C to Lightning adapter included with the DAC.

Bit and sample rates are supported up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and native DSD256, with a frequency response that can go as wide as 20Hz to 70kHz.

Priced at £199, the Astell & Kern AK HC3 is on sale right now.

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