It seems we’re writing about a new Astell & Kern product every week, and the latest to come from the South Korean firm is the ACRO BE100 wireless speaker (£449 / €529 / $380).
Positioned towards the mid-range/premium segment, Astell & Kern say its new wireless speaker “delivers superior room-filling, hi-fi calibre stereo sound that belies it compact profile.”
The ACRO BE100 features a dedicated 32-bit DAC capable of streaming 24-bit high-res wireless streams, with its Class D amplifier producing 55W of power and said to guarantee consistent sound performance without distortion at high volumes.
These days, it wouldn’t be an Astell & Kern product if the design wasn’t angular in some way, and so the ACRO BE100 lives up to the brand’s idiosyncratic approach with triangular shapes on the front metal-grille. The overall finish is one of faux leather, with the patterned volume knob on top of the speaker made from aluminium.
Below that is a status indicator that flashes different colours for each mode or volume level to offer more intuitive control over the speaker. Bass and treble settings can be altered on the speaker as well.
The driver set-up features a custom-built mid/bass driver and two tweeters; the 4-inch mid-bass cone made from Kevlar fabric for improved responsiveness, timing and more accurate bass response.
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Around the back is a rear port to extend the reach of the speaker’s bass further, with the two silk dome tweeters claimed to produce crystal clear high-frequencies. With sound-absorbing material placed inside the wooden cabinet, the interior is sealed in order to reduce any resonance that could affect the audio performance.
And of course, you need good quality sources piped into the speaker if you want good quality sound coming out. The ACRO BE100 supports Bluetooth 5.0, but more importantly can accept a 24-bit aptX-HD (48kHz) and LDAC (96kHz) stream. A version of the speaker with FM radio compatibility is being provided in selected countries. For those interested in plugging a digital audio player (say, an Astell & Kern one) there’s a 3.5mm AUX input for that.
The Astell & Kern ACRO BE100 Bluetooth speaker goes on sale in December for £449 / €529 / $380. You can purchase it direct through A&K, or via independent retailers. It comes in a choice of black or white colours.