Astel&Kern introduces AK HC4 DAC/amp

Astell&Kern Has unveiled its new AK HC4 DAC , the successor to its HC3. This is the brand’s first to feature the AK4493S DAC chip to deliver: “exceptional hi-fi sound as well as interchangeable USB-C and Lightning connection, 3.5mm and 4.4mm dual output and Digital Audio Remaster technology for delicate, analogue-like sound”.

The HC4 supports Native DSD256 and up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM, and is equipped with digital audio remaster (DAR) technology developed to upsample the sample rate of the sound to go beyond the limits of the source format. The company claims that the high sample rate: “allows more refined playback and offers a delicate, analogue-like sound, helping the listener to enjoy the richness of the original recording”.

The HC4 also introduces exclusive AMP circuitry that supersedes the standard built-in DAC AMP and Astell&Kern explains that: “while modern smartphones, tablets and PCs support UAC 2.0 connections, many gaming devices still exclusively support UAC 1.0. To cater to both scenarios, the AK HC4 ensures compatibility by supporting both UAC 2.0 and UAC 1.0 connections for cross-platform quality sound experiences.”

The AK HC4 DAC comes with both USB-C and Lightning cables so that it can connect with any modern smartphone and the side of the product is designed with concave lines with a view to making it easy and comfortable to use: “in a form naturally tailored to human hands”. In addition, the keys on the sides are either lifted at both ends or divided into dot embossed details, allowing the listener to operate each function separately and accurately with only their fingertips.

The HC4 measures 30 x 65 x 15mm (WxHxD), weighs approximately 31g and is finished in ‘moon silver’ aluminium.

Available to buy now for £220, you can find out more about Astell&Kern's AK HC4 DAC/amp here.