Astell&Kern have announced their second USB DAC/Headphone amplifier which will debut at High End Munich 2022, called the HC2. The $249 Dongle DAC is designed to provide playback of high-resolution audio from your computer or mobile device. With more mobile phone manufacturers removing headphone jacks from their devices, the Astell&Kern USB DAC Cable provides users the ability to get the best sound possible out of their mobile devices while using existing headphones they already own.
The Astell&Kern USB DAC Cable features two Cirrus Logic CS43198 MasterHIFI™ DACs which supports native playback of high-resolution audio up to DSD256 and 32bit/384kHz PCM.
The dual CS43198 DACs are paired with an independent analog amplifier, designed to provide true audio playback so you can feel the live, warm and clear sound as intended, without distortion. This is made possible based on years of Astell&Kern’s expertise in AMP design. Although it is a small and simple cable type external DAC, the company says it can sufficiently drive high impedance headphones with a 4Vrms output level.
The Astell&Kern USB DAC cable features a USB-C connection, which can be found on the latest Android-based smartphones and Windows and Mac computers. Since the USB DAC Cable draws power from the playback device it is connected to, there is no need for a separate charger.
The USB DAC Cable supports any headphone or earphone with a 4.4mm balanced connector.
An official MFi certified USB-C to lightning adapter insures compatibility with iOS-based lightning port devices.
A dedicated app for detailed volume adjustment of the HC2 will be released soon for Android devices. The new Android app will also be compatible with the PEE51 USB-C DAC after a future firmware update.
The HC2 will be certified Roon Tested pending completion of the testing and certification process by Roon Labs.
Price & Availability
The HC2 USC-C Dual DAC Cable will be available at authorized Astell&Kern dealers in the US and Canada in June 2022 for $249.
For more information: us.astellnkern.com
Related reading: Best Dongle DACs