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Astell&Kern SP2000T DAP Goes Old School & Crushes the Competition

The flagship Astell&Kern SP2000T DAP is going to be very expensive when it becomes available in October. We suspect it will be the best of its kind.

Astell & Kern SP2000T Digital Audio Player

Do people still use DAPs in 2021? One would think that an iPhone 12 Pro or SOTA Android phone would be more than sufficient for state-of-the-art digital music streaming but that’s sadly not the case. The iPhone has never really been a great source device; which is really unfortunate considering the high cost and market penetration. Are you blown away by Apple Music with Spatial Audio and lossless audio? We didn’t think so. A&K have been pushing the DAP envelope since inception and the new Astell&Kern SP2000T DAP is a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.

A&K are running with a new “triple amp system”, the Astell&Kern SP2000T will offer up either tube, op amp or a hybrid of both for amplification to any SE or balanced headphone setup. Backing up the digital side is also a Quad DAC design; a first for any of their rather pricey DAPs.

The Astell&Kern SP2000T takes its inspiration from Astell&Kern’s current flagship, the SP2000 by building upon many of the premium features of the SP2000 and adding new features never before seen in other Astell&Kern players.

The SP2000T is Astell&Kern’s first quad-DAC player, featuring four (4) ESS ES9068AS DAC chips, allowing the player to produce a more balanced, detailed sound signature. MQA hardware rendering is built into the ES9068AS DACs and support MQA 8x rendering.

Another first, the SP2000T introduces Astell&Kern’s next generation amp technology, the Triple Amp System. Users can select between tube amp mode, normal op-amp mode or the new hybrid amp mode that uses both the tube and op-amps to provide the best sound output for the type of music you are listening to.

All three modes are available when using the 2.5mm, 3.5mm or 4.4mm outputs.

Astell & Kern SP2000T DAP Front

Rounding out the new features of the SP2000T is Replay Gain, which allows the player to automatically adjust the volume between tracks and maintain a consistent playback level. A full HD (1920×1080 resolution) touch screen provides a high-resolution display.

The Astell&Kern SP2000T DAP will be available starting in October 2021. The company has not yet announced the MSRP but expect it to be between $3,000 and $4,000 based on previous models. The current flagship, model SP2000 (without the T) retails for $3,499 at Amazon and Crutchfield.

For more information: A&K SP2000T DAP

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