Review: Astell&Kern SP1000 – Impressive

Specifications & Performance

Model

SP1000

Body Color

Stainless Steel / Copper

Body Material

Stainless Steel / Copper

Display

5inch (720 x 1,280) Touchscreen

Supported Audio Formats

WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF

Sample rate

PCM : 8kHz ~ 384kHz (8/16/24/32bits per Sample) / DSD Native: DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo
/ DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256(1bit 11.2MHz), Stereo

Output Level

Unbalance 2.2Vrms / Balance 3.9Vrms (Condition No Load)

CPU

Octa-Core

DAC

AKM AK4497EQ x2 (Dual DAC)

Decoding

Support up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit to Bit Decoding

Input

USB 3.0 Type-C input (for charging & data transfer (PC & MAC)) / Connection Mode : MTP (Media Device)

Outputs

PHONES (3.5mm) / Optical Out (3.5mm) / Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported)

Wi-Fi

802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)

Bluetooth

V4.1 (A2DP, AVRCP, aptXTM HD)

Dimensions

2.98 ”(75.8 mm) [W] x 5.2 ”(132 mm) [H] x 0.64 ”(16.2 mm) [D]

Weight

Stainless Steel : 13.64 oz (386.6 g) / Copper : 13.68 oz (387.9 g)

Feature Enhancements

Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)

Audio Performance

Frequency Response

±0.062dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalance / ±0.061dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balance
±0.68dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Unbalance / ±0.67dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Balance

Signal to Noise Ratio

120dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 122dB @ 1kHz, Balance

Crosstalk

138dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 143dB @ 1kHz, Balance

THD+N

0.0005% @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 0.0008% @ 1kHz, Balance

IMD SMPTE

0.0004% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Unbalance & Balance

Output Impedance

Balanced out 2.5mm (1ohm) / PHONES 3.5mm (2ohm)

Clock source

Clock Jitter

30ps(Typ)

Reference Clock Jitter

200 Femto Seconds

Battery

Capacity

3,400mAh 3.7V Li-Polymer Battery

Continuous Playback Time

Up to 12 hours (Standard – MUSIC: FLAC, 16-bit/44kHz, Volume 75, LCD Off)

Charge Time

About 2 hours (Standard – 9V/1.67A Fast charging)

Memory

Built-in Memory

256GB [NAND]

External Memory

microSD (Max 256GB) x1

OS

Supported OS

Windows XP, Windows 7,8,10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and up

 

Review: Astell&Kern SP1000 – Impressive
4.7 (93.13%) 163 vote[s]

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

23 Comments

  • Reply September 30, 2017

    John Lee

    “On technicalities the new SP1000 certainly takes the first price”
    A Freudian slip? 😉

  • Reply March 3, 2018

    Michael

    Hi Lieven,
    how is it compared to AK320 in your opinion? I run it with Spiral Ear SE5 Ultimate. They are awesome, but I’m not sure if AK320 is the perfect match. Some say AK320 was the least coloured DAP in the range of AK. What do you think, is it worth the upgrade?
    Best regards, Michael

    • Reply March 5, 2018

      Lieven

      That’s not easy. To me the SP1000 is the best DAP when it comes to BA drivers (and UI), just for sound there’s also the L&P L6. And then there’s the Sony. But to keep it to AK: after I used the sP1000 for several weeks, I went back to the 380 and the difference just was too big to go back.
      Now I’m not overly familiar with the 320 but to me the SP1000 isn’t colored. So I do think it will be a nice upgrade but it does come with a nice price tag. Are you willing to invest in a TOTL DAP (you know, the maw of diminishing returns)

  • Reply March 29, 2018

    Alfred

    HI Lieven
    I don’t have L&P L6 but I had tried SP1000 and it sounds much rich compare AK 380.
    One important thing to me in terms invest DAP is the quality of sound. How was sounds quality of L&P L6 compare to SP1000? since the price gap of the two DAPs are so high 🙂
    what I means is the sound quality of both DAPs not other goodies 🙂
    Thanks
    Alfred

  • Reply April 23, 2018

    Rryy

    Is lime ear aether a good combination with sp1000? I just bought sp1000 and beat audio emerald 8 wire cable with inear sd2.

    • Reply April 23, 2018

      Lieven

      I like it (great treble) but that doesn’t mean you will. Any chance to listen to it upfront?

  • Reply April 24, 2018

    Ram

    Hello Leiven,

    Can you please list out best IEM to use with SP1000?

  • Reply May 22, 2018

    Gideon

    Hi,

    Excellent review!
    How does the SP1000 compare to the sound of the Hugo 2?

    • Reply January 28, 2019

      Jared Crandall

      I would also like to know how the SP1000 or SP1000m fair in relation to the Hugo2. As much as I search online I can’t get a direct answer of what to expect when going from DACs to DAPs. I understand that the functions are not apples to apples, but no reason that the sonics can be compared apples to apples…

  • Reply July 19, 2018

    Nitish

    Hello
    How to connect sp 1000 balanced/unbalanced output to Violectric v281 RCA/XLR?
    Thanks

    • Reply July 19, 2018

      Linus

      Hi Nitish,

      for XLR you’d need a double-headed 2.5mm/3.5mm to dual XLR cable, where the 3.5mm is for ground only. AK sold a cable for that purpose, called PEF21. There are many cable makers that offer that one too, cheaper than the AK cable.

      If you want to go RCA just get a 3.5mm to dual RCA cable.

      Hope that helps!

      • Reply July 20, 2018

        NITISH

        Thanks for the help.

  • Reply September 26, 2018

    Thurein

    Hi, I am using SP1000 with Layla ciem.
    May I know which pure amp will be best paired with SP1000?
    Looking to maintain JH house sound, AK clarity with a touch of warmness.
    Thanks.

    • Reply September 26, 2018

      Lieven

      desktop or portable? Budget?

      • Reply September 27, 2018

        Thurein

        Thanks Lieven.
        For portable, much of my listening sessions are on daily train commute 🙂

        • Reply September 27, 2018

          Lieven

          I’m thinking Vorzamp, Woo WA11, CypherLabs Duet (if you can find one)

          • Reply September 27, 2018

            Thurein

            thanks, i could still get Vorzuge amp pure II and CypherLabs Duet.
            Woo WA11 with DAC is a bit out of my budget.

            Which AMP would you recommend for my SP1000 with Layla ciem.
            Cheers,

            Thurein

  • Reply October 7, 2018

    Joelparisi

    Very good and very helpful reviews. I want to ask one thing, if this player is compared to Altman Tera. Where is the difference?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.