IS A&K’S ACRO L1000 THE BEST HEADPHONE AMP YET?
If you judge products by the size of their volume control (as the actress said to the bishop) the answer is a big Yes, as the Astell&Kern ACRO L1000 features a gigantic knurled volume knob, attached to a state-of-the-art DAC / Amplifier and encased in solid aluminium.
The ergonomics are delightful, as you just reach out and dial up your preferred volume, with LED lights under the dial indicating level and function.
Korean company Astell&Kern has taken their expertise in designing world-class portable audio and put that knowledge into their desktop audio product, the ACRO L1000, launched this week at CES 2018.
Every variety of headphone is catered for, but what makes the L1000 special is the addition of 15 watts per channel speaker outputs. Here you have a complete desktop Hi-Fi system, just add source and speakers or headphones.
INSIDE - For the full Hi-Res experience, the ACRO L1000 features two AK4490 DAC chips as used in the Astell&Kern AK380 player. These deliver consistent and high-performance digital music playback, superb resolution and rich spatial sound.
For tweakers, L1000 provides three sound settings: Neutral, Bass-Boost and High-Gain filters, the color of the dial LEDs change with the mode selected.
INPUTS - The ACRO L1000 can be connected to a PC or MAC via Micro USB cable or driven directly from most modern A&K portable players - their preferred source of course.
OUTPUTS - There are multiple audio output options to fit almost any need. Headphones can be connected via a universal 3.5mm/6.3mm jack, a 2.5mm balanced jack or a 4-pole balanced XLR, covering all bases.
Unlike other headphone amplifiers, the ACRO L1000 will drive speakers via binding posts which deliver a maximum audio output of up to 15W per channel at 4 ohms.
- Dual High-End AK4490 DACs
- PCM playback up to 32bit/384kHz, Native DSD 256 playback supported
- Support for multiple audio output options for Hi-Fi Audiophiles
- 15W Audio Output per Channel for Stereo Speakers
- Filters for Different Audio Preferences (Bass-boost, High-Gain)
- Optimal design for both usability and sound playback
We haven’t heard it yet, but with A&K’s pedigree it should sound damn good, and then there’s that volume control.
The Astell&Kern ACRO L1000 is available now for $1,399 RRP.
For more information visit Astell&Kern.
Rob Follis has been writing about tech on and off for over 40 years, is a designer, photographer, information omnivore, gadget-head, Hi-Fi afficionado, owner of far far too many things and sadly an unsuccessful app developer. A born & bred Londoner now happily living in Melbourne. Email Rob.