Hi-Fi Sound Anywhere, AK HC3
Astell&Kern's AK HC3 Hi-Fi Dual DAC Cable range offers a true Hi-Fi experience when on the move. Featuring ultra-high sound quality and integrated Hi-Fi grade DACs, it reduces noise for an enhanced audio experience. This cable range caters to music enthusiasts who demand the highest quality sound when away from home.
Not content with settling for the status quo, Astell&Kern has endeavored to enable our users to enjoy more features in Hi-Fi quality.
Hi-Fi Dual DAC Cable – AK HC3
AK HC3 is the result of these efforts, and is designed to provide all the benefits of its predecessors, AK HC1 and HC2, while enabling high-quality sound across various settings. AK HC3 features MQA 8X rendering to allow you to play high-quality sound anytime and a microphone input which enables even more entertainment and voice features. The dual-shielded cable and the proprietary Android app will help users experience Hi-Fi effortlessly and without compromises.
- ES9219MQ Dual DAC from ESS for true Hi-Fi quality
- MQA 8X
- Dual-shielded cable
- Supports headset microphones
- Supports iOS devices
- Proprietary app for Android (For Detailed Volume Control)
- Compact but powerful
- LED display shows song details
- Full metal housing design
Sound in Ultra High-Resolution From Dual DACs, Selected for Hi-Fi
AK HC3 adopts dual ES9219MQ, the SABRE HiFi® DACs from ESS that is highly regarded by audio fans for its ability to playback Hi-Fi sounds such as MQA in ultra-high quality, excellent noise control, and low power consumption.
In addition, it supports Native DSD256 and 32-bit/384kHz, supporting any high-resolution sound to realize Astell&Kern’s unique sound experiences.
The Result of AK's Ultra-Fine Audio Design Technology
With its compact size and uncompromising performance, the HC3 makes it easy to enjoy real Hi-Fi sound anytime, anywhere.
Astell&Kern is adored by countless music lovers thanks to our dedication and meticulous delivery of the original sound with our signature DAPs, or portable high resolution audio players. We included the Astell&Kern technology and know-how that has been accumulated from our DAPs over the years in this small device.
We used micro resistors and capacitor parts to achieve the small dimensions without compromising performance. Tailored ultra-small tantalum capacitors, which are used in AK player products to create a stable system and audio performance by controlling the power fluctuations, are also included to create the optimal audio circuit.
In addition, the output and audio performance are enhanced with Astell&Kern's unique technology while minimizing current consumption in consideration of the connected device.
Noise-Free Rear Output Structure
AK HC3 incorporates a rear audio output design to minimize noise.
Most USB DAC products have the DAC positioned in the USB terminal that is connected directly to the device to process and output audio.
However, with the AK HC3, digital signals from the device go through the dual shielded cable to the audio circuit before being converted to an analog signal by the DAC. By processing the digital signal after, the result is superior, noise-free sound compared to other USB DAC products.
Dual Noise Shielded Cable
The AK HC3 features a dual shielded cable to minimize noise and deliver more vivid, original sound.
The copper core wire is coated with tin to prevent corrosion and strengthen tensile force for enhanced durability.
In addition, the entire cable is wrapped in an aluminum film to block noise, the biggest issue in audio, then the tin-coated copper wire is woven to minimize noise interference to sound.
MQA 8X Playback in Ultra-High Resolution
AK HC3 is built with a renderer that supports MQA 8X playback in ultra-high quality to deliver sound that is much closer to the original sound. MQA is a high-quality sound source format that requires an external DAC or appropriate playback device. AK HC3 is the right choice if you want to enjoy MQA anytime.
Pair your mobile device with AK HC3 to play any MQA sources up to MQA 8X.
With AK HC3 and any device that supports MQA unfolding, anyone can unleash the ultra-high quality of MQA through the proprietary app with network play and streaming features.
*In order to use AK HC3 as a hardware MQA renderer, a software core decoder that supports MQA unfolding is required.
Easy and Convenient - Plug & Play
Connect directly to a Windows PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet with a USB-C port that supports plug & play, without needing a separate conversion adapter, and enjoy high-quality sound.
The AK HC3 utilizes power from the connected playback device so it does not need to be charged or be connected to a separate external sound card, AMP or DAC. Just connect AK HC3 to experience high-fidelity sound from a computer or mobile device.
The AK HC3 is also compatible with iOS devices using the included USB-C to Lightning adapter.
Entertaining Experiences with AK HC3 and Microphone and Controller Support
AK HC3 has been improved to be compatible with any 3- or 4-pole 3.5-mm plug earphones and headsets, as well as in-line controller and microphone features of 4-pole earphones and headsets. With AK HC3, you can enjoy a greater range of entertainment experiences with your mobile device.
The direct USB connection provides lower latency compared to other wireless solutions, enabling a sound performance that’s perfect for gaming. The voice chat features enhance your gaming experiences, so you can play with others, and the microphone input makes it even more useful for professional web conferencing.
Plus, the rich sound capability adds to the utility of AK HC3 by making your video experiences more realistic and immersive.
*When pairing your AK HC3 with iPhones, recording is supported for microphone input, but not supported for calls.
Volume Control Through a Dedicated Android APP
As is common with USB DACs, compatibility issues can arise such as different connected devices being set automatically to maximum volume output or playback at too low volume.
To resolve such issues and offer more greater control over volume and function of the HC3, we have developed a companion app for Android OS devices.
LED for Real-Time Indication
AK HC3 has an LED indicator that displays song details.
*Standby: White / PCM: Red / DSD: Blue
Roon’s fundamental goal is to provide a consistently stellar user experience. This goal doesn’t stop at the software... the experience extends all the way down to the audio playback hardware, regardless of manufacturer.
As a Roon Tested partner, Astell&Kern has provided equipment to Roon for testing with a variety of different operating systems and computers, and shared information about its design and capabilities.
We have a direct relationship with Roon and in many cases, the Roon support team has our devices on hand, so you can confidently choose to use Astell&Kern hardware with Roon.
ESS ES9219MQ x 2 (Dual-DAC)
PCM: Support up to 32-Bit/384kHz
DSD Native: DSD64 (1-bit, 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128 (1-bit, 5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256 (1-bit, 11.2MHz), Stereo
USB Type-C Input (For Windows 10, Android Smartphone & Tablet PC, macOS)
3.5mm (CTIA standard 4-pole supported)
Standby: White / PCM: Red / DSD: Blue
USB Plug: 12.5mm [W] x 21mm [H] x 8.7mm [D]
3.5mm Headphone: 18.2mm [W] x 59mm [H] 11.5mm [D]
±0.013dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz)
±0.020dB (Condition: 20Hz~70kHz)
118dB @ 1kHz
-130dB @ 1kHz
|0.0005% @ 1kHz
0.0002%, 800Hz 10kHz (4:1)
Output Power or Voltage
2Vrms (Condition No Load)