Lightweight and portable, the SP1000M enables the user to enjoy original sound playback anytime and anywhere. It's the portable, baby brother of the A&ultima SP1000 or the top of the line player from Astell & Kern.
Constantly striving to improve the audio experience, Astell&Kern attempted to match the audio quality of the SP1000 in a new product. Determined not to compromise sound quality while making a smaller, more accessible product, they ultimately developed the second product in the A&ultima line.
The “M” in SP1000M does not stand for one specific word, but rather encompasses many characteristics that the product aims to pursue.
MINI: Smaller than the SP1000
MOBILITY: More compact design for portability
MAXIMUM: Produces the highest-quality audio
MANIA: For users who are obsessed with true, original sound
MATE: Perfect anytime and anywhere
MOMENT: Free of distractions, get lost in the music
SP1000 DAP Features
Octa-Core CPU for Next-Level Performance
AK4497EQ Dual DAC for Highest Sound Quality
4.1 Inch HD Display
Highest Quality Audio of SP1000
Portable and Durable Aluminum Body
DNLA-Based AK Connect App
Open APP Service
The A&ultima line of players by Astell&Kern feature the latest technology and high-end audio performance that is available in a portable player. The A&ultima SP1000M is equipped with two AK4497EQ DACs. A separate DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) is dedicated to each independent left and right audio channel, producing a wider soundstage and better stereo separation. With the addition of an Octa-Core CPU, the A&ultima SP1000M not only boots faster, but is able to process digital audio playback without lag or compromise in sound. This will provide the ultimate sound experience of any player currently on the market. Astell&Kern’s advanced audio design and signal management technologies used in the A&ultima SP1000M brings more power output with less noise and minimal distortion.
Equipped with a 4.1 inch, HD-resolution screen, the A&ultima SP1000M provides sharp images and vivid colors to display album art, music playback and player information. The redesigned, music-centric GUI that debuted on the full-sized SP1000 is also used on the SP1000M. USB Type-C 3.0 support allows data transfers that are twice as fast as other Astell&Kern players. The A&ultima SP1000 also provides 10 hours of music playback and includes support for fast charging.
Using Open APP Service
The Open APP Service enables the user to install specific APK music streaming apps to the device. Copy the desired APK into the Open Service folder of the product and install the relevant App in the Menu-Service of the product.
While the A&ultima SP1000M has the same intuitive menu composition as its predecessor, the SP1000, its user interface has been improved with the optional Virtual Back Key, which enables users to control the device more easily and conveniently.
Use the Floating feature to place the Virtual Back Key at a desired location or disable it by simply dragging it to the middle of the screen or turning it off from the Settings menu.
Great Performance for the Ultimate Experience
The A&ultima SP1000M is equipped with an octa-core CPU which allows the player to produce the exact musical detail present in the original recording without distortion and provides a quick, lag-free operation.
The A&ultima SP1000M features faster booting times, speedy file transfers, lag-free processing and a new intuitive user interface for the ultimate player experience.
Ultimate Sound Quality
The latest AK4497EQ dual-DAC design and the upgraded CPU in the A&ultima SP1000M allows for accurate playback of native 32bit/384kHz audio with no compromise on sound quality. The music is played back, bit-for-bit, just as the artist and engineer intended for it to be heard.
The A&ultima SP1000M also supports native bit-to-bit DSD playback up to 11.2MHz for the best sound possible.
Faster Charging, Quicker File Transfer
Next generation USB Type-C support allows file transfer speeds up to 10Gbps and supports both data transfer and charging from the same cable.
USB 3.0 protocol transfers data twice as fast when compared to other Astell&Kern players. Charging with a fast charger (at 9V/1.67A) takes only 3 hours and allows up to 10 hours of continuous playback.
* The maximum 10-hour continuous play is based on 16-bit/44 kHz, FLAC file format, screen off, 75 of volume playback. * Fast charger (9V/1.67A) and general Charger (5V/2A) are not included in the package.
Inspiration for the design of the SP1000M comes from irregularly patterned natural stones combined with Lapis Lazuli, one of the oldest of all gems, to create the SP1000M’s color - Lapis Blue.
Lapis Lazuli, whose history stretches back to 5,000 BC, was a precious gem used in Mesopotamia and Egypt during ancient times. The SP1000M’s vivid blue represents youth, enthusiasm and power. The darker blue highlights appear at different angles to add elegance to the A&ultima product.
The dakota leather used in the SP1000M bundle leather case is a premium vegetable leather made from an Italian tanner named 'Ra Perla Azura', which is a manufacture of Italian and French origin.
'La Perla Azura' was founded in 1967 and has a long history over 50 years. It is located in 'Santa Croce sull´Arno' which is only high-end leather production district in Italy.
The SP1000M is available in Lapis Blue and features an all-aluminum body. The SP1000M includes 128GB of internal memory with one microSD card slot supporting additional memory (largest microSD cards currently available in retail are 512GB, which are supported).
Additional features of the A&ultima SP1000M include support of native playback of 32-bit/384kHz high-resolution PCM audio and native playback of DSD audio, up to Quad-rate (DSD256), 4.2Vrms Balanced output, a Parametric EQ (PEQ), VCXO Reference Clock (Femto Clock) for minimal jitter, Wi-Fi connectivity, support for the AK Connect app, USB DAC function, DLNA networking support, OTA software updates, digital audio output via USB, apt X HD Bluetooth, and support for high-resolution music streaming services including TIDAL, MOOV and Groovers+ (support for streaming services varies by country).
New firmware will debut with the SP1000M that adds Android APK support, allowing users to install additional music streaming services to their player by simply copying and installing the corresponding APK file for the music service they wish to add.
Astell&Kern Music Player Comparison
Lapis Blue(LB) Onyx Black(OB) Royal Gold(RG)
4.1" HD Touchscreen
DAC: AKM AK4497EQ x2
Up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit-to-Bit Decoding; Native DSD
USB Type-C Input
Unbalanced Out (3.5mm) Balanced Out (2.5mm)
2.67" x 4.6" x 0.66"
7.16 oz(LB)(OB) / 10.79 oz(RG)
12-hour charge via computer 5.5 hours via 5V/2A) 2.83 hours via 9V/1.67A Fast Charge
Moved up the A&K ranks to this player and this player is amazing!! Ripped my CDs onto it with the A&K CD Ripper MKII. Listening with my Chord Hugo 2 and Focal Utopia headphones with Black Dragon cable...WOW!!
Having loved the AK240 for four years, moving to the SP1kM was like leaving a trusted friend. Paired with Noble K10Encores, the SP1kM is proving to be every bit as trusty as the 240. Very subtle differences in sound (my ears differ from everyone else's of course), but for me the new UI and better-articulated volume wheel are great strides forward. No complaints after four flawless months of daily use..and still mostly pocket-friendly. While I still swoon at the physical design of the 240, I have zero remorse going with this slightly more boring-looking but great-performing DAP.
I have a Hugo2 and Mscaler but having the two at work is too cumbersome so I wanted a DAP. I owned a dx200 in the past and didn't have it long because the interface was slow and I never understood the reason for not using a phone as a source, for practical purposes, coupled with a portable dac. My interest this round in a DAP is because I have the kse1200, and I didn't want to carry it, a phone, and the hugo2--all too much for a small desktop work situation. Long-story short, the DAP is nearly at the hugo2 level and if not a side-by-side comparison my mental and emotional memory of the hugo2 would be forgotten and I'd say the SP1000m is perfect. The interface is super simple and quick--better than a hiby r6 i tried. The sound is excellent.
Cons: I don't understand why astell&kern didn't provide a charger adapter, because the lower voltage is absolutely slow to charge, a 9v is much quicker. Astell&Kern should also mention when a case is included, albeit I find cases on small daps to get in the way of my finger when making gestures.
Pros: The sound quality is excellent through the single-ended output--I haven't tried the balanced. I would say that I am emotionally very comfortable with the sound quality as I was with the hugo2, but I did have to take some time to accustomed myself to the sound differences.
Shout out to Moon Audio for answering my many questions.