Astell&Kern SP1000M DAP - Unboxing

Astell&Kern A&ultima SP1000M DAP Music Player

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Lightweight and portable, the SP1000M enables the user to enjoy original sound p… More details

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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.

Main Features

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
  • Roon Ready

    Your one-stop-shop for a curated music library, Roon connects your existing music files with content from your streaming services and connects it all to photos, bios, reviews, lyrics, and concert dates. It puts all of your music in one searchable place.

    Roon is a music management and listening solution that takes a very different approach to interact with your music. Instead of seeing a spreadsheet-like view of your music (as with iTunes and almost all other media systems), Roon provides a very rich non-list based experience, using credits, artist relationships, genres, lyrics, concert/tour dates, artwork, and more to allow for informative navigation and exploration of your library.

    Roon manages digital music files collected on hard drives and networked storage. It can also watch your iTunes library, and optionally integrate with the music streaming service TIDAL.

    Premium Portability

    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.

    Vivid Images

    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.

    Using Open APP Service

    Advanced User Interface

    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.

    APP Services Screenshots

    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.

    Octa-Core comparison chart

    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.

    32-bit bit-to-bit playback chart

    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.

    Astell&Kern SP1000M charging times

    Design Concept

    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 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.

    Astell&Kern SP1000M detail images


    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).

    Astell&Kern SP1000M technology and features

    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.

    AK Player Comparison

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    Lapis Blue(LB)
    Onyx Black(B)
    Royal Gold(RG)
    2.67" x 4.6" x 0.66"
    7.2(LB/B)/10.8 oz(RG)
    4.1" Touchscreen
    HD 720x1280
    Octa-Core Dual DAC:
    AKM AK4497EQ
    USB Type-C Input
    3.5mm Unbalance
    2.5mm Balance
    Battery Life
    10.5hr Playback
    12hr charge (PC)
    5.5hr (5V/2A)
    2.83hr chg (9V/1.67A)
    128GB Internal(LB/B)
    256GB Internal(RG)
    microSD ≤400GB
    Windows 7, 8, 10 (32/64bit)
    MAC OS X 10.7+
    Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.1
    ≤32bit / 384kHz
    Native DSD
    Frequency Response
    Condition: 20Hz-20kHz
    ±0.062dB Unbalance
    ±0.061dB Balance
    Condition: 10Hz-70kHz
    ±0.68dB Unbalance
    ±0.67dB Balance
    Output Level
    2.1 Vrms Unbalance
    4.2 Vrms Balance
    2 Ohm (3.5mm)
    1 Ohm (2.5mm)
    Stainless Steel(S)
    Onyx Black(B)
    Stainless Steel(S/B)
    2.98" x 5.2" x 0.64"
    13.64(S/B)/13.68 oz(C)
    5" Touchscreen
    HD 700x1280
    Octa-Core Dual DAC:
    AKM AK4497EQ
    USB Type-C Input
    3.5mm Unbalance
    2.5mm Balance
    Battery Life
    12hr Playback
    12hr charge (PC)
    5hr charge (5V/2A)
    2.33hr chg (9V/1.67A)
    256GB Internal
    microSD ≤400GB
    Windows 7, 8, 10 (32/64bit)
    MAC OS X 10.7+
    Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.1
    ≤32bit / 384kHz
    Native DSD
    Frequency Response
    Condition: 20Hz-20kHz
    ±0.062dB Unbalance
    ±0.061dB Balance
    Condition: 10Hz-70kHz
    ±0.68dB Unbalance
    ±0.67dB Balance
    Output Level
    2.2 Vrms Unbalance
    3.9 Vrms Balance
    2 Ohm (3.5mm)
    1 Ohm (2.5mm)
    Select a DAP to view and compare specifications
    Select a DAP to view and compare specifications


    2019 iF Design Award
    2019 Reddot Design Award

    Press and Reviews

    Astell n Kern Magazine Guide
    Astell&Kern Magazine

    Guides & Reviews
    by Moon Audio

    Digtial Trends Review
    Digital Trends

    by Andy Boall
    Jan. 2019

    Headfonia Review

    by Lieven
    Feb. 2019

    Audio Head Review

    by Staff
    Sep. 2018

    Inner Fidelity Review
    Inner Fidelity

    by Rafe Arnott
    Sep. 2018

    What HiFi Review
    What HiFi?

    by Staff
    Sep. 2018



SP1000M Dimensions

Technical Features

Body Color
Lapis Blue, Onyx Black, or Royal Gold
Body Material
Aluminum(Blue/Black) or Brass (Gold)
4.1 inch (720 x 1280) Touchscreen
Supported Audio Formats
Sample Rate
PCM: 8kHz ~ 384kHz (8/16/24/32bits per Sample)
DSD Native: DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo
DSD128(1bit 5.6MHx), Stereo
DSD256(1bit 11.2MHz), Stereo
Output Level
Unbalance 2.1 Vrms / Balance 4.2Vrms (Condition No Load)
AKM AK4497EQ x2 (Dual DAC)
Support up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit to Bit Decoding
USB type-C (3.0) input (data transfer, PC & Mac) / Connection Mode : MTP (Media Device)
PHONES (3.5mm) / Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported)
802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
V4.1 (A2DP, AVRCP, aptX™ HD)
2.67" x 4.60" x 0.66" (67.9mm x 117mm x 16.9mm)
7.16 oz (203 g) [Blue/Black] or 10.79 oz (306 g) [Gold]
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
120dD @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 123dB @ 1kHz, Balance
138dD @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 144dB @ 1kHz, Balance
0.0007% @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 0.0006% @ 1kHz, Balance
0.0004% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Unbalance & Balance
Output Impedance
Balanced out 2.5mm (1ohm) / PHONES 3.5mm (2ohm)

Clock Source

Clock Jitter
Reference Clock Jitter
200 Femto Seconds


3,300mAH 3.7V Li-ion Battery
Continuous Playback Time
Up to 10 hours (Standard - MUSIC FLAC, 16-bit/44khz, Volume 75, LCD Off)
Charge Time
About 3 hours (Standard - 9V/1.67A Fast charging)


Built-in Memory
128GB [NAND]
256GB [NAND] in Gold
External Memory
microSD (Max 400GB) x 1


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

Package Includes

  • DAP
  • Leather Case
  • USB-C Charging Cable
  • Micro SD Card Slot Cover
  • Protective Film
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty Card
  • one year limited warranty*

*The warranty period for all the products is one year from the date of purchase. However, every other item except the main body will be classified as accessories, and in this case, the warranty period may be different. Just like replaceable batteries, 1-year warranty from the date of purchase is applied to embedded batteries.


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