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A&K's angular music players now matched with angular Bluetooth speaker

A&K's angular music players no...
Astell&Kern says that the Acro BE100 Bluetooth speaker "delivers superior room-filling, hi-fi caliber stereo sound that belies its compact profile"
Astell&Kern says that the Acro BE100 Bluetooth speaker "delivers superior room-filling, hi-fi caliber stereo sound that belies its compact profile"
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Astell&Kern says that the Acro BE100 Bluetooth speaker "delivers superior room-filling, hi-fi caliber stereo sound that belies its compact profile"
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Astell&Kern says that the Acro BE100 Bluetooth speaker "delivers superior room-filling, hi-fi caliber stereo sound that belies its compact profile"
Behind the angled metal mesh of the grille are a 4-inch woofer and two 1.5-inch tweeters, driven by a proprietary 55-W Class-D amplifier
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Behind the angled metal mesh of the grille are a 4-inch woofer and two 1.5-inch tweeters, driven by a proprietary 55-W Class-D amplifier
The Acro BE100 speaker features a dedicated 32-bit DAC to support high resolution playback
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The Acro BE100 speaker features a dedicated 32-bit DAC to support high resolution playback
A rear port has been included to extend the lower end response
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A rear port has been included to extend the lower end response
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Though many of us listen to music stored on or streamed from our smartphones, some prefer the higher quality listening experience offered by a dedicated player. Astell&Kern has been serving the audiophile community with high-end performers for a number of years, with recent highlights including the SP2000T flagship that has three amplifiers and four digital-to-analog converters squeezed into its angular housing, and the modular SE180.

But if you're on the hunt for a compact high-end Bluetooth speaker to go with your luxury A&K audio player, you might have to look elsewhere – to the likes of Bowers & Wilkins or Bang & Olufsen perhaps. But that's about to change with the launch of the Acro BE100 next month.

The speaker wears a similar angular design to the rest of A&K's audio products, with a metal mesh grille to the front, a faux leather finish to the main unit, and a knurled aluminum volume knob up top that has status lighting underneath.

Rather than rely on the inferior digital-to-analog converter (DAC) embedded in the Bluetooth chipset, A&K has opted for a dedicated 32-bit DAC that's based on the tech found in its digital audio players. The unit rocks a 4-inch Kevlar mid-range/bass driver and two 1.5-inch dome tweeters, driven by the company's own Class-D amplifier with a rated output of 55 watts. A port to the rear is included to extend bass response.

Behind the angled metal mesh of the grille are a 4-inch woofer and two 1.5-inch tweeters, driven by a proprietary 55-W Class-D amplifier
Behind the angled metal mesh of the grille are a 4-inch woofer and two 1.5-inch tweeters, driven by a proprietary 55-W Class-D amplifier

There's Bluetooth 5.0 cooked in with support for aptX HD and LDAC codecs for high resolution streaming at up to 24-bit/48 kHz and 24-bit/96 kHz, respectively. The AAC and SBC codecs are also supported. The system has been equipped with a 50ps clock to minimize jitter, and a 3.5-mm aux input jack sits around back for cabling up to high-resolution digital audio players. Tweaking to personal taste is accommodated via five-level treble and bass adjustment.

The Acro BE100 goes on sale in December in black or white for US$380, and will be available with a built-in FM radio in some locations. Astell&Kern hasn't made this speaker completely wireless though, listeners will need to find a power outlet before pairing with a music source.

Product page: Acro BE100

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