UPDATED! Tidal support ‘coming soon’ to selected Astell&Kern DAPs


Tidal – ‘coming soon’ to Astell&Kern digital audio players (DAPs). We’ve been hearing these words for the best part of two years.

At T.H.E Newport Show 2015, Astell&Kern’s Californian marketing team claimed that Tidal support was merely weeks away. But no, nothing. At RMAF a few months later, this reviewer was made privy to a ‘work-in-progress’ Tidal demo running on an AK120 II. Then nothing again – and the news trail went quiet.

Since Tidal’s launch at RMAF 2014, many American audiophiles have gone ga-ga for the lossless tier. US$20/month for all-you-can-eat Redbook streaming from a library of 35m+ songs. Taking that out into the street with high performance playback quality meant either a smartphone (w/ optional dongle or Bluetooth DAC) or a DAP running Android and with Google Play Store (or Amazon store) access. Astell&Kern users were left out in the cold.

However….breathe in….

News from Astell&Kern’s Seoul-based marketing team reports that Tidal will soon land on the following DAPs: AK70, AK300, AK320, AK380 – essentially those with the 3 series’ kicked-rectangle profile. No word yet on other models (which means it kinda sucks to be an AK240-owning Tidal-er right now). Support for Astell&Kern’s AK240, AK100 II, AK120 II players will follow.

This time out we even have photographic evidence (see above) in which the tidy shot shows Tidal will soon join MOOV and Groovers+.

‘Coming soon’, with inverted commas intact.

And exhale.

Further information: Astell&Kern

[Photo credit: Alex An]

UPDATE 3rd October: It’s official! Press release copy/paste:

Irvine, CA – Astell&Kern, the global leader in high resolution portable and home audio playback devices, officially adds TIDAL to its full line of Wi-Fi enabled portable high-resolution audio players.

TIDAL is a global, experiential, entertainment platform built for fans, directly from artists around the world. TIDAL members enjoy exclusively curated content that?directly connect artists with their fans in multiple ways. The service offers high-fidelity, CD sound quality music, high resolution video, an opportunity to discover new artists, and unique experiences via TIDAL X. TIDAL is available in more than 52 countries, with more than a 42.5 million song catalog and 140,000 high quality videos.  For more information, please visit www.tidal.com.

Henry Park, CEO of IRIVER, parent company of Astell&Kern said, “With the TIDAL integration, we are providing users with the best hi-fi streaming service available today.  We are very excited to offer this service to our loyal customers. Astell&Kern feels the addition of Tidal will help reach new audiences who want to receive their music selection delivered this way. Astell&Kern is always looking for new ways to provide music lovers with the best way to enjoy music at home and on-the-go.  Our line of high-resolution audio players is considered to be the best money can buy so we always want to be a part of the latest and greatest options currently available for music.”

While Astell&Kern has streaming services available on their devices in other countries such as Groovers+, MOOV and Deezer, TIDAL integration provides a global provider of streaming music services available in 46 countries.

TIDAL support will be available via an OTA firmware update and will roll out in tiers to Astell&Kern’s full product line, starting with the AK70, AK300, AK320 and AK380 portable high-resolution audio players.

Astell&Kern products can be purchased online directly at us.astellnkern.com and are found at high-end audio retailers around the world.

About Astell&Kern

Astell&Kern is the audiophile high-end brand from IRIVER and was launched in October 2012. Included in the current product range are high-resolution audio players such as the AK Jr, AK70, AK100 II, AK120 II, AK240, AK300, AK320 and AK380, which can play back high-resolution music signals up to 32 Bit/384 kHz. With Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) and audio formats such as DSD, Astell&Kern players provide the highest sound standards. Astell&Kern’s lineup also includes accessories such as a full line of In-Ear monitors and headphones, Astell&Kern portable player docking stations, Bluetooth remote controls and home audio products including the 500N Network Music Server and AK T1 all-in-one sound system.

For more information about Astell&Kern, please visit www.AstellnKern.com or the Astell&Kern Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Written by John H. Darko

John lives in the NOW + HERE = NOWHERE. He derives an income from the ad revenues of DAR. John is also an occasional staff writer for Stereophile, 6moons and TONEAudio.

Twitter: DarkoAudio
Instagram: DarkoAudio
Facebook: DAR


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  1. I listen to a lot of south Asian music, and a lot of it is MP3 only because the record company doesn’t understand the benefits of high resolution audio. I envy those of you who can complain about not having tidal on a high resolution DAP.

  2. Nah, won’t happen with these select modes, since Ang & Kim – because blokes with Germanic names never founded the company – will probably replace them all first. They have to keep their 36-new-DAPs-every-12-months release cycle going, after all.

    • That’s a matter for Tidal but without MQA hardware in the players we’ll only get the benefit of MQA’s ADC error correction.

  3. I own the following: RWAK100, AK100, AK120 Titan, AK Jr., AK120 II, AK240. I was hoping that Tidal would at least become available on the 240. I’m really glad I bought a Sony ZX2, because it is a great Tidal player, so I will probably not be buying anymore A&K anything.

    Also, an iPod Touch with the Centrance HiFi Skyn is another very good Tidal platform.

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