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 Berlin, Germany. He derives an income from the ad revenues of DAR. John is also a very occasional staff writer for Stereophile, 6moons and TONEAudio.

Twitter: DarkoAudio
Instagram: DarkoAudio
Facebook: DAR

14 Comments

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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.

  4. PLEASE HELP!!!
    Hi, can you help me please? I have one problem with my AK70, is the second unit and the problem still persist. I am from Slovakia from Europe and I dont have the MOOV app on my device. I know that MOOV app is mainly for Asian market, but I dont understand, that everytime I connect to internet it shows me an update of MOOV app, which doesnt exist on my device, and the update always ends up with error. This neverending update message is driving me crazy. Do you have this problem too? I think people from eupore. Should I give it back to seller as faulty unit? I dont know what to do. Thank you.

    • Tomas – I don’t have an AK70 but this sounds like a matter for Astell&Kern’s support staff and/or your local dealer.

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