Astell & Kern at Audio46

Astell & Kern AK HB1 Portable Wireless DAC/Amp (Open Box)

bluetooth supported


Product SKU: AK_HB1 (OB)


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$259.00 Retail
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Product Details

Audio46's Opinion

What’s so impressive about the AK HB1 is that it sounds as almost as good as my Astell & Kern SR35 DAP, which is around 3 times the price. And although the presentation is relatively neutral, you will hear enhanced richness to the tonality and significantly improved transparency. You can also expect cleaner layering of instruments, in part, thanks to the immaculate separation that the AK HB1 delivers. And overall that highly controlled A&K character comes through in the performance, which always feels disciplined and tightly defined.

Our Full Review

↓ Details provided by Astell & Kern
(Specifications and appearance of this product are subject to change without notice)

Better Sound, With or Without Cables, AK HB1

AK HB1 is a portable Bluetooth DAC/AMP that lets you effortlessly experience high-quality audio and Hi-Fi streaming services with the best performance, all without the hassle of cables. Pair your mobile device to AK HB1 through Bluetooth and experience seamless, wireless Hi-Fi sound across various IEMs and headphones, all facilitated by its compact, lightweight design and powerful built-in amplifier.In addition to this, AK HB1 also delivers Astell&Kern's pristine sound quality via USB DAC functionality, and offers a seamless connection to gaming devices and immersive entertainment using microphones, transforming your mobile device into a hub of endless multimedia possibilities.

  • 3.5mm and 4.4mm Dual Output
  • Supports LDAC and aptX™ HD for High-Quality Bluetooth Sound
  • Features ESS ES9281AC PRO DAC
  • Separate DAC and AMP for Premium Hi-Fi Experience
  • Plug & Play USB DAC Function
  • Interchangeable Cable (Type-C and Lightning Cable Included)
  • Supports UAC 1.0 (Gaming System)
  • Clear and Vivid Voice in Calls
  • Car Mode Supported
  • Multi-Point Connection (Up To Two Devices)
  • MQA Renderer / Roon Tested
Astell & Kern AK HB1 Portable Wireless DAC/Amp with Or Without Cables

Premium Bluetooth for Hi-Fi Sound

AK HB1 is equipped with Qualcomm's CSR8675 Bluetooth chipset, which supports the transmission of high-resolution audio sources, ensuring a stable connection.

From LDAC, supporting 24 bit/96 kHz, to the aptX™ HD codec offering stable 24-bit/48kHz support, AK HB1 accommodates an extensive selection of codecs, including the most commonly used AAC and SBC. This comprehensive codec support guarantees smooth wireless playback of high-resolution streaming audio from both smartphones and PCs.

Furthermore, AK HB1 features Bluetooth multi-point capability, allowing connection with up to two devices simultaneously. This feature allows you to effortlessly switch connections between various mobile devices, enabling scenarios like enjoying music from a tablet PC while concurrently receiving notifications and calls on your smartphone.

Astell & Kern AK HB1 Portable Wireless DAC/Amp Premium Bluetooth

High-Resolution Sound Unleashed by USB DAC

AK HB1 goes beyond simple Bluetooth playback, delivering outstanding, full high-resolution sound via USB DAC connection to PCs, smartphones, tablets, and more.

Supporting Native DSD256 and 32-bit/384kHz playback, AK HB1 ensures compatibility with a diverse range of high-quality audio sources, providing Astell&Kern's signature premium sound quality.

Additionally, equipped with a renderer function that supports MQA 8X, AK HB1 enables MQA playback without the need for external DACs or playback devices. By simply connecting AK HB1 via cable to compatible devices, which support MQA unfolding, you can enjoy MQA audio playback through network-enabled apps and streaming services from anywhere.

*To use AK HB1 as a H/W MQA renderer, a compatible S/W core decoder capable of unfolding MQA is required.

Astell & Kern AK HB1 Portable Wireless DAC/Amp USB DAC

Precision DAC and AMP Design for Hi-Fi Sound

AK HB1 incorporates ESS’s ES9281AC PRO DAC for exceptional noise control and unparalleled ultra-high-quality Hi-Fi sound performance.

Adding to this, AK HB1 introduces an exclusive AMP circuitry that supersedes the standard built-in DAC AMP.

Its AMP enables a commanding 4Vrms output (in Balanced connection) and dual connectivity options — 3.5mm unbalanced and 4.4mm balanced, catering to a wide range of IEMs and headphones.

While maintaining a compact form factor of 33 x 68.4 x 16.5 mm, we used micro resistors and capacitor parts to achieve a small footprint without compromising performance. Carefully selected ultra-small tantalum capacitors, which are used in AK player products to create a stable system and audio performance by controlling the power fluctuations, are also included to create an optimal audio circuit design. In addition, the output and audio performance are enhanced with Astell & Kern's unique power management technology to minimize current consumption in respect of the connected device.

Astell & Kern AK HB1 Portable Wireless DAC/Amp HIFI DAC/AMP

Dual Noise Shielded Cable

To ensure optimal usability across both Android and iOS devices without the need for additional adapters, AK HB1 features an interchangeable cable that readily supports Type-C and Lightning connections.

The AK HB1 features a dual shielded cable to minimize noise and deliver a more vivid, original sound.

The copper core wire is coated with tin to prevent corrosion and strengthen tensile force for enhanced durability.

Additionally, the entire cable is wrapped in an aluminum film to block noise with an extra layer of shielding around the power cable to further minimize noise, the biggest issue in audio, then the tin-coated copper wire is woven to minimize noise interference to sound.

Finished with a fabric jacket on top of the TPE jacket, the cable features enhanced durability and usability with perfect aesthetic appeal.

Astell & Kern AK HB1 Portable Wireless DAC/Amp Cable

Easy and Convenient, USB Plug & Play

AK HB1 simplifies the transition between Bluetooth and USB cable connections by supporting USB Plug & Play functionality.

Connect AK HB1 to your PC or smart device using a USB cable to enjoy high-resolution sound while simultaneously controlling various settings and features through the app on your Bluetooth-connected smartphone. With BT Priority Mode enabled, AK HB1 seamlessly switches to Bluetooth mode, whenever a Bluetooth signal is received while using the USB DAC function.

Astell & Kern AK HB1 Portable Wireless DAC/Amp USB Plug and Play

High Compatibility and Simultaneous Support for UAC 1.0 & 2.0 for Gaming

While modern smartphones, tablets, and PCs support UAC 2.0 connections, many gaming devices still exclusively support UAC 1.0 connections.

To cater to both scenarios, AK HB1 ensures compatibility by supporting both UAC 2.0 and UAC 1.0 connections for cross-platform quality sound experiences.

Connect AK HB1 to your gaming device such as PlayStation and Switch, and enjoy low latency and enhanced sound for an immersive gaming experience.

Astell & Kern AK HB1 Portable Wireless DAC/Amp for Gaming

Seamless Experience Extended to Cars with Car Mode

Activate AK HB1's dedicated Car Mode to enjoy high-quality DAC/AMP sound effortlessly while at the wheel. Simply connect AK HB1 to your vehicle's AUX port, and its power automatically turns on/off based on your vehicle's ignition, allowing you to enjoy audio from paired devices.

Astell & Kern AK HB1 Portable Wireless DAC/Amp Dedicated Car Mode

Crystal-Clear Voice Calls Thanks to High-Sensitivity MEMS MIC

AK HB1 ensures crystal-clear voice quality and stability thanks to Knowles's high-quality MEMS microphone technology and Qualcomm's cVc Generation 8.0 call solution with Clear Voice Capture technology, which suppresses ambient noise while delivering clear vocals to the recipient.

Furthermore, AK HB1 incorporates a 4-pole in-line MIC, enabling voice calls via wired earphones.

Experience enhanced call quality alongside AK HB1's exceptional Hi-Fi sound.

*The in-line MIC functionality is only available while USB DAC is enabled. During Bluetooth (BT) connections, the built-in microphone of HB1 handles calls.

*For 4-pole earphones, AK HB1 supports only CTIA-compliant earphones (OMTP-compliant products are not supported).

Astell & Kern AK HB1 Portable Wireless DAC/Amp MEMS Mic Diagram

Smart Charging System

AK HB1 automatically recognizes devices when they are connected via a USB cable, whether playback or charging devices, streamlining the charging process without requiring additional setting adjustments.

Also, the charging mode can be turned on/off to allow simultaneous playback and device charging, preventing battery depletion during playback.

*Charging notes:
1. When connected to a charger via USB, it charges at normal speed (1 hour and 30 minutes to full charge).
2. When connected to a playback device via USB, the charging speed is adjusted, and the charging mode can be turned on/off.
Charging Mode On: Charges HB1's battery using the playback device's battery power.
Charging Mode Off: Operates only by AK HB1's battery without charging from external devices.

LED Indicators for Real-Time Status

Two LED lights positioned on the side of the AK HB1 give you an overview of the current device status such as the file type being played and battery information.

Astell & Kern AK HB1 Portable Wireless DAC/Amp LED Indicators

Easy Configuration With Our Proprietary App

Install the exclusive app to use various functions and enjoy easy setup.

The AK Control app is equipped with various newly developed user functions for the AK HB1. Users can now conveniently control Device Priority, Volume Level, User EQ setup, Car Mode and DAC Filter setting, etc.

Astell & Kern AK HB1 Portable Wireless DAC/Amp Proprietary App

In The Box

  • AK HB1 Portable Bluetooth DAC/AMP x 1
  • USB Type-C to USB Type-C Cable x 1
  • USB Type-C to Lightning Cable x 1
  • Quick Start Guide x 1
  • Warranty Card x 1




Body Color

Shadow Black

Body Material

Polycarbonate (Body) / Aluminum (Volume Wheel)

Bluetooth Chipset Qualcomm CSR8675
Bluetooth Version 5.0
Bluetooth Codec LDAC, aptX™ HD, aptX™, AAC, SBC
Bluetooth Profile A2DP, AVRCP, HFP



Sample Rate

PCM: 8kHz ~ 384kHz (8/16/24/32 bits per Sample)
DSD Native: DSD64 (1-bit, 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128 (1-bit, 5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256 (1-bit, 11.2MHz), Stereo
Output Level Unbalanced 2Vrms Balanced 4Vrms (Condition No Load)


USB Type-C (Supports UAC 1.0 and UAC 2.0)


3.5mm (Supports CTIA standard 4-pole earphones/headphones), 4.4mm (Only 5-pole supported)


33mm [W] x 68.4mm [H] x 16.5mm [D] (Excluding volume wheel)
39.8mm [W] x 68.4mm [H] 16.5mm [D] (Including volume wheel)


About 1.41oz (40g)

Feature Enhancements Firmware upgrade supported (OTA with APP)


Audio Specifications

Frequency Response

±0.135dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalanced
±0.136dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balanced


117dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced
118dB @ 1kHz, Balanced


-112dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced
-112dB @ 1kHz, Balanced

THD+N 0.0005% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced
0.0005% @ 1kHz, Balanced


0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Unbalanced
0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Balanced

Output Impedance

Unbalanced Out 3.5mm (0.8ohm)
Balanced Out 4.4mm (1.8ohm)




600mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer

Charge Time

About 1.5 hours

Playback Time

About 6 hours (Standard: AAC)

*Audio was NOT muted during measurement*The image/specifications may be changed without notice to improve product performance and quality

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