iriver has launched its Astell&Kern AK100 MQS High-Definition Portable Audio System. With the MQS (Mastering Quality Sound) playback ability, sound and music files are saved as a lossless format, straight from the studio mastering source. This makes a dramatic difference from the 24-bit source data from MQS files and MP3s as less data is lost during the digital mastering process.
The portable hi-fi audio device contains 32GB of internal memory and can be expanded via two microSD card slots, each supporting an additional 32GB microSD card. The Astell&Kern is compatible with FLAC, WAV, WMA, MP3, OGG, and APE audio files. Its 2,000 mAh battery provides up to 16 hours of playback on a single charge. The Astell&Kern offers numerous connection options, including micro-USB, optical in/out and headphone out.
Iriver has partnered with HDtracks to provide users with albums encoded with Mastering Quality Sound. HDtracks is a high-quality music download service offering an exciting catalog of Mastering Quality music from every major label across all genres. They have several formats available for fans of all types of music. The Astell&Kern also includes the iriver plus4 software for Windows users, which allows users to convert tracks from a CD to a variety of formats and manage music on the device.
The AK100 is priced at US$699 and is available at high-end audio stores and online at Amazon.com, Buy.com, ebay.com and www.iriverinc.com.