Music Industry News Network [12-05-2012]

Iriver Debuts First High Definition Portable Audio Player In The U.S. Under The Astell&Kern Brand

iriver announces the launch of its Astell&Kern AK100 MQS High-Definition Portable Audio System for the U.S. marketplace on December 4, 2012.

The Astell&Kern player is the first portable hi-fi audio device from iriver, capable of Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) playback. MQS files are sound or music files saved as a lossless format, straight from the studio mastering source. Because less data is lost during the digital mastering process and the sound quality is distortion-free, a dramatic difference from the 24bit source data from MQS files and CD (WAV)/MP3s can be heard and felt. MQS files are often in 24bit WAV or FLAC formats. With the encoding process in the AK100 MQS Portable System, MQS music and sounds are more refined and pure.

Henry Park, CEO of iriver, says, "The Astell&Kern audio player is the first portable music player from iriver that delivers recording studio quality sound. Music lovers will finally get the quality they have been longing for ever since the MP3 was introduced. The reason why the Astell&Kern player is so much better is because the MP3 music file has only accept a small percentage of the data of the original recording. We go all the way."

Park describes the player as "a small, light, and portable product that meets the same exacting standards found in expensive hi-fi audio systems. Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) is considered as the last phase of sound produced in mastering studios and uses ultra-high resolution sound quality (24 bit, 192 kHz). MQS provides the highest digital music without distortion and loss through sampling (sampling rate) and quantization (bit resolution).

A four minute song in the MQS source format takes about 200 MB of memory space and in a typical Compact Disc (CD), gets down sampled to 16 bit, 44.1 kHz that takes up about 40MB. Lossy compression digital music files, such as MP3s, take up about 6 to 7 MB. MQS provides high-resolution music that represents a rich, spacious, detailed, and dynamic sound that cannot be replicated from a MP3 or a CD," explains Park.

Iriver's President, Chulmin Lee says, "The MQS encoding process gives the music a refined and pure sound. Consumers have never heard a deep and rich musical experience in a portable player like the one that is found on the Astell&Kern. In addition, consumers will now be able to listen to high-resolution music anywhere and at any time, previously found only in recording studios that music industry professionals have access to."


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