The audio specialist Astell&Kern, known primarily for hi-fi music players, has introduced a new wireless Bluetooth speaker called ACRO BE100. This is a portable speaker, and it is supposed to offer first-class sound, not least thanks to a high-quality 32-bit DAC and support for some of the best Bluetooth codecs in the world.
The Astell&Kern Acro BE100 is one of the more unusual Bluetooth speakers on the market. It starts with the design as the synthetic leather-covered cube is paired with an unusually angular front, a large rotary knob at the top is used to control the volume and, an LED ring can tell the user. For example, when pairing mode is activated.
The minimalist design is completed by the front grille with an asymmetrical design that breaks the continuity of the lines. On the upper side, on the other hand, the knob for adjusting the volume stands out, under which there is an LED that lights up with different colors to indicate the operating status.
The materials used are wood for the cabinet, metal and synthetic leather for the inserts and, some elements. The product measurements are 261 x 164 x 171mm with a weight of 3.2 kilograms. Inside are a 101.6mm Kevlar mid-woofer and two 38.1mm silk dome tweeters. Driving them is a Class D amplifier capable of delivering 55 W, divided into 25 W for the mid-woofer and 15 W x 2 for the tweeters.
The digital-to-analog conversion is entrusted to a dedicated 32-bit DAC, a component completely separate from the Qualcomm CSR8675 chip that manages Bluetooth connectivity. The DAC is also supported by a component that reduces jitter, a phenomenon that can distort a result of a misalignment between the signal sent and that received and which results in a loss of quality.
Connectivity is mainly based on Bluetooth 5.0 with SBC, AAC, aptX-HD (48 kHz / 24-bit) and, LDAC (96 kHz). You can also opt for the cable connection via the analog input on the 3.5 mm jack. The data sheet reports a frequency response between 50 Hz and 20 kHz and maximum sound pressure of 94 dB (at 1 meter). The FM radio completes the equipment and it seems that it will not be present in all countries.
ACRO BE100 price and availability
The Astell&Kern Acro BE100 wireless Bluetooth speaker is finally offered via the Amazon.co.uk online store for a recommended retail price of £449.
Recently, JBL has also made available the Flip 6 portable Bluetooth speaker is protected against dust and water following IP67 certification, allows up to 12 hours of playtime on a single charge, and is priced at £129.99.