Unlocking Hi-Fi Bliss: Introducing the Astell&Kern HC4 USB DAC


Sick and tired of sacrificing sound quality on the go? The new HC4 from Astell&Kern is a response to your plea that added to their Hi-Fi USB DAC cables. We would be looking at the features and benefits of AK HC4 Portable USB DAC in this article, a game changer in portable audio.

Next Generation Portable Audio: The AK HC4


No more audio downgrades on your mobile devices. The Astell&Kern HC4 sets a new standard for portable USB DACs by offering functionality together with high fidelity sound that will redefine your experience of listening while you are on the move.

Versatile Dual Output Jacks

Notably, the HC4 incorporates an innovative aspect which is dual output jacks. For instance, balanced and unbalanced headphone jack can be easily switched from one another hence this caters to varied likings of audiophiles. It is important as it makes sure compatibility much better with several IEM’s and headphones.

AKM AK4493S DAC: Hi-Fi Sound Unleashed

Astell&Kern does not compromise when it comes to sound quality. The truth is that AK4493S DAC chip by AKM powers the HC4 as we all know about its accuracy as well as faithfulness. This enables you to enjoy real Hi-Fi sound with Native DSD 256 support and up to 32bit/384kHz so that you can bring music into life like never before due to its unmatched clarity.

Design of the AMP and Precision DAC

Despite being so small, HC4 has its own amp circuits that are better than those integrated into DACs. The use of carefully selected parts such as micro resistors and capacitors guarantees stable output power that keeps the device’s small size without affecting performance.

Balanced versus Unbalanced Outputs

By incorporating a pair of 3.5mm (unbalanced) and 4.4mm (balanced) headphone jacks, the dual output headphones obviate the need for adapters offering users greater flexibility. While balanced output has high 3Vrms that allows highest performance in sensitive headsets, unbalanced one caters for most IEMs and headphones available today.

Digital Audio Remaster Technology

Formerly exclusive to Astell&Kern premium players, this new device AK HC4 integrates Digital Audio Remaster (DAR) technology. Upsample your audio source to gain more refined original sound which is closer to analog, capturing all nuances of your beloved music tracks.

Great Gaming Experience

Rejoice gamers! The AK HC4 supports UAC 2.0 as well as UAC 1.0 connections guaranteeing compatibility with current devices such as PlayStation and Switch gaming consoles. Get yourself lost in low-latency high-quality sound, enhancing your gaming experience at once.

Quiet Rear Output Structure

The HC4 employs a rear audio output which is unique in order to reduce noise. Instead of conventional DACs, digital signals are passed through two shielded cables before they reach the audio circuit, thus making superior and noiseless sound.

Dual Noise-Free Cable for Easy Usage

With its interchangeable cable that supports both Type-C and lightning connections, it is said to be versatile as well as practical. Across Android and iOS devices, the dual shielded cable offers clear and novel sound experience by reducing noise.

LED Display for Real-time Information

You will always know what song you’re playing or what your USB connection status is with the help of LED indicators. It keeps you informed even while in standby mode or switching between PCM, DSD and UAC 1.0 mode.

Design Concept: Aesthetic And Functional Mix

The HC4 embodies Astell&Kern design philosophy despite its small size by combining simplicity with elegance. While aesthetics have been made possible by unibody structure, symmetrical lines and ergonomic design features were meant to make it user-friendly.

General Specifications for Audiophiles

HC4’s technical side including body color & material, DAC specifications along with output level can be found in this section found at Dive into the technical aspects of the HC4, from body color/material to DAC specifications/output levels – Astell&Kern has left no stone unturned in delivering a complete audio solution.

Audio Specifications: The Nitty-Gritty Details

The HC4 appeals to the spec-wonks as well: it has a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz; a signal-to-noise ratio of 105 dB; crosstalk of -90 dB or better. It is, in fact, the best portable playback device of its type in the world.

Slim, Sturdy, and Lightweight Build

Small and light, the HC4 – just 29.5mm x 64.5mm x 14.5mm, with a weight of around 1.09oz, or 31g – doesn’t get in the way of your listening pleasure. A powerful pocketful of audio.

User-Friendly Interface

From the tactile, raised keys and the embossed dots on the sides to the soft glow of the OLED display, Astell Kern’s products are not just technically impressive but easy to use as well.


The Portable USB DAC – Reimagined, Redefined. Perhaps no other product anywhere raises the audiophile bar as high as the Astell&Kern HC4 Portable USB DAC, a powerful Hi-Fi companion unit that is not only portable enough to carry with you, but a compact dynamo when it comes to audio majesty. Employs two audio outputs through its two output jacks for multiple connections of two headphones simultaneously. Equipped AKM AK4493S DAC. The result of the DAR technology is the digital filter that reduces noise up to 90%.


1. Is the AK HC4 compatible with iOS devices?

• Yes, the HC4 supports iOS devices, providing a seamless audio experience across various platforms.

2. Can I use the HC4 with my gaming console?

• Yes, absolutely! The new HC4 is designed with UAC 2.0 and UAC 1.0 support for maximum compatibility with gaming systems.

3. How does the dual output headphone jack work?

• The HC4 has both 3.5mm (unbalanced) and 4.4mm (balanced) headphone jacks, so you don’t have to worry about which type your own headphones have; just get any adapters.(From the book Silence: In The Age Of Noise by Erling Kagge, published by Penguin)

4. What is Digital Audio Remaster (DAR) technology?

• DAR oversamples, exaggerating the audio source, and oversampling it into a much smoother – almost analog – space.

5. Does the HC4 come with interchangeable cables?

• Yes, the cable is detachable and it supports either Type-C or Lightning, so it can be used out of the box with any currently popular device..

This one can be the HiBy FC3 USB DAC. The astell&kern ak hc4 hi-fi usb dac may not be available yet. But the HiBy FC3 USB DAC is! Buy it here on Amazon!

As an affiliate I get a small fee from Amazon.

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