Astell&Kern HC4 top with attached cable over white background
Astell&Kern HC4 front 3 quarter with attached cable highlighting headphone ports
Astell&Kern HC4 top 3 quarter with stock cables over white background
Astell&Kern HC4 profile with attached cable over white background
Astell&Kern HC4 rear with attached lightning cable over white background
Astell&Kern HC4 rear with attached USB-C cable over white background
Astell&Kern HC4 rear 3 quarter with attached cable over white background
Astell&Kern HC4 top 3 quarter with attached cable over white background
Astell&Kern HC4 connected to iPhone over white background

Astell&Kern AK HC4 | Portable DAC and Amp

Regular price$220.00


Astell&Kern product logo red

AK HC4 Delivers the Ultimate Ultra-portable Audiophile Experience With its AKM AK4493S DAC Chip

  • USB-C or Lightning Input, and 3.5mm and 4.4mm Dual Output
  • The first portable to use the AKM AK4493S DAC
  • DAR (Digital Audio Remaster) brings flagship DAP technology to an ultra portable device.
  • Supports Native DSD256, 32-bit/384kHz
  • Roon Tested

Astell&Kern AK HC4

HiFi Sound On the Move

The AK HC4 continues the advantages of its highly acclaimed predecessors, delivering even more perfected sound in various usage scenarios through advanced design. Featuring Dual Output, compatible with most IEMs and headphones, the AK4493S DAC for true Hi-Fi sound, and Digital Audio Remaster technology, it brings the level of Hi-Fi sound previously exclusive to Astell&Kern's digital audio players to the AK HC4.

Ultra-Resolution Sound from AKM AK4493s

To achieve the highest audio quality achievable with a USB DAC, the AK HC4 is the first in the USB DAC Cable lineup to incorporate AKM's DAC. AKM's DAC has earned much love when featured in Astell&Kern's digital audio players, but due to the small size of USB DAC Cables and the challenges of amp design, it has been difficult to implement in the USB DAC Cable lineup until now.

The AK4493s DAC from AKM, used in the AK HC4, is further enhanced with improved noise control, lower power design, and ultra-precise amp design technology, delivering exceptionally high-quality Hi-Fi sound. Furthermore, it supports Native DSD256 and up to 32bit/384kHz to handle any high-quality audio source, allowing you to experience the high-grade sound quality that Astell&Kern delivers.

Astell&Kern AK HC4

Digital Audio Remaster Technology for Even More Vivid Sound

The AK HC4 is equipped with digital audio remaster (DAR) technology, which was only applicable to the latest digital audio players from Astell&Kern.
DAR technology is developed to upsample the sample rate of the sound source being played to go beyond the limits of the source format.
The high sample rate allows more refined play and offers delicate and analog-like original sound, helping you to enjoy the richness of the original sound, subtle differences in the nuance of the music and rich sounds at a higher level.

  • The DAR function can be selected On/Off depending on the sound source or your preference.
  • Supports PCM playback conversion Rate up to 384 kHz/DSD256.

DAR option

Maximum Conversion Rate


44.1kHz range PCM will be converted to 352.8kHz for playback

48kHz range PCM will be converted to 384kHz for playback

No conversion will be made when playing DSD with this option selected


DSD files below DSD256 will be upconverted to DSD256 for playback

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 HC4 ensures compatibility by supporting both UAC 2.0 and UAC 1.0 connections for cross-platform quality sound experiences. Connect AK HC4 to your gaming device such as PlayStation and Switch, and enjoy low latency and enhanced sound for an immersive gaming experience.

Astell&kern AK HC4

Noise-Free Rear Output Structure and Dual Noise Shielded Cable

AK HC4 incorporates a rear audio output design to minimize noise. Most USB DAC products have the DAC positioned in the USB terminal that is connected directly to the device to process and output audio. However, with the HC4, digital signals from the device go through the dual shielded cable to the audio circuit before being converted to an analog signal by the DAC. By processing the digital signal after, the result is superior, noise-free sound compared to other USB DAC products.

To ensure optimal usability across both Android and iOS devices without the need for additional adapters, AK HC4 features an interchangeable dual shielded cables 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.


  • Model: AK HC4
  • DAC: AKM AK4493S
  • Sample Rate
    • PCM: Support up to 32bit/384kHz
    • DSD Native: DSD64 (1bit 2.8MHz) Stereo | DSD128 (1bit 5.6MHz) Stereo | DSD256 (1bit 11.2MHz) Stereo
    • Roon Ready and MQA support
  • Input: USB-C, Lightning
  • Output: 3.5mm, 4.4mm
  • Weight: 1.09 oz
  • Dimensions: 1.16" x 2.54" x 0.57"
  • Frequency Response: ±0.066dB (20Hz~70kHz) UnBAL │ ±0.067dB (20Hz~70kHz) BAL
  • S/NR: 118dB @ 1kHz
  • Crosstalk: -134dB @ 1kHz, UnBAL │ -136dB @ 1kHz, BAL
  • THD+N: 0.0005% @ 1kHz, UnBAL │ 0.0009% @ 1kHz, BAL
  • IMD SMPTE: 0.0005% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) UnBAL │ 0.0004% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) BAL
  • Output Impedance: UnBAL 3.5mm (0.9Ω) │ BAL 4.4mm (1.6Ω)
  • Output Power / Voltage: 2Vrms / 3Vrms (No Load)
  • Astell&Kern 1 Year Manufacturer Warranty

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Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review

The HC4 has great build, very light and sounds great, but the connection to my Iphone is, to say the least, problematic. I have an older Iphone XR and the lightning connection is very finicky and disconnects too easily. I wonder what that is? for the moment this is certainly not a portable dac.

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