Music to our ears: Astell & Kern’s high-res audio players to get Tidal integration

Astell & Kern AK70
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Astell & Kern’s high-resolution portable audio players offer top-notch fidelity, but if you don’t own a lot of music in a high-resolution format, you may be hard-pressed to find music to play on them. For some time, Astell & Kern has promised that Tidal support was on the way to its players. Now, that promise has finally been fulfilled, with Tidal support beginning to roll out to players via an over the air (OTA) firmware update.

“With the Tidal integration, we are providing users with the best hi-fi streaming service available today. We are very excited to offer this service to our loyal customers. Astell & Kern feels the addition of Tidal will help reach new audiences who want to receive their music selection delivered this way,” Henry Park, CEO of Astell & Kern parent company Iriver said in a statement. “Astell&Kern is always looking for new ways to provide music lovers with the best way to enjoy music at home and on the go. Our line of high-resolution audio players is considered to be the best money can buy, so we always want to be a part of the latest and greatest options currently available for music”

Tidal integration is rolling out in stages, with the AK70, AK300, AK320 and AK380 models scheduled to be the first to get the OTA update. The company’s AK240, AK100 II, and AK120 II players are also in line to receive Tidal integration at a later date. Astell & Kern has yet to say when these players will see the update.

This isn’t the first streaming service to be built in to Astell & Kern players, but earlier included streaming services like Groover+, MOOV, and Deezer were fairly limited in terms of where they could be used. Tidal, on the other hand, is available in more than 50 countries. It also features high-fidelity lossless audio, something more popular streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music currently lack.

Tidal’s standard plan costs $10 per month, though if you’re looking for lossless audio, you’ll need to go for the $20 per month Tidal Hi-Fi plan. If you’re not sure you want to jump on board given the company’s recent troubles, a free 30-day trial is available. See the Tidal website for more details.

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