InnerFideliBits: Astell & Kern AK380; Soundaware CD-One; Spiro X1; Moon-Audio New Products & Memorial Day Sale

Hi there! Welcome to another tasty edition of InnerFideliBits, your snack-sized semi-weekly serving of headphone news! This week, I've got some cool new products and even a sweet Memorial Day deal!


New Product: Astell & Kern AK380

Last week, Astell & Kern, known for their high-end audiophile players, announced a new flagship to follow the immensely popular AK240. This new player will be built upon the new AKM AK44490 DAC chip and will have a variety of docking options to expand its functionality. If the 240 is anything to go by, this player will look and sound great. Keep your eyes out for this one!

Check out the AK380 product page.


New Product: Soundaware CD ONE

Do people still rip CDs? Why of course they do! Digital is the wave of the future, but CDs remain the most readily accessible, affordable method of acquiring 16/44.1 files of entire albums. I myself still pull several albums a week from new CDs. Soundaware, know for their A200S integrated streaming player, have announced a new product, the CD ONE to help out those of use still stuck on physical media. The CD ONE is built around a Pioneer Blu-Ray drive and features built-in error correction and metadata acquisition. The device also functions as a CD player. If you're still clinging to those compact discs for dear life, then this device may be the ONE for you.

Check out the head-fi announcement thread.

Kickstarter: Spiro X1

Recently, Noble released their BTS (Bluetooth Solution), which allows any pair of in-ears to be used wirelessly and with fairly negligible loss to fidelity. This solution was optimized for in-ears such as those produced by Noble themselves. What about full-size cans? Nowadays, many popular headphones feature single-side detachable cables. The Spiro X1, currently in kickstarter funding, aims to bring functionality similar to the BTS to the plethora of headphones with single-side 3.5mm detachable cables. The Spiro will stream via Bluetooth Low Energy (4.0), adds a number of playback controls, and will allow answering of phone calls. Put this all together with the fact that it will be affordable ($60 expected retail) and that the idea was conceptualized by a number of enterprising high school students and you've got an interesting product indeed.

For more info, explore their Kickstarter page.


Deal of the Week: New Products and Memorial Day Sale at Moon-Audio

Moon-Audio has added a number of new products to their catalog, including the entry level Astell & Kern AK jr., the Chord 2 Qute DAC, the Calyx M DAP, and more! Plus, to celebrate the memorial day weekend, Moon-Audio is offering a 10% discount on all Cypher Labs products.

Check out the refreshing new products and sizzling Memorial Day savings at Moon-Audio's website.


Got any news you'd like me to check out? Leave a comment below and I'll look into it for the next InnerFideliBits!

ashutoshp's picture

This is a very good idea indeed. One stop shop. Thanks.

Sean Sabino's picture

It's always nice to see that folks appreciate my stuff. Thanks for reading!


Thorsten Mühler's picture

The bandwidth is just not there. All Bluetooth audio products still rely on EDR mode (i.e. Bluetooth 2.1/3.0); Bluetooth LE was meant for low-bandwidth applications such as health monitors, not for high-bitrate audio.

Secondly, unlike the Noble BTS, aptX is not supported (since they aren't using CSR receiver chips in their product), so the Spiro will have to use A2DP / SBC, which is not optimal from a sound quality standpoint.

Sean Sabino's picture

I've always thought that the bandwidth expanded with each iteration of the bluetooth protocol and that all 4.0 implementations were "Low energy". In any case, I think the crux of the story is that it's meant to be an affordable, fairly universal implementation with an attractive design.

Perhaps we'll see something like this with aptX support soon. I certainly hope so!


dp's picture

There's a successful Kickstarter project already: the BTunes.

Hello PoPcorn's picture

To clear, CD-ONE connected with audio player, like A200S or A280, can function as a CD player.