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iriver Korea Launches HD Portable Audio System

The Astell & Kern is Korea's first portable hi-fi audio device capable of Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) playback of bit-to-bit sound processing straight from the mastered tracks of a recording studio

iriver Korea has announced the launch of its Astell & Kern MQS High-Definition Portable Audio System on October 10, 2012. 

The Astell & Kern is Korea’s first portable hi-fi audio device capable of Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) playback. MQS playback means bit-to-bit sound processing straight from the mastered tracks of a recording studio.

Henry Park, CEO of iriver, says, “Top ‘golden ears’ from all over the world have touted the concept of the mass availability of music the way it was meant to be heard, direct from the recording studio. The MP3 music file has only a small percentage of the data of the original recording. Convenience in the digital age has persuaded people to choose between quality and mediocrity.”

Park describes the player as “a small, light, and portable product that meets the same exacting standards found in expensive hi-fi audio systems. Our mastering quality sound (MQS) is considered as the last phase of sound produced in mastering studios and uses ultra-high resolution sound quality (24 bit, 192 kHz). MQS provides the highest digital music without distortion and loss through sampling (sampling rate) and quantization (bit resolution).

A four minute song in the MQS source format takes about 200 MB of memory space and in a typical Compact Disc (CD), gets down sampled to 16 bit, 44.1 kHz that takes up about 40MB. Lossy compression digital music files, such as MP3s, take up about 6 to 7 MB. MQS provides high-resolution music that represents a rich, spacious, detailed, and dynamic sound that cannot be replicated from a MP3 or a CD,” explains Park

Iriver’s President, Chulmin Lee says, “The MQS encoding process gives the music a refined and pure sound. Consumers have never heard a deep and rich musical experience like the one that is found on the Astell & Kern. In addition, consumers will now be able to listen to high-resolution music anywhere and at any time, previously found only in recording studios that music industry professionals have access to.”

iriver Korea will also soon offer a high-definition music download service named irivermusic (  Irivermusic will offer high-resolution music tracks for Korean consumers to download to their Astell & Kern or any other supported portable music device.

The AK100 will be marketed globally and will be released in the United States some time in early 2013.