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AKM proposes D/A Separation Solution for High-end Audio DAC achieving Real Live Sound



Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation (AKM) has expanded its lineup of premium audio Digital-to-Analog converters (DACs) with the development of a two-chip solution that separates the digital aspect from the analog. While conventional DACs use a single chip to convert signals from digital to analog, these new products split the conversion process between the AK4191 delta-sigma modulator and the AK4498 DAC. This innovative approach has resulted in an improvement in sound quality that is easily perceptible while listening to music.

The AK4498 is available now. The AK4191 will be sampling in Q2 2020.

AK4498 Daishin Kashimoto, 1st Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmoniker, as brand ambassador for VELVET SOUND


Complete separation of digital and analog provides a pristine listening experience

By using two ICs, AKM has minimized the effects of digital noise within the analog output, resulting in a perceived improvement of the ratio of signal to noise. This improvement, while not easily quantifiable via traditional measurement techniques, is easily experienced during controlled listening tests.

Audio schematic

AK4191 - Enhanced digital signal processing capability

The AK4191 has increased the oversampling rate of digital processing to 256x from the previous 8x. This allows for aliasing artifacts due to sampling to be driven even further into the upper frequency range. Additionally, the AK4191’s digital filters can reduce noise by 50 dB more than previous devices.

・Premium delta-sigma modulator with multi-bit output
・Sample rate: 32kHz - 1.536MHz, DSD1024 (44.8MHz)

AK4498 - Dynamic sound with vast playback resolution

The AK4498 is a product of AKM’s VELVET SOUND Premium Audio manufacturing process, also used for the flagship AK4499 DAC and the preceding AK4497. This process results in much-improved noise immunity in general, and increased low-frequency noise performance in particular.

・Premium D/A converter with multi-bit modulator data interface
・THD+N: -116dB
・DR, SN: 128dB


  • High-end Audio
  • Active Speakers
  • CD/SACD Players
  • Network Audio
  • USB DACs


VELVET SOUND is a sound philosophy and brand concept for AKM’s next-generation audio devices, featuring new chip architectures and core technologies. The new circuitry found in VELVET SOUND devices is designed to maximize dynamics and ensure pure, unaltered audio data, prioritizing the accurate capture and reproduction of the source material in order to achieve high performance and rich musicality. These devices were designed specifically for the high-resolution digital audio era.