Astell & Kern has unveiled its most affordable high-resolution portable media player yet. The AK Jr promises to retain many of the features found in its more expensive brothers.

The AK Jr is small in price and small in size, measuring just 6.9mm at its thinnest point - the same as the iPhone 6 - and 8.9mm at the largest point. It’s lightweight too, weighing in at 93g.

The new player supports 24-bit/192kHz high-res audio playback and supports a wide range of file types, including DSD audio. 2.8MHz DSD files are converted to PCM.

A 1.95V RMS headphone output claims to drive headphones more effectively than high-res-supporting smartphones and rival portable media players, while also not requiring a separate headphone amp.

MORE: Astell & Kern AK100 MkII review

The AK Jr can also function as a USB DAC when connected to a Mac or PC, thanks to an integrated Wolfson DAC. When used in this way, the Jr’s EQ settings are disabled. 

Control of the AK Jr comes via a 3.1in LCD touchscreen display, while storage is via either the 64GB of onboard storage or a microSD card slot.

More after the break

The microSD input supports cards up to 64GB, allowing for a maximum possible storage of 128GB - roughly enough space for 1250 high-resolution audio files. The Jr also supports Bluetooth 4.0, so you can wirelessly stream music to Bluetooth headphones and speakers.

And it wouldn’t be an Astell & Kern product without an aluminium casing and textured aluminium volume wheel. 

The AK Jr will be officially unveiled at the Munich High End show on the 14th May, and will arrive in shops later that month for £399. That price sees the AK Jr squeeze between Sony's NWZ-F886 and NWZ-ZX1

What Hi-Fi? will be at the Munich High End show, so we’ll be sure to get a hands-on review of the new player. 

MORE: High-resolution audio - everything you need to know

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Comments

Al ears's picture

Great

Now that's more like it. Enough to worry Sony anyway.

Was going to save for a NW-ZX2 but I'll be sure to audition this one on the way, as it is after all cheaper than my Colorfly C4 was when first released.

Some might bemoan DSD converted to PCM but to be honest I doubt they'll ever notice.

Wonder what the battery life is likely to be like with it being that thin.

Green Bow's picture

Yes

Precisey what I am hoping. £500 for the NWZ-ZX1 is a disgrace.

They charge horriffic prices by putting in a large-ish storage. Yet 128GB is not exactly expensive media. (You can buy a 128GB SSD retail for £50. You can bet Sony don't pay more than £5 for it.)

It's not even like HD - audio is easily available to buy either. Most folk like me are looking for a quality player of CD resolution music. £500 is a heartbreaking amount of money for that privilege.

utomo's picture

Good decission AK. I believe

Good decission AK. I believe affordable gadget will have more fans start from now

Graham Luke's picture

Given the relatively low

Given the relatively low price of even the most expensive internal components, previous devices have been hideously overpriced. This timely addition to the range represents better value but what does it say to the folk who have bought that absurd, post-modernist-looking thing?!?

celsius's picture

Great but limited

As good as this is at this price it might be a bit limited in it's storage as other players accept 128gb micro sd cards ie my sony nwz a15 which cost less than half of this also the new fiio x3.I must say though if I hadn't recently got the sony i would consider the a&k jr

magicrabbit's picture

Good decision

Finally. This is a very interesting move. I may finally buy an AK product!

I am an audiophile, and I do love high-end products, but the price of AK products was simply NOT reasonable. I will never spend 2 k€ to 3 k€ for a portable music player, as good as it can be, that will be outdated in 3 years anyway.

 

Clare Newsome's picture

Battery life

Astell&Kern quoting up to 12 hour battery life (playing 24/192 files is more battery intensive). Worth noting that as it uses a standard Micro USB connector, the AK Jr can be recharged on the go with same kind of pocket-sized battery pack that'll juice up your phone.

Al ears's picture

Nice to hear Clare

Those are good figures, better than I would have expected. Many devices now using Micro USB (it's the only really sensible one after all) such as my Fiio X3.

Now this is surely going on my birthday pressy list. Smile

girodd's picture

amazing stuff! does somebody

amazing stuff! does somebody know a store in london where i can buy it?

celsius's picture

a&k jr amazing player

I have to admit I doubted if this would be as good as it is , I boght the sony nwz a15 but the s/w is very buggy and had problems with certain sd cards but I got the jr yesterday and put a genuine 128gb sandisk micro sd in it and glad to say it shows up as 119gb free as well as the 64gb on board making it excellent value and it sound amazing I can hear notes that I never heard on any other player that I have had(Fiio x3,x5,Ibasso dx50,sony nwza15 and ipod