Don't expect it to be cheap, but the latest addition to Astell & Kern's 300 Series of hi-res music players should be more affordable than the step-up AK320 model. And there's an intriguing new Recorder module, too.

Astell & Kern has been making seriously capable portable music players for a good few years now, slowly but surely offering a machine for every step of the price spectrum.

The new AK300, which officially launches at the High End Show in Munich this week, sits beneath the AK320 (£1500) and AK380 (£3000), and we're told is likely to come in at around the £700 price mark.

This player will effectively replace the AK100, which is now a few years old, and sit just above the entry-level AK Jr (£400).

The Astell & Kern AK300 sports many of the features seen on its siblings, supporting 24-bit/192kHz hi-res audio, DSD files (albeit converted to PCM), parametric EQ and DLNA wireless streaming using the AK Connect app.

It uses a single AK4490 DAC, as opposed to the dual DACs on the more expensive models, and also has the ability to function as a USB DAC. 

MORE: Astell & Kern AK Jr review

More after the break

The AK300 can connect to all the Astell & Kern modules made for the existing 300 Series, including the Amp, CD-Ripper, Cradle and now Recorder.

The Recorder turns any A&K player into a portable music recorder that's capable of recording analogue and digital audio, thanks to dual mini XLR/AES inputs and a 3.5mm mini jack line input. Just slide your player into the module to connect.

It can record up to 32-bit/384kHz audio, with support for WAV and DSD formats. There's no official word on a price for the Recorder as yet, though one US retailer is quoting $900.

Full details of the new products are on the Astell & Kern website.

MORE: Best portable music players 2016


Graham Luke's picture

Buzz, buzz...

Audioquest's new Dragonfly Red will all but render this type of player as irrelevant.

Indeed, some early reviewers are already comparing the sound from the Dragonfly as the equal or better of some of this pricey exotica.

I can't wait!

garlandcary's picture

Dragonfly Red?

I'm curious in what way you anticipate a USB DAC will replace dedicated portable high resolution players. Personally, next to ability to play high resolution files, I find my Sony NW-ZX2's ability to EQ indispensible because I've yet to find a pair of headphones perfectly to my liking. I ditched my AK100II for the Sony because of its far superior signal processing and EQ. Unless I could EQ the Dragonfly, it's an unacceptable retrograde step.

magicrabbit's picture


This is a pretty impressive device.

Got it for 3 weeks and love it. Everything is perfect: the gorgeous sound, the UI, the Tidal integration, wifi, aptX, the decent battery.