Portable music players are enjoying a resurgence this year, certainly in audiophile circles, thanks in part to the increasing availability of hi-res audio. Astell & Kern is one brand that's capitalised, and there's now a new addition to the company's range.
The AK320 is billed as "a more affordable flagship", costing £1499 and sitting beneath the top-of-the-range AK380, which costs £3000. The '320 supports high-resolution files up to 24-bit/192kHz, plus DSD files. It features balanced and standard 3.5mm outputs and comes fitted with a VCXO (Voltage-Controlled Crystal Oscillator) Clock to help reduce jitter and ultimately deliver your music more accurately.
There's 128GB of internal storage, which can be increased to 256GB+ via a microSD card. Wi-fi is built-in and the accompanying AK Connect App enables easy wireless streaming. Bluetooth is also onboard, allowing you to stream to headphones or speakers. You can also use the AK320 as a USB DAC when playing music from your computer.
Like other A&K products, the AK320 is machined from a single block of aluminium and comes with a range of accessories, including a slide-on headphone amp, desktop cradle and a CD ripper, allowing you to rip your discs straight to your player.
The AK320 will be available from early December for £1499. Sound a little steep? There's always the Award-winning £400 AK Jr...
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