How would YOU pronounce the name of this new Astell & Kern player? Answers on a postcard...

We can't stress this enough - the following is not a typo: Astell & Kern's new high-end portable hi-res audio player is called A&ultima SP1000.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Despite the inexplicable model name, the SP1000 (as we are resolved to refer to it as) looks a tempting proposition.

It's certainly very well specified. It's sporting A&K's 4497EQ dual-DAC design and an upgraded CPU allowing playback of native 32-bit/384kHz audio files, as well as native bit-to-bit DSD files up to 11.2MHz.

Read all our Astell & Kern reviews


There are independent DACs for left and right audio channels, while the octa-core CPU promises lag-free operation and lightning-quick booting times.

The SP1000 fetaures a 5in screen inside a minimal bezel, with its high-definition HD5 display intended to offer sharp, colourful and high-contrast images.

USB Type-C connectivity allows transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, and supports data transfer and charging from the same cable. Charging with a fast charger (not included, rather meanly) takes only two hours for 12 hours of continuous playback. 

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

More after the break

Astell & Kern begins taking orders later this week - May 18th to be precise - and the SP1000 will cost £3300.

Read all our portable music player reviews


GeoffreyW's picture

Is it  a play on a wealthy

Is it  a play on a wealthy Chelsea person's pronunciation of High End (Hey End)?

Graham Luke's picture

Dragonfly, anyone...?

One well-known Melbourne based online hifi retailer has significantly reduced the prices of almost every A&K product that they stock. And I mean significantly - like they can't GIVE them away.

I can't see this audio-brick with a silly name and rather poor battery life, given it's size, turning that around; maybe Audioquest ate their lunch...

Al ears's picture


Surely they missed out a 'K' in the name...... sack the printers....  Wink