Astell&Kern AK240 HD Portable Player

Why have both a music server at a home and a portable one in your pocket when one machine can do both? At least that is the pitch I was given in the Astell&Kern room in the Venetian. The story is that the AK240 is good enough to compete with many larger systems and function as a high performance USB DAC as well (via the Micro-B USB input). Pricing hasn't been set yet, but I was told would be under $3k when it is available in March.

Highlights for the new AK240 include 384GB total memory for music storage (internal and additional microSD card slot), which would translate to around 800 albums (CD quality FLAC) and ability to connect directly to HD download sites via WiFi for music purchase (vendors TBD). On the front is a 800x480 resolution color touch screen set into a body made of "Duralumin", described as an aircraft grade aluminum alloy. The unit indeed feels quite solid in the hand.

There are both balanced and unbalanced analog outputs, optical digital, Bluetooth capability, and inside are 2 Cirrus Logic 4398 chipsets for a dual mono design. Supported formats include DSD64 and 128 as well as up to 24/192 PCM files. Apple lossless and other formats are also handled.

Blue Pepper's picture

A sad day for the world of head fi and personal audio in general

we are now entering the realms of diminishing returns.

At £1200 Iriver were already entering the "dark side "

with the AK120, and now with a price literally picked out 

of thin air the AK is , as we say, taking the piss. I'll stick

with my HM801 and Studio-V which seem like bargains now.