Astell&Kern Once Again Redefines the Portable Media Player with the AK380

  • Alexander Lamascus

Astell&Kern, known for pushing the sonic boundaries of portable media players, have released yet another flagship model, the AK380. Created for audio professionals and audiophiles alike, the AK380 can play back the full spectrum of digital audio sampling ratios (up to 384 kHz) and delivers the cleanest digital sound possible when playing back Direct Stream Digital files. The player is capable of handling mastering-quality sound files—which reproduce music exactly as it was recorded in the studio—using its standard settings or the built-in 20-band equalizer. The device incorporates top-shelf electronics, including audio clocks so precise they are measured in quadrillionths of a second. As one might expect from the brand, Astell&Kern has managed to again set the bar high in audio quality, as well as adding functionality. The AK Connect app allows the user to stream files from a computer or audio server with exceptional quality. A variety of accessories are also available for the AK380: a CD ripper (needing no computer), a headphone amplifier, and a charging cradle. With all of these improvements over previous generations of the Astell&Kern product line, the only challenge is determining how to outdo the device for the next product. (astellnkern.com)

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