WHAT: Small form-factor audio device that brings big quality
WHY: A smart choice if you are on the go
The Astell&Kern AK Jr ($499) is described as an entry-level audiophile music player, but it ranks among the best for high-resolution portable playback, featuring a large touchscreen and a cell phone–slim profile that will slide easily into a pocket or personal tote. The design includes a scroll-wheel-style volume control with good tactile feedback. The AK Jr also functions as a USB digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for a computer via USB, offering a convenient option for on-the-go laptop use. The AK Jr is a contender for any audiophile’s tool kit, offering value to both novice and experienced listeners.