Astell and Kern are a Class Act
The stylish and deeply talented partnership of Astell and Kern and Addicted to Audio has gone to the next level with the arrival of the new AK240 high-res, portable audio player at the Kew store.
The latest Astell and Kern model is also primed to ship to eager stockists around Australia who put in advance orders way before the AK240’s debut at this year’s Las Vegas CES 2014 show.
Talking to Astell and Kern reveals the new model is designed to build on the heady success of the AK100 and AK120 models which arrived late last year.
But be warned, the AK240 is not a clone following what’s gone before. It has a complete new styling, and benchmark setting features not available in any other hi-res portable player on sale right now.
The AK240 has 256GB of onboard memory and one microSD card slot good for up to 64GB of additional data. That adds up to a whopping 320GB of music storage, more than enough to fry the senses played continuously on a long, languid weekend.
The engine crunching the numbers is a fast dual-core processor that has the kind of grunt to accept requests and process hi-res music files with no lag time or a hint of sweat or bother.
What’s more, music lovers can use the AK240 to download from sites straight from the player. Also handy is a 3.31-inch AMOLED touchscreen which can generate 800x400 pixels.
As for the chipset, nothing but the best for the AK240. It carries Dual Cirrus Logic 4398 Digital-to-Analogue Converter chipsets and native DSD support – including DSD64 and DSD128 files.
Do I hear you ask if the AK240 can handle DSD files natively without having to travel the route of PCM conversion? The Answer is a resounding "Yes’'.
The boast about unique features was no idle boast. This will be the first model from Astell and Kern to showcase WiFi connectivity. And its as easy to use as heading to the Store part of the interface and then directly downloading files to the AK240.
This will be stocked with relevant HD audio suppliers, HDtracks.com for example (although technically not available to Australia at time of writing). Word in the UK is Linn would be another store.
Speaking to Henry Park, iriver’s CEO, we were told the unveiling of the AK240 shows ‘'Astell & Kern has once again raised the bar in the portable high-resolution audio field."
The AK240 is available from Addicted to Audio and select dealers priced at $3,399.
One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, if there's a speaker he's likely heard it or owned it at some point in his career. Peter was formerly the audio-video editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades.
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