Astell&Kern AK70 Portable Music Player Review

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“With its previous players Astell&Kern firmly established itself as a purveyor of the finest (and most expensive) portable players available, but the company was never in the running to offer the best value for the money at entry level. But with the AK70, A&K has a player that offers more usable features and flexibility at an affordable price than any of its previous offerings. With the ability to easily handle a wide range of earphones thanks to its balanced and single-ended connections, combined with features such as AK Connect, which allows you to play back anything on your home NAS through the AK70, this player delivers more value and bang-for-the-buck than most of the current crop of players priced between $500 and $700.”

2017 Editors’ Choice: Portable Music Players

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With the AK380, A&K has created a flagship that transcends the genre of audiophile-quality portable players. To be sure, the device delivers superb sound—the best AT has heard from a portable player—via its duel AKM DACs with 384/32 PCM and native DSD support. Additionally, through a set of optional dock and peripheral offerings, the AK380 can rightfully serve as the digital front end to any hi-fi system. When fully accessorized, the fully balanced AK380 can rip CDs, wirelessly stream music from a DLNA NAS drive, and send the analog output of its formidable DACs through XLR connections. Replete with ample storage, a large bright display, and stunning sound, the AK380 is the portable player to beat.”

New Astell And Kern Flagship – The A&ultima SP1000

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” From the presentation it even appeared that AK has already put a hard squeeze from a digital audio tech standpoint into the players, opting for a renewed focus on amplification and analog improvements to further the possibility of improved sound quality. The new SP1000 does offer a few perks across the board however. Vs. the AK380 the new flagship offers an Octa-core CPU, updated AKM chipset (AK4497EQ dual DAC) larger screen and USB 3.0 with faster charging. Their will also be a frame material option of either stainless steel or copper.”

Fiio X5 3rd Generation Digital Audio Player Review

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“The midrange frequencies are very pleasant to listen to with a smooth and natural sounding signature. Although separation levels are not on the same level as Fiio’s X7, there is no congestion and tracks sound spaced out with decent levels of resolvement. Vocals are slightly forward with a thicker note presentation that iBasso’s DX90.”


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” The only introduction I’m going to give Ryuzoh this time is the following: you won’t find a better and more adventurous modder this side of Robert Heinlein’s Stone family. Ryuzoh’s mods have it where it counts. I’ve been told I talk too much and too loudly about his hitherto magnum opus, the balanced Mojo-Kai. I speak less about his AK100 Kai, though that’s a mistake.”


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” I can even shave a song forward or back to precisely the second I left off. A vertical bar shows where you are in the song and as long as your finger is on the scrobbler, is always visible. Tapping anywhere on the album art pauses the player. When the DP-S1 is locked, inadvertent changes in attenuator position can be muted. Better yet, the attenuator doesn’t commandeer the touch screen, possibly forcing jumps up or down when all you wanted to do was change tracks or browse music. The only DSP available when playing DSD files is the low-pass filter. The Onkyo DP-S1 doesn’t properly do gapless, but gaps are small, pop-less, and even between DSD files, not terribly long.”



“The Opus#2 has a slightly deeper and wider stage; it creates longer distances between instruments, while the AK320 uses a smaller stage in comparison. Although the difference in the stage width is not significant, the Opus#2 has a depth advantage over AK320 and it locates instruments in a more breathable and spacious area. Both offer a background that has a nice cleanliness and blackness, but Opus#2 provides a better separation in accordance with a clearer background and the depth advantage.”

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