Astell&Kern has craved a niche for itself as making portable music players that are at the very top of the chain in terms of performance and build quality. They are also at the very top of the price range too, with a special stainless steel version of its last model, the AK240, costing £2,500.
However, that's chickenfeed. Its all-new flagship player costs a staggering £3,000 - the same as a second-hand Porsche 944. And that's without the optional headphone amplifier module, which is yet to be priced. So what would you choose, classic car or the most robust, high-resolution music powerhouse on the market?
The Astell&Kern AK380 is crafted from aircraft-grade Duralumin and has dual 32bit DACs (32bit/384kHz Dual-DAC, bit-to-bit playback). There is also a VCXO Clock on board that reduces jitter to 0.2 picoseconds, to make it one of if not the most accurate portable player on the market.
It is capable of playing back a vast selection of audio filetypes, with native DSD playback, and Wi-Fi connectivity means it can stream across networks too. There is also Bluetooth support to pair it with a separate speaker set-up or wireless headphones.
The touchscreen is 4-inches and although we haven't been told how large the battery is, it is higher-capacity than on previous A&K models.
The Astell&Kern AK380 will be available from June. You'd better get saving.