Early last month, Astell&Kern debuted the AK100 II, the company’s second-gen high-resolution audio player. At $899, it’s not cheap, but it does have a Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC, a dedicated amp, and a 10-band EQ setting.
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the company will soon release the entry-level AK Jr high-resolution audio player. This new player has 64GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot for up to 128GB of storage. It also has a Wolfson WM8740 DAC and an unbalanced 3.5mm headphone jack with an output impedance of 2 ohms. That means it should be able to drive just about any pair of high-end headphones, as well as IEMs.
Other features include a 3.1-inch LCD touchscreen, the ability to use the portable player as a USB DAC, and support for a variety of digital audio files—including 24-bit, up to 192khz PCM and single-rate DSD (converted to PCM) high-resolution audio, Apple lossless formats, and many other lossy music formats.
Oh, and it’s also priced a lot cheaper than its predecessor. Astell&Kern has listed the AK Jr high-resolution audio player at $499.
“The success of the entire line of Astell&Kern portable music players has proven that audiophiles everywhere want the best possible sound at home and when they travel,” said Henry Park, CEO of iriver, the parent company of Astell&Kern. “The product reviews have been outstanding and we want to thank all of our supporters for their honest evaluations. We hope that the introduction of the AK Jr will successfully reach a new demographic, which is just as passionate about true quality sound. The AK Jr is going to change the demands of what’s acceptable in the quality of portable music for the masses. We feel that when additional music lovers hear our sound, they will be committed to this level of quality.”
Astell&Kern plans to start selling the AK Jr high-resolution audio player soon. The new player will join the company’s current lineup, which includes the AK100 II, the AK120 II, and the flagship AK240.