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Astell&Kern Outdoes Itself with the AK240 Mobile Music Player

Bailey S. Barnard

The $1,300 Astell&Kern AK120, which launched last July, is a pocket hi-fi masterpiece. The new Astell&Kern AK240 promises to take portable music playback to an even higher level. The new player, which the company expects to begin shipping in March for a price beyond $2,000, will feature 256 gigabytes of onboard memory—compared to 64 gigabytes for the AK120—plus a microSD card slot allowing an additional 128 gigabytes of storage. Like its predecessor, the AK240 will support music files with resolutions as large as 24 bits/192 kHz (the highest commercially available) and in virtually any digital music format to which consumers have access. A pair of Cirrus Logic 4398 digital-to-analog converters (one for each audio channel) will deliver music with a level of quality that approaches that of a high-end home stereo system. A dual-core processor and 3.31-inch color touchscreen (compared to 2.4 inches for the AK120) will ensure that users can quickly and conveniently browse their full-resolution music libraries.  The AK120 put Astell&Kern on the portable hi-fi map; the AK240 has the potential to put the company on the throne. (www.astellnkern.com)

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