Check out our full review of the iRiver Astell & Kern AK100 audio player.
Portable digital music players are great for taking music on the go, but as any audiophile will attest, it comes at the cost of reduced quality. If you can accept this fact, MP3s are totally for you. For the more discerning audio connoisseur, it takes more than an iPod to get the job done.
Astell & Kern’s AK100 portable audio system from iRiver is just such a device. The beefy high-fi music player skirts the scourge of compression with support for lossless Mastering Sound Quality files, along with Ogg, FLAC, WAV, WMA, APE and of course, ordinary MP3s.
A 2.4-inch touchscreen provides control, while a high-end Wolfson 8740 DAC handles turning bits and bytes into audio. Interestingly, it can double as an outboard DAC for computers and CD players connected via the integrated optical output or USB port. It comes with 32GB of internal storage, which can be expanded to 96GB via two microSD card slots. A 2,000mAH battery provides up to 16 hours of continuous audio playback.
The Astell & Kern AK100 portable audio system will retail for $700.