Astell & Kern builds a big media player for big spenders

iPods and media players come in all shapes and sizes, but if you have plenty of money to spend on one and don’t flinch when you don’t see a price tag, there’s a new luxury box out there for you.

It comes from media player maker Astell & Kern, and it is definitely not for for everyone.

Called the AK380, it’s Astell & Kern’s biggest media player yet, packing in support for the standard MP3s you might want to play through it, and the FLAC files you almost definitely want to use on a device of this sort.


Support for the standard high-res audio spectrum is here, which means 24-bit over 192kHz, but you’ll find a level where audio isn’t just hard to find, but downright impossible, with support for 32-bit over 384kHz.

These files can be loaded onto the AK380 by plugging it directly into a computer over the unit’s 256GB of storage via the microUSB connection, or shifted onto a microSD card as the AK380 can take one of these too, with as much as 128GB extra thrown in with this slot.


WiFi is also supported on this player, as is touch, with a 4 inch touchscreen sitting on this device allowing you to select your music and control the volume, though there is also a manual control dial for the loudness, handy for those who like a more manual way of controlling sound output.

And there’s even a DAC component, providing a digital-to-analogue converter for people who want to give their computer a stronger sound card if need be.


Pricing on this one isn’t cheap, and few around here will be lining up for Astell & Kern’s latest beauty simply because at $4799 it is by no means cheap.

At that price, we’d need a pretty compelling reason why the AK380 was worth it, though given its solid aluminium body, 3400mAh battery, dual mono separation, and a design that makes it appear more like it was carved from a space rock rather than the simple soft metallic design we regularly see, we’re pretty sure this one isn’t targeted at us.

But if you think it look cool and have close to $5K to spend on a media player, you’ll find this one in select stockists shortly.

If the AK380 costs a good $4800, how much is this leather case we wonder? Wait, never mind. We're not rich enough to ask.
If the AK380 costs a good $4800, how much is this leather case we wonder? Wait, never mind. We’re not rich enough to ask.