Lovers of high-end audio already know that buying their specialised music isn’t quite as cheap as buying a CD from the local, and the same is true of their media players.

While phones are improving and some even boast support for high-resolution FLAC files and the like, if you’re keen for a taste of better quality audio, you may need something a little higher end.

In the case of Astell & Kern’s latest, we’re talking a lot higher end, and certainly quite costly.

That’s what is being talked up in the AK320, a hand-sized media player that boasts support for 24-bit 192kHz audio when played through the media player, though can also be used as a USB digital-to-analogue converter.

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The device appears to be made well, with 128GB storage inside this metal box complete with a glass finish, and if 128GB isn’t enough there’s a microSD slot to deal with it appropriately.

WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 aptX are supported, handy if you want to stream the music, and Astell & Kern has tried to make the AK320 a little special thanks to a Voltage Controlled Crystal Oscillator, a component that aims to reduce jitter in sound quality by fiddling with the voltage input for a better frequency.

Interestingly, Android is also included on the AK320, but we’re told it’s here to make moving files to and from the a breeze.

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One downside comes down to price, and that’s an area where Astell & Kern is calling the AK320 a “mid-range” device, landing at $2899 in specialist stores around Australia.

We’re not sure we agree — near $3K is a lot of money for a media player, regardless of how high-end it is — but if you see it as value, you’ll find it at specialist stockists.

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