This week’s picture Sunday is all about our friends from iRiver, I mean, Astell&Kern.
iRiver wasn’t the most popular brand in the business but when their marketing team came up with the idea to relaunch the DAP department under the Astell&Kern name, they changed the business. The first two AK players, the original AK100 and AK120 had a unique design and their sound quality back then was revolutionary.
We used to carry external DACs and amps with our iPod Classic but the DAC chips in the A&K’s back then were so good they simply changed the portable audio world. A lot of people don’t like A&K because of their very high price setting, it’s something no one can deny but at the same time these players are selling like never before.
The basic AK380 pictured above will set you back a few thousand USD and it’s not even the most expensive version. In exchange however you get great sound and a portable player that oozes quality and style. I for one love the AK design but that’s a very personal thing. I’m pretty sure that almost everyone would be buying Astell&Kern if they were ten times less expensive.
What is your DAP and would you exchange it for an Astell&Kern if you had all the money in the world?