Picture Sunday: Astell&Kern AK70

The star of this week’s Picture Sunday is the Astell&Kern AK70. Check out other recent Picture Posts Here, and Here.

In preparation for AK70 week, have a look at the AK70’s RMAA balanced and single-ended test results.

From the AK100 onward, screens facing the world from vanguard and entry-level Astell&Kern players’s have been hit and miss. Washed colours, poor viewing angles, yellow casts plague both the low end Jr and classic originals.

2016’s entry-level Astell&Kern, however, is a different beast. The AK70’s screen is bright, holds wide viewing angles, and doesn’t wash yellow. Sure, it can’t hold a candle to smartphones, but in the audiophile landscape, it holds stands tall. That it comes in a player only marginally larger than the original AK120, and far cheaper, is icing on the cake.

Digital out over USB, DSD to PCM, 2,3 Vrms output, smooth menu scrolling, and AK’s latest operating system are just a few features that make the AK70 a joy to use. Yes, despite its Korean angles, the AK70 is a joy to use. And it performs well. In fact, even demanding listeners should find it a bargain against top-flight players. It is the first AK player that, removed from its entry-level status (within the AK market), is every bit as impressive within the competitive landscape as the AK380.

I got my unit used for about 530$ from e-earphone. And, while I have a few reservations, I recommend it highly. In fact, it is the first unmodded Astell&Kern about which I personally care. As such, I’d like to declare this week the week of the AK70.

5/5 - (2 votes)

Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.


  • Reply September 12, 2016

    Barun C

    Great photo Nathan.The Light/Misty Mint colour looks great on the AK70. Two things they could’ve done better though.

    1. Include 2 Micro SD Slots
    2. Exclude the 2.5MM Balanced and if possible go for a double 3.5MM mechanism.

    The first one could’ve been done easily but the second modification is too much to ask, as they want this Balanced 2.5MM mark on almost all their products.

    • Reply September 12, 2016


      I like the 2.5mm plug. I don’t like the 4.4 or mini xlr for balanced portable devices

      • Reply September 27, 2016

        ohm image

        I don’t necessarily like the 2,5mm plug, but I also prefer it to current options.

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