While US attendee’s were treated to the new AK Jr. at this year’s [AXPONA Show] in Chicago, the new flagship didn’t make its first public appearance until the high end show in Munich a few weeks ago.
The new AK380 is priced at a spicy $3,499 for the US market and will sit atop the popular DAP range for the iRiver company. The improvements over the former title-holder start with a pair of AKM AK4490 chips implemented in a dual mono configuration (the AK240 utilizes Cirrus Logic silicone). The AK380 hosts both 32bit/384kHz Bit to Bit and native DSD playback, 256GB of storage space and a micro SB slot that supports up to 128GB of external media.
This time around Astell and Kern decided to really blow out the accessories category with a new docking station, CD ripper drive and even an external headphone amplifier system. While most of the accessories are still TBD in terms of both pricing and ship dates the AK380 DAP itself should be shipping by the beginning of July.
The back of the docking station sports two full size balance XLRs for direct connection to an amplifier as well as a connection to the CD-ripper, no need for a separate computer to get things up and running.
The new headphone amplifier adds plenty of punch to an already amazing presentation from the in house jack (both units feature the 3.5mm SE standard and AKs 2.5mm balanced headphone outputs). The personal audio extension attaches to the back and bottom side and secures itself via a set screw and threaded hold in the upper left corner of the AK380.
More details: http://www.astellnkern.com