One of the (if not the) best sounding DAP on the market today.

A Review On: Astell & Kern AK240

Astell & Kern AK240

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Recent Pricing:
Review Details:
Audio Quality
Battery Life
User Interface
Purchased on:


Beautiful review!
The pictures make it look like a brick...
Awesome review!! Does make me want to give this (really expensive) piece of a try ~
Great read. Much thanks for sharing, AnakChan.
From what I've read online, one of the main gripes (aside from price) has been battery life. Most reviews seem to indicate under 10hrs, which is rather disappointing if true. How much play time did you get on yours? Also, apologies if you've already mentioned this in an AK240 related thread, but what headphones/iems did you use during your sonic evaluation?
Another awesome review from anakchan, very good pic too.
Hi @kurochin, I'm getting probably around 8-9 hrs on a mixture of 16/44.1 FLAC & DSF files (continuous without GUI flicking around - actually overnight run-in). I used it mainly off my FitEar TG!334 unbalanced as I don't have a balanced connector for it. Occasionally I did put on my SigDJ's and Alpha Dogs on it too.
Hmm. Am I alone in thinking that thing is pure ugly....?
M and possibly huge
Nice review! I was in Japan the previous week and found a ZX1 to demo in Akihabara, which sounded quite good to my ears. I was actually thinking about picking one up to compare to my AK240, but your review has somewhat satiated my curiosity.
I had a chance to try it on NY Headfi meet. My ZX1 has better synergy with Roxannes.
Also, wasn't impressed with X5 ether.
Though I haven't heard AK240 (yet), two things that go along with HM-901 are in bass department for me. It has incredible impact, it can punch really hard, and I can hear midbass hump clearly. And the soundstage, yes, to my ears HM-901 has it more direct, so to speak, not as big as the one in, let's say, AK120. Hence the intimacy part, I agree 100%. So yes, it's good to read that OP noticed the same things as I did. But for me HM-901 isn't mature, my ears are telling me it uses brute force above anything else, very enjoyable one though : E
Nice lecture btw.
Nice review, AnakChan! I find it fascinating that you mention in the future, we will be able to use the AK 240 as DAC for DSD files. I suppose that make eminent since iRiver did add the conversion on the fly capability to the AK 120 and even more so it should do so here since there is native capability on the AK 240. That would be a promising development for audiophiles who was to give DSD a try without forking out  for a separate DSD-capable DAC. At least not immediately. :)
Im trying to sell anything of value to upgrade from my poor CowonD3 to this work of art. I only wish their was a picture of someone actually holding it. Aside from that I truly wish the battery had better life. Great review!
I think that it can only play 10 hours straight, is a major fault on it. :/
Great review Sean, wish the Japanese presentation would have been translated, I like a good story on how they went about the design. After getting over the form factor I learned to appreciate the circuit design and elegance of the UI, the price though is still a hurdle for me mainly because even if the implementation is very good I don't consider it to be at that price point but I definitively elevate it due to its UI and available functions. I know for sure that iRiver must have put lots of programming hours to get it to the level it's at. I am pretty sure the owners are very happy with its performance minus the battery life for some.
Anak, great review
Nice review..but what player u mean with: 'CLAS -dB/Duet'?
I cant find it anywhere on the web or on the cypher labs website..i do find the duet amp but cant find the player ur talking about anywhere..thanks for replying
I simply cant get behind a DAP for those prices that companies charge nowdays.
I tried a AK120 vs my cowon i9+Fiio E17 and I could not notice a quality improvment... just different signature.
It wasent a blind test, so maybe bias had something to do with it, but Dat price... Btw was using HE-400 moded.
I am happy there is finally WiFi and the possibility to stream because a Company like WIMP will benifit from their HiFi Quality Streaming Sound, but the Price is horrible,even when it Looks like it in build for eternity. The Sony ZX1 will come at 700 Euro wich is less than a third of the AK240, so I guess there will be difficult times ahead for this Player even when superb by all means.