And not comparing apples to apples. AK240 is a portable all in one device.
The Hugo is not.
Well I guess it also depends on the individual's lifestyle. For me, I put my DAP in my pant pocket most of the time, so any unit/combo/stack that can't fit is out of my consideration. I even use my ak240 naked as I don't like the look with its casing and don't want added bulk.
For some who always use a bag, size isn't a concern and as long as the unit/combo/stack fit into said bag, it will be as feasible as a standalone DAP and hence the comparison.
Don't know if anybody is interested but got this email from SoundFidelity today, don't know if it is just for prior customers or anybody.
We are getting a lot of enquiries about the fabulous Astell&Kern AK240 DAP but know the price (however good value the product is in comparative terms) is hard to find at £2,199.00, so we have decided to offer a trade-in deal for any other Astell&Kern player, to make ownership of the state of the art AK240 a little more palatable!
*Subject to your trade-in item being in good condition without scratches or dents, and complete with original box and accessories.
If you wish to take up this offer, we will need to see your player first – send it to us for examination we'll make you an offer based on its condition.
Further credit for Astell&Kern aftermarket accessories (such as docks) also available.
Any questions? Please email us at email@example.com.
Balanced has additional benefits vs SE but would depend on your earphones:
1 ohm impedance vs 2 ohm SE
2.3v power vs 2.1v
I hear bigger staging and better layering on my UE18 which improves the clarity.
Today I had the chance to listen to the entire line of AK DAPs and some Fiio DAPsat a local store. Sadly they didn't have the ZX1 or DX90 though. I was using my Merlin with SP cable from Frank. I wasn't very impressed with the AK100 MKII and the AK120. However, I was very surprised how good the X5 sounded. Given it's price, I think I'd prefer it over the AK120. The AK240 is a whole nother story though. The level of detail is just incredible! Will go there next week again when I have my SE846.
Which amp did you try it with? Or do you mean every amp you pair with AK240 behave like this? Did you do volume matching on the amp side after lowering the volume on AK240 from 75 to 65? How about setting it at 75 but not activating the line out function?
Can you share which part of AK240 that you are not satisfied with and what you'd want to achieve by modding it?