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Astell & Kern’s new hi-res player has a bizarre name and an extraordinary price

The latest A&K portable music player just landed at the Munich High End show – and it’s taking aim at the most minted of audiophiles.

Say hi to the Astell & Kern A&ultima SP1000. That is, at least, if you can work out how to say it. Looks like some HTML gone wrong. We’ll just call it the SP1000, eh?

Joining the likes of the entry-level AK Jr and superb AK70, the SP1000 is the new flagship Hi-Res Audio player from the South Korean company, which is owned by iRiver (remember them?).

A&K claims this is “the world’s best portable player” and that it’s a totally new design from top to bottom. You’d kinda hope so for the asking price of £3299/$3499.

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Inside this impressive-looking portable are an octa-core CPU and AK4497EQ dual DACs, enabling native 32-bit/384kHz playback and support for native bit-to-bit DSD playback up to 11.2MHz.

Astell & Kern SP1000 2

The outside features an edge-to-edge 5-inch 720p touchscreen and a new multi-function control wheel for both volume and power on/off duties, which looks to have been inspired by ‘onion’ watch crowns. The casing is made from solid stainless steel – although a fully copper version is coming a month later. Tasty.

Astell & Kern SP1000 1

The addition of USB 3.0 means the A&K SP1000 will also support fast-charging and it’ll be quicker to transfer your music collection onto than previous Astell & Kern players.

Internal storage is 256GB, which is befitting such a premium player, and a microSD slot means you can bump that up to a maximum of 512GB. That’s a whole lotta Hi-Res music right there.

Pre-orders for the SP1000 start on May 18, 2017, with shipping starting in mid-late June for the steel version and July for the copper model.

Prepared to pay that much for a portable or think audiophiles have a screw loose? Let us know in the comments below.

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