Astell&Kern AK240 Portable HiFi DAP Reviewed by Experts – The Money No Object DAP!

Nowadays, there are basically tons of portable audio players in the market. Even your smartphones can play your favorite music. But there are also portable audio players which are geared towards the audiophiles or people who take music seriously, and would want to enjoy their music with the best possible experience. These types of portable audio players are usually built with components and loaded with features that regular audio players don’t have. Today, let’s get to know more at one the top of the line digital audio player (short for DAP) that is currently available on the market, – the Astell&Kern AK240 portable HIFI digital audio player. The Astell&Kern AK240 is the company’s current flagship DAP. It’s loaded with lots of features that other portable players do not have. It can play very high resolution audio files and supports native DSD. Aside from having a rich array of features and internal specifications, it’s also made from highest quality components and materials making this portable DAP a very very expensive device. So if money is no object to you, please continue reading below and find out if the AK240 is the portable audio player you are looking for.

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astell&kern ak240 dap review

Astell&Kern AK240 Features

The Astell&Kern AK240, like I said earlier, is the company’s current “ultimate” and flagship portable HIFI audio player. The AK240 natively supports DSD or Direct Stream Digital format. We are talking way over MP3 or CD quality here. The company used the Cirrus Logic CS4398 chip in the Dual DAC setup with an added exclusive XMOS chip that will allow for Native DSD support.

The AK240 also supports both balanced and unbalanced outputs. Most of our headphones or earphones have an unbalanced type of connection. We are not talking about the volume difference between the left and right channel. To make the story short, the balanced method is better than unbalanced in a sense that it removes external noises thus producing a better sound quality. Astell&Kern has not only designed the AK240 to have a dual DAC setup, but they also incorporated the Dual DAC with a balanced output.

The Astell&Kern AK240 has an internal memory of 256GB, plus there is a micro SD slot that supports up to 128GB, giving you a total of 384GB maximum capacity. It also features MQS Streaming where you can wireless stream your music from the device. And since its operating system is basically based on Android, except that they heavily modified the OS, the firmware is upgradable via OTA or Over-The-Air just like Android smartphones.

The AK240 has lots of other very nice features like its body is made from Duralumin, a 3.31-inch AMOLED display, 10 band EQ, USB DAC and many more. I have embedded below several in depth video reviews about the AK240 DAP from some of the experts in the industry. Watch the reviews after the specs table below.

astell&kern ak240 reviews

Astell&Kern AK240 Specifications

Display3.31" (84 mm) WVGA (480 x 800) AMOLED touchscreen
Supported Audio FormatsWAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE (Normal, High, Fast), AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF
Sample RateFLAC, WAV, ALAC, AIFF : 8 kHz to 192 kHz (8/16/24-bits per sample)
DSD Native : DSD 64 (1-bit, 2.8 MHz), Stereo / DSD 128 (1-bit,5.6 MHz)
Output LevelUnbalanced: 2.1 Vrms (Condition No Load)
Balanced: 2.3 Vrms (Condition No Load)
DACCirrus Logic CS4398 x2 (Dual DAC)
DecodingSupport up to 24-bit/192 kHz bit to bit decoding, DSD 64/128
InputUSB Micro-B input (for charging & data transfer, PC & Mac)
Connection Mode : MTP (Media Device)
Output 1x 1/8" (3.5 mm) headphone output
1x 1/8" (3.5 mm) optical output
1x 0.13" (2.5 mm) balanced output (4 pole)
Wi-Fi802.11 b/g/n (2.4 GHz)
BluetoothVersion 4.0
Frequency Response20 Hz to 20 kHz, ±0.023 dB, balanced and unbalanced
10 Hz to 70 kHz, ±0.3 dB, balanced and unbalanced
Signal to Noise Ratio116 dB @ 1 kHz, unbalanced
117 dB @ 1 kHz, balanced
Crosstalk130 dB @ 1 kHz, unbalanced
135 dB @ 1 kHz, balanced
THD + N0.0007% @ 1 kHz, unbalanced
0.0005% @ 1 kHz, balanced
SMPTEIMD SMPTE: 0.0004% 800 Hz 10 kHz (4:1), unbalanced
0.0003% 800 Hz 10 kHz (4:1), balanced
Output Impedance 1x 1/8" (3.5 mm) headphone output
1x 1/8" (3.5 mm) optical output
1x 0.13" (2.5 mm) balanced output (4 pole)
Balanced 2.5 mm: 1 Ω
Headphones: 2 Ω
Jitter50 ps, typical
BatteryCapacity: 3.250 mAh, 3.7 V Li-Polymer battery
MemoryBuilt-In Memory: 256 GB (NAND)
External: microSD, maximum 128 GB
Supported Operating SystemWindows: XP, 7, 8 (32/64-bit)
Mac: OS X 10.7 and later
Dimensions (WxHxD)2.59 x 4.21 x 0.68" (66.0 x 107.0 x 17.5 mm)
Weight6.5 oz (185 g)

astell&kern ak240 hifi digital audio player price and buy

Price and Where to Buy

addtocartThe Astell&Kern AK240 DAP is very much available right now. Currently it has a retail price of $2,499 USD and you can order one here. I know, it’s very expensive and most of you might think that only crazy people would buy this. Well, if you find the AK240 insanely overpriced and you think you don’t really need all those features, the company also has the latest AK100 II and AK120II which are significantly more affordable than their flagship DAP.

Astell&Kern AK240 Reviews

I’m sure words alone won’t satisfy you or convince you. Here are several Astell&Kern AK240 reviews done by the experts in the industry for your reference. The reviews below are very detailed and should give you the information you need whether to push through with the AK240 or get something cheaper.

This AK240 review by Amos Barnett:

Another AK240 review by InnerFidelity:

A walk through on the User Interface by InnerFidelity:

This is actually not a detailed review, but more of an unboxing and overview by Digital Trends:

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