Portable digital audio players are becoming more and more popular, specially to music lovers, enthusiasts and audiophiles on the go. It’s true that smartphones can play the typical MP3 music, but it’s nowhere near to satisfy an enthusiast’s passion for high quality music. These the past few years, there are several DAPs or digital audio players introduced in the market. Most of the entry level to budget range, and even mid-range audio players suffer from primitive user interface, like the HIFIMAN HM-700, or no touch screen display, like the Hidizs AP100. Let’s face it, it’s 2015 and people are spoiled with touchscreens, and attractive user friendly interface. Sound quality alone just doesn’t attract people anymore, specially those who are just beginning their journey to the world of high end audio. Astell&Kern has been offering quite a number of impressive audio players, like their current flagship AK380, down to AK240, AK120 and their entry level AK Jr. Unfortunately, AK’s audio players are (very) expensive, except for the Jr that is. Today, we are going to look at the new Luxury & Precision L5 Pro digital audio player, offering an attractive aesthetics, touch screen display combined with dedicated buttons and volume control, and above all a sound quality worthy of your ears’ attention. Let’s find out more about the Luxury & Precision L5 Pro in our review below.
Luxury & Precision L5 Pro Digital Audio Player Review
The Luxury & Precision L5 Pro is a HiFi portable digital audio player (DAP) that supports 32bit audio file playback. It supports DSD and PCM lossless audio formats, as well as lossy audio formats like the most popular MP3 file. L&P has invested a lot of time in research and development to produce a true 32bit audio player.
At the heart of the L5 Pro is an AKM Verita AK4490, a high performance 32bit DAC featuring 256x over sampling stereo DAC, 32bit 8x digital filter, sampling rate of 30kHz~768kHz, industry leading level performance of THD+N (-112dB) for a voltage output with 120dB dynamic range, and many more. The AKM Verita AK4490 supports 2.8MHz, 5.6MHz and 11.2MHz DSD (Direct Stream Digital) input, and PCM data input. It is capable of switching output data between DSD and PCM.
The L&P L5 Pro features an aluminum-magnesium body, very solid in construction, paired with a wooden backplate. The company actually released an L5 before, but the L5 Pro is the more refined and more or less the final outcome of the L5 series. It also features a 3.5″ touch screen display (OGS) with a resolution of 480×320. I think it’s an IPS display since the viewing angles are good, but don’t expect superb color output.
Under the hood, aside from the AK4490, the L5 Pro also features 1812O double crown Op AMP, 1812A single crown Amp, 1812M co-processor, 1812P power management chip, CS3310 professional volume chip, a 6 layer 3U dark gold matter black PCB, and an ultra-low ESR MLCC Murata X7S 6.3V100UF filter capacitor. Of course there are more chips and components inside, but let’s leave those to the experts.
Below is a specification table for your reference. After that, let’s take a closer look at the Luxury & Precision L5 Pro DAP and I’ll discuss more of its features from there.
Luxury & Precision L5 Pro Specifications
|Body and Material||6 Series aluminum-magnesium alloy, CNC integrated molding process, anodized surface and sand blasting|
|Display||3.5" IPS screen, touch screen, at 480 X 320 resolution|
|Support Format||DSD Lossless: DSF (DSD), DIFF (DSD), ISO (DSD)|
PCM Losslss: FLAC, WAV, AIFF, APE, ALAC, WV (WavPack)
Lossy Compression: MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG
NOTE: part of supported format need worked with the later upgrade software
|Supported Audio Sampling Rate||PCM: 8KHz-192KHz, 8-32Bit|
DSD: 2.8M-5.6M, 1Bit, Stereo
|DAC||AKM VERITA 4490|
|Decoding||Support up to 32Bit / 192KHz|
|Outputs||1x 3.5mm gold plated headphone jack|
1x 3.5mm line-out / coaxial digital output
1x micro-USB DAC interface
|Dimension||6.3cm X 12.3cm X 1.69cm|
|Storage Capacity||32GB internal with support for 128GB Micro SD Card Expansion|
|Battery||Aprrox 12 hours play time|
|Enhancements||Support firmware upgrade|