T.H.E. Show Newport
Beach 2015 Report
As every avid portable audio lover knows, Enjoy the Music.com published our world premiere review of the Astell&Kern Ak380 (see review here), and that was with the outstanding JH Audio Roxanne. During T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 i had more time with the unit, yet this time using my fave Noble Kaiser 10 CIEMs.
The AK380 now has updated firmware (now at 0.94) and i can happily report that the GUI is now fast and efficient. With the new firmware, there is virtually no delay when you touch the screen and your song starts to play. Bravo! The AK380 ($3500) truly sounds stunning with the Noble K10. The unit auto-senses when you used balanced cable input, thus there is no need to go into the Settings/Setup menu. Simply plug in a set of balanced headphones and you're good to go.
The menu system is now more responsive when changing folders, selections, etc. David Elias in DSD has a touch more dynamics as I recall with the Noble K10 over the JH Audio Roxanne CIEMs. They really have improved the finger/touchscreen responsiveness to the menu system over the previous firmware. With Hotel California by the Eagles in DSD, the bass is so tight and tuneful with the Noble Kaiser K10. OMG, this is da shit folks, and by that I mean kick friggen arse! Fast transients, very clean and wide soundscape / stereo separation. The Astell&Kern AK380 is my new reference and look forward to reviewing the entire ecosystem once it becomes available.
Astell&Kern also were showing their AK Jr. ($499) with 64 GB of memory. You can look forward to my review of the AK Jr. in the weeks to come.