Review : Astell & Kern AK380

Posted on 02 September 2015

Astell & Kern AK380 review on by Nathan

Read the full review here :

Conclusion : 
Where the AK380 truly excels is its portrayal of stereo detail and space. Not only does it cast a stereo image that practically wraps around your head, every step outward is accompanied by depth, minute detail, and delicate contrast. It is believable, and reverent. 

The AK380, in contrast, ploughs deep along the z-axis whilst maintaining stereo width and detail that easily surpasses the Jr. It is buoyed up from the shoulders to about ten centimetres above your head while the third dimension ploughs forward a half metre or so. The entire edifice wraps fairly around your head. Unlike some x-only wide stereo images, the AK380’s doesn’t confuse or disorient. It is filled with enough natural detail to keep you grounded.

It is a more liquidy-sounding player than the AK240 or the Jr, and is certainly more so than the iBasso DX90. Personally, I prefer a drier, more muscly sound; which is why the Jr is my favourite AK DAP. But the word liquid gets thrown around a lot. This DAP isn’t your typical smooth-to-no-end liquid-sounding source. It is never clogged by distortion, or circumcised stereo detail. It is just uber smooth, and lined by loads of micro contrast.

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