Astell & Kern AK70

Why would anyone buy an iPod-alike in the age of Spotify? For hi-res audio, of course. As your phone only has a basic digital to-analogue converter (DAC), you’ll lose a lot in audio quality whether you’re listening to a ropey YouTube stream or Jay Z’s new record on Tidal.

Astell & Kern AK70Fire up a song on the AK70 and you’ll really hear the difference. A sleek player with a 3.3in LCD touchscreen, up to 256GB of storage and an Android-powered interface, it makes it easy to find your favorite tunes. Oh, and it sounds phenomenal, with an awesome balance of subtlety and precision.

DAC’S NICE

A born multitasker, the AK70 can also double up as a standalone DAC – acting as a middleman between your laptop and headphones so you can listen to hi-res music while you work.

Astell & Kern AK70HIGH FOR THIS

Although it will play mp3 files, you’ll get the most of your AK70 by playing PCM files up to 24-bit/192kHz (32-bit files are playable, just downsampled). Audiophiles will surely hear the difference.

NOT VERY ’APPY

This device may run on Android, but you can’t download any Spotify or Tidal directly to its hard drive because it doesn’t have Google’s Play Store installed. Time to go digging for your favorite albums.