High End 2016 • Hot Product

The company that brought high-end sound to the portable-music-player market has come up with a way for its customers to take their vinyl with them when they’re on the move. No, not a stealth-styled Crosley Cruiser, but the Astell & Kern PRF11 recorder ($795) is a dock that turns any Astell & Kern 300-series player into a high-resolution digital audio recorder with the option to make PCM .WAV files at up to 32 bits/384kHz or DSD up to 128. You will need a phono preamplifier with a line out, but the recorder provides digital and analog inputs via mini XLR and 3.5mm mini-jack and offers low-cut filtering in 10Hz steps from 40-240Hz. It also has a compressor/limiter and can provide phantom power to a microphone.

You could use the recorder with Astell & Kern’s new entry-level model in its 300 series, the AK300 ($899), which offers the same features as its pricier brethren but has a single rather than double DAC and 64GB of storage in place of double that in the more expensive units. It handles PCM up to 24 bits/192kHz and DSD 128, and the casework remains as attractively hewn and chunky as ever.

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