The $17,000 UHD network audio player


Outlandish has a new name. Introducing the Astell&Kern AK500N, the first high-resolution music server made by company. With a reputation for the highest end audio gear that looks like art, the AK500N is a product like you’ve never seen before.

Audiofiles delight in the ability to play audio from a 1TB SSD drive (support for up to 4TB) to store and playback your entire uncompressed music library. The Astell&Kern AK500N supports audio files up to 24-bit/192Khz, including single and double-rate DSD files, as well as Apple lossless and all other standard digital audio formats.  A front-loading CD drive allows you to load your music to the devices in-built storage in a number of selectable formats including WAV and FLAC formats.

The Astell&Kern AK500N runs on an internal battery that auto charges whenever it isn’t playing. This feature ensures you will never hear any hum or buzz from the power supply, no matter where it is plugged in. The device also streams lossless audio over Wi-Fi via DLNA from PCs and NAS storage devices, the Android-based operating system can be controlled by the on-board control pad, as well as any iOS or Android device.

The Astell&Kern AK500N includes a 7” LCD touch screen display that allows the user to view and playback music located on the device or stream music from a local network. The Astell&Kern AK500N is also features NAS-type storage with three additional drive bays to expand up to 4TB and can be set up in a RAID configuration for redundancy purposes, giving you ample storage capabilities so you will never have to delete another song again!


With supreme converting capabilities, the Astell&Kern AK500N contains a Dual-DAC configuration with two Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC chips, that can output audio signals independently to each channel, making the AK500N a true dual mono setup.

The AK500N features a dedicated DSD chipset for DSD playback and converts PCM data to DSD through its proprietary audio engine.  Users can enjoy single-rate and double-rate DSD playback without any down-sampling on the AK500N.  This device can also up-convert files to high-resolution 32 bit, 384 kHz WAV PCM and 24 bit / 352 kHz FLAC PCM data to DSD data in real-time.

Built to fit in perfectly with your current home system, the Astell&Kern AK500N boasts plenty of input and outputs including, two balanced and unbalanced analog outs, balanced (AES/EBU), BNC S/PDIF, coaxial, and optical digital outputs.

Digital inputs include balanced (AES/EBU), BNC S/PDIF, coaxial, and optical digital inputs. Both 10/100 Ethernet and 802.11 b/g/n wireless networks are supported. The device also featured two USB inputs for direct playback from USB devices.

The Astell&Kern AK500N focuses on rich bass tones, a midrange with expansive dynamic elements and a treble with a heap of sparkle, giving you one of the most ultimate high-definition music servers available. You get your choice of black or silver and will definitely be a conversation starter at your house.

Now here’s the kicker, this amazing bit of kit costs a stunning $16,999. If you’re jaw isn’t on the floor, you can probably afford this and you can pick one up at BusiSoft –

This post is authored by techAU staffers. Used rarely and sparingly when the source decided to keep their identity secret, or a guest author who isn't seeking credit.

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