Following the introduction of its £3,299 SP1000 portable music player last year, Astell&Kern has announced a new flagship in the form of the SP1000M priced at £1,999. Another bold industrial design, the body shape uses the company’s distinctive, irregular split planes to give the SP1000M a similar tactile quality to its upmarket sibling. Smaller and lighter at just over 200g, thanks to an aluminium case and a new 4.1in touchscreen display, the company says the more pocketable player can be controlled with just one hand and that its navigation system uses an improved version of its A&ultima interface.

Battery life is expected to give 10 hours of hi-res music playback, while wi-fi connectivity, USB DAC functionality, DLNA networking, digital audio output via USB and aptX HD Bluetooth are included. Powered by dual AK4497EQ DAC chips from Asahi Kasei, each dedicated to a single stereo channel, the SP1000M boasts what’s described as three-dimensional sound and uses an octa-core CPU for fast and seamless performance, no matter what the file size. 

It supports PCM files up to 32-bit/384kHz and native playback of DSD256 files, and has 128GB of on-board storage, which can be expanded to 528GB via microSD card. Completing the package is a USB 3.0 (C-Type) port for fast charging and data transfer. Finished in a striking lapis blue, it’s on sale now and you can find out more here.