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A&K Prices Two New High-Res Portables

IRVINE, CALIF. — Astell & Kern’s two latest iPod-type high-resolution audio players will ship in early June and mid July at $1,700 and $900, respectively.

The $1,700 AK120 II and $900 AK100 II incorporate features of its recently launched flagship model, including a new step-up DAC chipset and Wi-Fi. Both second-generat i o n models will join their first-generation predecessors, which are priced at a suggested $799 and $1,499, and join the flagship AK240, launched at International CES at $2,500.Two other models will also stay in the line, which starts at $699.

Wi-Fi connectivity enables wireless streaming of high-resolution audio from a Mac or PC, firmware updates that can be performed over the air, and potentially let users download music direct from a high-resolution music site.

Compared to their first-generation counterparts, both add balanced analog outputs.

The two new models convert DSD files to PCM for playback because they do not have the flagship’s processing power to do native DSD playback.

PSB Expands Imagine Speaker Series

PICKERING, ONTARIO – PSB Speakers expanded its Imagine series of passive in-room speakers down in price to include four Imagine X models priced up to $649 each. The series will eventually replace the Image series.

The slim Imagine X models, all in simulated black ash finish, are the Imagine X2T tower at a suggested $649 each, the Imagine X1T tower at $449 each, one Imagine XB bookshelf monitor at $499 per pair, and the Imagine XC center channel at $399 each. All are shipping.

Imagine models, priced below the flagship Synchrony series, consist of nine SKUs priced up to $1,749 each for the Imagine T2 tower.

Klipsch Steps Up Live-Music Promos

INDIANAPOLIS – Speaker and headphone manufacturer Klipsch is expanding its commitment to live-music promotions by sponsoring the first in a planned series of independent artists.

Klipsch will be the title sponsor of Indianapolis- based band Bleedingkeys at key performances and appearances.

With the sponsorship, the audio brand marks “the beginning of what will become an official emerging artists program,” said Klipsch president/CEO Paul Jacobs.

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