It may be old-fashioned, but I find that dedicated MP3 players are wonderful little devices. I've used tons over the years (the Zune HD is still the best) and I'm glad to see that they live in a certain way even though it is Art object stuffed with audiophile trinkets -provides a $ 700 price tag: A & norma SR15 from Astell & Kern.
Look at this thing! The ground of the world of technology is littered with anonymous pellets made to attract as many people as possible. So you have this thing.
What design choice, tilt the screen like this and form the rest of the device from complementary prism-like rectangles! The site even has a "concept design" page, on which it emphasizes that this is not a purely aesthetic choice:
The slight angle and precise and attentive alignment show the empty space and the tones that fill the space.
From any angle, or from one hand, you hold your device, it does not interfere with the screen and offers the best grip.
Is not it wonderful? And it's even a little real! The areas we carefully avoid with fingers or thumbs are now prehensile.
Meanwhile, the inclined screen also makes room for the knurled volume knob, while protecting it from unwanted contacts. And the angle of the screen gives a visual indication for the power button.
I love how this design is risky, how catchy, both practical and impractical. We need a lot more of that in technology. This device has more personality than any iPhone since the 6 handset.
Inside is the usual explosion of audio jargon: Cirrus Logic Dual DAC, native digital direct playback, 24-bit 192KHz playback, 2.5mm balanced headphone output, and a processor quad-core to support everything. Do you need that? Probably not, but some people could do it and at least you'll be sure that this thing will play pretty much anything you do there and sound good.
I've used some of A & K's earlier products, and I can testify that they're extremely well built and enjoyable to use, even if the screens are a little low resolution and that the user interface may be missing. The 3.3-inch screen is not going to blow anyone up with its resolution of 800 × 480, but it should be pretty neat, and the UI has had a redo between the devices that I'm using. I used and the SR15. I'm looking forward to seeing if it's more fun to use now.
The A & norma SR15 is now available for anyone with a full pocket of money to engrave.