The CEntrance table at Newport had two sweet surprises. The first was the Mini-M8. This is the new slimmed-down version of the best-selling headphone DAC/amp combo, the HiFi-M8, but this time there’s real (output) support for IEMs. A better battery and two more inputs round out the package. Price should be around $600, and availability should start in about 2 months.
And that was the first thing. The second was The Glove.
Glove Audio is a spin-off venture that will showcase DAP-wrappers. Yes. You heard that right.
The device is a piggyback. An Astell&Kern AK100 digital audio player sits snugly into the device, which pulls out the digital audio stream into the onboard Sabre DAC and spits it out the integrated amplifier. Outputs include a standard mini-jack and both TRRS and RSA balanced outs — interesting, because the AK100 (version 1) does not include any balanced outs.
The form factor is very compact and the coupling between the player and the Glove is rock solid. No bands necessary.
I asked Michael about the new Mark 2 versions of the old AK players, and he just shrugged and grinned. “Stay tuned,” is how I read that. Audio360 and PTA’er Mike Mercer says that, short of the AK240, this new outboard is one of the best he’s heard. Sounds like they’re off to a good start.
Pricing is set for $600 with availability and formal launch in about a month.