My beloved Astell & Kern hi-res player is discounted for Black Friday – and it's aces

Astell & Kern A&norma SR25 MKII on gray background
(Image credit: Astell & Kern)

Considered splurging on a dedicated hi-res audio player this Black Friday? Care about music? Then you really should think about it – and the ideal time to take the plunge is now. Why? Because it's Black Friday deals season, and because of this exceptional deal I'm fitting to tell you about. 

Right now, the Astell & Kern A&norma SR25 MK II is just $599, down from $749 – a sweet $150 saving. And it is worth it – this, after all, is a device that earned a coveted five TechRadar stars in our Astell & Kern A&norma SR25 MKII review. (Not in the US? You'll find hi-res audio player deals where you are further down the page.)

It's a beautiful, brutalist and, I'll admit it, still-expensive thing – but Astell & Kern has legions of fans in the hi-res audio world, and I am one of them. It's because of me that this deal is being resolutely brought to your attention; I can't let it lie. I love a sub-$50 earbuds deal roundup as much as the next person, but I also love exceptional audio quality, and this will give you that.

The best Black Friday hi-res audio Astell & Kern deal

Astell & Kern A&norma SR25 MKII: $749 $599 at Crutchfield

Astell & Kern A&norma SR25 MKII: was $749 now $599 at Crutchfield
It's a stunning thing and if you're looking for a hi-res audio player that'll handle virtually any file type and resolution you throw at it (up to 32bit/384kHz and Native DSD256), this is as good a price as you'll find. The SR25 MKII's 20 hour battery will last even the longest road trips and the screen is a bright, crisp delight. But the sound (oh, the sound) is expressive, expansive, decisive and the kind of thing that'll make you love your music – even much older tracks that have fallen out of favor in your most-played roundups – all over again. 

Anyone familiar with this publication will know that I have written odes to Astell & Kern about its various audio players, but of crucial importance here is our review of the A&norma SR25 MKII – and no, I still don't really know how you're supposed to say the name 'A&norma'. It doesn't matter, it's how it sounds when it's playing music that's important.

What you need to know is that it got five sweet stars under intense review, and that was at its regular MSRP of $749. Five-star products rarely get a discount anywhere near $150 (which equates to 19% off) and when I saw it at Crutchfield, I had to check it was actually this player; my player. And it is the SR25 MK II that is discounted, otherwise known as the A&K that rarely leaves my side. 

You see, as much as I love my iPod Classic, this hi-res option beats it. It was only released in November 2021 too, so it is very much a current winner. It's still a fair wedge of money for one of the best MP3 players on the market, however you look at it. 

You're worth it though…

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Becky Scarrott
Audio Editor

Becky became Audio Editor at TechRadar in 2024, but joined the team in 2022 as Senior Staff Writer, focusing on all things hi-fi. Before this, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.