Astell&Kern A&futura SE100 and A&norma SR15 Portable DAP Revealed – See Features, Specs and Price

There are tons of new and exciting things revealed at the High End Show 2018 in Munich, Germany. Aside from the Cayin N8 DAP, there are also two new portable DAPs from the Korean company – Astell&Kern. AK launched their new A&futura SE100 and A&norma SR15 portable digital audio players. As you have noticed, it follows the branding or naming scheme of “A&ultimate SP1000”, currently the company’s flagship DAP. While the A&ultimate is the top of the line, the A&futura is the new premium line and the A&norma is the new standard line. You can also say that the futura is the new mid-range DAP while the norma is the new entry-level DAP. The SE100 and SR15 are just the first model under these new branding. I guess A&K plans to release more variants later; just like AK300, AK320 and AK380 under the AK 300 series. Check out the rest of the features and specifications from the press news below.

Update: A&futura SE100 now available here, and A&norma SR15 available here.

Meet the New Astell&Kern A&futura SE100 and A&norma SR15 DAPs

The A&futura SE100 is equipped with a professional grade DAC chip from ESS, the SABRE ES9038Pro, which offers 8-channel procession of sound inputs. With 4-channels of dedicated processing per left and right channel, the SE100 is capable of producing even more detailed and clear sound with excellent SNR. The SE100 can play back up to 32 bit/384kHz PCM audio and can play Quad DSD natively. Thanks to an updated amplifier design and noise control technologies implemented by Astell&Kern, the SE100 produces 4.1 Vrms (balanced output) from its built-in amp only. The SE100 also features an Octa-core CPU, 5-inch touch screen, 128GB internal storage, support for fast charging, and can play back music for about 10 hours. Its aluminum alloy body design is solid and durable, and the classical design of the volume knob and diamond-patterned glass back plate completes the premium look and feel of the player when holding it in your hand. The SE100 has also been awarded a “Red Dot Design Award 2018”.

The A&norma SR15 is the first model from Astell&Kern’s new standard line of players. The A&norma line is designed to provide those new to high resolution audio a feature-packed introduction to the Astell&Kern brand. ‘Pragmatic’ Hi-Fi is now available with A&norma. The A&norma SR15 is packed with several features found in previous Astell&Kern flagship devices so that even beginners can enjoy the fullest musical details when listening with an A&norma player. The SR15 uses the proven Master HIFI level DAC chip, the Cirrus Logic CS43198, and features a Quad-core CPU which provides abundant power to process high-res music and creates an intuitive and snappy user experience. The A&norma SR15 can playback up to 24bit/192kHz PCM audio, and single-rated DSD natively. All of these features are packaged in a solid aluminum alloy body that resembles the popular AK70 series. The user interface is also very intuitive and is based on other upper-tier models in the Astell&Kern line.

Price and Availability

The A&futura SE100 comes with a retail price of $1,699 USD and A&norma SR15 is to be retailed at $699 USD. Each of new model will launch globally in May and June respectively.

Latest pricing and availability:

A&futura SE100 and A&norma SR15 Specifications

SpecificationsA&futura SE100A&norma SR15
Body ColorTitan SilverDark Gray
Body MaterialAluminumAluminum
Display5inch (720 x 1,280) Touchscreen3.3inch WVGA (480 x 800) TFT LCD
Sample ratePCM : 8kHz ~ 384kHz (8/16/24/32bits per Sample) / DSD Native: DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo
/ DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256(1bit 11.2MHz), Stereo
PCM : 8kHz ~ 192kHz (8/16/24bits per Sample)
/ DSD Native : DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD to PCM : DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz)
Output LevelUnbalance 2.0Vrms / Balance 4.1Vrms (Condition No Load)Unbalance 2.0Vrms / Balance 4.0Vrms (Condition No Load)
CPUOcta-coreQuad Core
DACESS SABRE ES9038PRO 8channelCirrus Logic CS43198 x2 (Dual DAC)
Built-in Memory128GB [NAND]64GB [NAND]
External MemorymicroSD (Max 400GB) x1microSD (Max 400GB) x1
DecodingSupport up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit to Bit DecodingSupport up to 24bit / 192kHz Bit to Bit Decoding
InputUSB 3.0 Type-C input (for charging & data transfer (PC & MAC)) / Connection Mode : MTP (Media Device)USB Micro-B input (for charging & data transfer (PC & MAC)) / Connection Mode : MTP (Media Device)
OutputsPHONES (3.5mm) / Optical Out (3.5mm) / Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported)PHONES (3.5mm) / Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported)
Wi-Fi802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
BluetoothV4.1 (A2DP, AVRCP, aptXTM HD)V4.1 (A2DP, AVRCP, aptXtm HD)
Dimensions2.98 ”(75.8 mm) [W] x 5.22 ”(132.7 mm) [H] x 0.6 ”(15.3 mm) [D]2.26 ”(57.5 mm) [W] x 3.92 ”(99.7 mm) [H] x 0.63 ”(16.1 mm) [D]
Weight8.5 oz (241 g)about 5.43 oz (about 154 g)
Feature EnhancementsFirmware upgrades supported (OTA)Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)
Frequency Response±0.038dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalance / ±0.028dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balance
±0.074dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Unbalance / ±0.030dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Balance
±0.030dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalance / ±0.024dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balance
±0.038dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Unbalance / ±0.065dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Balance
Signal to Noise Ratio122dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 123dB @ 1kHz, Balance122dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance & Balance
Crosstalk138dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 144dB @ 1kHz, Balance137dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance & Balance
THD+N0.0007% @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 0.0006% @ 1kHz, Balance0.0008% @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 0.0009% @ 1kHz, Balance
IMD SMPTE0.0006% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Unbalance / 0.0005% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Balance0.0004% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Unbalance & Balance
Output ImpedanceBalanced out 2.5mm (1ohm) / PHONES 3.5mm (1.5ohm)Balanced out 2.5mm (1.6ohm) / PHONES 3.5mm (1.1ohm)
Clock Jitter800 Femto Seconds45ps (Typ)
Reference Clock Jitter250 Femto Seconds
Battery Capacity3,700mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer Battery3,150mAh 3.7V Li-Polymer Battery
Continuous Playback Timeup to 11 hours (Standard - MUSIC: FLAC, 16-bit/44kHz, Volume 75, LCD Off)
Charge TimeAbout 2 hours (Standard - 9V/1.67A Fast charging)
Supported OSWindows XP, Windows 7,8,10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and upWindows 7,8,10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and up

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