Astell&Kern launches its two new lines of Digital Audio Players (DAP) at the High End 2018 Show in Munich, Germany on May 10, 2018. The two new lines are A&futura, a new premium line and A&norma, a new standard line. These two lines join the current flagship line, A&ultima. The first player in the A&ultima line, the SP1000 was launched at High End 2017 Munich. With the debut of A&futura and A&norma, Astell&Kern completes the rebranding of its player lineup. The first model of A&futura is the SE100, and the first model of A&norma is the SR15.
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 touchscreen, 128GB internal storage, support for fast charging, and can play back music for about 10 hours. Its aluminium alloy body design is solid and durable, and the classical design of the volume knob and diamond-patterned glass backplate 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 aluminium 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.
The A&futura SE100 is to be retailed at $1,699 and A&norma SR15 is to be retailed at $699 and is expected to be launch globally in May and June respectively.