Astell & Kern, extremely adorned maker of premium moveable high-resolution audio gadgets, has simply launched the SE180 moveable music participant. It’s the third mannequin within the firm’s A&futura sequence following the inaugural A&futura SE100 and SE200, each of which gained What Hello-Fi? Awards in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
For 2021 nonetheless, Astell & Kern is attempting one thing new: the SE180 is its first participant to function interchangeable DAC modules.
Increasing on the multi-DAC innovation first launched with the SE200, music followers can now customise the sound with totally different audio-flavoured DACs to search out the sonics that greatest swimsuit their ears.
Moreover, A&Ok says the A&futura SE180 is the corporate’s most superior participant but. It’s the first mannequin to boast the agency’s new Teraton Alpha Sound Answer know-how, promising improved audio, an enhanced consumer interface and superior connectivity.
The South Korean digital audio specialist says the brand new consumer interface is “extra in keeping with an Android smartphone expertise”. There’s additionally AK File Drop for simpler wi-fi file transfers, BT Sink perform for less complicated connection of the SE180 to an exterior Bluetooth gadget, and, in fact, that progressive interchangeable DAC design to boast a brand new stage of audio flexibility for the consumer.
By bodily separating the principle physique from the all-in-one module, A&Ok claims that any energy and radio frequency noise generated by the principle unit is totally blocked. The DAC module ought to slot simply into place from the highest of the participant and encompasses a pioneering double-locking mechanism that guarantees to securely join every part.
However you do not have to purchase a separate digital-to-analogue converter to get the brand new SE180 up and working. The A&futura SE180 arrives with a default 8-channel module, the SEM1 ESS ES9038PRO. And it is no slouch – audio file help is complete, with the SEM1 DAC able to taking part in as much as 32-bit/384kHz PCM and native DSD256 information.
Wish to begin customising and upgrading although? The SEM2 Asahi Kasei AK4497EQ Twin DAC would be the first optionally available module out there at launch, with the power to play information as much as 32-bit/768kHz PCM and native DSD512.
Each modules help 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm headphones connections for accommodating a higher number of headphones and in-ears, whereas there’s help for MQA playback by way of downloaded MQA audio information and Tidal.
A&Ok says the following DAC module shall be launched later within the yr, with one other mannequin following within the first half of 2022.
In any other case, the The A&futura SE180 encompasses a Full HD 5-inch display, the graceful, aluminium casework and rotary quantity dial we have come to anticipate from Astell & Kern gadgets, plus a 256GB on-board reminiscence that may be expanded as much as 1TB by way of a microSD card slot.
The Astell & Kern A&futura SE180 with the SEM1 ESS ES9038PRO DAC module is priced £1399 ($1499, €1599) and shall be out there from Could. The optionally available Astell&Kern SEM2 DAC (Asahi Kasei AK4497EQ Twin DAC Module) is priced £319 ($349, €379) and also will be out there from Could.
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