If you think a portable audio player is no better than your phone, then you’ve certainly never encountered the likes of Astell & Kern. At the Munich High End Show Astell & Kern has unveiled two new high-res portable music players: the A&norma SR15 and A&futura SE100.
Both new models are encased in sturdy aluminum casing with a similar look and feel to the flagship A&ultima. The A&norma SR15 portable media player forms the beginning of A&K’s new A&norma “standard” line of devices, which trickle down stuff from the company’s even more expensive offerings. You get a dual Cirrus Logic CS43198 DAC, a quad-core processor, native DSD and PCM playback up to 24-bit/192kHz, Bluetooth 4.1 with AptX HD, a solid aluminum alloy body, and a 3.3-inch WVGA (800 x 480) TFT LCD.
The A&futura SE100 which packs an Octa-core processor as well as the professional-grade ESS Sabre ES9038Pro DAC chip, which offers four channels of processing powers per left and right stereo channels, making for fantastically clear and detailed audio. Capable of playing Quad DSD audio natively, the SE100 can also play back up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM audio, making it perfect for your hi-res audio needs. It also has a 5-inch 720p display, a battery rated to last for 10 hours, 128GB of internal storage (versus 64GB on the SR15), and a USB-C input with fast-charging support.
The A&futura SE100 retails for $1,700 and will launch in May, while the A&norma SR15 will sell for $700 and will begin shipping in June.